How to humble a wing nut

by Judith Curry

A central puzzle of modern American politics is why so many voters can maintain strong political views concerning complex policies yet remain relatively uninformed about how such policies would bring about desired outcomes. – Phillip Fernbach et al.

At Bloomberg, Cass Sunstein has an article titled How to humble a wing nut, that discusses the implications of a new paper by Fernbach et al.:

Political Extremism is Supported by an Illusion of Understanding

Phillip M. Fernbach, Todd Rogers, Craig R. Fox, Steven A. Sloman

Abstract.  People often hold extreme political attitudes about complex policies. We hypothesized that people typically know less about such policies than they think they do (the illusion of explanatory depth) and that polarized attitudes are enabled by simplistic causal models. Asking people to explain policies in detail both undermined the illusion of explanatory depth and led to attitudes that were more moderate (Experiments 1 and 2). Although these effects occurred when people were asked to generate a mechanistic explanation, they did not occur when people were instead asked to enumerate reasons for their policy preferences (Experiment 2). Finally, generating mechanistic explanations reduced donations to relevant political advocacy groups (Experiment 3). The evidence suggests that people’s mistaken sense that they understand the causal processes underlying policies contributes to political polarization.

Published online by Psychological Science, [link] to abstract; [link] to pre-publication manuscript.

The paper opens with two very apt quotes:

“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists” — Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays.

“Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position and that’s it. It doesn’t take much thought.” — Clint Eastwood, Time Magazine, February 20, 2005

From the Conclusions of the paper by Fernbach et al.:

Across three studies we show that people have unjustified confidence in their mechanistic understanding of policies. Attempting to generate a mechanistic explanation undermines this illusion of understanding and leads to more moderate positions. Mechanistic explanation generation also influences political behavior, making people less likely to donate to relevant advocacy groups. These moderation effects on judgment and decision-making do not occur when people are asked to enumerate reasons for their position. We argue that mechanistic explanation is a unique form of elaboration that forces people to confront their ignorance, and therefore affects their associated preferences and decisions. 

Our principal finding about moderation runs counter to research that highlights the processes that make polarization self-reinforcing. People who are ignorant are often unaware of it (Kruger & Dunning, 1999), they seek out information that supports their current preferences, they process new information in biased ways that strengthen their current preferences, and they exist in social networks composed of people with similar preferences. Taken together, these findings might lead one to believe that attitude polarization is inevitable and persistent. Our research suggests one simple way to induce moderation, asking people to explain their positions mechanistically.

Research in “deliberative democracy” has found that intensively educating participants can improve democratic decision quality following collective deliberation and negotiation. Perhaps one reason is that educating participants on how policies work moderates their positions, and these moderated beliefs increase their willingness to compromise and explore opposing views. More generally, moderating the extremity of people’s positions could have implications for reducing impasse and increasing value creation in negotiation contexts. The present results suggest that political debate might be more productive if partisans first engage in substantive and mechanistic discussion of policies before engaging in a more customary superficial debate about preferences and positions.

Wingnuttery

From Cass Sunstein’s article:

There is no standard definition of the all-important term “wing nut,” so let’s provide one. A wing nut is someone who has a dogmatic commitment to an extreme political view (“wing”) that is false and at least a bit crazy (“nut”).

When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

Wing nuts have a lot of fellow travelers — people who don’t fit the definition, yet who are similarly dogmatic and whose views, though not really crazy, aren’t exactly evidence-based. You can be a wing nut on a particular issue without being a wing nut in general. Most human beings can hear the voice, at least on occasion, of their inner wing nut.

The good news is that wing nuts usually don’t matter. The bad news is that they influence people who do. Sadly, more information often fails to correct people’s misunderstandings. In fact, it can backfire and entrench them. Can anything be done?

For a positive answer, consider an intriguing study by Philip Fernbach and his colleagues. Their central finding is that if you ask people to explain exactly why they think as they do, they discover how much they don’t know — and they become more humble and therefore more moderate.

The study came in four stages. First, people were asked to state their positions on a series of political issues, including a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, a national flat tax, merit-based pay for teachers and unilateral sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program. They were asked to describe their position on a seven-point scale whose endpoints were “strongly in favor” and “strongly opposed.”

Second, people were asked to rate their degree of understanding of each issue on a seven-point scale. The third step was the crucial one; they were asked to “describe all the details you know about [for example, the impact of instituting a ‘cap and trade’ system for carbon emissions], going from the first step to the last, and providing the causal connection between the steps.” Fourth, people were asked to rerate their understanding on the seven-point scale and to restate their position on the relevant issue.

The results were stunning. On every issue, the result of requesting an explanation was to persuade people to give a lower rating of their own understanding — and to offer a more moderate view on each issue. In a follow-up experiment, Fernbach and his co-authors found that after being asked to explain their views, people were less likely to want to give a bonus payment to a relevant advocacy group.

Motivated reasoning helps to account for two defining characteristics of wing nuts and their fellow travelers: a readiness to attack people’s good faith, rather than their actual arguments, and an eagerness to make the worst, rather than the best, of opposing positions.

If Fernbach and his co-authors are right, this obstacle may not be insuperable. Serious efforts to examine the assumptions behind your own beliefs, and to identify what you don’t know, are likely to produce an increase in humility. Whether or not you change your view, you may well be humbled — and end up being a bit more charitable to those who see things differently.

JC comments:  This paper provides some profound insights into the climate debate.  Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’  Too much of the consensus is second order belief, that is not associated with mechanistic understanding.

I was particularly struck by this closing paragraph in Fernbach et al.:

Research in “deliberative democracy” has found that intensively educating participants can improve democratic decision quality following collective deliberation and negotiation. Perhaps one reason is that educating participants on how policies work moderates their positions, and these moderated beliefs increase their willingness to compromise and explore opposing views. More generally, moderating the extremity of people’s positions could have implications for reducing impasse and increasing value creation in negotiation contexts. The present results suggest that political debate might be more productive if partisans first engage in substantive and mechanistic discussion of policies before engaging in a more customary superficial debate about preferences and positions.

Simply stating a strongly held position at Climate Etc. doesn’t get you very far in the discussion here.  I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.

Moderation note:  Calling other CE participants ‘wing nuts’ is not allowed, although you are allowed to discuss your own transition away from wingnuttery.

480 responses to “How to humble a wing nut

  1. My immediate response to the question is that I don’t have “a position”. It’s a far too complex an issue for that.

  2. I think a good place to start is to introduce more of a continuum of nomenclature for positions. Generally, I don’t find that I can have a productive conversation with “deniers” and “alarmists” are not very much better. Skeptics and “warmists” (someone who tentatively judges that the globe is warming by some amount and that some significant part of that warming is probably anthropogenic – my current position) are people from whom we are likely to learn. The most vicious attacks that I have experienced were on Skeptical Science!

  3. Speaking of wing nuts, Barbara Boxers comments re the Oklahoma tornadoes. It’s climate change of course. I guess it was climate change when Dorothy got blown all the way from Kansas to The Land Of Oz back in 1939. And since we’re in the late 30’s, the hurricane of ’38 as well.

    Can’t wait to see how these people jump up and down screaming “We were warned” when we have a devastating hurricane on the east coast this September. That the conditions are ripe for one, just as they were in the 1950’s, of course won’t matter.

    It’s a propaganda war pure and simple.

    • The more I think about Mosher’s “rulz are rulz” injunction, the more sadly pathetic it sounds. We ought to be marching in the streets, never mind worrying about arbitrary deadlines issued by looney bureaucrats.

    • No heart, all hollow.

    • pokerguy, I agree that blaming tornadoes on AGW is propaganda . Do you think she believes it herself, though?

      • Dag, My wife and I are discussing that right now. I’m honestly not sure which would be worse. Either way, it’s frightening.

      • Yes, she does, I think. I submitted the following comment to both Tom Nelson and wattsupwiththat a few minutes ago:

        These are activists in a political, ideological cause, not a scientific one. They accept the false climate consensus as given, as have all of the supposedly authoritative institutions I hasten to add, and the political war that has been going on increasingly between Left and Right for decades, has effectively driven them insane. They understand the political “debate”; what they cannot begin to understand, it seems, is that two generations of incompetent climate science have failed all of us, and that is what is behind the “conspiracy of denial” they imagine they are seeing now. Put another way, they were effectively kidnapped by bad science many years ago, and made to identify with their kidnappers, and do their bidding. They have made themselves the victims so many of them believe themselves to be, but the force that bedevils them is their own cult, not the “skeptics” and “deniers” of the false science.

      • I think she does believe it, based on her superficially logical argument: The experts told us we would be seeing extreme weather, and we are seeing it right now. So the experts have been proven right.

    • pokerguy | May 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm |

      I worry that climate change may put an end to tornadoes. No more twisters, due some new blocking state or higher gradient or some such.

      Sure, they kill dozens every season, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but isn’t it worth it so children all over the world can continue to understand and relate to Zardoz?

      Oh. Wait. That isn’t exactly kiddie fair.

      Well, I guess everyone has their own idea of what changes are beneficial.

    • Beth Cooper

      http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/fool-me-once-munich-res-thunderstorm.html

      Oh when they said, ‘Repent!’
      Ah wuhndered wha-at they meant.
      Now the blizz – ard uv the whirld
      Has crossed the thresh -hold,
      And it has ovah – turned … ovah – turned
      The order uv the soul,
      ‘Repent!’

      A serf.

  4. Joseph Anthony

    I always remained skeptical about my inner wingnuttery, but there was a time when I would have advocated political positions based of it. Sometime near my mid-twenties, I began to consider that I, without a scientific background, mostly listening to commentators without a scientific background, was not suited to having my own stronly held evidence-based opinions on climate change. I’ve responded by trying to educate myself more, holding back my consent even to those propositions my passions urge me to defend, and giving much more credence to the various opinions in the scientific community. My own inclination was toward climate change denial, but I think it cuts both ways. Part of the denial wingnuttery is in response to the mass of ignorant (massa ignoscantium) people who blindly and passionately defend the “scientific consensus” without having researched it. We need a bit more humility on all sides. There is a reason why many people have spent their lives studying this, and we have only just scratched the surface.

  5. Pokerguy is a good example!

  6. Short answer to your question Dr. Curry is “Yes.”

    Longer Answer is “Yes, and its ironic because the integrity you, personally, demonstrated after climategate is the reason I became more open minded to at least LISTEN to CAGW points of view”

    Full Answer is that prior to Climategate, the obvious wagoncircling and closemindedness of pro-AGW scientists left me emotionally and intellectually closed to pro-AGW arguments. I was certain that the CAGW was complete BS. I found myself always poised to debate, never to listen and learn. At the time I was aware of your name but only vaguely, as one of the “pro-CAGW” scientists who was actually willing to occasionally engage at ClimateAudit. When climategate happened, I watched it unfold at WUWT and CA with wonder; I felt like a participant in a historic watershed event. Somehwere in that rubble and aftermath, some handful of days after climategate first occurred, you were the first scientist I noticed that “laid it out there,” in a comment on CA, laid bare your disappointment in behavior revealed in CG, and your instinct/willingness to do some introspection. However you phrased it struck me deeply, and I immediately felt a very strong willingness/desire to understand/learn whatever your scientific point of view was, and to consider the whole CAGW argument with fresh eyes/mind. I made a comment at CA on that day to this end, and you were kind enough to respond (I just went back to search for it but to no avail). In short, my belief is that openmindedness and humility begets more of the same from others, at a personal level. Conversely, closemindedness and arrogance begets the same from others. It’s a HUMAN thing.

    Thanks for demonstrating open-mindedness and humility!

  7. Judith, you ask “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    I knew CAGW was a hoax before Climate Etc. started. Nothing that anyone, including yourself, has written on the supposed “science” that “proves” that CAGW is anything more than a hypothesis unsupported by ANY empirical data, has caused me to change my opinion one iota.

    • CAGW Temperatures must get above the bounds of the Roman and Medieval Warm periods to have any support and that has not happened and the actual data is not headed outside these time tested bounds.

      CAGW is not supported by any actual data.
      Model output is not data and it does not agree with actual data.
      Not for seventeen years has there been any data to support the alarmism.
      They promised to back down after twelve years.

      Oceans are warm and they will cool very slowly. Consensus Theory will be snowed out for many years to come as conditions that caused the snows from October of 2012 to May of 2013 will continue and Snow Extent will not break a record on the low side for hundreds of years.

      • From a “consequences” perspective, the effects of cooling being mis-attributed to warming has been a stainless steel burr under the saddle, to me.

        Warm periods: Civilization booms
        Cooling periods: Civilization contracts (or collapses entirely in locales)

        Pick one.

  8. Kip Hansen

    Looking closely at the study, one finds that their method of asking “people …. to generate a mechanistic explanation” for their position, while it did bring about a more moderated view, the magnitude of change was very small … only moderating their opinion 5% (.35 out of 7). Extremity of Position only changed 3-4%.

    I’m afraid these results only turn Total Wing Nuts into Fairly Dedicated Wing Nuts. Apparently, Wing Nuttery can be treated, but not cured.

    • Kip Hansen | May 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

      It’s the recidivism that really kills it.

      On a dead cat bounce, a wingnut (such as myself) having undergone the self-exploration of this sort, or some other variation, comes away forgetting the humility but remembering they’ve been through the process and are a ‘better person’ for it.

      Better.

      More right.

      More convinced.

      More extreme.

      Humility, it’s not a treatment. It’s a crutch.

  9. Oh fergawdsake. Cass Sunstein? Seriously?

    • Well, that Forbes’ article has strengthened my position rather than moderated it. A very clear exposition of what many people, not fully informed, thought to be the case.

  10. I credit my occasional participation (and frequent lurking) on Climate Etc for a more nuanced view of climate science and climate policy.

    In recent years, the downgrading of alarmism as well as the boost in natural gas production has created real opportunity for a transition away from a carbon-intensive economy.

    I enjoy the non-hysterical pro-AGW views presented here and find myself far more open to the Lukewarmer point of view.

  11. First off, the tone of the article is quite off-putting for me. Sounds like the wingnuts are not to be regarded as human. A holier than thou approach. Kinda like “we know who you are” mentality.

    As for my own evolution, I progressed, never in a straight line but with frequent vacillations, both rationally and emotionally. My positions on most anything from the mundane to the charged realms of politics and religion I usually acknowledge that I lack a great deal of specific information; especially to be making some sort of position statement. I prefer to go about educating myself, usually with others help. I seem to have a capacity to tolerate a lot of uncertainty. I’m a big proponent of “I don’t know.” Its only when I am pushed to make a decision, particularly when the immediacy has large stakes, that I force myself to set an internal clock, pause, see and hear what is the best I can, then act. No regrets. Move on.

    For my own wingnuttiness, in retrospect, it usually comes from my desire to please others; i.e., to get into their “good graces.” Become a pal. To be included, liked. I’ve found that I have less wingnuttinessness when I can love someone, be loved in return, and love myself. Hmmm getting too deep.

    Climate change came to my doorstep as my children had entered from seeing a movie something called “An Inconvenient Truth”. I was told I was polluting the world and ruining their chances of ever living happily ever after. They told me all sorts of things that set off my BS meter. Things contrary to my life experiences about climate and weather that I had learned from travel, sailing, and open expanses of water. And that was when I entered my learning phase which by the way I am still in. I visited blog sites and lectures. When I was treated roughly, I found myself moving from one source to another until I could tone down my emotional self to listen to what was being said, to use the references that were provided. I know something of science and I generally know how to go about reading a paper. So I guess the main answer to your question is: when I can tone down my emotional self, I generally can hear what is being said and I can blend in new ideas to my growing intellectual framework; and it’s fun.

    It may surprise some, when treating wing nuts and other socially reprehensible people who won’t listen to a word I say with moderation and a calm demeanor and some respect for them as human beings, they all seem to look less scary to me. We can then talk about the weather.

    • +100

      I like you :)

    • RiHo08

      Yeah. Cass Sunstein sees wing nuts as “them other folks”.

      “Wing” (with a wink) refers to “right wing”, of course.

      And, since “wing nuts” disagree with Sunstein, they are obviously of inferior intelligence.

      A simple world.

      Max

    • LogicalChemist

      It only took a few days of reading during the New Ice age days in the ’70’s to realize that the climate, all by itself could change drastically in just a few years. The ideas behind modern forecasting, looking back in time for similar patterns, proved to be remarkably effective. So when the fabled global warming came along in the late 80’s it didn’t take much research to find that it was another sand castle, just like global cooling. The earth had cooled and warmed many times in the not too distant past for me to be concerned about a fraction of a degree C change. Once I discovered that the climate models predicting doom and gloom were all parameterized the lack of substance was easy to see.

  12. If all my grant money, my notoriety, my life, is dependent on there being warming based crisis, then what I think has nothing to do with anything. Neither need facts enter into the equation. Unfortunately, most deniers have not bet their lives on their so called belief, so their fight will never be as fierce as those who have. Human nature, greed, and political power are extremely strong adversaries to truth.

    • DayHay | May 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

      Who do you mean by that?

      James Hansen gave up substantial grant money, notoriety, and career happiness to pursue terrestrial climate studies because of his work on the atmosphere of Venus and its implications for Earth. He encountered substantial opposition from his employer and the public. He’s the opposite of what you describe.

      Al Gore? Stopped trying to be President of the United States of America, and stepped off the gravy train of a dozen internet and high tech enterprises that would have made him far more money than his carbon trading business. Took time out to star in a speaking tour as a spokesmodel for a campaign of geeks and missionaries, instead of sticking with political candidacy and power brokers. He’s the opposite of what you describe.

      Politicians who campaign on climate issues are in the hinterland, with few allies and little funding; their opponents are well-stocked and well-supported.

      You imagine a thing that was never real, and fence with shadow monsters that come out of a sad paranoia that little resembles the actual world.

      • The naïveté expressed here is breathtaking.

      • Bart,

        Your description of Gore strays from reality. He has benefited greatly from the global warming gravy train.

        As for Dr. Hansen, I am not familiar enough with his entire career history to discuss whether or not he has made great sacrifice, but over the last few years he has supplemented his fairly decent federal salary with awards and fees. I have difficulty believing he is hurting financially.

        There is a great difference between the two gentlemen. Gore is an oportunist and hypocrite. Dr Hansen is at least a person true to his convictions. I do not believe his actions are the result of seeking financial gain and tend to think that his stepping down from his position is due to his conscious telling him it was the right thing to do if he was going to focus on advocacy. While I may disagree with his opinions, he is still worthy of my respect.

      • What stevepostrel said.

      • Bart R

        Al Gore left public office with a net worth of less than $1 million.

        He is now worth around $300 million.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/01/13/michael-wolff-how-do-we-feel-about-a-rich-al-gore/1830959/

        In comparison, Dr. James E. Hansen has been a small fish so far (as a NASA employee it was not easy to get into the big bucks).

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/

        But now that he is retiring to fight the good war on global warming, his prospects should improve.

        It warms the heart to see people “doing well by doing good”, doesn’t it?.

        Max

      • Oh yes, Bart R, Al Gore – very good example – the expert – y’know, the one who goes around telling people that the interior of the earth is several million degrees!

      • Is it a “fail” for a lay person to not know the temperature of the earth in actual degrees?

        No, it’s not. He obviously thinks it very hot. He’s right.

      • JCH, thanks.
        No, I don’t expect a lay person to know everything, but if you’re going to push policies and pontificate on matters regarding global temperatures, one would expect a somewhat less woeful display of ignorance.

      • What makes Gore’s evident ignorance especially unforgivable in this instance was that he was being interviewed on what he wrote in his book on the subject of geothermal energy – he clearly did little or nothing in the way of research

      • People misspeak. Is it really hot down there? Yes, versus where I’m sitting, it’s Gobzillions of degrees. If it’s only 10,000 degrees, is it still really hot. I don’t know about you, but I think it will still fry an egg.

      • So when he tells us it’s going to be 5 degrees warmer in 2100, he really means 0.005 degrees?
        Phew….

      • conscience, not conscious. Though I have doubts about Hansen having either one.

      • Many intervening posts. My previous directed at timg56 | May 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

    • stevepostrel | May 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

      Oh? Do tell.

      Explain how you gained your worldly wisdom.

      What boardrooms and backrooms you’ve been in.

      What keen insights your direct personal observations of the corridors of power have produced.

      Sure, there are politically-motivated groups who see environmental or climate issues as rallying points; whose hatred of corporations or wealth are put on as ways to excite crowds and gain control of mobs, but they are puny, obsolete and mockish, by and large.

      The Soviet Union doesn’t exist any more. The Cold War has been replaced by a new utterly misdirected intelligence game. Do you really think those who oppose petrochemicals have any influence in the Kremlin? Do you suppose those who object to coal have power in the Chinese Communist Party? Or that either Russia or China are out to corrupt your daughters with their Red ways?

      Only Kim-Philby-dreading bedwetting aristocrats fear Progressive Left watermelons dressed in green robes over their pinko boxer shorts creeping in the shadows of the halls of government. In her decline, Thatcher might have fallen for their scaremongering, but their monkeyshines are just so much fantasy.

      Fantasy that has the effect of concentrating the political power of a few nutty pseudolibertarians by grafting it onto the wealth of a few industrial lobbyists.

      Which of us is naive?

      • “puny, obsolete and mockish [mawkish], by and large.”

        Founders and previous executives of (e.g.) Greenpeace, expelled or fled, describe in detail the powerful opportunistic takeover of the green movement by suddenly homeless communists after the Wall-Fall. The overt and explicit contents of the UN Agenda 21 program, aggressively pushed at all levels of government from town councils to the most elite international bodies, is entirely in the Marxist camp. Puny? Funded richly, but hungry for universal taxation powers. Overt. Brazen.

        “Pay no attention to the committees behind the curtain.”

      • Brian H: Do you have some of kind reference for the Greenpeace / communist info?

    • timg56 | May 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

      Let’s repeat this Gore rating exercise on some meaningful scale.

      Let’s call it the Cheney-Romney scale. Where would you put Gore on that line?

    • grumpydenier | May 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |

      Yes. That’s the question. Explain what he said. Do tell.

      Answer the questions posed him and DayHay.

      Mechanistically, where did you come by this opinion of the naivete of others?

      How do you substantiate it?

      On what facts? On what reasoning?

      On the propaganda of your own party? Now _that_ is naive.

      Only an infant believes his own press.

      Look, I’ve never voted Democrat in my life, and that’s unlikely to change.

      I’ve never contributed a dime to an Obama campaign, and am unlikely ever to agree with his politics in any fashion.

      But if someone is going to condemn the liars, cheats, frauds, errors, inconsistencies, misguided commitments, scandals, and hypocrisies of other parties, one had best be prepared to put a hundred times that effort into one’s own party, and one’s own politics, as it is a hundred times easier to miss such faults in oneself, and it’s the faults in one’s side that go unrecognized that bring one down.

      And the simple fact is, calling anyone naive is idiotic, until after you’ve carried out that exercise of self-evaluation and can report back what you’ve found and what you’ve done about it, without falling for your own propaganda.

      • Bart R,

        You put the scat in scatological.

      • Bart,

        RE this:

        “When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations.

      • Hit the wrong button.

        I was going to say that this statement:

        “But if someone is going to condemn the liars, cheats, frauds, errors, inconsistencies, misguided commitments, scandals, and hypocrisies of other parties, one had best be prepared to put a hundred times that effort into one’s own party, and one’s own politics, as it is a hundred times easier to miss such faults in oneself, and it’s the faults in one’s side that go unrecognized that bring one down.”

        Is advice all of us should pay attention to. Kudos.

    • manacker | May 22, 2013 at 3:17 am |

      Wow.

      Not even an American, never done anything for the USA in your life, never paid a dime of US taxes, and you go around running your mouth about how terrible some particular American is for making money from his investments and hard work after a lifetime of public service?

      Let’s look at what manacker has contributed to the USA: zero; a foreigner; can’t run for US President; doesn’t even like America or Americans; doesn’t live here; uses the Internet to launch attacks on America and Americans.

      Al Gore: enlisted in the Army in 1969 (that’s _during_ Viet Nam, which he personally opposed but stood up and was counted on to serve) after graduating Harvard;investigative journalist who ferreted out corrupt public servants and whose stories led to jail time for criminals on city council; two dozen years as elected public official in high office; won the popular vote for the US Presidency (though lost the votes that matter, of the Supreme Court and the governor of Florida.. oh, and of the Electoral College – Democrats hate when you mention that one); chair of the Defense spending committee that, among other (classified) things, paid for the development of the predecessor of the Internet; invented extraordinary rendition to get suspects out of the jurisdiction of US protections from torture and indefinite detention without due process; senior advisor to Google; on the board of directors of Apple; a founder and chair of Current TV; visiting professor, venture capitalist, published author, paid public speaker, founder of multiple nonprofit organizations which he gives money to.

      Now, I don’t really know either of you two, and I’d say you both have your share of good qualities and faults, but if I had to decide based on what I know of actual fact, I’ll side with the American.

      phatboy | May 22, 2013 at 4:59 am |

      Really?

      Gore’s from Tennessee, where people think angels walk among us and Hell is the center of the Earth where sinners boil in acid at millions of degrees (that’s Hell, not Tennessee).. and have for 6,000 years. If he’s talking to Tennessee, it’d be unsurprising he’d speak their language. ;)

      Though really, I could care less what Al Gore says about anything; I’m not a journalist or public speaker or politician and don’t wish to learn to become one, so Al Gore has little to say in his areas of expertise that matter to me. On areas that do matter to me, I prefer primary sources, so Al Gore’s mistakes don’t make any difference to me, and I have no need to defend them.

      • Bart R, yes, really – live on TV in fact – I couldn’t say when and where, but I do know that I saw it – I’m sure someone will come up with a utube link.

    • manacker | May 22, 2013 at 4:03 am |

      The topic was cashing in on the CAGW craze.

      Okay.

      Then replace Cheney with any other random oil industry profiteer who turned to politics to better pander to his industry, and Romney with Inhofe or any other wingnut who builds his base and his funding by attacking scientists and sciences.

      Or, keep Cheney and Romney and broaden the topic to discuss cashing in on political influence in general.

      And, since you’re a foreigner and as such at a disadvantage discussing America, why not use some European examples of these practices? Talk about people more local to you, for a change. Educate us about your world.

    • Most of Gore’s wealth comes from his work for Apple. Apple has been one of the most successful companies so far in the 21st century. How this ties to the AGW gravy train is a mystery to me.

      Does he have credibility in high tech:

      First class of inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame

  13. Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’ Too much of the consensus is second order belief, that is not associated with mechanistic understanding.

    Uh.. what?

    Specific examples, please?

    How did this belief arise for you?

    How well-founded would you say is its evidence?

    Have you considered contrary evidence?

    How often is too often, and which particular consensus? Or is a series of consensus positions contemplated?

    Or is the argument that the ‘consensus’, i.e. the opinion whatever its source that is held by the larger number, regardless of their other affiliations in the area of climate or outside it, is so daunting and oppressive that views expressed by the smaller number seem to be unfairly treated, picked on, picked apart, discovered in error or wrong or not supported by fact?

    Not everyone who disagrees with the opinions of the larger number is a denier. Denialism is a very particular, very distinctive, objectively identifiable behavior. Claiming its halo and the protection enshrined by it of a wrongly oppressed few is pandering, propaganda, poppycock.

    You’re not a denier if you disagree with an opinion, not even if it’s my opinion (which some may say is simply good sense on your part); you’re a denier if you disagree with sensory perception. You’re not a denier if you disagree with an interpretation of numbers; you’re a denier if you count a pile of rocks (or weather stations or corpses) from 1, 2, 3.. 30, 31.. 904, 905, 906.. and come up at the end with a confident and unshakeable zero. ‘Denier’ describes a failed mental state, not a climate position. Using ‘climate denier’ as your band name is a form of tribalism, team building, abuse of the mentally defective to manipulate them — as they are already susceptible — to reinforce your cause. It’s mentally lazy, intellectually dishonest, and the resort of the charlatan.

    Are you a charlatan?

    No?

    Then stop pretending you’re on Team Denier.

