The 97% ‘consensus’

by Judith Curry

 Isn’t everyone in the 97%?  I am.  – Andrew Montford

I’m sure most of you have encountered the recent paper by  Cook et al. (2013) Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, which includes John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli of SkepticalScience fame.  And the many critiques of this study that have appeared at WUWT, Blackboard, etc.

IMO, the main point of all this is that he concept of a ‘consensus’ surrounding climate change is becoming increasingly meaningless.

Ben Pile’s recent post What’s behind the battle of received wisdoms? has certainly stirred the pot.  Some excerpts from Pile’s post:

On the pages of the Guardian’s environment blog, Dana Nuccitelli (who is not a climate scientist) compiled a list of what he thought were Neil’s mistakes. ‘These are your climate errors on BBC Sunday Politics‘, he proclaimed. But half of Nuccitelli’s rebuttals related to Neil’s treatment of the study into the extent of the scientific consensus on climate change, co-authored by Nuccitelli, which represents (according to the study) the views of 97% of scientists. Davey had cited the study during the interview, but Neil had said that it had been largely discredited.

(M)any sceptics have pointed out that the 97% figure encompasses the arguments of most climate sceptics. In evidence to the US Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee last week, Roy Spencer, a climate scientist who is routinely vilified for his apparent climate scepticism, claimed that his  arguments fell within the 97% definition. Here in the UK, climate sceptic blogger and author of the Hockey Stick Illusion, Andrew Montford tweeted in the wake of the survey, ‘isn’t everyone in the 97%? I am’. This prompted Met Office climate scientist, Richard Betts to poll the readers of the Bishop Hill blog, ‘Do you all consider yourselves in the 97%?’. It seems that almost all do.

Just as Donald and Painter’s evidence to the STC reflected either naivety or a strategy, Nuccitelli’s survey results are either the result of a comprehensive failure to understand the climate debate, or an attempt to divide it in such a way as to frame the result for political ends. The survey manifestly fails to capture arguments in the climate debate sufficient to define a consensus, much less to make a distinction between arguments within and without the consensus position. Nuccitelli’s survey seems to canvas scientific opinion, but it begins from entirely subjective categories: a cartoonish polarisation of positions within the climate debate.

Yet the survey was cited by Davey himself in defence of the government’s climate policies in the face of changing science. Whatever the scientific consensus is, the fact that this consensus can be wielded in arguments about policywithout regard for the substance of the consensus creates a huge problem.

The consensus referred to by Davey and Nuccitelli, then, is what I call a consensus without an object: the consensus can mean whatever the likes of Davey and Nuccitelli want it to mean. Davey can wave away any criticism of government’s policy simply by invoking the magical proportion, 97%, even though those critics’ arguments would be included in that number. Consensus is invoked in the debate at the expense of nuance. A polarised debate suits political ends, not ‘evidence-based policy’.

 But what a broader view of these debates reveal is a more troubling phenomenon of an uncritical reproduction of orthodox thinking on climate science by putative experts in science and public policy, across Twitter, the blogosphere, print media, the academy and political institutions. Physicians, heal thyselves!

The consequence of excluding non-expert opinion (other than expert opinion’s cheerleaders) from the climate debate is, paradoxically, the undermining of the value of expertise. Rather than engagements on matters of substance, a hollow debate emerges about whose evidence weighs the most, whose arguments are supported by the most experts, and which experts are the most qualified. The question ‘who should be allowed to speak’ dominates the discussion at the expense of hearing what they actually have to say.

Accordingly, rather than being a dispassionate study into scientific opinion, the 97% survey was a superficially academic exercise, intended to obfuscate the substance of the climate debate. Those who fell for it forget that its authors, aside from having their own — shock horror! — agendas, have no expertise in climate science, much less any interest in taking the sceptics’ arguments on.

But what the squabble over the Sunday Politics interview reveals is that political debates descend to science; they are often not improved by science and evidence as much as they degraded by undue expectations of them. Being an advocate of science seems to mean nothing more than shouting as loudly as possible ‘what science says…’, second hand.

And those who shout most loudly about science turn out to be advancing an idea of science which, rather than emphasising the scientific method, puts much more store — let’s call it ‘faith’ — in scientific institutions. Hence, the emphasis on the weight, number and height of scientific evidence articles, and expertise, rather than on the process of testing competing theories.

The comments on the thread are very interesting, with this comment by Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia making quite a splash in the climate blogosphere:

Ben Pile is spot on. The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country that the energy minister should cite it. It offers a similar depiction of the world into categories of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to that adopted in Anderegg et al.’s 2010 equally poor study in PNAS: dividing publishing climate scientists into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. It seems to me that these people are still living (or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse. Haven’t they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on?

There is very interesting discussion on the thread, including comments by Dana Nuccitelli and further points from Ben Pile.

JC comments:  In case you missed it the first time, check out my recent publication No consensus on consensus.  So, what the heck does the ‘climate change consensus’ even mean any more?  The definition of climate change consensus is now so fuzzy that leading climate change skeptics are categorizing themselves within the 97%.   IPCC and other leading climate scientists can’t agree on the cause of the lack of surface temperature increase for the past 15+ years (i.e. see the recent article in the New Republic).

The utility of the ‘consensus’ in delineating the ‘tribes’ in terms of the climate policy debate was further muddied this past week by the identification of Dana Nuccitelli’s place (WUWT)  of employment is Tetra Tech, an environmental consulting firm that apparently includes gas and oil clients.

The ‘consensus’ often characterizes climate change skepticism being more rabid in the U.S. than any place else.  However, it is my perception that we are seeing far more respect for skepticism and skeptics in other countries notably the U.K., which is enabling a more sophisticated dialogue on the topic of climate change.

Ben Pile’s characterization of ‘consensus without an object’ is spot on IMO;  this has degenerated into the use of ‘consensus’ by certain individuals as a power play for influence in the policy and political debate surrounding climate and energy policy.

It’s long past time to get rid of the concept of ‘consensus’ on climate change.  An excerpt from the Conclusions to my paper No Consensus on Consensus:

The climate community has worked for more than 20 years to establish a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.  The IPCC consensus building process arguably played a useful role in the early synthesis of the scientific knowledge and in building political will to act. We have presented perspectives from multiple disciplines that support the inference that the scientific consensus seeking process used by the IPCC has had the unintended consequence of introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes. The IPCC scientific consensus has become convoluted with consensus decision making through a ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach.  The growing implications of the messy wickedness of the climate change problem are becoming increasingly apparent, highlighting the inadequacies of the ‘consensus to power’ approach for decision making on the complex issues associated with climate change. Further, research from the field of science and technology studies are finding that manufacturing a consensus in the context of the IPCC has acted to hyper-politicize the scientific and policy debates, to the detriment of both.  Arguments are increasingly being made to abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate of the arguments themselves and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulate local and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues of climate change, land use, resource management, cost effective clean energy solutions, and developing technologies to expand energy access efficiently. 

349 responses to “The 97% ‘consensus’

  1. > So, what the heck does the ‘climate change consensus’ even mean any more?

    It makes no sense. The jury must acquit.

    • In my opinion it has now become a tell. Which is why I think John Cook and Scooter D deserve some thanks.

      Now, whenever you see someone use the 97% figure, you can be 100% sure they are either terribly uninformed, clueless or pursuing an agenda having nothing to do with science.

      • Quite right, timg6, we should be thankful for this increasingly meaningless tell.

      • willard,

        Not at all meaningless, otherwise there would be no reason to thank those two guys.

        I would have thought such a renowned squirrel hunter as yourself would recognize a thoroughbred squirrel, which 97% most certainly is.

      • More incisive discrimination is needed. Answers to the questions
        1) Does CO2 dominate climate?
        2) Does human input dominate CO2 levels?
        3) Is additional warming harmful?

        would separate sheep from goats.

        My answers to all the above are “No”, of course.

      • > Not at all meaningless [...]

        Well, timg56, here’s someone who might disagree with you:

        [T]he main point of all this is that he concept of a ‘consensus’ surrounding climate change is becoming increasingly meaningless.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/26/the-97-consensus

        I say “might”, for it may be possible that while converging though complete meaninglessness, there is a state whereby the meaninglessness was not at all meaningless.

        Maybe it’s a vocabulary thing.

      • Willard,

        the fact I have great respect for Dr Curry does not mean I agree with her on everything.

        there is also that thing called context. Dr Curry’s use of consenses was in a slightly different context. It in no way invalidates my point on 97% being a (useful) tell.

      • You are certainly entitled to consider an increasingly meaningless concept as a meaningful tell, timg56.

        As I said, maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing [1]

        [1] http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/31268600509

      • No soap–radio.
        =======

    • spartacusisfree

      97% of climate scientists have been taught incorrect physics.

    • They maintain 97% consensus by kicking out every one that disagrees. The 3% is there only because they can’t keep up with discrediting the growing larger people who are giving up consensus and going back to real science, which must always be skeptical. You present model output that fails for decades, you will loose those who look at data and think.

      The 97% percent is holding up. The actual numbers are dropping.

  2. Almost all, if not all, of us know Earth’s climate is changing.

    Many of us also know that climate change was occurring before the Industrial Revolution.

    Oliver K Manuel

    Sent from my iPhone

    • David Wojick

      It is not at all clear that the climate is changing. A sine wave does not change even though the signal changes constantly. Just because the weather changes does not mean climate changes, not if climate is a natural oscillator.

      • Anthony Watts notes that the ‘pristine’ reference weather stations in the US show no warming since the mid-19th C.

      • Anthony Watts notes that the ‘pristine’ reference weather stations in the US show no warming since the mid-19th C.

        Very interesting, since Watts says that “most” “skeptics” don’t doubt that the Earth is warming, and that ACO2 causes warming.

        If there’s one thing that you can’t on Anthony for, it’s not to let logic be an obstacle in forming opinions.

      • Uh oh. Looks like an extra negative snuck in there when I wasn’t looking.

      • Don Monfort

        Is it logically inconsistent that there could have been undetectable warming at a relatively few sites in the U.S., yet there has been global warming? Do you know if Anthony has claimed that no detectable warming at U.S. pristine sites means there has been no global warming? Put your thinking cap on your little pointy head, joshie.

      • Do you know if Anthony has claimed that no detectable warming at U.S. pristine sites means there has been no global warming?

        Yeah – good point, Don.

        So he thinks that the Earth is warming because the non-pristine sites show warming whereas the pristine sites don’t. He relies on the records of the non-pristine sites to substantiate his opinion and discounts the information from the pristine sites. And that’s why he makes it a point to discuss what the pristine sites show, because he discounts them.

        Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. I wonder why didn’t think of that.

        Too funny.

      • Don Monfort

        You are being disingenuous and silly again, joshie. Your joshilly snide comments are non-responsive to the pertinent questions I posed to you. You should keep quiet now.

      • Vintage 2009:

        The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable. And since the U.S. record is thought to be “the best in the world,” it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable.

        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf

        It’s not that the Earth is not warming, it’s that we have no reliable database. Even BEST has been compromised:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/berkeley-earth-surface-temperature/

        But the Earth did warm alright. In principle.

        Eppur si muove.

      • Don -

        Anthony says that hardly “skeptics,” including himself, doubt that the Earth is warming and that the warming is ACO2 influenced – he only doubts the extent of the ACO2 influence.

        But he also says that the temperature records that show warming are untrustworthy, and he believes that the most reliable records show no warming.

        He, like many other “skeptics,” also says that there is no “fingerprint” of ACO2 influence that can clearly be distinguished from natural variability.

        He, like quite a few other “skeptics,” espouses logically inconsistent beliefs.

        Deal with it.

      • Et tu, willie? Keep looking. I am sure that you two characters will find a quote where Anthony denies any global warming. We will wait.

      • Heh.

        I am sure that you two characters will find a quote where Anthony denies any global warming.

        Tell you what, Don. You find a quote where I said that Anthony denies any global warming, and then I’ll find the quote where he denies any global warming.

        I’ll wait.

      • Steven Mosher

        Anthony Watts notes that the ‘pristine’ reference weather stations in the US show no warming since the mid-19th C.

        Hardly.

        1. There are no pristine weather stations.
        2. Anthony’s survey is good back to 1979 according to him, before that he argues that one cannot tell anything about the siting.
        3. The stations he considers pristine (CRN) have tracked the rest of the network for over 10 years. That means 10 years of no disagreement between the pristine versus the non pristine
        4. If you are referring to Watts 2012.
        a) its not been published
        b) it was posted and withdrawn after two days and critcisms from zeke
        and me.
        c) in July of 2012 I asked both steve Mc and Anthony if they would release the data and not delay. They said dont worry. Its been over a year
        5. He would agree that there has been warming, he argues over the amount.

      • Here you go, Don Don:

        I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/06/briggs-on-berkeleys-best-plus-my-thoughts-from-my-visit-there/

        What was Tony’s premise, again?

        I’ve taken the bold step to bold the relevant part.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua

        Well, both you and willard misunderstand and misrepresent what Anthony believes.

