Anatomy of dissent

by Judith Curry

Two particular subgroups of ACC-questioning mainstream scientists that emerged from my research among atmospheric scientists were two kinds of research meteorologists: the (by definition physics-strong and theoretical) dynamicists and more empirical research meteorologists with past training in synoptic methods and weather prediction. – Myanna Lahsen

An interesting paper was sent to me by Douglas Sheil, which provides some insights into skepticism in the meteorological research community.

Anatomy of Dissent: A Cultural Analysis of Climate Skepticism

Myanna Lahsen

Abstract. Based on findings from ethnographic analysis of U.S. climate scientists, this article identifies largely unrecognized sociocultural dimensions underpinning differences in scientists’ perceptions of anthropogenic climate change. It argues that culturally laden tensions among scientists have influenced some to engage with the antienvironmental movement and, as such, influence U.S. climate science politics. The tensions are rooted in broad-based and ongoing changes within U.S. science and society since the 1960s and propelled by specific scientific subgroups’ negative experiences of the rise of environmentalism and of climate modeling, in particular. Attending to these and other experience-based cultural dynamics can help refine cultural theory and enhance understanding of the deeper battles of meaning that propel climate science politics.

Published in American Behavioral Scientist, [link] to abstract.  Since this paper is behind paywall, I provide  liberal excerpts:

Typology

In my typology, “mainstream scientists” are scientists who, by contrast to “contrarian scientists,” work in official scientific institutions, mainly accredited universities and federal research laboratories; obtain research funding from government agencies; and publish primarily, if not exclusively, in scientific, peer-reviewed journals. Also in contrast to the contrarians, “mainstream skeptics” are moderate in their questioning of the science underpinning concern about human-induced climate change. They tend to believe that global climate has warmed and that human action may be one of the causes, but they question aspects of the evidence and are critical of what they perceive as exaggerations of the threat of ACC and of its scientific certainty. Unlike contrarians, they tend not to challenge the evidence for other environmental problems like ozone depletion and acid rain, and they lack extensive material and discursive ties to the vested interests and conservative think tanks that propel the antienvironmental movement. They also lack the strong, explicit aversion to government regulation held by most contrarians. Application of these definitions is admittedly difficult and ambiguous in some instances, as a few atmospheric scientists may show characteristics of more than one of these categories.

Habiti and Transformations in Science

The atmospheric sciences have witnessed an increasing dependence on GCMs along with changing criteria for evaluating what constitutes good and worthwhile science, in line with the emergence of Mode 2 science. Gibbons et al. (1994) use the terms “Mode 1” and “Mode 2” to describe the old and emergent forms of knowledge production that mark science today. They identify knowledge production in the traditional mode in science (Mode 1) as discipline-based, as involving a clear distinction between fundamental and applied science, and as placing greatest value on basic research, the latter being understood as a necessary precursor for applied science and engineering. Pure theory, physics, and mathematics serve as the ideals in this mode, in which searches for first principles and a unitary theory of the world are primary goals.

Mode 2 science is less traditional in its production and evaluation of knowledge. It involves weakening, if not erasure, of long-standing disciplinary boundaries and of common distinctions between fundamental and applied science, including the value system that traditionally has privileged the former. Knowledge in this mode is often produced with clear policy goals in mind, and notions of good science are expanded to include recognition of practical, societal, and policy-related impacts. Actors operating in Mode 2 manifest greater awareness of the broader implications of their work.

JC comment:  the Mode 1 and 2 science categorization is further illuminated by this previous post on Pasteur’s quadrant, where I think Mode 1 corresponds to Bohr’s quadrant and Mode 2 corresponds to Pastuer’s and Edison’s quadrants.

Important federal agencies’ funding criteria have shifted increasingly in favor of Mode 2 science since the end of the cold war. In the environmental sciences, the new criteria of evaluation are closely linked to environmental concern as well as societal demands for “socially relevant” science, all of which privileges research on ACC, for which GCMs are an essential tool. This underlies much of modelers’ current success in obtaining funding and broad-based recognition of their scientific products.

In a clear articulation of Mode 2 values in interviews with me, the late Stephen Schneider, proponent of policy-driven, interdisciplinary climate modeling, expressed his lack of interest in “an elegant solution.” He unequivocally defended seeking answers to pressing social problems by any means necessary, including imprecise science:

The other side says “[if you put] garbage in[to the model], garbage [comes] out; if you haven’t got all the details, how can you couple everything together.” And my answer is: [if you don’t and instead wait until more precise data is available for input in the models] by the time you get that, we’ll already know the answer because you just go outside and see what happened. And that is not ethical in my value system.

Core Contrarians: The Physicist Trio

At the discursive level, if not always in their actions (given their extensive efforts to mobilize science in service of commercial and political interests), a physicist elite forming an influential subset of the high-profile contrarian scientists strongly represents Mode 1 values. In the context of climate science, these values are expressed in criticisms of the environmental sciences and, in particular, of climate modeling. The physicist elite that joined under the conservative Washington, D.C.–based think tank the Marshall Institute was led for over a decade by the now-deceased Frederick Seitz, William Nierenberg, and Robert Jastrow—scientists who have been extraordinarily active and influential in the climate backlash (Lahsen, 2008; Oreskes & Conway, 2010) and who continue to serve as authorities for skeptical arguments, even after their deaths and even outside of the United States.5 As in the case of still-living colleagues of similar profile, the Marshall Institute physicist trio’s discourses, values, and habiti were formed before the contemporary wave of environmentalism, at a time when communism was perceived as a dominant threat and nuclear physicists enjoyed the highest prestige in the scientific hierarchy.

JC comment:  Ironic that political motivations and espousement of Mode 1 research values seem to go together on the ‘conservative’ political side

Defenders of basic science and with a value framework squarely rooted in the postwar decades and the cold war mentality, the trio was at odds with the emerging environmental consciousness and the associated new social movements that gained force during the 1970s. Concomitant with these transformations, their social status and influence declined, as did funding for the lines of science they valued. Meanwhile, climate modeling and other lines of science developed that they considered inferior science. Dismay over these changes informs their backlash engagements, which were acts of resistance to changing tides in science and society and a defense of their understandingsof science, modernity, and of themselves as a physicist elite.

Mainstream Empirical Meteorologists

Until the emergence of numerical approaches, meteorologists were divided into three broad groups: theoreticians, empiricists, and weather forecasters. Skeptically inclined climate critics within the atmospheric sciences tend to come from these three traditional groups and to hold criticisms of the epistemological status of numerical climate modeling and of how modeling results are being used in science and politics. Leaving aside weather forecasters, who were not part of my ethnographic research because I focused on research scientists, scientific critics of climate science and climate models tend to be empiricists (experimentalists, observationalists) and theoreticians (in meteorology, the theoretical, physics-trained meteorologists called “dynamicists”). In what follows, I will seek to account for this fact through analysis of historical and cultural factors shaping the relationships between these groups and climate modeling.

Representing a new hybrid form of scientific inquiry, climate modeling gradually assumed a central role in the atmospheric sciences, to the point of sidelining empiricists and theoreticians. At important U.S. research institutions such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the tasks of these two groups were increasingly made subservient to the climate modeling enterprise. Moreover, despite the need for all three groups—empiricists, theoreticians, and modelers (the latter initially mainly made up of young scientists with more mathematical know-how than knowledge of the actual atmosphere—to produce good models, in practice (i.e., as revealed through my fieldwork) empiricists and theoreticians felt that their knowledge and expertise were not always integrated into that enterprise. As illustrated through specific examples described below, a “fear of loss of thinking” in science informs these criticisms due to the overreliance of simulation technology.

Meteorological empiricists and theoreticians enjoy insight into weather and climate dynamics that informs their critical views of the models and of how climate modeling sometimes is carried out and results presented and used to inform environmental understanding and policy. They recognize that many modelers are good mathematicians but portray them, as one put it, as “so involved with running their models that they haven’t put the time in thinking how the atmosphere works.” Some modelers recognize a certain factual basis for some of these criticisms, noting a common inability or reluctance among modelers to recognize their models’ shortcomings. The associated tensions reflect an epistemological issue characteristic of 20th century science—the question of whether the best understanding of the atmosphere is gathered by “those who crunch the numbers, but never look outside,” or by those who don’t use equations but who “read the sky”.

Another meteorologist of similar profile noted weather researchers’ sense of marginalization because the IPCC became the authority on climate change rather than the Working Group for Climate Change Detection unit that their leaders created in the mid- to late 1980s under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Adding to the sting, members of the broader atmospheric research community discredited the unit’s authority on the climate issue, on the grounds that it was made up of bureaucrats and weather forecasters.8 With an element of humor, a research meteorologist I interviewed caricatured the feeling among his peers, saying “nobody loves [them] anymore and nobody knows the real atmosphere.”

JC comment:  This is the first I’ve heard of the WMO Working Group for Climate Change Detection.  It seems that this Working Group is now joint between WMO and WCRP CLIVAR, see this [link].

For their specific, experience-based reasons, but similar to the contrarian physicist trio, older generation research meteorologists’ criticisms of climate models and reservations about the current level of preoccupation with ACC are thus often infused with a sense of alienation and regret about broad-based transformations in science and society since the cold war decades. They have witnessed increased internal strife and politicization of their field with the rise of environmental concern in the contexts of nuclear technology, global cooling, ozone depletion, and, more recently, ACC. The ones I interviewed were all environmentally concerned, but questioned the strong focus on ACC in science and society, noting other issues of concern, such as population growth and depletion of natural resources. But they were—mostly quietly so—uncomfortable about recent trends in science, including climate models and the IPCC. With characteristic ambivalence, they closely linked climate modeling with a lamented politicization of their field, while also acknowledging the particular power of the models as heuristics tools. What they react to, above all, are the uses of the models as truth-machines.

As in the case of the physicist subset of contrarians, members of this older generation of research meteorologists express scientific values in line with Mode 1 science. For example, one such meteorologist expressed being troubled by the IPCC, noting that its mode of operating diverges from “the traditional role of science,” according to which hypotheses are rigorously tested: “The IPCC doesn’t aggressively seek to disprove its own hypothesis. The thrust of the IPCC is to look for the social and political consensus. I find that really troubling. It’s really different. . . .”

Adding pain to injury, nonmodeling meteorologists frequently found their access to research funds greatly reduced, if not entirely cut, with the emergence of GCMs and concern about ACC, especially when their research proposals were not designed to confirm or otherwise advance the theory of ACC.

Theoretical Meteorologists

Theoretical meteorologists (“dynamicists”) appeared in my research as a mainstream subgroup inclined to question GCM output. This subgroup also highlighted generational differences and identified with those of the “older school” who had been trying for a good many years to get a kind of conceptual model of how the climate system works before, in the words of one of them, “the modelers came along and said, ‘It’s hopeless to do it that way. We’re just going to have to simulate rather than understand.’”

Contrasting himself to modelers—and to those whom he called “catastrophists” and the “CO2 folks”—a mainstream dynamicist (interviewed in 1995) explicitly identified with a “group of critics,” with physicists, and with “the school that believes that the climate is an extraordinarily stable system.” He perceived a warming trend in global data but judged it to be roughly half a degree and thus far below model estimates of 6 or so degrees, contesting the right of anyone “to say something like that is reliable when all it takes into account is one factor among many others” and when it omits important systemic feedbacks.

Dynamicists were less personally and negatively impacted by the rise of GCMs compared to the empirical meteorologists. They largely continued to benefit from the prestige theoretical knowledge endows in science, and their criticisms tend to reflect a subtle sense of superiority in relation to the GCM enterprise, which they associate with engineering and criticize for its weak base in physics-based understanding of the phenomena being modeled. In a similar expression of superiority, dynamicists I interviewed sometimes expressed feeling “ashamed” about IPCC practices and the ACC “hype” in their field.

Demonstrating the moderation and complex thinking characteristic of mainstream skeptics, mainstream theoretical meteorologists showed moderation in their environmental skepticism and did not categorically dismiss a longer list of environmental issues. Some made a point of expressing disagreement with the “wide antiscience movement” that they identified with the U.S. Republican party. 

Conclusion

This analysis identifies both differences and continuities between contrarians and mainstream skeptically inclined scientists. Besides their staunch conservatism, contrarian scientists articulate especially strongly culturally laden criticisms of transformations in the sciences associated with a new age characterized by rising environmentalism and a new mode of knowledge production (Mode 2 science). For reasons rooted in the particularities of their knowledge, experience, and subcultures, older generation representatives of three subgroups—theoretical and empirical research meteorologists, in addition to weather forecasters—show particular inclinations to question elements of climate science, in particular climate models. These three groups traditionally made up the field of meteorology and have a noncommitted—and sometimes even a somewhat alienated and antagonistic—relationship to modeling, which conditions their skepticism toward ACC. This skepticism has facilitated backlash instigators’ efforts to enroll some of them in campaigns, a few as full-fledged contrarians. It is noteworthy that contrarian scientists tend to be empiricists and physicists (i.e., theoreticians). 

 JC summary comments

Well it has been gratifying to read a social science paper about climate change skepticism that focuses on something other than politically motivated ‘denialism’.  I think Lahsen has provided some real insights.

There seems to be an age issue here.  As far as I can tell, nearly all of the scientists interviewed were at least as old as I am (or much older).  My graduate education was just on the cusp of the rise of climate modeling (mid/late 70’s).  My graduate education was strongly theoretical, and my postdoc was predominantly empirical. By the mid-1990’s, it was pretty clear that the way to get funding was to argue that what you were doing would improve climate models, and I jumped on that bandwagon.

This article motivated me to conduct a thought experiment of looking ahead 20 years, to ponder what a social scientist such as Lahsen would say about the meteorological/atmospheric core of climate science circa 2030, which is reflected in how we are educating atmospheric and climate scientists today.  I see three divergent trends:

  1. Subsuming meteorology into interdisciplinary environmental studies-type educational programs, with a strong emphasis on analyzing climate model output in context of societal impacts
  2. Model-centric meteorology, where the emphasis is on data assimilation, manipulation and visualization of large data sets, and weather and climate diagnostics using the output of weather/climate models.
  3. Back to our theoretical and empirical roots.  Such an approach is being adopted by MIT’s Lorenz Center [link].

When it comes to hiring new faculty and introducing new courses, I have come down strongly on the side of beefing up #3.  I am worried that fundamental (theoretical) atmospheric/climate dynamics is a dying field, with the ascendance of the large weather and climate models, which IMO is not a good thing for the fields of meteorology and climate science (nor is this a good thing for the future of the large weather and climate models).  There are some very difficult problems here, and we need an infusion of expertise from mathematics and physics conducting research in nonlinear science and complex systems, in collaboration with experts in atmospheric and climate dynamics.

One obvious question that arises from reading Lahsen’s paper is how  large is the population of climate skeptics in the mainstream research community.  Is this the 3 percent of Lewandowsky and others? Or is this a much larger community? Hard to know.  Speaking of Lewandowsky, don’t miss Ben Pile’s devastating takedown at Spiked.

313 responses to “Anatomy of dissent

  1. Projected strawman of conspiracy in the first paragraph. Why should I read on?

    OK, Judy likes it. Good enough.
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    • “…It argues that culturally laden tensions among scientists have influenced some to engage with the antienvironmental movement and, as such, influence U.S. climate science politics.”

      Wow, Dangerous, engaging (presumably without a mask and gloves) with the anti-environmental movement (whoever and whatever that is exactly)

      • jbmckim said June 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        “Max_OK: You left out libraries, little old ladies and in this case, weather people.”
        ______

        I also left out the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, who as Waggy would put it, lack common sense so live off of other people’s taxes.

        Apparently, Waggy had the common sense to never served his country, so has never lived off other peoples’ taxes. Either that or no branch of the military wanted a whining crackpot, figuring he would turn tail and run at the first sign of danger.

      • Max,

        I benefited from the tax payer in that almost all of my undergrad education was paid for through the GI Bill. For course there was the matter of it being part of the compensation for doing something.

        Most people understand that there are certain services for which a federal government is best suited to provide. Having each state provide for the common defense separately is not a particularly good idea. Change this to emergency services – i.e. 1st responders, police, fire, EMT – and local control works fine. The fact it does apparently is not enough to keep some people from arguing we now need federal oversite. A federal agency to establish standards and otherwise determine what 1st response should or should not look like. I see this as a text book example of over reach. Who is better suited to determine the level of 1st response service, the local community or someone sitting in a Beltway office back in DC?

      • Wagathon on June 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm
        ” the productive have become the new Jew of the liberal fascists”
        __________

        feh! Me ken brechen.

    • A war is raging between those who live off of other people’s taxes versus anyone with common sense.

      • Yes, if police and firefighters only had common sense they would find other ways to make a living.

        And why would anyone with common sense try to make a living teaching unruly brats to behave and learn the three R’s ?

      • Who really believes that coddled academics and government bureaucrats divorced from the business of living in the real world can be objective?

      • Max_OK: You left out libraries, little old ladies and in this case, weather people. C’mon enough of the the ridiculous oversimplification/ either-or fallacies.

      • Max Ok, You elevate callowness to an art form. The scary thing is you likely fancy yourself quite an intelligent fellow.

        I dunno. Perhaps you are. But you’re careless in your thinking. When I say something dumb, which is often enough, I feel something called shame. Are you even acquainted with that most painful of human emotions? Until you are, there’s no hope for you…

      • pokerguy said on June 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

        “Max Ok, You elevate callowness to an art form.”
        _____

        Thank you. I am thankful for being blessed with some creative talent. I’m not sure I deserve it.

      • jbmckim said June 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        “Max_OK: You left out libraries, little old ladies and in this case, weather people.”
        ______

        I posted my reply in the wrong place, so here it is again.

        I also left out the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, who as Waggy would put it, lack common sense so live off of other people’s taxes.

        Apparently, Waggy had the common sense to not serve his country, so has never lived off other peoples’ taxes. Either that or no branch of the military wanted a whining crackpot, figuring he would turn tail and run at the first sign of danger.

      • The Left has become nothing more than propagandists and ad hom attack dogs for the Left’s political machine — everyone with common sense and who actually work for a living to provide the goods and services that society really wants and is willing to pay for have become the Left’s enemy: the productive have become the new Jew of the liberal fascists.

      • Wagathon on June 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm
        ” the productive have become the new Jew of the liberal fascists”
        __________

        feh! Me ken brechen.

      • Don’t hurt yourself getting drunk on dogma and falling out of commie guard tower.

