AGW skeptics in the professional community

by Judith Curry

We find that climate science scepticism is not limited to the scientifically illiterate, but well ensconced within this group of professional experts with scientific training – who work as leaders or advisors to management in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate organizations.

Science or science fiction?  Professionals’ discursive construction of climate change

Lianne Lefsrud and Renate Meyer

Abstract. This paper examines the framings and identity work associated with professionals’ discursive construction of climate change science, their legitimation of themselves as experts on ‘the truth’, and their attitudes towards regulatory measures. Drawing from survey responses of 1077 professional engineers and geoscientists, we reconstruct their framings of the issue and knowledge claims to position themselves within their organizational and their professional institutions. In understanding the struggle over what constitutes and legitimizes expertise, we make apparent the heterogeneity of claims, legitimation strategies, and use of emotionality and metaphor. By linking notions of the science or science fiction of climate change to the assessment of the adequacy of global and local policies and of potential organizational responses, we contribute to the understanding of ‘defensive institutional work’ by professionals within petroleum companies, related industries, government regulators, and their professional association.

Published in Organizational Studies, [link] to full manuscript.  Excerpts from the Discussion and Conclusions:

We examine the discursive contestation of climate change and associated expertise by professional engineers and geoscientists. We use an instrumental case to examine the debate among these professionals who dominate the oil industry in Alberta, with the oil sands as a source of particularly ‘dirty’ oil. In answering our research question, this article discusses both the construction of expertise in discursive battlefields and elucidates a more nuanced understanding of climate change frames. Ours is not simply a story of alternative frames; this is a contestation among those who wish to claim definitional authority.

Expertise, as we have pointed out, relies on credibility and has to demonstrate ‘informedness’ and objectivity of judgment. The overwhelming majority of these professionals use these elements to construct their frames and ground the appropriateness of their judgments; nonetheless they come to very different viewpoints concerning the ‘problem’ and attitudes towards regulation and action. However, these professionals do not only engage in a dispute over the ‘cause’ or content of their claim, i.e., the appropriate definition of an issue or the adequacy of a proposed solution; they also engage in identity and boundary work – to varying degrees – to legitimate themselves as experts and de-legitimate opponents as non-experts, while establishing the cognitive authority of their version of science versus others’ non-science. Defense can result from different worldviews and from identity threats.

We show that the consensus of IPCC experts meets a much larger, and again heterogenous, sceptical group of experts in the relevant industries and organizations (at least in Alberta) than is generally assumed. We find that climate science scepticism is not limited to the scientifically illiterate, but well ensconced within this group of professional experts with scientific training – who work as leaders or advisors to management in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate organizations. We find that the heterogeneity of professionals’ framings is a function of their degree of identification/mobilization with others  but is also a function of their degree of defensiveness against others , even other insiders. Further, these professionals’ framings are also linked to their position within their firm, to their industry, and to the industry’s relevance for the region . We discuss this in more detail below. Hence, our findings give greater granularity in understanding which professionals are more likely to resist, why and how they will resist, and who is more likely to be successful.

With our findings, we provide additional insights into climate change resistance. Our study confirms that there are significant framing differences regarding the existence of anthropogenic climate change and the consequent calls for action or, equally often, inaction on the policy and organizational level, even within professional experts in one particular geographical context. The vast majority of these professional experts believe that the climate is changing; it is the cause, the severity and the urgency of the problem, and the need to take action, especially the efficacy of regulation, that is at issue. By looking into the content of the frames, the discourse coalitions they enable, and the identity and boundary work they entail, our results provide more nuanced insights into the subtleties of institutional defense.

While ‘comply with Kyoto’ adherents share the storyline privileged by the IPCC and regard scientific knowledge to be conclusive enough to support mandatory action, not even the second pro-regulation group (‘regulation activists’) joins their support for the international Protocol. In addition, ‘comply with Kyoto’ adherents do not engage in mobilization and boundary work and do little to legitimate their position. This may seem surprising, but becomes more comprehensible when taking into consideration their strong belief that the fundamental debate on whether or not climate change is anthropogenic is settled and that the ‘consensus among scientists’ has informed enforceable regulation. From such a perspective, it seems reasonable to avoid re-heating old conflict lines and being as inclusive as possible – our findings show that they emphasize fraternity and collaboration, and keep emotionality low. What they seem to have underestimated is that, even if the contestation may have been over on scientific terms, it was certainly not over on political grounds – as indicated by Canada’s recent decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol.

On the other hand, regulation contrarians form a discourse coalition despite different rationales underlying their scepticism. Anthropogenic climate change sceptics (‘nature is overwhelming’) link up with promoters of ‘economic responsibility’ who – irrespective of what actually causes climate change – oppose the high economic cost of interventions that, according to them, will negatively affect competitiveness and jeopardize progress in the Western world. Both downplay the environmental risks associated with climate change and, hence, deny the appropriateness of regulation and global agreements. In addition, we found quite a large group of ‘fatalists’. Although they do not share the contrarians’ diagnosis or prognosis – for them, the issue is too complex and all knowledge we have is biased – they also do not believe in the efficacy of taking action. In this sense, through their fatalism and inaction, they benefit the non-regulationists and contribute to defense.

However, in framing contests between different expert groups, it is not only the ‘truth’ that is at stake, but also one’s status as expert. It would threaten the expert identity and undermine the positioning of this group in the future if regulators ‘listened’ to professional experts whose truth claims contradict their own. Thus, by opposing regulation, they are defending their expert status. Nonetheless, similar to ‘comply with Kyoto’ adherents, this group’s legitimation activity, boundary work, and action mobilization is low. The interpretation scheme inherent in their frame and the position of the adherents in the socio-economic field of our study offer several potential answers. They make a strong claim that climate science is fraudulent and believe that the debate is not settled and ‘good science’ will eventually overcome science fiction. Since all regulation is ineffective anyway, there is also no urgency. This group is clearly overrepresented in top management positions, especially in the oil and gas industry. Thus, they may see little need to legitimate their own framing and mobilize because they are in the command posts of their organizations anyway. Moreover, to downplay the impact of humankind on the environment in general is a quite ‘handy’ framing for top management of oil and gas corporations.

While ‘nature is overwhelming’ adherents only see regulation to be useless, ‘economic responsibility’ proponents actively oppose regulation and mobilize against it. This is consistent with the prognosis and action rationale inherent in their frame. For them, the ‘cure is much worse than the disease’. Thus, not only is their position as expert threatened; what is in danger and in need of protection is not so much the environment as the economic development and interests that are put at stake by badly counseled politicians. This may explain why ‘economic responsibility’ adherents de-legitimate ‘them’, undermine their standing, and are much more emotional than other groups.

What are the potential implications of these findings for organizational and policy responses? In matters such as climate change, organizational decision-makers and policy-makers must turn to scientists and experts to justify their lines of action. We have shown that action is delayed not only by those who see interests they prioritize jeopardized and therefore actively engage in defensive institutional work; when action is required (either to decide new regulation or to implement existing regulation), inaction contributes to defense, and identity threats make opponents. Moreover, as is known from research in corporate political activities, with issues like this, variance in experts’ opinions is an effective strategy to undermine legislation and regulation. Thus, the mere existence of a lively contestation counts as an asset on the side of the regulation opponents and delays action. Moreover, as our analyses of the diagnostic, prognostic and motivational claims-making revealed, currently there are more effective discursive opportunities to engage in coalitions for regulation opponents (especially against the Kyoto Protocol) than for supporters.

On the one end of the influence spectrum, there are those experts who are in positions to impact organizational decision-making, either directly, via hierarchical position, or indirectly, via their position as advisors to decision-makers. On the other end, there are experts with little or no authority to make their insights binding or relevant for others. Although most experts are positioned somewhere in the middle, our results indicate that those who are more defensive occupy more senior organizational positions and are much closer to decision-making than activists. This can only partly be explained by adherents of defensive framings being older and more likely to be male compared to activists. More importantly, this entanglement of frames and identities with economic positions raises the question for future research whether these individuals adapt their frames as they move upwards in the hierarchy of industry’s organizations or whether a defensive attitude towards environmental regulation is a prerequisite to such a career.

This evidently has an impact on organizational strategies to address climate change and may partly account for the reluctance to develop and implement adequate strategies. Given the impact of this industry on Alberta and the Canadian economy as a whole, it seems unlikely that the defensive institutional work by those in powerful positions within fossil fuel-related firms and industry associations can be breached in the near future without global enforcement mechanisms. And from a policy perspective, the continuing scientific disagreement regarding anthropogenic climate change together with the increasing weariness and fatigue about the subject on the part of the electorate is unlikely to increase policy-makers’ inclination to further regulate GHG emissions. The Canadian Government’s decision in December 2011 to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol and avoid CAD 14 billion in penalties has shown this quite plainly.

JC comments:  This is one of the most interesting articles that I’ve encountered on climate change skeptics.  I look forward to your comments.

304 responses to “AGW skeptics in the professional community

  1. Short version: It’s a Bigoil conspiracy.

  2. This paper is a good reason that the word “science” does not properly follow the word “social.” What a load of unnecessary jargon. I wonder if they can actually state their case in English (Canadian or US)?

    • “Climate change” is being milked by social scientists for all its worth, they know a gravy train when they see it.

    • David Wojick

      The jargon is a bit of a problem but their findings sound basically right to me. There are a lot of skeptical engineers and geologists in the oil industry (and elsewhere as well). Their categorization also seems useful.

      • David, that was a glib passing comment before I’d read the article. It does seem that the authors, like all or almost all of the authors of sociological etc papers posted by Judith, accept the CAGW case and need for action, and assess respondents in that light. So we have “climate change resistance,” although the authors say the vast majority believe that climate is changing; those opposing regulation are “clearly over-represented” in senior management positions; what is in need of protection is not the environment but economic development. Given their responsibilities, senior management might have a clearer perception of the negative implications of anti-emissions policies: by what token are they “over-represented”? Those prioritising economic development might, like many here on CE, have assessed the potential environmental threat and decided that continued development was superior to costly and ineffective measures to reduce emissions.

        Of course, as you say, the findings might be right, and the categorisations useful. But to what purpose? Is it just of general interest or to give a better handle for warmists to swing the debate?

      • Faustino,

        +100

      • Well said, David. One wonders whether the choice of jargon came naturally or whether it was included to permit/promote publication.

        It would be an interesting exercise to re-write the article an “flip” the terminology to the skeptics’ preferred terminology. How much of the argument would cease to track sensibly?

      • edit: the article and “flip” …

  3. the ”Climate from Changing Stoppers” are the winners….?

    Climate never stopped changing for the last 4 billion years, and never will, but they are ”stopping it” you like it or not / there is big cash involved from the suckers / the Urban Sheep…

  4. Judith –

    This is one of the most interesting articles that I’ve encountered on climate change skeptics.

    If you weren’t so busy treating Kahan’s work selectively, you would have seen that this article is very much consistent with and overlapping with his work on climate skepticism.

    • Steven Mosher

      It would be customary to back up your claim with an exposition. Do a guest post

      • Judith was busy focusing on the relatively insignificant finding of Kahan (that “skeptics” where slightly more “scientifically literate” by his measure) and dismissing the significant finding (that combatants on both sides become more polarized with more information because of a tendency to seek out and filter information in ways so as to confirm biases).

        If she hadn’t been, she would have seen that many elements of this article are very, very similar to what Kahan discusses.

      • Steven Mosher

        Huh?

        what are you smoking? put down the crack pipe dude.

      • Steven< I don't agree with Joshua that Judith has some responsibility to include Kahan. I do agree that the article's findings are consistent with what Kahan has been writing about. His work is at the Yale Cultural Cognition Project. What is different and additional is the rating of effectiveness as a result of their cultural position. What is missing, in what JC posted, is the risk perspective that helps illuminate the differences, though it is part of the discussion. An example are those who are willing to allow high percieved risk to the environment, but prefer low percieved risk to capital which contrasts to those who prefer a low percieved risk to the environment, but do not object to a high percieved risk to capital. One can also contrast acceptance of regulatory with those who tend to reject policy where it is percieved to diminish personal/other freedom/attainment.

      • Hey JFP –

        I don’t think that Judith has any responsibility to include Kahan. I was commenting on the fact that Judith seemed to imply that she felt that this paper is unique it its look at “skeptics.” Judith has, in fact, posted about the Kahan paper – but she selectively focused on the relatively less significant aspect of Kahan’s findings while dismissing the more significant findings. She has basically dismissed the implications of Kahan’s findings w/r/t the mechanisms of “motivated reasoning” among climate combatants including “skeptics”

        I’m saying that if she weren’t so focused on a selective reading of Kahan, and so intent on dismissing the tendency towards “motivated reasoning” among “skeptics,” this paper would not strike her as new material (for the most part).

      • Steven Mosher

        John

        “I do agree that the article’s findings are consistent with what Kahan has been writing about. His work is at the Yale Cultural Cognition Project. ”

        jeez oh pete. the two approaches are entirely different. The fact that the findings are “consistent with” each other is hardly even worthy of commentary.

        try to figure out why Judith thought this piece was interesting. It’s not because of the findings.

      • Both positions are broadly internally consistent, and permit that kind of confirmation bias. The only thing which can break the deadlock is even-handed funding of warmist and skeptic research, with “falsification standards” required up front by all.

        Up for it?

    • This whole paper is just Joshua done academically instead of bloggily. You wanta sit ‘em down in front of ‘Our Mr. Sun’ for awhile, or mebbe ‘Hemo the Magnificent’.
      =================

      • Right. The empty, unnecessary jargon is nauseating. Jesus. I fee like I need to take a shower, so thick is the crud.

    • Joshua
      Have you applied to SNL yet? Waiting to see your first appearance.
      Brian

  5. Fascinating paper. Of course, again we have folks without the technical background to evaluate technical arguments assuming that skeptics are operating with invalid assumptions. What is uniquely strange in this paper is that the assumption that the IPCC is correct because there is a consensus among climate scientists. But that consensus is ineffective because skeptics have a bigger and more authoritative consensus. It take social scientists to manage that kind of logic. Oh yes, and there is all that support from big oil and big coal.

    • And the absolute acceptance that Alberta oil sands are “dirty” oil. Still, at least in this selection, they did not trash the skeptic side – did not see “denier” in there anywhere.

  6. As this CO2 junk science and alarmist cures for what is not happening plays out, big oil will make more money. If they oppose junk science it is not about the money. They could make much more by taking part in the Scams.

    • John Carpenter

      “They could make much more by taking part in the Scams.”

      Uh… Not even close, you don’t seem to have any idea how much money there is in O&G.