        Yes, he believes the record is un reliable. Whats that mean? That means
        when somebody like me argues that the land has warmed ..9C, anthony
        Argues that the real increase in the US is less than this. In short you cannot rely on the .9C number. But how much less. He doesnt argue zero. In fact his latest un published paper is roughly in line with Ross McKittrick which would shave somewhere between .3C and .5C off the record.

        In short, you have to use more charity in your understanding of what he writes.

      • He doesnt argue zero.

        Whatever Don has must be catching.

      • > both you and willard misunderstand and misrepresent what Anthony believes.

        A quote would be nice.

        I can accept that Tony’s just raising concerns. By the same toke, let’s say that I’m just raising concerns regarding Tony’s position.

        ***

        > when somebody like me argues that the land has warmed ..9C, anthony
        Argues that the real increase in the US is less than this. In short you cannot rely on the .9C number.

        Why would he not argue that the real increase is more than .9C?

        Either that number is reliable, or it’s not.

      • Try something else, joshie. Pointing out that the temperature records are faulty is not the same thing as denying global warming. Faulty temperature records are not inconsistent with warming. I am pretty sure you know that. Stop the foolishness. You are just digging yourself a deeper hole.

      • Pointing out that the temperature records are faulty is not the same thing as denying global warming.

        Whatever Steven has must be catching.

      • I see that willie has chimed again. Yes, a quote would be nice. Where did Anthony say that there has been no global warming? As opposed to him saying something that you want to pass off as him denying any global warming. Quote, willie. There is a biscuit in it for you.

      • Joshie has conceded, willie. You would be wise to keep quiet now.

      • Where did Anthony say that there has been no global warming?

        Yeah, Willard. Where did Anthony say that? Oh, and while you’re at it, where did he say that the moon is made of green cheese? And when you get done with that, where did he say that monkeys fly out of Don’s butt?

        And be careful, I have many more where those came from.

      • You are getting hysterical, joshie. Stamping of feet and gnashing of teeth are no substitute for logical argument. You can’t stand losing. Bye, now.

      • When did Tony accept whatever result BEST produced?

        So many questions, so little time.

      • Make sure you ask your wife when you stopped beating her before you come back, Don. I’ll wait for the answer.

      • It’s Antnee not Tony but don’t spread it around that I told you.
        =========

      • David Wojick: “It is not at all clear that the climate is changing. A sine wave does not change even though the signal changes constantly.”

        Thanks, David. Earth’s climate is not static and there is no reliable indication that it has ever been static. There may be cyclic changes, but there must also be unidirectional changes as planet Earth continues to accumulate mass and the Sun continues to evolve.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua,

        Yes done and I are infected with the same silliness. Its called literacy.

        roll tape:

        Anthony’s latest statement on global warming

        His paper:

        “New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial”

        note: this does not mean there is no warming. The charitable interpretation of this statement is that

        A) it has warmed
        B) the warming estimated by others is too large by half.
        C) you cannot simply rely on the record. Its unreliable. you have to check.

        Lets see his first chart

        Note: see where he says it has warmed even at the compliant stations.

        Understand, a literate person will understand that this means he believes it has warmed, but warmed less than people like me claim. As a publishing member of the consensus I’d say that he is part of the consensus who believe it has warmed.

        Willard WRT BEST anthony is clear, both here and in his personal communication with me

        ““I fully accept the previous findings of these papers, including that of the Muller et al 2012 paper. These investigators found exactly what would be expected given the siting metadata they had. However, the Leroy 1999 site rating method employed to create the early metadata, and employed in the Fall et al 2011 paper I co-authored was incomplete, and didn’t properly quantify the effects.

        The new rating method employed finds that station siting does indeed have a significant effect on temperature trends.”

        I’ve talked to Anthony about his analysis and approaches he could use to address the concerns that Zeke and I raised. Given the improvement in the rating system. I would hesitate to say that this paper ( http://www.scitechnol.com/2327-4581/2327-4581-1-107.php ) is the last word on the matter. Given the current unavailability of his data, I’d hestitate to endorse his work. Its pretty simple. On the best evidence I have I think he he is wrong. However, having worked on this problem for 6 years, I would not be surprised if I turned out wrong.

      • Willard and Joshua bravely (or foolishly) sacrifice themselves to prove Mosher can whip them both with one hand tied behind his back, without breaking a sweat.

      • “Very interesting, since Watts says that “most” “skeptics” don’t doubt that the Earth is warming, and that ACO2 causes warming. ”

        Globally glaciers have retreated- this retreat marks end of period call Little Ice Age, when for centuries glaciers globally were advancing. Also there was some evidence some glacier were advancing in mid 20th century- hence the fear we were entering an ice age. But it was a best a slight pause, and the dip in global temperature resumed and switched to the fear of global warming {which become very hysterical, until last decade or so where was a pause in the warming [global]. It is fairly well known that US had warm period in 1930′s this period period had significant drought called the dust bowl, affects if dust storms affecting distant regions of Washington DC and New York. The Dust Bowl was mainly a human created event- a cyclical drought period was worsen by to affects caused by farming practices which disrupted drought resistant vegetation.
        That there isn’t significant warming trend in US in last hundred years does means there hasn’t been some warming in rest of the world, nor is saying that the US hasn’t had warming over last two hundred years.

        As far as CO2, watts repeated Al Gore CO2 goofy experiment, showed that Al Gore had misrepresented and falsified the experiment, but there was measurable warming from the highly enriched CO2 sample, but it was not anywhere near the significant amount which was claimed.
        So there is evidence that CO2 is associated with warmer periods and there is evidence that CO2 can cause some warming.
        And generally speaking it’s hard to disprove that a double of global CO2
        may cause 1 C increase.
        So seems quite possible that if global CO2 were to double to 800 ppm, that global temperatures may increase by 1 C.
        But what is also fairly obvious is that the level of global CO2 is not a simple control knob of global temperatures and that CO2 levels did not cause the cooling and warming period of interglacial and glacial period, nor is current CO2 levels having a dominate effect on present global temperatures.

      • > The charitable interpretation of this statement is that A) it has warmed [...]

        Here you go:

        It’s not that the Earth is not warming [...] But the Earth did warm alright.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/26/the-97-consensus/#comment-352709

        Compare and contrast:

        both you and willard misunderstand and misrepresent what Anthony believes.

        Have I heard the word “literacy”?

        ***

        > WRT BEST anthony is clear, both here and in his personal communication with me

        Tony’s even clearer in a press release at Tony’s:

        ““I fully accept the previous findings of these papers, including that of the Muller et al 2012 paper. These investigators found exactly what would be expected given the siting metadata they had. However, the Leroy 1999 site rating method employed to create the early metadata, and employed in the Fall et al 2011 paper I co-authored was incomplete, and didn’t properly quantify the effects.

        And here’s the sentence that follows:

        The new rating method employed finds that station siting does indeed have a significant effect on temperature trends.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/

        Our emphasis.

        ***

        So that’s settled: Tony accepts BEST’s conclusions. Now that this is settled, here’s the next post that follows this:

        I’ve been sitting on this little gem for a year now, and it is finally time to point it out since nobody seems to have caught it.

        I expected that after the peer review BEST been though (and failed), that this would have been fixed. Nope. I thought after the media blitzes it would have been fixed. Nope. I thought that after they submitted it to The Third Santa Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Change somebody would point it out and fix it. Nope. I thought after I pointed it out in Watts et el 2012 draft paper, surely one of the BEST co-authors would fix it. Still nope.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/03/an-uncorrected-assumption-in-bests-station-quality-paper/

        None of this contradicts the fact that Tony surely accepts BEST’s results.

        He said so. In a press release. On his blog. Quoting himself.

      • The Medieval Warm Period was exactly like the Little Ice Age or it was different. If they are exactly the same, there was no climate change. If they were different there was climate change.

        In an AC circuit, the Voltage and the Capacity and the Inductance all change. The cycle stays the same but the parameters change.

        Voltage is like Temperature. They change. The climate cycle has been stable for ten thousand years. We have climate that changes up and down about a degree or two from the average. The cycle repeats like all good cycles do.

        It is clear that climate has changed. It is clear that the climate cycle is and has been stable for ten thousand years.

  3. OK, link to the cartoon of the Procter & Gamble scientists on the day a bar of Ivory Soap sank.
    =============

  4. David Wojick

    The consensus argument is not the primary problem, although it is still used. The primary problem is the simple argument by assertion. See for example http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/nasa-climate-change-video-this-is-the-us-in-2100.

    No consensus is needed because no debate is admitted. The consensus argument is only used in the context of admitted debate, which is still rare.

    • “These visualizations communicate a picture of the impacts of climate change in a way that words do not,” Allison Leidner, a NASA scientist who coordinates NASA’s involvement in the National Climate Assessment, said in a statement. “When I look at the scenarios for future temperature and precipitation, I really see how dramatically our nation’s climate could change.”

      Yes, these Chicken Little scenarios that are based on output from climate models that have demonstrated no skill for decades do scare a lot of people who already believe this junk science. Actually junk non-science. Real science is always skeptical of making Chicken Little Claims with no supporting data. People who look at read data and actually think, are not scared of climate. We are scared of Chicken Little and the drastic, stupid, fixes for a problem that has no supporting data.

  5. Heh, ‘nonsensus’. Thank you, Dr. Hulme. Now, examine your own nonsense.
    =============

  6. Would not call Tetra Tech an oil and gas company since they are a consulting firm that does work for many industries as well as for federal and state EPAs.

    • Correct.

      My experience with them has been as an environmental and geoengineering firm. I believe they also to A&E work.

    • Let’s get away from the ad homs. It is almost completely irrelevant that Dana Nucitelli works for Tetra Tech. I don’t think it even muddies the delineation of the ‘tribes’. What matters is his the value of his contribution to science.

      • Which is?

      • Mike,

        You say get away from ad homs, (thought I’m at a loss where you see one in Phil’s or my comments), and then you go and say “What matters is his the value of his contribution to science.”

        Man, that is truly hitting Scooter below the belt.

      • “It is almost completely irrelevant that Dana Nucitelli works for Tetra Tech”

        Rather like it being irrelevant if a climate scientist believes that God created the life?

      • Rather like it being irrelevant if a climate scientist believes that God created the life?

        Not quite. What is relevant about a scientists’ beliefs about creationism is the extent to which such belief is informative w/r/t the nature of the reasoning that underlie those beliefs. Nucitelli’s place of work tells us nothing about his scientific reasoning, per se. That a scientists believes that there is scientific evidence that proves the existence of a supernatural being that controls the universe may, at least potentially, tell us something about his scientific reasoning. It tells us something about how he determines what kind of evidence is scientific.

        Would it tell us whether his beliefs about climate science are wrong? IMO, absolutely not. But it isn’t exactly irrelevant (nor would it be irrelevant if a climate scientist gets paid by an entity that has a vested stake in energy policies. Again, that wouldn’t be conclusive, but it would be evidence and not irrelevant).

      • “Joshua
        That a scientists believes that there is scientific evidence that proves the existence of a supernatural being that controls the universe may, at least potentially, tell us something about his scientific reasoning”

        Monseigneur Georges Lemaître came up with what Fred Hoyle dismissed as the ‘Big Bang Theory’ of creation. Indeed, since 1951 it has been the main Theory for the creation of all things.
        Lemaître, a Jesuit Priest and physicist could accept the Biblical and Scientific descriptions at the same time. I collaborate with a chemist who is a Creationist, with a big C, and have never questioned his scientific credentials. A friend of mine in England is a nutritionist, and devote Muslim, and she holds the existence of Adam and Eve as our species last common ancestor to be true. We help each other out from time to time as she knows all sorts of things about communication between cells and organs whilst I do intracellular signalling stuff.
        You are a bigot, and I say this as an Atheist and evolutionary biologist.

      • Joshua, do you never rest of …? (Just try to imagine what I am thinking about)

      • Scientist seem to love their textbooks, so do we, there is just one difference.
        You know Joshua, when you love what you are reading all about…
        it is the truth to you.

  7. The wisest point was in a paper Judy cited a while ago distinguishing between a consensus resulting from independent investigations and one resulting from a conscious desire to form a united front. The former has probative value, the latter doesn’t.

    The new “debate and switch” tactic of “defining consensus down” to cover almost everyone while pretending that this “consensus” supports Urgent Mitigationism isn’t fooling anyone who pays attention.

  8. Steven Mosher

    Its clear what is meant by the consensus

    from the abstract

    ‘Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    Note that this formulation of the consensus does not describe what humans are doing to cause global warming. Note that it doesnt specify whether C02 is the main contributor or black carbon or whatever. Note that it doesnt specify how much warming. So for example, somebody who believed that the earth has warmed .5C due to C02 from humans and that another .5C was exagerated in the record via adjustments or UHI or unicorns would belong to the consensus.

    Its clear what is meant by the consensus. almost ANYTHING you want it to mean. Some things are clearly ruled out, but it can mean mostly whatever the hell you want it to.

    Now Cook has taken advantage of this ambiguity to make his points. And spencer flipped the script on him.

    If you dont like the nonsense about the consensus then its far more effective to flip the script than to deny that it makes any sense.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The introduction mentions the ‘scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW)’ – but the methodology doesn’t apply this definition.

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry I’m applying the “understand the paper by reading the abstract” school of thought.