    So you had a bad go in the Hurricane Wars, and some eurotrash or yankee with seniority was patronizing and dismissive of something you wrote. Everyone gets treated that way by someone. Get over it.

    Reasoning mechanistically from First Principles each time, every time is tiring, requires polymath attributes few possess, and is net counterproductive. There ought be some who do it for each part of a larger whole, certainly. There ought be careful checking of premises and of mathematics — which, Dr. Curry, I’ve seen no evidence you have the statistical grounding or higher order calculus chops to carry out yourself — in every reasoned argument.

    But to write as you do as if NO ONE does this? As if errors are never caught within consensus groups? As if rate of error catching in most scientific consensus groups weren’t much higher than rate of error catching in minority opinion groups that are minority opinions not because they’re dedicated error checkers but because they have a chip on their shoulder?

    That’s a bizarre position to stand on.

    • But to write as you do as if NO ONE does this? As if errors are never caught within consensus groups?

      Climate gate did show that they do catch errors in consensus groups, but they never admit or publish the errors, unless they get caught.

      • Herman Alexander Pope | May 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

        Recite, if you would, the errors you yourself have personally found in your own theory or its supporting work?

        The errors in your theory or its supporting work caught by those who you consider to be in your consensus group?

        Competent self-checking makes us all humble.

        If we’re not humble, we’re not competent.

      • Bart R
        when I find and cover up mistakes, they will show up in Pope Gate.
        That has not yet happened. I will watch for it with you.

    • “Denialism is a very particular, very distinctive, objectively identifiable behavior.” I’d like to hear how you define it, then. My experience is that when two people who use the term define it, it usually not the same. There seems to be no consensus.

      A workable definition or at least a relevant example. I don’t recall anyone saying that there are no weather stations in the world. And I don’t see many disagreeing with sensory data, at least not from their own senses.

      • Funny story.

        An example of someone counting weather stations and arriving at zero?

        It’s called WUWT.

        Sure, there’s a bit more nuance to it than that, but if you survey visitors about how many weather stations produce valid data, you’ll find many report a number that is a tiny fraction of what BEST says produce usable observations.

      • I’ve even seen people arguing that global average temperature cannot be measured. (but then they claim there was a little ice age in which the world on average was colder than present…go figure)

      • So it’s denialism to disagree with the BEST assessments of which weather produce usable observations? It’s such a definitive gospel that any dissenting opinion must be caused by aberrant mental processing?

      • Dagfinn | May 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

        Fascinating.

        Strawman: BEST is gospel, disagreeing with it is denialism.

        What was actually said: WUWT deprecates weather station data so zealously that visitors come away trusting far less observational data than a careful mechanistic study shows to be the case.

        Given the context of this thread, perhaps you may wish to circle back to the top of the page and re-read the premise?

      • I was asking questions, not making a strawman. That’s why the sentences ended in question marks. I asked for a definition or example of denialism, and I interpreted the weather station comment as an attempt to specify the almost-example of someone denying that weather stations existed.

        I started by asking a relatively simple question, and since I still haven’t received anything that looks like an answer, I give up.

      • Dagfinn | May 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

        I gotta know: do you actually in earnest believe what you just wrote?

        Because if you do, then right there is all the example of what I’m talking about one could ever ask for.

      • Bart, I have no idea what you mean.

      • lolwot,

        “I’ve even seen people arguing that global average temperature cannot be measured. (but then they claim there was a little ice age in which the world on average was colder than present…go figure)”

        Funny, I didn’t know there was anyone who claimed they could currently measure global average temperature given coverage issues. In fact, every time I look for a graph of GAT online, every one I see has a foot note or caption indicating it is a graph of either land air temperatures, or land air temps combined with sea surface temps. And if you look closer, you see most are smoothed averages of anomalies.

        So perhaps you could help me out and link to a site that shows the measured global average temperature including land air, sea surface, upper troposphere, and deep sea measurements.

      • WUWT is desperate in trying to marginalize the weather stations supporting the BEST data set. They aren’t all dumb at WUWT. The WUWT team leads realize that the land-only set more accurately reflects (and is the bellweather) for the ECS estimate.

        Using BEST or updating the ocean-only data with the OHC corrections places the ECS at 3 C, which is the mean of the model estimates, see Forest [1].

        So the WUWT team is desperate to find UHI effects and other phantoms to prove that climate scientists are incompetent.

        [1]C. E. Forest, P. H. Stone, and A. P. Sokolov, “Estimated PDFs of climate system properties including natural and anthropogenic forcings,” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 33, no. 1, 2006.

      • WebHubTelescope, to my mind it’s a good thing that someone questions the way the global average temperature is measured, since it’s an important question and clearly complex and difficult. Furthermore, I think their motives for doing so (whether they are “trying to prove that climate scientists are incompetent”) are irrelevant. I don’t know what their motives are, and I think don’t you do either, so you just damaged your credibility in my eyes by making a categorical statement about it. I also haven’t looked closely enough at the issue itself to have an opinion either way. They could be totally wrong for all I know. It will sort itself out, and until then I’m OK with assuming that the “consensus” position on the global average temperature is correct.

        And why am I even commenting on it, then? Because I asked a simple question and didn’t get a straight answer.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        the dweeb is such a crazy little wing nut.

        Three words – Palle’s new study.

        ‘Clouds are a critical component of Earth’s climate system. Although satellite-based irradiance measurements are available over approximately the past 30 years, difficulties in measuring clouds means it is unclear how global cloud properties have changed over this period. From the international Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets we have examined the validity of long-term cloud changes. We find that for both datasets, low-level (>680mb) cloud changes are largely a reflection of higher-level (≤680mb) variations. Linear trends from ISCCP also suggest that the dataset contains considerable features of an artificial origin. Despite this, an examination of ISCCP in relation to the MODIS dataset shows that over the past ten years of overlapping measurements between 60°N–60°S both datasets have been in close agreement (r = 0.63, p = 7×10-4). Over this time total cloud cover has been relatively stable. Both ISCCP and MODIS datasets show a close correspondence to Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) over the Pacific region, providing a further independent validation of the datasets.’ http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        Funny as really – how’s that for a prank dweeb?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Do you deny that gloal warming stopped over a decade ago?
      Or are in denial of the fact?

  14. Just over two years ago I had never heard of climate sceptics and was so completely taken in by the global warming alarmism that I had read about in the newspapers and saw on TV that I would go as far as looking up how high above sea level my friends and relatives houses were before visiting them, so that I could tell them that if they didn’t change their ways whether they would have a sea view from their house outside Oxford UK, or even how far underwater their house would one day be. I guess back then I perhaps qualified as a wing nut.

    But then I discovered that there was such a thing as climate sceptics and their websites and I started reading every evening and at first in a state of disbelief I read how about how CAGW had been overstated and that far from global warming being a problem that indeed cooling might be a more likely and worse problem.

    Today I am a convinced sceptic, I find the arguments of sceptics and the evidence for scepticism far more substantive and persuasive than those for CAGW. Although I would welcome further warming, I fear that what we shall see is significant cooling.

    I increasingly suspect that climate sensitivity to co2 is essentially irrelevant, and that eventually CS will prove to be effectively zero. I think that clouds and oceans are the real masters of the climate both driven by the catalyst of solar magnetic activity and maybe other external factors. Evidence from previous interglacials show that cooling forces have comfortably and dramatically overwhelmed higher temperatures than any seen during the Holocene.

    Mostly though, I think people have entrenched positions on climate blogs and cannot / will not see beyond their assumed beliefs which can often be enforced with mathematics statistics and graphs to support their viewpoint. But at the end of the day, these may all prove invalid and yet that very possibility eludes their consciousness.

    No doubt psychiatrists would say that holding occasional wing-nut viewpoints is an inevitable part of being human, sadly. If in other aspects of life it serves a useful purpose, I doubt that it serves a worthwhile use in climate science.

  15. Rud Istvan

    Short answer to your question, Dr. Curry, is yes it has.
    I came to CAGW accidentally and indirectly. I was researching what started out as a book on energy policy. Because of transportation fuel implications for agriculture, research led to conclusions about crop intensification which are at least as concerning as those about future peak annual fuel production. The potential impact of AGW on crop yield is what led to research on CAGW and a realization that there was scientific rot at the core. You were kind enough to post my essay on how badly the NRC misrepresented a study concluding catastrophic crop yield reductions in North America–which was itself so flawed it should not have been published. Details are in the book.
    Since then, AGW has been a learning experience on two levels. One is how and why and where climate science went astray. A major part of second book on misinformation. The other is how people argue these issues. Your thoughtful balance, as with your comments on this interesting paper and Sunstein’s take, are much appreciated examples of useful, as opposed to merely noisy ( in both the literal and signal senses), public discourse.
    Regards

  16. I’m sorry, Cass Sunstein defining wing nuttery is like quoting Jeffrey Dahmer defining psychopathy.

    Apart from advocating the granting of standing for animals to sue in court, and being the “regulatory czar” for the most radical president in U.S. history, his opening paragraphs can only be taken seriously as a tongue in cheek self-parody.

    “When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.”

    First sign you are a wing nut – you define those who disagree with you as wing nuts.

    I’m sorry, but this post reminds me of a commenter some time ago who wrote some gibberish about class consciousness and the climate debate. Not knowing the history and meaning of the term, and what it’s use said about the author of the comment, our otherwise estimable blog hostess offered the mind numbed Marxist the opportunity to expound on his deep thoughts.

    Cass Sunstein is not a default progressive like most commenters here. He is a died in the wool true believer in progressivism. He is an acolyte of John Dewey, who rejected “supreme (ie. objective) principles” as limiting human behavior, preferring instead “deliberative democracy” which leads to “collective action.”

    Check this out on “healthcare.”

    “In protecting safety, health, and the environment, government has increasingly relied on cost-benefit analysis. In undertaking cost-benefit analysis, the government has monetized risks of death through the idea of “value of a statistical life” (VSL), currently assessed at about $6.1 million. Many analysts, however, have suggested that the government should rely instead on the “value of a statistical life year” (VSLY), in a way that would likely result in significantly lower benefits calculations for elderly people, and significantly higher benefits calculations for children. I urge that the government should indeed focus on statistical life-years rather than statistical lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

    http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/191.crs_.lifeyears-new.pdf

    By all means, let’s save more young people, like Cass, by diverting resources away from those stupid old people. Can you say cold, calculating ageist death panels? I knew that you could.

    • Sunstein has done yeoman work debunking the precautionary principle; while he is a committed technocrat, at least he’s an honest one. As for health care, once you switch to a collective, administrative distribution of resources instead of a market one you’ve bought yourself a complicated set of technical/ethical problems. Either ignoring or accounting for Quality-Adjusted Life Years create unpleasant scenarios.

  17. Here quote from wikipedia: Mechanism:

    “”Accordingly, descriptions of mechanisms are a part of an answer to a question about why some object or process occurred. In other words, descriptions of mechanisms occur in explanations of biological facts. Thus, mechanism refers back from the object or process, along some chain of causation. No description of mechanism is ever complete. For example, the mechanism of sunlight might include the rotation of the earth, the Earth’s orbit, the sun, nuclear reactions, heat, temperature, radiation emission, electromagnetic theory about the propagation of light, formation of the solar system, etc……””
    Based on this,
    a mechanistic explanation means some type of “”CHAIN OF CAUSATION””.
    which the people have to draw up…..
    I am missing the term LOGIC or logical chain of causation, because the
    proposed chain can be illogical…The logic is an art of rhetorics, of the old Greeks, and can even be completely wrong in its essence, using
    false facts….The aspect of logical argumentation should have been brought up as well….as the philosophical question of cause and effect, which is being confused expecially in climate science, regarding CO2 in particular…..

  18. This article certainly has more substance than the last.

    The good news is that wing nuts usually don’t matter. The bad news is that they influence people who do.

    An example can be seen in the disconnect between the public’s perception that only half of climate scientists accept AGW, and the reality that over 97% accept AGW.

    The reason for this disconnect is that the “wing nuts who don’t matter” have been lying to the public who do matter about the amount of disagreement in the scientific community concerning AGW. Even as the wing nuts claim climate scientists have to believe AGW or lose funding they are also simultaneously claiming vast numbers of climate scientists don’t believe AGW. How more revealing of a lack of rigor and general wingnuttery can that contradiction be?

    Thanks to RealClimate.org I learned the basics behind AGW on the matter about 10 years ago. It was well known back then that AGW was real and that rising CO2 is the dominant driver of longterm global temperature in the modern era. Nothing has changed since, if anything the educational resources on the matter have increased greatly. So it always amazes me how many deniers of the greenhouse effect and the cause of the CO2 rise pop up on this blog.

    Now we should be seeing an acceptance of CO2s dominant role in coming months among climate skeptics given recent events. They are certainly nodding in that direction, talking about observational (not model!) evidence of ECS being high enough for man to be the global temperature driver.

    Whether climate skeptics will actually walk the walk on this matter rather than just talkin’ the convenient talk is anyone’s guess. I am going to guess they won’t walk the walk based on past form. Too many wingnut deniers still argue the Co2 rise isn’t caused by man, or argue the greenhouse effect is a myth, or claiming the temperature records are faked, despite voluminousness evidence to the contrary.

    So we come full circle:

    The good news is that wing nuts usually don’t matter. The bad news is that they influence people who do.

    • “over 97% accept AGW.”…”man to be the global temperature driver.”

      Johnny Cook, is that you?

    • lolwot,

      Can you provide the mechanism by which “… rising CO2 is the dominant driver of longterm global temperature in the modern era. ” ?

      As I recall, this only works if you punch in a value for water vapor as a positive feedback. (So maybe my question would be “provide the mechanism by which water vapor and clouds are shown to be a positive feedback.”

      • The last thread: Mainstreaming ECS ~ 2 C

        That requires positive water vapor feedback.

        It’s also enough to be the dominant driver of longterm global temperature.

        Even 1C ECS would be enough for CO2 to be the dominant driver.

      • If you want to use 1C, then I have no objection to you calling CO2 as the dominant driver of warming.

        I also have little to no reason to be concerned about that amount of warming.

      • “If you want to use 1C, then I have no objection to you calling CO2 as the dominant driver of warming.”

        Ah but that’s still denial see. You aren’t *accepting* the fact, you are just in effect saying: “hey that number is low enough for my (political) goals so on this occasion I won’t object.”

        Skeptic are loathe to accept that CO2 has a significant, let alone dominant role in global temperature even though that’s what the evidence overwhelmingly points at.

        Why? Because if they admit it and the public see them admit it, the public would realize there was little relevant disagreement about AGW and the significance of CO2. And that would make it harder for skeptics to fulfill their political aims.

        It’s much easier to get their political way if the skeptics lie sufficiently so that the public think not only is AGW in doubt but GW too, the temperature records are all wrong, CO2 is just a trace gas, it’s the Sun, etc etc.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Whatever the ‘number’ is for ‘anthropogenic warming’ – and it is contested on a number of grounds – it is not enough to be of any concern over more than 60 years. Unless we get a climate shift. Time enough for rational responses.

        As for contested – I refer you to Palle’s new study.

        http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=0

      • lolwot,

        I give you the respect of acknowledging your sincerity, even though I disagree with much of what you say. And you return that by assigning labels and motivations to me. On what evidence?

        Exactly how is my lack of overwhelming concern about a 1C increase a function of my political views? What am I skeptical of, other than being skeptical of claims 1C represents a looming danger?

        Do I attack your political views? Have I ever even mentioned them? Have I ever called you an alarmist? You have your opinions, and the most I’ve done is ask for supporting evidence or to provide something other than graphs and models to show that a slightly warmer planet is something to be feared.

        If sensitivity to CO2 is low, then it being the dominant driver is not that big a deal. If sensitivity is not low, then it becomes a big deal. Sort of the difference between someone coming at you on a bike or in a Mack truck. And assuming it is a Mack truck, then there is the not so small matter of the truck mow being fueled by someone other than us.

    • Matthew R Marler

      lolwot: the reality that over 97% accept AGW.

      Careful study of the mechanism by which that figure was derived tends to undermine confidence in it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I’m not sure it even takes careful study. Simply reading what was done should be enough ;)

    • This is a point for skeptics to contemplate. As many of them have now converged on 1.6-2 C per doubling, the amount of warming going from 280 ppm to the current 396 ppm would be right around 0.8-1 C, which also accounts for the warming we have seen in that period minus an aerosol effect, so this acceptance of 1.6-2 C per doubling is also acceptance that the 20th century warming is mostly manmade CO2. I think it marks a shift towards the IPCC consensus statement that many previously dismissed as too certain, though many haven’t realized that yet.

      • No. That’s epicycles. There is no evidence for any anthropogenic influence.

      • jimd

        If you are correct, it surely means there has been a substantial warming even at a time of very little added co2 in the first half of the century (and some of the previous one).

        The logical conclusion is surely that Man can’t exist on this planet without substantially changing it as our ability to emit zero co2 is limited?

        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Clouds vary and seem to account for all recent warming and cooling. It raises interesting potentials.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        ‘The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems -atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each
        of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another.
        The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales. We outline here the rudiments of the way
        in which dynamical systems theory provides an understanding of this vast range of variability. Such an understanding proceeds through the
        study of successively more complex patterns of behavior. These spatio-temporal patterns are studied within narrower ranges of time scales,
        such as intraseasonal, interannual, interdecadal and multi-millennial. The main results of dynamical systems theory that have demonstrated their importance for the study of climate variability involve bifurcation theory and the ergodic theory of dynamical systems.’ http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        Sensitivity – excepting the subtleties of Michael Ghil and colleagues – makes very little sense against a background of extreme variability. But if anything – you would project the warming at 0.08 degrees C/decade forward for a few decades at least. No particular problem any time soon.

      • Being wishy washy about when AGW became significant is pseudo-scientific.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chief Hydrologist:Clouds vary and seem to account for all recent warming and cooling.

        Cloud effects depend on time of day and season. Without knowing those, the effects of the cloud sequence presented at your link can’t be estimated.

        Thank you for the link to the paper by Ghil. I was glad to see that he referenced the book Random Dynamical Systems by Ludwig Arnold. Stochastic variations on deterministic dynamical systems have different properties than the deterministic systems. His paper illustrates some of the complications of nonlinear dissipative dynamical systems, but the models that he uses are obviously simple, but an improvement over the simple models that are presented in Modern Thermodynamics by Kondepudi and Prigogine, that I frequently cite. It was nice to see the distinction between equilibrium and non-equilibrium climate sensitivity to CO2.

        He has not actually shown that bifurcation theory and ergodic theory are useful for understanding climate. Ghil has done lots of interesting work, judging from the references, and the book by Dijkstra looks intriguing. This looks like work that everyone should become familiar with who is interested in climate modeling.

      • My point was, if you accept a TCR of 1.6-2 C, you have implicitly accepted a rise of 0.8-1.0 C due to CO2 since pre-industrial times minus some effect from aerosols. This, by definition, means humans are responsible for most (more than enough), of the 0.7-0.8 C rise in temperature observed. It is just a simple statement of logical fact that needs to be noted before these “skeptics” go on complaining about the IPCC “most” statement again. The sun and other GHGs might have added and aerosols subtracted to end up with the actual value.

  19. It sounds like Fernbach’s (et al.) experiments have identified and quantified something that triggers the switch-over in people’s thinking from Kahneman’s System I to System II.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/books/review/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    When induced to do the harder work of reasoning (System II), people must abandon the easy substitution of emotional or associative responses (System I) to the question at hand.

  20. Wing nuts:

    Michael Mann
    James Hansen
    Rajendra Pachauri
    Kevin Trenberth

    Not wing nuts:

    Judith Curry
    Anthony Watts
    Steve McIntyre
    Steven Mosher (eh – depends on the day)

    Nuts, but not on a wing:

    Willis Eschenbach (if you mention God when he is listening)

    Wingnuttery, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

    • When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

      yikes!

      • lolwot,

        Dividing their fellow citizens between darkness and light? Me?

        McIntyre and Mosher are progressives. So is Eschenbach. Dr. Curry is a self-described moderate, which to me is a progressive lite. The only one I classify as not a wing nut with whom I generally agree politically is Anthony Watts, at least from what I have read at his site.

        I am not like you and your default progressive brethren.

      • i am a conservative so…

    • GaryM | May 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

      Creating a blog is a pretty wingy activity.

      Creating a blog that others independently and uniformly describe as archetypal of a particular wing is definitely wingy.

      Denying winginess is nutty.

    • GaryM | May 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

      McIntyre’s Canadian.

      Though I can understand the confusion with Progressive.

      As Canadians go, McIntyre skews so far toward the conservative pole as to be more reliable than a compass.

      Want to find the direction the conservatives are heading in Canada?

      Look to McIntyre & associates.

  21. A related concept is the single-issue advocate. http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.no/2011/12/nothing-else-matters.html

  22. Judith asked

    “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    Well, I have always been tolerant of other positions and have defended people on WUWT (and elsewhere) who have come under fire for disagreeing with the sceptical consensus. In that respect R Gates is a great loss to WUWT and Joel Shore has become a less frequent contributor there. I once famously sided with Joel over some correct point he made about Dr Hansen.

    As far as moderating my position? The more I research the past, the more I find it difficult to see this current climate state as being in any way unusual or unprecedented when compared to the last 1000 years when we have pretty good contemporary observations mixed in with other records

    Equally, it is very difficult to equate the current concerns over weather ‘extremes’ with those events that happened in the past to a far greater extent than today, Many of these extreme events apparently taking place in the cooler periods of the last 1000 years and not the warmer bits.

    It is difficult therefore to see how co2 has any great effect over 280/300ppm if you look at the historic record and see the high variability of temperatures we have had at a constant 280ppm or so

    People try to scare us by citing the past but the past shows that we have been this way before.

    I wish more people were like Mosh who argue the case for radiative physics and who try to use science to convince us that things will inevitably warm up.

    tonyb

    • “It is difficult therefore to see how co2 has any great effect over 280/300ppm if you look at the historic record and see the high variability of temperatures we have had at a constant 280ppm or so”

      sure but that’s like saying it’s difficult to see how humans have any great effect over a forest. If we look at the historic record we see a high variability of forest growth and fires even when there were no humans.

      • Iolwot

        The difference surely being that we ARE supposed to be having an effect but it is difficult to discern
        Tonyb

      • It is difficult to discern from just looking at a burning forest whether the fire is natural or was started by the man standing next to it.

        Closer inspection reveals the man is holding a gas can and lighter.

      • Iolwot

        But in this case the evidence is circumstantial and apparently does not stand up to close scrutiny
        Tonyb

      • in nature, without man, forests do burn, from time to time as a natural part of the normal cycle. When we prevent the fires, we make the eventual burn more severe, but it will happen sooner or later.

      • The evidence is strong. The last thread title for example:
        Mainstreaming ECS ~ 2 C

        If ECS is ~2C then most of the late 20th century warming is human caused.

      • Iolwot

        Here is cet. The period around 1500 is around as warm as the period ending in the year 2000.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/

        It is difficult to see the effect of c02 over nearly 500 years
        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        “It is difficult to see the effect of c02 over nearly 500 years”

        err check your trend.

      • Mosh

        Don’t forget the original study was called the long slow thaw and noted the 350 year warming. However with temperatures the same in 1500 as in 2000 and temperatures dropping sharply since then the temperature trend has levelled out even as co2 rises.

        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        check your trend.

    • Tony, climate alarmism involves constantly blurring or even abolishing the past, and this can be done not merely by crude zealots but by those with a knowledge of past conditions and events…and who know how dangerous such knowledge is to dogma. I remember being asked by an enthusiastic student of climate what day of the week the MWP started. Whether this was uttered as some kind of challenge or rebuttal, it is hard to know, but it indicates to me that we are dealing with an elaborately confected appearance of science and reason – but not with science and reason.

      • Mosomoso

        It started Wednesday around11am…
        Tonyb

      • No, it was Tuesday according to the royal tripod on the Thames ice. For once, an Ethelred was ready. His scholars promptly announced that it was worse than they thought – whatever “it” was.

      • tony –

        It started Wednesday around11am…

        EST? PCT?

      • Joshua

        It was Greenwich mean time. I also know the precise time the mwp morphed into the lia but you will have to pay good money to find that out…
        Tonyb

  23. “…. the impact of instituting a ‘cap and trade’ system for carbon emissions”

    Anyone who says that they DO know the “impact” is wrong. This is the fundamental problem of social planning. We do not live in a world in which the future can be predicted mechanistically.

  24. “When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.”

    I was surprised to find out that The University of Colorado deliberately hired a Republican this year

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/30/colorado-university-seeks-more-conservatives-for-i/?page=all

    • What’s surprising?

      Someone with cash is willing to throw it at the University of Colorado for decorating their faculty lounge with a bit of window dressing.

      • Your shoulder chips are quite evenly balanced … one of envy, the other of spite

        The real problem with the posted paper (Fernbach et al) is that people will NOT answer the detailed policy questions with any truthfulness. Your post is a perfect example

        This website, together with CA, has shown me that my knowledge of statistics was inadequate (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, ok). CH has done much for my understanding of non-linear chaos

        Apart from providing this forum, Judith C’s evolution has been interesting. A year or so ago, she was very reluctant to admit that limelight players for CAGW were deliberately abusing the wilful ignorance of the MSM. That attitude appears to have changed

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
        the size and complexity of the climate system.’

        A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
        Anastasios A. Tsonis,1 Kyle Swanson,1 and Sergey Kravtsov1

        About the best that dweebboy can manage is to suggest that Anastasios Tsonis is a laughing stock in climate circles. I am not sure about that – but the mouth from Minnesota is laying claim to the wing nut of the decade award.

    • ianl8888 | May 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm |

      Are you speaking in code?

      Did I walk in on the middle of a conversation you’re having with yourself?

      Where is this coming from?

      Chief Hydrologist | May 21, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

      Have you ever considered .. Huh. Silly way to start a question for you.

      Full ideas. Use them. On the page. Write them. From the start. To the end. Convey your idea. Not just sentiment.

      As, let’s face it, your sentiment is pretty sucky.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The dweeb boy seems to have been deleted. Best thing for him. Why don’t you try something less personal and more rational and ideas based?

      • @Bart R…

        Full ideas. Use them. On the page. Write them. From the start. To the end. Convey your idea.

        I want to see your transition plan. Full ideas. Use them. On the page. Write them. From the start. To the end. Convey your idea.

  25. ‘Denialism’
    I personally do not believe that atmospheric [CO2] drives the ice-age/warm-age cycles present in the ice core data.
    I believe that aerosols, recorded in the ice-cores as insoluble dust, is the main driver of global temperature and of changing atmospheric CO2, by ocean fertilization. I think the Ar/N2 ratio is a better proxy for ocean temperature than the SST measurements now or the deuterium levels in the ice-cores.

  26. This paper provides some profound insights into the climate debate. Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’

    Unfortunately, typically selective reasoning on Judith’s part. The only wingnuts in the climate debate worth mention are “realists,’ eh Judith? Curious, no mention of “skeptical” wingnuts. Funny, that.

    Judith, have you ever read the comments on your own blog?

    • Rud Istvan

      Joshua, usually your comments are not worthy of reply. But this one is so asinine that I cannot resist, although will resist the urge to say plainly what I really think of you.
      It is evident to all here that our gracious hostess does read comments, because she sometimes posts an enlightening reply that edifies, and even attempts to move the conversation back toward the theme of the thread. Like any expert teacher to an unruly freshman class.

      It is logically impossible to be a skeptical wingnut using Sunstein’s NYT definition. That is because most knowledge is not certain, especially not climate knowledge as the IPCC itself acknowledges (which admission causes the need for ‘consensus’ and ‘97%’ to arise, resulting in much nonsense). So your snide last comment makes no sense.