      • Waggy humor

    • Another really good post. Many thanks

  2. Heh, Schneider: ‘You just go outside and see what happened’. I hope his view is good now.
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  3. Meh, maybe the older ones simply think a big mistake is being made. Hey, what a wierd idea that is.
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  4. Bottom line: Navel gazing at a great toe.
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  5. Funny she makes a living at the short term stuff when the genius is long term. Not surprising, though, just amusing.
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  6. Paul Matthews

    I think this paper has been commented on (ridiculed?) somewhere in the sceptic blogosphere. I love the term “powerful backlash actors”. Am I a powerful backlash actor?

    Like most of these so-called academic studies, it less interested in what the sceptics themselves have to say. She’s more interested in regurgitating what her fellow activist academics like Oreskes and Dunlap say, thereby establishing it as fact in the peer-reviewed litrachur.

    Particularly odious is the personal attack on three particular individuals, shortly after their deaths. Her claim that these 3 are particular influential is completely false. I’ve only vaguely heard of one of them.

    • Litchurchur. Don’t guess, look it up.
      =========

    • The anatomy of “skeptic?”

      Her claim that these 3 are particular influential is completely false. I’ve only vaguely heard of one of them.

      Beautiful. Because Paul had only vaguely heard of them proves that they weren’t particularly influential. No research done to investigate their influence. No attempt at verification. Nothing other than what Paul has “heard” of.

      I seriously love the reasoning of some of our much-beloved “skeptics.”

      • ‘Skeptic’. Don’t guess, look it up.
        =======

      • Steven Mosher

        Had Judith written that these three were influential you would have asked for evidence. No evidence was given, other than a cite, that they were influential and a skeptic says he hasnt even heard of 2 of them. That counts as evidence against the proposition that they were influential. Not conclusive evidence, but evidence nonetheless. Given a bald assertion that these three were influential I’ll have to agree with paul mathews.
        Lets see, I’ve spent 6 years engaging with skeptics from top to bottom and these three names have never been used. EVER.

        When skeptics appeal to authorities they appeal to
        Lindzen, christy, spencer, popper, feynman, Dyson, McIntyre,
        and the seven dwarfs: willis, salby, scafetta,watts,happer, sleepy and grumpy ( arrg I ran out of skeptical authorities )

      • Speaking of ‘Spiked’, shall we not, there’s another one who didn’t examine the subject and projected instead. There is a trend amongst the alarmists and it’s one of the stages of grief.
        =============

      • It starts with a ‘D’ and if I use it I might get moderated. ::grin::
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      • Mosh

        Only just read the paper. Are these the three?

        “The physicist elite that joined under the conservative Washington, D.C.–based think tank the Marshall Institute was led for over a decade by the now-deceased Frederick Seitz, William Nierenberg, and Robert Jastrow”

        I’ve vaguely heard of Seitz but never heard of the other two. I personally have never referenced any of them as far as I remember and consequently have never thought them influential. .

        tonyb

      • Mosher,

        I thought Willis was Grumpy.

        To be honest, at this point I think I’d almost put more credibility in an animated character than say someone who dresses up as Superman or who sees himself as a Nobel Prizing winning warrior king who is bravely battling it out in the trenches against the evil empire of big oil and fossil fuels.

        Almost forgot Scooter. The great eco-warrior who is now a climate scientist – because he says so. At least that beats his old gig as SKS’s most rabid attack puppy.

      • Heh.

        Co-founder of the Marshall Institute and director of Scripps – but Paul hasn’t heard of him = “completely false” about him being influential.

        You boyz are on a roll tonight. Keep it up, please.

      • Amusingly enough, there’s more:

        In 1971 he was appointed chairman of the National Academy of Sciences National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere and served on this committee until 1977.

        But Paul hasn’t heard of him.

        I mean I would think that being chairman of the National Academy of Sciences National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere would, perhaps, lend just a smidgen of influence to the fellow – but Paul not knowing of him trumps that, eh?

      • Ah, but wait:

        By October 1980, during the Carter presidency, an Act of Congress was passed requesting the National Academy of Science to review what was known about climate change. This review was begun speedily and Nierenberg was appointed by the Academy to chair the committee to produce this report on the risks of global warming,

        What, are you kidding? You think that there is any evidence that the man was influential? How ridiculous. And even if there were, Paul not knowing who he was is much more substantive than any other evidence I could think of.

      • The final nail in the coffin, eh?

        A building on the campus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is named for him

        Now please. What kind of a freakin’ idiot would think that Scripps would name a building after someone who was influential? It is a well-known fact that they only name buildings after people who are not influential.

        The notion that dude is influential is “completely false.” Just as Paul!!!

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua,

        you persist in missing the point and your motivated reasoning is showing. The article in question and the sources it cites merely asserted that these three were influential. On the other hand you have people who have been reading skeptics daily for 6 years or more who are giving you other evidence. I’ll repeat, had Judith said these men were influential, you would have questioned her or berated her in your usual manner. Because for you it’s not the actual point she makes or claim she makes. You read her text looking for specific patterns. These patterns occur in all texts. You then exploit these patterns for a particular purpose.
        You don’t read to understand. You don’t read to find a common ground. You should try that once.

        But lets get to the real issue.

        In the wars with skeptics as it stands today there are a few fundamental
        arguments that hold sway as the dominate argument. None of these three have ever made any lasting contribution to the central arguments of skepticism.

        Perhaps people are disagreeing with what they mean by influence.

        Lets take Pat Micheals who I didnt name ( sorry Pat ) I would see Pat as a lasting influence. Seitz and the others, not so much.
        But that’s the judgment of somebody who has read more skeptical stuff and actually talked to more skeptics than than I care to recount.

      • I had never heard of them either and have dabbled as an armature for more than a decade.
        I started looking because of the use of equilibrium thermodynamics applied to steady state system seemed, quaint.

      • Steven Mosher

        tonyb

        A little research into Seitz indicates almost no writing on climate science and that which does appear is pretty vapid. Some appears lukewarmist.
        by 1990 he wasnt even lucid accordingto some accounts. He’s selected as a father of skepticism so that people can play the tobacco card.

        Jastrow is likewise not very productive.. looks like solar variability was his gig.. a branch of scepticism that withered.

        I suppose as I would view it it looks like these old dogs were rapidly eclipsed by other folks.. Buts its politically expedient to trash the old guys.. kinda like lumping obama with bill Ayers. on the surface it looks like an intellectual history, but its not.

      • mosh

        thanks for your perceptive comment at 9.30.
        tonyb

      • Joshua

        Scientists come and go and some leave behind virtually no evidence of their passing. I gave a talk on climate change a couple of years ago to 11 year olds just about to go up to grammar school. They had never heard of Al Gore. Not That I am claiming he was a scientist of course.
        tonyb

  7. Mode 2 science is to science what TV is to truth. In both cases, a hindrance.

  8. “Mode 2 science [...] Knowledge in this mode is often produced with clear policy goals in mind, ”

    And right there is the clear confession that policy desires drive fact finding, rather than the other way around. They don’t want to decarbonize because of global warming, they want to globe to be shown to warm as a pretext for decarbonization.

  9. I challenge the idea there is a significant “antienvironmental” movement.

    • Biofuelers, wind and solar advocates, heck dam builders. Why do you have to ask?
      ============

    • Not really a movement. Just folks with the ability to observe when someone extremely passionate with a stick up their ass and the common sense to know to ignore them.

      I read today about a planned March across the Nation for Climate Action. Upwards of a 1000 people are going to walk from California to DC. People are already claiming it will focus huge attention and pressure on politicians to act now on climate change policies. Yeah, right.

      • “Upwards of a 1000 people are going to walk from California to DC.”

        With dozens if not hundreds of support vehicles no doubt.

        Of course, I’m sure they’ll be hybrids. Sort of like buying carbon offsets in order to feel good about flying to exotic locales, first class.

      • Will the march be on asphalt roads?

    • Jim, I think there may be an antienvironmental movement, called Conservation. Conservation is based on a love of flora and fauna, of bush, agricultural lands, waterways, oceans – and of people above all. It is concerned with the application of commonsense, thrift and good stewardship. It is utterly opposed to the mass neurosis called Environmentalism.

      • Conservationism and Stewardship are beliefs for thinking individuals.

        Environmentalism is for folks who either don’t like people (or believe there are too many of them), or who think they know better how things should be managed (i.e. don’t trust individuals with managing they lives) or who are idiots. It would not be an outlandish idea to classify them with zombies.

  10. “Anatomy of Dissent …” implicitly assumes a man-caused-global-warming- catastrophe is a fact, ergo dissenters must be heretics. More pure crap from the academic world.

  11. The fact that one does not see a need to reduce CO2 emissions does not translate to “antienvironmental.” It translates instead to a belief that extra CO2 will not harm the environment.

    • It’s a boon, a blessing, a completely serendipitous one, and will eventually be recognized as such. The greening and the apparent slight warming effect will sustain more total life and more diversity of life. If climate sensitivity to anthro CO2 is high enough to create a warming catastrophe, then anthro CO2 has already averted a cooling catastrophe.

      Say it again, say it again, louder, louder.
      ============================

      • “More total life and more diversity of life,” says kim. Sure, but who wants more and greater varieties of bugs, weeds, mold, mildew, pond scum and the like?

        Will rising sea levels sustain more total marine life and more diversity of marine life?

      • Perusal of paleontology probably’ll provoke progress.
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      • Max_OK

        Will rising sea levels sustain more total marine life and more diversity of marine life?

        Think about it for just a minute.

        If the sea level rose by a meter (which would take over 300 years at the current rate of rise), it would increase the surface area of the global oceans by around 120,000 km2, assuming no protective dikes were built to stop the encroachment (Titus & Richman, 2001).

        The ocean now has a surface area of 361 million km2, so I hardly think this gradual increase is going to cause any perceptible changes to marine life, Okie.

        Try another scare tactic – that one didn’t fly.

        Max

      • Max,

        Always a glass half empty.

        You are on record here as saying you don’t want things to change. You like your climate just the way it is. Sounds like that preference extends to your entire environment.

        Here is what you should do, since you don’t appear willing to accept the fact the world around you is in a constant state of change. Take a photo. Now stare at it. Imagine yourself in that photo. (Or get someone to take it with you in it.) Keep staring.

      • manacker said on June 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm |

        “The ocean now has a surface area of 361 million km2, so I hardly think this gradual increase is going to cause any perceptible changes to marine life, Okie.”
        _____

        Max_CH, take that up with kim, who said” The greening and the apparent slight warming effect will sustain more total life and more diversity of life.”

      • M, you confuse warm apples and orange sea levels.
        ================

      • timg56 said on June 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

        “Max,

        Always a glass half empty.

        You are on record here as saying you don’t want things to change. You like your climate just the way it is. Sounds like that preference extends to your entire environment.”
        ______

        Are you kidding ? Of course I want some things to change. I would like to be a lot wealthier. I would like to learn more than I already know. I would like to be more creative. I could go on and on. But do I want the climate where I live to be different. HELL, NO ! If I did, I would just live somewhere else.

      • Speaks a future climate refugee.
        ============

      • The ecosystem is rather robust. The monarch butterflys have to fly over Lake Superior during their migration.
        They haveto fly over the lake in one unceasing flight. That alone would be difficult, but the monarchs make it tougher by not going directly south. They fly south, and at one point of the lake turn east, fly for a while, and then turn back toward the south. Why?

        To avoid the mountain that used to stand where the lake is now.

        http://strangesounds.org/2013/05/the-monarchs-these-butterflies-remember-a-mountain-that-hasnt-existed-for-millennia-at-lake-superior.html

      • Max_OK loves the climate he has RIGHT NOW and “HELL NO”, he doesn’t want to change it.

        Well, the truth of the matter is he CAN’T change it, even if he wanted to.

        No matter how much money he and everyone else throw at it.

        It’s going to change just like it wants to change and Max_OK can’t do a thing about it. Nor can anyone else.

        It “changed” by warming about 0.7C to get to the level that Max_OK loves today (apparently his “Goldilocks optimum”).

        And it will probably continue to warm in fits and spurts as it has since the modern record started in 1850, back at the end of the cooler period called the “Little Ice Age”.

        And Max_OK is gonna be OK.

        Max_CH

  12. This kind of reminds me of where chemistry was with theoretical modeling and empirical testing about 40 years go when I was getting my graduate degree. The modelers and the empiricists always seemed to make the most progress when they were collaborating. Good theoretical models would give you insight on process that were hard to delve into experimentally and the empirical data would insure the theoretical models reflected the reality of processes as they actually occurred.
    I’ve felt for a long time that the disdain that many global circulation modelers held for meteorologists would come back to haunt them in a big way. Mother Nature has a nasty habit of reminding folks there are other processes that have not been adequately incorporated into the code. The meteorologists have been trying to point many of these processes out for some years now. Some of the comments like Robert Brown’s of Duke might indicate that it may even be time to start over as there is very little reflection of reality in many models when you try to get into the details. I don’t think climate science would have gotten here if the empiricists (meteorologists) had been included from the start.

  13. I am worried that fundamental (theoretical) atmospheric/climate dynamics is a dying field, with the ascendance of the large weather and climate models, which IMO is not a good thing for the fields of meteorology and climate science (nor is this a good thing for the future of the large weather and climate models).

    Somehow this statement reminded me of Ike Asimov’s The Feeling of Power.

    • Very nice. And look at the power the politicians and climate scientists have seized. It’s the power of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
      ==================

  14. If it is simply a matter of science everyone should be skeptical. Warming before 1940 accounts for 70% of the warming that took place after the Little Ice Age ended in 1850. In reality, there essentially has been no global warming in the US since the 1940s. The only warming that can be ferreted out of the temperature records is in the coldest and most inhospitable regions on Earth, such as in the dry air of the Arctic or Siberia where going from a -50 °C to a -40 °C at one small spot on the globe is extrapolated across tens of thousands of miles and then branded as global warming.

  15. In my typology, “mainstream scientists” are scientists who, by contrast to “contrarian scientists,” work in official scientific institutions, mainly accredited universities and federal research laboratories; obtain research funding from government agencies; and publish primarily, if not exclusively, in scientific, peer-reviewed journals.

    So the author admits that money has something to do with the hype of AGW. (Lindzen being exception) Also with the Climategate emails on the subversion of peer review journals in climate science the author’s selection of “mainstream scientists” is biased.

  16. JC said:
    “There seems to be an age issue here. As far as I can tell, nearly all of the scientists interviewed were at least as old as I am (or much older).”
    _________

    As I have frequently pointed out, scientists who are vocal contrarians and skeptics are as a group old white men, who I presume, like old white men in general, tend to be more politically conservative than young white men. I’m not sure what these scientists have in common other than old age and political beliefs.

    Mortality will thin the ranks of today’s scientists who are vocal contrarians and skeptics. Will they be replace by younger scientists who change their views, and if so, what will this say about science?

    If

    • Didn’t Winston Churchill respond to the way his views changed over time with a statement like, a young man who is not a liberal has not heart, an older man who not a conservative has not head. I think changes in views have little to do with the science and much to do with maturing (getting older).

    • Maybe because the only people who can afford to be vocal contrarians are those with enough clout in the system to defend themselves from the intellectual hooliganism of the fanatics. Which mostly means a long time in a privileged position.

      Will they be replace by younger scientists who change their views, and if so, what will this say about science?

      No, they’ll be replaced by previously young people who’ve gained enough clout so speak the views they’ve had all along.

      If the paradigm stays the way it is, then large numbers of formerly younger scientists who currently disapprove of the way the “paradigm” is being used will gain enough clout to feel safe speaking out. If it changes, then large numbers of formerly younger scientists who grew up in this paradigm and can’t accept the change (and have enough clout to feel safe speaking out).

      IMO

      • So, AK, as today’s young men age they, like their grandfathers, are more likely to be racists and homophobes.

      • You keep using this word ‘So’. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
        =============

      • Everyone who disagrees with Max_OK is a racist homophobe. He knows because MSBNC and the Huffington Post told him so.

      • Looks like Max has racist homophobe prejudice.

      • AK –

        Maybe because the only people who can afford to be vocal contrarians are those with enough clout in the system to defend themselves from the intellectual hooliganism of the fanatics. Which mostly means a long time in a privileged position.

        Well, yes, “maybe.”

        But I see this speculation quite often among “skeptics” to explain the positive correlation between age and “climate skepticism” in a very confident way and in a very selective fashion. In fact, such reasoning seems to be pretty much an article of faith among “skeptics.” Yet despite the ubiquity and seeming widespread acceptance of this argument, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in anything other that purely speculative form. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this argument quantified with any validated data.

        Where is your evidence that young people haven’t spoken up out of fear? And do you assume that such a dynamic would only apply in one direction in the climate debate? (Thus, explaining the positive correlation between age and climate “skepticism”).

        Here, listen to this story where an established meteorologist was reluctant to discuss global warming not because he was concerned about reaction from “realists,” but because of concern about reaction from “skeptics.”

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/hot-in-my-backyard?act=1

        Or listen to this story of a well-known and established conservative who speaks about how much pressure he receives from what he describes as an “orthodoxy,” — for saying he is concerned about global warming. The exact opposite dynamic than that which “skeptics” often use to describe the positive association between climate “skepticism” and age.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/hot-in-my-backyard?act=2

        No, they’ll be replaced by previously young people who’ve gained enough clout so speak the views they’ve had all along.

        And we see here the loss of conditional syntax – replaced by what seems to be certainty of counterfactual speculation without even a presentation of validated evidence of existing trends let alone a systematic approach to hypothetical future scenarios. What gives you the confidence for the certainty you expressed about what might happen in the future – given the myriad very complicated (dare I say “chaotic” ) phenomena involved?

        Just to be clear, I think that Max_OK’s theory of attribution for the correlation between age climate “skepticism” are equally speculative and likely unfounded.

      • So, AK, as today’s young men age they, like their grandfathers, are more likely to be racists and homophobes.

        An interesting argument.

        Also interesting that it has been countered by insults as opposed to logical rebuttal. Why do you suppose that is?

      • Sorry – after re-reading I see that they weren’t insults. They were personally focused arguments rather logical arguments, but I was mistaken in my previous characterization.

      • Oops –

        Another correction, it isn’t a meteorologist who was reluctant to speak about climate change due to concern about reaction from “skeptics,” but a climatologist (Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken.).

      • kim said on June 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        You keep using this word ‘So’. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
        _____

        So, what ?

      • Max_OK

        Maybe it’s not so much an “age issue” as it is a “smarts issue”.

        Ever think of that?

        Ja, ve get too soon oldt
        Und too late schmardt

        Max_CH

      • @Joshua…

        Slipping a post in between work: did you see the three letters at the bottom of my post?