    • stealing from myself (at Making Science Public)

      makes Dana’s and Cook survey more problematic than Doran, Anderegg Harris, Oreskes, etc is that they know their consensus is shallow encompassing the broad ranges of IPCC science on the issue (thus including the majority of sceptics)

      In a topic titled, “Defining the scientific consensus,” John Cook explains:

      ” so we’ve ruled out a definition of AGW being “any amount of human influence” or “more than 50% human influence”. We’re basically going with Ari’s p0rno approach (I probably should stop calling it that :-) which is AGW = “humans are causing global warming”. Eg – no specific quantification which is the only way we can do it considering the breadth of papers we’re surveying.” – John Cook

      http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/climate-science-p0rn/

      AGW with ‘No Specific Quantification’ says John Cook, will encompass all views, including Lindzen, Carter, Spencer, etc and Montford Watts, Nova, (Pile) Laframboise.

      Yet we find Cook and his co-authors planning a media blitz to promote the results of the survey, before they had undertaken it. Just another soundbite to wave around, at anybody that asks any politician any questions about policy.

      Dana N and John Cook found their 97% but seemed to learn nothing new about the science.

      M Zimmermann, the co author of the earlier Doran ’97% of climate scientists say’ survey that was previously waved around , seemed to have learned something new about her survey (Doran paper cited the survey produced for her Masters thesis:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/what-else-did-the-97-of-scientists-say/

      “This entire process has been an exercise in re-educating myself about the climate debate and, in the process, I can honestly say that I have heard very convincing arguments from all the different sides, and I think I’m actually more neutral on the issue now than I was before I started this project. There is so much gray area when you begin to mix science and politics, environmental issues and social issues, calculated rational thinking with emotions, etc.” from – The Consensus of the Consensus, M Zimmermann (Doran)

      • How ’bout Jinan Cao’s observation that the atmosphere depends on GHGs (by definition) to cool?

    • “Its clear what is meant by the consensus. almost ANYTHING you want it to mean. Some things are clearly ruled out, but it can mean mostly whatever the hell you want it to.”

      Hey, I like this formulation. Let’s try it elsewhere:

      “Its clear what is meant by global warming. almost ANYTHING you want it to mean. Some things are clearly ruled out, but it can mean mostly whatever the hell you want it to.”

      “Its clear what is meant by climate change. almost ANYTHING you want it to mean. Some things are clearly ruled out, but it can mean mostly whatever the hell you want it to.”

      “Its clear what is meant by fairness. almost ANYTHING you want it to mean. Some things are clearly ruled out, but it can mean mostly whatever the hell you want it to.”

      Ok, you can’t really rule ANYTHING out with this last progressive slogan, but that just makes the point more clearly.

      • Try this one:

        “Its clear what is meant by the racism. almost ANYTHING you want it to mean. Some things are clearly ruled out, but it can mean mostly whatever the hell you want it to.”

        Fits nicely, donut?

    • blueice2hotsea

      Steven Mosher | July 26, 2013 at 3:11

      And spencer flipped the script on him

      Well, it was Cook who categorized Spencer’s abstracts into the 97%. So, more shining a light than flipping a script, but playing it well in either case…

  9. Argumentum ad populam is useless to me, as someone who argues until he is unpopular as a matter of course.

    Consensus created by common understanding of fact and inference, however, is very different from fact and inference created to appease a consensus.

    Climate Etc. appears on first order to be about 97% the latter: motivated reasoning producing narrative spin to service the comfortable complacency of fans of some ways of seeing things. Plato’s noble liars nobly lying their noble lies, pious frauds piously faking their fugazi fingoism for the sake of selling their value system or political agenda or religious bent.

    So I can see how someone inured to that way of thinking would find the idea of a 97% consensus that differs from their own alarming, demoralizing, and to be attacked by every means at their disposal.

    Those means, we’ve already established, being bent religion, agendized politicking, systematically amoral salesmanship, cynical fingoism, fugazi, fake piety, fraud, lies, and a host of noblemen dressed up with titles and credentials: propaganda and scam, and where those fail sleazy slime-throwing at identifiable members of the 97% who on their own reason out from the facts by inference to the same agreement about how the world works.

    I’m the first to disagree with statements made by IPCC representatives when they’re wrong. The IPCC practice of using the mean of the ensemble of climate model projections as some sort of predictive tool? That was ludicrous, and I called it such, when it happened. It took little time for the folly of that usage to become readily apparent.. in a way that in no way undermines the actual utility of the models in showing the GHE is required to explain the observational data.

    Good that the MET office has finally caught up on that.

    The practice of focus only on global mean surface temperature as an indicator of the outcomes of the GHE due industrial emissions and land use? I deplored that openly from the start.

    Good that the MET office has finally caught up on that.

    See, sooner or later, scientists come to common consensus from understanding by inference on the data, regardless of how little they all have in common in the areas of religion or culture, philosophy or party, ideology or metaphysical belief. And it doesn’t make it a secret conspiracy.

    • Bart_R, You are right, it is not a secret conspiracy; any person who reads what the UN and others have written can see the current situation clearly. What remains a mystery, is how so many doctors are blind to this pattern and the slow downhill progress of their patients.

    • Bart,

      Once again waaay over analyzing this.

      The Cook paper was crap. One doesn’t need any additional number of words or suppossedly insightful analysis of motivated reasoning, or demoralizing impact to address it.

      5 words verses 10 paragraphs. Brevity Bart. Brevity.

      PS – I do have to note that your para 5 is an excellent characterization of many of the folks over at Real Climate, Think Progress and SkS.

      • timg56 | July 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

        Thanks for providing an example for my paragraph 4.

      • No alarm on my part Bart.

        Care to point out the alarming part.

        Is it your position that calling a crap paper crap is an alarming and desperate act?

        There is saying I recall from my service days. “Sometimes you have to call a spade a f#cking shovel.”

  10. Judy, you should emulate Dalton and conduct a poll amongst your readership to provide the value of the ‘Climate Sensitivity’ to 2x[CO2].
    It would be rather interesting.

    • Interesting idea, maybe i’ll do that for a weekend post

      • Append a sub-question, asking whether that much additional warming will be harmful overall.

      • Also the number of ppm CO2 by 2100. I guess 700 ppm, but that is with some mitigation and excluding other GHGs. Even with low 2C sensitivity this gives 2.5 C of warming, and 4 C with 3C sensitivity, well above Holocene levels, which is important to realize.

    • We could also vote on Planck’s Constant, and acceleration due to gravity on Earth!

      Maybe set up a website so we could vote on the atomic masses of all the elements, too!

      • Bart, you write “We could also vote on Planck’s Constant, and acceleration due to gravity on Earth!”

        No we cannot. There are some physical entities that have been measured, and when the measurements are replicated, and have the same value within the accurcay with which the measurements have been made, then it has been established what the value is. Period.

        In the case of climate sensitivity, it has never been measured, and with current technology, cannot be measured. It can only be estimated, so no-one has the slightest idea of how accurate these estimates are. The best we can say is that the value is almost certainly positive, and not greater than a certain value; possibly somewhere below 10 C. Within that range, it is perfectly legitimate to let people take their best guess. It wont mean anything . but it could be fiun.

      • …and vote on unicorn count for Steve (obsession or what?), and I will go to my grave believing in CAGW Bart. In all seriousness, shouldn’t we re-assess empirical versus theory once in a while? Models failing, reality…?

      • Bart R

        Comparing “Plancks’ Constant” and “Earth’s gravity” to the model-based 2xCO2 ECS predictions of IPCC is like comparing the fragrance of a dew-kissed rose to the stench of a pile of steaming horse manure.

        Get serious, Bart.

        Max

      • “Bart R
        We could also vote on Planck’s Constant, and acceleration due to gravity on Earth!”

        Polar or Equatorial?

      • PaulS | July 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm |

        You are mistaken. When I first started posting here at Climate Etc., I wasn’t convinced of AGW, and hadn’t heard of CAGW. I don’t much find now that I’ve investigated much cause to be more interested in CAGW than AGW, as AGW is on the whole many times more expensive, and needlessly so, than CAGW.

        It wasn’t until BEST improved the state of inference on the data available that I agreed that AGW was an outcome of the GHE. However, there are some 50 essential climate variables used by the WMO, and AGW only one of them, so at most AGW is 2% of the CO2E story.

        Why diminish the 98% of the other variables?

        Indeed, it’s not those variables I’m interested in, by and large, other than out of mere curiousity about the physical world.

        I care about my money.

        The composition of the atmosphere (one of the 50 essential climate variables) proves the ability of the carbon cycle to clean the air of CO2E is more limited than the waste dumping our industry foists on it. That makes it scarce, and them free riders.

        Privatization, where practical, is the customary and time-proven redress. British Columbia has shown privatization to be practical, and to have a positive impact on the economy while reducing CO2E by 19%.. and British Columbians get a small share of their money. Imagine how much better off they’d be if they were paid by the law of supply and demand?

        But it’s Canada, so a few socialist holdovers resist pure capitalism. The USA can do better.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R:

        It wasn’t until BEST improved the state of inference on the data available that I agreed that AGW was an outcome of the GHE.

        At which point you promptly dismissed my criticisms of BEST based on the notion its results matched those of other projects.

        Oh well. It’s good to know you weren’t convinced by simple radiative physics like most skeptics were.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | July 26, 2013 at 10:54 pm |

        I dismissed your criticisms of BEST, along with many other criticisms of BEST — including those of the authors of BEST themselves — where they were immaterial, or irrational, or inadequate, or invalid.

        Substantial criticisms of BEST remain valid and relevant; however, they don’t amount to refutation, and they don’t impact the fact that global warming is indeed now statistically confirmed on the data, and the data sets can be seen as robust and competent by this validation exercise.

        That you maintain a chip on your shoulder about not being taken seriously on BEST is just not my problem. How you can even keep track of the number of times your ideas haven’t been taken seriously is beyond me.

      • While we are on it…

        http://ca.news.yahoo.com/americans-irregular-heartbeats-double-study-193155554.html

        & they won’t want to scare you but don’t play any tennis.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R:

        I dismissed your criticisms of BEST, along with many other criticisms of BEST — including those of the authors of BEST themselves — where they were immaterial, or irrational, or inadequate, or invalid.

        You didn’t even look at or consider my criticisms of BEST. I’d wager you couldn’t even say what they are.

        On the upside, I recently found out one of my criticisms has been acknowledged by BEST in a backhanded way. It’s interesting they acknowledge the issue but don’t comment on the fact their acknowledgement contradicts previous statements they’ve made. I’m hoping that’s because they haven’t released a paper incorporating the issue yet, and they’ll actually address how the issue affects their calculations.

        Regardless of what happens, the fact they acknowledge the issue suggests BEST doesn’t agree with you. They apparently don’t find the criticism “immaterial, or irrational, or inadequate, or invalid.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger | July 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm

        You didn’t even look at or consider my criticisms of BEST. I’d wager you couldn’t even say what they are.

        Again with the demands for impossible perfection — which by the way, sums up my original criticism of your original ill-considered complaints — that typify so much of your ‘intellectual analysis’. You really expect people to read the overlong diatribes of every Tom (who I generally ignore, even though he’s typically brief), Dick and Harry, and then to remember them, and to not even find fault with them?

        How many people other than myself showed the least interest in your vagrant postings on BEST that you have actual evidence of?

        Did you get a lot of page hits?

        Many positive comments that moved your arguments forward?

        Anyone contribute by providing additional data to you that makes your whinging seem less petty?

        Anyone cite authorities whose credentials lend weight to your specific rationale? Authorities other than Chewbacca, that is?

        If you’re not getting your support from a vast network of persuaded, competent, independent-thinking experts, why do you seek to burden me with your dross?

        Go ahead.

        Cite verbatim and link to the response I gave to your criticisms of BEST at the time. See if you can meet your own standard of proof.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Recent estimates of climate evolution over the coming century still differ by several degrees. This uncertainty motivates the work presented here. There are two basic approaches to apprehend the complexity of climate change: deterministically nonlinear and stochastically linear, i.e. the Lorenz
      and the Hasselmann approach. The grand unification of these two approaches relies on the theory of random dynamical systems. We apply this theory to study the random attractors of nonlinear, stochastically perturbed climate models. Doing so allows one to examine the interaction of internal climate variability with the forcing, whether natural or anthropogenic, and to take into account the climate system’s non-equilibrium behavior in determining climate sensitivity. This non-equilibrium behavior is due to a combination of nonlinear and random effects. We give here a unified treatment of such effects from the point of view of the theory of dynamical systems and of their bifurcations. Energy balance models are used to illustrate multiple equilibria, while multi-decadal oscillations in the thermohaline circulation illustrate the transition from steady states
      to periodic behavior. Random effects are introduced in the setting of random dynamical systems, which permit a unified treatment of both nonlinearity and stochasticity. The combined treatment of nonlinear and random effects is applied to a stochastically perturbed version of the classical Lorenz
      convection model.

      Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the systems state with respect to the bifurcation parameter.’

      http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

      To define climate sensitivity in the same class as the derivation of simple physical constants is nonsense – but we should probably look forward to references to any number of papers. All wrong through false premise.