      But it is logically possible for ‘realists’ to be wingnuts using that same definition, because of the nature of a wingnut’s self- defined ‘reality’. You, sir, appear to precisely fit that category. Your ‘reality’ apparently does not recognize the missing tropical hot spot, or the ‘missing heat’ neither ARGO nor Trenberth’s most recent outrage can find, or the temperature pause that the climate ‘scientists’ ( some of whom appear to try to follow the scientific method, while others using the moniker do not– you know, resorting to Mike’s Nature trick to hide declines, and such) themselves said falsified their models after ( pick you opinion) 7, 12, 15, or 17 years, or the newer estimates of ECS which say there is not a problem, and/ or that adaptation is more appropriate than mitigation…

      There are many more comfortable places to practice wingnuttery than here. I shall deem it a pleasure to engage you more often in the future here, given your insultingly false affront to Judith’s well meaning and interesting post.
      Why don’t you go commiserate with Barbara Boxer on how the terrible events yesterday in Moore Oklahoma are symptomatic of CAWG despite NOAA and NWS saying explicitly they are not. She is provably a climate wingnut (since her official pronouncements are…official), and surely she would enjoy your empathetic companionship.
      Joshua Wingnut, please take wing.
      Highest disregards

      • Joshua, usually your comments are not worthy of reply. But this one is so asinine that I cannot resist, although will resist the urge to say plainly what I really think of you.

        I will point out that you have been on here in the past, more than one time, to hand-wring and pearl-clutch (from your fainting couch, no less), about comments that you think are insulting or denigrating in nature.

        It seems that like Judith, you don’t particularly care about investigating the selectivity in your reasoning.

        Here’s you chance to make amends and prove me wrong.

      • Rud –

        Now aside from your writing comments of the sort that you find “disgusting” in others, let’s examine the rest of your post, shall we?

        It is evident to all here that our gracious hostess does read comments,

        Then apparently you missed the meaning behind my comment. Allow me to explain in more detail. Here was Judith’s statement (as I excerpted above):

        Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’

        Certainly, anyone who reads the comments in these threads has seen plenty of examples of “skeptics” attacking the motives of “realists.” In fact, I’d say that a large % of the threads on this site contain multiple such comments. Some commenters here, who are quite well represented, who have no doubt written hundreds of comments here, perhaps thousands, attack the motives of “realists” with virtually every comment they make.

        Further, we have seen a series of posts where many “skeptics” argue from consensus when they go so far as to un-mathematically calculate means of studies that examine climate senstivity. What is that other than an “argu[ing] from consensus?”

        It is logically impossible to be a skeptical wingnut using Sunstein’s NYT definition.

        Highly arguable, unless you subscribe to selective reasoning – but beyond that, it is largely irrelevant to my comment to which you responded by calling me names (I will point out, in contradiction to Judith’s conditions for comments on this thread). It is irrelevant because my comment focused, specifically, on Judith’s application of the criteria she commented on in the passage I excerpted.

        So your snide last comment makes no sense.

        Heh. Rud, meet Brandon. Brandon, meet Rud.

        You, sir, appear to precisely fit that category. Your ‘reality’ apparently does not recognize the missing tropical hot spot, or the ‘missing heat’ neither ARGO nor Trenberth’s most recent outrage can find, or the temperature pause that the climate ‘scientists’ ( some of whom appear to try to follow the scientific method, while others using the moniker do not– you know, resorting to Mike’s Nature trick to hide declines, and such) themselves said falsified their models after ( pick you opinion) 7, 12, 15, or 17 years, or the newer estimates of ECS which say there is not a problem, and/ or that adaptation is more appropriate than mitigation…

        Fascinating. The only way that you can make that comment is by assuming that you know what my opinions are w/r/t climate change. The only way that a true skeptic would reach such conclusions is they have evidence for such assumptions. In fact, your assumptions about my opinions are wrong. Now it is possible that I said something germane that was misleading. As such, why don’t you cite that evidence so I can correct the problem. Excepting that you do that, I’m afraid that you leave little possible conclusion other than that you formulate your opinions without basing them on evidence. That, sir, would make you a “skeptic” and not a skeptic. You can ask manacker for an explanation for what that means.

        There are many more comfortable places to practice wingnuttery than here. I shall deem it a pleasure to engage you more often in the future here, given your insultingly false affront to Judith’s well meaning and interesting post.

        Seriously? “I shall deem it a pleasure to engage you….” Interesting of juxtaposition syntax, from such floweriness to crass insults.

        Why don’t you go commiserate with Barbara Boxer on how the terrible events yesterday in Moore Oklahoma are symptomatic of CAWG despite NOAA and NWS saying explicitly they are not.

        Perhaps one of the most over-the-top straw men ever built at Climate Etc. And combined with guilt-by-association to boot. Impressive. I commend you.

        Joshua Wingnut, please take wing.
        Highest disregards

        What an interesting (actually, bizarre) rhetorical structure. Crass insults combined with signing off with “highest regards.” Man up, Rud. If you want to be insulting, just do it straight out (as you have done), and don’t bother with the phoniness. It only detracts from the integrity of your arguments. And along the same lines, don’t stoop to crass insults and then feign “disgust” when you read other similar blogging behavior in others. I’d suggest that you obviously are not disgusted by such behavior (barring a personality disorder, of course, which does seem unlikely).

      • Oops.

        Well, how about that. You said highest “disregards” not highest regards.

        Imagine that, missing such a distinction. I must correct my earlier statement. Indeed, you are man enough to be consistent in your insulting behavior – that is except when you are feigning “disgust.”

        I stand corrected. My apologies.

    • Joshua, I know you prefer arguments from authority, but may we not try logic?
      1) We have a very good record of atmospheric CO2 since 1959.
      2) We have a reasonable range of temperature series to chose from that describe (Tmax+Tmin)/m.
      3) It is impossible to get a fit for Taverage-K*Log(CO2) that doesnt show residuals that are ‘noise’.
      4) the longer it takes for the temperature signal to rise in line with a particular value of CS, the lower the actual CS must be OR we must accept that natural variation is far larger than climate modelers used in their models to calculate the CS.
      Basically Joshua, your views are bast on worship of a Priestly caste and the longer the temperature plateau lingers, the more they look like they have used the wrong incantation. You are making the transition between 1 and 2, in the Kübler-Ross model:-
      Denial
      Anger
      Bargaining
      Depression
      Acceptance

      • Doc –

        Joshua, I know you prefer arguments from authority, but may we not try logic?

        Looks like you suffer from the same “skeptical” (as opposed to skeptical” mindset as our friend, Rud. Please cite where I made an argument from authority. Excepting that you are able to provide evidence, it seems we are left to conclude that like he, you formulate your beliefs without evidence.

        Basically Joshua, your views are

        Heh. You amuse, Doc. Which “views” of mine are you referencing. Please do try to be specific.

      • Rud Istvan

        Your previous post was a real contribution, even though (as commented on that thread) there are always curve fit quibbles. Your attempt to engage here by logic is an interesting and seemingly valid experiment. The Sunstein hypothesis is will result in Manichean B/W demonization by Joshua. The article hypothesis is that if you ask Joshua to dissect/explain/counter your logical and persuasive causal observation sequence he (I presume the gender from the name) will moderate his views and be one more amenable to ‘ middle way’ compromise discourse.

        I bet that in this case not, since too much ‘street credit’ is already at stake. Same with many climate scientists and politicians. ‘Street credit’ was a missing variable in the paper, which analyzed the behavior of anonymous ordinary persons, not those with previously staked out public opinions.
        But then, I took one psych course in college and fled.

    • Typed as you don your feathered headress and paint.

      Josh,

      While I believe it is not your intention, your criticisms directed towards Dr Curry often come off as attempts by a shy 7th grader looking to draw the attention of the hot girl in class.

      • tim –

        your criticisms directed towards Dr Curry often come off as attempts by a shy 7th grader looking to draw the attention of the hot girl in class.

        I promise you, tim, the precise moment I become interested in how you think I come off, I’ll be sure to let you know.

        until then…

        I am criticizing Judith’s selective reasoning. Perhaps, instead of giving me your opinion of my arguments, you might actually try to formulate an actual argument in response? Apparently you think my criticism is not well supported. Why would that be? Do you not agree that she applied her criteria exclusively to “realists” to apply the label of “wingnut?” Assuming you agree with that, do you think that is not selective reasoning? Do you think that the label does not apply equally well to (at least some) “skeptics?”

        Put down the pom poms, tim, and make a freakin’ argument.

      • Josh, part of my answer can be found in the 8:05 response to RonnieO.

        Recall the number of complaints we’ve heard about the false balance? How it is wrong for the media to try to provide a balanced presentation of climate change when there is a 97% consensus? Yet now here you are complaining about the fact Dr Curry is not being balanced. I’m reminded of a phrase I heard during my submarine days – “Waah, f*cking, waah.”

        It has been a long standing practice of those who believe global warming is a serious threat to play the consensus card. I believe Dr Curry was speaking to those folks. Where is the requirement for her to cover everyone? Her statement is no more proof of a bias in one direction than those 8,000 papers from John Cook’s “study” which provide no attributation are proof that they do not support AGW theory.

        BTW – could you point out exactly where Dr Curry refers to realists? Or wingnuts? I omly see a reference to those folks who use the consensus arguments and have a habit to attack supposed motives. It is a bit difficult to provide a counterpoint when you are creating an issue out of … well, I can’t tell what.

        To the question about whether or not I believe there folks on the skeptic side that could fit the descriptions of wingnut provided above – sure, I believe that. But what does that question have to do with what Dr Curry said?

        PS – using willard’s weak pom pom comeback? That’s weak squared.

      • > BTW – could you point out exactly where Dr Curry refers to realists? Or wingnuts?

        Here you go:

        Behavior on the extremes is arguably equally bad, but wingnuttery as defined here seems to better characterize the consensus side of the debate.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324157

        Cheers,

        w w

      • tim –

        Yet now here you are complaining about the fact Dr Curry is not being balanced. I’m reminded of a phrase I heard during my submarine days – “Waah, f*cking, waah.”

        This is one of the more interesting forms of attack that occur when I criticize Judith’s reasoning.

        Right or wrong in my criticism, your determination that I am “complaining” is subjective. I am criticizing. It is no different than the thousands of “skeptical” blog comments that occur daily throughout the “skept-o-sphere” (well, except that my comments are well-reasoned). It is fascinating to me that for some reason, people who self-identify as “skeptics” immediately denounce skepticism depending on the direction of the opinions expressed. What for them is a noble calling – fighting the good fight against the tyranny of the AGW cabal, suddenly becomes childish, like a baby crying, if the opinions expressed run counter to their own.

        How it is wrong for the media to try to provide a balanced presentation of climate change when there is a 97% consensus?

        Straw man.

        It has been a long standing practice of those who believe global warming is a serious threat to play the consensus card.

        That is true. Now I believe that there is are a couple of related phenomena among “skeptics” that amount to essentially the same sort of reasoning. For example, ill-founded attack on the relevance of consensus even with the understanding that an argument that consensus should necessarily be dispositive is fallacious. But further, we frequently see an argument from consensus from “skeptics.” The differential assignation of “argument from consensus” is just as fraught with subjective reasoning as the assignation of “appeal to authority.” I would argue that there is no imbalance on the two sides of the debate, but even granting that there is, Judith’s selective observations on those logical fallacies amounts to tribalism.

        I believe Dr Curry was speaking to those folks.

        Speaking too them or speaking about them? Do you commonly speak to people by calling them wingnuts? Either way, her approach is not conceivably consistent with a goal of “building bridges.”

        Where is the requirement for her to cover everyone?

        Where did I say she has a “requirement” to do anything? I don’t think that she does. This is a question of whether her reasoning is selective, and consistent with her stated aim of building bridges. How could I possibly make mandate any “requirements” for her. It is up to her to determine whether she wants to be selective in her reasoning or not,

        Her statement is no more proof of a bias in one direction than those 8,000 papers from John Cook’s “study” which provide no attributation are proof that they do not support AGW theory.

        Combination of straw man, and completely irrelevant. What Cook does or does not do does not change the selectivity of Judith’s reasoning one iota.

        BTW – could you point out exactly where Dr Curry refers to realists? Or wingnuts?

        Not sure how to respond to that one, tim – really. This post is an obvious effort to apply the label of wingnut to the “realist” side of the debate (substituting my term for hers). Look at her comments below that support an entirely different categorization of the nature of the combatants on the two sides, respectively.

      • willard,

        thanks for the link.

        I would point out that her comment was posted after the comment of Josh’s which I was responding.

        Using the definition from above:
        “When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations.”

        I am reminded of all the times I’ve heard comments from CAGW supporters about deniers funded by big oil, fossil fuel companies, the Koch brothers, or how they are all Libertarians and right wing Republicans, or that they are natural conspiracy theorists who doubt we put a man on the moon. Are there people from the skeptic side who fit the same definition. Yes. You will find a few who think CAGW is part of a movement towards world governance or a means to advance socialism and extend government intrusion into peoples lives. But compare the numbers. The first group generally outweighs the latter in terms of numbers.

        It is not that Dr Curry is calling everyone on the “consensus” side a wingnut or that only that side has wingnuts. She is pointing out that if you use one particular definition, one side in the debate will have a larger percentage fitting it.

      • tim –

        I am reminded of all the times …

        Yes. You will find a few..

        Ya’ just gotta love the practice of argument by assertion. It’s almost as beautiful as unintentional irony.

      • argument by assertion, huh Josh?

        You saying that all the claims about big oil and the rest are hokum? Just an assertion on my part with no substance? Mike Mann wrote an entire book about it. We have a couple US Senators who just today blamed the Oklahoma tornado on Republicans.

        Keep beating that one sided drum. Although in your case, it may be a tamborine. No bottom to it.

      • Most welcome, timg56

        The version without subtitles was in the main op-ed, btw:

        > Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’ Too much of the consensus is second order belief, that is not associated with mechanistic understanding.

        Apply Susstein’s definition to that and you get the version with subtitles.

        ***

        Speaking of which, Bart R commented on that same bit:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324029

        Have you missed his comment? I thought it had zest and gusto.

        Cheers,

        w w

      • willard (@nevaudit) | May 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm |

        To clarify:

        1.) I’m not really paying attention, and I skipped what appears to be largely an exchange of puerile invective and taunt, so this comment may miss the point.

        2.) Am I being referred to as an authority for some argument? That seems truly inverted. (Okay, technically this is not argument by authority, but argument by reference, and since the reference was exceedingly vague, one could say no authority vests in what may indeed not so much be an argument as willard being entertaining).

        3.) Dr. Curry goes to a lot of trouble to maintain this blog. She works hard on it. She gets a lot of grief over it. She has to deal with twerps like me. You could all make her life a bit easier by cooling it with the insult-exchanges and sticking to enlightened discourse. Or, discourse.

      • Bart R,

        I was reminding timg that Joshua’s reasoning might have been motivated by something Judge Judy said, and that he does not seem to be alone to have noticed what has been said. Citing your comment may also remind Joshua that there are ways to raise objections without sounding too confrontational. I am also making note of the crickets that followed your comment.

        Since your comment contains what could distill these two’s different, I thought it was worth a try to bring it to attention.

        Sorry if this burdens you.

      • Steven Mosher

        on the contrary. Joshua always tries very hard to make the best of judiths positions as opposed to finding the worst. Just ask willard.

        If people were more like Joshua this blog would be a better place.
        I am reminded in particular of a case where he took a journalist apart for claiming that Nic Lewis was a climate scientist. If more people had Joshua’s ability to cut to the nub of an argument, well, it would be heaven on earth. And if climate scientists listen to Joshua, well they wouldn’t publish with a old white accountant. They would ask him probing questions about his motivations, you know science stuff.

      • willard (@nevaudit)’ | May 22, 2013 at 12:28 am |

        No burden at all. Always glad to help clear up matters. Even if I haven’t been following them.

        Wait.

        At one time didn’t someone accuse poor Joshua of being me?

        And I’d think publishing with an accountant could only improve a scientist’s reputation and the quality of their output. All other things being equal.

        Though again, I haven’t really followed this particular exchange, and truthfully am seeing little reason to go back and amend that.

        Say, anyone know how few months need be dropped from 2008 and 2012 to make the GMT decadal trend exceed the prior decade’s trend?

      • “If people were more like Joshua this blog would be a better place.”

        This is just a half-baked opinion based on spending 30 minutes reading Joshua’s comments on this thread. He may have a point about “selective reasoning” but I think he could make it more effectively by just disagreeing and pointing out what’s missing instead of criticizing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hey dag – my guess is that you missed the sarcasm.

      • Chief Hydrologist, I don’t think so, but the sarcasm frequency here is so high, it’s bound to happen sometimes.

      • I think I’m seeing a pattern here. In the earlier thread, Mosh was criticizing the author of the essay for “making divisive arguments about self interest”. Well, I would love hear his opinion on how self-interest affects the consensus opinion on climate change, or doesn’t. I’m not so interested in having him tell me it’s inappropriate to mention it.

      • > I am reminded in particular of a case where he took a journalist apart for claiming that Nic Lewis was a climate scientist.

        FWIW, here was Joshua’s comment:

        FWIW, while perhaps not in agreement with Judith that it is “astonishingly good,” and despite some nits (i.e., a rather strangely sloppy errors in calling Nic Lewis become a climate scientists), I think that the Economist article provides a pretty good overview of the debate.

        As we can see, Joshua is http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/31/uk-msm-on-climate-sensitivity/#comment-307678

        The journalist still feels the pain from this nit.

      • And to prevent further rounds of Moshpitian misdirection:

        What I asserted is that it is misleading, and as such a “sloppy error.” What I meant is that I think that readers unfamiliar with who Nic is, in the context of the debate, would assume attributes about Nic’s career and work that are not the case.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/03/31/uk-msm-on-climate-sensitivity/#comment-307694

        “I am reminded of” is usually a good tell that Moshpit puts on his green-black hat.

      • Steven Mosher

        Keep reading willard… read the whole thread…

      • > Keep reading.

        Bender used that trick a lot.

        And here I am.

      • One thing about Climate Etc which will ensure I don’t lose interest is Mosher’s posting of Korean girl band videos.

        The Korean channel used to part of the basic cable package and I’d watch shows with my wife. Then Comcast moved it to a higher priced package.

      • Dagfinn –

        but I think he could make it more effectively by just disagreeing and pointing out what’s missing instead of criticizing.

        1: As a general rule for effective discourse, that is certainly true.
        2. It is not unusual for people to tell me that I come across as hyper-critical, and as a result giving an impression of being supercilious.

        So, your point is well-taken (as is willard’s and mosher’s point about “charity”).

        That said, and I do not offer this as a justification (there is none, really), I do doubt that critical input of Judith’s reasoning, even with every reasonable effort to avoid a sense of being criticizing, would be treated as criticism by our much-beloved denizens.

        But I should make a more concerted effort. So what would your advice be? When I observe what appears to me to be rather obviously biased and selective reasoning on Judith’s part, that is founded on an unscientific approach to analysis, how could I communicate those observations more effectively without watering down the substance of my observations. I do, usually, try to make it clear that I am expressing opinions as opposed to stating fact. I try to be careful about using qualifying language. Those might be general principles I could adhere to more carefully – would you have other suggestions as well?

      • Dagfinn –

        Sorry, that should have read:

        I do doubt that critical inputobservations on Judith’s reasoning, even with every reasonable effort to avoid a sense of being criticizing, would be treated as [anything other than] criticism by our much-beloved denizens.

        Is it possible to state critical observations without having it come across as criticism?

      • willard –

        Citing your comment may also remind Joshua that there are ways to raise objections without sounding too confrontational.

        This probably relates to my questions to Dagfinn.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324476

        Could you elaborate on the attributes of Bart’s post that = criticism while being less confrontational?

      • Joshua, I don’t pretend to have a sufficient understanding of what you need to communicate and why, so I don’t really consider myself qualified to suggest what you could do. But since you ask, I’m thinking of something as simplistic as “I agree that some [many, whatever label you like] attack the motives of the “deniers” in an way that’s not constructive, but I also think that the other side [some, many, whatever] is…[worse, just as bad, doing this...]…”. If you follow that by “I don’t see you acknowledging that”, you’re being critical, but you’re also acknowledging the possibility that what you’re seeing as selective reasoning might be accidental or at least less significant than it might seem to you.

      • Dagfinn –

        Thanks. I think that is useful advise. I will give it some thought.

  27. At some time in the future, actual data will trump all theory.
    They promised that twelve years would be enough.
    Now there is seventeen years.
    They keep pushing the required number of years to larger numbers.
    They can and will keep doing this and they will loose more followers every year they do this.

  28. maksimovich

    ‘This paper provides some profound insights into the climate debate. Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’ Too much of the consensus is second order belief, that is not associated with mechanistic understanding.”

    Gilovich (how we know what isn’t so) discussed some issues that are relevant.eg

    i)“When examining evidence relevant to a given belief, people are inclined to see what they expect to see, and conclude what they expect to conclude. Information that is consistent with our pre-existing beliefs is often accepted at face value, whereas evidence that contradicts them is critically scrutinized and discounted. Our beliefs may thus be less responsive than they should to the implications of new information”

    ii)“it seems that once again people engage in a search for evidence that is biased toward confirmation. Asked to assess the similarity of two entities, people pay more attention to the ways in which they are similar than to the ways in which they differ. Asked to assess dissimilarity, they become more concerned with differences than with similarities. In other words, when testing a hypothesis of similarity, people look for evidence of similarity rather than dissimilarity, and when testing a hypothesis of dissimilarity, they do the opposite. The relationship one perceives between two entities, then, can vary with the precise form of the question that is asked”

    The last sentence being important ie how well posed is the climate problem?

  29. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

    So let’s call this the hypothesis – no warming for decades at least from 2002. The experiment is underway and my reading of the politics is that people are just looking for an excuse to dump on the entire idea of global warming. This is a result of green/red overreach in seeking to reorder society- with unfortunate millennialist and groupthink overtones. They are about 5% of the population – concentrated in the inner cities and in media and academia. We are not afraid of these wingnuts – we don’t like them and don’t trust them with the future.

    The inability to contemplate non-warming for a decade or three is a sign of a wing nut – or cult of AGW groupthink space cadet as I call them. It goes with an inability to contemplate any other way forward than taxes or limits – both of which seem pragmatically doomed if nothing else. It seems more a magical solution to millennialist fantasies than a practical agenda and is more part of the problem than the solution.

    The dynamical paradigm is at odds fundamentally with the AGW paradigm – despite the comment by Swanson and Tsonis above. The reality of climate as a dynamical system they describe elsewhere – ‘the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Chief Hydro,

      When the global ocean heat content down to 2000 meters does not go up for a whole decade, I will promise you to officially declare AGW as a dead hypotheses and take the word “Warmist” from my screen name.

      This over fixation on the fickle, low thermal inertia troposphere is the sign of a true wing-nut. The oceans run the show and you know it.

      • David Springer

        re; over-fixation on the troposphere temperature

        Right.

        So ice cores, hockey sticks, and all the other paleo and instrument data that measure troposphere temperature should be taken with a grain of salt? That’s your story now? Or should we only discount it when it’s not copacetic with the alarmist agenda? LOL

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You know it is all determined by the radiative imbalance at TOA – CERES and ARGO agree remarkably well for the short period both have been operating. Missing energy and all that. But the CERES variability – as with ERBS and ISCCP-FD changes before that – are all in cloud cover changes as I have said before. Is that likely to continue as the cool Pacific mode intensifies? As cloud cover seems to be negatively correlated with sea surface temperature – I’m inclined to answer in the negative.

      • Chief

        A couple of days ago you were talking about soil. I was interested to come across this concerning soil co2. I knew there was a lot of co2 locked up in the soil but hadn’t realised it was this much.

        ‘Ben Bond-Lamberty and Allison Thomson, terrestrial carbon research scientists at the University of Maryland’s Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, conducted the study by stitching together almost 50 years of soil-emissions data — 1,434 data points — from 439 studies around the world. To compare measurements, the researchers accounted for differences between the studies, such as mean annual temperatures and techniques used to gauge carbon dioxide levels. They totalled the data for each year to create a global estimate of soil respiration — the flux of carbon dioxide from the ground into the atmosphere.

        The researchers found that soil respiration had increased by about 0.1% per year between 1989 and 2008, the span when soil measurement techniques had become standardized. In 2008, the global total reached roughly 98 billion tonnes, about 10 times more carbon than humans are now putting into the atmosphere each year. The change within soils “is a slow increase, but the absolute number is so large, even a small percentage increase is quite a bit,” says Bond-Lamberty.’

        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100324/full/news.2010.147.html

        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Clouds are a critical component of Earth’s climate system. Although satellite-based irradiance measurements are available over approximately the past 30 years, difficulties in measuring clouds means it is unclear how global cloud properties have changed over this period. From the international Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets we have examined the validity of long-term cloud changes. We find that for both datasets, low-level (>680mb) cloud changes are largely a reflection of higher-level (≤680mb) variations. Linear trends from ISCCP also suggest that the dataset contains considerable features of an artificial origin. Despite this, an examination of ISCCP in relation to the MODIS dataset shows that over the past ten years of overlapping measurements between 60°N–60°S both datasets have been in close agreement (r = 0.63, p = 7×10-4). Over this time total cloud cover has been relatively stable. Both ISCCP and MODIS datasets show a close correspondence to Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) over the Pacific region, providing a further independent validation of the datasets.’ http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        Relatively stable but enough to warm the oceans a little bit in the ARGO record – at least until recently. You could be forgiven for thinking that clouds run the show Gatesy.

      • “When the global ocean heat content down to 2000 meters does not go up for a whole decade, I will promise you to officially declare AGW as a dead hypotheses and take the word “Warmist” from my screen name”

        I look forward to an explanation how heat can leapfrog the 0-300 range and go into the 300-2000m depths.

      • maksimovich

        I look forward to an explanation how heat can leapfrog the 0-300 range and go into the 300-2000m depths.

        The strong forcing from salinity breaking is one of the largest millennial signals for bottom warming eg Ghil 2012.

        The age of the bottom water suggest the signal is a relic, an additional marker which is being explored is the CFC signal of which we are yet to find in bottom waters in the SO.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi Tony,

        It is a fundamental property of biology that respiration increases with higher temperature. It feeds into the question of attribution. How much of the temperature increase was natural and how much of the CO2 increase follows temperature. The ability to ask these questions separates the warminista wing nut from the crowd.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We have really been through this before. The data is what it is – and there is more than one source.

        The lack of warming at the surface is explicable with increased mixing with cold upwelling water. Upwelling varies over decades to millennia. Obviously the surface is relatively cooler if mixed with very cold bottom water.

      • Chief, you think cold water from below 2000m goes to the surface, without going through the 300-2000 layer?
        Call me Dr. Suspicious, but I think the man who dedicated his professional reputation on finding deep sea heating shouldn’t be the person one places their faith in when it comes to reports of deep sea heating.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Cheif Hydro said:

        “You know it is all determined by the radiative imbalance at TOA…”
        _____
        Nope. It can be MEASURED by the radiative imbalance at the TOA, if by the word “determined” you mean “caused by”. The radiative imbalance is a reflection of the sum total of all interactions of the energy flow arriving to Earth, within the Earth system (i.e. between ocean, atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere), and then leaving the Earth. The TOA is a metric, not a cause.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        David Springer said:

        “So ice cores, hockey sticks, and all the other paleo and instrument data that measure troposphere temperature should be taken with a grain of salt? That’s your story now? Or should we only discount it when it’s not copacetic with the alarmist agenda?”

        ______

        Quite the opposite my myoptic friend. The sum total of all data needs to be looked at as the sum total of the energy flow and balance of the Earth when trying to determine if the Earth is warming, cooling, or staying the same. More data and as broadly based data as possible is the friend of finding the truth of any situation. If you want to see if the Earth is warming or retaining energy, why measure the temperature of the most fickle and lowest thermal inertia portion to make your judgement? (i.e the relatively puny energy of the troposphere versus the ocean down as deep as you can reliably measure)

      • Upwelling occurs in narrow coastal zones. It is neither well resolved by ARGO nor ocean models. This colder upwelled top-layer water spreads westwards from the coastal areas in the Pacific and this can give the appearance of the top layer not warming while deeper layers are.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        DocMartyn said:

        “I look forward to an explanation how heat can leapfrog the 0-300 range and go into the 300-2000m depths.”
        ________
        Not to insult your knowledge of the oceans here Doc, but you seem to have the dynamics of ocean-atmosphere interactions a bit skewed and perhaps even reversed. Do you think the entire upper ocean is downwelling heat, everywhere, all at once? There are specfic regions in which energy is downwelled from the upper ocean into the deeper and abyssal depths. These downwelling points (such as the N. Atlantic, for example) are relatively small and concentrated geographical regions. There are also specific regions, (such as the N. Pacific, for example) that the energy returns to the surface after traveilling around on the great THC for many many years.