        My confidence comes from having studied both the work of Kuhn and attacks on and defense of paradigms in several fields. “Global warming” is a manufactured paradigm, created through deceptive manipulation of the tools of science. This means that in addition to the tools used in battles over real paradigms, there will be other methods used (already are). As well as more extreme versions of the more traditional tools. IMO.

        I’m forecasting the results. Like all forecasts, it’s opinion, just as I said.

      • @Joshua…

        And what about the leaders on the other side? What’s the analysis of the folks at RC? Or Planet3.0 for that matter? Just asking, I haven’t had time to check out anyone but Hansen and Trenberth, but they certainly fit that same profile.

      • AK –

        Slipping a post in between work: did you see the three letters at the bottom of my post?

        My bad. I did miss them.

        So I’m going to guess that for some reason, in you life you have found cowardice and willingness to jettison integrity to be considerably more commonplace than I have.

        I’m afraid the rest of that comment is over my head. E.g., I don’t know what the reference to Kuhn means in terms of identifying the pattern you described. Not sure what you mean by “manufactured paradigm” as distinguished from any other paradigm, etc.

      • AK and Joshua,
        In my field in my time (now past) a young Turk would often try to make his reputation by trying to counter or modify some currently dominant hypothesis. As long as he selected his targets carefully and was not too outrageous, it could have substantial payoff. This was possible because at that time there was no political or financial stake in most areas of academic chemistry.

        Climatology, however, has become tremendously politicized and thus as a young academic scientist you must be extremely careful about what position you take. Your grant funding and so your academic career depends on your position. Thus, I would not characterize a young climatologist as cowardly if he is simply smart enough to preserve his funding in order to get tenure and so to live to fight another day.

        By the way, this tactic will become more dominant in general in all fields as universities become more focused on patent income and the market payoff of research.

      • tcflood – the political aspect is absent in research for patents. Climate scientists have to keep the politicians pleased/concerned with their work to get funding. Pretty big difference that.

      • Jim2,
        I do believe that there will be lots of pressure for a young investigator to keep his mouth shut or to alter a few numbers about the efficacy of a drug or the severity of side effects if a hugely profitable patent is in the offing for the university and a collaborating drug company, for example. But you are right that is a different kind of problem for a different thread.

      • Regarding funding, there are a lot of stakeholders who would love to have research results that mean they don’t have to build that dam or sea-wall, or they can continue to sell fossil fuels. Why aren’t there all kinds of sources of money from these people who want that answer? I think it is because reports generated by those projects would fail independent peer review, and end up being a waste of money.

      • tcflood –

        I don’t doubt that the phenomenon exists to some extent – the question is whether it is pervasive a “skeptics” claim, and uniquely pervasive in climate science, as “skeptics” claim.

        I can tell you that I had Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago with a young climate scientist who was studying at MIT who told me he felt no particular pressure such as that you describe. The pressure he felt was like that which predominates for most students in any particular field pursuing an advanced degree – to produce novel work. Suppose he was lying, to me – would you guess that he would sell out his integrity to please Lindzen or to please Emanuel? How would he choose?

        In my experiences in working with graduate students (which I have done quite a bit), there is no doubt that many of them have felt pressure to please their advisers and mentors, and I’ve seen that sometimes they would specifically modify their work to fit what their supervising faculty wanted to see. (I have worked mostly with international students, and a major reason why many of them struggled was that they had a hard time figuring out the political in-and-outs of self-promotion in American academia. But I can’t say that I encountered any that felt the kind of pressure that you’re describing, and to conclude that it is so pervasive as to explain the positive correlation between age and climate “skepticism” seems implausible to me.

        But there is no doubt that I am not an impartial judge – so therefore I say, bring the evidence. Show, in some validated way, that the phenomenon you describe is manifest to such an extent that it explains the correlation we’re talking about. Surely, since as I said this seems to be more or less an article of faith among “skeptics,” there must be something more than just anecdotal evidence or speculation based on experiences in other fields coming from people who are obviously heavily engaged in the debate from a clearly partisan perspective. The climate debate has been around for a while – do you have some evidence that climate scientists have trended towards “skepticism” as the have become more established in their careers? If you do, have you controlled for any variety of other variables that might be influential?

        What explains your confidence?

      • @…

        I’m afraid the rest of that comment is over my head. E.g., I don’t know what the reference to Kuhn means in terms of identifying the pattern you described. Not sure what you mean by “manufactured paradigm” as distinguished from any other paradigm, etc.

        Sorry, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to expound. In terms of Kuhn’s models, “normal” science follows rules of evidence within the paradigm (mostly), while “revolutionary” science is actually attempting to overthrow the paradigm. Evidence is only one way the paradigm is attacked and defended. For instance, any hypothesis an attacker supplies can be expected to be attacked as inconsistent with various parts of the paradigm that the attacker has already deprecated.

        Thus, somebody attempting to deprecate a paradigm might question points A, B, C, and H. They then provide A’, along with a good deal of supporting evidence. Many defenders will attempt to dismiss A’, by pointing out that it’s inconsistent with B, C, and H, ignoring the fact that these points have also been questioned.

        Although I don’t have time right now to dig up proof of this (or other techniques) WRT things being shut out of journals, I’ve seen it on the Web, and I’m pretty sure it happens WRT journals. I once saw a particularly egregious attempt to dismiss James et al.‘s proposal that the “dark ages” separating the late Bronze in the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia from the iron age were a 20th century myth. I can’t quickly find the link (if it even exists any more), but it impressed me with the way defenders of the paradigm are willing to invoke the most specious of empty rationalizations against attacks on the paradigm.

        The parallels with climate science are obvious (to me), the difference is that the “global warming paradigm” in climate science is being used to rationalize a political agenda not really relevant to it. And, it’s a manufactured paradigm.

        As for how it’s is a manufactured paradigm, you can observe the way consecutive IPPC reports became progressively stronger in their statements of anthropogenic “warming”, despite the fact that the stated levels of uncertainty in the models was never reduced. IIRC there was a particularly egregious case in 1995(?) where the language of an important “summary” was drastically changed in meaning after the actual expert authors had signed off on it. (IIRC the original said there was no evidence of anthropogenic influences, while the modified version said there was.)

        Somebody here can probably provide those links.

        By analogy to Bayesian processes, the output from one IPPC exercise was used as the “prior” input into the next IPPC exercise. The result was that the same evidence was able to progressively confirm the original false conclusion, in what was no more than an imitation of how scientific paradigms are built.

        The process by which the IPCC gang built the “global warming” paradigm bears about as much resemblance to real scientific paradigm building as the Potemkin Villages of historical myth did to real peasant villages.

        IMO.

      • manacker said on June 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm

        Maybe it’s not so much an “age issue” as it is a “smarts issue”.

        Ever think of that?

        Ja, ve get too soon oldt
        Und too late schmardt
        ________

        I don’t believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates. ~T.S. Eliot

        Max_CH, do you remember at what age you started stagnating?

        Do you remember how long it took you to become totally stagnate?

      • Max_OK

        You asked me when I “started stagnating” or became “totally stagnate”.

        Not yet, sonny.

        Max_CH

      • AK, B. Levin wrote about it and B. Santer did it, in the summary, with a pencil and aforethought.
        =============

      • Max_Ch says he’s not totally stagnate yet.

        Maybe he just can’t remember turning totally stagnate, and it could have happened so slowly he didn’t notice anyway.

        Max_CH, a good thing about memory loss is you can hide your own easter eggs.

      • Max_OK

        Thanks for tip about hiding own Easter eggs.

        I’ll try it when I’ve stagnated like you (if I can remember it then).

        Max_CH

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Stagnant you idiot. Stop mangling English along with economics, science or anything else you touch on.

      • A spelling correction from he who does not know the meaning of “since.”

        He probably thinks “stagnate” has something to do with male deer. Ha Ha !

      • Robert Austin

        Climategate emails, the smoking gun of peer pressure. At least in the field of dendrophrenology.

      • Joshua,
        A nicely reasoned and interesting response. You seem to have interpreted my comments to mean that I am a skeptic. Actually, I would probably fit most closely in the cubicle of “warmist” (but not “alarmist”).

        In any event, I don’t have any evidence to adduce – only impressions, a few anecdotes, and 50 years experience watching academic science and funding from within. For example I seem to recall an interview of Lindzen in which he complained of loss of fundability. I think we might agree on the unusual degree of politicization of climate science. The rest is intuition. This is offered as conversational exchange, not with any intent of implied rigor.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Stagnate is a verb – stagnant is the noun. Since means what I said it means – as in cooling from 1998. February 1998 to be precise.

        But it is ultimately abundantly clear that you are incapable of anything but trivial quibbling and tediously juvenile argumentation.

      • Chief,
        Let me point out your slip before someone else uses it as a cudgel.
        “Stagnant” is the adjective, not the noun

    • Paul Erlich,

      Old white guy.

      Politically conservative?

      Hope you are alternating whip hands Max.

      • Max_OK:

        As I have frequently pointed out, scientists who are vocal contrarians and skeptics are as a group old white men, who I presume, like old white men in general, tend to be more politically conservative than young white men.

        tim:

        Paul Erlich,

        Old white guy.

        Politically conservative?

        Have you given up any pretense of making logical arguments, tim?

      • Josh,

        I just made one. And didn’t need a bunch of words to do so. What don’t you get? You copied Max’s argument. While one counter example is not necessarily proof his point is wrong, his argument isn’t worth the time to put up more than the one.

        But just to make you happy, here is another – George Soros.

      • timg56, you have misinterpreted me.

        1. I said scientists who are vocal contrarians and skeptics are as a group old white men, who I presume, like old white men in general, tend to be more politically conservative than young white men.

        2. I did not say most old white male scientists are contrarians and skeptics.

        3. I did not say no young scientists are contrarians and skeptics.

        BTW, I wasn’t aware Soros’ profession is scientist. I thought he was an trader and financier, so I don’t know why you mentioned him.

      • Paul Erlich said in 1969 that if he was a gambler he would bet even money that England would not exist as a country. )

      • Max_OK

        old white men in general, tend to be more politically conservative than young white men.

        George Soros is an “old white man”.

        As a “young white man” he worked for the Nazis.

        And, no, he’s NOT a scientist.

        Max

      • Beth

        Yeah, I remember reading Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb”.

        Here’s what wiki writes:

        The Population Bomb is a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich (who was uncredited), in 1968. It warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth.

        So how well did Ehrlich do in his prognosis?

        – Population increased by a whopping 1.7x from 1970 to 2010 (at a compounded rate of over 1.6% per year).

        But, at the same time:

        – Agricultural output, i.e. crop yields of major crops (rice, corn, wheat) increased by 2.4x

        – In addition, global starvation rates came down significantly and (despite HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa) world average life expectancy increased from ~55 years to ~68 years (up by 13 years).

        Oh well, you can’t get ‘em all right. (But it was a scary best-seller at the time – like the IPCC AR4 report 40 years later).

        Max

      • Max,

        The next e-dish-un of Serf Under_ ground on ‘Food and
        Famine’ will include comment on doom-sayers like Paul
        Erlich.Hey, as a fellow serf I’ll send yer a comple-ment-ary
        copy -)

        Beth-the-serf.

    • As the Pennsylvania Dutch sign says:

      Ja, ve get too soon oldt
      Und too late schmardt.

    • Science progresses one funeral at a time.

  17. ” I focused on research scientists, scientific critics of climate science and climate models tend to be empiricists (experimentalists, observationalists) and theoreticians (in meteorology, the theoretical, physics-trained meteorologists called “dynamicists”). In what follows, I will seek to account for this fact through analysis of historical and cultural factors shaping the relationships between these groups and climate modeling.”

    The author of this seems to be ignorant of the history of science. Modern science has always had proponents of empirical vs theoretical. As someone noted earlier, science works best when these approaches are yin and yang.

    • Pissant Progressive

      ignorant i don’t think. the definitions are confusing because you might ask “what other kind of scientists are there besides empiricists and theoreticians” but apparently modelers don’t count as either.

    • Pissant Progressive

      are the gamers technicians, scientists, politicians or engineers?

      it’s a brave new world.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Socially inept loners living on Red Bull and poptarts. Not so much a brave new world as a brave new world of war.

  18. Model do deserve a place in climate science. But the input of the models, loosely speaking, should be the output of the Yin-Yang Empirical-Theoretical core.

  19. “JC comment: Ironic that political motivations and espousement of Mode 1 research values seem to go together on the ‘conservative’ political side.”

    There is absolutely nothing ironic about it at all. It only seems ironic because your understanding of what makes one “conservative” was formed for you by those who are not.

    Conservatism, properly understood, is the embrace of principles. Principles that have developed, and been tried and proven valuable over time. It is not ironic, or coincidental, that those of a conservative political mien would hold a traditional view of science that led to the greatest and most rapid technological advances in the history of mankind.

    It is also not ironic or a coincidence that progressives embrace whole heartedly “Mode 2″ style “science.” Progressivism, properly understood, is the belief that an elite has the ability, and therefore should have the power, and the right to make decisions for others.

    “He [Schneider] unequivocally defended seeking answers to pressing social problems by any means necessary including imprecise science.” This is classic progressive thought, even though I doubt Schneider knew it. It is just what he learned throughout his education and what everyone around him believed. But those who taught it to him knew what it meant.

    “…in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter. Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual’s personal salvation.” And ““[D]o what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral arguments.”
    Saul Alinsky.

    And it is, of course, for the progressive himself to define what is best for mankind, so the end justifies any means.

    Mode 1 vs. Mode 2 science is just another example of the divergence between conservatives who put principle first, and progressives who believe the end justifies the means.

    There is nothing new in the climate debate. Even when you frame it as social science.

  20. Maybe this is an opportunity to state my position. I am an empiricist. When someone has measured climate sensitivity with a proper error +/- value, we will know whether CAGW is a problem, and there need be no more discussion. Until someone has measured climate sensitivity, any numeric values associated with CAGW are nothing more than wild-a**ed guesses. Since physics and technology cannot presently measure climate sensitivity, CAGW is a viable hypothesis, but that is all it is.

    This is just simple basic Physics 101. It has nothing to do with climate science. If this is obvious to me, then it must have been obvious to the people who originally suggested CAGW was real. Why they did this is not clear, but the only logical explanation I can come up with is that they intended CAGW to be a hoax.

    Where this all puts me in some sort of category as a contrarian, I have no idea

    • Jim:

      I am with you.

      However, after long debates with various people over at the blackboard, I have been taught that we can never properly measure climate sensitivity – at least as it is currently defined.

      If you define climate sensitivity as the change in temperature caused by doubling CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm – then I used to think we could wait until we hit 560 ppm and actually measure CS.

      However, it was point out to me that all of the other variables (land use, carbon black, clouds, cosmic rays, solar input, methane, etc.) would not have been held constant, and therefore fights would still happen over what the proper value of CS really is.

      What are your thoughts on this issue?

      • Rick, you write “What are your thoughts on this issue?”

        You seemed to have missed the importance of one bit of what I wrote, namely “Since physics and technology cannot presently measure climate sensitivity,” For the reasons you have stated, and possibly many more, we do not have the technology and physics to measure climate sensitivity. Possibly we never will. But that is the whole point. That is the key issue. We cannot measure climate sensitivity, and probably never will. Cling to that fact. It must have been obvious to anyone who has ever thought about this issue, that it is currently impossible to measure climate sensitivity.

        The conclusion that the warmists came up with, is that it was necessary to invent all sorts of hypothetical ways of getting round this fundamental problem. Why? Because they had been instructed to prove that CO2 was dangerous, and we must reduce the use of fossil fuels. That is what they has been told to do. None of the hypothetical things they invented work, but they succeeded in convincing most politicians with real power that CO2 was dangerous. More power to them..

        What they OUGHT to have said, ab initio, is that Physics cannot tell us anything quantititive about what happens when we add CO2 to the atmosphere and probably never will. That would have been the scientific thing to do. Instead of which, they promulgated the hoax of CAGW. That is what I could categorize as The Original Sin of CAGW.

      • Thank you Jim. I see your point.

        If you define climate sensitivity as doubling the forcing (using all forcings we are aware of – not just CO2) – I wonder if you could at least constrain CS to a particular range – at any point in the future?

        Not that I am happy with any of the papers or ranges I have read about so far.

        But I am talking 50 or 100 years from now – is it even theoretically possible?

        If not – that CS is a red herring and it is a complete waste of time to even discuss it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Rick you need to learn the difference between an observation science and a lab science. And you need to rid yourself of the notion that you can only know what you measure.

        Example: we set off an atomic bomb in hiroshima. We measured the effect. Now I ask you, what if we dropped a bomb 10 times as powerful.

        Can you know anything about the effects that would have? Do you have to drop the bomb to really know?

        Suppose I ask you what would happen to the tides if the moon were half as big as it is now? Can you know? do you actually have to shrink the moon to come to an understanding of the effect?

        empiricism is a dogma. a non empirical dogma.

      • mosh

        You write

        empiricism is a dogma

        It is, if it is carried to extremes.

        However:

        A rational (or scientific) skeptic insists on empirical evidence to support (and quantify) or falsify a hypothesis, according to what is known as the “scientific method”.

        That’s not “dogma” at all. (Feynman has discussed this.)

        I could just as easily say that

        believing that the output of models resembles reality is a dogma

        But that would be just as silly a statement as yours.

        Sorry ’bout that.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        yes manaker

        “A rational (or scientific) skeptic insists on empirical evidence to support (and quantify) or falsify a hypothesis, according to what is known as the “scientific method”.

        empirically speaking the scientific method is what scientists actually DO. not what you or philosphers tell them they SHOULD do. Put another way, the empirical evidence about the scientific method suggests that you are wrong about falsification. Feynman’s own history shows him doing things he said shouldn’t be done. And yet, he was successful.

        You see the problem with “you should be an empiricist” ? hehe.

        The point being we have many ways, many tools, of making sense of and controlling our world. empirical evidence is one way. one tool. a powerful tool. But each and every day we depend on other knowledge other tools other ways of knowing. We are not empiricists, even when we think we are. That’s empirically true. hehe.

      • Stephen Mosher:

        Yes – but if I wait until 560 ppm, go outside and measure the average global temperature – subtract from the 1850 temperature and tell you CS is the measurement, I have a feeling some might question that number.

        They might say that a volcano erupted the year before, so aeresols are higher than average. They might say – yes, but we have cut down a lot of trees since 2013. They might say carbon black has changed the albedo since 2013.

        So how would my observations lead to a CS? All the other variables would have changed, even while CO2 doubled to 560 ppm.

        That was my point.

      • Rick, you write “If not – that CS is a red herring and it is a complete waste of time to even discuss it.”