    • I figger they’ve got a win-win. They generally fund warmist research (including AGU) and play nice with the political zeitgeist — and share in the gravy dispensation by playing around with “renewables” for a while. Then, when it finally sinks in that “If it’s not economically sustainable, it’s not sustainable”, and by necessity fossil fuels return to the fore (aided powerfully by the frac gas elephant herd visiting all those living rooms), they save the day as fossil fuel returns to the fore.

  7. ozzieostrich

    Copy and paste from paper : –

    “Funding
    This research is funded by the Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Fellowship, Killam Foundation Fellowship, Alberta Innovates – Alberta Water Research Institute, and Engineers Canada. Earlier versions of this paper were improved through presentations at EGOS Colloquia in 2009 and 2010 and ETH Academy on Sustainability and Technology in 2011. All remaining mistakes and oddities are the authors’ responsibility.”

    Quelle surprise!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  8. More Margaret Mead style ruminations by progressive warmists on what makes those weird skeptics tick.

    “We find that the heterogeneity of professionals’ framings is a function of their degree of identification/mobilization with others but is also a function of their degree of defensiveness against others , even other insiders.”

    So THAT’S why skeptics are different from the consensus community who have been marching in ideological lock step, and have never debated or doubted anything about their dogma, since 1988.

    How about the group think among consensus warmist scientists, as influenced by their dependence on government funding, and terror of non-conformity with their fellow parishioners, as the subject of the next exercise in pseudo-social-scienctific analysis?

  9. It seems incomprehensible to me that people would write a paper about the attitudes and opinions of professionals in the oil industry in Alberta and not at least consider the fact that these people live in cities, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Mac, that have real winters. Real, honest to god, block heater or the car wont start, winters. Their opinions on the benefits of global warming just might be influenced by fact that without natural gas to heat the houses, alot fewer people might live in Canada.

  10. Who can be considered inside the professional community?
    Usually, the Consensus Clique decides who is in and who is out.
    That is how they achieve 97% consensus.
    Their entrance exam has a 3% error. They do that very well.
    It would be really wonderful if their temperature forecasts were right 3% of the time. That would be a huge improvement. Their forecast for the past two decades have been 100% wrong.

  11. David Springer

    That was the most god-awful collection of psycho-social pigenholing babble I’ve had the misfortune to come across possibly ever. What do you think you might’ve learned from it that made it worth the time to wade through it?

  12. I stopped reading at “with the oil sands as a source of particularly ‘dirty’ oil.”

    Certainly not going to be an unbiased study with that as the starting point.

  13. Chief Hydrologist

    I doubt that an oil engineer from Alberta has much more or less of an idea of the intricacies of climate change than the authors of this paper. Certainly not as much as the denizens – and that inspires confidence. Confident skepticism from ordinary people emerges from the continuing lack of warming in the surface record – confident skepticism from madmen can be discounted as – well – totally mad. Professionals may be a little more confident in expressing an opinion.

    The fact that we are in a cool global mode for another decade or three bodes ill for any resurgence of warminista support.

    This report is an admission of defeat couched in terms of complaints about the ignoble motivations of a class of players – but defeat nonetheless.

    • Chief Hydrologists is now into reading the minds of oil engineers and forecasting facts.

      HA HA !

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I know many engineers – resource or otherwise. It is not really all that difficult to infer that any of them knows a great deal more than you Max. But few of them have a detailed understanding of climate science. Even as much as me – I have the advantage of being both a hydrologist and environmental scientist.

        Here’s something from NASA with a simple explanation of the current global cool mode – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        There is a ton of science surrounding these modes – but understanding the NASA page would give you at least some first primer on the nature of the climate system.

        We will have to work up to understanding Wally Broecker, Anastasios Tsonis, Tim Palmer and many others. Wally Broecker is known as the father of climate science – an iconic figure in the field who really seems less understood than revered.

        Here’s a tutorial with some examples that might help.
        http://www.unige.ch/climate/Publications/Beniston/CC2004.pdf

        I suggest that if you aspire to not being anti-intellectual and anti-science that you actually pay some attention to science. If not it is your loss not mine.

      • Chief, if I learn me some science, will I be like you and have the ability to forecast facts? That would be AWSOME !

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Nothing is forecast – we are in a cool mode and these last for 20 to 40 years in the proxy record. If you took an hour – or half a lifetime – to actually read and comprehend the NASA page – yes you might actually have a clue about how climate works and at least what the near future will bring and why.

        ‘‘Although long considered implausible, there is growing promise for probabilistic climatic forecasts one or two decades into the future based on quasiperiodic variations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs), salinities, and dynamic ocean topographies.’
        http://wwwpaztcn.wr.usgs.gov/julio_pdf/McCabe_ea.pdf

        You can choose to learn – or choose to be a fool, a buffoon, a fraud and a charlatan. The choice is always all yours.

      • Chief,

        About 3 hours ago you wrote:

        “The fact that we are in a cool global mode for another decade or three bodes ill for any resurgence of warminista support.”

        Now, either (1) you mean a forecast is a fact, which is a patently stupid thing to say, or (2) you can’t express yourself in writing. I would prefer to think you are just a poor writer.

        Perhaps 3 hours is too long for you to remember what you said. Loss of short-term memory because of advancing age is nothing to be ashamed about.

      • M, dragon kings always break into trendy parties uninvited.
        ===============

      • 2006:

        Reconciling the picture in Vecchi et al with other analyses of climate change in the late 20th century also poses some difficulties. In particular Cane et al (Cane, M. A. et al. (1997). “Twentieth-Century Sea Surface Temperature Trends.” Science 275: 957-960) have suggested that the upwelling of cold water in the Eastern Pacific provides a kind of thermostat which keeps the Eastern waters from warming as much as the Western warm pool waters. (Their result must be treated with some caution, since it doesn’t enforce the top of atmosphere balance, and should disappear in the long term after the water tapped for upwelling begins to warm; still the idea has a lot of merit in the transient warming situation we are now in.). This suggests an intensification of east-west sea surface temperature gradients, which ordinarily ought to yield a strengthening in the Walker circulation. In fact, Cane et al (1997) argue that the tendency toward increased SST gradient is precisely what is seen if one uses a robust trend analysis to decrease sensitivity of the trend analysis to outliers such as the very large 1982/1983 El Nino event (this event, and the equally large 1997/1998 El Nino event, greatly influence the estimate of a weakening trend of the Walker circulation in Vecchi et al). …

        The Walker circulation has strengthened; therefore, deep ocean warming and a flat SAT. Claiming it’s going to last 20 to 40 years is not well supported fact. (And 20 to 40 years of deep ocean warming would have haunted surface consequences.) Swanson indicates it could change again at any time.

        M.A. Cane is a good writer.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      JCH,

      Googling it I discovered that it seems to be from a posting at realclimate. Nothing wrong with that.

      East- west sst gradient changes are intrinsic to ENSO. When ENSO is in the phase known as La Niña, the Pacific trade winds blow true and strong causing sun warmed surface water to pile up against Australia and Indonesia. Cool subsurface water rises in the east.

      In an El Niño, the trade winds falter and warm water spreads out eastwards across the Pacific Ocean. La Niña and El Niño are the poles of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

      ENSO has a influence on global surface temperatures, Australian, American, Indian and African rainfall and Atlantic cyclones. ENSO varies between La Niña and El Niño states over 3 to 7 years but also over periods of decades to centuries. One mode of ENSO variation involves changes in both the frequency and intensity of La Niña and El Niño over at least a few decades. The warm PDO is associated with more frequent and intense El Niño and the cool mode with more frequent and intense La Niña.

      Trade winds are simply a rose by another name – SW in the southern hemisphere and NW in the northern – they consist of a combination of Hadley and Walker circulations. The east west component is Walker circulation. In a La Niña – warm air rises in the west and falls in the east over upwelling cold water. Walker circulation is stronger setting up an ocean atmosphere positive feedback. In a El Niño – the circulation weakens.

      The Pacific Ocean trade winds set up cloud and rainfall patterns globally with enormous energies transferred between ocean and atmosphere. La Niña conditions see colder water rising in the eastern Pacific and warm, moist air rising over Australia and Indonesia. El Niño conditions see warm water spread across the Pacific.

      The decadal pattern discussed in the NASA article you can see for yourself.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

      La Niña (blue) dominant to 1976, El Niño dominant to 1998 and La Niña dominant since. Decadal changes in Walker circulation accompany these changes. Vecchi was talking about a weakening of Walker circulation – it has strengthened again since the 1998/2001 climate shift. It retrospect we might think that there is some deep ocean cooling in the El Niño dominant phase and warming in the La Niña phase. It is largely irrelevant other than in the mystery of the missing heat. Which is itself oddly red herring like in that the missing heat is all in the SW.

      Here is a review of Pacific Decadal Variability – there is lots of information available. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/cdeser/Docs/jclim_minobe-pdv.pdf

      We are currently in a cool mode and these last for 20 to 40 years in the proxy records. In principle they can change at any time – they are after all chaotic bifurcations – climate shifts – and quite unpredictable. Nor can we expect this pattern of warm mode to cool mode to warm mode to continue. From a high resolution Law Dome ice core record we find that La Nina are much more common. More salt = La Niña.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=68

      And max – obviously you have chosen to be a fool, a buffoon, a fraud and a charlatan – but we knew that already. Not my problem.

      • Chief,

        can’t fault Max for sticking with what he does best.

      • Chief, my daughter works mainly as a global consultant engineer in piping, e.g. designing and implementing the complex pipelines for large-scale minerals processing plants and mines. But her thesis was on global warming, looking at the geological record. So she for one has some grasp of the issues.

      • Another example of Chief starting a new subthread to promote himself rather than reply on the same sub thread. he does it frequently. is this a sign of narcissism?

        And ends with his standard abusive comment:

        And max – obviously you have chosen to be a fool, a buffoon, a fraud and a charlatan – but we knew that already. Not my problem.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Faustino,

        The generalization survives exceptions. But climate is ultimately complex and our understanding uncertain. Climate is a coupled nonlinear system which makes it both unpredictable, although completely deterministic, and sensitive to small changes. “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.”

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’ http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

        If Wally Broecker is trying to understand – I doubt very much that the rest of us have progressed very far at all.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Now Peter – you have taken the opportunity to vent your spleen again I see. I assume this is because I corrected you again on 6 Koto gases and not 24 – 4 of which are covered by the Australian tax – and on the ridiculous claim that Chernobyl is equivalent to the Quebec rail disaster.
        Compounded by bad faith in refusing to admit error and move on – substituting misdirection, obfuscation, rationalization and insults.

        Max is who is who he is – trivial, abusive, insulting – I gave him multiple opportunities again this time but this is what his bottom line was.

        ‘Now, either (1) you mean a forecast is a fact, which is a patently stupid thing to say, or (2) you can’t express yourself in writing. I would prefer to think you are just a poor writer.

        Perhaps 3 hours is too long for you to remember what you said. Loss of short-term memory because of advancing age is nothing to be ashamed about.’

        The context of my reply is obvious to any reasonable person. There is a limit to discourse in good faith. It is a line btw – that you have crossed yet again.

    • I’m pretty sure that engineers will have a much better physics/math background than a social scientist. And with petroleum/chemical engineers, they will have had some chemistry too. So, if some of them wanted to try and understand the intricacies of climate science they would at least know where to start. And they can recognize nonsense when they see it.

    • I think one of the characteristics those of us who have been through undergraduate physics and chemistry is we learned how often the scientific consensus was wrong.

      I believe the consensus has frequently been wrong in social science as well. Maybe the social scientists are not trained to reflect on the ephemeral nature of scientific consensus.

      • It may be a reflection of the ephemera of ‘social’ science as self-perceived in comparison to ‘hard science’, or, more likely, it may be a reflection that the only path to truth in ‘social’ science is consensus, there being so little ‘hardness’ about such malleable little bits of clay as we be.
        ===================

      • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas Kuhn 1962
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm_shift

  14. Thanks, Professor Curry.

    I have recently been made aware of new-found courage among leading members of the scientific community to express doubts (privately) about AGW dogma.

    Courage seems to be inversely proportional to dependence on research grants to support research and to maintain and/or advance careers.

    Since AGW is but the visible tip of a very deep iceberg that grew out-of-sight – nourished by generous government research funds for several decades – I see this new-found courage as another indication the entire edifice of post-1945 science is about to crumble.

    I am confident that will happen soon.

    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  15. Steven Mosher

    Juditjh

    “We argue that processes of constructing expert identities are political strategies that are parallel to the legitimation strategies found in public policy research (Van Leeuwen & Wodak, 1999) or in organization studies (Vaara & Monin, 2010; Vaara, Tienari & Laurila, 2006). These authors distinguish five main discursive strategies: authorization, rationalization, moral evaluation, mythopoiesis, and normalization, which we also expect to find, to varying degrees, in experts’ claims. These align with rhetorical modes of proof (Suddaby & Greenwood, 2005): authorization, rationalization, and normalization strategies are forms of logos, moral evaluation aligns with ethos, and mythopoiesis aligns with pathos. To undermine the claims and frames put forward by other members of the same professional group, individuals may also employ antagonistic identity framing of others as non-experts (destructive strategy per Van Leeuwen & Wodak, 1999) using oppositional strategies (cf. social identity threats per Branscombe, Ellemers, Spears, & Doosje, 1999). Berger and Luckmann (1967) especially point to annihilation, be it by outright denial of the validity or by downplaying and ridiculing the claim or by attempting to assign an inferior status to the claimant and her or his sources of information.”

    Rather than using this methodology to understand skeptics, it’s probably better used to understand “the team”

      • Who are the people who are in “the team?”

      • Cosmic,

        You can discover this for yourself. Go to a bar, your workplace, the mall, or any group gathering and start asking people if they believe in Global Warming. Answers of ‘Yes’ indicate membership.

        Andrew

      • A ‘Yes’ would be considered a profession of faith, since the science is inconclusive (to put it diplomatically).

        Andrew

      • David Springer

        33C

        A greenhouse gas differs from a non-greenhouse strictly because GHG is opaque to longwave and transparent to shortwave.

        Liquid water is also opaque to longwave and transparent to shortwave.

        Gases and liquids are both categorically fluids.

        Seawater is a greenhouse fluid.

        Explain how none of the 33C greenhouse effect comes from the ocean when its mass is so much greater than the atmosphere above it.

        Good luck.

      • Of course we believe in Global Warming.

        The data shows it has happened.

        What we don’t believe in is the CO2 Alarmism.

        Our fraction of a trace of CO2 has caused a fraction of a trace of warming.

        The rest was caused by the same natural cycles that caused the Roman and Medieval Warmings. We are well inside the bounds of those warmings and we are not headed out.

      • “Of course we believe in Global Warming.
        The data shows it has happened.”