        Across the more broad ocean you will find the net flow of energy is not down, but up, as general convection works on this planet, moving upward and then to the atmosphere with the net flow of energy being precisely in that direction.

        So, to your “leapfrog” question, if you went to downwelling areas you would indeed find regions where the momentum and advective flow of the current would find greater energy moving downward from 0-300 meters to 300-2000 meters and on to abyssal levels. That exactly how the THC works.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Jim,

        Ekmann transport causes cold water to upwell in the central Pacific.

        Gatesy,

        The radiant flux at TOA supplies the energy for warming. Clouds form over cold water – but the cloud radiative forcing is the cause of further change.

        It is wing nut science to deny changes in cloud radiative forcing.

      • David Springer

        ARGO numbers are pencil whipped to show something that’s agreeable with the cli-fi narrative.

        Keven Trenberth in 2011:

        Trenberth questions whether the Argo measurements are mature enough to tell as definite a story as Hansen lays out. He has seen many discrepancies among analyses of the data, and there are still “issues of missing and erroneous data and calibration,” he said. The Argo floats are valuable, he added, but “they’re not there yet.”

        I suggest watching this 2011 video starting at 34 minutes where Trenberth discusses OHC measurements and says data prior to 2007 is trash and should be disregarded.

        Kevin Trenberth: The Role of the Oceans in Climate

      • Gates, if the oceans run the show then how do the oceans get their heat, you’re surely not going to tell me that it is from down welling radiation from co2.

        Basically solar radiation heats the oceans, modulated by cloud cover which in turn is controlled by solar magnetism / cosmic rays.

        In short, the sun controls heat entering the system and the oceans then run the show as you put it.

        Sounds like you could take the ‘warmist’ tag from your handle straight away.

      • The oceans are warming because of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Just as the un-ehanced greenhouse effect warmed them.

    • Peter Lang

      OT

  30. Brandon Shollenberger

    This part struck me:

    When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

    Not because I’m convinced it’s true. I’m not. However, I’ve been arguably the most vocal critic of the recent paper by John Cook and associates (from Skeptical Science). As far as I can remember, every person who has disagreed with me about my criticisms has acted in exactly this way.

    Interestingly, I’ve responded to most of these people asking them to explain what they think I’ve said (generally asking them to also quote my words). They generally refused, or if they said anything, focused solely on one small part of what I’ve said. Not a single one of my critics has come up with anything resembling an accurate depiction of my claims.

    The resemblence is remarkable given the timing of this post.

      • Rud Istvan

        Willard, having followed the Cook paper debate mainly going on at Lucias, and secondarily elsewhere, I have to ask you to provide evidence for your assertion. I am a big fan of Wookies (since they have direct, physical means reminiscent of grizzly bears to dispense with slimy politicians and other ‘vermin’). I do not recall Chewbacca having a short memory. Rather quite the opposite. So your comment to Brandon makes no sense unless you have some facts I may have overlooked. That is certainly possible. But until you provide at least one factual example in re Cook, the working experimental hypothesis is Willard and your link did not, insofar as I can tell.

        If enough of us use the term enough, then Judith’s header may become a part of the English lexicon. Sort of like ‘google’ as a verb. Except here a useful set theory noun and/ or verb (both illustrated on this thread) with a precise NYT definition. Nothing not to like.

      • Rud –

        So your comment to Brandon makes no sense unless you have some facts I may have overlooked.

        What you overlooked, Rud, is that one is prone to making embarrassing errors when they weigh into discussions between others without bothering to inquire about relevant background.

      • Sir Rud,

        The link I provided suffices to prove that this:

        > As far as I can remember, every person who has disagreed with me about my criticisms has acted in exactly this way.

        can only be true if Chewbacca has a short memory.

        To take one example, Bart V disagreed with Chewbacca and never expressed the behavior related to the “way” Chewbacca whined about, viz:

        When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations. Whatever their religion, they are devout Manicheans, dividing their fellow citizens into the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

        Please apologize for having overlooked the evidence I already have provided.

        You, Sir Rud, can be thankful I won’t take this as an opportunity to pay due diligence to what Chewbacca’s so-called “argument” right under your nose.

        Or maybe I will.

        We’ll see,

        w

      • I assumed that referring to a person as an imaginary alien was a classic example of animalistic dehumanization.
        Dehumanization is a classical mechanism people use to rationalize and justify behavior that falls outside their normal social norms.

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

        ‘People that suffer animalistic dehumanization are seen as immoral, unintelligent, lacking self-control and likened to animals’

      • Besides, Chewbacca was in reference to this:

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense

        Perhaps calling Chewbacca Jonnhie Cochrane would be more humanizing, Doc?

        We already have Recahorse Stokes.

      • Willard, I am aware of the Chewbacca defense, however the Chewbacca defense has nothing to do with Chewbacca himself, but in a fictionalized OJ Simpson Lawyer using ‘Look Squirrel’.

      • You’re right, Doc. And to complicate things even more, Chewbacca herited his nickname not by implementing the Chewbacca Defense, but by using over and over variations on:

        > You make no sense.

        This would be more like the Chewbacca Attack. More on this over there:

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

        Sometimes, nicknames evolve like that.

        I think that “Chewbacca” suits Brandon quite well. He deserved it and I don’t think it’s that offensive. His rhetorical style is so repulsive that to use a nickname that makes me cultivate some compassion toward this sorry character makes sense to me.

        ***

        Incidentally, this might explain Joshua’s answer to Sir Rud:

        So your snide last comment makes no sense.

        Heh. Rud, meet Brandon. Brandon, meet Rud.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324116

        ***

        Anyway, hope this helps.

        Now, please tell me more about dehumanizing, now that you know that the Auditor does nickname.

      • Oh, and Sir Rud, I’m still waiting for your mea culpa.

      • Steven Mosher

        boring. time for a change

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I don’t normally respond to willard, but he brings up a point I should address. Bart Verheggen did not post attacking my motives. This does not make my description wrong. One can impugn another person’t motives privately or indirectly.

        In this case, Bart Verheggen criticized me on specious grounds and refused to participate in any attempt at reconciling our views. He then watched as people used his claims and his blog to attack my motives, commenting only to make further claims that I was wrong. By ignoring their attacks on my motives while encouraging the arguments they used, he supported their behavior.

        Laundering attacks through a third party qualifies as making those attacks yourself.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        DocMartyn, I don’t think wookies being animals is an issue here. The issue I see is willard is participating in a smear campaign to associate me with a disgraceful form of rhetoric I don’t use. By cherry-picking quotes and taking sentences out of context, he tries to create an impression that is false and offensive. I don’t see the wookie part mattering compared to that.

        Side note: It appears Joshua has joined willard’s campaign. I see he randomly brought me up in association with, “that makes no sense” elsewhere in this topic. I wonder just how many people have started doing that.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        “This does not make my description wrong”

        Seriously, Brandon, willard busted you fair and square. Your description was wrong, misleading, exaggerated. Id say maybe 1 or 2 people have attacked you the exact way you describe. Just own it. Its not that big of a deal.

      • > By ignoring their attacks on my motives while encouraging the arguments they used, he supported their behavior.

        Just think about what this entails.

        Now.

        Think, for George Lucas’ sake!

        ***

        Besides, here was one of Bart V’s “refusal” to argue:

        I think the different categories are meant as a nominal scale, i.e. the fact that two different research abstracts, one estimating the human contribution to be 55 and the other 45% arrive in categories 7 and 1 resp is not necessarily a problem. It is a direct consequence of the description of the categories.

        This also means that category one is not necessarily a stronger endorsement than categories 2 or 3. It is clearer (since it is explicitly quantified), but that’s about it.

        In the survey of scientists that me and others did last year we used ordinal and interval scales, so more detail about the respondent’s opinion is gained. But that’s because we specifically asked. In the Cook et al survey, the data is the abstracts of a good part of the scientific literature. That is more directly related to scientific knowledge, but offers less detail (cf asking scientists what they think).

        Btw, the AR4 statement is written in terms of the anthropogenic GHG contribution; this is likely much higher than the net anthropogenic contribution (because of aerosol cooling masking part of the greenhouse warming). I’ll be beating that drum in the hopefully not too distant future.

        http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/#comment-18749

        My emphasis, for reasons that lie beyond the scope of this discussion.

        Look at the silly monkey!

        ***

        Bart V told many times why Brandon’s analysis misrepresented Cook and al’s classification. Instead of dealing with the counterarguments, all he did was to dismiss them by handwaving back to his argument. He just kept one add indefinite description after another, not unlike in the two previous comments, for instance:

        I’ve responded to most of these people asking them to explain what they think I’ve said (generally asking them to also quote my words). They generally refused, or if they said anything, focused solely on one small part of what I’ve said. Not a single one of my critics has come up with anything resembling an accurate depiction of my claims.

        This rendering of the event is being done in such a way that the reader would need to read the whole thread at Bart’s to see how disconnected this description is from what really happened, and that’s notwithstanding the month of parsomatics at Lucia’s. This is pure, unjustified, ridiculous bragging. Worse, Bart V calmly explained that Brandon’s interpretation of “the consensus” is too strict and that you can’t convert a qualitative answer into a quantitative one without over interpreting, and now Brandon comes here to proclaim that Bart V is a wing nut.

        And then people wonder why I’m calling him Chewbacca.

        Sigh.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, it’s possible I misjudged the situation. If so, you’re welcome to explain how I did. If you can provide a sensible explanation, I’ll acknowledge I was wrong. But I’m not going to say I was wrong just because you randomly jump in and say, “You’re wrong.”

        Hand-waving is not a useful contribution. Please try to offer more.

      • Doc,

        For what it’s worth, you be the judge:

        > I don’t think wookies being animals is an issue here.

        I too don’t think that Wookies being animals is an issue here.

        > willard is participating in a smear campaign

        Just as I call Michael Tobis Dr. Doom: to smear him. Does that mean that this

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

        is a collection of smear campaigns?

        Please tell me more about smear campaigns.

        > [T]o associate me with a disgraceful form of rhetoric I don’t use.

        The Chewbacca Defense includes the words “makes no sense” a lot. Brandon uses more disgraceful form of rhetoric anyway.

        > By cherry-picking quotes and taking sentences out of context[...]

        This is false. I only quote Brandon channelling his inner Chewbacca a lot. To quote someone who says “you make no sense” does not mean lots of context. Speaking of which,

        > [H]e tries to create an impression that is false and offensive.

        Something has been said about impugning motives on this thread. Do you recall what it is, Doc?

        In any case, this is false. My intention is to remind people that it is easy to let go of our inner Chewbacca and dismiss people’s arguments by saying “You make no sense”. See Sir Rud’s “nonsense” comment elsewhere on the thread.

        Nobody needs to know Brandon’s nickname to recognize that he’s a brutish character.

        ***

        So here’s the deal. From now on, I will only underline Brandon and acolytes’ “You make no sense” moments and identify these moments as channeling our inner Chewbacca. That we should be reminded to tame our inner Chewbacca is more important than characterizing that brutish character. Most of my recent uses of the word “Chewbacca” are along those lines.

        So from now on, he’ll be Brandon simpliciter. Brave Brandon could be nice, since that’s in his name. Prince Brandon may also be well, as Brandon reminds me of this character:

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

        But I’m a sucker for alliteration, and Brave Brandon also rings true with Sir Rud.

      • Forgot to rewrite this:

        > This is false. I only quote Brandon channelling his inner Chewbacca a lot. To quote someone who says “you make no sense” does not mean lots of context. Speaking of which,

        Here’s a try:

        > This is false, if Brave Brandon refers to quotes which remind readers that he just said “you make no sense” again. This does not rely on much context. Brave Brandon does channel his inner Chewbacca a lot.

        I’ve adjusted according to my new editorial policy.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        It would be easier if you provided a single example, and exemplar, of somebody, anybody questioning your good faith and impugning your motives.

        Let me give you and example of the latter.

        When Mann attacks McIntyre can calls him an Oil Shill, I would call this an implicit impugning of motives: Mann indicates that McinTyre is motivated by Oil money, and the word “shill” implies that this motive is bad.

        When Wagathon and others attack folks who believe in AGW by calling them watermelons and other crap like that, he is identifying a motive and implying that it is bad.

        So. very simply so that people can understand your claim, and understand what you mean by saying that everyone accused you of bad faith and bad motives, please provide a single example of both. Show what motive they accused you of having and that they claim this motive is bad.

        Note: a few people accused you of lying. I don’t count those as examples of accusing you of “bad faith” or impugning your motives.

        You made the claim. We might be able to agree with your claim, but before we survey all the comments people made to you, perhaps a single example of each will tell us whether we use the same language or not or whether we are just both using english words

      • Steven Mosher

        And finally brandon, I would think by now that you get how you routinely rely on the “that makes no sense” charge. I won’t call it an argument because its not. You kinda owe willard a debt a gratitude for pointing it out, and chances are, that if you remove that particular move from your bag of tricks willard will actually give you credit for improving your style. he is after all an honorable fellow. Doubtless, people will continue to call you Chewbacca for the rest of your time in the climate debate. Nothing he can do can unring that bell. you are stuck. other folks won’t take anything you say seriously. Nicknames work like that. If you can’t handle his anonymous cyber bullying, then boo fucking hoo. lastly Once upon a time I called you a bad name which I wont repeat. You know what I’m talking about. I apologize for that and it won’t happen again. Of course if you meet me IRL you can punch me in the nose. That would be fair. Sorry I bullied you. You’re a good kid.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher:

        It would be easier if you provided a single example, and exemplar, of somebody, anybody questioning your good faith and impugning your motives.

        If anyone had asked me to, I would have. I just try not to offer specific examples when making a general case of bad behavior if specific examples aren’t necessary. I try to only “name names” if I think doing so will contribute something to my point.

        Note: a few people accused you of lying. I don’t count those as examples of accusing you of “bad faith” or impugning your motives.

        Then I’m not sure what point there is in me offering any examples. I think accusing a person of lying is a clear accusation of bad faith. If you don’t, you probably won’t agree about any examples I could provide.

        And finally brandon, I would think by now that you get how you routinely rely on the “that makes no sense” charge. I won’t call it an argument because its not.

        Of course it’s not “an argument.” It’s a claim. No claims are arguments in and of themselves. Any claim stripped of context will be just as unsupported as it is. That’s completely unsurprising and completely meaningless.

        If you can’t handle his anonymous cyber bullying, then boo ****ing hoo.

        Clearly I can handle it. I routinely do. It’s not like I go around whining about it or having emotional breakdowns. I just sometimes point out the smear campaign for what it is.

        Heck, the fact you curse while writing your comment suggests a greater emotional investment on your part than anything I’ve said.

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry willard, you gotta own giving brandon his nickname. and if you point out St. Mac doing the same, Joshua will be along to shout mommy mommy.
        The funny thing is you can’t undo it. Don’t know how you live with yourself, stooping to St. Mac’s level, or worse down to Moshpit black hat tricks.

        what would you say to Brandon if you met him in person?

      • Steven Mosher | May 22, 2013 at 11:22 am |

        It would be easier if you provided a single example, and exemplar, of somebody, anybody questioning your good faith and impugning your motives.

        I was about to step forward to offer myself as that exemplar, until I read harder.

        I can’t impugne Brandon’s motives. His motives seem pure, so far as I can tell, and I can see no way he’s being influenced by money or otherwise corrupted into making arguments in some conspiratorial or criminal way.

        So I can’t be your exemplar.

        Though it’s a very near thing.

        Brandon does play fast and loose with the niceties of reasoning and logic, and digresses frequently (almost as a rule) into the language and behavior patterns of bad faith.. but he seems so invulnerable to realization that he’s doing it that I doubt you’ll ever succeed at convincing him where he invites such comment, that it’s a result of his own conduct in discourse. I don’t suggest Brandon can’t be rational in his thinking: in some specific areas outside climate-related topics, he’s extremely sharp and somewhat expert. Good luck trying to transform climate Brandon into that other Brandon.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ok,

        Brandon. if you take accusations of lying as being the same as accusations of bad faith, then I understand how you could see that
        some people ‘accused’ you implicitly of bad faith. So, I dont need examples of that. there were a couple people who did this, but clearly
        not everyone as you claimed. For example, I never argued that you were lying about cook, and Victor was the only one I recall. So even if we take your definitionof bad faith as a good one, your claim that everyone accused you of this was wrong. You caveated your claim with “as far as I rememeber” I will just note that I often use this escape clause when I havent checked my own work and know that I probably should.
        Now, you could have said, that “some people” accused you, you could have said, “many”, “most”, or greater than 50% (hehe) but you said all, and then left an escape hatch. I think its fair to say that some people accused you of lying and many people ‘let’ people get away with that charge, as if its their responsibility to control other peoples behavior.

        So lets turn to your claim about impugning motives.

        Can I get one exemplar of somebody impugning your motives. This is so that I can understand how you think about things. In the case of bad faith I gave you an example and we can agreee to disagree. In this case, I’ll wait for the following

        1. A link to a comment or post that is a good example of somebody
        impugning your motives
        2. An explanation of your criteria.

      • Steven Mosher

        Bart

        “I can’t impugne Brandon’s motives. His motives seem pure, so far as I can tell, and I can see no way he’s being influenced by money or otherwise corrupted into making arguments in some conspiratorial or criminal way.”

        That is how I read Brandon. I think in a couple instances I’ve said mean things like ” you are no steve mcintyre” which implies something about his motives.. but I honestly dont see that as ‘bad motives” but he strikes me in everything he writes as somebody who is earnest and sincere.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R:

        I was about to step forward to offer myself as that exemplar, until I read harder.

        So I can’t be your exemplar.

        Though it’s a very near thing.

        I don’t recall you disagreeing with anything I said about Cook et al’s recent paper. Did I miss that somewhere? If not, how could you possibly be an example of the behavior of those disagreeing with me about Cook et al’s recent paper?

        Brandon does play fast and loose with the niceties of reasoning and logic, and digresses frequently (almost as a rule) into the language and behavior patterns of bad faith.. but he seems so invulnerable to realization that he’s doing it that I doubt you’ll ever succeed at convincing him where he invites such comment, that it’s a result of his own conduct in discourse

        I hope you can at least accept the possibility the reason I would be “invulnerable to [that] realization” is it isn’t true. I know I’ve always accepted the possibility people’s claims about my behavior are true. That’s why I sometimes try to have substantial discussions about my supposed bad behavior when people bring it up. (People rarely try to take me up on this.)

        I can’t impugne Brandon’s motives. His motives seem pure, so far as I can tell, and I can see no way he’s being influenced by money

        I wish I was being influenced by money. I’ve never gotten any money (in any way) from my interest in global warming topics. In fact, I’d have more money if I just ignored the issue of global warming all together. And that’s without considering how much time I’ve put into it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon.

        “That’s why I sometimes try to have substantial discussions about my supposed bad behavior when people bring it up. (People rarely try to take me up on this.)”

        Consider this one of those rare occasions.

        you made a claim about everybody who engaged you over your cook writings. willard offered you an out ( check your memory )
        and he provide an example of what Bart wrote which was utterly free of any accusations of bad faith or impugning of motives.

        Instead of just owning it, you won’t.

        So now I’m am asking for an exemplar of somebody anybody impuging your motives WRT to the Cook pieces.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher:

        there were a couple people who did this, but clearly
        not everyone as you claimed. For example, I never argued that you were lying about cook, and Victor was the only one I recall. So even if we take your definitionof bad faith as a good one, your claim that everyone accused you of this was wrong.

        My comment only referred to those who disagreed with me about Cook et al. I don’t remember you disagreeing with my criticisms of it. In fact, I remember you saying things that were in alignment with my criticisms. Here’s an example. Unless I’m missing comments you made disagreeing with my criticisms of Cook et al, you can’t be a counterexample as you don’t belong to the group I referred to.

        Can I get one exemplar of somebody impugning your motives. This is so that I can understand how you think about things.

        A definition of impugn is to dispute the honesty of a statement or motive. That means I consider any accusation of lying an accusation of bad faith and an example of impugning my motives. That means the situation is the same as before.

        But since you asked for an example, here’s one from Tom Curtis. He said I was attempting “to spread disinformation.” That’s claiming my goal is to mislead people. Misleading people is dishonest, and thus, he’s disputing the honesty of my motives.

        That is how I read Brandon. I think in a couple instances I’ve said mean things like ” you are no steve mcintyre” which implies something about his motives.. but I honestly dont see that as ‘bad motives” but he strikes me in everything he writes as somebody who is earnest and sincere.

        Huh. I never realized that was meant to imply anything about my motives. I thought you were just talking about my skill/competency.

      • > You gotta own giving brandon his nickname.

        It’s his alright:

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

        His bullish character will live forever and ever. He earned it, as far as I can remember. I just won’t use it anymore for him, but for his “you make no sense!” preemptive strikes. The stance has now grown beyond Brave Brandon.

        There still are his use of indefinite descriptions, his handwaved dismissiveness (for which Brave Brandon is perfect), his high-level parsomatics (for which the word “parsomatics” is enough). There are still traces of lulz, although in the process of becoming a Big Dog, any Rotweiller Puppy must learn to sound less juvenile.

        ***

        Let’s also note that Moshpit characterizes “Chewbacca” as bullying, whence not long ago such nicknames were supposed to be a part of the natural sociology of groups, or something along those lines.

        It might be interesting to revisit his interpretation of the use of Racehorse by the Auditor.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher:

        you made a claim about everybody who engaged you over your cook writings. willard offered you an out ( check your memory )
        and he provide an example of what Bart wrote which was utterly free of any accusations of bad faith or impugning of motives.

        Instead of just owning it, you won’t.

        Because I disagree. I’ve explained why I disagree. Nobody has attempted to show my explanation is incorrect in any way. As it stands, there is nothing but hand-waving to say it is wrong.

        I don’t change my mind based on just hand-waving. If and when someone shows my explanation is incorrect, I will acknowledge what I said was wrong. Until then, I have no reason to.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | May 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

        I tend to stick my nose out of Bart V things for two good reasons:

        1. Too many Barts just leads to confusion.

        2. Bart V’s an extremely bright guy who seems able to handle discussions just fine without my help where we agree, and to have plenty of people willing to engage him where we differ.

        The Cook et. al survey is a good topic for your aptitudes, and I applaud your involvement in its discussion, which I haven’t been closely following. Up to a point, your style of inquiry could only serve to help sharpen the focus and clarify the writing of the proponents.

        However, as you may recall from our unfortunate past exchanges regarding parsimony, we might have some differences over what stopping conditions are sufficient for such exercises.

        The Cook survey makes valid points, and in essence comes to correct-enough conclusions.

        It points the way to future progress and obstacles in multiple aspects of climate science.

        However, I don’t like its motivation, and foresee issues. Proving how strong a case is in science for policy reasons is silly: if scientists, who can understand and accept the methodology, are influenced by it they will only be further pushed toward confirmation bias, a bad thing in science; if the general population tries to digest it, there is little chance they will walk away with the intended message and inevitably will get further stuck on quibble and mistake.

        The sufficient condition for policy about science is the same as it has been for 300 years: the strength of the best explanation on its own merits, not on its consensus merit. Which is the most parsimonious, simple, universal hypothesis? That one ought be treated as accurate or very nearly true until new data — vigorously sought and rigorously examined — requires refinement or new explanation, with so much commitment as is prudent given we know the day may come when new explanation is required.

        A world where scientists vote about what to do is not an ideal form of government, any more than one where politicians vote about what ought be considered scientific truth.

      • > I’ve explained why I disagree. Nobody has attempted to show my explanation is incorrect in any way.

        This is handwaving. It hand waves to something indefinite about something implicit. Here’s where we have this explanation:

        By ignoring their attacks on my motives while encouraging the arguments they used, he supported their behavior.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324367

        See? We now know what was the “explanation”, and we now see where this was made.

        And when we see that, what do we see? That the claim that nobody attempted to show how this explanation incorrect is false:

        Just think about what this entails.

        Now.

        Think, for George Lucas’ sake!

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324378

        We are at Judy’s.

        In a thread of an op-ed entitled How to Humble a Wing Nut.

        And Brave Brandon proclaims that when a blog curator ignore attacks on motives while encouraging the arguments used, that blog curator supports attacks on motives.

        Please let us refrain from channeling our inner Chewbacca for the moment and just observe that this argument is corrosive enough to dissolve all of the climate blogosphere.

        All of it.

        Brave Brandon goes nuclear because he kinda forgot that Bart V did not get personal on him. And to make matters even worse, he now acts as if nobody challenged the implication of his own “explanation”.

        That is one Brave Brandon we got there.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        “I don’t change my mind based on just hand-waving. If and when someone shows my explanation is incorrect, I will acknowledge what I said was wrong. Until then, I have no reason to.”

        You made a claim. Lets see if you back it up.

        Now we can proceed two ways.

        1. I can try to prove your claim wrong as willard already has by pointing out that Bart V did not impugn your motives implicitely, explicitly or in any way shape or form.

        2. You can produce a single example to illustrate what you mean by somebody impugning your motives.

        you made the claim. one person has already shown it to be in error.
        You disagree with that example, so I am trying to make sense out of what you mean by “ipugning motives” . provide a single example.

        I looked for one on this thread

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/why-symmetry-is-bad/

        Boris did not question your motives. no one did

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/

        Zeke didnt question your motives, I cant find any of your critics who did

        So, Ive looked all around for some clear example. Can’t find a single one.
        Like willard, I offer you the option that you may have forgetton zeke’s comments as well as Bart Vs

      • Steven Mosher

        “Let’s also note that Moshpit characterizes “Chewbacca” as bullying, whence not long ago such nicknames were supposed to be a part of the natural sociology of groups, or something along those lines.

        It might be interesting to revisit his interpretation of the use of Racehorse by the Auditor.”

        Sure willard, you convinced me that the kind of cyber bullying you engage in is wrong. Next time I see Nick I will apologize same way I apologized to tallbloke. Sadly, even though youre trying to walk away from your cruel treatment of earnest Brandon, you still can’t and can never really undo the damage you have done to him. Even if he changes, you’ve marked him forever and its immortalized on your yumbler.. so wriggle as you like and try to substitute Brave Brandon, it doesnt matter. he will forever be known as “chewbacca”. You’ll also note that nobody calls MT Dr. Doom, they call him mt.

      • Steven Mosher

        and willard, the book is called men in groups. you should study the formation and use of nicknames and other games men play with names.
        hhmm, somewhere in the past in graduate linguistics I did some paper on it.. I’ll have to dig it up, but you know exactly what you did, so own it.

      • Moshpit has not answered the question. He can’t unless he’s conceding something quite bigger than “you were right, I was wrong”, which misrepresents what I was saying back then, but eh, it’s Moshpit.

        The simple fact is that the Auditor does nickname. Either we’re cool with this, or we’re not.

        It might be a bit late to take back The Team ™ too.

        Cue in for special pleading: but they used that term!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, some of what you just said has already been addressed in a comment I made before yours. You probably missed it so I’ll refrain from repeating what I said in it until you have an opportunity to read it.

        There are a couple issues you raise I want to discuss though. First, I should point out I generally don’t read willard’s comments. I’ve gotten too many headaches in the past from doing so. At, what I believe was lucia’s advice, I stopped paying much attention to him. That means it is possible he’s done something I say noone has. But judging by my experience, if it involves showing anything via rational argument he probably hasn’t.

        Second, you’re right about Zeke. I had completely forgotten he commented on my topic. After going back over those threads, there were a couple people I forgot about. I think I forgot them because they stopped posting pretty quickly, and while they disagreed with me, they didn’t offer any disputation of my reasoning. (I don’t agree Boris is such a case though.)