        Just my opinion. The warmists have convinced our politicians to spend obscene amounts of money in an attempt to solve a non-problem, namely the hoax of CAGW. My aim is to stop this wastrful spending. The way to do this is to prove that climate sensitiviy has a numeric value that is so low, that there is no problem. Hence climate sensittivity matters. How we prove that climate sensitivity is so low that it does not matter, I have no idea, but the solution lies with the empirical data, not with hypothetical estimations.

      • mosh

        I am not saying everyone should be an empiricist.

        Nor am I saying that everyone should be a rational (or scientific) skeptic, as has been defined by Wiki and elsewhere.

        I am simply saying that empiricism and rational skepticism are an integral part of the scientific method, as are hypotheses, model simulations, etc.

        I mentioned Feynman only in the context of his statements on hypotheses being validated or falsified by actual empirical data from experimentation or physical observations.

        I would not call any part of any of these “dogma” (as you did).

        “Dogma” implies that the scientific method is not being followed, but rather that a belief system is mandated by some scripture or person of authority, which must be followed (as in religious dogma); I do not see that a rational skeptic fits the description of being a dogmatic in this sense – quite the contrary.

        When a scientific belief (such as the consensus position on CAGW, as outlined by IPCC in AR4) becomes a “paradigm”, believers in the paradigm have a hard time thinking outside the box of the paradigm. Dissenting views or scientific findings are rejected or ignored in defense of the paradigm. Kuhn has written about this.

        The paradigm risks becoming cast in concrete, leading to what some people have referred to as “paradigm paralysis”. In the worst case, it becomes “dogma”.

        It often takes a radical “paradigm shift” before the paradigm can be broken and replaced with new knowledge (that will, in time, become the new “paradigm”).

        This new knowledge can come from outside the scientific discipline that has embraced the paradigm (Alfred Wegener is an example).

        In climate change I see the IPCC forced consensus process (in defense of its CAGW paradigm) as the main problem. It appears to me that it has been driven by a political agenda.

        Unfortunately this seems to be fueled by the desire for politicians to increase their power and control through the implementation of a direct or indirect tax on energy. These same politicians provide taxpayer funding for scientific work, which supports their agenda.

        So we have agenda driven science dictated by a forced consensus.

        And, in the process CAGW has become a multibillion dollar big business.

        All of which is unhealthy for the search for scientific truth about climate following the scientific method.

        And that’s where rational skeptics have an important role to play.

        In my opinion, they are “dogma-breakers”, not dogmatists.

        But that’s just my opinion, of course.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        “Stephen Mosher:

        Yes – but if I wait until 560 ppm, go outside and measure the average global temperature – subtract from the 1850 temperature and tell you CS is the measurement, I have a feeling some might question that number.

        They might say that a volcano erupted the year before, so aeresols are higher than average. They might say – yes, but we have cut down a lot of trees since 2013. They might say carbon black has changed the albedo since 2013.
        ##############

        This is the fundamental problem with ALL observational sciences.
        In an observational science you cannot control or hold constant one set of variables while you change another. Further, you dont need to even look at changing C02 to understand the sensitivity to doubling it. The real unknown parameter is lambda. the sensitivity of the climate to ANY change in forcing. Finally, people could question your number but there doubt would be limited– limited by the estimations of the other forcings
        doubling C02 will give you 3.7 additional watts. If you saw no warming
        since 1850 that would mean all other forcings would have to total to 3.7 watts. Folks could not just say “oh its a volcano” because we understand what that forcing is limited to. They could say it was aerosols but thats measured as well and while uncertain they would need to defend 3.7 watts of negative forcing. In short their story has to hang together.

        ##########
        So how would my observations lead to a CS? All the other variables would have changed, even while CO2 doubled to 560 ppm.

        ##########

        You start by looking at all the forcing. You list the forcings and you
        sum them. there will be uncertainity. You then calculate lambda
        Once you have lambda you can calculate the change due to doubling even if doubling hasnt happened

        That was my point.

      • Heh, let’s measure ‘lambda’.
        ======

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker

        “I mentioned Feynman only in the context of his statements on hypotheses being validated or falsified by actual empirical data from experimentation or physical observations.

        I would not call any part of any of these “dogma” (as you did).”

        The notion that hypothesis are verified or falsified is a dogma.
        The empirical facts of science demonstrate that this is not
        how science in fact works. It is not even how Feynman worked.
        witness renormalization.
        It is not how others worked.
        Witness the neutrino. The data from beta decay indicated that
        the conservation of energy was wrong. Some scientists suggested
        that it be abandoned. Pauli “saved” the conservation of energy
        by postulating an undetectable thing. He ended up being right.

    • I’ve always understood “climate sensitivity” to be a CAGW dodge to get around their inability to model the climate.

      If climate scientists knew enough about the climate, including forcings, feedbacks,and initial conditions, and could solve or eliminate known unknowns and unknown unknowns, they could model the climate. (Unless of course the reality is it is too complex and chaotic to model, which is my belief. But for the sake of argument, assume they could.) If that were the case, they would fix the models and we would know whether AGW was sufficiently likely to be C to justify decarbonization.

      In lieu of that, we get arguments about climate sensitivity as if that is something different. But how precisely do you know how the climate will respond to a doubling of CO2 if you haven’t first solved all the problems with the models? Put another way, it seems to me if you can’t model the climate, you can’t determine climate sensitivity with any accuracy.

      I can see why consensus types argue about what CS is, or ECS or whatever. But why do skeptics engage in the debate and come up with their own estimates? This to me is worse than skeptics coming up with their own figures of the mythic “global average temperature.”

      • Gary, you write “But why do skeptics engage in the debate and come up with their own estimates?”

        I agree with you up to a point. There is a difference between calculating a value for climate sensitivity from empirical data, and calculating a MAXIMUM value. It is not legitimate to assume that any particular increase in global temperatures was caused by additonal CO2, because we do not know the magnitude and time constants of all natural forcings.

        But it is legitimate to assume that all of an observed rise in temperature was caused by additional CO2 if what we are calcualting is the MAXIMUM value of climate sensitivty. Skeptics should NEVER calculate a value for climate sensitivity from empirical data; only a maximum value. I tried to convince Max Anacker of this many months ago, but did not succeed

      • Jim Cripwell,

        I can see that as an argument, except that it would seem to me that natural variability, known unknowns and unknown unknowns would render even such a maximum climate sensitivity uncertain. How do we know whether they are masking anthropogenic warming such that current observations would not reflect the actual sensitivity?

        It seems to me that we clearly don’t know enough about the climate to determine a minimum, but we also don’t know enough to determine a maximum. What if some solar or other phenomenon of which we are unaware has caused a period of cooling for 15-20 years that would otherwise have been markedly warmer due to GHGs?

        I am not saying that is the case. I have no idea. I just don’t know that anyone else does at this stage either.

      • Gary, you are correct. But you are taking my argument one step too far. If we assume that all the rise in temperature was caused by the additonal CO2, we can, indeed, calculate the maximum value of CO2. What you are suggesting is that someone could challenge the asumption, and you are right; that assumption may not be correct. But if it is correct, then one has, indeed, calculated the maximum value of climate sensitivity.

      • Jim Cripwell

        Your description would not calculate a “maximum” value for 2xCO2 temperature response, but rather an “all other things being equal” number.

        For example, one could argue that the “natural factors” (or other “anthropogenic factors”) would actually have resulted in cooling, so the “maximum” value for the CO2 impact is even greater than the observed value. There are some loons out there that espouse this position in an attempt to increase the purported CO2 impact.

        As for my position on the 2xCO2 temperature response (or “sensitivity”), I am prepared to provisionally accept the (theoretically derived but at least partially observation-based) range of the more recent studies, or around 1.6C, with 2C as a likely maximum, until a better estimate based on actual physical evidence comes along.

        I am not prepared to accept the earlier IPCC AR4 model-based estimate of around twice this amount, because I see that this is based on doubtful model assumptions on the impact of feedbacks.

        I know that you take a more “hard line” empiricist stand on this than I do, but, hey, everyone is entitled to his own opinion (and there certainly aren’t any absolute truths in this field).

        Max

      • GaryM and Jim Cripwell,

        I suggest that climate scientists and both of you are missing the real issue. What does it matter whether ECS is 2 C or 3 C or any other figure if we have no idea whether warming is good or bad, and if bad. how bad? And we don’t know the answer to that. We really have no idea. Nordhaus says:

        The major issue at this stage is that the database for impact studies continues to be relatively small.

        http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf (p24)

        Richard Tol says:

        There are only 17 estimates of the total economic impact of climate change, and our confidence is thus low.

        https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz17rNCpfuDNRml2dVA4T0xvdkk/edit?pli=1 (p96)

        So, why have climate scientists spent 25 years arguing about ECS and the inputs to it and virtually ignored investigating the consequences/impacts of warming (if it does happen)? Temperature is not a measure of net benefit-damage. It’s not even a proxy for net benefit-damage.

        And why are you two arguing about ECS?

      • Peter Lang

        You rightly say that the impact of a purported future change in climate is of greater importance to humans than the magnitude of the change, itself.

        But since the degree of the impact is directly related to the magnitude of the purported change, the two are inexorably linked:

        Like the song goes: “Ya can’t have one without the o-o-o-other”

        I maintain that the latest estimates (which are at least partially observation-based) tell us that a doubling of CO2 will only cause around 1.6C warming and, therefore, that there are not likely to be any net adverse effects of AGW.

        In fact, there are estimates that warming up to 2C would have a net beneficial effect on humanity, and we are very unlikely to ever reach this level, as constrained by the availability of remaining fossil fuels on our planet, based on recent WEC estimates.

        IOW there is nothing to worry about.

        If, on the other hand, the CO2 temperature impact had been twice this amount (as previously estimated by IPCC in AR4), then one could be concerned that (some day in the distant future) AGW would cease to be beneficial, and could begin to become harmful to humanity.

        So the 2xCO2 temperature impact is of key importance.

        (As are the estimates of “winners and losers” for each degree of postulated warming).

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The approach under absolute uncertainty is the same in any case. Rational transitions away from carbon dioxide, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, sulphate and nitrous oxide emissions and opportunistic sequestration.

      • manacker,

        But since the degree of the impact is directly related to the magnitude of the purported change, the two are inexorably linked:

        Like the song goes: “Ya can’t have one without the o-o-o-other”

        I understand what you are getting at. However …

        Scientists have spent 25 years on climate sensitivity (and the inputs to determine it) and their best estimate and uncertainty ranges has hardly changed in this time. Progress is very slow in improving the uncertainty and its ridiculously large range. The range is so large it’s next to useless (for impact analyses). And there is no indication it is going to suddenly improve. I realise you lean towards the 1.6 C ECS estimates but I am not persuaded that is the generally accepted figure.

        Given that policy advisers and politicians will act on the generally accepted figure, and given the the costs of the policies being advocated will be huge and severely detrimental for human well being, I suggest people who are trying to influence policy for the better should be changing their focus from arguing about temperature projections (no sign of significant improvement after 25 years of mucking around), to focus on the question: does it matter?

      • Peter Lang,

        “What does it matter whether ECS is 2 C or 3 C or any other figure if we have no idea whether warming is good or bad, and if bad. how bad? And we don’t know the answer to that.”

        The debate that matters it the political one. Should we decarbonize the global economy. There is a movement throughout the western world, of which virtually all governments in the developed world are part, to implement that policy. EVERY argument against implementing that policy is important.

        What you are arguing is that IF we don’t know whether warming is good or bad, it doesn’t matter whether it is warming or not. But the reverse is equally true. IF we don’t even know if it is warming to any dangerous degree, it doesn’t matter, for purposes of implementing such a massively intrusive policy, whether such warming would be beneficial of not.

        If CAGW were not a political movement, the only rational way the policy would be implemented would be if those who favored it could demonstrate to voters every one of the following:

        1. The climate is warming to a degree that is potentially dangerous;
        2. Human activity is at sufficiently responsible for that warming;
        3. The damage that is likely to result from such warming is sufficiently likely to exceed the benefits from the warming;
        4. Curtailing that human activity is sufficiently likely to succeed in preventing the warming and resultant damage;
        5. The damage that would result from that warming is sufficiently likely to exceed the cost of preventing the warming by curtailing the human activity.

        If this were a genuine science driven policy dispute, the above type of policy analysis, or one like it, would have been debated at length long ago. The fact that there has been no such debate, that the demands for full implemenatation of the policy were accepted and supported by the “scientists” full blown from the beginning of the “movement” is just one form of evidence, albeit the clearest, that CAGW is political.

        In the political debate, the progressives hold the governments in most of the countries where matters are decided (somewhat) democratically. It is therefore incumbent on skeptics to attack the faux consensus on every logical component that the CAGW acolytes should have been required to already demonstrate.

        The worst aspects of decarbonization have been stalled so far, but the movement has by no means been defeated. So it is wrong to surrender on any issue, the accuracy of temp records, paleo climate, computer models, economics, the absence of any real debate among the “scientists” BEFORE the “consensus” was formed, the various attacks on the meanings of simple words (“reframing”), whether they have been predicting catastrophe (the C in CAGW), etc., etc.

        Any single argument can arguably be said to be the only argument necessary to disprove the CAGW case for decarbonization. But all of them must be made, aggressively, and again and again.

      • Steven Mosher

        “And why are you two arguing about ECS?”

        because the costs of ECS are around 1 trillion per year per degree.

      • Mosher,

        because the costs of ECS are around 1 trillion per year per degree.

        Interesting assertion. Please provide references to support your assertion.

      • GaryM,

        I agree with a lot of what you say in your comment @ June 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm I agree the debate that matters is the political one. However, I do not agree we can have much effect on the political debate by arguing about ECS. It is too entrenched and the orthodoxy has won the battle on that – they are the ones that are believed. Therefore, I do not agree with the approach you advocate.

        There is a movement throughout the western world, of which virtually all governments in the developed world are part, to implement that policy. EVERY argument against implementing that policy is important.

        Some can be effective some cannot. By wasting effort where we cannot be effective we fight many inconclusive battles and are diverted from fighting and winning the decisive battles.

        What you are arguing is that IF we don’t know whether warming is good or bad, it doesn’t matter whether it is warming or not. But the reverse is equally true. IF we don’t even know if it is warming to any dangerous degree, it doesn’t matter, for purposes of implementing such a massively intrusive policy, whether such warming would be beneficial of not.

        I think you have missed my main point

        My main point is that it is likely to be a very long time until the orthodoxy’s best estimate and range of ECS changes much. Policy advice and politics will be based on the orthodoxy’s best estimates. Economic analyses will be based on the orthodoxy’s best estimates, e.g. Nordhaus analyses. Policy advisers and politicians can’t do anything else but follow the orthodoxy’s recommendation without opening themselves up to ridicule. Blogging on the internet will not have a major impression on the orthodoxy’s estimates – although I do agree the work of people Nic Lewis and others is having an effect (but the effect is only to small changes to the orthodoxy’s best estimate and range).

        We’ve spent 25 years on ECS and going nowhere fast (progress in improving the estimate is very slow and no sign of a sudden breakthrough).

        However, there has been very little work done on the consequences and impacts. That is a gaping hole in the knowledge. Only a few years ago James Hansen was warning the oceans would boil off and we’d have a runaway climate like Venus. Then there were scary stories about sea level rises e.g. Manhatten would be inundated within a life time. Now the scaremongering has retreated a long way. We’re being told there’ll be more storms. Floods and bush fires. But there is little persuasive evidence to support that. What has been done appears to be biased towards more of the same old scaremongering.

        I am suggesting that we should change our focus and spend more effort asking for the evidence that warming is bad. And also looking at what would happen even without GHG emissions. It seems we know next to nothing about that.

        Having said that, I am very interested to see Mosher’s evidence for his assertion that

        because the costs of ECS are around 1 trillion per year per degree.

        There is very persuasive evidence the planet is in a cooling phases over time scales of 50 million years, 10 My, 2My, 100 ky, 5 ky, and probably in the next phase of cooling (somne of which will be rapid) if not for GHG emissions.

        Any single argument can arguably be said to be the only argument necessary to disprove the CAGW case for decarbonization. But all of them must be made, aggressively, and again and again.

        I agree that all the arguments “must be made, aggressively, and again and again.” But they are not. The is little attention to the impacts and consequences. The alarmists run the scare campaign and it is generally accepted. No one is seriously knocking it down. We have the vast majority of our forces fighting inconclusive battles and not fighting we could be more effective, IMO. It is a bad utilisation of resources.. We are being sucked in to fighting the wrong battles.

      • Thanks. This is why I keep reminding people that a warmer world is a better world sustaining more total life and more diversity of life, that the chances of future cooling are far more likely than warming, that there isn’t enough hydrocarbons burnable enough to raise the temperature catastrophically unless climate sensitivity to CO2 is high enough that anthro CO2 has already averted a cooling catastrophe.

        There, I thought of another way to say it.
        ============

      • [Repost with corrected format]

        GaryM,

        I agree with a lot of what you say in your comment @ June 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm I agree the debate that matters is the political one. However, I do not agree we can have much effect on the political debate by arguing about ECS. It is too entrenched and the orthodoxy has won the battle on that – they are the ones that are believed. Therefore, I do not agree with the approach you advocate.

        There is a movement throughout the western world, of which virtually all governments in the developed world are part, to implement that policy. EVERY argument against implementing that policy is important.

        Some can be effective some cannot. By wasting effort where we cannot be effective we fight many inconclusive battles and are diverted from fighting and winning the decisive battles.

        What you are arguing is that IF we don’t know whether warming is good or bad, it doesn’t matter whether it is warming or not. But the reverse is equally true. IF we don’t even know if it is warming to any dangerous degree, it doesn’t matter, for purposes of implementing such a massively intrusive policy, whether such warming would be beneficial of not.

        I think you have missed my main point

        My main point is that it is likely to be a very long time until the orthodoxy’s best estimate and range of ECS changes much. Policy advice and politics will be based on the orthodoxy’s best estimates. Economic analyses will be based on the orthodoxy’s best estimates, e.g. Nordhaus analyses. Policy advisers and politicians can’t do anything else but follow the orthodoxy’s recommendation without opening themselves up to ridicule. Blogging on the internet will not have a major impression on the orthodoxy’s estimates – although I do agree the work of people Nic Lewis and others is having an effect (but the effect is only to small changes to the orthodoxy’s best estimate and range).

        We’ve spent 25 years on ECS and going nowhere fast (progress in improving the estimate is very slow and no sign of a sudden breakthrough).