        Cherry-picked, adjusted numbers “show” that it happened. What physical evidence can you produce that indicate that it happened or that it’s anything out of the ordinary?

        Andrew

      • “Try to explain +33C.”

        How embarassing! There’s no 33 C discrepancy, the surface is cooled mostly by non-radiative fluxes to the atmosphere (evaporation and convection), which cannot radiate as easily. The so-called GHGs (plus clouds) are the only atmospheric ‘coolants’. Overall water has cooling influence on the Earth’s surface (ocean and land). N2 and O2 are the real GHGs.

      • HAP, Edim;
        +1
        Don’t forget the even better Holocene and Minoan Warmings. Unfortunately, the series is a declining one. Those who long for the lovely skating on the Dutch canals and the Thames can *OAD, and take their hockey sticks with them.

    • David Springer

      There are no high roads in the culture wars. Some roads are just lower than others and there’s no limit to how low anyone can go. There is however plenty of room to rise above it by just shutting the phuck up. Said containment of hot air has naturally bouyant properties.

    • David Springer

      Steven Mosher | July 16, 2013 at 12:58 am | Reply

      “Rather than using this methodology to understand skeptics, it’s probably better used to understand “the team””

      That is astute, concise, relevant, and easily understood.

      In other words totally unlike you. The proverbial moment of clarity it seems. Any idea what might’ve inspired it?

  16. “Conversely, adherents of those frames that are more defensive and oppose regulation (‘nature is overwhelming’, ‘economic responsibility’) are significantly more likely to be more senior in their organizations, male, older, geoscientists, and work in the oil and gas industry.”
    ______

    Time has passed them by.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Max, as much as you’d like it to be that way, “senior in their organizations” doesn’t mean “time has passed them by”.

      It means “the guys who give Max_OK his marching orders”, you know, the chiefs, the CEOs, the Senior Engineers, the bosses. That’s what “senior” means in this context, not “senior citizen” … but you knew that.

      w.

      • Max_OK is just a real estate salesman, with ethics and moral values as you’d expect (He’s revealed all that on previous threads, without realising how repugnant are his ethics and moral values).

      • Willis, “senior in their organization” also can mean old farts who have been in the organization for a long-time and are soon to be put out to pasture. Some would just be dull middle-management types with obsolete skills.

        Anyway, I don’t have to take marching orders, nor do I have to kiss butt. Can you say the same?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Max_OK | July 16, 2013 at 2:02 am |

        Willis, “senior in their organization” also can mean old farts who have been in the organization for a long-time and are soon to be put out to pasture. Some would just be dull middle-management types with obsolete skills.

        You can believe that if it helps you to sleep …

        Anyway, I don’t have to take marching orders, nor do I have to kiss butt. Can you say the same?

        Sure, glad to. I don’t have to take marching orders, nor do I have to kiss butt.

        If you have any other burning unanswered questions, just let me know, I’m always glad to help.

        w.

      • Peter Lang said on July 16, 2013 at 1:47 am
        Max_OK is just a real estate salesman, with ethics and moral values as you’d expect ..,
        _____

        Peter I have more ethics and moral values in the tip of one finger than you have in your entire body. In the after life, if there’s a heaven I’ll be there, but I doubt you will be.

        I don’t know where you got the idea that I’m a real estate salesman. I’m not. However, I have nothing against sales people.

      • Willis says:

        “I don’t have to take marching orders, nor do I have to kiss butt.”
        ____

        I’m sorry, Willis. I guess I thought you sucked up to Anthony Watts so he would let you do guest posts.

        .

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Max_OK | July 16, 2013 at 2:39 am |

        … I’m sorry, Willis. I guess I thought you sucked up to Anthony Watts so he would let you do guest posts.

        What a curious fantasy for a grown man to have. Is that how things get accomplished in your world, or only in your fantasy world?

        In any case, Anthony and I interact very little, we both lead busy lives. He lets me post, for which I’m indeed grateful, it’s a fun site with a huge reach so my voice gets heard.

        But I see him about once a year and email him about once a month, usually rather mundane message passing. He doesn’t review or censor my work, or suggest topics. It’s an ideal situation for me, I get to write what and when I please. And it’s ideal for him, he has a constant and consistently interesting string of posts, week after week, appearing under his masthead. Because as much as you may disagree with what I write, you have to admit it’s always new and interesting, even if only newly and interestingly infuriating …

        Anyhow, sorry to hear about your fantasies about my life, but the real world is much more boringly prosaic.

        w.

      • He sells narrative vehicles but when you kick the tires the gas goes out of ‘em.
        ============

      • Willis, it was just a thought, not a full-blown fantasy about your life. You probably have plenty of those yourself, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

        I’m surprised if you mean no one at WUWT even edits your writing. I believe editing can be helpful.

      • Steven Mosher

        Max_OK | July 16, 2013 at 4:07 am |
        Willis, it was just a thought, not a full-blown fantasy about your life. You probably have plenty of those yourself, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

        I’m surprised if you mean no one at WUWT even edits your writing. I believe editing can be helpful.

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

        Max you are utterly ignorant of how things operate at WUWT. There are certain people who are granted posting rights as authors. Willis is one of them. That means that willis can stage a post for publishing and it will just go up. There is no approval process. Some of us who have these rights of course still pass our posts to Anthony for his approval but technically we could just hit the post button. In the past one or two guys hit the post button a bit too early and had to do corrections.

        Anthony has a very unique and successful ( in terms of traffic) editorial policy. While i disagree with him on the science his traffic and engagement numbers indicate that he has a formula that works. Its amazing that he is able to do this without weilding an iron fist on controlling the content, but he does.

        You should stop being stupid

      • Mosher, thank you for explaining the policy at WUWT regarding guest posts. I didn’t know it was so loose. Now, I see why the volume is so large. It’s quantity over quality.

      • Steven Mosher

        Well max that is still an inaccurate characterization and I told you to stop being stupid. So stop it. Stop being stupid. Its not quantity over quality. In the case of folks like Willis and a few trusted others the quality has already been established by history. I disagree with willis about many many many things, however, I’ve yet to read a piece of his, either auto biography, science or commentary, that I would reject as an editor. He’s a good thinker, a fine writer, and a great explainer. I happen to think he is wrong, but I think wrong stuff should be published. I dont worry about weak minds being corrupted with nonsense. Further the quantity is constrained. If you actually studied it you would understand the logic. The work that Anthony authors has a specific editorial slant that Anthony has perfected. The content from others is handled with a very slight editorial touch, in some cases, for example willis’s autobiography, there is no touch whatsover.

        That way Anthony audience always gets their meat and potatoes, and like any good thanksgiving dinner their are lots of tasty side dishes that people can choose to enjoy or not.. or if thats too american for you thnk of it as banchan.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | July 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

        “I think wrong stuff should be published.”

        Way to belabor the obvious.

      • David Springer

        “Max you are utterly ignorant of how things operate at WUWT. There are certain people who are granted posting rights as authors. ”

        Long story short:

        http://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities

        Summary of Roles
        ■ Super Admin – somebody with access to the site network administration features and all other features. See the Create a Network article.
        ■ Administrator – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
        ■ Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
        ■ Author– somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
        ■ Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
        ■ Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile.

        Willis is an author.

      • David Springer

        “you have to admit it’s always new and interesting”

        Seriously? It’s seldom new and less frequently interesting. You’re a legend in your own mind Willis. I never read anything you write for WUWT anymore because when I do it’s almost invariably a waste of time.

      • Regarding WUWT, Steven Mosher said on July 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

        Well max that is still an inaccurate characterization and I told you to stop being stupid. So stop it. Stop being stupid. Its not quantity over quality.
        _____

        Sorry, Mosher, but stupid or not, I prefer to judge quality for myself. If WUWT policy favors quantity, quality suffers.

      • Max

        senior also meaning old farts sounds a lot like stereotyping. Haven’t you been paying attention to our Attorney General?

      • David Springer

        Max_OK | July 16, 2013 at 2:25 am |

        “In the after life, if there’s a heaven I’ll be there”

        What leads you to believe that? You admit you don’t know if heaven exists but then pretend to know what qualifies you for admittance if it does?

        Non sequitur.

      • Max OK,

        Sorry, Mosher, but stupid or not, I prefer to judge quality for myself. If WUWT policy favors quantity, quality suffers.

        I guess to an extent it comes down to differing notions of what constitutes “quality”. AW has identified a particular audience and gives them exactly what they want, and he seems to have built up a substantial and loyal following. So judged purely on its own terms it is fair to say that WUWT is a “quality” product just like, say, McDonalds or Jeffrey Archer novels.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Springer: Seriously? It’s seldom new and less frequently interesting. You’re a legend in your own mind Willis. I never read anything you write for WUWT anymore because when I do it’s almost invariably a waste of time.

        You do yourself a disservice, if that is so.

    • Okie

      Wisdom comes with age.

      Some day you may also become wiser (if you are lucky).

      Max_CH

  17. We contend that such defensive work can also be directed internally; professionals may simultaneously frame their own expert identities while defensively attacking fellow professionals as non-experts.

    Setting aside my concern that exposure to Lewandowski-like psycho-babble appears to have adversely affected the critical thinking skills of those, like the authors, whose field is Business Administration (even if it lies within the sub-specialty of “Organizational Behaviour) …

    I find it astounding that the authors’ perspective is apparently so limited that they fail to acknowledge and/or appreciate the extent to which their contention is equally applicable to the high-rollers in the branch of academia known as “climate science” and its affiliated “environmental studies”.

    It would be interesting to see how this paper might appear if the authors stripped it of the apparently obligatory psycho-babble and other jargon!

    From my reading, the authors have very simplistically … uh … framed their “argument” to an extension of Inhofe vs the IPCC’s “consensus” – and then recycled the same-old, same-old … uh … “defensive attacks” against any who dare to question!

    The unstated intent of this particular paper strikes me as being a thinly disguised attempt to rejuvenate and/or provide at least something approximating (by very poor imitation) “substance” to the Big Oil myth that just never seems to pan out for the “climate hypochondriacs” [h/t Eduardo Zorita]

    • ‘We contribute to the understanding of criticism of ‘defensive
      institutional work…’
      Hey, haven’t these gals read the Climategate emails?

      • Certainly doesn’t look like they have, does it?! OTOH, if the “content” of their paper is anything to go by, it could well have been “informed” by taking at face value their reading of Gleick’s notorious forgery – and/or the ramblings of the U.K.’s Bob <fast-fingerered obsessive whiner par excellence> Ward ;-)

  18. A proposed scholar’s pledge: “First, I shall do no harm…to the language!”

  19. Willis Eschenbach

    We discuss this in more detail below. Hence, our findings give greater granularity in understanding which professionals are more likely to resist, why and how they will resist, and who is more likely to be successful.

    With our findings, we provide additional insights into climate change resistance.

    Climate change resistance? Dang, it sounds like one of those romantical underground guerrilla warfare groups during WWII, the “climate change resistance” …

    However, in this context I fear it’s just another marker of the declining quality of our hostesses posts … getting kinda desperate, with first Mister Ed and now this joker studying “climate change resistance” …

    w.

  20. Willis Eschenbach

    Given the impact of this industry on Alberta and the Canadian economy as a whole, it seems unlikely that the defensive institutional work by those in powerful positions within fossil fuel-related firms and industry associations can be breached in the near future without global enforcement mechanisms.

    What is it with these modern incarnations of Madame Lafarge always wanting “global enforcement mechanisms” to force people to believe as they do?

    And what’s with the metaphor of “breaching” the “defensive institutional work” of “those in powerful positions”? These brainless bimbos thinks that if their scientific opponents don’t believe the bogus science being peddled, that the solution is to breach their opponents defensive positions? Say what?

    Judith, your choice of guest posters is picking folks that are more stiff-necked, more reactionary, and more ridiculous with each new incarnation. These ladies’ metaphors are all about forcing people to fall into line, about breaching their defenses … dang.

    Where did you find these geeks? This is just another attempt to psychoanalyze the dissenters, who in these babes’ mental processes are obviously deviants. I mean, dividing people up into “regulation contrarians” and “comply with Kyoto” and the like …

    I will say it again, since folks like our host and these idiots haven’t got the message.

    The problem is not that “contrarians” are too stubborn to see the truth.

    The problem is not that people “in powerful positions” have done “defensive institutional work”.

    The problem is that far too much of the alarmist science have been crap, far too many of their claims have been failures, and worst of all, they lied to the public.

    And when you do that, you lose the trust of the people.

    So here’s my message for Lianne Lefsrud and Renate Meyer, and for our host who has tried over and over to pass this BS off as science:

    YOUR INABILITY TO SELL YOUR BS TO ENGINEERS IS NOT A COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEM!

    It’s a problem of bogus science and lies … and you won’t solve it by a “global enforcement mechanism”.

    Nor, Judith, will it be solved by your endlessly repeating the pathetic claim that the problem is something other than the bad actions of the alarmists.

    So many clowns … so few circuses …

    w.

    • Willis
      So, you enjoyed this article then? :)
      tonyb

    • Willis Eschenbach | July 16, 2013 at 2:11 am | Reply

      Willis, you are getting very snippy of late – here and elsewhere. Are you OK?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        I never have suffered fools gladly, and I find I’m growing tired of the endless repetition of bogus science and prejudice dressed up as fact.

        Mostly here it’s that our esteemed hostess seems to be an excellent teacher, but doesn’t seemed to have learned to tell the wheat from the chaff. She keeps posting, over and over, the same tired claim in a hundred guises. This is her oft-repeated laughable idea that the reason that alarmist climate “science” is getting no traction is that they’re not phrasing it right or framing it right, in other words, it’s a communication problem.

        But it’s not an issue of poor communications, and it never was. It’s a problem of crappy science, which is easy to fix, and a problem of lies, cheating, and betrayal of trust, which is very difficult to fix.

        But neither of those will ever get fixed as long as Judith and others are willing to pretend that it’s a communications problem. And yes, Robert … that is getting old.

        But for me in general, I’m fine, the world is still sunny (except this morning there’s a thick marine layer so I’m surrounded by fog), my day job goes well, “the hill-side’s dew-pearled’, the gorgeous ex-fiancee is going strong, things go apace.

        But man … this unending barrage of bad science, lies and omissions, personal attacks, and activist BS does get old sometimes.

        w.

      • Willis, to be fair to our hostess, I think what she’s doing is, for the most part, throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what us crows in the comment section do with it. Her ostensibly endorsing comments notwithstanding.

        Judith reminds me of another woman professor blogger; Ann Althouse. Often her threads are just a paragraph or two of quote with no commentary. After seeing her do this a few times, I begin to see the method. And the result is the same every time. The reliably “position A” people argue position A, and the reliably “position B” people argue position B, and nothing ever gets resolved.

        So around and around we go. If we ever do all end up agreeing, we’re toast.