        Whatever the reason, it is true I had forgotten several counterexamples. My recollection was wrong.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard of course steve nicknames. And if you want to understand more you can read men in groups. Nicknames serve two functions. one good, the other bad. Since you seem to think they are all bad, I’ll spare you the distinction and agree not to call Nick Racehorse ( which actually refers to a man). Trying to back away from your cruel treatment of Brandon by switching his name doesnt work. It also indicates that you might not be entirely comfortable with your behavior. But go ahead and show that you are by continuing your bullying. The rest of us bullies won’t mind, we just think its funny that you try to pretend your not one of us.

      • > [Tom Curtis] said I was attempting “to spread disinformation.”

        If we agree that Brandon’s argument rests on a misrepresentation of the authors’ work, i.e. his interpretation of “the consensus” is too strict, and that to attribute this interpretation to the authors themselves (e.g. his remark about Obama’s tweet), we should conclude that he was spreading disinformation.

        Now, either Brandon attempted to spread disinformation or just did rests on the supposition that his argument has not been the result from monkeys typing on his keyboards.

        In other words, Tom Curtis’ claim rests on the belief that Brand spreader disinformation with his Obama joke.

        Is that belief justified?

        We should look at what Tom Curtis said.

      • brandon –

        It appears Joshua has joined willard’s campaign. I see he randomly brought me up in association with, “that makes no sense” elsewhere in this topic.

        First, it’s not a campaign. Second, I’ve been pointing out the fallacious rhetoric that you habitually employ – as well represented by your fav, “That makes no sense” for quite a while. In point of fact, I began discussing with you your “That makes no sense” approach and your usage of that very term before I recall noticing Willard doing so; I remembered these threads, in particular, although I don’t remember precisely when I first gave you feedback on that particular favored expression of yours.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/19/planetary-energy-balance/

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/16/postma-on-the-greenhouse-effect/#comment-101244

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/14/on-e-salons-and-blogospheric-argumentation/

      • Steven Mosher

        That’s better Brandon. ya you were wrong about zeke.
        In my experience there is always going to be somebody in the conversation that takes on your argument rather than attacking you.
        For every bully who calls you chewbacca there will be somebody
        who tries to engage you on the issues.
        i read your response to willard and wasnt convinced. that is why I asked for a exemplar. It appears to me that you might be mistaken about what folks mean by impugning motives. That’s why I’m asking for an example, so that we might be able to come to an understanding. Take the bad faith example. If you see every claim that you are lying as people questioning your good faith, then its clear we wont be able agree. All you have to do is provide one clear example of people impugning your motives. I couldnt find one, not even Boris.

        when we finish this we can talk about your position that “this is nonsense” is a claim. but lets save that

      • I think I forgot them because they stopped posting pretty quickly, and while they disagreed with me, they didn’t offer any disputation of my reasoning.

        An interesting perspective on accountability.

      • Steven Mosher

        here willard, if you want to do some more reading on nicknaming, bith good and bad, you can get this

        Name-calling and nicknames in a sample of primary school children.

        W R WR Crozier and P S PS Dimmock
        Br J Educ Psychol (1999) PMID 10665166

        Name-calling, unkind nicknames and other forms of verbal harassment represent some of the most prevalent forms of bullying in school but they have been little studied. Name-calling and nicknames in particular are ambiguous social events that can serve positive as well as negative goals, and their adverse consequences can be difficult to identify.

        ############

        In Chewbacca’s case the adverse consequences seem clear. Not that you’d have the honor or integrity to own your bullying. It’s easy, just do it.
        ohh better yet offer to apologize in person.

      • oneuniverse

        IMO, it’s willard who is diminished in his name-calling campaign against Brandon and others. When I read “chewbacca” on these blogs, I think “willard” (negatively) not Brandon.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua,

        willard’s bullying of Brandon requires a third party. In particular the process of bullying through nicknaming almost always requires a 3rd party, typically a person who repeats and uses the nickname. If I call you Sir Joshalot, that nickname wont work unless a few criticial conditions are met. Most critical is that somebody else needs to use the nickname. Another is that the nickname has to bear some relation to the truth ( it can even be the relation of inversion– calling a fat kid ‘skinny ). So you kinda are in willards campaign by using the nickname. Welcome to the cyber bully brigade.

        There is an exception to a nickname being “true’ and those are pure wordplay or ornamental nicknames.

      • mosher –

        So you kinda are in willards campaign by using the nickname.

        Please provide a quote when I used that nickname in reference to brandon. I don’t recall ever having done so. I try to avoid such banter because I agree that it is juvenile in effect if not in intent.

        Once again, mosher, I will remind you that when you become a serial mis-representer of what I do and don’t say, the question arises whether you’re doing it intentionally.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua, you are right I can find no example of you specifically calling Brandon Chewbacca. Please accept my apology.

        A couple of notes

        “Please provide a quote when I used that nickname in reference to brandon. I don’t recall ever having done so. I try to avoid such banter because I agree that it is juvenile in effect if not in intent.”

        I hear you saying that Willard is being juvenile. Is that true?

        please note, not all nicknames are bad. There are some nicknames where people are praised for their abilities by giving them a nickname or praised for their qualities. I don’t think willards curel use of Chewbacca to bully Brandon nor his switch to Brave Brandon amounts to praise for his abilities. Other cases may differ, so I wont adress those, I’ll just note that
        it appears you find willard’s nicknaming to be juvenile. I assume that in the future you wont just stand by and watch this..

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua, thanks. as predicted.

      • Steven Mosher

        the other interesting thing is who can give nicknames and how the stature of the person giving the nickname can actually reverse the meaning, form something negative into something positive. Like when a prince gives you a racist nickname.. very interesting in terms of how meanings come about

        http://www.herald.ie/opinion/nicknames-a-bit-of-harmless-fun-or-vicious-bullying-27898378.html

      • mosher –

        Acknowldgement of error acknowledged.

        I hear you saying that Willard is being juvenile. Is that true?

        I think that his use of the nic only detracts from the validity of his argument (which I think is a valid argument). Perhaps the first time he used it, it served a function as a useful analogy might. After that point, it strikes me as being similar to a useless analogy – used only as a rhetorical device and not as an informational or explanatory tool.

        If you ask me about the use of the nic, I will tell you, and will not defend it, but I may stand by in the future if he continues to use the term. Whether I do or not does not affect the validity of my arguments – as that stands on its own.

        If it changes your perspective on my arguments, then I’d suggest the change is more a reflection of how your biases affect your reasoning than it is a reflection on my logic or reasoning. We tend towards bias in these debates. Certainly, I am biased. That is an obvious fact, and an inherent property of human reasoning. That does not prove that any particular argument I make is biased – as it is possible to control for bias. But even with I don’t control for my biases – observing that I have biases (as we all do) does not offer anything useful for identifying the actual biases in my reasoning. To do that, you have to analyze and deconstruct my specific argument – generalizing by saying that “Joshua is biased because he doesn’t equally criticize on both sides of the debate” provides no useful or actionable information

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua.

        Is it juevnile or not? you seem to be changing your view of things.

        second.

        The other behavior that enables bullies is “standing by”

        So, if you ask a kid if he approves of bullying they will say no.
        But the bully counts on them to stand by and do nothing.

        http://teenadvice.about.com/od/violencebullying/a/stopbullying1.htm

        third interesting that you turn a nickname into an analogy. What would be your motivation for this particular rhetorical trick. It has a name, the bully knows what it is.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, it seems you’re still missing my response to you asking for an example. Here’s the comment I made about that issue prior to your last two comments saying you had asked for it. You’ll note it includes an example and explanation of the criteria I used, exactly as you asked for.

        Take the bad faith example. If you see every claim that you are lying as people questioning your good faith, then its clear we wont be able agree.

        As I discussed in my earlier comment, I say accusations of lying are both accusations of bad faith and examples of impugning one’s motive. If we can’t agree those are examples of one, I doubt we’ll agree they’re examples of another.

        But since we’re discussing definitions, what do you consider an accusation of bad faith? What do you consider an accusation of impugning someone’s motives?

        Joshua, thanks for those links. That brought back lots of memories. Pekka Pirilä’s (sometimes insulting) misrepresentations were classic. And it’s amazing to think at one point I could actually say:

        I’ve had very few people in my life ever call my integrity into question.

        It’s also funny to think you’d give those as examples. The very first link is to a post that ends with Judith Curry saying:

        Trying to demonstrate that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist with one of these models, particularly by applying a particular model for something that is beyond the assumptions built into the model, makes no sense.

        If I have to pick my company, I’d much rather choose Judith Curry than you and willard.

      • mosher –

        On reflection, I realize that I didn’t answer your question. As I find it annoying when you do that (I have noticed such a tendency in you), I will correct for that:

        I hear you saying that Willard is being juvenile. Is that true?

        Yes.

        In my observation, we all lean towards juvenility in these debates. Some considerably less so than others (say Pekka or Fred or Faustino), but they are certainly not immune.

        It is an interesting phenomenon – where smart and knowledgeable people act in contrast to those positive attributes (which, of course, as not being smart or knowledgeable provides me with a convenient excuse).

        To speculate, IMO, it says something kind of generic about what type of person is attracted to the features of this forum, and the qualities of heavily-engaged debate. But in addition, I think that it is usually a “tell” for an escalation of “motivation” in the sense of motivated reasoning. In that sense, it is a kind of “own goal,” as it suggests that for some reason a particular conversant feels that standard, effective engagement is not sufficient. Now sometimes that may be because of a frustration that their interlocutor is not someone who engages in good-faith. But methinks there is often another, less defensible “motivation escalator” in play.

      • oneuniverse,

        Thank you for voicing your opinion:

        > IMO, it’s willard who is diminished in his name-calling campaign against Brandon and others.

        Now, please tell about about the Auditor’s uses of nickname:

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

        Do you consider that the Auditor embarked in nicknaming campaigns?

        Do you consider that he is diminishing himself by doing so?

        Many thanks!

      • steven –

        Just to clarify:

        Joshua.

        Is it juevnile or not? you seem to be changing your view of things.

        I wrote my follow-up before reading this question. No, I’m not changing in my view of things.

        second.

        The other behavior that enables bullies is “standing by”

        Well- that is true, but I don’t agree with your characterization of “bullying.” Bullying is something I associate with some real form of harm. I see no substantive harm here. Just juvenile banter. It is ubiquitous in these debates. The only possible drawback, as I see it, is a degradation of willard’s substantive point. No big deal, IMO. If I felt that was truly of some substance, and I felt that my weighing in would make a significant difference, I would certainly do so.

        I think you are drama-queening this situation. You are taking blog comments that in the end mean absolutely nothing, and equating them to what is actually a serious problem in the real world. I would suggest that is exploiting a real problem for the sake of scoring rhetorical points.

        So, if you ask a kid if he approves of bullying they will say no.
        But the bully counts on them to stand by and do nothing.

        I see this comment as irrelevant to the topic we were discussing (the juvenility of willard’s use of Chewbacca) – for the reasons I just explained.

        third interesting that you turn a nickname into an analogy.

        Please read more carefully. This is, once again, a mis-representation of what I wrote. I will remind you that when you serially mis-represent what I do and don’t say, it raises the question of whether or not you di it deliberately.

        What would be your motivation for this particular rhetorical trick. It has a name, the bully knows what it is.

        Given that your statement was inaccurate, this question does not merit an answer – unless you think that I deserve an answer if I ask you when you stopped beating your wife?

      • > Nicknames serve two functions. one good, the other bad.

        Moshpit is armwaving. Either he spells his argument, or retracts it.

        > I’ll spare you the distinction and agree not to call Nick Racehorse ( which actually refers to a man).

        Sparing a distinction while using as an argument amounts to armwaving. Speaking of which, here’s Racehorse Haynes:

        He has been involved in landmark cases such as The State of Texas v. John Hill (a basis for the book Blood and Money), and the notorious T. Cullen Davis murder and later solicitation of murder trials in Fort Worth, Texas, both of which ended in acquittals. He also represented Morganna, a.k.a. “The Kissing Bandit” and Vickie Daniel, who was the wife of Price Daniel, Jr..

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

        The question is, in Nick’s case, who are playing John Hill, Cullen Davis or Vickie Daniel’s case?

        ***

        More to the point, how humanizing of our Auditor to nickname Nick after he and his in-crowd burden him with a defense Nick to which he never commit himself! Here is how Jean Goodwin describes this pattern:

        My sense was that my audience at Climate Audit had placed me on “one side” of what they saw as a “two sided debate,” and held me responsible for everything “my side” had ever said. That kind of refusal to allow a conversation partner to define the responsibilities she is willing to undertake is unlikely to lead to a productive discussion. In this particular case, I think the demands for to defend things we hadn’t said occluded possible areas of agreement about what we did say.

        http://scientistscitizens.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/debate-in-the-blogosphere-a-small-case-study/

        In the case of Nick, the Auditor is not a mere observer:

        > I wish that you pause every so often from being Racehorse Haynes.

        http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/16/the-marcott-shakun-dating-service/#comment-405294

        In that case, Nick was simply making sure that Paul Matthews was not putting words in his mouth.

        The nickname certainly serves a function in Nick’s case: It burdens him with commitments Nick does not have. Since Nick honours his commitments, I would not say that this is a good function, to use double negatives as a way to express an understatement.

        ***

        Ironically, this nickname comes from AMac, a guy I would put in my fantasy draft any time. My main point remains: either we’re cool with the Auditor’s use of nicknames, or we’re not. Are we cool with it? If we are, I want to know why.

        Armwaving to a book (while sparing us the distinction it makes!) is not enough.

      • oneuniverse

        willard,

        “Do you consider that the Auditor embarked in nicknaming campaigns?”
        No, but he has used derogatory nicknames (eg. “Racehorse [S.]“) in the course of his work and interactions in the climate science field, behaviour which I find unfortunate.

        “Do you consider that he is diminishing himself by doing so?”
        Yes [referring to using derogatory nicknames]. However, Steve does engage Nick’s specific arguments, something which you generally avoid with Brandon.

        Of course, chronologically regressing, this leads us to Michael E. Mann, Gavin Schmidt and realclimate.org’s public attacks on Steve McIntyre’s integrity and motives: very bad behaviour indeed !

      • oneuniverse,

        Thank you for your answers and your YesButMike.

        One more question. What is the difference between a campaign and mere “use of derogatory nicknames in the course of his work and interaction in the climate field”?

        ***

        I will also note for your consideration this:

        That means it is possible he’s done something I say noone has. But judging by my experience, if it involves showing anything via rational argument he probably hasn’t.

        This does seem like a paraphrase of “willard makes no sense”. Interestingly, I’ve addressed three of Brandon’s arguments in this thread alone. So I believe that your accusation that I am usually not addressing Brandon’s arguments does not apply in our specific case. In fact, Brave Brandon his using a Chewbacca attack to

        I’m telling you this because it underlines the most important aspect of the Chewbacca attack: not only his practionner is making an irrationality claim (“you make no sense!”), but he’s using that claim to dismiss an argument without addressing it. And in my case, Brave Brandon has not found anything better to counter my arguments.

        Which creates a feedback loop: since Brave Brandon never replies to my arguments, I stopped taking interest in his bouts. Take for instance his bout with you on Vaughan’s thread, starting around there:

        > One doesn’t apologize and then provide excuses. If we accept proper manners as somewhat necessary, both are mutually exclusive.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/04/multidecadal-climate-to-within-a-millikelvin/#comment-283226

        So you will note that I was not only mentioning the word “Chewbacca” over there, but pointing out simple refutations of most of his points, which rest on misunderstandings of philosophy of language, which is not Brave Brandon’s specialty.

        When challenged, I rarely back down from explaining my position. It is a question of honor. To dismiss something as “making no sense” without offering arguments lacks honor. By channeling his inner Chewbacca, Brave Brandon lacks honor. It’s as simple as that.

      • This incomplete sentence:

        > In fact, Brave Brandon his using a Chewbacca attack to [...]

        should be deleted. I’ve expressed that idea at the end of my previous comment.

      • oneuniverse

        willard: Thank you for your answers and your YesButMike.

        You’re welcome. There was also a “NoBut..” construct in my first answer. If you prefer bare Yes/No answers without complicating qualifications, my answers to your first two questions are: 1) No. 2) The premise of your question is false (IMO).

        To answer your final question, “campaign” implies that nick-name assignment is a goal. eg.over the last few months, you’ve repeatedly used the nicknames Auditor, Chewbacca, Don-Don, Minimax and Judge Judy. IMO this is a campaign.

        I hope to address the rest of your post tomorrow, as it’s late here.

      • Crickets:

        > “campaign” implies that nick-name assignment is a goal.

        This has not been established, and certainly not distinguished from what happens at Steve’s since 2005:

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

        ***

        Speaking of nicknaming, we should bear in mind that this practice is not restricted to persons. For instance, here’s the latest op-ed’s title: PAGES2K Online “Journal Club”.

        http://climateaudit.org/2013/05/09/pages2k-online-journal-club/

        ***

        Disclosure: Readers should beware of our last conversation:

        http://metaclimate.org/2011/06/17/of-dogs-and-fleas/

        You reported on your experiment on your blog:

        http://omnologos.com/the-agw-debate-challenged-game-1-word-list/

        An interesting choice of words we have there.

        If you have a chance to compare nicknames with nicknames, that would be nice.

        ***

        Moshpit,

        Still waiting for that distinction.

        ***

        Rud,

        Still waiting for that mea culpa, Sir.

      • Steven Mosher

        Huh willard.

        “Moshpit is armwaving. Either he spells his argument, or retracts it.”

        wrong. I told you where to find the argument and I spelled it out.
        Nicknames can serve two functions. This is well established in the literature and I even gave you some everyday examples. This is especially true of men in groups. A good example

        Playing stupid is not your forte. and its boring.

        Now moshpits callsign was “short time”. very negative, but Whether it was finally good or bad depended utterly on how I took it. If I fought it, its negative connotation would be sealed. If I accepted it, then its meaning changed. It’s a very interesting process.

        Come on willard unlease your inner bully. go call Brandon Chewbacca again. Come back down to the gutter with us, you know you enjoyed torturing poor earnest Brandon.

      • Steven Mosher

        arrg.. “showtime”

      • > I told you where to find the argument

        Yes, that’s called handwaving.

        No hits in the G Books’ version for:

        – nickname
        – nicknaming
        – label

        Five hits for “name”, none relevant.

        ***

        > and I spelled it out.

        Where? All we saw were arms waving.

        ***

        > showdown

        Then Moshpit throws himself in a showdown, handwaves and waves arms. This does not hide his special pleading. The simple fact is that Auditor does nickname:

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

        Not only does the Auditor nicknames individuals, but he nicknames groups:

        I thought it would be fun to think up lines for the hockey team. I’ve toyed with different ideas. Do you put the grizzled veterans – say, Jacoby and Hughes – on defence. Or do you keep the main lines together – Mann, Bradley and Hughes on one line; Jones, Briffa and Osborn on another? How do you work in the “rookie”, Rutherford? Who plays goal? Do you make up a tree ring line? I’m a little worried about their skating skills. It looks like Mann can skate backwards, but what about Hughes?

        What should the team be called: the Kyoto Flames? the Blades? the Heat? So many decisions, so little time.

        Source: http://climateaudit.org/2005/02/05/the-hockey-team-1/

        Notice the date.

        More on the Kyoto Flames:

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

        ***

        Moshpit is caught between accusing me of bullying and defending Steve from similar (and worse) editorial practices .

        Showdown.

        Yup.

      • I am so touched and moved by mosher’s concern about willard’s “bullying.”

        It is almost as touching as all these years of watching mosher take on McIntyre and the like for using nicknames.

        Mosher steadfastly stands up for those who can’t defend themselves against bullies. What a mench.

      • Mosher,

        “short time” has much more interesting connotations.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard,

        anybody can play racehorse. Its pretty simple. As I pointed out on climateaudit Nick takes his nickname well. Its a nickname that praises his abilities.
        But this isnt about Steve. This isnt about Me, This is about your bullying of Brandon. Now, note to Joshua, I’m not defending Brandon. And Im not the one who called willards tactics juvenile. You are. Recall, when I accused you of calling Brandon by willards nickname and you stepped right into it by saying you dont act in such a juvenile way.. ya well, explain that to willard. I didnt call it juvenile. I’m merely noted that willard bullies brandon with his nicknaming. Other folks joined in. you stood by.

        You both seem to think that bullying is a bad thing. Steve bullies, willard bullies, oh moshpit bullies. the only one who has a problem with this is willard. he might have a problem with it because he enjoyed torturing Brandon. And he might have a problem with it because Joshua called his behavior juvenile. We will see if willard has a problem with his own behavior by watching his behavior. If he calls brandon chewbacca, that will be one bit of evidence. If he doesnt call Brandon Chewbacca that is another bit of evidence. Either way the point remains. Willard is a bully. Just like Mac. Just like me. Now, willard show some integrity and go call Brandon Chewbacca. you know you want to.

      • steven –

        I’m merely noted that willard bullies brandon with his nicknaming.

        You are, again, mis-representing me. I am laughing at your notion that it is “bullying.” It isn’t. I have elaborated to explain your confusion.

        You both seem to think that bullying is a bad thing.

        Bullying is a bad thing. This is not bullying. Again, you are confused. Your use of the term “bullying” is exploiting a real world problem for the sake of rhetorical points in Climateball.

        It seems to me that you have some compelling reason to try to portray willard as a bully. What is that, steven?

      • I will note that “bullying” connotes an imbalance of power, and a misuse of that power.

        In insisting that willard is a bully, steven, you are making it clear that you think he is more powerful than others. Could you please describe what it is about willard that you think is so powerful, steven?

      • > Willard is a bully. Just like Mac. Just like me.

        Perhaps, but not long ago Moshpit was distinguishing good and bad bullies. Where has the special pleading gone?

        Bullying qualifies anyone who resorts to violent means to intimidation in communication. Nicknaming is only one of them. Labeling is another one. Among its practitioners, we must include Judge Judy, who just used a trick to qualify Indefinite Others as wingnuts, and recently called Less Indefinite Others dittoheads.

        ***

        Speaking of whom, “Judge Judy” was her choice for a nickname:

        Judge Judy’s verdict: I think that these exchanges have been terrific, getting to heart of the scientific and policy issues, and showing some genuine back-and-forth debate.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/04/04/lindzen-et-al-response-and-parry/

        I don’t think that the fact that Judge Judy used this nickname alone justifies my own usage. (Nicknames are given by others, for starters.) In other words, I don’t find the usual justification behind The Team ™’s epithet valid.

        ***

        I can own what I do. All my justifications have been documented, along all the mistreatment I’ve received until I decided to defend myself with my creativity. I hope anyone who does what I do owns it too.

        Steve McIntyre has the opportunity to become one of the most important person in the climate blogosphere and he acts like a bully, wheras willard is a ninja that tames trolls with Love and Light. (Think ) And even the, willard considers revising his editorial practices according to the community’s standards in which he evolves, if he still does. There is no need for nicknames to stand one’s ground in debates, and I hope the point I was making in using them so is made quite clear by this very comment.

        Politeness suffices.

        ***

        > [S]how some integrity and go call Brandon Chewbacca.

        No, because I made a promise. I might call him Brave Brandon when brags while refusing to address arguments presented to him. If he does dismiss them with his infamous “You make no sense!”, I reserve the right to remind people that Brave Brandon does channel his inner Chewbacca quite a lot. An important aspect of his bravery, besides the fact that he now seemed to have returned at Lucia’s, where I’ve been uninvited.

        I also reserve the right to remind anyone of his inner Chewbacca.

        If anyone thinks Brave Brandon is more humane than Chewbacca, well, good for them.

        ***

        Steve McIntyre should be the first to revise his editorial practices. They are ungentlemanly and distasteful, to put it mildly.

      • oneuniverse

        willard, I’m sorry not to have got back to you earlier. Having had time to reflect, though, I’m not sure I have much I wish to add to what I’ve said. My preference would be to keep the focus of the climate discussion on the science.

      • oneuniverse,

        Thank you for expressing your preference:

        > My preference would be to keep the focus of the climate discussion on the science.

        Your twitter feed can attest to that preference.

        For instance:

        Thank you for your concerns,

        w

      • oneuniverse

        willard, you’re confusing me with Maurizio (“omnologos”). We’re different people.

      • oneuniverse,

        I’m sorry to have confused you with Omnologos. A bit relieved too.

        Please replace the tweet with this:

        > Maybe there’s a loaded definition of ‘writing team’ used by the IPCC that I’m not aware of – quite possible.

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/01/20/was-phil-jones-an-ipcc-virgin/#comment-252843

        This example should provide an illustration of what you mean by “science”.

        Thank you for the correction,

        w

      • Steven Mosher

        oneuniverse

        your interest in how the IPCC constructs a summary of the science is appreciated. We can note

        “So yes, Jones was given to Hyperbole. That excuse has been made before. Let’s see how that character trait plays itself out in the science:

        “However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant. ”

        This paragraph discusses the MM04 paper that Jones hyperbolically insinuated that he wanted to keep out. The record will show that Jones succeeded in keeping it out of the drafts. When Gray and McKittrick complained Jones relented. Seems like he tried to act hyperbolically. Now lets look at the detail of the science. Jones dismisses MM04 by stating that circulation changes render Ross’ work “insignificant.” So what pray tell did ross’ finding diminish to.. 60% 87% 92%.
        Why to see that you would have to see the study where Ross’ regression was run with circulation as a independent variable. There is no such study. There is no such math. Jones is being hyperbolic.

        Thank you.

        Next defense. please.

        You see whatever character defect you proffer as an excuse will boomerang.”

        Now, let’s fast forward to AR5 and we will see the IPCC following up and correcting the record. They specifically call out this poor treatment of McKitrick’s paper. So, it would appear that scientists take these matters seriously. So thanks for your attention to the science.

    • Rud Istvan

      Brandon, very well said. What you have been demonstrating via valient efforts is what Sunstein posited, that it is not possible to have a rationale dialog with ‘wingnuts’. Your own experience is fresh, solid experimental evidence.
      I am honored that you co-authored a previous post here with me. Your analysis of the Cook nonsense is admirable, even though most of that was not posted here. And we both seem to have been honored together up thread by Joshua, who alas did not take flight as invited.
      Delighted to be associated by him with folks such as yourself.
      Highers regards

  31. This seems a bit one sided:
    “”JC comments: This paper provides some profound insights into the climate debate. Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’ Too much of the consensus is second order belief, that is not associated with mechanistic understanding.””

    • well it could have something to do with the fact we never see any explanation of the mechanisms at work which bring us increased drought, increased flooding, more tropical cyclone and tornado activity with greater intensities, spreading of malaria and other tropical diseases, extinction of species, causation of extreme weather events, etc, etc, etc.

      I recall a time a few years ago when we were told that you can’t point to individual weather events as evidence against climate change. Fast forward to today and every weather event is apparently proof of climate change.

      I would note that it is not so much scientists saying this, with a possible eeception of a few who are as much activist as scientist. It is the “second order” of folks, politicians, activists, some journalists, and folks looking to prosper from policies driven by the climate change theme. People like McKibben whose vision of the future is one where most people do not travel, but explore the world by Internet, grow their own food and live a minimalist lifestyle. Sounds to me like a description of a 21st Century peasant. Tell me Lord William is not of the wingnut variety.

      • tim –

        It is the “second order” of folks, politicians, activists, some journalists, and folks looking to prosper from policies driven by the climate change theme.

        And once again, we see selective reasoning in the service of rationalizing selective reasoning to justify name-calling.

        Notice that “wing-nuttery” from “second order” folks from the other side is absent. You know, of the “AGW is a hoax” variety. There is no shortage of such folks. Curious that you seem to have overlooked them.’

        So this, then, goes back to RonnieO’s observation on the one-sidedness of Judith’s post.

      • josh,

        exactly what are you trying to prove by banging one side of the drum and complaining that some are only banging the other side?

      • josh,

        with the exception of Bill McKibben, who have I called a wingnut or any other name?

        Were I to say that today in Seattle it is cool and rainy, you’d be complaining that I did not mention that yesterday it was warm and sunny. (Which it was.)

  32. “The less a thing is known, the more fervently it is believed.”
    Montaigne (1533-1592)

  33. Yancey Ward

    That last paragraph assumes that it isn’t wingnuts that provide the “intensive education” required to moderate a dogmatic stance.