        However, there has been very little work done on the consequences and impacts. That is a gaping hole in the knowledge. Only a few years ago James Hansen was warning the oceans would boil off and we’d have a runaway climate like Venus. Then there were scary stories about sea level rises e.g. Manhatten would be inundated within a life time. Now the scaremongering has retreated a long way. We’re being told there’ll be more storms. Floods and bush fires. But there is little persuasive evidence to support that. What has been done appears to be biased towards more of the same old scaremongering.

        I am suggesting that we should change our focus and spend more effort asking for the evidence that warming is bad. And also looking at what would happen even without GHG emissions. It seems we know next to nothing about that.

        Having said that, I am very interested to see Mosher’s evidence for his assertion that

        because the costs of ECS are around 1 trillion per year per degree.

        There is very persuasive evidence the planet is in a cooling phases over time scales of 50 million years, 10 My, 2My, 100 ky, 5 ky, and probably in the next phase of cooling (somne of which will be rapid) if not for GHG emissions.

        Any single argument can arguably be said to be the only argument necessary to disprove the CAGW case for decarbonization. But all of them must be made, aggressively, and again and again.

        I agree that all the arguments “must be made, aggressively, and again and again.” But they are not. The is little attention to the impacts and consequences. The alarmists run the scare campaign and it is generally accepted. No one is seriously knocking it down. We have the vast majority of our forces fighting inconclusive battles and not fighting we could be more effective, IMO. It is a bad utilisation of resources.. We are being sucked in to fighting the wrong battles.

  21. JC said “we need an infusion of expertise from mathematics and physics conducting research in nonlinear science and complex systems”

    I would professional statisticians to that mix.

  22. “The MBH98/99 work [aka, the 'hockey stick'] has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that the MBH99 assessment that the decade of the 1990s was the likely the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was likely the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by their analysis. ~Dr. Edward J. Wegman (2006)

  23. Does M. Lahsen want the remains of the article re-assembled for the undertaker or is it for cremation?
    =============

  24. Burn it.

    It’s already starting to smell.

  25. Berényi Péter

    Uh, oh.

    In my typology, “mainstream scientists” are scientists who [...] obtain research funding from government agencies [...]

    Dear Myanna, in your typology “mainstream scientists” are those, who are easily influenced by political priorities. That is, the very term is contradictio in adjecto. Never mind, you are doing social science, where the mob falls for meaningless but fertile concepts, don’t they?

    • David Springer

      Did you figure out what the “thermo” part of thermo-haline circulation is in reference to yet?

      Just curious. I’m conducting data on whether an old crank can be taught new twists.

  26. Rick A and Jim Cripwell

    Here’s how I see the current status.

    The LW absorption characteristics of CO2 (and other GHGs) has been determined in the lab.

    It is ASS-U-MEd that these characteristics translate directly into a warming of the atmosphere in our climate system resulting from an increase in the concentrations of these GHGs.

    For CO2 this was estimated to be around 1C for a doubling of CO2, with a logarithmic correlation (Myhre et al. 1997).

    But no one knows for sure that the mechanism translates directly into warming of our atmosphere, nor whether it does so at the estimated theoretical rate.

    And, since there are so many other natural (plus anthropogenic?) factors influencing our climate, which are currently highly uncertain in magnitude, and for which IPCC concedes that its “level of scientific understanding is low” or that they “remain the largest source of uncertainty”, it is not possible to check whether or not the 1C per doubling of CO2 is real or not.

    Climate modelers have gone a step beyond this, however.

    Instead if 1C per doubling, they have more than tripled this to 3.2C per 2xCO2 on average, by hypothesizing various positive “feedbacks”, principally from water vapor and clouds.

    However, recent studies show that
    – the actually observed feedback from clouds with warming (Spencer & Braswell 2007) is very likely to be strongly negative, instead of strongly positive, as ASS-U-MEd by the IPCC models
    – the actual positive water vapor feedback with warming (Minschwaner & Dessler 2004) is very likely to be around one-fourth of the value ASS-U-MEd by the IPCC climate models

    Correcting for these factors, would put the 2xCO2 impact back at around 1C.

    This value is no longer frightening.

    But even that is NOT an empirically validated number.

    There is no empirical evidence from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman), which confirm ANY perceptible increase in global temperature resulting from increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    It’s just that simple.

    AGW (and, even more so, CAGW, as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report) remains an uncorroborated hypothesis. It has neither been validated nor falsified by empirical scientific evidence.

    CAGW believers may wish to challenge the above with some evidence to back their position – I welcome such a challenge.

    Max

  27. Social science…isn’t.

  28. Let’s start with the Abstract:

    Based on findings from ethnographic analysis of U.S. climate scientists, this article identifies largely unrecognized sociocultural dimensions underpinning differences in scientists’ perceptions of anthropogenic climate change. It argues that culturally laden tensions among scientists have influenced some to engage with the antienvironmental movement and, as such, influence U.S. climate science politics. The tensions are rooted in broad-based and ongoing changes within U.S. science and society since the 1960s and propelled by specific scientific subgroups’ negative experiences of the rise of environmentalism and of climate modeling, in particular. Attending to these and other experience-based cultural dynamics can help refine cultural theory and enhance understanding of the deeper battles of meaning that propel climate science politics.

    Huh?

    “ethnographic analysis”?

    “antienvironmental movement”?

    “specific subgroup’s negative experiences of the rise of environmentalism”?

    “and of climate modeling”?

    “experience-based cultural dynamics”?

    “deeper battles of meaning that propel climate science politics”?

    Whazzat?

    This all sounds like the absolute worst type of psychosociobabble to me, having nothing to do with climate or science.

    Sorry ’bout that.

    Max

    • A deeper battle of meaning is a great place to hide ‘The Missing Hypothesis’.
      ============

  29. It is funny (irony) that they don’use the model of thomas Kuhn about various mode of science

    http://fr.slideshare.net/sandhyajohnson/the-structure-of-scientific-revolutions-thomas-kuhn-book-summary

    The model of thopmas kuhn would have explained that mainstream scientists feel like protectors of a shared paradigm. they are trained to think inside their framework, and to ignore and be blind to some data and evidence.
    Facing contradiction in the form of anomalies, they react violently, manipulate peer-review…

    eg read that slide page 28:

    In responding to these crises, scientists generally do not renounce the paradigm that has led them into crisis.
    They may lose faith and consider alternatives, but
    they generally do not treat anomalies as counterinstances of expected outcomes.
    They devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.
    Some, unable to tolerate the crisis (and thus unable to live in a world out of joint), leave the profession.
    As a rule, persistent and recognized anomaly does not induce crisis (pp. 81).
    Failure to achieve the expected solution to a puzzle discredits only the scientist and not the theory (“it is a poor carpenter who blames his tools”).
    Science is taught to ensure confirmation-theory.
    Science students accept theories on the authority of teacher and text—what alternative do they have, or what competence?

    you may also read antifragile by nassim nicholas taleb, but it may shock you… he wrote with a knife and a hammer.

  30. Jarrett Jones

    Nothing new here.
    mode 1 = Galileo
    mode 2 = priests

    • Galileo – taught Mode 1 science at a university founded by the Church; tried for supporting the theory of Copernicus, a Church monk/scientist who contradicted the theory of a pagan; vilified for his dissent from the consensus of the time held by the other scientists of his day.

      Nothing new here indeed.

  31. Scott Scarborough

    I’m a test engineer. People who write crap like this simply have no idea how hard it is to be certain and right.

    • Steven Mosher

      Hmm, as somebody who has worked as a test engineer and somebody who has written crap like they did, I’d say being a test engineer is way easier. It’s easy to be certain and right.

    • David Springer

      That goes a long way towards explaining why Creative Technology delisted itself from Nasdaq in 2007.

  32. The key to success in scientism – these days we’re seldom talking about science, right? – is to express oneself in language that is like a bad German translation. And if you know really how to pluralise those abstract nouns…hombre, you are SO going to get published!

  33. As I see it, Mode 1 is Popper, Mode 2 is Kuhn. “Knowledge in [mode 2] is often produced with clear policy goals in mind”, in other words, it isn’t knowledge it’s spin. Kuhn has done a lot of damage to science.

    Judith, I’m with you on “beefing up #3″.

    Harold (June 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm) – I note and agree with your “… the clear confession that policy desires drive fact finding, rather than the other way around”.

  34. Judith, RE: “How large is the population of climate skeptics?”

    Reading through the IPCC detailed reports (before one gets to the level of spin), one gets the distinct impression of a lot of normal scientists believing in a lot of normal scientific uncertainty.

    The media has been captured by a small elite of spin-doctor “scientists”. Because of the money train, it seems a load of “normal scientists” have been dragged along.

    Politics of “right” then usurps the desire for scientific discovery, and here we have the mess climate science is in.

    Denial of experimental verificiation/falsification is unscientific and will be seen to be so when scientists start reflecting on the astonishing lack of science behind GHG thermalization of IR.

  35. Chief Hydrologist

    One obvious question that arises from reading Lahsen’s paper is how large is the population of climate skeptics in the mainstream research community. Is this the 3 percent of Lewandowsky and others? Or is this a much larger community? Hard to know.

    I suggest that the terms skeptic and warmist are not useful in science at all. It is applied in the political sphere to demonize and marginalize and questioning of the core warminista beliefs. Typically it is applied by those with little understanding of science to those who disagree with anything they say no matter how big a load of half-arsed nonsense it is. Politically the warminista club – or more accurately the cult of AGW groupthink space cadets – is associated with pissant progressive leanings.

    In science the gradations are much more subtle. I often quote this from James McWilliams – an old white guy who has been running models for years.

    AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

    This is so little understood. The ‘a priori formulation’ problem is one that we are used to. Does it include the carbon cycle, ENSO or solar variability? Do we know how these things interact? Do we have good data? How well are the parameterizations formulated? Uncertainties in data, parameterizations and coupling lead to the second plausibility criteria. Within the range of feasible inputs there is no single deterministic solution to the nonlinear equations at the core of climate models. Any solution chosen on the basis of ‘a posteriori solution behavior’ is one of many divergent solutions in a solution space that has not been systematically explored. This is not an objective and value free process – something that is understood by modelers but misrepresented in public.

    Similarly – there is growing appreciation of the import of natural variability in recent climate change. Indeed the data we have suggests a dominant role for natural variability.

    The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture. http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

    Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    Climate is complex and dynamic – deterministically chaotic in other words. There is no possibility that we can usefully reduce the system to mechanistic statistics or simple narratives at this time. The essential physical processes and the couplings of the components are simply not well enough understood. Uncertainty must be at the core of any realistic scientific assessment – and it must be said that uncertainty is a two edged sword. This is no part of the climate war playing out in the blogosphere.

  36. If the debate over CAGW were semi-anatomical, or semi-biological, or semi-anthropological, or semi-(fill in your own blankology), then this would have been an interesting study. It still may be for the history of non-science. But that is a long book filled with the delusions of crowds, and other such.

    It does precious little to settle the present scientific questions. At most, it categorizes debater ‘tribes’. All such tribes are ‘Cargo Cult’ (Feynman Caltech commencement speech) until proven otherwise. Few tribes have been. Many have proven otherwise, as individuals. Time to regroup around the ‘tribe’ united by the scientific method, rejecting cargo cults, which has in the past served mankind rather well. The sociology of climatology is interesting but not dispositive of the core policy issues presented by CAWG nonscience.

    Much more #3, please.

  37. The deep ocean: Ergs check in, but they don’t check out.

    • jim 2

      Yeah. Especially when they only amount to a thousandth of a degree C.

      (Nobody knows they even checked in.)

      Max

  38. Tom C Austin

    If they are looking for psychological reasons for folks engaging in the climate “debate” look no further, here are the answers you seek. Pathological Altruism by Oakley. A good book and a good read, a little pricey. Come on CAGW supporters, I dare you, it’s spot on. You might not like what you find.
    I highly recommend chapter 2, great insight, read it here.

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=FPtwdmXtjmoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA10&dq=pathological+altruism&ots=6SS605ER70&sig=IZdf1eXmAbYrvMUFmZFUjjBC4Ss

  39. Lahssen has written interesting work in the past, including some highly revealing ethnographies of climate modelers where they cop to frequently mistaking their simulations for reality, being afraid to express skepticism because of how it might be used by evil outside interests, and so on. She is a conventional believer in the official doctrine of Urgent Mitigationism as far as I can tell, but her research is not intended to be a contribution to the study of climate–she is an anthropologist interested in scientific cultures.

    Not knowing in this paper who the real skeptics and contrarians are is disturbing, as Mosher pointed out, is somewhat disturbing, however.

  40. : ““The IPCC doesn’t aggressively seek to disprove its own hypothesis. The thrust of the IPCC is to look for the social and political consensus. I find that really troubling. It’s really different. . . .””

    As I have often said, the IPCC was not set up as a scientific research organisation and it often shows in their output. That is why the proposed Lorenz Center is such a good idea. Conceptual models are all very well, representing as they do the highest abilities of the human brain, but the next step is the mathematical model which can be examined microscoply and weld together a team behind a clear objective. But the leader of the modelling team needs to be the first to be scsptical of the model and the first to call for validation agaist real life of each of its processes. A conceptual model remains just a hypotheais until it is so translated.

  41. Stephen Pruett

    I agree with Mike Jonas about Popper and Kuhn. However, I also like the standard of objectivity recommended by Bacon. However, the paper under consideration here doesn’t look to me like science at all. How can guessing about motives be called scientific? It seems to me to be pseudoscience, like Freudian psychoanalysis, because it cannot be disproved (or proved).

  42. I think a lot of university departments and government labs have these older generation folks who learned their trade with log tables and hand-drawn graphs, who feel out of touch in the computer age. It is not only in climate science that you will find those that think modern techniques are too reliant on technology. If you have to go to their dusty back offices to find the pulse of skepticism, you may be in trouble. You need a new-age skeptic who embraces computing methods, but none exist. As far as the suggestion of going back to theoretical and empirical roots, how does that get beyond Arrhenius in predicting the effects of doubling CO2?

    • 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…

      Uncertainty in climate-change projections3 has traditionally been assessed using multi-model ensembles of the type shown in figure 9, essentially an ‘ensemble of opportunity’. The strength of this approach is that each model differs substantially in its structural assumptions and each has been extensively tested. The credibility of its projection is derived from evaluation of its simulation of the current climate against a wide range of observations. However, there are also significant limitations to this approach. The ensemble has not been designed to test the range of possible outcomes. Its size is too small (typically 10–20 members) to give robust estimates of the most likely changes and associated uncertainties and therefore it is hard to use in risk assessments…

      The concept is to use a single-model framework to systematically perturb poorly constrained model parameters, related to key physical and biogeochemical (carbon cycle) processes, within expert-specified ranges. As in the multi-model approach, there is still the need to test each version of the model against the current climate before allowing it to enter the perturbed parameter ensemble. An obvious disadvantage of this approach is that it does not sample the structural uncertainty in models, such as resolution, grid structures and numerical methods because it relies on using a single-model framework…

      As the ensemble sizes in the perturbed ensemble approach run to hundreds or even many thousands of members, the outcome is a probability distribution of climate change rather than an uncertainty range from a limited set of equally possible outcomes, as shown in figure 9. This means that decision-making on adaptation, for example, can now use a risk-based approach based on the probability of a particular outcome.

      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      Julia Slingo is head of the British met Office and Tim Palmer the head of the European Centre for Mid-Range Forecasting.

      It is you who fail to understand the nature of the models. Until we get systematically perturbed models and the resultant PDF’s – we may as well be throwing darts at a dart board. At least that way we would eliminate the bias inherent in the idea of plausible solution behavior.

      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.

      Modelers understand this – so should we regard the misrepresentation of model outputs as systematic fraud on simple minded space cadets?

      • Actually I agree with what they say. It is you who disagrees with the actual PDF they come out with when using an ensemble approach.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Uncertainty in climate-change projections has traditionally been assessed using multi-model ensembles of the type shown in figure 9, essentially an ‘ensemble of opportunity’. The strength of this approach is that each model differs substantially in its structural assumptions and each has been extensively tested. The credibility of its projection is derived from evaluation of its simulation of the current climate against a wide range of observations. However, there are also significant limitations to this approach. The ensemble has not been designed to test the range of possible outcomes. Its size is too small (typically 10–20 members) to give robust estimates of the most likely changes and associated uncertainties and therefore it is hard to use in risk assessments.

        You are confusing the ‘ensemble of opportunity’ approach with ‘perturbed model’ approach. The latter is not something that has been implemented.

      • climatepredict.net was such a project.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        As the ensemble sizes in the perturbed ensemble approach run to hundreds or even many thousands of members, the outcome is a probability distribution of climate change rather than an uncertainty range from a limited set of equally possible outcomes, as shown in figure 9. This means that decision-making on adaptation, for example, can now use a risk-based approach based on the probability of a particular outcome.

        These ‘equally possible outcomes’ are chosen on the basis the basis of the subjective plausibility of the solution and not as any objective calculation. In itself it the ‘equally possible outcomes’ are one of hundreds or thousands of possible divergent solutions of chaotic models – and the range of feasible solutions in unknown.

        As I say – this is well known to modelers, is adequately addressed in the literature but seems a different universe to the one inhabited by space cadets.

      • CH, I predict that you won’t like this so much when you look at the Murphy 2004 reference that uses this approach.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        climateprediction.net was certainly a perturbed framework. The Hadley Centre Coupled Model, version 3 is quite old and I am not sure that the filter is valid. They use models runs that are on a certain trajectory and reject all others. But all the models are equally feasible by definition.

        This is still early days.

      • Indeed, CH, maybe after they’ve done a million perturbations, you’ll find one you like. Don’t select your studies based on their result. Choose a priori what a good method would be, and let the result fall as it may.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        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

        Murphy et al. (2004) estimated probabilities for global climate sensitivity, using a methodology similar to that outlined above, but with a number of simplifying assumptions, including neglect of covariances between observables used to calculate the likelihood (Piani et al. 2005), and (in common with all previous probabilistic climate studies) neglect of discrepancy. Adoption of the more comprehensive and rigorous framework of Rougier (2007) allows us to avoid these simplifications and also confers the considerable advantage of supporting the construction of a joint posterior distribution (Pr(yf|o)) of a potentially large set of future variables. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1857/1993.full

        I have no preconceptions about outcomes. In a fundamentally chaotic system ‘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.’ (ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf0

        And contrary to space cadet belief – internal variability includes changes to the energy budget in a number of fundamental ways.

        With computing – both the methodology and the models are still fairly primitive but both have moved on since 2004. I am inclined to think however that probabilities for this century should include both warm and cold.

      • The “anatomy” of dissent within the skeptical community shows it to be much more vast and disparate than is commonly imagined.