      • David Springer

        Feel free to step away from the fray, Willis. It’s not like you’re making a difference one way or another. Someone else will occupy the bandwidth you abandon and they’ll be just as effective.

      • David Springer

        Harold | July 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

        “Willis, to be fair to our hostess, I think what she’s doing is, for the most part, throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what us crows in the comment section do with it.”

        Finding no other rational reason for the airing of rubbish like this OP I always figured it has to do with quid pro quo.

      • “But it’s not an issue of poor communications, and it never was. It’s a problem of crappy science, which is easy to fix, and a problem of lies, cheating, and betrayal of trust, which is very difficult to fix.”

        All true. It’s not an issue of poor communications also because it’s the skeptics who have the communication problem, not the team. Al Gore’s movie “Inconvenient Truth” won. End of story. Until Climate Gate exposed the inner workings. Skeptics still have a communications problem: the MSM and the scientific journals.

    • Of course.
      I’m really baffled why Judith Curry, a genuine scientist, is fascinated by this ridiculous psychobabble.

      • Steven Mosher

        well, its not psychobable. Its just a language you are not used to.

        I called a real estate broker and he was blathering on about “points”
        Crap, the DMv blathers about points, there are points in the basketball game.. bob seger sang she had points all her own, a drug addict found points in the garbage can..

        ,,, learn a new language

      • Mosher,

        There are languages whose primary purpose appears to be the setting of its speakers on a higher plain. Look at the language of lawyers. The vast majority of it is primarily for the purpose of requiring another lawyer to interpret. In most cases you can accomplish the same thing with plain English.

        I did not find the excerpts above to be particularly egregious, but that is often not the case with articles of this nature.

      • No. German is a different language. Chinese is a different language. This is deliberate obfuscation. It’s not terms of art to clarify, it’s mangling of English just to telegraph to their in crowd how ‘in’ they are.

    • David Springer

      Willis Eschenbach | July 16, 2013 at 2:11 am | Reply

      “And what’s with the metaphor of “breaching” the “defensive institutional work” of “those in powerful positions”? These brainless bimbos thinks that if their scientific opponents don’t believe the bogus science being peddled, that the solution is to breach their opponents defensive positions? Say what?”

      It’s not science it’s culture wars. Military symbolism, nomenclature, strategies and tactics fit it naturally precisely because it’s a war.

    • Willis,

      I agree with most of what you say, in particular the point about it not being a communications problem, but do not agree with the very last point.

      Dr Curry makes a one sentence comment, saying she finds the paper “interesting”. That doesn’t mean she agrees with it. As I see it the most you can imply is that she has an apparent fondness for soft science (meaning no science) sociological studies.

      I personally think these are of little value, other than to keep a specific sector of academics employed.

    • “Breach their opponents defensive positions” may be a thin euphemism for “re-education camps”

    • Robert Austin

      Willis,
      I see it as Judith putting out this “polished turd” for discussion/deconstruction. I see no indication that she approves/disapproves of the proposition. I agree entirely with your view of this paper but I do not agree with your criticism of our host. Nevertheless, I enjoy everything that you contribute.

      • Sounds about right. At least, plausible.

        The politics of academia are in flux, but there is still a line that is easily crossed into persona non grata. For many warmists, JC has long since stepped over. But not all.

        It’s easy to encourage others to make the ultimate sacrifice.

  21. It is clear from the wording of abstract that the work is biased. The authors begin with a belief and find those that do not accept the belief are wrong, devious or whatever:

    Abstract. This paper examines the framings and identity work associated with professionals’ discursive construction of climate change science, their legitimation of themselves as experts on ‘the truth’, and their attitudes towards regulatory measures. Drawing from survey responses of 1077 professional engineers and geoscientists, we reconstruct their framings of the issue and knowledge claims to position themselves within their organizational and their professional institutions. In understanding the struggle over what constitutes and legitimizes expertise, we make apparent the heterogeneity of claims, legitimation strategies, and use of emotionality and metaphor. By linking notions of the science or science fiction of climate change to the assessment of the adequacy of global and local policies and of potential organizational responses, we contribute to the understanding of ‘defensive institutional work’ by professionals within petroleum companies, related industries, government regulators, and their professional association.

    [my emphasis]

    It seems the authors don’t recognise that the it is the CAGW doomsayers that have been practicing and developed a high level of expertise in what they are attributing to the skeptics.

  22. Climate change sceptics seem to lack the homogeneity displayed by orthodox climate scientists and their acolytes and this is IMO a good thing.

    The head post tends to think of sceptics in the professional community as somehow different from the rest but this assumption seems unwarranted.

    One thing that both sides of the debate seems to have in common is a tendency for verbosity which seems like both sides have may be less sure of themselves than they would like.

    • Warmists. And lukey-washy warmists. For some, a fall-back strategy. For others, the only available weapon:

      Baffle ‘em with Bullshipt.

  23. Throughout post, the authors word choice makes it clear they believe the warmists’ are correct, not only on science but also on policy (such as on regulation). Why would they make that assumption?

    Consider this statement:

    Expertise, as we have pointed out, relies on credibility and has to demonstrate ‘informedness’ and objectivity of judgment. The overwhelming majority of these professionals use these elements to construct their frames and ground the appropriateness of their judgments; nonetheless they come to very different viewpoints concerning the ‘problem’ and attitudes towards regulation and action.

    I point to the success of US President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney’s policies of removing the regulatory blocks to development of fracking for oil and gas to illustrate that the professionals the authors apparently despise are probably more likely to be correct than the authors with regard to the policies of deregulation versus regulation.

    US President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney’s policies have given USA lower energy prices, security of energy supply, energy independence, and the potential for totally unexpected wealth over the next half century or so, as well as unexpected reduction in USA’s GHG emissions.

    What could be better? You’d think everyone, even the progressives, would be pleased and proud of such a success story.

    And what it really shows is that the Alberta geoscientists and engineers the authors despise – because they do not agree with the authors beliefs – are in fact the ones who are correct on policy. As far as I am concerned being correct on policy is what is important. Science is just one of many inputs to policy.

  24. “They make a strong claim that climate science is fraudulent and believe that the debate is not settled and ‘good science’ will eventually overcome science fiction. Since all regulation is ineffective anyway, there is also no urgency.

    I lave a lot in common with this group, but don’t believe that existing climate science is fraudulent, just missled by the IPCC, politicians and the media.. The latter tend to take a democratic and populist approach and are not willing to enter an argument brtween scientists. The group who support Kyoto tend to think there is some linearity between CO2 concentration and temperature, which of course is disproved by the 1940 to 1970 ‘pause’ and the current 14 year ‘pause’.

    Another reason for the ‘no urgency. is that people often move a few degrees of latitude North of South to live, to work, or to holidayand either welcome or ignore the climate change.

  25. Wondrous, they examine a healthy body and find it pathological.
    ==================

    • Heh, ‘climate change resistance’. Can’t even get the words right for the biased and ignorant framing in their own minds. Hopeless. This stuff is utter dreck.
      =====================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Did no one read to the end.

        This evidently has an impact on organizational strategies to address climate change and may partly account for the reluctance to develop and implement adequate strategies. Given the impact of this industry on Alberta and the Canadian economy as a whole, it seems unlikely that the defensive institutional work by those in powerful positions within fossil fuel-related firms and industry associations can be breached in the near future without global enforcement mechanisms. And from a policy perspective, the continuing scientific disagreement regarding anthropogenic climate change together with the increasing weariness and fatigue about the subject on the part of the electorate is unlikely to increase policy-makers’ inclination to further regulate GHG emissions. The Canadian Government’s decision in December 2011 to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol and avoid CAD 14 billion in penalties has shown this quite plainly.

        It is all lost without the UN steps in and rescues the day? Yeah right. So who’s won the climate war? It’s time for drinkin’ and dancin’.

      • The fact is it is ‘narrative resistance’. These researchers could have contributed knowledge had they explored the reasons that the Chinese are trying to nail down every stray hydrocarbon on Earth, including those in Alberta. And, of course, they could glance at the thermometer now and then.
        ===============

      • Ignorant and tyrannical, sic semper tyrannis.
        ==================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Always with the shoe half full Prince Henry.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | July 16, 2013 at 3:40 am |

        “So who’s won the climate war? It’s time for drinkin’ and dancin’.”

        That’s the most sensible thing you’ve written in like ever.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Why thanks Jabberwock – that’s one more than you.

      • Chief,

        I’d say that paragraph says it all. No need to read the rest of the paper.

  26. Say … ‘We examine the discursive contestation
    of climate change [and] examine
    an instrumental case.’ )

    From The Second best Moments in Chinese History.

    “The scholars have gathered in a clearing int the wood.
    Nervously at first, but with ever-growing enthuisiasm,
    they begin to discuss the insoluble problems of existence.
    Soon the forest resounds to their obscene drinking songs.”

    H/t Frank Kuppner.

  27. Well, as always, it is a mistake to comment without reading previous comments. Everything I want to say has been said several times already.

    These researchers recognize that the narrative is ill, but if it will ever regain health there needs to be different doctors, if any can defeat Nature, that is. These doctors are bleeding a patient with a low blood pressure.
    =======================

  28. Gosh. A lot of heat generated by a relatively low key paper. Read it again, don’t see that it takes a pro-warmist position. “Consensus of scientists” they put in quotes. To say that skeptics come from different places and are heterogeneous should not be a matter of argument. The only thing I found at all surprising, or curious, is the proposition that skeptics’ diversity is a political strength, and that warmists’ coherence is a political liability. I might have thought it the other way around.
    But yes, it would be of interest to see a paper dissecting mainstream climatologists’ psychology and defenses when they see their positions of expertise challenged.

    • Yup, there are two large data points on the ‘Unforced Variability’ thread three back.
      ===========

  29. “More importantly, this entanglement of frames and identities with economic positions raises the question for future research whether these individuals adapt their frames as they move upwards in the hierarchy of industry’s organizations or whether a defensive attitude towards environmental regulation is a prerequisite to such a career.”

    This seems to me to be a fair question. But it is not a question about climate change and environmental regulation. It’s a question about how people are recruited by institutions and how institutions mold people to fit their corporate culture..This is not a new theme in academe but something that C. Wright Mills was exploring over 50 years ago. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Wright_Mills] See his: White Collar.

    I have Mills to thank for seeking a career as an independent consultant. I had been offered a job by IBM as a trainee systems engineer around 1952, but after a tour of their offices and introduction to the boys in blue blazers and grey flannel mouths, I turned down the offer of riches and fame. And missed out on gaining a grey-flannel mouth and grey-flannel brain.

    That’s what this paper by Lefsrud and Meyer is about. Does a person become an Organization Man? (Wm Whyte, 1956) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Organization_Man

    Or do organizations recruit people who can be formed into “organization men and women”? [Is there a personality filter?]

    As for the derogatory comments concerning social science, I ask: Why do we care about the folly of climate alarmism if not for the harm it does to people by warping our social, economic and political systems?

    I myself embrace both social science and physical science. As a not-so-young graduate assistant, I did a social science M.A. (economic geography), put in 7 years on the PhD dissertation without finishing it, served on the staff of the L.S.E. London (without tenure) and practiced as an economic consultant for 30 years before doing an M.S. in physical science (with Earth science emphasis).

    I confess that my main motive in doing the M.S. was to be able to appreciate the book, Paleoclimate and Evolution, with Emphasis on Human Origins edited by Elizabeth S. Vrba.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?keywords=9780300063486&index=books&linkCode=qs

    Earth science is a wonderful field for discovering the history of science, especially extraordinary theories that became dominant without adequate supporting evidence. The psychological reason is very simple: The themes studied by Earth science are intimately linked with beliefs about man’s place in the cosmos. In Earth science, dominant scientists have promoted their own cosmologies. See the brilliant study by Naomi Oreskes: The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science, especially the cautionary words in the last chapter.

    For those readers who are interested in how and why scientists follow Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay’s book of the same name is worth a read. See also the study of the rejection of continental drift at: http://www.geoscience-environment.com/es767/index_es767.html

    Modern philosophy still debates whether or not scientific theories are mere constructs to describe phenomena in a pragmatic way, without revealing the underlying “laws of nature” as Richard Feynman and Einstein conceived them to be. Earth scientists also still concern themselves with this question every time they debate the significance of the scientific “consensus” supporting AGW.

    • I don’t know Vrba, but on a possibly related track I really enjoyed and appreciated Steven Mithen’s 1996 “The Prehistory of the Mind.”

      (BSc (Econ) LSE 61-64)

    • Frankpwhite,

      Thank you for an interesting comment.

      This sentence prompted me to wonder

      The psychological reason is very simple: The themes studied by Earth science are intimately linked with beliefs about man’s place in the cosmos.

      Is this psychological process causing people to believe that Earth’s atmosphere just happens to be at the perfect temperature for life when we happen to be alive?

  30. Michael Larkin

    Good lord, Judith. You actually found this odious specimen of word salad “interesting”? I’m hoping when you said that, your tongue was firmly planted in your cheek: if you were a Brit, I’d simply assume that that was the case, but as Americans don’t generally do dry-as-burnt-toast sarcasm, I fear you really meant it.

    Please say it ain’t so.

    • Michael,

      Yes, the Brits are masters of humor. And your post is uniquely insightful.

    • Let me assure you that that kind of postmodern gibberish is deadly serious in the American academy. They mean every word of it, even if it has no meaning.

  31. Yet another in a long line of attempts to find some kind of explanation as to why honest, educated people still allow themselves to be taken in by the lies and distortions propagated by Big Oil and associates. They simply can’t figure out why rational, intelligent people can possibly disagree in any way with what they see as the self-evident truth.
    And its almost ironic that they wonder why there are so many sceptics…

  32. Paul Vaughan

    “[...] variance in experts’ opinions is an effective strategy to undermine [...] Thus, the mere existence of a lively contestation counts as an asset [...]“

  33. “AGW skeptics in the professional community”

    Murray Salby?

    • Only time will tell how many of his 2-3 new interpretations of the data are correct. Whether he bent the rules as regards getting paid from more than one source or was not active enough in pursuing grants in Australia (one interpretation) is not relevant to the correctness or incorrectness of what he is saying.

  34. The summary is that if climate change cannot be measured, then it cannot be managed, just like any other project. Only with correct science will this project be measured and the climate issue cost effectively addressed. We have none at this time and the saga continues.

    • David Springer

      In this business you can manufacture data to suit whatever narrative you want.