      • Predicting bifurcations and jumps between basins of attraction is a mug’s game.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘There is currently much interest in examining climatic tipping points, to see if it is feasible to predict them in advance. Using techniques from bifurcation theory, recent work looks for a slowing down of the intrinsic transient responses, which is predicted to occur before an instability is encountered. This is done, for example, by determining the short-term autocorrelation coefficient ARC(1) in a sliding window of the time-series: this stability coefficient should increase to unity at tipping. Such studies have been made both on climatic computer models and on real paleoclimate data preceding ancient tipping events. The latter employ reconstituted time-series provided by ice cores, sediments, etc., and seek to establish whether the actual tipping could have been accurately predicted in advance. One such example is the end of the Younger Dryas
        event, about 11 500 years ago, when the Arctic warmed by 7◦C in 50 yrs. A second gives an excellent prediction for the end of “greenhouse” Earth about 34 million years ago when the climate tipped from a tropical state into an icehouse state, using data from tropical Pacific sediment cores. This prediction science is very young, but some encouraging results are already being obtained.’ http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucess21/00%20Thompson2010%20off%20JS%20web.pdf

        Predicting the actual climate system is exceedingly difficult – predicting the wrong system is exceedingly simple.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        BTW – Jabberwock – as if I gave a rat’s arse who you thought you were babbling at with whatever half arsed prognostication you were indulging in.

        Prognostication is insanely impossible – might as well call it guesswork and start a sweepstake. The actual outcome will be determined by the size and speed of future climate shifts.

    • David Springer

      0.8C or less.

    • Steven Mosher

      interesting only if people explain how they reason or what rationale the use.

      • never go into the ER when they bring an unconscious patient in; the seat of their pants guesstimates would make you lose faith in the profession.

      • Steven Mosher

        lose faith? that presupposes I have it

      • Heh, moshe would gain faith watching the process of diagnosis and understanding from ignorance and bafflement..
        =========

      • I knew a lucky fella whose poisoned dog was unconscious from the insulin overdose. Quickest cure of the twenty or so teams.
        ============

    • If you’re going to do a poll like that, it would be illuminating to also ask about GMOs, vaccination, fluoridation, human photosynthesis, and a number of other crank theories generally associated with the greens (although I should point out that the fluoridation conspiracy theory originated with the John Birch Society and was adopted by the green left decades later). I’d really be curious to see the correlation between belief in AGW and belief in these other anti-science ideas that we seem to be inundated by these days.

    • manacker | July 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

      Now that you mention pony pies, how about we hold a vote on Pi?

      After all, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill is such a sterling example for the role of votes in science.

      • Bart R

        Reminds me of the old saw about a college freshman, returning home to Appalachia for Christmas break.

        As he stepped off the Greyhound bus, his pappy asked him what he had learned in college and he blurted, “Pi R Square”.

        To which his pappy responded: “Git yore no-good ass back on that bus, son. Pie are ROUND. Cornbread are square.”

        Max

      • My Pappy was wont to ask the waitress what colors of pie were available.
        ==================

    • More interesting would be to see what portion of those fit within the Curry consensus figure for CS of 0-10.

      My guess would be a figure that makes 97% look like a major outbreak of disagreement.

  11. Steven Mosher

    Stealing from barry woods.

    “To achieve this goal, we mustn’t fall into the trap of spending too much time on analysis and too little time on promotion. As we do the analysis, would be good to have the marketing plan percolating along as well.” – John Cook

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/06/cooks-97-consensus-study-game-plan.html

    Ari Jokimaki responded to Cook,

    “I have to say that I find this planning of huge marketing strategies somewhat strange when we don’t even have our results in and the research subject is not that revolutionary either (just summarizing existing research).” – Ari Jokimäki

  12. Media is all that ever mattered for the 97% paper: (see from Reuters) the article that Barack Obama tweeted about citing John Cook’s 97% (or at least his account did)

    Reuters: “Another co-author, Dana Nuccitelli of Sceptical Science, said s[he] was encouraging scientists to stress the consensus “at every opportunity, particularly in media interviews”. – Reuters

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/16/us-climate-scientists-idUSBRE94F00020130516

    stressing the consensus (media management) was exactly what Ed Davey was doing with Andrew Neill, and he had cited Cook’s paper in parliamentary speeches as well (can anybody find that linked speech) tried it against Lord Lawson aswell.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/ed-davey-plays-the-97-consensus-trick-on-bbc-r4-in-front-of-lawson

    John Cook’s (& Dana’s) motives for the survey were made clear in the leaked Skeptical Science forum comments (publically available) this comment reproduced from Lucia’s Blacckboard

    Motivated by spinnability of message:

    “john@skeptic (john Cook talking to Tom Curtis)

    “Tom, I know how you feel as I felt some frustration when I first started rating papers, just knowing that some of them would endorse in the full paper but not in the abstract. Then I had an epiphany that set me at peace with rating papers neutral even though I knew they probably weren’t. The epiphany was that the “rating by abstract” was only the first step in the TCP campaign.

    By looking at only the abstracts, we get a sense of the level of endorsement – call it an imperfect proxy for consensus in the same way that sea ice extent is an imperfect proxy for ice volume or surface temperature is a noisy proxy for heat content. What I expect to find, from my initial reconnaissance, is the # of endorsements rising exponentially over time while the # of rejections flatlines. In other words, a strengthening consensus and a growing gap between mainstream science and denial.

    However, I also expect to establish quantitatively by two independent means that our estimate of the strengthening consensus is an underestimate – both by comparing our “abstract rating” to the “scientist self-rating” and your idea of a subsampled “full paper rating”. That means the result of a strengthening consensus will be robust and if it can be criticised, only for the fact that it underestimates the level of consensus.

    Now my hope is that the message of a strengthening consensus makes a strong impact and a big splash and plan to network and schmooze this message out with every means at our disposal, including Peter Sinclair doing a video about the results and collaborating with Google to visualise our data (this collaboration has already begun). A strong impact will justify us going to the effort of launching “phase 3″ of TCP which is publicly crowd sourcing reading the full papers of all the neutrally rated papers, to determine more accurately which papers endorse the consensus. As the crowd sourcing gradually sifts through the papers, the level of consensus will incrementally increase and we will slowly build over time a definitive, quantitative measure of consensus in the peer-reviewed literature.

    By dragging this out over time, and dribbling new updates and announcements, we also get to repeatedly beat the drum of a strengthening consensus. This project is not intended as a one-off launch but a long-game strategy with the end goal being the term “strengthing consensus” achieving public consciousness. It’s the ultimate counter-narrative to the increasingly used denier meme “the consensus is crumbling” or “scientists are mass-exodusing to skepticism”.

    The psychological research tells us that a key – a deal-breaker if you will – to the public accepting climate change is an accurate perception of the scientific consensus. If the public don’t perceive a consensus, they won’t support climate policy. But we know not only is there a consensus, it’s getting stronger. This is a strong message and it is rarely presented and never quantified to my knowledge. So my hope is SkS can have a deep and lasting impact on the public perception of consensus which will make the path to climate action easier.”

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/i-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means/#comment-113022

    PR not science

  13. They only agree it might be a crisis. Prove me wrong.

  14. “IMO, the main point of all this is that he concept of a ‘consensus’ surrounding climate change is becoming increasingly meaningless.”

    Yeah…uh…no.

    The term, like “global warming,” “climate change,” “fairness” and other progressive political slogans, was meaningless ab initio. And intentionally so.

    Remember the “obscurantist” discussion a bit ago, which died an abrupt death when it was shown that obscurantism is the favorite tactic of the warmists?

    It is nice though to see even “moderates,” “independents” and “luke warmers” slowly catching on, at least to this limited degree.

  15. > Isn’t everyone in the 97%? I am.

    Is our beloved Bishop a published scientist?

  16. Hey everybody I found the Next Big Thing! It turns out the location of the magnetic north pole, (which is constantly moving around), started to accelerate away from the USA around the turn of the 20th century, right when we started using electricity! Man-made polar change! This is a gold mine! It has the whole socialist-guilt thing; I mean using electricity is really handy in so many ways. And it has the pseudo-scientific post hoc ergo propter hoc coincidence going for it. We’ve been beating our heads against this CAGW brick wall for so long using facts, common sense, science, observation and logic and getting nowhere. Why? It’s because nobody cares and, really, people like to have reasons to feel bad about stuff. All this effort and we just get accused of taking money from big oil. I have a 2003 Land Rover and believe me I’m the one giving big oil lots of money. So let’s turn the tables and start making the money ourselves. This is the perfect scam. I’ll write a book “Directionless Earth” and maybe a folk song or two. Please everyone out there write some scholarly papers pushing this BS to get it off the runway. We’re going to be rich!!!

  17. David Springer

    “Dana Nuccitelli’s place (WUWT) of employment is Tetra Tech, and oil and gas company.”

    Yup. He’s paid to make warmists look like a bunch of drooling idiots. He’s very good at it too.

  18. What I saw Roy Spencer do during his Congressional testimony is, Defuse the Consensus Issue, and then cover some other more important points. In some ways, the Consensus Issue is a misdirection in my opinion. In American Football, a misdirection can work, if the defense ‘bites’. We may want to tackle someone without the ball, but maybe that’s what Cook et al want.

  19. Mark Bofill

    Thank you Dr. Curry.

  20. Climate Consensus is an illness that you can be very sure you have, but it is an illness you don’t understand and that you can’t explain. When you get together with your 97% Consensus Clique in a worldwide meeting, you cannot agree on what it is that you are in 97% agreement with.

  21. There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz17rNCpfuDNRllTUWlzb0ZJSm8/edit

  22. More silliness about “consensus”.

    Some time ago, Eli Rabett published a “bunny droppings” blog with a list of 400 CAGW “skeptics” allegedly originating from the office of Senator Inhofe.

    This list has been pared down to remove individuals who are not scientists qualified to have an opinion, and expanded to include other qualified individuals (scientists and meteorologists) who were not on the original list published by Rabett.

    The list now contains names and qualifications of 333 qualified individuals who have gone on record publicly that they do not support the CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report.

    This tells me that if there is a “97% consensus” to the IPCC CAGW premise, there must be 11,000 qualified individuals, which DO support the IPCC CAGW premise fully.

    Where are they?

    Max

    PS Most of these “consensus” claims (Cook et al.) concentrate on the number of published papers, which include the suggestion that human influences cause some climate change (duh!), and not how many qualified individuals support the IPCC CAGW premise (a totally different question). Under 50% may be a better answer to that question.

  23. Within a week of the consensus being published Wikipedia was updated on its anthropogenic climate change causes to include the article as a reference and proof. This is seen each and every day by people following up on Climate change for the first time and taken as authoritative.
    In my view efforts should be taken to have this reference removed or put into a category of opinion rather than gospel with an annotation to that effect.

  24. In Graham Greene’s book “Our Man in Havana” (subsequently made into a film with Alec Guiness) an English vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba signs up to spy for England on Russian missile installations in Cuba. Lacking any real photos, he sends pictures of a canister vacuum cleaner to the British War Office. Lacking scale, they assume it is some kind of huge super weapon. One War Office employee says “This will make the atomic bomb a conventional weapon”. Another War Office employee says “Is that a good thing?” The first guy answers: “Sure. Nobody worries about conventional weapons”. Now we have a preoccupation with global warming. Nobody seems to worry any more about conventional pollution. This morning I took a walk on the pier at Seal Beach, California where many people go fishing. There was a long list of local fish that are contaminated and should not be eaten. I suppose extreme alarmists will say that if we eliminate fossil fuels, that will go a long way toward reducing conventional pollution. But that would be like saying if we stopped using energy we can reduce pollution. Is there a consensus on conventional pollution?

    • Nice analogy, Donald, to a great book and a great film. I suspect that a lot of PhD students and small-time researchers have found themselves in exactly that position.

    • > Nobody seems to worry any more about conventional pollution.

      Indeed, only WSJ and China seem to care anymore:

      > Industrialization has turned much of the Chinese countryside into an environmental disaster zone, threatening not only the food supply but the legitimacy of the regime itself.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323829104578624010648228142.html

      Wait. Did Donald imply that CO2 was an unconventional pollutant?

      • Willard,

        quit being an ass.

        Don has a very valid point. Focusing on a “threat” which at best is theoretical carries the risk of distracting us from real problems.

        Is the health of coral reefs a concern to you? Then it should worry you when they are used as an excuse for addressing ocean acidification.

        Do you support the eradication of tropical diseases or efforts to reduce heart disease & strokes? Then it should bother you when health organizations claim climate change as the biggest health threat to humans.

        until the time someone can identify a real threat from a warming climate, crying wolf does no one a service.

      • > Focusing on a “threat” which at best is theoretical carries the risk of distracting us from real problems.

        I thought you just said something to Bart R about not being alarmist, timg56.

        Perhaps my tell was not clear enough: the fact that Denizens (go team!) and ClimateBallers focus on climate change does not prevent pollution to be of some concern for others.

        Try to walk and chew. It’s worth it.

        Donald’s point has no merit.

        Pure Lomborgian FUD.

      • Willard,

        you skimming and not really reading what people post?