        The gap is illustrated by comparing the faction that believe that chaos will produce unpredictable outcomes (The Chef, Tomas) and those that believe some great controlling process will limit temperature excursions to a narrow window (Willis). The first faction is hypocritical in that they say the outcomes will be unpredictable, yet unpredictable toward a cooling trend. The latter think that there is a negative feedback at every turn.

        The two views can be made self-consistent but they may not want to reach that point, because purveying FUD is also effective to further their agenda.

        I would describe the anatomy as muddled thinking all around.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The climate record for the past 100,000 years clearly indicates that the climate system has undergone periodic–and often extreme–shifts, sometimes in as little as a decade or less. The causes of abrupt climate changes have not been clearly established, but the triggering of events is likely to be the result of multiple natural processes.

        Abrupt climate changes of the magnitude seen in the past would have far-reaching implications for human society and ecosystems, including major impacts on energy consumption and water supply demands. Could such a change happen again? Are human activities exacerbating the likelihood of abrupt climate change? http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136 – Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises – NAS Committee on Abrupt Climate Change.

        Dissent is a concept framed by space cadets. They tend to be more or less scientifically illiterate most probably as a result of being unable to process concepts at odds with space cadet memes. Chaos might be a case in point despite such high powered scientific endorsement as that above and much, much more. Uncertainty there is – as in the Swanson and Tsonis quote. In a fundamentally chaotic system ‘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.’ Although we are in a cool mode and these tend to persist for 20 to 40 years – a slightly different estimate to that of NASA below.

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        I have quoted this often – and the science on this is extremely broad and deep. But it seems another of those things that go right over their heads.

        Webnutcolonoscope’s missive seems typical – very little in the way of knowledge based content and a great deal of arm waving and nonsense.

      • The Chef is a master of serving up plates piled high with stinking nonsense.

        Note the lack of dissent on the part of the skeptical community. Save for the SkyDragons, no scorn is heaped on anyone from the skeptical side, even though there is a continuing stream of more and more bizarre theories. Not a peep about the crazy musings by Murry Salby (ACO2 is not caused by man) or QP Lu from the U. of Waterloo (its the ozone).

      • Note the lack of dissent on the part of the skeptical community. Save for the SkyDragons, no scorn is heaped on anyone from the skeptical side, even though there is a continuing stream of more and more bizarre theories.

        Judith goes further – to simultaneously and selectively diminish the # of “skeptics” whose viewpoint is similar to that of the Sky Dragons (without any attempt at validating their number) and also put all “skeptics” whose logic is inconsistent with the basic physics of the GHE into the Sky Dragon camp (even if said “skeptics” have an entirely different viewpoint than the Sky Dragons or are completely unaware of who the Sky Dragons even are).

        It is much easier to unscientifically declare, without any careful definition of terminology, that the Sky Dragons are tiny in number and then put any inconvenient “skeptics” into that group without owning up to the inherent contradiction.

      • “within expert-specified ranges”
        This right here is the problem with GCM’s, In this case the “expert range” is that Co2 IS the control knob.

        It isn’t and surface data proves this. It’s just no one (But me :) and yes, yes I know how this sounds) has looked at the surface data in the right way.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        Playing the no-true-scottsman game with climate septics sure is entertaining…

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 20, 2013 at 9:22 am |

        “The Chef is a master of serving up plates piled high with stinking nonsense. ”

        You got that right!

        “Note the lack of dissent on the part of the skeptical community. Save for the SkyDragons, no scorn is heaped on anyone from the skeptical side,”

        Actually I just proved you wrong. Again. Name a skeptic you think I haven’t mocked for being stupid at one time or another. If you manage to find one be sure to give me his name so I can remedy the oversight.

        Note the lack of dissent on the part of the skeptical community. Save for the SkyDragons, no scorn is heaped on anyone from the skeptical side,

  43. Pingback: Of hapless harangues and wasted opportunities: climate change vs TB | The View From Here

  44. Some opinions we should just ignore. Why would anyone listen to anyone who has for all of these years refused to admit Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ graph is a total fiction. Should we consider adopting whatever the UN consensus of opinion is on individuals’ God-given rights to life, liberty and property?

  45. Judith, This is a problem we see in young engineers all the time. They know how to run the code and since its Navier-Stokes it must be right if they only got the “right” grid and all the details right. They sometimes seem to have little understanding of fundamentals about nonlinear dynamics and uncertainty. What you are trying to do at Georgia Tech sounds right to me. Got any good students :-)

  46. The true dissent is illustrated by rank contrarian scientists such as Murry Salby from Macquarie University and QP Lu from U of Waterloo.

    Salby in particular argues against the most elementary and fundamental aspects of how CO2 is being added to the atmosphere as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion.

    What causes a scientist to pursue an idea that everyone else outside the skeptical community realizes is a complete non-starter?

    I say this because I have studied CO2 emissions to death. As of now I have the residuals of the measured CO2 down to insignificant noise, explained completely by FF emissions, seasonal outgassing, and a one-parameter sequestering response.

    This is fully explained in the last part of this post:

    http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/03/co2-outgassing-model.html

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Again – arm waving and utter nonsense. Salby in fact argues that CO2 is a function of temperature as a result of enhanced respiration in warmer conditions. This is certainly the case – and I have shown in a recent post that about 20% of human emissions is from increased respiration from soils.

      The carbon cycle is of course unutterably more complex than webby suggests. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/carbonflowchart-ucla_zps640921ed.png.html?sort=3&o=1

      Done it to death? Zombie math and physics I would suggest.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The increase in soil respiration over the past few decades is about 20% of the volume of human emissions .

      • The Chef is an apologist for Salby.
        That figures.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        webnutcolonoscope is a colossally ignorant scientific illiterate intent on only one thing – prattling and preening.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Inland waters, just as the world’s oceans, play an important role in the global carbon cycle. While lakes and reservoirs typically emit CO2, they also bury carbon in their sediment. The net CO2 emission is largely the result of the decomposition or preservation of terrestrially supplied carbon. What regulates the balance between CO2 emission and carbon burial is not known, but climate change and temperature have been hypothesized to influence both processes. We analyzed patterns in carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) in 83 shallow lakes over a large climatic gradient in South America and found a strong, positive correlation with temperature. The higher pCO2 in warmer lakes may be caused by a higher, temperature‐dependent mineralization of organic carbon. This
        pattern suggests that cool lakes may start to emit more CO2 when they warm up because of climate change.
        http://www.caryinstitute.org/sites/default/files/public/reprints/Kosten_2010_GBC.pdf

        The lack of any breadth of science is a typical characteristic. In webby’s case – over simplistic physics and grade school algebraic climate ‘solutions’ provide a pathetic substitute for breadth of knowledge in the Earth sciences.

      • The nonsense promulgated by The Chef, Girma and Edim to back up Salby is being debunked as we speak. Try to comprehend what Salby is saying. He is asserting that the entirety of the ascending atmospheric CO2 signal is caused by mechanisms other than fossil fuel emissions.

        Yet it is quite clear that after applying a physically consistent filtering procedure, the entire residual of the CO2 signal matches the entire residual of the estimated carbon emission CO2 response

        I especially like the way that The Chef alternately refers to this as zombie math and grade-school algebra. It is all projection on his part, since he is clearly unable to do that much on his own.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again – the lack of any science is overwhelmingly obvious. As are the lies. It is all or nothing according to webnutcolonoscope. Why? God only knows but it is ultimately an utter waste of time.

        All we get is arm waving, nonsense assertions and prattling about a curve that is so grossly oversimplified that it is abundantly clear it has no basis in reality at all. It is totally insane

    • “What causes a scientist to pursue an idea that everyone else outside the skeptical community realizes is a complete non-starter?”

      Evidence.

    • Web

      How do you explain the nearly perfect correlation between secular global mean temperature and CO2 concentration shown here:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:732/from:1901/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/normalise/offset:0.615/detrend:-0.125

      The above result shows:

      Increase in secular global mean temperature => Increase in CO2 concentration.

      Why? Because the solubility of CO2 in the oceans decreases with increase in temperature, which increases the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

      The increase in temperature that resulted in the sea level rise also results in the seas to release their CO2.

      If the secular temperature drops, so does the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

      • A great example of cherry-picking the data to support a questionable assertion.

      • David Springer

        You seem a big bummed out, Webby. Was it the realization that the pause could last forever or worse get frickin cold in a hurry if the vagaries of ocean overturning take a turn toward the faster?

        CO2 is the ocean’s little bitch, buddy, not the other way around. Control knob my ass.

  47. Judith, thanks for this eye-opener. I was able to see myself here among the elders, having completed an M.A. in geography in 1963.

    For 40 years I continued to study Earth science while working as an independent consultant in several countries and finally completed an M.S. in Earth science in 2005. I followed Hubert Lamb from the 1960’s when he was nicknamed “Mr. Ice” to the 1970’s when his views changed: The world was no longer recovering from the Little Ice Age but was entering a period of long-term secular warming. This was around 1972, when Lamb founded the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Even so his books from the 1970’s were still cautious about climate predictions.

    What I have found troubling is the boldness of the modelers. I had read the 23 papers on modeling climate change published by the AGU in 1999. In this AGU monograph the authors made modest claims that were appropriate to the modest results one might expect from their models.

    P. U. Clark, R. S. Webb, and L. D. Keigwin (Eds.) (1999), Mechanisms of Global Climate Change at Millennial Time Scales, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 112, 394 pp., AGU, Washington, D. C.

    URL: http://www.agu.org/books/gm/v112/

    The contrast between the modesty of the climate scientists in the 1999 AGU monograph and the boldness of climatic policy proposals by 1997 was for me a shock. Already in 1997 the Kyoto Protocol had been adopted by parties to the UNFCCC, and entered into force in 2005.

    By 2005 climate modelers were claiming to be able to predict the climate for the next 100 years. This seemed to me to be too soon after similar models had only modest success in “predicting” past climates on a millennial scale. Indeed, by 2005 we were being told that the models were reliable on a decadal scale, with x degrees Celsius expected per decade, x being in tenths of a degree Celsius. Trillions of dollars were to be wagered on evidence of a few tenths of a degree Celsius. The economic and political systems of the world were to be altered based on 30 or so computer models that did not show much agreement among themselves.

    I am not saying that systems modeling is wrong in principle. I wrote my first major computer program in 1964 to build a shopping system model for a major city. My second major program was for a model of a door-to-door delivery system. These were simple models with only about 1,000 lines of FORTRAN each and only about dozen variables. Enough to learn that modeling is feasible and useful with closed deterministic systems. The climate system is much more complex.

    However, I am not a skeptic, at least not in the ancient Greek sense. Rather, I am a “doubter”. I believe that climate models may some day be able to explain climate variations, but I doubt that present climate models have been specified correctly. Moreover, some of the key parameter values are not well constrained. When the 30 leading models begin to converge in their predictions we will at least know that the modelers agree on the configuration of the climate system and the parameter values. As it stands the standard error about the mean for 30 models is too large to inspire much confidence.

    In the interim, I we should not ignore the long time series of temperature, insolation and GHG data. Based on polynomial cointegration analysis an Israeli group concluded,

    “We have shown that anthropogenic forcings do not polynomially cointegrate with global temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, data for 1880–2007 do not support the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming during this period.”

    Beenstock, Reingewertz, and Paldor, Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561–596, 2012. URL: http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.html

    I saved the page to Pocket, the easient way I know of archiving.
    URL: http://help.getpocket.com

  48. How was it that such shoddy, prejudiced, and partial research passed the seemingly objective tests of peer-review, and that such errors of category, method and analysis were nonetheless deemed worthy of publication by editors of scientific publications?

    The answer here is twofold. First, there is the insidiousness of the objectless consensus: the mythology of the climate debate precedes the climate debate. The idea of there being scientists on the one hand, opposed by irrational sceptics on the other, has been established so concretely that few editors, peer reviewers or journalists even bother to ask questions about the content of the consensus, much less about how it is contradicted by the substance of climate sceptics’ arguments. Climate-change orthodoxy allowed Lewandowsky’s work to go unchallenged by the checks and balances we might expect to catch out, or at least, criticise, such bare-faced framing of the debate.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13716/

    • “The consequence of this should be alarming to everyone who takes an interest in the climate and other scientific debates, no matter what their view on climate change. Lewandowsky demonstrates that the academic institutions do not produce dialogue that has any more merit than the petty exchanges — flame wars –that the internet is famous for. Dressing political arguments up in scientific terminology risks the value of science being lost to society — its potential squandered for an edge in a political fight. After all, if Lewandowsky’s work is representative of the quality of scientific research in general and the standards the academy expects of academics, what does that say about climate science and the quality of the scientific consensus on climate change? If the scientific argument about the link between anthropogenic CO2 and climate change is only as good as Lewandowsky’s claim that ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’, then perhaps climate sceptics should be taken more seriously.”

      +1

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      That piece has a couple minor errors (like saying no skeptics responded to the invitation). It also fails to discuss Cook et al’s work despite that being a powerful demonstration of the nebulousness of the “consensus,” and something of a scoop.

      But aside from that, that piece is great.

  49. Bos,

    I guess I have more to learn (always)!

    Cheers,

    Don

    http://www.donaitkin.com

  50. This is one of the reasons I dissent:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/06/19/uk-worldbank-climate-idUKBRE95I0BN20130619

    “”If you disagree with the science of human-caused climate change you are not disagreeing that there is anthropogenic climate change. What you are disagreeing with is science itself,” Kim told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London.”

    It’s as bad as war profiteering. A racket.

  51. “A culture of intransigence has developed in the shadow of the compact between politics and science, which can be seen in the Lewandowsky affair in microcosm. Lewandowsky’s work unwittingly demonstrates that what is passed off as peer reviewed and published ‘science’, even in today’s world, is no more scientific than the worst ramblings of the least qualified and nuttiest climate change denier on the internet. It looks like science, certainly, but the product only survives a superficial inspection. The only difference being the institutional muscle that Lewandowsky has access to, but which unhinged climate change deniers do not. The object of the professor’s study is really his own refusal to debate with his lessers.”

    “The consequence of this should be alarming to everyone who takes an interest in the climate and other scientific debates, no matter what their view on climate change. Lewandowsky demonstrates that the academic institutions do not produce dialogue that has any more merit than the petty exchanges — flame wars –that the internet is famous for. Dressing political arguments up in scientific terminology risks the value of science being lost to society — its potential squandered for an edge in a political fight. After all, if Lewandowsky’s work is representative of the quality of scientific research in general and the standards the academy expects of academics, what does that say about climate science and the quality of the scientific consensus on climate change? If the scientific argument about the link between anthropogenic CO2 and climate change is only as good as Lewandowsky’s claim that ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’, then perhaps climate sceptics should be taken more seriously.”

    http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13716/

    Amen!

    Brilliant!

    Thank you Ben.

  52. One obvious question that arises from reading Lahsen’s paper is how large is the population of climate skeptics in the mainstream research community.

    That is an interesting question. It would seem from the excerpts you posted that “skeptics” comprise a significant % of the subset of the research community that were examined in the study. So then the question would be what % of the overall “mainstream research community” is comprised by that subset.

  53. It is truly spectacular that so many “skeptics” (and Judith) are all aflutter about nonsense such as that which I quote below:

    If the scientific argument about the link between anthropogenic CO2 and climate change is only as good as Lewandowsky’s claim that ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’, then perhaps climate sceptics should be taken more seriously.”

    Can anyone actually read the comments here or at places like WUWT, or see the strong correlations between political orientation and views on climate science in the real would outside the “skept-o-sphere,” and doubt that “Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets?”

    Seriously?

    Correlation does not mean causation, and of course the are exceptions – but the correlation is obvious and undeniable.

    • Have you considered that socialists and fellow travelers might be more interested in subverting and redirecting the process of “fixing” the non-problem than pointing out that it isn’t a problem?

      The fact that the need for “global” action is a fine opportunity for socialists to pursue their one-world government ideal is guaranteed to bring opposition from a large number of supporters of “free” markets. Many will simply apply the same rhetorical approach they use against “evolution”, one which fails to acknowledge that reality even exists outside the beliefs and opinions of their target audience. Others will dig in and honestly question the foundations of the “global warming paradigm”, discovering that it’s really a “Potemkin paradigm”.

      And quite a few of the first group will try to imitate the second, with various degrees of success. Many of them probably don’t even realize there’s a difference between real skeptics and themselves.

      • AK –

        Of course the associations run bi-laterally. That is also obvious.

        I wouldn’t presume to find one particular point of origin for the relationships; they form a very complex dynamic (dare I even say, chaotic?)

        That doesn’t change the reality, however, that what Pile wrote is nonsense, and that the breathless praise from “skeptics” (such as Judith’s characterization of “devastating”) is evidence of a total failure of basic skeptical scrutinyu

      • Nonsense, heh. Yeah, to you.

        Take a closer look at the method. Be charitable to yourself.
        ==========

      • I say it is nonsense to suggest that:

        ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’,

        is false – because the evidence of that association is overwhelming.

        Now if you have some evidence that contradicts my claim of an overwhelming and obvious association, do, indeed, bring it on. That is what a skeptic (as opposed to a “skeptic”) would do. If you question whether such evidence exists, do a modicum of research and you will find it.

        Take the skeptical test, kim. Bring your evidence to the table. Do some research.

      • Wrong method, correct result, is not science. And please review the number of incorrect results he got with the same method.

        Are you sure you counseled science graduate students?
        =========

      • “what Pile wrote is nonsense, and that the breathless praise from “skeptics” (such as Judith’s characterization of “devastating”) is evidence of a total failure of basic skeptical scrutinyu” – Joshua

        What else but nonsense, would a political flunkey like Ben Pile produce??

        I loved his ‘devastating takedown’ via averages.

        Sometimes I think Judith is ‘poe-ing’ the ‘skeptics’.

      • Kim –

        You are confused. I didn’t speak to the validity of Lew’s methodology.

        I spoke to the nonsense that Pile wrote – and to the unskeptical praise of what he wrote. I excerpted what I was specifically referring to. Maybe if you want to talk about what I wrote, you might consider referring to what I wrote as the starting point?

      • Michael, do you endorse Lewandowsky’s methods?
        =======

      • Are you sure you counseled science graduate students?

        A skeptic would go back and look at what I wrote, and what you concluded from what I wrote, and find that there is a mismatch.

        Are you a skeptic, kim?

      • Ah, but Pile is critiquing Lewandowsky’s methods. No wonder you read nonsense out of it. It’s a little shocking the manner in which your motivated reasoning leads you to nitpick, unscientifically. Flailing away at your monsters is exhausting you.
        ===============

      • What else but nonsense, would a political flunkey like Ben Pile produce??