  34. Hank Zentgraf

    Judith, I have no position on Climate Science thanks to the understanding I have gained slogging through the many issues discussed here on your blog. I especially have benefitted from the links provided to the source papers.

    The science is so immature and complex that I can’t come to closure. Until the research structure and approach is reorganized and the management/communication process is reformed, I doubt I will get to the end of the tunnel.

    But I do enjoy the journey!
    Hank

  35. An interesting thread thus far.

    So Judith, who has expressed an interest in “building bridges,” has differentially assigned the label of “wingnut” to food fight participants on one side of the climate debate junior high school lunchroom. As predicted, our much beloved “denizens” fall right into line, similarly using selective reasoning in their name-calling and label-assigning.

    Judith – you might want to reconsider the engineering standards you’re using for bridge-building. Seems to me that your methods are much better at promoting Jell-O flinging than bridge-building – and that such results would be very easily predictable.

    • Joshua, we have been having the same argument since forever. The two ‘sides’ in the debate simply are not symmetrical. Several academic articles and previous posts here have noted the asymmetries in the debate. Of relevance to this particular topic: People on the skeptical side seem focused on the science (albeit often with incorrect scientific arguments), whereas people on the consensus side appeal to the consensus and call the other side ‘deniers.’ Behavior on the extremes is arguably equally bad, but wingnuttery as defined here seems to better characterize the consensus side of the debate. People on the skeptical side generally think they have the scientific arguments reasoned through correctly; they may be mistaken in thinking that their reasoning is correct. This is different from people that haven’t really thought the problem through. In context of this definition, i wouldn’t call the Skydragons wing nuts, even though their reasoning about the issue is incorrect.

      Reread Talking Past Each Other

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/03/11/talking-past-each-other/

      • The lack of comprehensiveness continues, Judith.

        People on the skeptical side seem focused on the science (albeit often with incorrect scientific arguments), whereas people on the consensus side appeal to the consensus and call the other side ‘deniers.’

        Even if there were an imbalance – which is not scientifically substantiated even though you promote it as fact – you left out any attempt to describe or quantify an imbalance, but instead threw our red meat, through insults directed at labeling participants on one side of the debate and not recognizing that by the same criteria, the label would have to be applied to many participants on the other side.

        Notice even the selectivity evident in the very language of that excerpt;

        “People on the ["skeptical"] side seem</strong…."

        Here, you are conditional, acknowledging uncertainty

        ….whereas people on the consensus side appeal to the consensus……: Nothing conditional there, no uncertainty

        Look how you focus on the labeling of “denier” to the exclusion of the constant stream of name-calling from the other side here, in virtually every single thread. Is it really necessary for me to list examples for you? Is it really possible that you haven’t seen it? Assuming that you have seen it, actually knowing full-well that you have seen it, in thread after thread, day after day, then why does the name-calling only register in your inclusion criteria when it comes from the “realist” side of the debate?

        Behavior on the extremes is arguably equally bad, but wingnuttery as defined here seems to better characterize the consensus side of the debate.

        First, the term “wingnut” is part of the larger vernacular. Surely, you must be aware of the larger usage. So for you to try to use it with some highly specialized criteria seems (to me at least) not particularly well-considered.

        But more importantly, your determination of “seems to better characterize the consensus side of the debate” is stated with no attempt to validate your argument. None. Zilch.

        I disagree with you, I see the characterization of “wingnut” as being equally applicable. People are impassioned by partisan loyalties (of all sorts) on both sides of this debate. So since you disagree, take on the debate and make your case. Don’t just state that it has been discussed on previous threads – as if that’s conclusive. Where is your evidence that you applied any reasoning other than selective reasoning.

        Does it really give you some satisfaction to make those kinds of statements given the obvious contentiousness and uncertainty? And how in the world could you possibly believe that such selectivity would promote “bridge-building?”

        Judith – this post amounts to name-calling. Hey, it’s your prerogative, but it stands in stark contrast to the notion of bridge-building.

      • Read the article talking past each other.

        The consensus is monolithic and homogeneous; the other side is is very inhomogenous and they don’t agree with each other.

        And finally, I am not interested in building bridges with people that fanatically insist on dogmatic adherence to a consensus that they don’t understand.

        I am interested in opening up the discussion on climate science and policy to broader perspectives.

        So please don’t bother chastising me further about not building bridges with people that fanatically insist on dogmatic adherence to a consensus that they don’t understand and insult me and anyone else who doesn’t adhere to their dogma. I don’t have any interest in people that are intolerant of disagreement.

      • Forces of light and forces of darkness.

      • Man Joshua. You’ve had that coming for a long time. That and more. Your absurd…and often rude… attacks Dr. C. are so tiresome.

        Meanwhile, you appear oblivious to what’s going on with respect to real world date and the evolving science.

      • Rud Istvan

        Dr. Curry, Bravo. Thank you. Numerous subtle points.
        I promise to be better behaved and even more lawyerly. And never to argue mistaken scientific premises.
        Highest regards.

      • Peter Lang

        Judith,

        I’d like to thank you for this article and many others where you have tried, in a very nice, constructive and positive way, to improve the behaviour on your web site.

      • I’m unsure which fits best …

        Josh as a shy teenager with a crush on teacher,

        or

        as a lovable labrador that craves attention, whether it be good or bad.

        Josh,

        we love ya, but chewing up the furniture and peeing on the carpet gets irksome.

      • The consensus is monolithic and homogeneous;

        This is absolutely ridiculous. Stunningly one-sided, and a tautology. You define a group monolitically, call it the “consensus,” and then say that it is “monolithic.” Is Fred Moolton the same as Tamino the same as John N-G the same as Pekka the same as Robert the same as RPJr., the same as Annan? Which one of them is not a part of the “consensus,” and why? Be scientific, Judith.

        So please don’t bother chastising me further about not building bridges with people that fanatically insist on dogmatic adherence to a consensus that they don’t understand and insult me and anyone else who doesn’t adhere to their dogma

        First, that is a complete straw man.

        Second, I’m not “chastising” you, Judith. I am criticizing your reasoning. I’m not criticizing you for not building bridges with fanatics, I am criticizing you for bridge-building strategies that are much more effective at creating fanatics than they are effective at building bridges with non-fanatics. I am criticizing you for strategies that waste time targeting fanatics on one side (instead of building bridges) and simultaneously justifying fanaticism on the other side.

        I am in no position to “chastise” you. You are the renown expert. I am a blog “troll.” How could I possibly chastise you?

        I don’t have any interest in people that are intolerant of disagreement.

        Interesting comment given the reactions from you and your denizens to my disagreement with your reasoning.

        Don’t you think, Judith?

      • PG –

        Meanwhile, you appear oblivious to what’s going on with respect to real world date and the evolving science.

        Yet again, (is it the fourth time in this thread alone?), that someone characterizes my beliefs with no evidence.

        Except maybe you do have evidence, PG? My other much-beloved “skeptical” brothers have failed the evidence challenge so far – perhaps you will step up where they couldn’t?

        Where is your evidence of what I am “oblivious to..with respect to the real world date [sic] and the evolving science?

      • willard –

        Forces of light and forces of darkness.

        Life is so simple when you simplify it sufficiently.

      • Steven Mosher

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

        Mike,

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

      • “the other side is is very inhomogenous and they don’t agree with each other.” – JC

        Not at all.

        They are as one in their anti-IPCC ditto-headism.

        They have an unshakable faith that CS must be at the low end, or lower than the IPCC range.

        They are in complete agreement that the concensus is wrong.

        They have 100% certainty that uncertainty has been ignored or downplayed.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Not at all.

        They are as one in their anti-IPCC ditto-headism.

        They have an unshakable faith that CS must be at the low end, or lower than the IPCC range.

        They are in complete agreement that the concensus is wrong.

        They have 100% certainty that uncertainty has been ignored or downplayed.’

        I had to repeat it – so amusingly mature.

        The IPCC I quote all the time – twice today.

        Climate is variable on scales of days to eons in both time and space. Michael Ghil has a mathematical theory of sensitivity in the midst of such natural variability but – as he says – a complete theory of climate is for the future.

        In the consensus Is about global warming – then it is bound to be wrong. The new paradigm is that the climate is a non-linear coupled system.

        ‘Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        It is pretty hard to overestimate uncertainty in a deterministically chaotic system. Then again – I’m not a skeptic.

    • Peter Lang

      Joshua,

      food fight participants on one side of the climate debate junior high school lunchroom.

      Doesn’t that describe you to a T? Isn’t that exactly what you do and try to start all the time?

  36. Peter Lang

    The study came in four stages. First, people were asked to state their positions on a series of political issues, including a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, a national flat tax, merit-based pay for teachers and unilateral sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program.

    I’ll answer those questions in the spirit of the discussion :)

    Q1 cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions?
    A. It’s a dud. That’s a fact. Dump it. No further discussion required.

    Q2. a national flat tax
    A. No. A progressive income tax and goods, services tax and company tax should be the main taxes. No discussion required. That is the correct tax policy

    Q3. merit-based pay for teachers?
    A. Yes. And ban teachers unions too. they are communist sympathisers

    Q4. unilateral sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program?
    A. Get all the Islamic terrorists together and nuke the lot of them.

    Anyone who disagrees with me is a wingnut!

    :)

    • Peter,

      My wingnut credentials:

      Q1 cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions?
      A. I fall into the group that would have difficulty explaining how such a system would work, but based on how carbon markets have performed to date, I’d agree they are a flop.

      Q2. a national flat tax
      A. I recall the 17% flat tax as proposed by Dick Armey. There are means by which you can address concerns about regression with a flat tax. The easiest being the level you set personal deductions at. I am 100% for a flat tax, even though it would likely mean ny paying a bit more in tax. As far as fairness goes, it can’t be beat.

      Q3. merit-based pay for teachers?
      A. Having worked in education as a volunteer, I’ve found a lot of misconceptions about our education system. Merit pay sounds good on the surface, but the sticky bit is how does one define merit. In general, I believe that one factor impacts how a student will perform far more than all of the other factors which might come into play and that is the degree of involvement of the parents. (I’m speaking of 1 – 12)

      Q4. unilateral sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program?
      A. I’m conflicted on this one. My first choice is to say yes. But two factors argue against this being a sucessful policy. The first is that unilateral sanctions have shown to be only minimually effective. Look at the UN oil for food program with Iraq. Even when multilateral, folks found ways to cheat the system. The other reason is that I’m not certain Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon will change the equation much. One has to believe that a majority of the nation’s leadership has either a death wish (i.e. to become a martyr in the name of jihad) or truly operates from a 7th century mindset (i.e. cannot intellectually comprehend the consequences of unleashing nuclear weapons) to be concerned with a nuclear Iran.

      So how did I do? Am I wingy enough?

      • Peter Lang

        timg56,

        I’d can agree with all your responses (but not sure about flat tax). I know nothing about flat tax except I’ve been told it’s a ‘no-no’

        :)

      • Peter,

        It has been a long time, but as I recall the Armey tax plan would have set a 17% tax rate on both individual and corporate taxes. It would have also eliminated almost all exceptions. On the individual side, there would only be an individual exception (it was somewhere in the $12,000 range). If you are married that would be x 2. Then there were exceptions your each child you had. A family of four would not start paying tax until their income exceeded $40,000. Anything above that would be taxed at the 17% rate.

        The problem with a flat tax is that it over turns too many rice bowls. Accounting firms don’t like it. All that work trying to reduce corporate tax liability goes away. Lobbyists don’t like it. It removes from Congress one of the methods for granting favors – i.e. playing with the tax code. The housing and lending industries don’t like it because they are afraid that without the home mortgage deduction, fewer people might buy single family residences. Members of Congress don’t like for much the same reasons as lobbyists. It becomes more difficult to raise campaign funds when one of your primary means to grant favor is gone.

    • Q1 cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions?
      A. Nope, there are better ways of getting things done.

      Q2. a national flat tax
      A.flat tax with VAT, similar to Germany, but without the EU baggage.

      Q3. merit-based pay for teachers?
      A. No. Hazardous duty pay

      Q4. unilateral sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program?
      A. Nuclear program sounds as good as any excuse. How about unilateral sanctions because they are idiots?

  37. Peter Lang

    JC asks:

    I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.

    No. I have learnt a lot. But having been called a ‘denier’ and frequently abused by the alarmists and doomsayers for the past five years has totally hardened up my opinion of them wingnuts and their ideologically motivated reasoning. And I’ve adopted responding in kind.

    I must say, I have tried to adopt an approach like Faustino takes here and John Morgan takes on BraveNewClimate. But it hasn’t worked for me. the abuse still comes, so I’ve adopted give back in similar vein. i doubt there is an y way to change it on the web. People’s school yard behaviour comes out on the web.

    • Peter, you are right. And I come from a very, very hard schoolyard.

      What I have concluded after watching this CAGW debate for a couple years, including NRC, Marcott, AR5 SOD, Cook’s recent abomination… Is that this misdirection of the public fisc and attention is quite serious, and requires equivalent countermeasures.
      My father (who rests at Arlington National Cemetary with the Legion of Merit neck order) taught me something. You never start a fight. But if you are in one, you finish, on top, with no mercy. And in a fight, just about anything ‘legit’ goes. So I now advocate more PR, more aggressive shaming of evident stupidity (Joshua and Barbara Boxer come readily and recently to mind in this thread), and vocal intolerance of wingnuttery. And any other countermeasure short of those illegally used, for example, by Jim Hansen.
      The credibility of large swaths of science are at stake, as are very important and expensive public policy decisions.
      We can of course still disagree about future policy courses of action. But it is totally unacceptable to be having that difficult dialog based on provably false premises, with objective factual dissent shut down by ‘consensus’, with research funding and MSM reporting provably co-opted by those who deny the existence of the uncertainty monster.
      Regards, und veilicht (Ich naehme an) Gruesse.

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks for that Rud. It’s wise advice, but unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that intelligent people have to get into the gutter.

    • True Peter L. Responding in kind, however, probably is the wrong thing to do, because that’s what school yard bullies and their cyber counterparts want you to do, and there’s no chance of any dialogue when this happens.

      I admire Lolwot, Edim and Max A for their steadfast refusal to be goaded. They stick to their argument and ignore the ad homs.

  38. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘‘In his recent book on millennialism, Richard Landes argues that millennial movements become more extreme the more they fail, and it will certainly be the case that this is what happens with the climate change lobby. Empirical evidence will have little effect on their views and they will cling to the faith for as long as possible. As this faith is founded on their models, they will come more and more to rely on the models and ignore the real world. And they will become more determined to impose their views on any recalcitrant unbeliever.

    The zeal with which academics pursue their defence of climate change is a reminder that many of them are more interested in imposing their views on the wider population than they are in allowing for freedom of speech and expression.’

    Does Joshua imagine that his views are of any interest at all to any but a coterie of pissant progressives? Does he think that the intention is to consider him as other than an irrelevance? Does he think that the intention is talk to him and not past him? The statements above are not insults but rational analysis of the cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. That he takes them as insults is neither here not there. What matters is that we don’t like him and don’t trust him with the future.

    Our intention is to create a community of interest in science, academia, politics and the community more generally that recognizes the pernicious influence of such as Josh – as powerless as Josh is as an individual – and works to marginalize these views as a whole and to articulate a positive alternative.

    Josh’s strategy is to present his views generically as one side of a debate – intrinsically to be considered serious contributions without actually committing to any actual view that can be discussed rationally. Any view thus becomes part of a continuum of views to be considered on an equal basis – with equal value – with all other views. It is certainly not true that all opinions have equal value – and I suggest that’s Josh’s have no notable value at all. It is notable that Josh is entirely negative – drawing up the wagons in a circle.

    It’s a global conspiracy thing. We want to dominate the zeitgeist. We want to take over the world and create a bright future for humanity.

    • Thanks, Chief – I knew I could count on you:

      Does Joshua imagine that his views are of any interest at all to any but a coterie of pissant progressives? Does he think that the intention is to consider him as other than an irrelevance? Does he think that the intention is talk to him and not past him? The statements above are not insults but rational analysis of the cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. That he takes them as insults is neither here not there. What matters is that we don’t like him and don’t trust him with the future.

      Judith, care to reconsider?:

      Behavior on the extremes is arguably equally bad, but wingnuttery as defined here seems to better characterize the consensus side of the debate.

      Care to reconsider?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Reconsider what Josh? You understand nothing of the science and sit on the sidelines pontificating from a position of moral certitude.

        Is calling you a pissant progressive part of the science argument? It is politics pure and simple and I find yours to be a contamination of the global zeitgeist.

    • Heh.

      Our intention is to create a community of interest in science, academia, politics and the community more generally that recognizes the pernicious influence of such as Josh – as powerless as Josh is as an individual – and works to marginalize these views as a whole and to articulate a positive alternative.

      If only I had Chief’s “power.”

      Obsessive commenting on a blog is so effin’ powerful.

    • Chief,

      Look what I’ve found:

      “Wingnut” (sometimes “wing-nut”) is used in United States politics as a political slur referring to a person who holds extreme, and often irrational, political views usually with a religious overtone. According to Merriam-Webster, it is “a mentally deranged person” or “one who advocates extreme measures or changes : radical.” In American politics, the term is more often aimed at members of the political right than those of the political left, for which the alternative term moonbat is more often used. The New York Times’ David M. Herszenhorn has defined a “wing nut” as “a loud darling of cable television and talk radio whose remarks are outrageous but often serious enough not to be dismissed entirely.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingnut_(politics)

      Moonbat:

      According to a 2006 article by New York Times self-described “language maven” William Safire, the term was first used by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein in 1947. Heinlein used the term in a 1947 short story, “Space Jockey”, as the name of a rocket spacecraft used for the third step of a journey from the Earth to the Moon. Descriptions of bat-like people on the Moon were part of the 1835 Great Moon Hoax.

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

      “Space jockey” sounds a lot like “space cadet”, don’t you think?

    • Chief, lets show Josh how one can have an intelligent discourse on a point of disagreement and come up with a falsifiable hypothesis that is eminently testable.
      You believe that cold water has made its way to the near surface from the depths and mixed horizontally near the surface, like a mushroom shaped flow from the depths to the near surface.
      I suggest that we can test this hypothesis. Argon is inert and soluble. it solubility is a function of temperature and is highest at near freezing. Thus, water at 4 degrees will have more Ar than warm surface waters. Any large scale movement of cold water to the surface will have taken Ar to the top where it will partition into the atmosphere on warming.
      The Ar/N2 signal is being monitored, Keeling started examining Ar/N2 ratios a while ago. If we see a bump in the Ar/N2 ratio that matches the putative 300-2000m warming more than the 0-300m layer, you may have hit the nail on the head.
      No increase in the Ar/N2 ratio suggests no change in upwelling.

      • That would fine. But if there is no change in Ar/N2 ratio, what do we tell the Peruvian fisherman who thought the water felt cold and the fish were jumpin’?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Doc,

        Upwelling happens at the western margins of continents primarily – but also in the central Pacific as a result of Ekmann transport. e.g. http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/upwelling-and-downwelling.htm

        This is the critical process in ENSO and the PDO. Cold bottom water is nutrient enriched and upwelling results in booms of biological activity most apparent in the Pacific.

        Upwelling is not something that I believe – but is a fundamental concept in hydrology and oceanography.

        http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~cdeutsch/papers/ito-etal-grl2007.pdf

      • In another thread somebody mentioned that the source water for the upwelling comes mostly from the continental shelves. There is the Peru-Chile Trench in close proximity. It is a described as a place of upwelling.

  39. “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    In general it has solidified my skepticism. This blog has been a rare and valuable opportunity to see the best and the worst from both groups. I agree wholeheartedly that in general skeptics at least try to understand the science. Alarmists meanwhile tend to stick their fingers in their ears and parrot the party line in between screaming “denier.” Anyone wanting to see this in action need only drop in on Revkin’s site. What a disgusting swamp of alarmist rage and ignorance. People who deny the pause, just can’t be reasoned with. People who blame every weather event on climate change can’t be reasoned with. People who insist skeptics are bought and paid for by BIg Oil can’t be reasoned with.It seems the better the real world data looks, and the less dire the science, the angrier the alarmists become. It’s really quite amazing.

    As I start to think about it, I’m more depressed about the human condition than ever.

    • PG –

      Alarmists meanwhile tend to stick their fingers in their ears and parrot the party line in between screaming “denier.”

      What a beautiful thing it is, unintentional irony.

    • Correct.
      I’m following climate blogs for some 10 years, and am getting only more convinced that the alarmism isn’t based on science.

    • Welcome to reality on the depressing state of the “human (psychological) condition.” It took a multi-year discussion on GW to make you realize that humans are frequently prone to mass hysteria and irrational mass phenomenon? That is the history of the human Neolithic period, without exception. I’m not surprised that some people take a long time to absorb the unpleasant immutable fact that this is a persistent feature of post-Paleolithic civilization. What are you gonna do?

  40. The side that should go more into mechanistic explanations is the “skeptical” one. I find that any attempt to get them to explain low sensitivity, or lack of CO2 effect, etc., ends with a change in subject or disappearance. What we see from them is more akin to a butterfly collection of statistics-based studies that point towards low sensitivity without explaining it in a mechanistic way. A mechanistic explanation can be tested, while statistical studies are scientifically unsatisfying providing no hypothesis to test. Therefore, yes, get the skeptics to provide mechanistic explanations, and it may make them doubt themselves a bit more.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Damn!!!

      ‘http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324114

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/21/how-to-humble-a-wing-nut/#comment-324140

      We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
      those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
      the size and complexity of the climate system.’

      A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
      Anastasios A. Tsonis,1 Kyle Swanson,1 and Sergey Kravtsov1

      Denial of the science is not the same as there being no science or mechanisms Jim.

      • I would argue that the study of indices and how they vary is not mechanistic. Mechanistic is when you have a model and understand why those indices vary the way they do based on the ocean currents and interaction with the wind. This comes down to understanding natural variability. However, a better path for the big picture, is showing that natural decadal variability is capped at about 0.2 C amplitude so that any change above that comes from forcing, and I think they showed that amplitude.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I responded below – but the cloud data from Palle’s new study suggests a whole different cause for all of recent warming and cooling. As I have suggested before – you have pulled the 0.2 degrees C limit out of your arse.

      • CH, just saying cloud variations is not mechanistic. Why are the clouds varying? How much can they vary? How much does this average out over decades? These are the questions that can best be answered with a mechanism, not just statistics showing them varying possibly in response to global forcing changes (warming, aerosols) or variability in the oceans (ENSO). “Cloud variations” gets an Incomplete.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        Data – Jim – data. It is negatively correlated with sea surface temperature.

      • “It is negatively correlated with sea surface temperature.”

        That would be positive cloud feedback

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low-Level Cloud Feedback
        Amy C. Clement,1* Robert Burgman,1 Joel R. Norris2

        http://www.seas.harvard.edu/climate/seminars/pdfs/clement_etal_2009.pdf

        ‘The decadal changes in NE Pacific clouds and climate are linked to well-known basinwide climate shifts (25–30). This is illustrated in Fig. 2, A and B, which shows that the regression patterns of SST, SLP, and ERA-40 surface winds on the NE Pacific SST time series resemble the now familiar pattern of Pacific Decadal Variability. The SST signal spans the
        entire Pacific basin and persists throughout the year, and the SLP pattern comprises a weaker Walker circulation in the equatorial region and a deeper Aleutian low in the North Pacific (Fig. 2B). The extension of the North Pacific SLP low anomaly into the stratocumulus region constitutes a weakening of the climatological high, and trade winds around the high
        are weakened (hence the anomalous southerly and westerly flow shown in Fig. 2B). The subsidence and lower tropospheric stability (LTS) in the NE Pacific are both weaker when SST is warm there (fig. S2).’

        Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006JD008174/abstract

        The trouble with wing nuts is the lack of depth, a monomania and an unshakable certitude in their moral and intellectual superiority.

      • “‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region.”

        That’s a positive cloud feedback

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

        The cause of changes in sst is ENSO and the PDO. They are ENSO and PDO feedbacks. The cloud changes are so big they swamp theoretical CO2 changes. Even if CO2 by itself causes a negative cloud feedback in NCAR and GFDL models.

    • Jim D, I would say you would be a newby but for the artful skews to your comment. Could it be wingnuttery?
      Judith kindly posted previously ( after pretty severe scrubbings and then personal professional disavowal) my essays on positive water vapor feedback, cloud feedback, and ECS. Those are beyond mechanistic; they are factual examinations of the guts of the GCMs and the claimed factual ‘consensus’ in AR4. They, plus the ensuing book chapter, go into the specific details about how and why AR4 got it ‘mechanistically’ wrong, using commonly found ‘Arts of Truth’ amply illustrated prior to the climate chapter.

      Since you feign ignorance, a short summary is the positive water vapor feedback proxied by ‘constant’ UTrH is provably overstated (my hypothsis is because Lindzen’s ‘adaptive iris’ is correct qbout humidity convection in the tropics), the positive sign (AR5 SOD) cloud feedback almost certainly has the sign reversed (cloud feedback is observationally neutral or more likely negative), and in consequence ECS is significantly overstated. The book guesstimated 1.9. Subsequent peer reviewed papers say maybe 1.6 to 2. So converging on the new scientific range, mechanistically explained.

      The specific ‘sceptical’ mechanisms you requested were posted here, and published there. Just observational facts. Semi- quantified, and even related to the user documentation manual for one of the most widely used GCM families of models. Why not read that chapter of the book, then come back here with something better. Your comment above is simply and provably wrong. Read the book. Raise your game.

      • My short answer here is that we are still waiting for skeptics to put up or shut up in the GCM department. If they can produce a low sensitivity GCM that matches current ones on seasonal and diurnal global variations in the current climate, that would be a step forwards to demonstrating a mechanistic approach. It is far easier to criticize this or that in a GCM than to go in and change it and have it work better. Several GCM codes are freely available for tinkering by someone or a team with a background in atmospheric sciences and even moderate workstations can now run low-resolution simulations to produce a respectable general circulation and climate, which would be ideal toys. If your low sensitivity is based on the Lindzen iris effect, I thought that was discredited a long time ago, but it had testable hypotheses at least, and it can also be tested with a skeptic’s GCM.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘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

        Emphasis mine.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

        Is this not understandable Jim? AOS do not provide unique solutions to poorly framed problems – and we do not yet know what the limits of exponentially diverging solutions are. While some answers of a probabilistic nature is possible in the longer term is possible – not yet.

        You reject as well data without any justification. It is akin to rejecting the constancy of the speed of light in a vacuum in 1904 – because prior to Einstein there was no idea why.

        You are fixated on models rather than the real world – and misinterpret the nature of the models. Total wing nut territory.

      • CH, what you are saying is that the forcing step of doubling CO2 leads to a climate that is statistically indistinguishable from that without. This step is equivalent to more than a 1% solar increase, so would you suggest the same holds for that? How big does the step need to be to be noticeable? No, natural variation is much smaller than either of these steps as anyone who has quantified the decadal magnitude has shown.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Why would you put words in my mouth? What I said is that the satellite data shows most warming was in the SW from cloud changes. It keeps getting confirmed. Edward Palle’s new study confirms it yet again. Look at Figure 1.

        Warming for a decade to decade seems unlikely – beyond that I quoted Swanson and Tsonis on the risks at both ends of the warm/cool spectrum?

        Is any of that too difficult?

      • CH, see above for my view on “cloud variations” as an “explanation”. If you haven’t dismissed the effects of a 4 W/m2 step in forcing, how big do you think it is compared to cloud variations when you average both over a decade or more? This should be possible to quantify.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, -2.1, and 1.4 W m2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record.’ http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        The AVHRR is all over the place.

        Cooling in the IR and warming in the shortwave.

        ‘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.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        If real? Seems they are.

      • CH, yes, there has been a reduction in global cloud cover especially while it was warming. This can be interpreted as a positive cloud feedback to the warming that was produced by increased CO2, somewhat like the GCMs have. The cloud albedo change itself can’t account for the warming by a long way.

  41. You know, I almost missed this unintentional irony, from Judith, which is no doubt the most delicious of all said examples in this thread:

    Several academic articles and previous posts here have noted the asymmetries in the debate.