      There hasn’t been any statistically significant global warming in 15 years. I say we declare “mission accomplished” and give the credit to Kyoto and compact flourescent light bulbs. No need to get more aggressive. There’s such a thing as overkill ya know. ;-)

  35. I did like this line though: “the continuing scientific disagreement regarding anthropogenic climate change together with the increasing weariness and fatigue about the subject on the part of the electorate”

  36. Normally, academia trails the private sector dominated by professionals through patents. This is not the case with climate change for there are no clients in the climate change “business”, and scientists are in the lead. Scientists have to be very convincing in order for professionals to accept regulations. For instant, all else being equal, professional engineer’s opinion stands in court.

    • +1

    • “…there are no clients in the climate change ‘business.’”

      Au contraire. In fact, the “science” of CAGW is a bought and paid for product designed to the specifications ordered by those clients. The clients being the progressive governments who fund the research, fund the academics who produce the research, who decide what research gets funded and which doesn’t, who appoint the heads of the various governmental bodies and NGOs who “assess” the research, and who ultimately use the carefully tailored “science” to convince voters to accept the progressive policies which were the politicians’ goals in the first place.

      Climate science was born, and died, in that hearing room with James Hansen in 1988. But the clients keep right on getting exactly what they (sorry – we) have been paying billions for.

    • David Springer

      Engineers consider bottom lines like “what will this regulation accomplish”? So even if we accept the bandwagon climate consensus the amount of reduction in CO2 generation isn’t enough to make any difference in the outcome. Everyone but the US signed onto Kyoto. Nothing was accomplished in climate change mitigation by it. Nothing. Worse than nothing. The US became the #2 producer of CO2 and a country that doesn’t have anything like The Clean Air Act of 1964 became the #1 producer (China). So now ever more CO2 is produced annually and worse, sulphates, nitrates, and soot that the US held in check are not held in check in China. Thanks dipschits for making things worse in the misguided attempt at making things better. Again.

      • Rob Starkey

        Mosher
        You should be more careful with telling others to stop making stupid comments when you reply to Sweden’s comment with so little thought. The customers of climate scientists are overwhelmingly government officials and these scientists are frequently biased by the agency supplying the funding. Don’t you agree that is VERY different than when something is funded by private industry and if there is a bias it is towards reducing financial risk?

      • Steven Mosher

        Rob.

        “You should be more careful with telling others to stop making stupid comments when you reply to Sweden’s comment with so little thought. The customers of climate scientists are overwhelmingly government officials and these scientists are frequently biased by the agency supplying the funding. Don’t you agree that is VERY different than when something is funded by private industry and if there is a bias it is towards reducing financial risk?”

        His claim was that there were no customers. that is wrong. with the information so easily at hand it is stupid to make this kind of mistake.

        your stupid mistake is claiming that the customers are overwhelming government officials. You make this claim with no basis in fact. If you care to look around you will find the large number of business customers who use climate projections. start with the insurance companies.

  37. “We find that climate science scepticism is not limited to the scientifically illiterate, but well ensconced within this group of professional experts with scientific training – who work as leaders or advisors to management in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate organizations.”

    Translation:

    “We find that our political opponents are everywhere, therefore our paranoia is justified.”

    Andrew

  38. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    This bit:

    “Thus, the mere existence of a lively contestation counts as an asset on the side of the regulation opponents and delays action.”

    —-
    That’s the general idea, right? Now there will be front line troops in this “contestation” who really believe in the battle, and then there will be the behind-the-scenes players who see a bigger (and inevitsble) picture and simply benefit by the delays in curbing the human carbon volcano. One only needs to reflect back on the battles over CFC’s and smoking to see how this works out.

    • Oreske unshades
      Her battered reams of data.
      Gates eyes and ovates.
      ==================

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Very nice Cooling Kim. The Koch Bros. would approve…if only they cared.

    • I hereby rest my case

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        If this were a court of law, the jury would now decide (whatever it is you think your “case” was), but in fact, related to the ultimate consequences of the Human Carbon Volcano and how humans do or do not learn to manage the Anthropocene, the ultimate jury are the laws of nature.

      • Robert Austin

        “Human Carbon Volcano” and “Anthropocene”. R. Gates, it’s about time you removed the “Skeptical” part of your posting identity.

    • R Gates

      is ‘human carbon volcano; your new favourite phrase now that your favourite new word ‘anthropocene’ does not seem to have gained traction?
      tonyb

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Both “Human Carbon Volcano” and “Anthopocene” are still quite appropriate, depending on what context is in. The former indicates the rapidity (in geologic terms) with which human GH emissions have been ejected into the atmosphere, and the later indicates the general fact that human activities now play a dominant role in atmospheric chemistry, ocean chemistry, biological activity, and alterations to the lithosphere. Humans are the change agent on the planet, so best we start Anthropocene Management 101 in order to take stewardship in a conscious way. This is Mark Lynas’ point, and I fully concure.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        BTW Tony,

        Of course the term “Anthropocene”, like any new scientific term that carries with it a new perspective is quite controversial, but it is far to early to say if term has or has not “caught on”. Might want to discuss your perspective of it not having caught on with the good folks at Elsevier and their new journal, “Anthropocene”:

        http://www.journals.elsevier.com/anthropocene/

        Or maybe tell these folks to change their name to something else because it hasn’t “caught on”:

        http://www.anthropoceneinstitute.com/

      • R Gates

        Exciting news! Elsevier has agreed its a daft name and have changed it to ‘Sceptics world’
        tonyb

      • R Gates

        This from your anthropocene institute link;
        Projects

        ‘T’he Anthropocene Institute provides due diligence to an investor pool, in areas of scalable change that abate global warming, and support biological diversity through our projects listed to the left.

        The Anthropocene Institute also partners with NPO and NGO entities to meet social goals in the broad program areas of Energy, Food, Biodiversity, and Cultural Change.’

        Sounds like the sort of thing that might drive some of the denizens mad. You must try and get them to submit a current article, I think Judith would find it interesting.

        BTW, I was rereading the first IPCC assessment (as one does) and came across the name Gates. Any relation?
        tonyb

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Tony,

        Good on Elsevier! I think they are also coming out with a new journal on political science call “Septic World”.

        I’ve got no family relationship to any Gates anywhere– except for the ones I do have a relationship to.

      • maksimovich

        your favourite new word ‘anthropocene’ does not seem to have gained traction?

        Climate sensitivity in the Anthropocene Previdi et al (includes Hansen Le quere Levitus etc was rejected at peer review and publication is not foreseen.

    • David Springer

      CFCs and tobacco don’t amount to an economic pimple on the ass of the fossil fuel elephant.

      Cigarette sales, by the way, are higher than ever and still growing 2% per year same as population growth or a little higher. Like carbon “pollution” the price of reducing tobacco consumption in the US is increasing it somewhere else in the world where there are even fewer regulations so it harms even more people. Nice work.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        David S. said:

        “Cigarette sales, by the way, are higher than ever and still growing 2% per year same as population growth or a little higher.”
        ___
        To the extent this is true in the U.S., then we all pay for it by higher insurance and health care costs. We know the cigarette manufacturers turend their sights oversees big time to create a whole new market of addicts.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Indeed, both nicotene and caffeine (primarily via coffee) are big drivers of the modern industrial era. Gotta’ keep the wheels (and those who turn the wheels) of progress juiced up Baby!

      • David Springer

        Tobacco use is way down in the US fercrisakes. Growth in other parts of the world more than made up for that lost in the US. The only losers in the US are convenience store owners who’d have to move back to their native country if they so smoke in their own stores and sell lots of cigarettes. Five hour energy drinks and red bull just don’t cut it as a replacement revenue stream for nicotine delivery devices.

      • David Springer

        R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc. | July 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm |

        “To the extent this is true in the U.S., then we all pay for it by higher insurance and health care costs.”

        Bull. Anything anyone does to lower their life expectancy is less time they have to spend collecting social security and medicare. If everyone would just smoke their asses off from puberty to death most of them wouldn’t survive long enough to enroll in medicare or collect social securit and those that did live past their sixties would be unlikely to live much past it. Healthy living is what’s bankrupting SS and medicare you dolt.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        David,

        Your vile, prejudicial, and hateful perspective on the world never fails to repulse me.

      • Gates,

        and exactly why do we all pay for it?

      • RG,

        Your not liking how Springer explains it does not make it “vile, prejudicial, and hateful”. It is a bit cold hearted, but as we used to say on my boat – “tough tittie”.

        I don’t care if you have a bleeding heart. Just try not to spray it over the rest of us.

      • ” If everyone would just smoke their asses off from puberty to death most of them wouldn’t survive long enough to enroll in medicare or collect social securit and those that did live past their sixties would be unlikely to live much past it. Healthy living is what’s bankrupting SS and medicare you dolt.”

        +100

        Of course, Obamacare has figured that one out, just don’t treat old people. They are worthless scumbags anyway.

      • Gates, many studies in Australia and I think the UK have found that the revenue from tobacco taxes far exceeds the additional costs of health care.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Faustino | July 17, 2013 at 3:25 am |

        Gates, many studies in Australia and I think the UK have found that the revenue from tobacco taxes far exceeds the additional costs of health care.

        Curiously, it’s worse than that. Paradoxically, smokers cost the health systemless than non-smokers—they die younger, they die quickly, and there’s not much you can do medically, so their lifetime costs are much lower than non-smokers who live longer (costing the medical system all that time) and then die from the more expensive diseases.

        w.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Willis said:

        “Curiously, it’s worse than that. Paradoxically, smokers cost the health systemless than non-smokers…”

        ______
        Data please. I’m sure you can back that up– maybe ask your buddies at the Heartland for their old data? If you’re right, we need to encourage all of our young people to take up smoking so we can really make certain the future of the social security and medicare system is solid. Reduce costs for we non-smokers– smokers die young, eh? Wow, Willis, you are a trip…

    • And speaking of the front lines, we can all be assured that Dr Mann is in the trenches over on the other side of No Man’s Land.

      Because he tells us so.

      Almost every week.

      Fortunately he’s not a very straight shooter.

    • What was the amount the Sierra Club received from the gas industry?

      Oh yeah, 26 million (US).

  39. The notion of “climate change frames” vectored me off into this 2009 article which, IIRC, received substantial comment in the blogosphere: http://www.environmentmagazine.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/March-April%202009/Nisbet-full.html

    This quote jumped out for me: “What explains the stark differences between the objective reality of climate change and the partisan divide in Americans’ perceptions?” The rhetorical contortion is stunning. Since the “C” in CAGW is plummeting in significance, the alarmist takes an uncontroversial reality: “the climate changes” and transforms it into the core of the new alarmist position: “climate change.”

    Tidbits trom the linked article:
    “Professional engineers and geoscientists are particularly influential in this industry. Alberta has the highest per capita of professional engineers and geoscientists (a category of licensure that includes climatologists, geologists, glaciologists, meteorologists, geophysicists, and paleo-climatologists) in North America. ”
    ….”. Given the dependence on the petroleum industry and relative homogeneity in licensure requirements, we might expect a consensus of opinion. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, the debate of the causes of climate change is particularly virulent among them.”

    Since 1999, climate change had been debated among professionals in APEGA in over 150 articles and letters to the editor that had appeared in the association’s monthly publication The PEGG . The discussion was becoming increasingly heated among a vocal few and, for the association, it was unclear whether these few were representing the majority of members. Given this debate, APEGA initiated a broad survey of its 40,000 members (as of 2007) concerning their beliefs about climate change, sources of knowledge, and opinions about the appropriate roles for individuals, industry, APEGA, and government. The first author was engaged by APEGA to develop the survey and analyze the results. The survey questionnaire contained closed- and open-ended questions and was published in The PEGG and on the website in October 2007. A total of 1077 completed surveys were received and 12 respondents emailed or mailed in additional comments. While this is, effectively, a convenience (nonprobability) sample of self-selected respondents, the respondents re similar to the general APEGA membership when compared on professional designation, age, and gender as of October 2007 (see Table 1). In their responses to the open-ended questions, respondents provided rich justifications. By considering these statements and claims, we are given a window to ‘eavesdrop’ into how they draw from broader narratives to make sense of climate change and legitimize themselves as experts while de-legitimizing others.

  40. John Plodinec

    Dr Curry – I’m embarrassed you risked your credibility on such pseudo-scientific garbage.

  41. “We find that virtually all respondents (99.4%) agree that the climate is changing. “

  42. I am grateful that Judy exposes her community to interesting research, irrespective of where it goes. I am fascinated by insights into how social science works. The critics of her decision to cite this article are ignoring an important element of the discourse.

  43. The article is not pay-walled. The denizens may be interested in the breakdown of the respondents into the 5 frames and more interesting to me, the authors description of those frames. Start on page 1492.

  44. Tetragrammaton

    Read the entire paper! It’s not that long and has some very interesting and revealing figures and tables. The authors, completely captured as they are by the “team” global-warming narrative, actually are treating climate-skepticism as if it were a psychiatric disease. They carefully segment the “lunatics” by the degree and type of symptoms, based upon their reading of responses to open-ended survey questions. Interestingly, they find only 36% of the respondees are apparently sane enough to be in the “comply with Kyoto” camp. [What! Not 97%?].

    To an objective reader, however, it is the authors who write as though it is themselves who may be confined in an asylum, looking out and trying to understand why the world outside is behaving so strangely. From their grotesquely-confined “frame”, they veer towards understanding that at least some skeptics have at least some expertise in the relative scientific disciplines. In Alberta, not surprisingly, there is a concentration of “geoscientists” capable of understanding at least some of the wobbly props supporting the AGW mythopoiesis. (Got to love that word, used in the paper. The word nicely brackets the global-warming narrative).

    The authors’ expertise in segmentation might have been nicely extended to focus on the actual scientific disciplines involved in “Climate Science”, such as geophysics, quantum theory, absorption cross-section of fluids, statistics, meteorology, large-scale computational analysis, simulation and modeling, and several more. Then the authors might have been able to notice that knowledgeable skeptics, such as many of the individuals they surveyed, actually had a better command of more of these disciplines than most of the “2,000” IPCC participants they refer to.

    We’ve seen recently some even more absurd sociological stuff than this paper. The worst has come from the Antipodes, of course. Maybe it’s time for some more analytical sociological research looking at the AGW “team” and its mythopoiesis.

  45. I’m just wondering, with this and recent choices of posting, if Judith is becoming just a little more like her old self. You know, the one (circa 2007) who could write about the dangers of ignoring the risks of globalwarming.

    I suppose, to dash any optimism, she could soon rouse her uncertainty monster, but for the moment, thankfully, he seems to be in a somewhat dormant state.

    • We don’t want no stinking agency.

    • Actually I read it the other way. That is, the article seemed such patently obnoxious newspeak that I couldn’t form a rational opinion about its merits. I was on the point of calling foul — accusing Judith of posting something really dumb by selected warmists just to discredit the while lot — when I saw your post. I don’t think it’s legitimate argument when alarmists quote evangelical skydragons to demonize all skeptics by inference; and it’s no better when someone publicizes third-rate post-modern psychoblather to tar all warmists. This article isn’t “interesting,” its just troll bait.