        Basic skeptical scrutiny would require that one consider the potential influence of Pile’s own political orientation when reading his analysis. Obviously, only someone completely blind to his and their own partisan perspective would doubt that:

        ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’,

        The evidence for that association is obvious and overwhelming. What kind of person would question whether that association exists and still consider themselves to be a skeptic?

        A “skeptic.”

        Or, perhaps I am wrong, and kim will provide us with come evidence that no such association exists?

        BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • Science, Joshua, it’s what’s for dinner.
        ==========

      • Joshua

        I have only skimmed this article and need to get off elsewhere for a few hours so I may be misinterpreting you when you remark;’

        “I say it is nonsense to suggest that:
        ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’,

        is false – because the evidence of that association is overwhelming.
        —— ——-

        The recent G8 summit and at the heart of Britain’s concerns over the EU is the desire to promote more free trade. It is difficult to think of a more ‘green’ continent than Europe or a more green’ country than Britain who backs it up with a legally binding Climate Change’ Act. So whilst not ‘laissez faire’ (which countries are) the trade policies of many green countries is certainly liberal. Britain is one of the freest markets in the world. How do you reconcile that with your comment

        Once again, sorry if you were inferring something else but many of these conversations and arguments become difficult to follow unless you put in full time sessions

        tonyb

      • Your 9:48 demonstrates how poorly you read or listen. You expect me to provide some evidence that no such association exists.

        Joshua, I’ll make it simple. Lewandowsky did not arrive at the association with the use of the scientific method.
        ===================

      • kim –

        Ah, but Pile is critiquing Lewandowsky’s methods. No wonder you read nonsense out of it. It’s a little shocking the manner in which your motivated reasoning leads you to nitpick, unscientifically. Flailing away at your monsters is exhausting you.

        You’re connecting dots again to see things that aren’t there (again).

        I was clear about what I called nonsense. My reference was quite specific. The antecedent for your “it” was Lew’s methods. I wasn’t speaking to Pile’s discussion of Lew’s methods. I was speaking to Pile’s characterization of the substance of Lew’s “claim”: that there is an association between climate “skepticism” and “endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets.”

        So let’s cut to the chase. Do you doubt any such association? I’d say that if the link between ACO2 and climate change is only as strong as that association, we’d be better off getting more serious about mitigation and adaptation policy – because that association is overwhelming and obvious.

      • ah, ‘the scientific method’ !

        Which one??

      • @Joshua…

        That doesn’t change the reality, however, that what Pile wrote is nonsense, and that the breathless praise from “skeptics” (such as Judith’s characterization of “devastating”) is evidence of a total failure of basic skeptical scrutinyu [sic]

        I must say I don’t appreciate your wasting my time reading what Pile wrote to evaluate your own dismissal of it as “nonsense“. As long as he has his facts correct, it certainly seems devastating to me, and based on what I know of them (from reading the Climate Audit discussions) they seem to be. Consider the following:

        In the paper, Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, Lewandowsky claimed to ‘identify and trace the hypotheses that emerged in response to LOG12 and that questioned the validity of the paper’s conclusions. Using established criteria to identify conspiracist ideation, we show that many of the hypotheses exhibited conspiratorial content and counterfactual thinking.’

        This involved compiling a database of the criticisms made against the first paper and categorising them. For example, one such comment posted by Richard Betts at the Bishop Hill website run by author of The Hockey Stick Illusion, Andrew Montford read as follows:

        The thing I don’t understand is why didn’t they just make a post on sceptic blogs themselves, rather than approaching blog owners. They could have posted as a Discussion topic here at Bishop Hill without even asking the host, and I very much doubt that [Montford] would have removed it. Climate Audit also has very light-touch moderation and I doubt whether Steve McIntyre would have removed such an unsolicited post. Same probably goes for many of the sceptic blogs, in my experience. So it does appear to that they didn’t try very hard to solicit views from the climate sceptic community.

        This comment was put into a table with about 110 others that Lewandowsky et al reckoned to be evidence that their authors ‘Espouse conspiracy theories’. Each of the comments were put under different category of ‘conspiracy theory’, such as ‘didn’t email deniers’, ‘Warmists faked data’, and ‘Emailed warmists before deniers’. However, this raises the problem, much as with the previous study, in the way categories are defined before they are tabulated and analysed.

        If Betts’s comment is evidence of climate sceptics doing ‘conspiracy theory ideation’, then the test for it is set very low indeed — the comment was a straightforward criticism of Lewandowsky’s attempt to gather data, not speculation about why he had taken such liberties. Saying that Lewandowsky’s attempts to get responses from sceptics was inadequate is nothing like saying that the CIA killed Martin Luther King. Bogus categories and a seemingly objective method allowed Lewandowsky’s prejudices to prevail — a statistical technique serving as a fig leaf, again.

        Even more unfortunate for Lewandowsky, however, the comment in question did not belong to a climate change sceptic at all. Richard Betts is a climate scientist, an IPCC lead author, and head of climate impacts research at the UK Meteorological Office.

        The fact that Lewandowsky could put Betts into a category of ‘climate sceptic’, and his comment into a category of ‘conspiracy theory’ should be an object lesson about letting prejudice influence research for those seeking to understand and explain the climate debate. Lewandowsky’s confusion is owed to the fact of Betts’s very different and unusual approach to overcoming the climate debate: actually having the debate. Betts was able to criticise Lewandowsky after taking the opinions and discussion between climate sceptics seriously, rather than by taking it for granted that they were wrong.

        Lewandowsky worked from his prejudice — that all sceptics are, a priori, wrong. His objective was to expose the ‘motivated reasoning’ that lies behind climate scepticism. But in doing so, he managed only to expose his own bad faith. This raises serious questions, not only about the categories and perceptions of ‘climate scepticism’ that dominate the language of anti-scepticism, but also broader questions about how such naked politicking can be passed off as academic research.

        This demonstrates, quite clearly, that Lewandowsky is far more guilty of “‘motivated reasoning’” than the subjects of his study. And by dismissing it as “nonsense“, you demonstrate that so are you.

        Unless, of course, you can actually provide links proving some significant proportion of Pile’s facts to be wrong. I doubt you can, I doubt you even had any idea whether they were correct, I strongly suspect you just indulged in the behavior you’re so busy accusing others of.

      • Thank you tony, for bringing some evidence to the table.

        Let me see if I get your point. You are saying that a belief that climate change is a problem is not mutually exclusive with being pro-free market. Is that right?

        If I am correctly paraphrasing your perspective, then I would say that is absolutely true – but that is not sufficient to disprove the association that I am saying is overwhelming and obvious.

        I would also say that concern about government overreach is not mutually exclusive with a belief that there should be the adoption of government policies that target CO2 emissions or adaptation.

        Or I would say that concern about the politicization of science is not mutually exclusive with concern about climate change.

        I would say that recognizing that “consensus” beliefs have been wrong in the past is not mutually exclusive with believing that the preponderance of perspective among “experts” is relevant to evaluating probabilities.

        On the flip side, I would say that belief government has a responsibility to regulate the free market is not mutually exclusive with the view that some climate scientists may have underestimated uncertainty is not mutually exclusive.

        So we can find all manner of beliefs that are not mutually exclusive, but I don’t think that doing so disproves an association between political beliefs and perspective on climate change.

      • AK reveals the source of Joshua’s confusion, and Michael reveals his own.
        ===========

      • @Joshua…

        Reading the discussion that went on while I was preparing my previous post, I discover the following from you:

        I say it is nonsense to suggest that:

        ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’,

        is false – because the evidence of that association is overwhelming.

        Perhaps you can point me to where he actually suggested it was false. All I can find is repeated statements e.g.:

        Yet nonetheless, the survey results simply do not suggest that a big difference exists between sceptics and warmists. The average sceptic is, after all, with a score of 2.51, precisely undecided about whether or not ‘I support the free market system but not at the expense of the environmental quality’.

        It seems fairly obvious that Lewandowsky was at best mistaken. The data simply do not support his conclusions. His claims differ remarkably from what the difference between an averaged profile of a ‘sceptic’ and his counterpart look like.

        This is hardly the same as suggesting his conclusions were false.

      • Neither Lahsen nor Lewandowsky have clue one to the anatomy of dissent. Nor the physiology. They are projecting their own beliefs, which are conspiracist.
        ==========

      • ” Even more unfortunate for Lewandowsky, however, the comment in question did not belong to a climate change sceptic at all. Richard Betts is a climate scientist, an IPCC lead author, and head of climate impacts research at the UK Meteorological Office.

        The fact that Lewandowsky could put Betts into a category of ‘climate sceptic’, and his comment into a category of ‘conspiracy theory’ should be an object lesson about letting prejudice influence research for those seeking to understand and explain the climate debate.” Pile, quoted by AK.

        Even more more unfortunate was Pile misundertanding the data, as above, and making a fool of himself.

        Even more more more unfortunate, that ‘skeptics’ don’t check the claims for themselves (you know, be sceptical), but just baa in unison.

      • Thanks, AK; it’s not rare that I find people who can make my argument better than I can, but that was stellar, compelling, work.
        =============

      • AK –

        I only briefly looked at part of Lew’s study – a while back. I didn’t get vary far because it seemed unbelievably tedious to me and essentially redundant: as I have no doubt that there is an association between extreme views in the climate debate and conspiratorial ideation (on both sides of the aisle). Without looking at the study closely, I was less than impressed with the methodology Lew employed.

        So what?

        If the association between ACO2 and climate change is only as strong as the methodology of Lew’s study, then I might care more about Lew’s methodology.

        But by what construct of the world would one see some inherent link between a scientists methodology and the properties of physics? They are unrelated phenomena.

        I didn’t read Pile’s article, and I am completely uninterested in doing so. The kerfuffle about Lew is just more same ol’ same ol in the climate wars: self-victimization, finger-pointing, and chest-beating, pearl-clutching, and fainting from fainting couches. It is amusing but ultimately not particularly meaningful.

        My point of reference was the quote I excerpted. I excerpted it because someone else posted it, all aflutter, and because Judith had referred to an article containing such nonsense as “devastating.”

        I think that the political associations related to the climate wars are somewhat meaningful. Only “somewhat” because they are just more examples of a phenomenon we see all around us in similar proxy political battles that expose fundamental characteristics about how humans, all humans, you and I and Ben Pile all included, reason.

      • Heh, Joshua didn’t read Pile and skimmed Lewandowsky. Joshua, you are a road hazard on the path to understanding.
        ================

      • AK –

        Perhaps you can point me to where he actually suggested it was false.

        A fair question. I suppose that “suggest” is an inherently subjective determination.

        In my interpretation, he is clearly “suggesting” that Lew’s claim is false.

        Maybe he’ll show up to clarify. Maybe he will sign on to say that no, he doesn’t doubt the association that Lew says he showed, he only believes that Lew failed to show the association. Without him showing up here, I’m not sure how we’d determine precisely what he was suggesting.

        I can tell you that I have interacted with Pile before – specifically in disagreement about the nature of “skeptics” – and I have seen that his views on climate science are overtly linked to a strong political identification. My interpretation of what he was or was not “suggesting” does not exist in a vacuum (which could mean I have useful context or I am set up to confirm a bias).,

        So then, I take it that you agree with me – the association is overwhelming and obvious? Perhaps I’d need to clarify those terms?

      • It’s OK kim, I read it. It really is a pile of BS.

        How’s “the scientific method” coming along??

      • The sad thing is that there is a sense among skeptics of a huge bubble of misunderstanding that the likes of Lahsen and Lewandowsky misinterpret(project) as conspiratorial thinking. There is a real phenomenon there to explore, and the efforts so far from the ‘consensus’ are sadly lacking.
        =========

      • @Joshua…

        I can’t believe you don’t understand: Lewandowsky was conducting an ad hominem political diatribe under the guise of “Science”. Just like the worst of the creationists here, he clearly doesn’t understand that the real world exists — only notions in the minds he’s trying to influence. The response was a widespread attack on his misuse of “scientific” authority for what belongs on the editorial page of the NYTimes (wrapping fish guts in the garbage).

        You have in no way supported your claim that Pile’s work was “nonsense“. I certainly didn’t want to waste my own time reading it, much less checking his facts. There are far worse threats than Lewandowsky’s nonsense to the integrity of Science, on both sides of the debate. But that doesn’t make Pile’s takedown “nonsense“. Or less than “devastating“.

        At this point, seems to me you’ve made a claim and failed to back it up. Not that that’s necessarily a mortal sin, blog comments can overwhelm anybody. But did you make the claim just to waste people’s time refuting it? What was your point? You’ve just demonstrated a penchant for making claims that are “nonsense“, then not bothering to back them up when called on them. Why should anybody pay attention to you?

      • I can believe Joshua doesn’t understand. He’s motivated not to understand. Why he is motivated to make such a fool of himself, I don’t know. And Michael bleats ‘Oh where oh where has my scientific method gone’.
        =======

      • @Joshua…

        So then, I take it that you agree with me – the association is overwhelming and obvious? Perhaps I’d need to clarify those terms?

        I’d say there’s probably some correlation here at Climate Etc. More generally, I’d expect some correlation. I wouldn’t call it overwhelming, and what’s more obvious to me is the huge majority of religious fanatics on both sides trying to cloak their rhetoric in the guise of “Science”.

      • Thank you, Michael, for pointing me to this:

        The fact that Lewandowsky could put Betts into a category of ‘climate sceptic’, and his comment into a category of ‘conspiracy theory’ should be an object lesson about letting prejudice influence research for those seeking to understand and explain the climate debate.” Pile, quoted by AK.

        So let’s look at this. Pile says that how Lew categorizes Betts is an “object lesson” about letting prejudice influence research for those seeking to understand and explain the climate debate.”

        First of all, assuming that Lew’s categorization were false, why would it be an “object lesson” for those seeking to understand the influence of bias on climate research? Why would one methodological error be an “object lesson” for the potential of bias in a completely different field? I mean sure, any particular example of error or bias might be an “object lesson” for bias more generally, or for the mechanisms of “motivated reasoning,” but Pile makes this statement because he wants to exploit a methodological error to score points in the climate debate, not to reflect on the biasing influence of motivated reasoning more generally.

        Secondly, Pile’s assertion is entirely unscientific. Where is his definition of terms, validated by a careful treatment of evidence? There is none. The definition of “skeptic” in the climate debate is completely subjective. I mean talk about methodological problems. No attempt to give us a taxonomy on which he bases his subjective determination – just a purely subjective determination of who is or isn’t a “skeptic.” And rather ironically, apparently Pile’s working definition of “skeptic” in that statement is in direct contrast to the oft’ heard definition put forward in the “skept-o-sphere” that “most” “skeptics” don’t doubt that ACO2 affects the climate, they are only uncertain as to the degree. Does anyone think that Betts is “certain” about the degree to which ACO2 affects the climate?

        One of my favorite types of handbag fight in the “skept-o-sphere” is when “skeptics” engage in pitched battles about subjective terminology, without recognizing that due skeptical diligence would require a definition of terms. Of that type of handbag fight, my particular favorites are the battles about “estimation” vs. “measurement” and whether or not Muller is a “skeptic.”

      • giggle, Joshua thanks Michael for pointing him to Pile’s article. Here’s a suggestion, Joshua; have some of your science graduate students review Lewandowsky’s methodology.
        ===============

      • AK –

        I wouldn’t call it overwhelming,

        Well, here again we get into subjective definitions. Here is what I would call overwhelming and obvious:

        and

        Certainly, there are problems with those data, but those problems notwithstanding, I think they show an overwhelming and obvious association (from a context completely different from this or any other blogospheric context).

        Also I assume that you’ve seen the work by Kahan on “cultural cognition” and the role that it plays in the climate debate and other issues such as belief about evolution, nuclear energy, etc.? In case you haven’t, I’ll link to one paper that is particularly on point, but I would recommend looking at his series that places “cultural cognition” in the climate debate into the larger context of “cultural cognition” more generally:

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/browse-papers/the-tragedy-of-the-risk-perception-commons-culture-conflict.html

      • AK –

        Two more points, and then I’m done for now:

        I can’t believe you don’t understand: Lewandowsky was conducting an ad hominem political diatribe under the guise of “Science”. Just like the worst of the creationists here, he clearly doesn’t understand that the real world exists — only notions in the minds he’s trying to influence.

        Again, I didn’t read Lew’s article, but from what I read I would basically agree with your description. Nonetheless, the excerpt I originally referenced from Pile (not speaking to his entire article) is obviously flawed – as is the excerpt that Michael posted. So far, it’s two for two. Just more same ol’ same ol’ in the junior high school lunchroom climate change food fight.

        Now I should back down from the “nonsense” claim – before someone (rightfully) accuses me of using Brandon Schollenberger’s type of logic (or maybe you’ve already done that, in effect?)

        What is or isn’t “nonsense” is subjective. The two excerpts of Pile’s article I’ve seen so far are highly flawed – and would not, IMO, pass through due skeptical diligence to earn the praise of “devastating,” or anything like that (acknowledging that obviously, what is or isn’t “devastating” is also entirely subjective). Perhaps the rest of the article is a gold mine of brilliant analysis. I will remain skeptical of that.

      • Joshua said

        “Let me see if I get your point. You are saying that a belief that climate change is a problem is not mutually exclusive with being pro-free market. Is that right?

        If I am correctly paraphrasing your perspective, then I would say that is absolutely true – but that is not sufficient to disprove the association that I am saying is overwhelming and obvious. ”

        Again, I might have missed it but I am not sure I have seen what your obvious and overwhelming association is.. Could you succinctly restate it please.
        tonyb

      • I lied – one more point, AK –

        Just like the worst of the creationists here, he clearly doesn’t understand that the real world exists

        Again, we run into categorization and definition subjectivity problems, and I acknowledge the use of “the worst of,” … but I think that it is likely that you are using an overly broad categorization there nonetheless.

        As much as I might disagree with the creationists I’ve come across here, or anywhere else for that matter, about specific aspects of their beliefs, I wouldn’t say that any of them [meaning those I have come across] “clearly [don't] understand that the real world exists.

        Take a look at what Kahan has been writing about views on evolution and cultural cognition:

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/6/19/what-does-disbelief-in-evolution-mean-what-does-belief-in-it.html

      • tony –

        This:

        ‘Rejection of climate science [is] strongly associated with endorsement of a laissez-faire view of unregulated free markets’,

        I will be “out of pocket” for a while (thankfully!)

      • Good thing that Michael is here to lend a sane Australian perspective to the otherwise nutty Aussie folks who comment here. Same goes for tempterrain.