    And this following a post and subsequent arguments where she characterizes those who disagree with here, as “wingnuts” because they argue from consensus. What’s next, Judith – will you insult those who disagree with you on the selective reasoning that they “appeal to authority?”

    You win the thread, Judith.

    • “When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations.”

      Hmmmm……..would claiming that some scientists have supported the consensus view only to advance their careers via the IPCC, count??

      Take a bow Judith “Wingnut” Curry.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘People often hold extreme political attitudes about complex policies. We hypothesized that people typically know less about such policies than they think they do (the illusion of explanatory depth) and that polarized attitudes are enabled by simplistic causal models.’

        It would not take much to hypothesize that you know very little about the physics of climate – and you spend all your time disparaging opponents. This is the practice of wing nuttery.

        Merely questioning motives – if indeed that’s what happended – is not wing nuttery in this sense

      • Chief,

        Thankyou for your delightfully confused take on “complex policies” and physics.

        Precisely what is my “extreme political attitude” on which “policies” wrt physics of climate??

        Yours in Mirthful Anticipation,

        Michael.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What a bizarre little space cadet you are. Complex policies = climate science. Climate science = you know enough not to even repeat the memes but you are pretty damn sure of your moral and intellectual superiority and think nothing of dropping in with irrelevant drivel dripping with condescension to prove it. That seems about the level of a wing nut.

        How am I doing so far?

      • Climate science is a “complex policy”.

        Fascinating.

        More please.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Too thick to draw inferences – or just deliberately obtuse? My guess is too thick.

      • When wing nuts encounter people with whom they disagree, they immediately impugn their opponents’ motivations.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So everyone’s a wing nut but you? I was merely questioning your inability to draw the connection between ‘complex policies’ and climate science. Drawing out the inanities and trivial games is your game.

      • “Hmmmm……..would claiming that some scientists have supported the consensus view only to advance their careers via the IPCC, count??”

        Yes, if it occurs “immediately” in a discussion that’s about climate science. No, if it occurs as part of a discussion of science policy and the poltical dynamics of the climate issue.

      • There’s a difference between discussion people’s motivation in a serious manner and using it as cheap rhetoric.

      • “So everyone’s a wing nut but you?”

        Yes, that does appear to be what Judith is saying.

        And, yes, I like to draw out the inanities. You’ve been most helpful.

      • Michael,

        To impugn is not to question.

        Write that down.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        indeed. if the shoe fits chewbbaka must acquit ;)

  42. dennis adams

    Joshua
    You didnt need to concede the thread to Judith. Any fair reading of it by a reasonable person concluded that a long time ago.

  43. The society at large has created a situation where in certain instances the value of a life is wholly arbitrary. What could be more humbling than living in a society with millions of gods?

  44. Since global warming is political stopping it is by analogy like Greeks believing they could stop global warming by killing Socrates.

  45. Paul Vaughan

    “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    2 part answer:
    __
    1. “increased your tolerance”?

    Exact opposite …

    Society must do whatever it can to stop cyberbullying, PM says

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/society-must-do-whatever-it-can-to-stop-cyberbullying-pm-says-1.1276185

    =
    “”We are expediting a review of the Criminal Code [...] to identify potential gaps with regard to cyberbullying,” Harper said [...] “And we are looking for other practical suggestions to combat such terrible acts.”
    [...]
    Todd said Internet and cellphone service providers should be forced to cut off service to people who engage in cyberbullying.
    [...]
    “If you harass someone offline and you’re driving them insane, they can go to the police and they can have you arrested. [...]” Canning said.”
    =

    My tolerance for the type of harassment, stalking, and abuse that climate blog hosts tolerate from “guests” has expired, so I welcome and even strenuously advocate a role for the heavy hand of the law.
    __
    2. “moderated your position on climate change”?

    This is ill-posed.

    Climate variations are natural. Our appreciation & understanding of nature need not be “moderated” but rather nourished to facilitate evolution.
    __

  46. Well, by Sunsteins’s definition, in the British point of view the Declaration of Independence was written by a wing nut.

    • By Sunstein’s definition, wing yes, nut no.
      Plus, I doubt Sally Hemingway’s descendants would agree with your assessment of a great but most profoundly human founder of our republic.

      Blimy, sour grapes after all this time post War of 1812 as friends and allies?
      Perhaps climate change will come down to the Battle of New Orleans. On second though, that would not be such a bad outcome. (good humor intended).

  47. Judith’s “position” on the AGW debate strikes me as quite reasonable so I must disagree with Joshua’s “position” on Judith’s comments about those who argue from consensus.

    The polarisation of the climate change blog scene has occurred because of a serious lack of common ground between the two sides, which even extends to the basic physics underlying the AGW arguments let alone what interpretations can be given to available empirical data.

    I have usually tried to find common ground with the people with whom I engage but with varying degrees of success. It is human nature to allow hubris to get in the way of building bridges and advancing our understanding of climate science through genuine collaboration.

    I have gone by the rule (often attributed incorrectly to Dr Suess) in my commenting and speaking the truth as I perceive it to be in this sand box of Judiths.

    QUOTE: “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Bernard Baruch

  48. Climate Etc. reading has moderated and expanded my understanding of the climate discussion. I was stuck on this has happened for 4.6 billion years. I now have an understanding of why the Consensus is wrong for science, that the scientific method is beautiful (it works/despite politics) and that exponential population growth is a catastrophe that will increasingly shape climate.

    Everyone on this blog has good ideas (almost everyone) and some of thinking is exceptional. I am a skeptical person by nature but I needed the climate and science education. The back and forth rhythm of the bloggers and the thoughtful daily postings is a great educational (and entertainment) tool.

    The Bengstsson essay (the vision and modesty) after “climate myths of SINTEF” was really great. I often wondered how did this divide start and where might we go. I felt much more optimistic that smart were moving beyond the CO2 only fixation. Sheltering, feeding, and the logistics of a population growing this fast is not simple plan or unworthy objective for the worlds brightest.

    Climate etc. can help you think, laugh and be humble. The logic seeps in despite myself. Great job IMO.

    • Rud Istvan

      GarryD, Amen.
      But God help us all, I looked and did not find a simple easy solution to the bigger issues. Hopefully was just my inability. Please weight in on water, food, and liquid fuel energy.

      • Rud,
        I wish those answers were available to me.
        Fortunately, the World is inhabited by many exceptional people.

        Why do people like to continually focus on the small at the expense of the important? I have been told that adaptive skills are also a sign of higher intelligence. I remain optimistic that you can turn some lights on. Keep up the fight. You do a nice job.

    • In the spirit of providing facts rather than rhetoric, the world’s population is not growing exponentially and is expected to level off this century.

      “World population is projected to grow from 6.1 billion in 2000 to 8.9 billion in 2050, increasing therefore by 47 per cent. The average annual population growth rate over this half-century will be 0.77 per cent, substantially lower than the 1.76
      per cent average growth rate from 1950 to 2000. In addition, growth is projected to slow the further the projections go. For 2000-2005, the annual growth rate is estimated at 1.22 per cent; by 2045- 2050, it will be only 0.33 per cent.

      “Under the assumptions made in the medium scenario projection, world population will not vary greatly after reaching 8.92 billion in 2050 (figure 6). In another 25 years, by 2075, it is projected to peak at 9.22 billion, only 3.4 per cent
      above the 2050 estimate. It will then dip slightly to 8.43 billion by 2175 and rise gradually to 8.97 billion, very close to the initial 2050 figure, by 2300. Therefore, world population growth beyond 2050, at least for the following 250 years, is ex-
      pected to be minimal.”

      http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/longrange2/WorldPop2300final.pdf

      • Those interested in “controlling” population should look to expanding the middle class, with all its materialistic values, high expectations and love of amenities. People who want their kids to have dead straight teeth don’t breed much at all. So turn on the nukes, fossil fuels and hydro all over the globe. The children of middle class families often flirt with back-to-nature primitivism, but never to the point of breeding ten kids of their own. They’re usually more bourgeois than anybody by age forty, with just a few radical but innocuous opinions on posh matters like organic food, AGW and saving mammals that swim.

        As to picturesque poverty, we can maintain a few centres of quaint destitution, like Nehru did for Gandhi and Mrs. Roosevelt. Beggary is expensive, but wealthy punters will pay to watch it – briefly.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Suzanne takes your hand now
        And she leads you to the river
        She is wearing rags and feathers
        From Salvation Army counters

        And the sun pours down like honey
        On our, our lady of the harbor
        She shows you where to look
        Among the garbage and the flowers

        There are heroes in the seaweed
        There are children in the morning
        They are leaning out for love
        And they will lean that way forever
        While Suzanne holds the mirror

        And you want to travel with her
        You want to travel blind
        And you know she’ll find you
        For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind

        Dancing with empty pockets is one of the great traditions of the true working class larrikin – Moso old mate. We shouldn’t leave such pleasures as half crazy girls in rags and feathers to the middle class.

        Suzanne takes you down
        to her place near the river
        You can hear the boats go by
        You can spend the night beside her

        And you know, she’s half crazy
        It’s why you want to be there
        She feeds you tea and oranges
        That come all the way from China

        And just when you mean to tell her
        You have no love to give her
        She gets you on her wavelength
        And she lets the river answer
        You’ve always been her lover

      • +1 to Leonard Cohen and the Chief

      • Chief, Suzanne is indeed picturesque in her poverty. But I want no kin of mine, or yours, to be fossicking through garbage. I don’t think Lorca Cohen was abandoned to live thus, not even when Leonard was at his druggiest and most escapist.

        After certain risks and adventures, I’ve been living out in the scrub with just some scant savings lately. Our Green Betters would be proud of my stupendously low footprint, offset many times over by acres of moso bamboo. But just as soon as I can get my hands on some more dough, I’ll kiss the sour old hag, Poverty, a big sloppy goodbye once again. I’ll be making jet-trails.

        Chief, Suzanne is best left in a song.

      • Point taken. We will see?

        In my mere 66 years to the present the population has exploded. Is an viable energy plan even on the table for the optimistic scenario you outline? It would seem that the World has some work to do?

      • GarryD, congratulations on discovering my incipient blog. Not really launched yet, and I couldn’t work out how to reply there!

        Not really sparring, but population growth is definitely far from exponential. I can’t comment on whether the UN scenario is optimistic, I have little faith in long-term projections, but that may be the best current assessment. As for “a viable energy plan” to support a growing population, I have even less faith in long-term planning, I think that the best outcomes will emerge when government policy and regulation minimally restricts innovation, entrepreneurship, markets and trade. The collective wisdom of the nine billion should prove superior to the limited and generally short-term purview of governments and bureaucratic planners.

  49. “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    I am definitely much less tolerant of the opposing camps, i.e., both, and too much so for my own good. No one party or individual appears to be capable of sustained objectivity. That says enough and anything else is ‘fèi huà’ for sure.

  50. Yes, Climate Etc. has moderated my views on CAGW. I now believe it would be best to let lolwot and tempterrain take control of the global energy economy. The world has experienced way too much freedom and we need the really super smart people to run our lives for us. We should take a vote among the people with the most degrees and let them run the world.

    I now believe that climate models can predict the future with stunning accuracy, that we can measure the global average temperature to within tenths of a degree, and that trillions of dollars in new taxes will help the economy. I have also come to believe that if I don’t stop putting gasoline in my car, I am going to be personally responsible for drowning Bangladesh.

    There, is that better?

  51. Judith Curry

    “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    At first (prior to Climate Etc.), my position moved from being marginally interested and generally accepting the “consensus” position to becoming rationally skeptical. My skepticism grew after the hockey-stick fiasco, the blatantly phony media ballyhoo surrounding AR4, Al Gore’s “AIT” flick, Climategate and revelations of IPCC exaggerations and misrepresentations in AR4.

    Involvement at RealClimate, Grist, Skeptical Science, etc. further strengthened my skepticism to what I perceived to be the close minded mindset of the “consensus” crowd.

    Participation here at Climate Etc. may have moderated my position slightly. I am still strongly skeptical of “CAGW” (as outlined by IPCC in AR4), but am prepared to provisionally accept AGW until it can be falsified or corroborated by empirical evidence. Catastrophic AGW: no, but some non-catastrophic warming caused by human GHG emissions: yes (for now). And it looks like the latest findings on 2xCO2 ECS are beginning to show exactly that.

    Tolerance for opposing opinions? (Depends on these
    “opposing opinions”.) Certainly not If I perceive them to be hysterical or if they set off my “BS meter”, but I hope I can keep an open mind to well-founded opinions, even if they do oppose mine.

    On policy issues I have always been opposed to “actionism” (“we must act now to prevent…”). “Weaning the world off fossil fuels” sounds easy if one is sitting in an ivory tower somewhere, but so far there have been no acceptable alternates proposed. I have seen no actionable proposals made to date that would have a perceptible impact on our climate, even at the arguably exaggerated ECS estimates of IPCC. A global carbon tax will achieve nothing except problems for the least-affluent; a non-global carbon tax would be even more ineffective. The only proposal I’ve seen that would make sense is the “no regrets” proposal by Peter Lang on this site, to install nuclear power plants instead of coal for most new capacity. To me it appears that this could reduce CO2 levels by 2100 by 60 to 80 ppmv, which would have a small impact on global temperature. So, in that sense, I did “change my position”.

    But I find the ongoing debate here interesting and I hope I’m learning something along the way.

    Thanks for keeping this site alive with new and interesting chunks of “read meat” for your denizens to chew on.

    Max

    • Peter Lang

      +100.

      I agree with all. I was involved in policy advice from about 1991 for both sides of politics. At that stage I believed we needed policies to reduce CO2 emissions, especially from fossil fuel use. However, all advice was for an economically rational approach and for ‘No regrets’ policies. The Conservatrives advocated the removal of bans on nuclear power as an option and allow the market to decide. The Labor government effectively banned any mention of nuclear power by the bureaucracy and it was not to be considered as an option.

      The government wasted a lot of money on the same sorts of schemes that energy efficiency and renewable energy advocates are advocating now. I could tell many stories. Some may be interested in this somewhat related short story: http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/08/22/abare-projections/

      Very little has changed in 20 years – other than the estimates of ECS are coming down :)

  52. Michael Larkin

    Hmm. Wingnuttery is a bit like libel. If a statement is true, it isn’t wingnuttery or libel. One isn’t a wingnut just because one speaks a truth with which other people disagree, however many there happen to be. As often as not, the categorisation of wingnuttery says more about the prejudice of the utterer than about the truth of an issue.

  53. Tomas Milanovic

    I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.

    My position on climate change started some 15 years ago by observing the Milankovitch cycles.
    Looking at that there are only 2 possible attitudes :
    1) We clearly see evidence of pseudoperiodical chaotic oscillations that characterize the dynamics of the system for a large volume of the parameter space.
    2) What we see is irrelevant and in any case has no meaning for the dynamics of the system in the future.

    I strongly support 1) and in the “test” described,in the study I would have easily constructed a chain of arguments validating it. Of course the chain would not be “mechanistic” (in the sense of deterministically predictable) because the spatio temporal chaos per definition has not this property and this is something that the author of the study apparently ignored what shows that he has no clue about modern physics.

    From there one can easily infer that :
    – as the system just passed a minimum, It is tautologically heading to a (next) maximum. E.g it is necessarily warming.
    – as it is necessarily warming with or without CO2, the anthropic CO2 is just one perturbation among the millions of degrees of freedom.
    – the apparent stability of the climate attractor over 3 billions of years suggests that the topology is approximately invariant for a large interval of degrees of freedom. I cannot prove that but the existence of an attractor for N-S equations points also in this direction.
    – from there follows that the CO2 perturbation on an infiitesimally small time scale (we are only talking about 1 century) can only change the derivatives of climatic variables but not the Milankovitch dynamics. E.g when we reach the next maximum, we will head to a (next) minimum again.
    – last but not least all of the above means that the probability distribution of future dynamical states which is so dear to The Chief and to everybody familiar with non linear dynamics will be only slightly perturbed by the CO2 perturbation. And even this perturbation will tend to zero on larger time scales (millenium and above).

    As this is what I think is right theory of climate, frequenting Climate Etc actually increased my intolerance for the CAGW addicts because I realised that they are painfully ignorant about the whole physical paradigm of non linear dynamics. Most of them don’t understand any physics at all and those who do, are stuck in the strict determinismus of the 19th century what is certainly inadequate to deal with one of the most complex dynamical systems we know – the climate.
    It is like refusing quantum mechanics to establish a theory of atomic nuclei – a true wing nuttery.

    • Tomas said “What we see is irrelevant and in any case has no meaning for the dynamics of the system in the future.”

      In other words the recorded empirical data is insufficient temporally and spatially to derive conclusions on a system that is millions of years old? I can see the logic of this but too many participants on both sides of the AGW debate speculate on future climate trends based on short term movements of CO2 and T.

      Macro climate science awaits a new paradigm (probably involving non-linear dynamics and chaos theory) in order for it to progress and that micro climate dynamics of the atmosphere and the oceans require the application of quantum mechanics in order for a better appreciation of their underlying physics.

      I always appreciate your comments Tomas and hope that the early work of Tsonis et al (that is continually put forward by the Chief) is continued as this seems to be the area that offers the most promise.

    • the anthropic CO2 is just one perturbation among the millions of degrees of freedom.

      But isn’t “perturbation” just another myth, a semantic artifact of using linear metaphors to describe a complex non-linear system?

      the apparent stability of the climate attractor over 3 billions of years suggests that the topology is approximately invariant for a large interval of degrees of freedom.

      er… Are you familiar with the supposed “snowball earth” episodes? Seems like a pretty wide “approximately invariant“.

    • Salute Milanovic
      To grossly paraphrase Von Neumann: Climate change is a bit like an elephant’s jungle trail (randomness with a purpose), whereby the elephant is a Milankovic cycle, far north Atlantic the elephant’s trunk, ENSO its tail, and CO2 analogous to few flees that come and go.

  54. As a non-scientist I feel priviledged to be here. I did allright as a small business man and when I retired I put the majority of my savings into two freight railroads….Burlington Northern and Norfolk Southern. Some years later Warren Buffett decided to purchase BNSF at a 30% premium. Thanks Warren, I have been using the proceeds to finance my trips. Last year I took a 3 week tour of Russia with a personal 24 hour guide and Interpreteur for the entire time…God she was so beautiful. Of course the oldtimers over there were talking about how severe their recent winters were.
    Sorry I got off subject but when I started to read stories in the past year on other sites where deserts would be turned into croplands I began to wonder if one day our CO2 extractions would exceed our emissions and if so what would be the consequences. I guess my kind of pondering would be blasphemous to some here but I thank those who tried to help me understand. But I am still wondering.

  55. I’ve had been a self-admitted wingnut on the Rossi eCat device. Yesterday, reports started to emerge that reputable 3rd parties have been able to test the device and confirm there is extra heat being produced.

    Read all about in Forbes or OilPrice.

    IS this the best scam ever? One step in many more to commercialization? Or with true confirmation, a game changer?

    • Rud Istvan

      SUT, I did a fair bit of research into Rossi and related energy schemes. Your view is definitely a ‘wing’ since most people think cold fusion is impossible (and in the literal sense it is). But not necessarily ‘nutty’.
      Rossi’s ECat is almost certainly a scam, because of the claimed transmutation of nickel into copper. The samples he provided the Swedes were salted- wrong copper isotopes for the claimed mechanism. And the fact that Rossi is a convicted swindler does not help his credibility.
      BUT LENR is almost certainly real, and explained by Widom-Larsen theory involving the weak force. The experimental evidence is mounting for it, but whether it could be usefully harnessed commercially is unknown.
      Bit OT. If you want more details, they are in the ebook on truth.

  56. I think the secret is to acknowledge your ideology and then to question and challenge it. Until you do, keep your mouth shut. I don’t remember when I first heard of CAGW but like many other doom scenarios it didn’t pass my gut check. I had mostly given up on science as being dominated by biased environmental advocates so my initial thought was “BS”. Most of what I have learned about the science has come from this blog and others, not always directly but the blogs serve as a catalyst and give me a direction for a bit of research and study. I still think “C” AGW is BS but I do acknowledge that man can have an effect on the climate, especially regionally. I am far more opposed to any CO2 regulatory government policies than I am a “denier” of the consensus. If we are going to shoot the economy in the foot, and cause that kind of pain and suffering, we had better be sure of the science.

  57. There is no standard definition of the all-important term “wing nut,” so let’s provide one. A wing nut is someone who has a dogmatic commitment to an extreme political view (“wing”) that is false and at least a bit crazy (“nut”).

    In my experience, the term “wingnut” is used exclusively by the left to denigrate conservatives and libertarians. I’ve never seen it used against left wingers.

    • Canman | May 22, 2013 at 11:58 am |

      Allow me:

      Ralph Nader? Wingnut.

      Hollywood actors? Wingnuts. (Yeah, I know, there’s some on either wing, but pretend.)

      Any European? Wingnut.

      North Korean government? Wingnut.

      Communist China? Wingnut.

      Soviet Union back in the days of the Cold War? Wingnut.

      I know I missed a lot, but it’s a start.

    • Oh. And of course, wouldn’t want to miss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8tfuBIutLI

    • In my experience, the term “wingnut” is used exclusively by the left to denigrate conservatives and libertarians. I’ve never seen it used against left wingers.

      It started out as an abbreviation for “right wing nut”, and was used first primarily by people for whom the left wing equivalent were “ahead of their times”. Things may have changed a little since the Soviet collapse, but people like Sunstein are “preaching to the choir”, and know perfectly well that their “choir” still sees the word this way.

      Any reference to left “wingnuts” by his sort is just some sort of fig leaf.

      IMO.

      • AK | May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |

        The etymology and evolution (pardon the term) of ‘wingnut’ in political slang, especially in America, is fairly short. It was recorded in the 1980’s in vernacular use, generally referring to environmental radicals and street corner soapbox preachers.

        In the early days, there didn’t seem to be a left-right preference. Sane people could tell the difference between their own views and the views of wingnuts. At least, I can’t find a particular usage that way until much more recently. In many cases, there weren’t political overtones at all: drivers were described as wingnuts in road rage incidents, people arguing over prices or wearing outre clothing.. it was formerly a general-purpose epithet describing anyone different.

        Now, with the extreme polarization of views throughout the mainstream (or at least the appearance of polarization in the media), it’s much harder to tell a wingnut from anyone on one wing or the other of the political spectrum. And yes, it has become a term thrown by people who imagine themselves to be mainstream at people they imagine to be extremists, which in America today is largely people who would rather vote for reasonable-sounding propositions than for radical-sounding ones. Which, when applied to people makes the Right wingnuts, but when applied to legislation, makes the Left wingnut.

      • It was recorded in the 1980′s in vernacular use, generally referring to environmental radicals and street corner soapbox preachers.

        I don’t remember it being used that way. All I remember is “right wing nut” and “wingnut” being used essentially interchangeably starting sometime in the ’70’s. Maybe we hung out in different places.

        AFAIK, “Right wing nut” goes all the way back to Joseph McCarthy. Certainly I heard it used that way in the ’60’s.

      • The formations go several ways, if you look for the terms and when and how they were used.

        Your “Right Wing Nut” backformation is absolutely well-documented, but coincides with “Left Wing Nutjob” for frequency and distribution, so far as I can tell.

        Meanwhile, “wingnut” from British slang as a big-eared caricature with screwy opinions seems the older usage before importation to the political discourse. Figleafing may be true, but it’s hard to disentangle which started where.

        At this point, I believe we can agree the coincidental overloading of ‘wing’ to refer to political axis is accidental and a late addition, but went a long way to ensure the insult would endure as a polemic term.

  58. Climate, Etc has provided a number of interesting science and policy posts by Dr Curry and guests. The comments are a bit tough to get through as the s/n approaches infinity. I can understand Joshua’s frustration as this blog attracts the most wordy and blathering deniers and nit pickers (his opposite numbers).

    The best science blog that has changed my views of AGW is the Blackboard.

  59. Considering that there is almost nothing new in climate science, maybe it would be a good thing to shut down all the blogs and wait a few decades for more data?

  60. Considering the lack of humility, and apparent unwillingness of so many commenters to even try to undertake this humbling experiment online (instead sniping and insulting at every turn, nonresponsively talking past or becoming more entrenched while rehashing past imagined wrongs against themselves).. perhaps shutting down this particular topic and moving on for a few decades, by which time maybe a few will have taken the time for self-reflection to figure out why the least danger of exploring their own beliefs leads them to such a tizzy o vitriol.. could be an idea.

  61. Brandon Shollenberger

    Huh. I wrote a comment earlier answering the question at the end of this post, but it must not have gone through. I’ll try again. My answer is no, but kind of yes.

    I had little interest in global warming, and no real view on it, until I happened to stumble upon Steve McIntyre’s original website (back before Climate Audit existed). I was shocked by what I saw. It destroyed my idealized view of science and scientists. At the same time, Steve McIntyre’s work convinced me science can happen as I thought it should. On top of that, he regularly encouraged people not to over-interpret his results. Those two things helped ensure that while I remain skeptical of things I haven’t verified for myself, I don’t reject them out-of-hand.

    In effect, the climate blogosphere didn’t change me; it shaped me.

  62. Lauri Heimonen

    Judit Curry:

    ”Simply stating a strongly held position at Climate Etc. doesn’t get you very far in the discussion here. I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”

    That has not influenced on my position. I have always agreed with your stating on the ‘deep uncertainty’ related to the results of climate models adopted by IPCC. And this uncertainty has not been removed even by the ‘Mainstreaming ECS ~ 2C’. The uncertainty of climate sensitivity does not prove any due qualifications for a working solution on the problem of recent global warming.

    As I have told I agree with what Jim Cripwell has stated, according to which ‘the total climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero’. This means that the recent increase of global CO2 content in atmosphere has not had any essential influence on the recent global warming.

    The real trends of CO2 content in atmosphere during the recent century has been dominated by the changes of sea surface temperature, especially the sea surface temperature on the areas where the sea surface sinks of CO2 are. And that mainly have determined how much CO2 from total CO2 emissions stays in atmosphere. As the recent man-made CO2 emissions have been only about 4 % of total CO2 emissions, the share of anthropogenic CO2 in the recent increase of CO2 in atmosphere has been only about 4 % at the most; look e.g. at comments http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 ; and http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 .

  63. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

    “I would like to ask the denizens if you think that participation at Climate Etc. and elsewhere in the climate blogosphere has moderated your position on climate change in any way, and has increased your tolerance for opposing positions.”
    _____
    Being a skeptic, in the true sense of the word, I hold all truths as “provisional”, and so really am most open to testing those provisional truths at every opportunity. I wouldn’t say that coming here has moderated my position on climate change, if anything, it has strenghtened it as it has led to even greater chance for further research and insights through the connections made here and elsewhere in the blogosphere with some pretty brilliant people. Here, for example, is some very fresh reseach related to changes in tropical mean upwelling affecting the QBO that a fellow blogospherian brought to my attention:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7450/full/nature12140.html

    This research confirms the overall model projection on the effects of incrased GH gases on the tropical troposphere and stratosphere (sorry skeptics) and it would not have come to my attention without my connections to sites like Climate etc.

    • R Gates

      I will assume you don’t intend to pay the $125 needed for me to read the full article and my visit to the met office library this week was Monday so I cant ask them for a copy.

      My understanding of what is being said is therefore limited by the short extract online

      Are they claiming that global warming affects the preponderance of easterlies and Westerlies?

      BTW whilst at the met office I came across this book, with contributions from all the scientific great and the good of the era. It seemed relevant to the discussion you had with Vuk a few days ago concerning co2 causing oceanic warming (where I originally said I didn’t think Vuk had meant that).

      “Co2 warming in the ocean is confined mostly to the upper portion especially in the surface layer near 60N and 50S. Through increases in precipitation, weakened westerly wind stress and reduced overturning salinity, amounts decrease at high latitudes of each hemisphere. Salinity also increases in the subtropics. The resultant warming and refreshing of the high latitude ocean surface layer stabilizes the ocean and cause a weaker thermohaline circulation”
      From ; Developments in atmospheric Science 19 “Greenhouse gas induced climate change 1991. This was as a result of a 1989 workshop in the US.