    • People are unlikely to forget all that they have learned since 2007 regarding the poor performance of the models upon which so many conclusions were based.

    • temperrain,

      In the spirit of the amateur psychoanalysis that forms the basis for the above post (and so many others here), let me take a shot at it. Dr. Curry is having the same reaction to her temporary flirtation with independent thought that Keith Kloor and Steve Mosher had before her.

      When you have considered yourself part of the elite for virtually your entire adult life because you too hold all the “right” opinions, it can be disorienting to suddenly think for yourself, and find yourself separated from the tribe. Not many can handle it. Most eventually find rationalizations and excuses for rejoining the herd.

      Dr. Curry began her blogging career appealing to her fellow true believers and proving she was still a “good” member of the tribe by demeaning those stupid skeptics and conservatives.

      Then she met Steve McIntyre, a fellow progressive, and found out he was not a fire breathing lunatic. Suddenly, it became permissible to think about the arguments he and others were making against the sloppy pseudo science she had been supporting without question for years. She could hold her own opinion, without being one of those troglodytic conservative/skeptics. She could even continue disparaging skeptics as irrelevant Rush Limbaugh listeners, and defend the labeling of them as “deniers” for a while on her own blog.

      That was why she was so shocked when her own tribe turned on her. Wasn’t she still a full fledged member of the tribe? Was she to be ostracized just for thinking for herself? (Well, yes, but that’s beside the present point.)

      And then to add to the bewilderment of it all, she started getting not just acceptance, but support from those stupid conservative/skeptics. In fact, it was conservatives in congress who asked her to testify at a time the consensus was trying to ignore her into oblivion. Her continued (and in fact increased) prominence in the debate she owed to them. I shudder to think how hard that must have been.

      But one who has been raised in the warm conformist bosom of the tribe can only take so much exposure outside the safety of the intellectual cocoon they provide. Having been taught for decades that your own superiority is founded on your membership in the tribe; after being reminded again and again not to even listen to the evil other; having lost your membership in the tribe that is supposed to run the world for everyone else by virtue of its inherent superiority – well, it is just too much for most to take.

      There. That’s how amateur psychobabble analysis dressed up as social “science” looks like from the other side. (Although it would have been much more impressive if I had tossed in a bunch of pretentious five syllable words rather than using plain English.)

      • Ahem. That’s pentasyllabic. Get with the malapropism.

      • Bah, you beat me to it, Gary

      • OH wait. Never mind. In vehement disagreement with your analysis above.

      • On 3rd thought, now I get it. I need to read these things before opening my big mouth.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘That was why she was so shocked when her own tribe turned on her. Wasn’t she still a full fledged member of the tribe? Was she to be ostracized just for thinking for herself? (Well, yes, but that’s beside the present point.)”

        read the paper linked and focus on boundary work.

        with all psychological and sociological papers on skeptics the first thing you should do is flip the script and see how the psychology plays out when applied to the team.

        read this:

        “We argue that processes of constructing expert identities are political strategies that are parallel to the legitimation strategies found in public policy research (Van Leeuwen & Wodak, 1999) or in organization studies (Vaara & Monin, 2010; Vaara, Tienari & Laurila, 2006). These authors distinguish five main discursive strategies: authorization, rationalization, moral evaluation, mythopoiesis, and normalization, which we also expect to find, to varying degrees, in experts’ claims. These align with rhetorical modes of proof (Suddaby & Greenwood, 2005): authorization, rationalization, and normalization strategies are forms of logos, moral evaluation aligns with ethos, and mythopoiesis aligns with pathos. To undermine the claims and frames put forward by other members of the same professional group, individuals may also employ antagonistic identity framing of others as non-experts (destructive strategy per Van Leeuwen & Wodak, 1999) using oppositional strategies (cf. social identity threats per Branscombe, Ellemers, Spears, & Doosje, 1999). Berger and Luckmann (1967) especially point to annihilation, be it by outright denial of the validity or by downplaying and ridiculing the claim or by attempting to assign an inferior status to the claimant and her or his sources of information.”

        Now go read comments made about Judith. What you will find is a bunch of work designed to de ligitamize her.

        dont be thrown off by the term discursive strategy. A discursive strategy ( foucault) is just the means whereby a discourse constitutes its object.

        of most interest to me is the use of mythopoiesis in climate science.
        that and icons

      • Well and good, but it would be even better if you translated it into English before reversing the roles. I think the point of this jargonisticism is to wear people out.

      • Now, now, now, I thought mythopoiesis and ikons were our little secret.
        ==========

      • Steven Mosher

        harold

        ‘Well and good, but it would be even better if you translated it into English before reversing the roles. I think the point of this jargonisticism is to wear people out.”

        wrong. jargon serves a useful rhetorical purpose. before you read something you must understand that communications involve a transmitter a reciever and a channel. To maximize bandwidth of the channel smart transmitters will employ forms of encoding repeated complex messages into shorter forms. in simple terms jargon helps one person in a linguistic community communicate with another person in that same community with fewer bits. It also stands as a barrier to folks who want to join that dialogue. They have to learn the code.

        Learning jargon is fun and good for your brain.

    • (Reposted with correct formatting)

      tempterrain

      Gary M has already responded in detail to your comment, but let me add my observations.

      Our hostess has pretty much tried to walk the line of being objective and open on the topic if AGW, at least since Climate Etc. was launched. As a respected climate scientist, she has conceded that climate science is still in its infancy and that the uncertainties regarding AGW still far out weigh the certainties. She has advised Congress that she does not consider AGW to be an existential threat over this century, ”even in its most alarming incarnation”. She has also argued against taking actions today to “respond urgently with policies that may fail to address the problem and whose unintended consequences have not been adequately explored.”

      This is a tough path to follow when it comes to a politically loaded topic like AGW, but I think she has been able to do it well.

      She has posted several arguably interesting articles (and a few bombs), designed to make people open up their brains to new thoughts.

      This is obviously disconcerting to anyone who believes that “the science is settled” and “it’s now time to move on to action”, so she has taken some heat from those colleagues, who are part of the “consensus team”.

      But she’s a big girl and, unlike some others in this field, no shrinking mimosa.

      Max

    • I’ll make the same comment I made to Willis,

      All Dr Curry said was she found it “interesting”. Why folks want to read all sorts of motivational messages into that is beyond me.

      • Actually, what she wrote was: “This is one of the most interesting articles that I’ve encountered on climate change skeptics.”

        Surprisingly, she has apparently not found my rendition above quite as interesting.

  46. No matter how you slice it, its still baloney

  47. “This is one of the most interesting articles that I’ve encountered on climate change skeptics. I look forward to your comments.”

    You know folks, “interesting” can mean quite a number of things. If I had to bet, I’d say Judith finds this just as nauseating as many….most?…of us.

    • I’ve seen the word described as “what a surgeon says when he finds a patient’s intestine grown to his rib”.

      • I’ve long felt sorry for patients whose doctors find them interesting.
        ===============

      • Hah! Exactly. Pretty good characterization of this “scientific paper” as well, now that I think of it.

  48. Let’s get clear about the ‘professional community’ in question.

    The paper, and its conclusion, affirms what we already know: when faced with the situation of the science, Conservative-thinking business leaders in Alberta, and the federal government in Canada, are not thinking of action plans. The paper’s authors suggest the need to re-frame to the familiar and practical approach of risk management, especially for senior corporate, government and business professionals who form the most ‘skeptical’ group surveyed in that provincial and federal context.

    The paper includes references to petroleum companies concerned about damage to their infrastructure, and to Canadian engineers involved in changing building codes (because of impacts of climate change). So while they may be distracted by party politics at this time, they’re not idiots (well, for the sake of Canadians, let’s hope not).

    Appallingly, a reactionary Canada is the Chair of the Arctic Council in 2013. We’ll see how it goes. As anyone who reads international media can see, there are serious concerns that the Canadian government will narrow the Council to its own extremely narrow domestic agenda and promotion of the Alberta oil sands.

    On the other hand, the reality of melting in the North and the pressure that can be exerted by Northern communities and their leadership, especially with international support from other Council members, could be yet another wake up call for Conservatives in Canada to get real about the need for risk management. Views such as those surveyed are defensive and narrow, rather than proactively-oriented and in the interests of inter-related economic bases and regions.

    That’s an interesting paper, especially for anyone familiar with Alberta politics and economics.

    • Rob Starkey

      That melting arctic disaster huh. How is arctic ice being lower for 3 to 4 months in the summer a potential disaster or even a problem.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910–1940 and 1970–2008) by a significant 1940–1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910–1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970–2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale.’ Citation: Chylek, P., C. K. Folland, G. Lesins, M. K. Dubey, and M. Wang (2009), Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L14801, doi:10.1029/
      2009GL038777.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/chylek09.gif.html?sort=3&o=121

      ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’ http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

      The real climate is a coupled non-linear system that shifts on decadal scales and much longer. It is a fact that the world is in a cool mode and that these last for 20 to 40 years. It is expected by everyone that THC will slow down this century – and the potential for abrupt change is not understood at all well.

      Melting of the Arctic is used as a political stalking horse – but there are 2 problems. Attribution is problematic and the system seems more likely than not to turn around over a few decades at least.

      Wally Broecker has characterized emissions of CO2 as poking a stick at an angry beast. It is not – however – a simple relationship between CO2 and climate change – the system exhibits ‘regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      Failure to understand that things are not quite as simple as they imagine is the Achilles’ heel of the warmisista. Green overreach contains the seed of its own failure – people are understandably wary of the political machinations and mooted economic disruption – and understandably react. The warministas have been foolish for many years and now deserve their utter irrelevance. I had to laugh – Martha and Max. What a pair.

    • Steven Mosher

      Martha,

      The changes in store for the arctic cant be stopped. The heat is in the pipeline, when it comes out it will head north. the ice is toast. thats the reality. The sooner canadians start figuring out ways to exploit this, the better.

      • Most Canadians do not live in the Arctic and know nothing about that part of their country, So first, they will need to figure that part out.

        Second, industry and government do not have a right to proceed with non-renewable resource development in the North without the approval and participation of Northern people and institutions.

        Third, there is no good reason for resource development to continue to increase stress on Arctic wildlife and communities when development can proceed without exacerbating this stress.

        Fourth, the question of who is paying the cost of climate change adaptation measures in the North needs to be on the table along with new directions for development.

      • “The heat is in the pipeline….”

        Is that the oceanic pipeline, or the atmospheric/solar pipeline? Or is there a new one now?

      • Robert Austin

        Mosher,
        I can’t believe that you actually said this with so much confidence. You are obviously an intelligent guy. Why set yourself up for a major face plant. Has Mosher acquired the Harold Camping syndrome?

      • Steven. “The heat is in the pipeline….”
        Pipelines also carry sewage:
        “Santa Not Swimming: No Lake at North Pole, Scientist Says.” Text.Article. FoxNews.com, July 31, 2013. http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/07/31/santa-not-swimming-no-lake-at-north-pole-scientist-says/

  49. Willis Eschenbach

    David Springer | July 16, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

    Feel free to step away from the fray, Willis. It’s not like you’re making a difference one way or another. Someone else will occupy the bandwidth you abandon and they’ll be just as effective.

    Thaks for the thought, David. Perhaps your world is full of fungible humanoids who all make no difference and can be freely interchanged … my world is different.

    Me, I make a difference wherever I go, and the difference is a vector, not a scalar … some people say it’s a difference for the better, some say not, but few people think I make no difference.

    w.

    • “Me, I make a difference wherever I go, and the difference is a vector, not a scalar … some people say it’s a difference for the better, some say not, but few people think I make no difference.”

      That’s some pretty healthy self-esteem you’ve got going for yourself. A little humility goes a long way too.

      • No sh*t.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        pokerguy | July 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        That’s some pretty healthy self-esteem you’ve got going for yourself. A little humility goes a long way too.

        pokerguy, here was Springer’s accusation:

        It’s not like you’re making a difference one way or another.

        I love you two guys’ plan. He attacks me, says I don’t make a difference. If I agree or if I say nothing, folks think he’s right.

        But if I defend myself and point out that I make plenty of difference, you accuse me of lack of humility … serious Catch-22.

        In any case, pokerguy, my posts get quoted all over the blogosphere, both on alarmist sites (where they are almost universally roundly castigated and pissed on, complete with unpleasant and untrue speculation on my motives and ancestry), as well as on skeptic sites (where they are generally but not always lauded). I’ve been quoted in papers all over the planet, including the New York Times. My posts get about a million page views a year on WUWT alone, are reposted in their entirety on many sites, and are read by people on both sides of the climate aisle. I know my opponents read them, because they tweet their complaints to their devotees.

        That’s called making a difference wherever I go. Hey, I could assume a mask of false humility, and say I make no more difference than a random anonymous internet popup with some fake name like “pokerguy” or “Max_OK”.

        But that wouldn’t be true, I make much more difference in the climate discussion … in part because I sign my work and stand behind my own words, in part because I do original science research, in part because my writing is interesting, and in part because WUWT has such a wide reach.

        Google confirms the difference I’ve made. If you google “emergent phenomena climate”, the number four spot is … from Gavin Schmidt over at NASA:

        The most interesting behavior of the climate system is emergent. That is, the large-scale phenomena are not obvious functions of the small-scale physics but result from the complexity of the system. For instance, no formula describes the Intertropical Convergence Zone of tropical rainfall, which arises through a combination of the seasonal cycle of solar radiation, the properties of moist convection, Earth’s rotation, and so on. Emergent qualities make climate modeling fundamentally different from numerically solving tricky equations.

        The top three posts from that google search, on the other hand, are my discussions of emergent phenomena and how they are central to the climate question. So while I constantly endeavor to make an even greater difference than I do, I’m satisfied with what I’ve done and am doing.

        w.

      • Willis,

        if one is a regular visitor to this site they soon recognize when to pay attention to Springer and when to ignore him. Just as one notices when you are in your cranky mood.

        Anyone who has read your posts should recognize both the breathe of your experience and the very high probability of you making an impact on what you put you attention to and whom you come in contact with. None of which invalidates pokerguy’s observation

      • Willis, vive la difference.

      • That’s called making a difference wherever I go.

        Heh.

        Willis – if you didn’t post your comments in blog threads, and if you didn’t get your posts up at WUWT – what difference would be manifest in the world? Yes, the world would be different – but in a completely insignificant manner.

        Perhaps a handful of “skeptics” would be less “skeptical” than they currently are? Perhaps a few folks like me, who find your blog persona to be quite amusing, might be somewhat less regularly amused? Yes, differences, but not significant differences.