      • @Joshua…

        You’re just continuing to prove you don’t understand. Pile is writing political rhetoric (propaganda) in a venue dedicated to political rhetoric

        spiked is an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity by waging a culture war of words against misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism in all their ancient and modern forms. spiked is endorsed by free-thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, and hated by the narrow-minded such as Torquemada and Stalin. Or it would be, if they were lucky enough to be around to read it. [my bold in place of italics]

        As such, it should be judged by the criteria of rhetoric (propaganda), not science. One of those is always getting your facts right, but another is communicating with your audience, which requires playing on shared symbols and values. In spiking Lewandowski, he’s communicating with symbols whose meaning is understood by all: calling a big IPCC honcho a “conspiracy theorist” is enough to discredit his argument with almost all his audience. The “scientific truth” of his (Pile’s) discussion of Lewandowski isn’t relevant, the fact that the generalized methods Lewandowski relied on ended up making himself look ridiculous is.

        Lewandowski is engaged in an ad hominem attack on anybody who questions his political paradigm (using a pseudo-“scientific” venue). Piles is demonstrating what a ridiculous clown Lewandowski is. And, by doing so, demolishing his false claim to “scientific” authority.

      • Josh,

        one can’t get much dumber than defending Lewandowski or his results.

        Though your constant harping on Judith is right up there.

      • kim,

        pardon me for the correction, but you have it wrong. Michael doesn’t bleat. He brays. And as far as can be determined, his only qualification for evaluating Pile’s (or anyone elses work) is a supposed ability to recognize sh*t due to his standing in a stall that is full of it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        “First of all, assuming that Lew’s categorization were false, why would it be an “object lesson” for those seeking to understand the influence of bias on climate research? ”

        1. his categorization is false since Betts accepts the consensus, and because Dr. Lew tried to walk away from his assessment after it was brought to his attention.

        2. It’s an object lesson, because its a practical example of how people mis classify positions in the climate debate. Anyone seeking to understand the debate should take care with mis classifications.

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

        Why would one methodological error be an “object lesson” for the potential of bias in a completely different field?

        1. it wasnt a methodological error.
        2. The fields are the same.

        lets look at the quote

        “The fact that Lewandowsky could put Betts into a category of ‘climate sceptic’, and his comment into a category of ‘conspiracy theory’ should be an object lesson about letting prejudice influence research for those seeking to understand and explain the climate debate.”

        Lew was studying the debate. studying what people on one side think like. He classified a climate scientist who accepts the consensus as a skeptic. he got it wrong. The scientist objected. Lew was wrong, factually wrong. You dont know richard betts or his work. Those of us who publish in climate science do know him. Moreover, after making this blunder Lew and company tried to walk it back. Its an object lesson for those like you who are trying to understand the debate. Pile is not drawing a conclusion about the science. he is suggesting this as an object less for those studying THE DEBATE, ie studying what makes each side tick.

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

        I mean sure, any particular example of error or bias might be an “object lesson” for bias more generally, or for the mechanisms of “motivated reasoning,” but Pile makes this statement because he wants to exploit a methodological error to score points in the climate debate, not to reflect on the biasing influence of motivated reasoning more generally.

        MOTIVE HUNTING. there you go again. You promised you would not motive hunt. that studying motivated reasoning was not motive hunting. and there you go again

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

        Secondly, Pile’s assertion is entirely unscientific. Where is his definition of terms, validated by a careful treatment of evidence? There is none. The definition of “skeptic” in the climate debate is completely subjective.

        Wrong. the definition is not entirely subjective. i like chocolate is subjective. I can’t be wrong. But if I called Hansen a skeptic I could be wrong.

      • “Pile is writing political rhetoric (propaganda)” – AK

        Good point.

        My criticisms of Pile are flawed in that I was assessing him against a rational, logical, scientific standard.

        Noting that it’s “political rhetoric (propaganda)” is a succint and accurate critique.

        That anyone would find such propaganda to be a “devastating takedown” of a scientific paper (whatever flaws of methodology or analysis it might have) is pretty odd.

        Though Judith has demonstrated that she is a bit of sucker for political spin, PR and FUD.

      • jim2 –

        Joshua. So what if most skeptics are conservative??? SO WHAT???

        Well, so what if most “realists” are libz? So what?

        Either way, it doesn’t prove anything, right?

        But what it (most likely) does show is that in general reasoning it “motivated” on both sides. Folks on either side are more than willing to talk about the political biases on the other side, as if such biases only exist among those they disagree with. Such a viewpoint is in contraction to what we know about how humans reason, and it is entirely un-skeptical.

        Please note – I am not quantifying political bias in any particular individual, and I am not saying that political bias renders any particular individual’s reasoning fallacious. But the phenomenon of motivated reasoning is human attribute, and if people are closed to the universality of that phenomenon, then they are close to controlling for their own biases.

        It is certainly theoretically possible that most “realists” are libz because those libz are biased and can’t reason well and most “skeptics” are conservatives because those conservatives are inherently objectively analytical and have take a dispassionate and un-biased look at the evidence. But the evidence we have available indicates otherwise, and I’d say that such a likelihood is extremely improbable (just as would be a theory that conz are “skeptics” because conz are “anti-science”).

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua.

      The astounding thing about Dr. Lew’s paper is the lie he told to do it.

      When he applied to do the survey he requested that his identity be hiddened from the bloggers he was asking to post his survey.

      The reason he gave for concealing his identity was that he was famous and was worried that none of the bloggers would agree to post the survey.
      So he had his assistant send the request. kinda conspiratorial thinking.

      well. none of the bloggers he contacted through his surrogate had ever heard of him and none of their readers had ever heard of him. He basically lied about being famous.

      When bloggers denied getting a request from him, he lied by omission and said that he had contacted them, when in fact his assistant had. He then characterized their reaction as conspiratorial thinking in a subsequent paper.

      At the least you might drop your motivating reasoning for one minute to
      take a stand on that kind of research behavior.

    • Joshua. So what if most skeptics are conservative??? SO WHAT???

    • Richard Betts, Jesus, I wonder.

    • Translation: Progressive Democrats have agreed to pretend they will bolster border security and progressive Republicans have agreed to pretend to believe them. “Immigration reform” has about as much to do with immigration as “consensus climate science” has to do with climate.

  54. David L. Hagen

    It appears the World Bank is only listening to climate alarmists:

    Jim Yong Kim said there was 97 to 98 percent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity.

    “If you disagree with the science of human-caused climate change you are not disagreeing that there is anthropogenic climate change. What you are disagreeing with is science itself,” Kim told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in London.

    Time to ask qui bono – Who benefits? Follow the money, honey.

    • The remaining 2% to 3% of scientists could be divided into two groups:

      1.Scientists who don’t believe global warming is real. Who are they and what is their evidence?

      2. Scientists who don’t believe global warming is caused by man. Who are the scientists who don’t believe man causes any global warming at all and what is their evidence?

      1.

      • Rob Starkey

        Maxie

        Is it possible that that humans can change conditions such it may warm some, but that the resulting warming is of little consequence?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Ultimately most scientists are making efforts to understand a complex system. It is a work in progress. Over decades to come – little warming is on the cards. Beyond that things are quite uncertain.

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OK
        Re: “remaining 2% to 3% of scientists”
        Invalid surveys claiming 97% by excluding most respondents do not establish that.
        Humans obviously affect climate – by breathing, lighting fires, converting forests to fields, paving roads, building cities, raising cattle etc. etc. etc.
        Besides your categories, most scientists fall in groups where:
        Some see no statistically discernible impact.
        Some see minor warming 50%
        Some see most warming > 90%
        All are testable scientific hypotheses.
        However, how are you going to quantify and validate the models?
        Especially when the uncertainty in the variation in clouds alone could span all of them?
        And when more than 97% of all climate models are obviously biased hotter than reality?
        Compare Nicola Scafetta’s rare empirical model that can actually hindcast/forecast from one half of the data to the other. It appears to predict far better than all the rest.
        PS Most scientists do not want to be categorized due to the politically correct climate thought police. Compare the Oregon Global Warming Petition Project where:

        31,487 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs

        with any of the alleged “97%” surveys.

  55. @kosher re other dwarved

    Condon on Antarctic temps?

    Montfort on CRU?

    Lomborg on business as usual?

    Jo Nova on the hotspot?

  56. “He basically lied about being famous.”

    Right at this moment, I can’t think of anything more pathetic. And I might reasonably add, pathological.

    • And now he’s famous. The nemesis to his abysmal science is eventual infamy. The die is set.
      ============

  57. Record heat wave continues to grip Alaska

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/national_world&id=9144283

    Some Alaskans like it, some don’t. But it’s not really hot by Oklahoma standards.

    • How do we make global warming continue forever? Alas, it’s not in the cards for Alaska. None other than weatherpersons’ weatherman, Joseph D’Aleo, tells us, “In the first decade since 2000, the 49th state cooled 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit,” and asks the big question: is ALASKA HEADED FOR AN ICE AGE? “It’s most significant in Western Alaska,” D’Aleo reported, based on a paper from UAF’s Alaska Climate Research Center, “where King Salmon on the Alaska Peninsula saw temperatures drop most sharply, a significant 4.5 degrees for the decade.”

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘2012 was the coldest year of the new century in Fairbanks, and the second coldest here in the last 40 years.

      Fairbanks isn’t the only chilly place in Alaska. Average temperatures at 19 of 20 long-term National Weather Service stations displayed a cooling trend from 2000 to 2010, according a recent study written up by Gerd Wendler, Blake Moore and Lian Chen of the Alaska Climate Research Center…

      “This trend was caused by a change in sign of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation,” Wendler, Blake and Chen wrote in their paper, “The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska.”

      The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a mysterious pattern of sea-surface temperatures in the North Pacific Ocean that seems to flip-flop every 20-to-30 years. The PDO influences the intensity and location of the Aleutian Low, which spins just offshore of the Alaska Peninsula. When sea-surface temperatures are relatively high in the North Pacific, the Aleutian Low is strong, causing warmer weather patterns in Alaska. We were in that groove from about 1977 to about 2000. It seems the switch has flipped to cool again.’

      http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AlaskaScienceForum/article/alaska-bucks-global-temperature-trend

      They should enjoy the warmth while it lasts – it is a temporary pattern caused by a blocking high. 2012 was cold – 2013 will be as well.

    • David Springer

      Looks like they all got plenty to eat last winter…

  58. Free enterprise capitalism has brought opportunity, innovation, competition and many benefits to the public such as a higher quality of life and the satisfaction of working to bring value to society. All of this is opposed by Eurocommunism. Fears of global warming is just one of many tools that the Left employ to undermine capitalism to bring about their secular, socialist Utopia.

  59. Chief Hydrologist

    Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values. Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are. http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

    I tend to discount empty headed rhetoric from both sides. Utter certitude seems especially delusional – utter certitude from the scientifically illiterate is ideologically motivated. There is no doubt that the most rabid purveyors of AGW memes are both ignorant and leftist.

    There are rational and irrational ways to manage economies and the true role of government is to manage economies rationally in the interests of citizens. Governments worldwide have failed dismally. It is part of a leftist disregard for hard won lessons – but leftists more generally look to the ‘great transformation’ to create the new society. This seems an especially dangerous neo-socialist development.

    The “Great Transformation”, the ecological conversion of industrial societies into a climate-compatible, resource-conserving and sustainable world economic order, requires far-reaching and manifold tasks to shape it, which, in their make-up, are neither purely scientific and technological nor purely social or political. The transformation process should lead to just and sustainable governance over the use and management of global, regional and local commons. Apart from the atmosphere, this relates, above all, to natural resources such as oceans, fish stocks, soil, woods and forests and bio-diversity. In the meantime, there is widespread consensus on the status quo and the need to take action. A wide variety of individual scientific articles and proposals for specific options on how to shape the transformation is also available. Too little is still understood about the impending transformation process itself, however. Added to this comes the challenge of time constraints brought about pressing global problems in the light of which the design options and proposals thus far submitted either cannot take effect or be translated into policies to a sufficient degree. With this in mind, it is vital that the transformation process be accelerated if it is to have any chance of success. http://www.boell.de/downloads/scholarships/Akt_hbs_Transformation_Research_Mrz2013.pdf

    No one is going to sit still for this. It is utter nonsense promulgated by a small sub-set of the population. The problem is that it stalls progress on substantial issues of development and the environment – hence the danger.

  60. Matthew R Marler

    It might be interesting to reread these typologies of dissent 20 years hence, as it is interesting to read some of the commentaries of dissent in the cases of aspartame and acrilonitrile. Many of the “deniers” in these cases were the same “deniers” in the tobacco saga. They were wrong on tobacco, right on aspartame and acrilonitrile. Typologists don’t seem to be drawing any parallels with the aspartame and acrilonitrile sagas.

  61. The following article

    http://as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/1192/TheSocialConstructionofAcidRain.pdf

    presents an interesting sidelight on these questions. The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, which spent $600 million to research the causes and impacts of acid rain, was castigated after the fact by science policy types because its findings were too scientifically strong (Mode 1) and not sufficiently policy-friendly (Mode 2).

    But actually what was “unfriendly” about NAPAP is that it proved via Mode 1 that acid rain was not a big problem, that lake acidification was 90% a natural phenomenon, and that further regulation of air pollution was not justified by a concern for acid rain. NAPAP’s director, Edward Krug, was scurrilously attacked by “environmentalist” activists and politicians and the study’s findings set aside. (One reason why those with any memory laugh about supposedly partisan “Wars on Science.”)

    In this case, the “dissenters” were mainstream soil scientists and limnologists who had done primary research. The “consensus” folks were activists, policy entrepreneurs, media fellow-travelers, and various ecological studies types who knew what the right answers should be before any research was undertaken. I’m not sure if today’s echo is the tragedy or the farce.

    • Steve,

      The list is long.

      Acid rain
      Ozone hole
      killer bees
      Alar
      SARS

      Always something to scare us or justify added rules and regulations.

  62. J.C. “When it comes to hiring new faculty and introducing new courses, I have come down strongly on the side of beefing up #3. I am worried that fundamental (theoretical) atmospheric/climate dynamics is a dying field, with the ascendance of the large weather and climate models, which IMO is not a good thing for the fields of meteorology and climate science (nor is this a good thing for the future of the large weather and climate models). There are some very difficult problems here, and we need an infusion of expertise from mathematics and physics conducting research in nonlinear science and complex systems, in collaboration with experts in atmospheric and climate dynamics.”

    Hoorah! someone who gets it. We have to respond to the world as best we can. The mode 2 science mentioned above appears to be a phantasm-“Knowledge in this mode is often produced with clear policy goals in mind, and notions of good science are expanded to include recognition of practical, societal, and policy-related impacts.”

    The world(climate in this case) behaves from first principles, including non-linear complex systems. “Policy goals, practical, societal, and policy-related impacts” relate to current fads, political power grabs, money and most things not in the least related to the physical world. Granted human whims and foibles are part of the real world, but they are far removed from the basic physics that determines whether or not we are on the verge of another glaciation.

    The Myanna Lahsen paper was an interesting dissection of the winds of change in science. Unfortunately it reads like most histories. It mainly reflects the biases and sympathies of the writer, with virtually no actual evidence to support the conclusions.

    I have yet to see any climate modelling paper that takes one climate model and runs it with a pre-planned set of initalizations to see if the result gives any sign of composed behavior with a statistically limited set of future predictions.

  63. Missing the point. Theres a golden opportunity hear to bridge consensus and dissent.

    It’s the question not of consenters and dissenters, but of assenters.

    Anyone can consent. If I have the consent of a qualified interested party, that’s great. If I lack their consent, there still may be a valid way ahead.

    And the consent or lack of consent of an unqualified party with no valid interest, no standing?

    Who cares, but these kibbitzing knowitall buttinskies?

    Anyone can dissent.

    Dissent can be good.

    Dissent can challenge even the most correct case to express its explanation better, to choose simpler language and perhaps discover more universal and/or parsimonious descriptions.

    Dissent can find gross errors or nuances. It’s dissent that perfects mere notions or ideas from assertion or argument to tested and proven accepted hypothesis.

    Dissent is valuable.

    And if it’s that other kind of dissent, the one that dissents just to be contrary or out of meanspiritedness or mania (one which I, by the way, suffer pathologically as an initial impulse to every proposal), then that meaningless sort of dissent is water off a duck’s back, once it is identified for what it is.

    But assent? Only someone with standing is qualified to assent.

    Who has standing and in what?

    Certainly the right question of assent is who has assented to the increasing cost and risk due continued lucrative emission of CO2E?

    I haven’t. Over half of the world haven’t, clearly, by any poll or census of opinions on the matter.

    Everyone who breaths air has standing. And assent has not been obtained.

    When assent is lacking, it is usual to compensate for the trespass. Compensation has not been obtained.

    We are in a state of complete failure of governments to satisfy the conditions of assent that lead to peace and good order.

    That has always in the past led to mass upheaval. The watering of the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots comes about at just such times.

    • bart : “who has assented to the increasing cost and risk due continued lucrative emission of CO2E?”

      Since we still know close to nothing about the alleged cost, and risk, the question is, at very best, just pompous grandstanding.

      And if the implication of “lucrative” is that some are benefitting at the expense of others, that is plain nonsense. *Everyone* is benefitting from cheap (CO2-producing) energy.

      • Punksta | June 23, 2013 at 8:54 am |

        IPCC AR4 sets out at great length increasing cost arguments, and increasing risk arguments. The insurance industry sets out in great detail increasing costs due increasing risks in its briefs.

        The US Armed Forces sets out the increasing costs and risks persuasively and with robust evidence.

        You’re only disagreeing with Science, Business and the Military. Maybe they’re all conspiring against you? Or.. are they just trying to extend their reach and increase their power?

        And NOT everyone benefits from “cheap energy”. That’s a fabrication. A myth. A motto. It’s not true now, and it’s never been particularly true.

        The principle of capitalism is that everyone benefits from a stable, fair Market.

        Achieving ‘cheap’ energy by distorting the Market means “cheap energy” hurts everyone more than it benefits them, always.

  64. We’ve had Anatomy of Dissent: A Cultural Analysis of Climate Skepticism

    So now what we need is Anatomy of ‘Consensus’ : A Cultural Analysis of Climate Faith

    A first pass : the overwhelming majority of funding of climate science is political, ie by the state. Consequently, climate science is unavoidably – even unwittingly – skewed towards promoting the interests of the state.

  65. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  66. Pingback: What has happened to science? « DON AITKIN

  67. Good stuff. About time someone began plucking this low-hanging fruit. Observing the obvious has much more like this to offer.