        Bart was the one claiming I was acting in alarm regarding the Cook paper. Without actually identifying how I was doing so.

        Not you are implying the same. What did I say that was of an alarmist nature?

        Are you really going to deny that the purported risks from a warming planet are nothing more than theory at this point? If so, then lets see the evidence.

        I don’t deny it is warming, nor that human activities are a cause of that warming. I have questions on just how much is human caused and am of the opinion that CO2 is not the only factor we should be considering. I don’t argue physics nor get into dialing graphs. I do get suspicious when people say things like the debate is over, the science is settled and most of all that we are doomed if we do not immediately do ss we are told.

        So I ask those who appear so concerned to provide evidence and point out to those who go on about carbon footprints and the like that if you can’t do arithmetic why should anyone pay attention to you.

        Can you guess how many times I have received a response when asking for even the slightest proof? Mostly it is crickets chirping or the reference to models, as if that constitutes evidence or proof of anything. Or some attempt at a smartass comment.

        So Willard, where is the proof? Show me how there is zero doubt a warming climate is going to be bad. Nothing positive, just all bad. Actually not bad, but very, very bad. With a capital B, which rhymes with sea, which we all will be drowned by.

      • The sadder, Budweiser climateer for me, for me.
        The sadder Budweiser one for me.
        =========================

  25. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    A bit like acidification really The article therefore means that 97.1 % agree that humans are [capable of] causing global cooling.
    All we have to do is take a big breath in and hold our credulity.

  26. “The IPCC scientific consensus has become convoluted with consensus decision making through a ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach.”

    Both the Legue of Nations before it and the UN have tried to be superpowers with authority over the real powers like the US and Beitain. There aim is and was world government, an aim that seemed credible after two world wars in the 20th cenrury.However both of those pretenders lacked military power of their own and so came to nought. The UN’s attempt to grab real power via climate science is going nowhere.

  27. 97% is a sales term. Just far off 100% to be a touch realistic, but still compelling. 99% is a bit too flip, while 96% implies a 4% residue, which is a bit too substantial. Unlike 96% and 98%, 95% has the virtue of being an uneven number, always desirable for scienciness, but it somehow smacks of imprecision: a bit too 19-out-of-20, if you catch my drift.

    No, 97% is perfect. When you can come up with any number you like (see: “lies, damn lies etc”), you may as well pick the best one.

    The promoters of climate alarm are making a sale, and instinctively know how. I’ve long seen the resemblance between their terminology and that of people employed to write labels for energy drinks.

    Of course, label writers have to be a touch more careful with their claims. An energy drink may be just some sugared muck, but it does exist and can be tested. It is not a juggled imagining. It has not been merely fiddled into existence. It is an actual thing. The advertisers have to be more cautious than Cook et al. (2013) with their heady “quantifyings”.

    • Climate Science, as trustworthy Turkmenistan Central Election Commission*

      *The Turkmenistan Central Election Commission ruled that Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov got 97% of votes cast in the last election.

      • According to independent studies (Berdymukhamedov et al 2013) 97% prefer the smooth flavour of Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov while appreciating its high electrolytic content and core energising potentialities.

        Don’t be left behind with the dismal 3% of Berdymukhamedov deniers! Don’t be one of the pathetic remnant of elderly tap-water drinkers!

    • Steven Mosher

      haha I see somebody who understand the old Ivory Soap 99 and 44/100ths
      marketing ploy

      Does this make John Cook the equivalent of Irovy Snows Spokemodel.?
      hehe, she’s dead now.

      But hey we read the emails from Sks.. notes from behind the green door.

      Some crap is so pure it floats

      • What’s behind the Green Door? Flood stage Alpheus and mucked up Peneus.
        ===============

      • Steven, as an aside, do you by any chance know when the full CRU archive, with personal information redacted, will be made available?
        I am guessing before AR5, but I wonder if you have any inside knowledge or insight?

  28. ozzieostrich

    Consensus?

    How about : -

    “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”

    Richard Feynman

    My experiments have shown GHE doesn’t exist. Can the “consensus” provide an experiment to the contrary?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  29. ozzieostrich

    And while I’m at it : -

    “If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.”

    Richard Feynman

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  30. Consensus let’s see

    That’s 10 days from now. The forecast will change.

    An interesting quote from Neven on the weather for future reference

    Posted by: Neven | July 24, 2013 at 13:38
    The Naming of Arctic Cyclones

  31. Yer need but one observation
    ter reject the Gaussian fallacy;
    but hundreds of observations
    do not confirm the validity
    of its application.

    H/t Nassim Taleb

  32. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Consensus building and speaking of a consensus at all is only useful for those who would like to weld some political axe. It has no place in science and certainly no place for honest skeptical thought. A true skeptical scientist may or may not hold the same opinion as the majority on some particular point, but that position is always provisional, and their focus should not be to find data confirming a position, but data that refutes or alters that position. That’s how science evolves.

    • I like to think I am an honest skeptic and offer this prediction, over the next 15 years it is possible that the official surface temperature will get warmer, but it guaranteed that in 15 years from now the past will be cooler.
      During my lifetime the 1930′s have plunged in temperature.

  33. Obama was criticized for quoting the 97% in the following.
    “Ninety-seven percent of scientists, including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data, have now put that to rest. They’ve acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.”
    However, the way this phrase is put, it is accurate to the study, and includes all the skeptics that agree humans are contributing to global warming, which would include Spencer and certainly Lindzen. Given that it really is 97% who agree with this consensus, the initial outcry against Cook seems to have been misguided, and people are now realizing it was kind of obvious after all.

    • ozzieostrich

      JimD,

      Either the GHE exists, or it does not. Whether 1 percent or 100 percent “believe” something exists, does not alter reality.

      You are right in at least one regard. From time to time, the vast majority of scientists can agree to believe in something that later proves to false, if not completely ludicrous.

      What leads you to think the current 97 percent consensus is based on fact, rather than mindless herd mentality?

      Have you one actual experiment to support the GHE “theory”?

      Until you have, the GHE is nothing, more or less.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Physics says it should warm, measurements say it is warming. That simple. You seem to be in the 3%.

      • Jim, just because you are anthropomorphising science does not make your appeal to authority stronger, it just makes you look silly

      • Steven Mosher

        Mike.

        In 1896 this Guy

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

        had a hypothesis.

        If we add C02 to the atmosphere, the earth will warm.

        We carried that experiment out for him. We added C02, and it warmed.
        That experiments supports the hypothesis. It does not contradict the hypothsis.
        He put his balls on the line.

        Please note:

        A) this is only one experiment
        B) unicorns could have also caused the warming.
        C) He would be foolish to give up his belief when the evidence supports his position.

      • Mathematics says two plus two equals four, It is just a way of saying things. Does this also put you in ozzie’s 3% or were you agreeing with me?

      • addressed to DocM.

      • Steven Mosher,
        “In 1896 this Guy

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

        had a hypothesis.”

        And in 1906 he revised it to 1.6C. In 1938 Guy Callender estimated ~1.6C for the northern temperate latitudes. In 2013 more and more estimates are approaching 1.6C with most of the northern temperate region nearly peaked. If you compare the original Arrhenius estimates by latitude with observation you will find that 1.6C is very close because there is negligible water vapor feed back in the tropical and southern regions.

        A gross over estimation by the linear no-threshold pseudo-scientists that ignored the lessons of the past and set science back almost exactly 100 years, 1.6 (2.1) with water vapor from a 1906 initial condition. Absolutely amazing ain’t it?

      • Steven Mosher

        But the “experiment” had a few notable glitches.

        It warmed in the late 19th and early 20th C, long before there were any substantial increases in CO2.

        It did NOT warm between around 1880 and 1910 and, even more surprisingly between 1940 and around 1970, despite rapidly increasing CO2 emissions during the post WWII economic boom.

        Then – “lo and behold!” – it REALLY did increase between the 1970s and around 2000, and the consensus crowd knew they had a winner.

        But – “oops!” – it again stopped warming around 2001 and hasn’t warmed since, despite unabated CO2 emissions and all-time record high levels.

        So I’d say that the experiment has not successfully demonstrated that Arrhenius was right in his hypothesis that increased CO2 would cause significant warming.

        The jury’s still out on that one, Mosh (despite the silly “97%” claim).

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        “So I’d say that the experiment has not successfully demonstrated that Arrhenius was right in his hypothesis that increased CO2 would cause significant warming.”

        WHAT?

        Did you see me suggest that his hypothesis was RIGHT.

        No you did not.

        His hypothesis will never be right, and it will never be wrong.

        It will be, like all science, either supported by the evidence or not supported by the evidence.

        The only experiment we have votes for his position.

        To be sure since we only have one experiment the results, like all results, are open to dispute, argument, revision, refinement, denial, etc etc etc.

        But, the evidence does support what he hypothesized.

        The sun is going to take a nap here. What will happen?

      • ozzieostrich

        Jim D,

        “Physics says . . .” has as much authority as “97% of . . . agree. . . ”
        You may be confusing physics with fisics, or even Physix.

        Measurements say nothing of the sort. As a matter of fact, the measurebators cannot even agree what it is they’re measuring, or where and how to measure it.

        I invite you to go and stand on some exposed igneous rock (that which was originally molten), and tell me how much it has warmed.

        In the meantime,

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • The Sun is grinning Cheshirely; what it augers even kim doesn’t know.
        ==========================

      • ozzie, I find that when I challenge the 3% on their physics understanding it is sorely lacking, which I suspect is why they are in the 3% in the first place. They think the climate of 700 ppm is the same as the one of 280 ppm or even sometimes 190 ppm or 2000 ppm. Unbelievable.

      • Steven Mosher

        But, the evidence does support what he [Arrhenius]hypothesized.

        Yes. Over the period ~1970 to ~2000 the “evidence does support” Arrhenius’ hypothesis that increased CO2 would have a significant impact on global temperature.

        But it does not do so over the period ~1940 to ~1970 or the most recent period starting after 2000.

        And it raises serious questions concerning the early 20th C warming (statistically indistinguishable from the late 20th C warming, but with only a small fraction of the added CO2).

        It’s all a bit too sloppy, Mosh.

        Sorry ’bout that.

        Max

      • Take the period 1900-2010 and find an alternative theory for that net warming. That is the challenge for “skeptics” rather than just picking a decade here or there out of it. It is about the big picture warming.

      • Jim D

        Take the period 1900-2010 and find an alternative theory for that net warming. That is the challenge for “skeptics” rather than just picking a decade here or there out of it. It is about the big picture warming.

        Why start in 1900 and end in 2010?

        Why not take the entire HadCRUT4 record from 1850 to today?

        Girma has posted a detrended WfT plot and I added the trendline.

        As you see, there has been an underlying warming trend of around 0.74C over the 163-year record (or around 0.5C warming per century).

        Superimposed on this are the multi-decadal warming and cooling cycles (obviously NOT caused by corresponding cycles in atmospheric CO2 concentration).

        Natural forcing (by some as yet unknown mechanism, possibly involving clouds, as well as solar forcing), natural variability in shorter or longer-term cycles, in addition to possible human influences from GHGs, land use changes, urbanization, etc. are all alternative theories to the IPCC hypothesis that “most” of the warming (at least since around 1950) was caused by AGW.

        Known past warming and cooling cycles prior to industrialization seem to confirm that natural causes have played an important role in past climate change.

        It’s probably a combination of many pieces, some of which we do not yet understand fully today.

        But if we agree that at least 50% of the past warming since 1850 was caused by anthropogenic factors and accept the IPCC estimate that all other anthropogenic factors beside CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, etc.) cancelled one another out, we arrive at a 2xCO2 temperature response of 0.8C or a 2xCO2 ECS of around 1.4C (adding in what IPCC estimates is still “in the pipeline”).

        This seems to check with recent observation-based estimates.

        It does NOT support the IPCC premise of “CAGW” (as outlined specifically in its AR4 report), however.

        Max

      • ozzieostrich

        JimD,

        You talk about warming. What warming? Since its creation the Earth has cooled, both internally and externally.

        Measurements? You’ve got to be joking! Historically, you’re referring to the observations of mainly mercury thermometers, placed in a variety of locations of varying altitudes, read by a motley collection of often lowly paid and poorly skilled people.

        To compound the error, you then assume that the temperature in a particular locale is immune to the effects of wind, cloud, precipitation, aeroplane engine exhaust, and other extraneous sources of heat.

        But wait, there’s more! Water covers a large proportion of the globe – what to do? Sling a canvas bucket over the side of the ship, pull it up, and get somebody to take its temperature.

        We move along to satellite remote sensing. Without going into technical detail, consider what it is that the satellite is measuring. The surface? Think again.

        If, by some miraculous technology not currently known, we manage to measure the Earth’s “temperature”, does not an increase in the Earth’s human population from around 1.6 billion in 1900 to around 7 billion now, need to be taken into account?

        So warming due to CO2 – physical impossibility! From other sources? Consider that all sources of energy, internal and external were unable to prevent the Earth cooling to 0.000 . . . 1 K hotter than it is at present. If you believe you can not only stop the Earth cooling, but then get it to warm, by wrapping it with any gas, you must be deluded.