        I seem to recall that you have some kids and a wife? I imagine that there are other family and friends where you being around impacts their lives in significant ways. I don’t doubt that in your work throughout your life, you have made a significant difference in the lives of others. Maybe you could consider different ways of measuring the difference one makes in the this world?

        But I have to say that I find your boasting here, about being a “difference” maker because of your blog comments and posts, is just another amusing example )(of a rather long list, btw) of where you reasoning is skewed by a habit of filtering information to confirm your biases.

        I have no reason to doubt that you’re a fine man, Willis – but I would say that your views on the “difference” you make from your posts and blog comments reflects a tendency towards displaying delusions of grandeur. It’s interesting, because I find that many people who are very engaged in the blogosphere tend towards the narcissistic end of the personality spectrum, and indeed, delusions of grandeur is one of the classic attributes of narcissists. Remember when I posted a description of the tendency towards angry fits typical of narcissism and asked you what it reminded you of?

        Now I think that a certain degree of narcissism is an rather benign trait of a healthy individual. Perhaps that’s the case for you?

      • Robert Austin

        It’s hard to quantify “make a difference” but in the scheme of things climate, I would throw out that Willis makes about a million times more difference than Joshua. A guy may get a little irritable at times with the Lilliputians desperately trying to cut down his stature but he is only human. Keep up the good work Willis.

      • Robert –

        but in the scheme of things climate, I would throw out that Willis makes about a million times more difference than Joshua.

        First, unlike Willis, I don’t have delusions of grandeur w/r/t the “difference” my comments make. Second, the “difference” my comments make have no bearing, whatsoever, on the measure of difference that Willis’ post and comments make. None.

        Third, I notice that you avoid the substantive issue. I mean maybe you get your rocks off on demeaning my input – so be it, but perhaps you might care to speculate what of substance would be different if Willis didn’t write his posts and comments? What difference would it make in the world?

        To repeat, my guess is that for the most part, some portion of “skeptics,” (the relatively small % who waste significant amounts of time reading “skeptical” climate blogs) would be reading some other posts instead of Willis’, or perhaps spending less time reading “skeptical” blogs. Perhaps, as I said, a handful might be slightly less “skeptical” about climate change. And as I said, some folks like myself would find slightly less amusement. Can think of any other difference? Can you offer any difference of substance? Shouldn’t be hard, right? After all, Willis “makes a difference wherever [he goes].”

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: But I have to say that I find your boasting here, about being a “difference” maker because of your blog comments and posts, is just another amusing example )(of a rather long list, btw) of where you reasoning is skewed by a habit of filtering information to confirm your biases.

        oh, blah, blah, blah. You “find” this and you “find” that and none of it is ever on point.

      • Matt –

        oh, blah, blah, blah. You “find” this and you “find” that and none of it is ever on point.

        Well, I thought that my observations related to Willis’ inflated sense of the “difference” his contributions make were precisely on point. Maybe you’d care to comment on point, rather than comment on an entirely different subject (your observations about the value of my comment)?

        I find that one characteristic of many “skeptics” – at least those heavily engaged in the blogosphere – is that they have an inflated sense of: (1) the value of their input and, (2) the impact and influence of the “skept-o-sphere.” I find that often they forget that the “skept-o-sphere” represents only a small % of “skeptics,” let alone the broader public. They also have a habit of projecting their own opinions onto the larger public (something that Willis does quite a bit, btw).

        Anyway, Matt – thanks for reading. It means lot to me.

    • Every couple of years, I find myself taking a tour through the warmist blogosphere. The best sites tend to be as civil as WUWT at its worst. The discourse at many sites deteriorates to the point the vitriol directed at skeptics is staggering to me.

      As a REMF in this discourse, I certainly appreciate you putting yourself out there as a lay thought leader on the skeptic side.

      I belief the viciousness displayed by the warmists toward their peers who challenge their science has forced the discourse into the lay blogosphere where people like you lead the way.

      Thank you (and Judy).

    • Most commenters on this blog have what I consider to be healthy self esteem, including myself, because the act of commenting requires a certain degree of confidence that their views are worthwhile contributions to the debate.

  50. Willis Eschenbach

    Martha | July 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    … On the other hand, the reality of melting in the North and the pressure that can be exerted by Northern communities and their leadership, especially with international support from other Council members, could be yet another wake up call for Conservatives in Canada to get real about the need for risk management. Views such as those surveyed are defensive and narrow, rather than proactively-oriented and in the interests of inter-related economic bases and regions.

    The “reality of melting in the North”? Let’s talk about that.

    First, I don’t know if you noticed, but Alaska just had the coldest winter in decades. The PDO has flipped over to the cool phase, and the Nenana ice classic just recorded it’s latest ice-out date in over a century.

    Next, just about every Canadian I’ve ever talked to has said some variation of “Global warming? Bring it on!”. They’d be happy to deal with whatever inconveniences might accompany warmer winter nights and longer growing seasons.

    Or perhaps you are referring to the native villages of Shishmaref and Newtok, who represent the Fifth and Sixth “First Climate Refugees” respectively? Because CO2 had nothing to do with their problems.

    Maybe when you say “the reality of melting in the North” you are talking about the polar bears, who are flourishing even in the most southern regions, the bear population is gaining where the lack of ice was supposed to be extinctuating the poor creatures.

    In any case, Martha, perhaps you could entertain us with some real, verifiable, actual damages that have occurred in the North from “the reality of melting”. Bear in mind that it melts every year up there, here’s the Barrow webcam, most northerly weather station in Alaska, with waves breaking on the beach today … and attach dollar values where appropriate.

    But finding the damages is far from enough. Once you have that, then you need to show how the warming from say 1900 to 2000 was different from the warming from 1800 to 1900, and different from the warming from 1700 to 1800 … see, the problem is that the world has been warming for about three centuries since the Little Ice Age, at about a half a degree C or so per century, and nobody knows why.

    So for you to point at the recent 20th century warming of about half a degree per century and scream Humans did it! The sky is falling! … well, let me charitably call it entertaining but not convincing.

    I am interested, however, in your claims of huge damage from the “melting in the North”. The Little Ice Age was a time of hardship and suffering, and I don’t recall any thermal disasters from the couple of degrees of warming since then, generally it’s been a benefit, and not just to humans. Living creatures prefer warmth to cold, look at the biodiversity in the Amazon versus that in the Arctic.

    So bring on the tales of meltdown, I’m curious.

    All the best,

    w.

    • +100

      (Let’s see if Martha responds with some facts.)

    • Willis,

      I keep asking for evidence of negative impact or damage from “climate change” and have yet to get an answer. I doubt Martha will reverse that trend.

  51. p.s. I meant to add, I found the paper interesting because I have seldom, maybe never read “science fiction” given as a reason for not going with the consensus – since AGW’s took to presenting themselves as the “skeptics” – although they did have to put in a lot of work explaining how they were sceptics but still agreed with the physics, and spent some considerable time claiming they were the ones being called “deniers” and objecting to this, (Singer for example and he called all those who questioned the physics deniers) – those orginally called “deniers” were called this for saying the physics was fiction.

  52. “We examine the discursive contestation of climate change”

    Moving from the Greenhouse Effect, to Anthropogenic Global Warming, to Climate Change, to Climate Disruption, was the discursive that led to the contestation.

  53. Martha, once upon a time…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau

    big farmers built real big houses & hoped the warm days of Summer, would never come to an end.

  54. https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20130714_sp

    “Andrew Neil: All right. But your policies are hugely expensive, they’re over £400 billion –

    Ed Davey: No they’re not. No they’re not.

    Andrew Neil: – in the Climate Change Act, it’s the £400 billion that’s in the Climate Change Act

    Ed Davey: Well, I’m happy to talk about the cost.

    Andrew Neil: The point I’m trying to get to you is: there are a number of climate scientists out there – they’re not denying that CO2 emissions can increase the temperature. What they’re looking at, again, is whether it leads to such a quick and large rise in temperatures that the IPCC has predicted – that central forecast was 3% for this century. Now if I could just [Ed Davey is trying to respond] – even I get allowed to finish the point, just as you have. Professor Piers Forster, Leeds University, climate change professor: that the higher temperatures now are “unlikely”. Professor of Geosystems at Oxford [Myles Allen]: the higher temperatures’ outlook – “iffy”. Professor Judith Curry, Head of Climate Science at the world-famous Georgia Institute of Technology: “the models are running too hot. Temperatures could stay flat for another decade or two”. Now if, as we originally thought, it’s not working out, my point to you is: don’t you want to step back and reconsider policy?”

  55. David L. Hagen

    Professionals on the scientific method vs alarmism
    The crux of the issue is following and upholding the scientific method.
    Richard P. Feynman summarized the critical issues:

    It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

    For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

    There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It’s a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you ‘play’ with them

    Among engineering and scientific professionals, it is essential to validate models. If the model doesn’t fit the data, people can get killed, your business fail, and you lose your job.
    As a research engineer/scientist, following the first IPCC report, I prepared the detailed review:
    Hagen, D.L. & Kaneff, S. “Application of Solar Thermal Technologies in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Opportunities and Benefits for Australian industry” for Anutech Pty Ltd to Dept. Arts, Sports, the Environment, Tourism and Territories, Canberra, Australia, June 1991 330 pp

    The subsequent IPCC reports increasingly did not fit subsequent reality in global temperatures.
    ”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” “Once bitten, twice shy.”
    Thus, following Climategate, I helped review the NIPCC’s 2009 Report: Climate Change Reconsidered (2 June 2009)

    In IPCC land, the greater the alarm, the greater the funding – until the cry “wolf” falls on deaf ears. Foundationally, the IPCC has failed to undertake the massive serious work required to transform its alarmist culture to a scientific culture capable of scientific forecasting in the face of strongly vested interests. See Green & Armstrong (2007) Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts
    It waits to be seen whether the IPCC can rebuild the trust and credibility it has lost among professional circles.

    Replacement fuels
    In the mean time, the critical global issue is long term replacement of liquid fossil fuels. That is literally the $100,000,000,000,000 problem society must solve over the next 40 years.
    A fraction of a degree in temperature is a pittance by comparison.

  56. Judith Curry

    As you write, this is an “interesting article”, indeed.

    It arguably tells us as much about those who support the so-called “consensus” view of CAGW, as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report, as it does about those who are rationally skeptical of this view.

    The former group apparently shares a “strong belief that the fundamental debate on whether or not climate change is anthropogenic is settled and that the ‘consensus among scientists’ has informed enforceable regulation,” while the skeptics have concluded that the science is anything but “settled” and the uncertainties regarding CAGW still far outweigh the certainties.

    In summary, it is simply a debate on whether or not “the science is settled”.

    And, despite all the arm waving going on from both sides, the skeptics are essentially winning this debate (because “science is never settled” and uncertainties continue to outweigh certainties).

    Max

  57. Concerned Citizen

    I really think it is largely this simple: Engineers and scientists practicing in industry (as opposed to academics, national lab employees, etc.) tend to have relatively acute “BS meters.” Nuff said.

  58. Leave it to social scientist to quantitatively describe their work in a table in which the percentages do not total to 100 and provide no other elaboration. Table 4 does provide a couple of insights. 1. Government was barely pro Kyoto/regulation 52% and 40% anti with the rest undecided. Geoscientists were 64% anti Kyoto/regulation and 31% pro. The authors might argue with my classifications. Engineers were not broken out butvare presumably in between.

  59. Social Scientists that I know seem to approach their research from one of two perspectives: 1) defining every term of social interaction, cultural, behavior, etc that they are addressing; or 2) take as a given, a particular paradigm as being true, and proceeding with their interviews. For the first perspective, there can be 85 page manuscripts that would take me a year to plow through. For the second perspective, I can understand the area staked out, and can read from there.

    This article seems to take the second perspective: the climate science narrative as advocated by the war mists (interesting wording my computer seems to insist is correct – fighting, shrouding, camouflaging) and as that base, goes on to characterize skeptics.

    Now this isn’t the full range of skeptics’ perspective to my way of thinking, but illustrated is the characterization of people who have an economic stake in the issue, have a perspective guided by magnitude to that economic investment.

    Hmmmm, Is this really new?

  60. I find the above paper absolute drivel fit maybe for a Psycology journal. I suppose if you are a “climate Scientist” with plenty of time on your hands, you could bother with this stuff. This is not Science.

  61. The five rhetorical moves to legitimate/delegitimate idea is one you could put in your pocket for future disputes of all kinds among “experts.” The rest doesn’t seem so useful and really is unnecessarily jargon-ridden. You can do excellent sociology of science without writing that way–read some Harry Collins.

  62. Willis Eschenbach

    timg56 | July 17, 2013 at 12:58 am |

    Anyone who has read your posts should recognize both the breathe of your experience and the very high probability of you making an impact on what you put you attention to and whom you come in contact with. None of which invalidates pokerguy’s observation

    I was attacked for not making a difference. I replied that yes, I do make a difference. It’s rather a novelty after a lifetime of being the man in the shadows, the observer on the edges. I worked hard to get where I am, and I’m glad I can make a difference. So sue me …

    In response, pokerguy attacks me for not being humble, and you agree with him.

    So I’m screwed if I do protest, and screwed if I don’t … and you seem to think that’s fair.

    I will admit, however that you and pokerguy certainly seem like humble men … and I have no doubt that y’all have much to be humble about.

    w.

    PS—Of course you realize that if you protest that last sentence, I’ll accuse you of lacking humility … and if you don’t protest that last sentence, it will show that you have much to be humble about? Sound familiar?

  63. Phyllograptus

    I’m one of the Alberta geoscientists probably discussed in the article. I know very few, in fact a minuscule number of engineers and geoscientists who dismiss global warming. Most have a much more nuanced view. We spend our professional lives attempting to predict past climates and past landscapes so that we can drill successful oil and gas wells. We have a direct financial incentive for constantly improving our understanding of past climatic states. We understand climate changes and variations more than most others do, including climatologists. We also work intimately with Engineers, those fundamentally grounded and practical sorts and some say emotionless types. One of the things we often collaborate with the engineers with are numerical simulations of reservoirs. The petroleum industry has been intensely running numerical simulations for much longer than the climate community has been trying to numerically simulate the earths climate. So we understand the downfalls of numerical models. Especially since our models have less degrees of freedom than climate models and we have better understandings and estimates of the range of the inputs than the climate community does of their models which have many more independent input variables and thus much more degrees of freedom. As such many of us have an extremely high degree of skepticism of the “infallibility” of all numerical models. Mostly we treat them as estimate guidelines, while recognizing that any individual run or simulation is just one of an almost infinite number of solutions. This is one of the biggest differences between the engineers and geoscientists and the general public or even seemingly a lot of climate modelers, we recognize and understand that a model run is just one solution amongst an almost infinite set in a non-unique solutions to the problem because of the large amount of degrees of freedom in the models due to the large amount of poorly constrained and understood independent variables.