      It suggests to me that at one time many of the scientific elite supported Vuk’s comments. I wonder if this is reflected in AR1 or AR2?

      tonyb

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Tony,

        I don’t know how it works in England, but our local public library has an institutional subscription to Nature, and by simply having a valid library card I can get access to all the Nature articles, both in print and on-line. But I agree, very expensive otherwise.

        In regards to this article, what they found is that in doing analysis back to the early 1950’s, the strength of the QBO winds (both easterly and westerly phases) has been decreasing. Climate models forecast this, though the reasons were not completely clear other than the increases in GH gases. What this study found is that the tropical upper air moving into the stratosphere is getting more intense because of increased GH warming. This vertical or upward motion is causing the decrease in the QBO (east and west) wind speeds. This also correlates well with other findings that are showing a strengthening of the Brewer-Dobson circulation (BDC) over the past several decades, which was also predicted by models when factoring in increases in GH gases. The BDC in particular is something I have only begin to study in depth, and I would highly recommend studying it to anyone serious about understanding climate and weather. It has such significant global impacts. Anyway, the upshot of all this, in addition to the related effects on things like ENSO, etc. is that there are more ways to gauge energy in the atmosphere than simple sensible heat. The momentum in masses of air is another measurement of that energy and increases in GH gases can have an effect on it too.

      • R gates

        Thanks for all that. You seem to be talking mainly of the tropics so my comments may not be wholly relevant

        Lamb did some very interesting work following the transition from easterlies to westerlies and back again and their varying strength at different times.

        He did this for the 11th to 17th century and in particular the 16th century in tracking the Spanish armada. The changes from easterlies to westerlies and their strength are also very obvious in the historic records I examine.

        What the ‘upper air’ was doing at the time is unknown. Whether this is all directly relevant to the paper I can’t really say without reading it in full.

        Tonyb

      • R. Gates,

        From the paper:

        Most comprehensive global models do not simulate anything resembling the real QBO in the tropical stratosphere, but the most recent phase of the CMIP is notable for haveing four models that do have a reasonable QBO.

        Thus the models do not forecast it but a few are consistent with QBO, and in those models the mechanism is similar to the observed one.

        Do not overstate the meaning of this paper.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Pekka,

        Fair enough, though a bit a splitting of hairs IMO as I certainly wasn’t trying to overstate it. From one of the researchers themselves:

        “”We demonstrated that the mean upward-air motion suppresses the strength of the QBO winds in the models and thus interpret our observed weakened QBO trend as confirmation that the mean upward velocity in the tropics has indeed been increasing,” notes Hamilton.

        Nicely done article on the research here from whence this quote is derived:

        http://phys.org/news/2013-05-tropical-upper-atmosphere-fingerprint-global.html

      • R. Gates,

        I cannot judge the quality of the article, and have no reason to doubt it. What I wanted to point out that the article had a specific point: Models that have the QBO reasonably right have specific similarities with empirical data on phenomena related to the effect.

        As most scientific papers, this papers makes a specific point. The observation may very be helpful in further development of atmospheric models.

        It’s, however, very difficult to decide which observations test models stringently, and which are essentially forced to be true, when some other conditions are met. The question is similar to asking what kind of fingerprinting provides strong tests and which fingerprints add little to the evidence.

        Concerning climate models the most important question is their validity in making long term projections. Tests based on their short term behavior or behavior over historical periods for which we have too few empirical constraints may turn out to be of little value in that most important respect. These are real scientific problems, and they are problems for which objective answers are probably missing. Adding some subjective judgments may help, but the price is the added subjectivity.

      • R. Gates,

        Here is a paper on the signature of ozone depletion in the tropics.

        http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/polvani+solomon-JGR-2012.pdf

        One of my interests is stratospheric warming events in general. Water, Water vapor and ice impacts on the Stratospheric in particular. Deep convection with entrained water(s/l/g) in the tropics have, IMHO a similar impact as mixed phase clouds do in the Arctic. CO2 should increase that “lid rattling” which stimulates a number of negative feed backs.

        Toggweiler et al. also mention the thermal equator shift, (call it the ITCZ shift or tropical belt) which would have an impact on the QBO, PDO, AMO and THC. Dang, that’s a lot of letters.

      • A couple of words are missing from the above, i hope you can fill them in.

      • R. Gate,

        Here is a slide show I made of comparisons of the SST, LT, MT and lower stratosphere using the absolute temperature of the SST for a surface energy reference.

        https://picasaweb.google.com/118214947668992946731/Layers#slideshow/5880925989380282034

        It is kind of interesting how the volcanic impact vary with region and how the El Nino Events are different. The Stratosphere is inverted so up is warming.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Captn,

        Thanks for that link, I’d read that a while back, but my new strong interest in Brewer-Dobson Circulation changes cast it a new light. I especially found this interesting:

        “There is growing evidence that increased greenhouse gases are responsible for increased upwelling, via an accelerated Brewer-Dobson circulation.”

        Most amazingly, this linked directly back to my study of SSW’s. We can directly observe an acceleration of the BDC during a strong SSW event. The stratospheric air is falling down rapidly over the pole, warming, and simultaneously, 9000km away!, the statospheric air over the equator raises up (increased upwelling), cooling, and giving a quick kick to the BDC. Most amazing!

      • R. Gates, Yep. The Stratosphere seems to be a good indicator of ocean heat uptake as well.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Captn D., said:

        “CO2 should increase that “lid rattling” which stimulates a number of negative feed backs.”

        _____
        I’ve altered my views on SSW’s quite a bit over the past 6 months, having really dug into them rather extensively. There may indeed be a number of negative feedbacks related to CO2, but the acceleration of the Brewer-Dobson Circulation is actually not one of them, and as I’ve come to realize, the importance of that circulation in keeping the poles warmer than they would be otherwise. More importantly, it seems the only “lid rattling” going on is in the increased upwelling of air over the tropics and that acceleration of the BDC that can result. Additionally, that air then flows from the equatorial stratosphere toward the poles, where it descends. This of course in general explains why there is more ozone at the poles, as it is created over the equator, but the BDC moves it toward the poles. An SSW event, triggered as it were by planetary waves, represent a rapid shove to the BDC, accelerating it during the event.

      • R. Gates, The tropical DBC changes are more related to H2O and equatorial heat distribution.

        That is a rough meridional heat flux chart I made using the Reynold’s Oiv2 SST data in 5 degree bands. The ITCZ or thermal equator shift changes the range to the equator for the QBO. It basically shifts the “normal” westerlies like Toggweiler et al. mention. That shift northward increases the deep convection in the NH while reducing it in the SH. In the slide show, the average NH SST is around 19 C and the SH is around 16 C, so there is a Coriolis effect and delta T battle going on at the equator, the QBO.

    • Hi Gates
      Here is an overview of updated version of natural variability to amuse yourself. I didn’t include the effects of stratospheric dust stirred by herds of Chinese yaks at the edge of was it Gobi desert (?); sorry but it wasn’t in my physics curriculum.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Vuk,

        I will read this when I get the chance, but is it aligned with your notion that volcanoes are the source of SSW’s? Or have you given up on that based on the extensive proof contrary?

  64. AK | May 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

    Full ideas. Use them. On the page. Write them. From the start. To the end. Convey your idea.

    I want to see your transition plan. Full ideas. Use them. On the page. Write them. From the start. To the end. Convey your idea.

    Thank you for your invitation. I recognize, compared to my level of rhetoric on this issue, I’ve been sparse on details where they are most of use.

    Largely, I prefer not to pretend to expertise I lack: transition plans actually do fall within my profession; tax and retail transition plans are outside my specialization.

    Further, there are many extant proposals one could get ample insight into transition from: the British Columbia case, the Australia case, the plans of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby for its fee & dividend plan, various proposed bits of US federal legislation, Bill McKibben’s stuff, and so forth. There’s a lot to cover there, and I can’t summarize it all adequately nor do I pretend to be completely conversant in all issues.

    There are 50 US states, plus territories, dozens of international treaties and agreements affecting trade or environment or commerce, aspects of constitutional law and separation of powers, party politics and power politics and cultural sensitivies and pragmatism and budget constraints, and all of these need be addressed in detailed ways I could not do justice to in a blog comment, and that’s just if we talk about a US transition.

    I could forward a few precepts:

    1. Warts and all, the BC plan is the closest to a textbook for how a technician would want to go about implementation and transition, but it has peculiarities due its small regional scope. I’d avoid the European and Australian models for the most part, but they too have useful bits.

    2. Supply-and-Demand level pricing path and price transition would be the province of a merchandizing pricing specialist. There are a lot of people who do this professionally, though usually not with the constraints that apply to this situation. Such as, we’re not out to grow the market, just to maximize dividends per capita. Use the expertise of merchandisers to set the price level and review the price quarterly to maximize dividends to citizens per capita.

    3. Corporations and special interests will use all their power to gain exceptional treatment. Ignore them, and shut them out on this basis, but do not forget they bring considerable expertise and resources to the table and their cooperation is valuable. There are other ways than exceptions to appease powerful parties: administrative cutting of red tape, better communication, stronger assurances the ‘other guy’ won’t get special preference.

    4. Keep it simple.

    5. Most important: 100% of revenues go to dividends to citizens per capita. No exception. No diversion. If you want to tax the dividends, do it on the same basis as you tax other dividend income.

    6. If you want to have Pigouvian taxes or other taxes on top of a fee and dividend system, or special funds or whatnot, keep them entirely separate from this initiative; don’t intermix. Not even green energy or green local transit or green innovation or things you think the government can do better than citizens per capita. Those are not part of the Market.

  65. A decade as a university teacher reduced considerably my belief that I knew a lot, and there are whole domains of knowledge where I (i) don’t know anything and (ii) know I don’t. If a subject there comes up I say nothing or ask questions in the hope that I can learn something.

    In the ‘climate change’ domain much of the science and all (virtually all) of the social science is accessible to me, but I still ask questions, point to data, and consider what I am being told. I thought the articles were sensible and useful — as usual!

  66. tempterrain

    Judith,

    You write “This paper provides some profound insights into the climate debate. Too often people in the climate debate argue from consensus, and attack the motives of the ‘deniers.’ Too much of the consensus is second order belief, that is not associated with mechanistic understanding.”

    Everyone, including yourself, has to start off accepting the consensus position. That is if they accept the basis of modern day science. I don’t just mean climate science, I’m including everything else too. For example, last year John B. Gurdon
    and Shinya Yamanaka received a Nobel Prize “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”

    I’m not sure I even understand the title let alone the details of their work. Do I accept that it’s right? Sure. Why not?

    There is a vast body of scientific knowledge which only a tiny percentage of specialists understand. To disagree with any of it requires an high level understanding to be at all rational.

    Only disagreement (not agreement or acceptance) without understanding, of the consensus position can be classified as denialism.

  67. Tomas Milanovic

    AK

    er… Are you familiar with the supposed “snowball earth” episodes? Seems like a pretty wide “approximately invariant“.

    Of course that I am familiar with that and with much more.
    But as you are confusing here a climate state and the attractor, it gives me an opportunity to explain something that is widely misunderstood by all people not familiar with non linear dynamics.

    The climate state is described by N fields where N is finite like T(x,t), P(x,t), V(x,t) etc.
    Consider that these fields are vector coordinates to simplify and spare us a course on Hilbert spaces.
    So if you have all coordinates, the vector (= climate state) is uniquely defined.
    But as the coordinates depend on time, the vector will move (= climate states will change).
    Now what you do is just to draw the trajectory of the vector in the space. It will show a path.

    Do that for a very long time.
    If all the orbits are contained in some kind of potato,form then this potato form is called attractor for this specific dynamics.
    If the attractor is stable to perturbations (e.g to imposed variations of the vector coordinates) then you may say that it is approximately invariant.
    Then knowing and describing the attractor will give you an ensemble of ALL allowed climate states.

    Obviously knowing the attractor still doesn’t allow to make a unique prediction for a chaotic system but it allows to determine the probability distributions of future states which is the only thing that we can potentially know about the climate.

    And your ice ball earth is a part of the potato form which is the attractor.
    That of course means that having a stable attractor doesn’t exclude that the future state could be an ice ball or a hothouse Earth.
    These states have always been there (within the attractor) and will be ALL visited by the system one day or other unless the attractor is unstable and gets destroyed.
    That’s why the stability hypothesis of the attractor which is suggested by the last 3 billion years evolutions is a hypothesis about the whole while the different climate states (like ice earth) are just small regions inside the attractor that are/will be visited by the system.

    • @Tomas Milanovic…

      But as you are confusing here a climate state and the attractor

      Not really, I understood that part.

      That of course means that having a stable attractor doesn’t exclude that the future state could be an ice ball or a hothouse Earth.

      That was my point.

      And your ice ball earth is a part of the potato form which is the attractor.

      Not mine. I’m still slightly skeptical, as there are other possible explanations for the evidence. We don’t really have a good understanding of how/why the Earth’s magnetic field works the way it does.

      These states have always been there (within the attractor) and will be ALL visited by the system one day or other unless the attractor is unstable and gets destroyed.

      I’m not sure this squares with my understanding of Cantorian infinities.

  68. Arno Arrak

    Can’t say that I like wingnuttery. I have always associated that type of behavior with people of lower education and manual labor but I could be wrong. It is a stereotype of course but sometimes they hit the nail on the head. As to the research project, it is definitely academic. Something to do when you can’t think of a more worth while thing to accomplish.

  69. Very interesting post. It will certainly have a profound impact on how I interact with people with strongly held beliefs of any sort. A follow up discussion on techniques for eliciting a mechanistic explanation might be interesting. Asking the denizens to state their mechanistic understanding of the foundation of their beliefs might yield interesting results.

    In answer to Dr. Curry’s question I have to say no. My participation in blogs has not moderated my position, I spent a lot of time in alarmists blogs which solidified my skeptical position. The reasonable alarmists who used to post here seem to have vanished so the alarmist discourse here is dominated by those I would sadly categorize as wingnuts. There are a number of skeptical wingnuts as well but they do not drown out the more moderate skeptics.

    I will now attempt to describe the mechanistic basis of my CAGW skepticism.
    — We are talking about small temperature changes that do not yet dominate natural variability.
    — The behavior of CAGW alarmists looks distressingly like the behavior of religious zealots.
    — We are in a brief warm period in an ice age. Glaciation is in our future.
    — It has been warmer in the past – what happened to all of the positive feedbacks that are supposed to kick in with a little warming.
    — I have never found an alarmist who could defend that position without an appeal to authority.
    — As a software professional with a physics background, I distrust the models.

  70. Judith, thanks for this post. It certainly reflects my own experience, which was being a typical leftie student and twentysomething until I decided to have a serious stab at becoming a public policy specialist.

    That meant learning the intricate mechanics of government and providing advice to politicians which was actually capable of being implemented. It also meant working in a culture of often conservative (institutionally rather than politically) people who also had a lot more experience in the delicate art of keeping politicians from making fools of themselves than I did.

    Perhaps most importantly, it meant learning that there is no particular correlation between political conviction and personal integrity. There were heroes and villains and everything in between across the political spectrum.

    I was always inclined to be sceptical of CAGW, not on a scientific basis initially, but because of all the alarm bells that rang in relation to the attached political roadshow. It closely resembled other crusades I had seen before, where the real issues were rapidly lost as the bandwagon gathered momentum.

    Blogs have certainly improved my scientific and mathematical skills, and kept me up to date with developments in the field. Also, over time I formed a view about the integrity of individual bloggers and posters. In the main, the best of the sceptic and lukewarm bloggers impressed me far more than the bandwaggoners in that respect. People like Lomborg and Pielke Jr (and, of course, you) are among those whose views I respect even though they are far more convinced of the ‘consensus’ view than I am.

    • It is detectable in the rhetoric, as the Joshuas and willards show.
      ==========

      • As an aside, this has helped me in the debate. That there are people such as R. Gates, unfortunately working with an H Wrench, has helped me to understand that there are alarmists who are wrong, but acting in good faith. There has been so much bad faith from the alarmist side that it has been difficult at times for me to keep that belief in the reality of others good faith.
        =========================

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Really enjoyed Joanna’s post. Quite well done.

        Don’t know if you, Kim, were calling me an “alarmist” or not, a warmist for sure, but an “alarmist” (because all my analysis and study over nearly 3 decades says yes humans are altering the climate, and yes it could eventually have serious consequences in our ability to feed 7+ billion of us)?

        And what exactly does the expression mean “unfortunately working with an H wrench”?

      • You were doing fine except for throwing the monkey wrench in your works. Yes, it is an error to include you with the alarmists; you are among the most rational of the warmists, with an awareness of the real likelihood of cooling.

        Years ago I tried to explain the term ‘lukewarming cooler’ to lucia, without success. You are a lukewarmer who will be among those acceptable in the class of ‘lukewarming coolers’ if and when the evidence of natural cooling becomes convincing.
        ================

    • Peter Lang

      Johanna,

      +100

      I’ve missed you. Where have you been?

      • Hi Peter – I’ve been toiling on a project with a tight deadline, so have not been able to keep up with my favourite blogs. Delivered it at last – yay!
        :)

      • Peter Lang

        Can you say anything about what it was?

        Will it deliver us from evil? Save the planet?

      • Knowing j, it could. If they’d just listen to her.
        ========

    • +1 johanna,

      I had a very similar journey – started off as a young conservative at uni. I was inclined to be skeptical of the whole AGW thing, but I increasingly found that the ‘skeptic’ side was full of people who were political/ideological skeptics who had little, if any, interest in the science and the vocal ‘skeptic’ bloggers were more interested in demonizing individual scientists and cultivating an adoring audience than expanding our knowledge.

      It became clear that the scientists, whom it was oh-so fashionable to vilify and put down, were the ones doing the hard work to better our understanding of climate, with the ‘skeptics’ just huffing and puffing, and beating their chests impotently on the sidelines.

      • You lays your money down and you takes your chances.
        ============

      • Michael, your definition of ‘similar’ and mine are … not similar.

        I never mentioned the political ideology of the bloggers and posters whose views I respect – indeed, I couldn’t care less about them. You seem to have missed the para in my post which started with the words “Perhaps most importantly”. I could not possibly agree with the political stance of all the bloggers whose views I respect, even if I knew them – they are hardly a homogeneous group. If you put Anthony Watts, Donna Laframboise, Rog Tallbloke and Andrew Montford in a room together, there would be very lively debate on a range of issues including climate science. But, I have great respect for all of them as people of integrity and substance who have made significant contributions to the debate.

        As a public policy adviser, I quickly learned that only listening to people who you agree with in every particular leads to a tiny and incestuous information pool which leads to sub-optimal outcomes.

        I detect a touch of conspiracist ideation there. ; )

      • “I never mentioned the political ideology of the bloggers and posters whose views I respect ” – johanna

        Neither did I.

        I think you’ve misunderstood “political/ideological skeptics’.
        These are the ones who were ‘skeptical’ of AGW because they are opposed to govt regulation or a carbon tax.

        I couldn’t really understand the link between atmospheric physics and the free market.

      • Michael, stop being disingenuous. You said:

        “I was inclined to be skeptical of the whole AGW thing, but I increasingly found that the ‘skeptic’ side was full of people who were political/ideological skeptics who had little, if any, interest in the science”

        Firstly, it is verging on the bizarre to assert that sceptics have “little, if any, interest in the science”. Your attempt to marginalise people you do not agree with is not supported by the facts. Bloggers like Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Lucia, Jo Nova etc have had a strong focus on science. The amount of political content varies, but Climate Audit, for example, is strongly moderated to exclude political rants, although as a middle-of-the-road Canadian, McIntyre is a long way from the extreme right wingers and libertarians that sometimes comment on WUWT.

        I admitted that my initial scepticism was more to do with the tent evangelistic style of politics that accompanied it than the science (of which there was very little in the early days). But, the striking thing since then has been how millions of dollars of scientific research in search of a policy has been shot down time and time again by unfunded amateurs who obviously care deeply about the science.

        As an Australian, Jean S. and Steve McIntyre’s demolition of Gergis et al’s paper is a striking example. Especially as my taxes contributed to paying for it (no refunds available).

      • johanna,

        I’ve no doubt there are some on the ‘skeptic’ side with an interest in science. Though I’d have to scratch out two on your brief list as having displayed enough anti-science kookiness to make their purported interest in science to be more camouflage than commitment.

      • “scientific research in search of a policy” – johanna

        Interesting rhetoric.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        What really irks me to no end is the notion that the term “skeptic” is, in some people’s minds, somehow reserved for some particular point of view. Indeed, an honest skeptic makes it clear that their particular point of view is quite provisional, and even more so, an honest skeptic seeks all data that will cause them to abandon or modify their particular point of view. It is the zealot or true believer on either side that only seeks to confirm their particular point of view and as such, stands in the way of scientific advancement and greater understanding.

      • Michael: I’m trying to stay curious about how and why you arrived at this position. “Anti-science” to me is misleading, inflammatory rhetoric. Anyone who says we should stop funding scientific research or teaching science in schools is anti-science. Having unconventional, even weird, ideas about scientific subjects is not. I’ve discussed with people who are convinced it’s impossible for CO2 to warm the atmosphere. They’re wrong, but they know more physics than 99 per cent of the population, and they are extremely interested in science. In fact they seem obsessed with it, and they don’t show much interest in politics.

      • dagfinn,

        That’s certainly one form of anti-science.

        Proponents of creation ‘science’ another.

        But I think there is another – those who attack scientists and scientific work because they don’t like the policy implications that they perceive to flow from the science.

    • Perhaps most importantly, it meant learning that there is no particular correlation between political conviction and personal integrity.

      Ah – but here it seems you are in disagreement with Judith. Judith sees a clear “asymmetry” in the climate debate, which is reflected in a higher prevalence of “wingnuts,” in her view, among the “realists.” Now presumably there is some direct linkage between wingnuttery and a lack of integrity, and the evidence clearly shows a strong association between views on climate change and political conviction.

      People like Lomborg and Pielke Jr (and, of course, you) are among those whose views I respect even though they are far more convinced of the ‘consensus’ view than I am.

      Pretty interesting given Judith’s reasoning.

      You just placed Judith into the “more convinced” of “consensus” crowd – and in the previous thread she said that: “the consensus is monolithic and homogeneous” (yes, she actually said that).

      So, it appears that either Judith is a wingnut (as wingnuts are concentrated in the “consensus” and “the consensus is monolithic and homogeneous”), or one can be “far more convinced of the consensus view” without actually being in the “consensus.” If it is the later, what is the dividing line between degree of conviction in the “consensus view” and actually being a part of the consensus?

      • I do not purport to speak on behalf of Judith, or anyone else. What is your point?

      • There is no way to really know which “side” has more “wingnuts”. You can’t even begin to define an unbiased selection of people from each “side” so you can measure it. You can have an impresssion married to little bit of logic, though. And my impression is that the warriors on the side of the consensus are more wingnut-like. I also have an explanation for that: It’s easier for them to isolate themselves from information that contradicts their beliefs because they control the traditional information channels. The echo chamber is better protected. But I also realize that this depends on geography. It’s what I see from my location in Norway. I know it’s significantly different in the United States, but not by how much.

      • BTW, I also disgree with Judith that the consensus side is monolithic. That’s just an impression that the propagandists try to project. I beleive it’s also one of their problems. They lose credibility by pretending to agree while contradicting each other. (They’re sometimes only contradictory because they’re presented over-confidently, though. As in “the Artic will be ice-free in summer by 2015″ vs “the Artic will be ice-free in summer by 2100″.)

      • Dagfinn –

        There is no way to really know which “side” has more “wingnuts”. You can’t even begin to define an unbiased selection of people from each “side” so you can measure it.

        Bingo.

        So many folks make so many statements characterizing one side or the other, yet we have some problems: There are no clear and objective definitions of terms and the terms are largely defined in tautological, self-referential, and biased way. In the very least, if someone is going to make characterizations such as Judith’s, even if one might quibble with his/her definition of terms, they should at least make their own terminology clear, and hold their analysis to standards accordingly. Unless someone does that, or at least responds to questions about how they terms are defined and whether they are being applied in a consistent manner, then they are not distinguishing fact from opinion.

        You can have an impresssion married to little bit of logic, though.

        Well, sure, but then you must at least be explicit about that logic.

        And my impression is that the warriors on the side of the consensus are more wingnut-like.

        I think that what we know about how humans reason in the face of these kinds of controversies leaves us with a bottom-line presumption: Wingnuttery would be equally distributed. Now that bottom-line presumption may certainly be altered by facts on the ground, but the bar should be high, IMO.

        I also have an explanation for that: It’s easier for them to isolate themselves from information that contradicts their beliefs because they control the traditional information channels. The echo chamber is better protected.

        I would think that the same reasoning could lead in the exact opposite direction. Since “skeptics” need to fight against a “normative” – they need to be that much more virulent in their orientation, which would presumably require a higher degree of wingnuttery. In order to pick between our causal mechanisms, we need some sort of validated data and/or evidence.

        I don’t have an issue with speculation – it’s a part of skepticism, something I highly value. I have an issue when people who are very focused on drawing conclusions only from validated data, and who are very focused on quantifying uncertainty, make statements of complete certainty about these issues. I consider that to be “skepticism.”

        And Judith does it quite frequently (as to many in these debates), at least when she is not focused on the science of climate change and instead focused on the connected sociological aspects of the debate, and yet few “skeptics” call her on her unscientific approach. Why is that, since “skeptics” are focused on validating conclusions and quantifying uncertainty?

        I would say motivated reasoning, of course. I see that as entirely unsurprising, as motivated reasoning is a baseline attribute of how we reason in these debates.

        But I also realize that this depends on geography. It’s what I see from my location in Norway. I know it’s significantly different in the United States, but not by how much.

        Certainly quantifying that influence would be part of moving from mere speculation into something more scientific.

      • Johanna –

        I do not purport to speak on behalf of Judith, or anyone else. What is your point?

        I wasn’t suggesting that you were purporting to speak on behalf of Judith, or that you should be speaking on her behalf. I figured my point was fairly clear – to highly how your views were not consistent with Judith’s.

      • Dagfinn –

        That’s just an impression that the propagandists try to project. I beleive it’s also one of their problems. They lose credibility by pretending to agree while contradicting each other.

        I agree with this. I think it is a strategic error on their part.

      • What, no consensus? Oh, please, you’re confused Joshua.
        =============

  71. Abstract. People often hold extreme political attitudes about complex policies … wingnuts who decry those who disagree …

    Was this by any chance a study of the government-funded climate consensus that just happens to favor more government ?

  72. LogicalChemist

    An article by Sunstein on wing nuts is a big oxymoron. Many of his articles, books, and papers read like a helicopter wing nut. The result it appears of a philosopher/lawyer without foundational principles.

  73. Pingback: How should you deal with ‘wing nuts’? « DON AITKIN

  74. I hope these tips helped you save some time
    and money. Moreover, by doing the penile exercise recommended with every package of Pro – Solution you
    can get a permanently bigger penis in less than 2 weeks.
    This is basically for not blocking the phone and having the choice to change the phone deals later also and not being stick to just one unwillingly.

  75. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your website in internet explorer, could test this?

    IE still is the marketplace chief and a huge component of people will
    miss your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  76. Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find It truly helpful & it
    helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to give one thing back
    and aid others such as you aided me.

  77. I hardly leave a response, but I browsed a
    few of the remarks on this page How to humble a wing nut | Climate Etc..
    I do have a few questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be simply
    me or does it look like like a few of these remarks come across like they are left by brain dead individuals?
    :-P And, if you are posting at other online social
    sites, I’d like to follow you. Could you list of
    every one of all your shared sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

  78. Hey there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you
    know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my
    iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin
    that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.

    Appreciate it!

  79. He next points store up out how people have a way of of actually saying,” I see that he was gokng home. Say,for example, a store up psychological evaluation, then you should also appreciate some of the conceptual development.

  80. *Engage in Recreation – generally plan to have area journeys together with the members of the relatives.
    It is also common to think that someone is going to enter their house when they
    are alone, and kill them. Let calls go to your voicemail and
    check it after you have done your most important task.