        Wave your hands all you like, throw in a few Balinese finger displays, or even perform a couple of pirouettes combined with a lateral arabesque or two. Still impossible to create energy where none existed, I fear.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • manacker, a more likely attribution for 0.7 C warming in the 20th century is 0.9 C from CO2 and GHGs, 0.2 C from a solar increase, and -0.4 C from aerosols, so CO2 would be above 100% because you have to allow for significant negative effects and the global dimming aerosol growth effect of the 60′s, which most “skeptics” surprisingly neglect, most notably Lindzen.

      • ozzie, according to you the Arctic sea-ice decline is just coincidental with the apparent temperature rise, and also mismeasured?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Huh. Usually cherry-picking is done with quotes from people you disagree with. Nice to see you branching out, Jim D. Make sure you don’t show what else Obama said.

    • Jim D – pure sophistry. Human activity also contributes to cooling. For example, where I live – a totally artificial city set up in the middle of bare sheep paddocks for a national capital – millions of trees and plants have been introduced, as well as artificial lakes and huge dams. I can assure you that in summer it is a hell of a lot cooler in the shade of the oak trees and by the lake here than it is in the bare sheep paddocks 100km out of town.

      No-one in their right mind disputes that human activity affects local weather and climate, in all sorts of ways. That is precisely why the whole 97% thing is such a dishonest formulation.

      • Johanna, surely you must be mistaken. Peer reviewed science has positively indicated that cutting down trees has a net cooling impact. Those tree have low albedo leaves that have to cause “unprecidented” warming. /sarc

      • Some skeptics like Lindzen have even refused to acknowledge the cooling effect of aerosols. They are all over the place with these arguments. However, as we see, the net effect is warming because the CO2 and other GHG effects outweigh anything else we do to the planet. That’s why the consensus is the humans are contributing to the observed warming, not opposing it. Kind of obvious, but it looks like it needed to be said.

    • Jim,

      I see you are back from gymnastics class, twisting and tumbling in an effort to convince folks that a crap paper is in fact a sweet smelling advancement of science.

    • The way the phrase is put, it is both accurate and inconsequential. There wouldn’t be an argument over the phrase if it weren’t being treated as if it were important. As far as an alternative theory for what caused the 20th century warming, I have already pointed out that a change in OHT not only could have caused all the warming but evidence indicates it caused at least some portion of it and that portion remains unattributed.

  34. David L. Hagen

    Re: “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming”
    This appears to be an equivocation expecting the IPCC assumption that majority of global warming was due to anthropogenic causes.

    However, as stated, it only says “humans are causing global warming”.

    Humans affect the micro climate every time a forest is cleared to make a field, whenever a road is built through a meadow, or aspha spread over land.

    By the butterfly effect, a small change with chaotic flows can cause a larger impact.

    Ergo, “humans are causing global warming.”

    So I conclude that I am part of the 97.1% that agree that humans are causing warming.

    Note that the statement gives no indication of the magnitude of the global warming, nor of whether it can be detected or quantified or distinguished from natural warming since the little ice age.
    Those issues are where the real scientific debate is occurring.

    • Steven Mosher

      As an experiment I’ll suggest that everywhere you post you announce the fact that you are part of the consensus. That you beleive C02 is a greenhouse gas and that humans are causing global warming. Try that every day with every post for two weeks

      • Don’t forget to append that a warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Every comment, every thought, every impulse; on the beaches, in blog comments, to the barristas.
        ==================

      • Steven

        Human contribution to global warming may well be less than 5%.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        I affirm that using “biochemically stored Solar energy” (a.k.a. fossil fuels) is increasing CO2 which is “greening the earth”. That is increasing agricultural productivity and net primary productivity that is urgently needed to feed the earth’s growing population.

        e.g. “the national mean rice production is estimated to increase by 2.7 to 19.2% considering the combined effects of climate change,
        CO2 and shifting rice-producing areas.”
        “As for the effects of this slightly more than doubling of the air‘s CO2 content, they report, ―the average percentage of yield increases of all three sites were 270%, 257%, 87%, 140% and 227% for celery, leaf lettuce, stem lettuce, oily sowthistle, and Chinese cabbage, respectively.”
        See NIPCC Interim Report 2011 Ch 7

        http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2011/pdf/07TerrestrialPlants.pdf

        See Productivity – Agriculture at CO2Science.Org

        The poor of the earth that are so highly dependent on agriculture will strongly benefit from this globally increasing agricultural productivity.

        See Matt Ridley Matt Ridley on How Fossil Fuels are Greening the Planet
        20.5% of vegetated portion was greener, 3% less.

        Matt Ridley How Fossil Fuels are Greening the Planet youtube
        PS “greening the earth” is also impacting climate.

  35. One of the things people do when there’s an impasse to agreement because of the nature of the facts is to look at the larger picture, and see if there’s a valid way to look past the smaller issues by resolving a bigger one, bypassing the small stuff.

    ECS? Degree of warming? That’s the small stuff. It’s about one variable of fifty essential climate variables.

    Now, you can run down the list of 50 variables and knock them, or you can agree they’re valid by and large and look at where that leaves you.

    For me, it leaves that the composition of the air is changing verifiably and in one direction without the united consent of or individual compensation to the owners of the air.

    Now, you can be in favor of that change, or opposed to that change, but you can’t claim to own 100% of the air yourself or have the right to decide on the disposition of the property of others without sounding patently absurd.

    If you’re in favor of the change, you ought be willing to pay a fair price for it. If you oppose the change, you should be willing to accept a fair compensation for it. Well, that’s a carbon price set by the law of supply and demand.

    And it doesn’t require agreement on ECS at all, or degree of warming, or good or bad or benefit or harm.

    All it takes is privatization of the carbon cycle, which is long overdue anyway.

    • Bart R

      Just for clarification.

      When you say “privatization of the carbon cycle” exactly what do you mean, how would this be implemented and what would it accomplish?

      Max

      • manacker | July 27, 2013 at 12:02 am |

        Exact details left to the legislative body of each jurisdiction.

        In BC, it was a revenue neutral carbon tax.

        In the USA, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby advocates a fee and dividend system.

        I add onto these only three observations:

        1. The Law of Supply and Demand is the proven best price-setting mechanism in the Market, and ought be used to set the price of CO2E emission.

        2. Every penny of revenue ought go to every citizen per capita equally and in so direct a manner as feasible, if one is to take full advantage of the morale boosting effect of the restoration of fairness to the Market.

        3. The broader the base and more inclusive the CO2E emissions covered by the privatization of lucrative exchanges, the less distortionate the change in the Market and the more efficient the influence.

      • Bart R

        My earlier question was not a loaded one. I seriously want to know how you envision this “privatization of the carbon cycle” through a“fee and dividend system” to work in practice.

        You write:

        1. The Law of Supply and Demand is the proven best price-setting mechanism in the Market, and ought be used to set the price of CO2E emission.

        This is too vague for me, Bart. Who sets the price of “CO2E emissions” and on what basis? {AFIAK there is no “law of supply and demand” covering this.) The current price of “CO2E emissions” is zero.

        And what is a CO2E emission and how is it measured/established on a day-to-day basis?

        2. Every penny of revenue ought go to every citizen per capita equally and in so direct a manner as feasible, if one is to take full advantage of the morale boosting effect of the restoration of fairness to the Market.

        I do not see any source of “revenue” here, Bart, but rather a “tax” imposed on everyone according to each person’s energy consumption (or “CO2E emission”), so I do not see any “handouts” to anyone. Do you? If so, where do these come from and how are they calculated? Who collects the tax and administers the distribution of the collected funds?

        3. The broader the base and more inclusive the CO2E emissions covered by the privatization of lucrative exchanges, the less distortionate the change in the Market and the more efficient the influence.

        Sounds good in theory, but what is missing is the specific details on calculation and implementation of the “CO2E emission” tax. Who pays and how much? For example, how much would be your net payment, as a consumer of energy? Does the Federal government (a major CO2 emitter) pay itself a tax?

        Bart, this is all too “hairy-fairy” for me. You apparently expect to receive money under this scheme, rather than pay for your individual “CO2E emission”. Why? You (like everyone else in the world) have a “carbon footprint” (i.e. a “CO2E emission”). Why shouldn’t you have to pay for yours like everyone else?

        This does not sound like a well-thought-out scheme, Bart. Too many open questions.

        But maybe you can get more specific and answer some of the open questions.

        Max

      • Oh, c’mon, Max; it makes perfect sense to him. Now roll the dice; I’m sittin’ here with all four railroads and hotels on Park Place and Broadway.
        ===================

    • Bart R

      Let’s see if I got it.

      Anyone who uses energy or consumes products with an energy component is a net “CO2E emitter” and pays a corresponding “CO2E tax” to the government.

      This tax is arbitrarily set at a price per ton of CO2E emitted, so that the total revenue is equal to current revenue from income taxes, which will be eliminated, in order to make the whole program “revenue neutral”.

      The government, itself, also pays this tax for any “CO2E emissions” it creates by using energy.

      Carbon “hogs” (like Al Gore, President Obama or the Hollywood jet set) pay the most, but nobody who uses energy gets a free ride (much less a rebate).

      The tax is world wide (or it is meaningless), with the UN acting as global tax collector. All nations are forced to participate. “Slum dog” Calcuttans or near-starvation natives of Mali, for example, also pay a small tax for the small amount of energy they consume (expressed in CO2E), but the bulk of the tax revenue will come from inhabitants of industrialized nations (like me and you).

      The proceeds from this tax are distributed to anyone who is a net “reducer” of “CO2E emissions”, by planting trees, etc., again corresponding to the net reduction of CO2E actually effected.

      Sounds like a simple and workable scheme, Bart.

      Whaddaya think?

      Max

      PS (Sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t be “getting your money back”, unless you plan to start planting a lot of trees to get your net CO2E emission below zero.)

      • David Wojick

        Income taxes pay the trillions in present government spending so the proceeds have to go there not to reducers (unless we are eliminating governments in the process). If we are being revenue neutral there is no money for new projects.

      • manacker | July 27, 2013 at 4:25 am |

        Huh.

        Wow. You managed to almost perfectly get everything exactly wrong.

        Is this a language thing? Don’t they speak American where you are?

        You keep saying ENERGY when you mean CARBON, and the two aren’t remotely the same.

        Do you do this with everything?

        Do you say furniture when you mean toilet?

        Do you say income when you mean theft?

        Do you say pharmaceuticals when you mean hashish?

        This euphemismitis you have, is it a medical condition?

        Also, you appear to not quite understand the meaning of the word “arbitrarily”, and you’re having limited success comprehending “tax”.

        There is nothing “arbitrarily” about the Law of Supply and Demand in Capitalism. Your lampoon of the heart of the Capitalist system just shows how little regard you Europeans have for the foundation of American values.

        Let me reconstruct the story line by line with corrections, to see if it helps your little reading comprehension issue:

        Anyone who sells carbon products collects a recycling fee from the buyer based on the carbon the product will emit to the atmosphere.

        The level of this fee is determined by the Law of Supply and Demand independent of all other considerations, so the maximum net revenues are collected (based on optimum volume sold times price vs. costs). Nothing to do with equaling income tax. Nothing to do with arbitrary decisions by experts. Nothing to do with taxes at all. Only the individual buyers and sellers in the Market determine this fee by the price they mutually agree to in each individual exchange.

        No one is exempt from the fee, even governments, so everyone makes their budget decision for energy and all other goods and services they consume based on the real cost of burning carbon compared to all alternative forms of energy, and all other goods or services they consume.

        Carbon “hogs” (like you believe of Al Gore, President Obama or the Hollywood jet set) pay the most, but nobody who uses carbon gets a free ride (much less a rebate), though they can save substantially if they alter their behaviors to consume less carbon, say by choosing less carbon-intensive energy.

        The fee is local (or it is meaningless), with the international trade laws correcting for poaching and leakage through trade sanctions on nations that emit more than their share. No nation is forced to participate in any particular way, so long as they balance their trade ledger under current international trade principles. The rest of your Calcuttan diatribe is untranslatable, so omitted.

        The revenues from these fees are paid per capita to every citizen equally, as everyone equally owns the privatized resource of the carbon cycle that services lucrative carbon emitters.

        Now, I can see the attractions of your scheme to a European, and other people used to slavishly bearing the yoke of the nanny state. It takes the need to make decisions and take responsibility for them off your hands, which you Europeans are known to prefer. What I propose, however, is a proven system that works for cell phones and potato chips, apple pie and baseballs, and for people who don’t shirt their responsibilities.

  36. How is it determined what a fair price is, Bart?

    • Joshua | July 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm |

      In the free market, a rational seller will price their goods in such a way as to maximize return to investors in any sales cycle.

      If the price goes a penny higher but the net return is even a penny lower, then that extra penny is the price rise not to take.

      If the price goes a penny higher and the net return is even only a penny higher, that price hike is the right one to make.

      Of course, pricing strategy is a bit more complex in the details, but that’s essentially it. The carbon fee should keep going up in a way that doesn’t disorder the market too much until it reaches a point of diminishing returns.