  64. JC says “This is one of the most interesting articles that I’ve encountered on climate change skeptics.”

    No, the report on the questionnaire that this paper was based upon is far more interesting. The paper gives a link to it in footnote 2.

    The survey questionnaire and resulting report to APEGA and its membership are available online at
    http://www.apegga.org/Environment/reports/ClimateChangesurveyreport.pdf .

    “Member Consultation on Climate Change — Report to Council”

    The survey was sent out in 2007 to the members of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta by APEGGA’s Environment Committee.

    How many other professional organizations consulted their members before issuing an official statement on climate change?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Thanks for pointing that out, Diag. It’s an interesting questionnaire, with the best questions I’ve seen so far in such documents. Interestingly, only about 25% of the engineers and professionals surveyed are part of the 97% of people who buy the consensus view …

      w.

    • Note that the survey was open to all members of APEGA, not just the ones employed by Big Oil. The 2012 paper analyzing this data does not make this clear enough. They say:

      Given this debate, APEGA initiated a broad survey of its 40,000 members (as of 2007)

      and

      And the petroleum industry – through oil and gas companies, related industrial services, and consulting services – is the largest employer, either directly or indirectly, of professional engineers and geoscientists in Alberta.

      and

      we contribute to the understanding of ‘defensive institutional work’ by professionals within petroleum companies, related industries, government regulators, and their professional association.

      … and also of those who are not in petroleum companies or related industries and who are not government regulators

    • Matthew R Marler

      Diag: No, the report on the questionnaire that this paper was based upon is far more interesting. The paper gives a link to it in footnote 2.

      good catch.

  65. To the degree that climate science does not figure as prominently as resource and production modeling in running a fossil energy operation, bent and illiterate are rather complimentary aspects of deformation professionelle than mutually exclusive.

    As surely as the world must be peopled, Calgary’s equivalent of K-Street must make a living.

  66. Seems a lot of skeptics in the comments here didn’t like the article. I can’t think why; to me it was very nice to see. Obvious believers in AGW acknowledging that there is a whole lot more opposition than anyone was willing to admit, a whole lot smarter, and with a whole lot more diverse points of view.

  67. Willis Eschenbach

    R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist | July 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm |

    Willis said:

    “Curiously, it’s worse than that. Paradoxically, smokers cost the health systemless than non-smokers…”

    ______
    Data please. I’m sure you can back that up– maybe ask your buddies at the Heartland for their old data? If you’re right, we need to encourage all of our young people to take up smoking so we can really make certain the future of the social security and medicare system is solid. Reduce costs for we non-smokers– smokers die young, eh? Wow, Willis, you are a trip…

    Of course I can back it up, Mr. Gates. You should assume by now that I don’t make statements without backup, given the number of times that you’ve tried unsuccessfully to trip me up.

    You could start by looking at this article.

    Or here’s the results of a Dutch study in PLoS Medicine:

    The [lifetime] cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000….Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.

    And there’s a New York Times story here from the HealthScience section, entitled “Smokers and the obese cheaper to care for, study shows”.

    The lower lifetime medical cost of smokers and the obese is general knowledge in the medical profession. Of course, you could have googled this and saved yourself the embarrassment of being wrong again … but your incessant, manic desire to prove me a fool got the best of you, and once again you didn’t do your homework.

    Nice try, though …

    w.

    • Steven Mosher

      not real data.

      “With a simulation model, lifetime health-care costs were estimated for a cohort of obese people aged 20 y at baseline. To assess the impact of obesity, comparisons were made with similar cohorts of smokers and “healthy-living” persons (defined as nonsmokers with a body mass index between 18.5 and 25). Except for relative risk values, all input parameters of the simulation model were based on data from The Netherlands. In sensitivity analyses the effects of epidemiologic parameters and cost definitions were assessed. Until age 56 y, annual health expenditure was highest for obese people. At older ages, smokers incurred higher costs. Because of differences in life expectancy, however, lifetime health expenditure was highest among healthy-living people and lowest for smokers. Obese individuals held an intermediate position. Alternative values of epidemiologic parameters and cost definitions did not alter these conclusions.”

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      This is such failed logic Willis that I am shocked you’d try to pull it off here. Are you certain you are okay? This isn’t up to your usual level of obfuscation. Of course what matters is NOT lifetime costs, since their shorter lifetimes are exactly caused by their lifestyles. What matters is annual costs per person to the health care and economic system WHILE THEY ARE ALIVE. The severity of illness for obese and those who smoke is far greater and their annual costs per person to health care system far greater than for non-smokers who are of normal weight, and this doesn’t even get to the econonic cost of lost productivty as smokers and the obese take more sick time. But the obese and smokers die earlier so of course their lifetime costs would be lower. By your twisted logic Willis (again, are you sure you’re okay?) we should all practice infanticide so as to keep their lifetime costs to our medical system low. In fact, why even have kids– keep the lifetime cost at $0.

      For those who want an educated and researched bit of information, try:

      https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/price-smoking

      C’mon Willis stop drinking the Heartland Cool-aid. You’re better than that.

      • Rob Starkey

        Strange concept of determining what cost is important to a society. I don’t know the math on this but if the total cost to a nation is in fact less to have people smoke and die younger I could see it having an impact on that government’s policies.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        R. Gates, you’re being stupid. Willis Eschenbach made a specific claim. You called that claim into question. Eschenbach provided evidence supporting that claim. You responded by ignoring the evidence and saying his claim was stupid.

        If Eschenbach’s claim was as stupid as you claim, you should have said so from the start. You shouldn’t have demanded evidence for the claim only to ignore that evidence when it was provided. If your issue is with the logic of Eschenbach’s argument, you should have brought that up from the start. The fact you didn’t makes it seem like you didn’t even bother to read what he wrote. And in doing so, you wasted his time.

        On top of that, you’re misrepresenting what he said. Eschenbach never claimed the point he raised was a good thing. All he did was state a fact you now accept as obvious. In fact, by accepting it as true, you now take the same position that Eschenbach took: Smokers cost the health care system less than non-smokers over their lifetime.

        You’ve taken a simple statement of fact and presented it as some moral judgment in order to insult Eschenbach. There is absolutely no basis for what you’ve said. If you have any decency or sense, you’d acknowledge you’ve grossly mischaracterized what Eschenbach has said and apologize.

        But you won’t. Because you aren’t skeptical. Not even enough to go back and read simple sentences to see if maybe you were wrong.

    • That reminds me. Alan Grayson (D-FL) famously said this about the Republican health care plan, or lack thereof, “Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.”

    • Willis Eschenbach

      R. Gates, I was referring to lifetime costs.

      I was clear about that when I started, saying that

      Curiously, it’s worse than that. Paradoxically, smokers cost the health system less than non-smokers—they die younger, they die quickly, and there’s not much you can do medically, so their lifetime costs are much lower than non-smokers who live longer (costing the medical system all that time) and then die from the more expensive diseases.

      Now, in response, you say you were actually talking about what you claim is the real issue, annual costs, and you ridicule my claim saying it’s not what “matters” … say what?

      I made a claim about lifetime costs. I said nothing about annual costs, or which one “matters”. I said smokers cost the system less over their lifetimes, in part because they die younger. And as far as I know, that’s true. You don’t like it, you ridicule it, you deprecate it, you say it doesn’t matter … but it’s still true.

      You tried to ridicule my claim. Now you try to change the subject and attack my logic, say my claim doesn’t “matter” … I don’t care if it matters, and my claim is still correct, and you still haven’t provided one scrap of evidence to falsify it, just more of your big mouth.

      Nice try, though.

      w.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Willis,

        You waffle in the shadows very well. You brought the term “lifetime costs” into a comment about how much additional costs were added to the health care system and all of our insurance costs because of smoking. Here is the original post:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/15/agw-skeptics-in-the-professional-community/#comment-345144

        So you suddenly tried to compare apples to oranges, by conflating additional costs to “lifetime” costs. Of course smokers may cost less over their lifetime– they die younger! But this completely ignores the actual salient point that they cost the system more than non-smokers annually while they are alive. Again, by your conflated logic we should refrain from having children at all to keep their “lifetime” costs to $0.

      • R. Gates, I am not following you at all here. Makes sense to me to use lifetime cost, unless you are planning to import more people to replace anyone who dies. The annual cost to the healthcare system will go down, since some of the smokers will already be dead.

        “by your conflated logic we should refrain from having children at all to keep their “lifetime” costs to $0.” Total non sequitur. Maybe, if keeping costs to 0 is our only goal. Since it isn’t, we will continue to have children, expensive though they are. In the meantime, when we’re discussing costs we can discuss what decreases them, without necessarily suggesting shooting smokers or children to save money.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        miker613, by all appearances, R.Gates is just doubling down on baseless attacks to avoid admitting he made a stupid mistake. Williis Eschenbach was clear from the beginning that he was talking about lifetime costs. Eschenbach was also clear that he was stating facts, not making moral judgments. R.Gates has simply misrepresented Eschenbach on both these points, and when called on it, resorted to petty insults.

        You know, the exact opposite of how a skeptic should react.

      • Makes you wonder just what percentage of the dollars raised through cigarette taxes, actually get back to the smoker over their lifetime? Take from the poor to give… to-whom?

  68. Lauri Heimonen

    ”And from a policy perspective, the continuing scientific disagreement regarding anthropogenic climate change together with the increasing weariness and fatigue about the subject on the part of the electorate is unlikely to increase policy-makers’ inclination to further regulate GHG emissions.”

    In a comment of mine I have written:

    ”The most essential question for the time being is how the decision-makers can be made, in a simple way, understand that anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not conrol global warming of climate, and that therefore any curtailment of CO2 emissions can not be capable to influence the global temperature in reality.”

    We already know features available of climate changes and weather events taken place earlier. However, because we don’t know the complexity of the multi-disciplinary climate well enough, we are not able to forecast a future climate or weather events as well as we regard as necessary. More especially this failure has proved to be insuperable on climate model calculations adopted by IPCC, where the only objective has been to solve how the recent warming, believed to be caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, can be made have a scientific evidence. However, even the scientists of IPCC have not managed to do that, although the duty determined to them by UN politicians has been valid already about 25 years. Those results indicate only what kind of assumptions for parameters of climate models would be needed, so that the warming might seem to be caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    Although there are plenty of experts on singular disciplines having the duty to solve the problem of global warming, until now they have not been able to prove whether or not a working solution to control the global warming is possible. Whereas, increasing empiric findings of individual experts refute the hypothesis of anthropogenic warming; for instance:

    a) According to natural laws all CO2 sources and all CO2 sinks together determines a CO2 content in atmosphere. The calculations based on empiric findings in reality prove that the anthropogenic share in the total CO2 content in atmosphere is only about 4% at the most, and that in the recent increase of about 2 ppm CO2 a year the share of athropogenic CO2 emissions is only about 4 %, too. Among others this agrees with what even Segalstad and Salby have stated.

    b) The lack of global warming during last 15 years can be regarded as a new evidence to prove that an increase of CO2 content in atmosphere does not control a global warming.

    c) Arno Arrak doubles the lacking of greenhousegas warming http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/11/the-forecast-for-2018-is-cloudy/#comment-343276 :

    ” – – – we have now existed for 34 years without any greenhouse warming.” This agrees with the statement of Jim Cripwell according to which ‘the total climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero’.

    d) I have here already many times proved that during last decades the CO2 content in atmosphere has increased because the sea surface has warmed on the areas where sea surface sinks of CO2 are, This explain even the results of Endersbee, according to which the warming of global sea surface temperature have dominated the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere during the recent decades. Look e.g. at my comment http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 .

    e) Etc.

  69. Berényi Péter

    Well, if you wanted to know if Homeopathy had scientific merit, you would not ask a Homeopath, would you? In spite of the existence conferences & peer reviewed journals on that topic, that would lead nowhere.

    You’d go to experts of neighboring disciplines instead like biologists, biophysicists or doctors.

    The same goes for “climate science”.

  70. Matthew R Marler

    We find that climate science scepticism is not limited to the scientifically illiterate, but well ensconced within this group of professional experts with scientific training

    That already is a step forward.

    The paper has two shortcomings. (1) bias — that is, it’s written as though CO2-induced warming is known to be true and only looks at resistance. You could write about proponents from the point of view that CO2-induced is known to be false just as insightfully. (2) there is too much jargon, as if the authors have much more to say than they really do; but the main points can be expressed in more concrete language.

  71. social science is crumbling. Skokal just destroyed the “positivity ratio” – it was complete junk.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/?p=4146#.UehC821juCi

  72. Personally I find the world of sceptical and semi-skeptical blogs both encouraging and helpful — even although the current article chosen by JC was neither well written nor particularly useful.
    I like the fact that Judith Curry, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Joanne Nova and BH etc all have a slightly different moderating policies. The y are all light years ahead of so-called “real Climate’. At least they all allow both pro and anti comments on the ever more steadily failing AGW hypothesis.
    It will take a while for those who write silly comments such as:
    “Perhaps, as I said, a handful might be slightly less “skeptical” about climate change.”
    to fade away. But change they will — by force of necessity
    One has to be particularly blind not to recognize that virtually every sceptic/skeptic of substance has never ever doubted the occurrence of climate change. Estimates of the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2 have been dropping rapidly and the warming hiatus show no signs of coming to a halt..
    Give me freedom of speech any day.

  73. Okay…. Well I’m a sceptical physicist…….. I see no difference between climate science and all the other things that I’m sceptical about. It’s not a case of just scientifically illiterate people saying…. excuse me…. but all of this doesn’t add up. Those amongst us that should know what we are talking about are also saying “Hang on a sec, this doesn’t quite add up”

    My field is a little esoteric, but we do use a lot of mathematical models and I physically cringe when I hear some of the language that’s bandied around in climate science when they are referring to the models. There’s so much in the way of politics that’s attached to all of this, that the science and the rational debate seem to fade into the background. It’s all passed the point of reasoned debate/discussion.

    Personally, I would advocate both the embracing of uncertainty and the willingness to re-examine natural cycles, combined with at least a small acceptance that this complex heat engine that we all inhabit is really just not playing oblate spheroid ;-)

    But what do I know, I’m just a physicist………….

    • Consider the internals of how the IPCC operates. As Donna L. pointed out, all the WCs operate in parallel, but WC3 gets to finish last. Nominally, WC1 completes its hard science work first, THEN WC2 determines if there’s an actionable problem, THEN WC3 frames the preferred “Intergovernmental” response.

      In reality, the mandate of WC1&2 are to provide justification and backfill for the predetermined conclusions of WC3.

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