      Every citizen per capita then obtains an equal share of the revenues directly. As the plan is to do this through the income tax or payroll tax system, there’s a ready-made avenue that will cost only a marginal amount to exploit already in place. The savings in tax churn alone will pay for the marginal cost of set-up. Plus, it sorta-kinda encourages people being paid under the table to declare their incomes and stop defrauding the rest of us.

      Is this dividend income, therefore taxable at a fair rate? Sure, but so what? Overall, 70% of Americans — by and large the poorest 70% of Americans, but that’s just law of averages and the structural inequities of the current system being relieved at work — will be far ahead under this plan, if the lessons of British Columbia hold true.

      20% of Americans will be about at par, until their changed behavior leads them to savings and lower waste of resources. The resultant increase in economic efficiency is a rising tide floating all boats.

      About 10% of Americans would pay more for emitting carbon. They’re the ones who are free riders now. Do we not want to curtail free riding by 10% to benefit 90% of America economically?

      This arrangement of the government enforcing the weights and measures of CO2E in the retail marketplace to ensure the owners are fairly paid by the users, this privatization, has been proven in a real world case very like a miniature model of the USA, so we know it will work and will make the US economy stronger.

      That’s how a fair price is set, and what impacts we can expect.

  37. Does it really need any consensus? Is the destructive weather pattern every one is seeing from the last decade proof enough? We recently published an article discussing how the recent Colorado wildfires are due to climate change… Warmer temperatures are causing pine beetles to survive a lot longer than normal and as result it’s creating perfect fodder for wildfires… http://www.blueplanetjournal.com/ecology/wildfires-point-to-global-warming.html

    • Yawn!

      Another “looky here, this disaster must’ve been caused by AGW”.

      Problem is, it’s all speculation.

      Max

    • “British Columbia is currently experiencing a mountain pine beetle epidemic due to natural beetle population cycles, successive mild winters, and an abundance of mature pine forests as a result of fire suppression.

      http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/MPB/gawalko_2004_mount.pdf

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

      There has been a renewed interest in biochar, wonder why?

      http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/bib48463.pdf

      Anthropogenic regulation and liability concerns are factors.

      • Way back in the 1970′s, when I was a school kid, it was know that destructive wildfires were a result of decades of fire suppression activity.
        One idea of the time was to regularly drop incendiary bombs on forests, every 3-5 years, to burn off the underbrush, but not damage the trees.
        Local residents were against this option.

      • Doc, “One idea of the time was to regularly drop incendiary bombs on forests, every 3-5 years, to burn off the underbrush, but not damage the trees.”
        Right, but the interstate highway system added a liability. Prescribed burns could cause the dense smoke that lead to all those multiple car pileups. It became one of those wicked problems that progressives are so good at blaming on big whatever.

    • Dear Editor:

      Attribution, she’s a bitch.
      Puff the Magic Carbon
      Lived by the CO2;
      Nature turned and scratched him
      Some place rich.
      ====================

      • We … 97% of the Mediocristan population,
        dance around in a ring and suppose,
        the other 3% are asleep in bed, outlyers,
        but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

        Variation on a gaussian theme.
        Bts

    • Goodness, to think that Australia’s Black Thursday fire of 1851 – the world’s greatest known inferno – did it all without “climate change”. Of course, in 1871, the Great Lakes region of N. America pulled off fire conditions in the mid-autumn which would have to rank as “Superfranken” in any place or era, although it is only in recent years that learned types have recognised the value of baby talk in the description of weather events.

      Yes, people blamed everything from comets to somebody’s cow for Chicago-Peshtigo (though we know better). This was, presumably, all achieved without “climate change”. Imagine if they’d had “climate change” back then. They could really have been contenders – and no consensus needed, thanks all the same!

      • mosomoso

        you have been repeatedly reminded that there is no such thing as history. The climate was, according, to the met office, in a steady state with little variation until mankind started to create dangerous climate change.

        Please forward your full address details so our educators can organise a remedial course of historic climate reappraisal. I suspect it is about time that your colleague Beth Cooper was also hauled in. Until the first module has been arranged please do not make any references to so called climate change prior to 1976. Your cooperation is sought.
        tonyb

      • Some of us jest ain’t re-educatable Tony, as a consequenss
        of not havin’ bean propperly educated in the ferst plaiss.
        A serf.

      • Tonyb, I sometimes think you Poms invent historic climate disasters just to keep up with us vigorous, outdoorish New World types. Among your more whimsical imaginings are a hurricane of world class (1703), a proper tornado ripping through London (1091)…and even a tsunami (1607)!

        As if!

        Here we have no need to invent stuff. We’ve even had a major tornado, not far south of where I live, in the superb tall timber country of Bulahdelah, one which destroyed a million trees. It happened in 1970, so I believe that is right on the cusp of “climate change”…though I like to think we did it on our own. The editors of Blue Planet may know.

  38. Pingback: Tom Curtis Doesn’t Understand the 97% Paper » Climate Resistance

  39. Nonetheless, the combination of imperfect data, overlapping explanations, and continued uncertainty mean that scientists cannot discount the possibility that they have overestimated the climate’s “sensitivity” to additional greenhouse gas emissions. For Held, the last 10 to 15 years “make it more plausible that the size of climate response to greenhouse gas increase is on the lower side of what models have been projecting over the last 10 or 20 years rather than over the high side.” Held is not alone.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/node/113533/print

    A very big tick mark for sceptics.

    • But warmest decade!
      ===============

      • kim

        “Warmest decade” was 2001-2010 at 0.430C anomaly
        Current decade is starting off cooler by ~0.04C at 0.387C anomaly.

        And “most recent 10 years” is also a bit cooler at 0.415C anomaly.

        Looks like we’ve “peaked” and are headed downhill.

        Max

      • kim

        The issue is IPCC projected the following:

        For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

        The warming rate was not 0.2 deg C/decade. The warming rate was not 0.1 deg C/decade. The warming rate has been flat as shown:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1998/plot/wti/from:1998/trend

        To talk about the “warmest decade” when the issue is the warming rate is disingenuous.

      • Girma, your link to the New Republic, which was a good one, still threw out ‘the warmest decade’ in the last paragraph. I’m glad to see that there are at least two of you who think it is hogwash.
        =======================

  40. Latimer Alder

    It used to be that many thought that simply intoning the incantation:

    ‘The well-funded Big Oil Denier Conspiracy’

    was a magical ‘get out of jail free’ card. Their way to avoid scrutiny or difficult questions.

    But since the potency of that spell has reduced with time (and the ‘affaire Nuccittelli’ may have finally killed it forever) they needed a new one.

    And it seems that

    ’97% consensus’ is the new one.

    Already I’ve seen it clumsily wielded in completely irrelevant circumstances by those with little knowledge or understanding. Ed Davey (UK climate change minister) is just the most prominent.

    I wonder how long this will last? As the prime proponent (Mr N himself!) seems to be intent on declaring omerta to all his critics, while his paper takes increasingly heavy fire I imagine it will be just a nine-day wonder.

    So what next?

    We’ve had Deniers, we’ve had consensus, and GW and AGW and CAGW and weather wierding and consensus and denialism and Big Oil. Mustn’t forget ‘conspiracy ideation’ (??) Doesn’t seem to be a lot left….

    Any ideas on what the next supposedly potent phrase will be?

    • Latimer Alder

      At the rate Mr N is banning people on Twitter he’ll soon have nobody left to talk to. Seems to be another alarmist auto-reaction to hard questions. If the question’s too hard they run away. Much recent evidence that this is hardcoded into alarmist genes. Anyone would think they were frightened of debate (/innocent face). Very childish.

      But it also reminds me of the famous (if apocryphal) newspaper headline from 100 years ago:

      ‘Fog In Channel – Continent Isolated’ (*)

      Perhaps we now have

      ‘Nuccittelli Blocks Everyone – Rest of Internet Isolated’?

      * readers who don’t get the joke should consult an atlas of the geography of Europe, esp the NW edge.

      • Latimer, I thought that the “Fog in Channel” joke was from Punch, but there is some (now inconclusive) evidence to it being a headline in the Daily Mail or Times in the 1930s, picked up by Punch in the late ’40s.

        Although I would query whether it was not a joke but a correct perspective. :-) It reminds me of the tale of two middle-aged, upper middle-class Englishwomen travelling in Italy in the ’50s. When asked by locals if they were “foreigners,” they replied indignantly, “No, we are British!”

      • > Very childish.

        “Mature” is our concerned contrarians’ collective middle name:

    • Latimer Alder,

      Doesn’t seem to be a lot left….

      You underrate the imagination of Joshua, Bart R, Michael, WHT, the real estate salesman (I’ve forgotten his name) and the other dingbats and wingnuts.

      • Global warming

        Climate change

        Climate Instability?

      • Peter Lang | July 27, 2013 at 8:15 am |

        Unnatural Normalized Trends in Climate

        Unnatural Climate Kinetics due Forcing

        I’m not affiliated with those people.

        I don’t join clubs, or jump bandwagons, or mindlessly go with the crowd.

        Why do you?

  41. Don’t know, Latimer… but it will definitely end with ‘ism.’

  42. An interesting take on the nature of the consensus, and review of a new book on the history of the “Age of Global Warming,” from John Derbyshire, resident curmudgeon at National Review Online.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354565/our-climate-change-cathedral-andrew-stuttaford

    The book reviewed is The Age of Global Warming: A History, by Rupert Darwall.

    On the consensus as a substitute for falsifiability:

    “If it is not possible to construct a Popper-proof proof of a link between the rise in CO2 (and other greenhouse-gas) emissions and the (now, ahem, paused) increase in the planet’s temperature, then those who believe that there is such a connection are forced to rely on what is effectively a continuous poll of scientific opinion over what the data might mean. It is from this process that the much-cited consensus has emerged. That’s not as unreasonable as Darwall might think, but it is second-best science. And when, as Darwall rightly maintains, it has been tainted by the political importance of maintaining a consensus (and the consequent delegitimization of debate) it ends up as something even less than that.”

    On the basic history:

    “The route the circus took from Rio to Kyoto (1997) to Bali (2007) and to Copenhagen (2009) is detailed by Darwall, a meticulous and occasionally caustic chronicler with a sharp eye for the intricate political and diplomatic maneuvering that this journey has involved.”

    And my favorite bit on the history of the AGW movement”

    “The old, Marx-pocked Left traditionally took a very different approach. As Darwall explains, its view of man’s relationship with nature was essentially promethean. The planet was there to be mastered by science and the proletariat. The radiant future would be secured not by the bucolic values of an Eden that never was, but by technological progress. It was only when the failure of the Communist experiment became too obvious to be ignored by its Western sympathizers that the opponents of capitalism looked for another banner around which to rally. Red shaded into green, a shift — boosted by the likes of Herbert Marcuse — that Darwall correctly sees as a key moment in the growth of environmentalism as a political force.”

    I disagree that those on the left have substituted red for green. More like they have used the green as camouflage for the red that is still very much there. But still, a very interesting article.

    • Oops, the author is, of course, Andrew Stuttaford, the other NRO curmudgeon, not Derbyshire.

    • More like they have used the green as camouflage for the red that is still very much there.

      Gary makes an excellent point. They’re all a bunch o’ commies.

    • Gotta say, this is actually pretty good – despite that it Gary excerpted it, and that it is accompanied by some extremist nonsense:

      That’s not as unreasonable as Darwall might think, but it is second-best science. And when, as Darwall rightly maintains, it has been tainted by the political importance of maintaining a consensus (and the consequent delegitimization of debate) it ends up as something even less than that.”

      What is left off, however, is that the “something even less than that” must be contrasted with the alternatives when evaluating costs and benefits and assessing risk.

      Unfortunately, too much of what we have left to evaluate is “skepticism.” My kingdom for a skeptic.

    • (In Copenhagen) “The EU was left humiliated and without the broad, binding treaty its leadership craved.” Not as humiliated as Kevin Rudd, who took a 120-strong team with him and hoped to be anointed by Copenhagen as the global warming Messiah. But, like beaten-down bread dough, he has recently risen again. As Stuttaford says:

      “And so the jihad against AGW will likely lurch along … It has become too big to fail.

      “But even if this effort is one day abandoned, Darwall suspects that the Western mind would fill the gap that it leaves behind by dreaming up yet another environmental crisis that can be avoided only by crippling the modern industrial economy.

      “The end of the world, it appears, will always be with us.”

      • Faustino,

        ““And so the jihad against AGW will likely lurch along … It has become too big to fail.”

        Well, yes. I happen to have been looking at the cost of some of the socialist Australian Governments big spending policies today. For perspective on the meaning of the numbers Australia’s GDP is about $1.5 trillion so multiply the numbers below by about 12 for US equivalent.

        Costs of some of Labor’s policies (in today’s dollars):

        • ETS = $1,345 billion reduced GDP to 2050 [1a], [1b], [2]

        • Renewable Energy Target = $30 billion to 2020 [3]

        • NBN (latest estimate) = $60-70 billion [4], but actually would be $100 to $250 billion if continued (it is 36% duration complete but just 0.5% physical percent complete) [5], [6], [7]

        • The 2013-14 budget for asylum seeker management was $2.9 billion (up from $930 million in the previous forecast). We can expect it will, be at least double the may budget figure, so say $6 billion per year going forward. [8]

        • Estimate of Labor policy just to house the boat arrivals on Mannus Island and Nauru = $10 billion over 4 years (2 billion for 750 people on Nauru [9] and assuming same cost per person $8 billion for 300 people on Manus Island.) BTW we already have 1500 people waiting to be moved to Manus Island so, at current rate of arrivals, it will be full in two more weeks, so perhaps this $10 billion estimate should be doubled? tripled? quadrupled?

        • Gonski = $9.8 billion extra funding over 6 years [8]

        • Disability Care – $19.3 billion over 7 years [8]

        The biggest cost of all is the loss of revenue because of the loss of business and investor confidence. The loss of confidence is caused by bad policies, bad policy implementation, lack of transparency, lack of understanding of impacts of the policies on business and investment confidence; e.g.:

        1. IR polices

        2. Carbon tax

        3. Mining tax

        4. Fringe benefits tax on cars (the way it was announced with no prior consultation)

      • Faustino,

        IPA’s Gary Moran (June 2013):

        Both sides say they want to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 5 per cent.

        To do this the Government’s policies will cost between $20-$30 billion a year, more than the entire defence budget. Labor’s strategy employs four kinds of measures.

        First there is the carbon tax with costs to consumers this year at $9 billion. The current tax rate at $23 per tonne was to increase annually, but the Government has now linked Australia’s tax to the European Union’s carbon price. Because this is only $4 per tonne, for 2015 the Government intends to reduce Australia’s tax rate, but it is forecasting escalating increases in later years with tax rates at $30-plus.

        Secondly, the Government is spending about $5 billion a year on subsidies to green schemes, half through the Clean Energy Fund’s low interest loans.

        Third, there is the renewable energy target, which subsidises windmills and rooftop solar through customers’ electricity bills. The target increases year by year and its annual costs will be $5 billion a year by 2020.

        And finally, there are measures such as efficiency standards on housing, refrigerators and other items. These impose up-front costs on purchasers, estimated at $750 million a year for new home owners.

        http://ipa.org.au/news/2912/taxes-on-carbon-too-drastic-and-too-soon

      • Peter, good info, but the author was Alan Moran, not Gary, who I first met at LSE in1963.

      • Faustino,

        My mistake. I was mixing Gary Johns and Alan Moran. I’ve been writing something and referencing all three of them.

  43. This by John Cook cited at Bishop Hill 26/07 by Barry Woods:

    ‘To achieve this goal, we mustn’t fall into the trap of spending too
    much time on analysis and too little promotion. As we do the analysis, would be good to have the marketing plan percolating along as well’.

    Yeah ..
    ‘Double double boil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’
    (Macbeth.)

    • Beth Cooper,

      Re John Cook : -

      “. . . reality must take precedence over public relations for Nature cannot be fooled.”
      - Richard Feynman

      Unlike 97% of Climate Scientists.

      btw “double, double, toil and trouble . . . ”

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Serf one day, Witch-finder General the next.

      • Gee thanks Faustino.

        Given the comings
        and goings of
        histeree, the
        rise and fall
        of nations, kings
        toppled before
        they knew it,
        even yer own
        intended somethin’
        or other, instead
        yer blew it …
        Given the mysteree
        of what comes
        unbidden from
        left of stage, or
        ‘Hark!’ from overhead,
        listening ter the
        great man or expert’s
        expressions of certainty
        kinda’ irks me.

        Serf w-f-g

    • Ah the Bard, with a little editing, he covers everything:

      To decarbonize, or not to decarbonize, that is the question:
      Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
      The Slings and Arrows of natural Variability,
      Or to take Arms against a Sea of anthro GHGs,
      And by opposing end them: to die (especially in third world countries), to warm No more; and by warm, to say we end
      Thermageddon, and the thousand Unnatural catastrophes
      That Gaia is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
      Devoutly to be wished.

  44. David Wojick

    Not sure if this got through. I made a comment up top two hours agonand itvstill says “awaiting moderation” which I have not seen before. Perhaps I am being selectively moderated, moderation not being my style, as it were. In any case I repeat the comment below, just to close the loop:

    Oliver, you seem to have missed my point. A sine wave is a static oscillator and so too may climate be. The temps appear to have stayed within a narrow range of oscillation for billions of years so there is no unidirectional trend. Chaos is a form of stability, marked by irregular oscillation within a narrow range. In that sense climate may well be unchanging. (The problem is that “climate” is a hopelessly vague concept, with no fixed scientific definition.)

    Note that in a sine wave almost any given short term interval will show an upward or downward trend but the overall pattern is unchanging. And so it may be with climate. The longer the time interval the flatter the trend.

    • David Wojick

      It appears that I am still being moderated.

    • Perhaps I am being selectively moderated, moderation not being my style, as it were.

      Always an amusing conjecture – given that we all know of the capriciousness of blog comment filters and Judith’s basic hands-off policy and unlikeliness to “selectively” moderate specific “denizens.”

  45. It seems to me that this latest report from The Cato Institute is entirely relevant ot this thread.

    http://www.cato.org/blog/ipcc-ar5-real-trouble

    Specifically, I find

    “The IPCC has three options:
    1. Round-file the entire AR5 as it now stands and start again.
    2. Release the current AR5 with a statement that indicates that all the climate change and impacts described within are likely overestimated by around 50%, or
    3. Do nothing and mislead policymakers and the rest of the world.
    We’re betting on door number 3.”

    The interesting question to me is what might happen if the IPCC actually chooses any one of these options. My guess is that if they choose Option 3, then we will see more and more promient scientists either leaving the sinking good ship CAGW, or, like our hostess, building themselves lifeboats so that when the ship sinks, they can get safely to shore. Specifically, it might be interesting to see what Prof. John Mitchell, FRS, from the UK Met. Office, might do. It seems to me that his scientific career is very much jeopardized by what the IPCC does or does not do.

    The key will be, not what is in the AR 5 itself, but what is in the SPMs. We should know this by the end of September 2013

    • The only place it was not being discussed is of course at Skeptical Science.
      I have added a comment there, under Dana’s article in question

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/nuccitelli-vs-neil-round2.html#96744

      (it appears also, that Dana is getting a post (as he demanded) at Nottingham Uni (he commented in the Guardian saying so)

    • My favourite pieces in all ofPile’s frippery is this;

      “Andrew Montford tweeted in the wake of the survey, ‘isn’t everyone in the 97%? I am’.”

      “poll the readers of the Bishop Hill blog, ‘Do you all consider yourselves in the 97%?’. It seems that almost all do.”

      Indicative of the general ‘skeptical’ innumeracy??

      • Innumeracy? About 97% (almost all) of them consider themselves in the 97%.

        If he had said 97% of all statistic are made up on the spot, you think that is a sign of innumeracy instead of humor right? Have you stopped playing with yourself yet?

      • capt,

        good point – if only he’d said what you said he meant, he woudn’t have said the stupid thing that he did say.

        First law of climate-’scepticism’ – never criticise the tribe. No matter how idiotic the claim.

      • Wow! When that tweet exchange appears in its own little window it looks great! :)

        As for the content… Are you implying something about worthiness of science qualifications there willard? Can’t really tell.

        If you are then don’t you think the fact that Tom Curtis doesn’t understand the scope of the 97% from the Cook paper quite remarkable too? I mean, the Cook paper is science isn’t it? And Curtis doesn’t understand it. Weird eh?

      • > Are you implying something about worthiness of science qualifications there willard?

        Perhaps, tlitb1, if by science you mean something like reading the first sentence of the ABSTRACT one mudslings with 10k word spreads:

        We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’.

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

        Now, tell me, dear tlitb1: do you think our beloved Bishop meet the criterium emphasized? I don’t think he does, nor that it matters, as our beloved Bishop participates in what Mr. Pile called “our PR”:

        http://memegenerator.co/instance/40094844

        ***

        Mr. Pile should not have piled on Tom Curtis, BTW. Here’s some background:

        http://bybrisbanewaters.blogspot.ca/2013/05/tols-gaffe.html

        No wonder all Mr. Pile whittles (H/T Mr. Pile) in parsomatics and ad hominem. Perhaps he’ll have ban him and delete all his comments, like he did to me:

        You can go away, and you [sic.] posts will remain.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/25231421098

        Let’s hope for Mr. Pile that Tom Curtis is busy.

        Hope this helps,

        w

      • @Willard 3:08 pm

        “Now, tell me, dear tlitb1: do you think our beloved Bishop meet the criterium emphasized?”

        Thanks for leaving off at the first sentence of Cooks paper to decide criteria to apply a test. If you don’t mind I have read all the other sentences too right up to the conclusion that starts with a clear declaration of the papers goal:

        “The public perception of a scientific consensus on AGW is a necessary element in public support for climate policy (Dinget al 2011).”

        So it seems to me that even if the Bish only qualifies as a member of the public Cook, (and you?), should be overjoyed that the work is done with this one; as he declares inclusion in the belief system defined by the paper already. You can’t get a clearer declaration that his “perception” matches the goal of the paper.

        You see the paper is not just one thing, only a tool for measuring scientists; it has a goal for educating public perception. Do you think your disdain for mere member of the public who expresses agreement with the scientists helps this goal?

        Let’s say a similar paper was used to promulgate HIV AIDS perception in South Africa and then when a member of the public said, I too believe HIV causes AIDS, would you then say Ah! but you are not a scientist so your opinion is worthless?

        Like the Sparta picture though personally I think a Roman era “I’m Spartacus!” picture would be more appropriate ;)

        Sorry to hear you have had your runs in with Mr Pile.

        “Let’s hope for Mr. Pile that Tom Curtis is busy.”

        Gosh, sounds ominous! But no turns out Tom’s not too busy, he’s replied (indirectly) to Ben Pile . Tom said:

        “Apparently [Pile] has never heard of the principle of charity in criticisms, ie, that in interpreting the works of others you construe them as consistent if it is possible to do so.”

        I am going to call this the Blanche DuBois defence ;)

  46. “Arguments are increasingly being made to abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate of the arguments themselves and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulate local and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues of climate change, land use, resource management, cost effective clean energy solutions, and developing technologies to expand energy access efficiently. ” – JC

    Word salad.

  47. “The utility of the ‘consensus’ in delineating the ‘tribes’ in terms of the climate policy debate was further muddied this past week by the identification of Dana Nuccitelli’s place (WUWT) of employment is Tetra Tech, an environmental consulting firm that apparently includes gas and oil clients.”

    WTF??? Are you just completely insane?

    • “WTF??? Are you just completely insane?”

      I am sure not completely, perhaps 97%?

    • I’m a Rambling Wreck from Tetra Tech
      And a heck of a Consensateer

      Apologies

      Andrew

    • The point i was trying to make is related to the silly attempts by defenders of the consensus to smear anyone who has any association with big bad oil/gas as motivated reasoners denying climate change. Your association with a company that has major oil and gas clients is amusing for that reason.

      • Oh God. How sweet to see the arrow quivering in very dead center of the bulls eye. Thank you Judith. How does the man not see it? Talk about motivated reasoning.

        None of you guys are going to escape this building fiasco with your reputations intact Dana. No wonder you fight so desperately. I honestly feel bad for you.

      • So what’s the point??

      • Entertainment, fuzzing of the tribal boundaries. DN has stronger oil and gas ties than many of the ‘deniers’ that sourcewatch has attempted to smoke out

      • Entertainment trumps facts – Judith Curry in a nutshell.

      • clearly you have not been subjected to the oil-gas witch hunt that many skeptics and challengers to the consensus have been subjected to. The irony of Watts’ piece on your oil-gas connections through the company you work for (however indirect these connections may actually be) was very entertaining to those of us who have been subjected to the oil-gas witch hunt.

      • To paraphrase, “even though you’ve never been part of an ‘oil/gas witch hunt’, I’ve found it entertaining to watch my fellow climate contrarians smear you, because you’re part of that ‘tribe’, even though I pretend not to believe in tribalism.”

      • Sorry, neither ‘tribe’ will have me at this point, and I wouldn’t join either even if invited. My blog reflects this: everyone is invited, even those who insult me.

      • Dana, have you used your public forum to speak out against the witch hunts? If you haven’t, then sorry, you are part of the witch hunt. You have a responsibility.

        When AGW supporters begin to police themselves, the rest of us will start to think that they want to regain the trust that scientists deserve.

  48. Dana

    I haven’t been following this too closely. What does the part of the company that you work in actually do?

    tonyb

    • We clean up contaminated sites, mostly former military sites. Which is irrelevant because my climate blogging is on my own time. Watts is just trying to smear me, and Judith has fallen for it hook, line, and sinker.

      But that’s not what my ‘WTF’ comment was about – saying the utility of the consensus is muddied by my employer? That’s just insane.

      • dana

        In that case I can’t see that what you do is relevant. It probably would be if you were in oil/coal etc even if in your own time.

        Have you got a link to an OBJECTIVE analysis on the 97% consensus poll?
        tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        What if Dana ran weather forecasting services?

      • “Which is irrelevant because my climate blogging is on my own time.”

        Tell that to Willie Soon. Or any of the others smeared by Skeptical Science and their fellow travelers as being unethical shills because somewhere, sometime, they received some compensation from a company that does something with oil.

        This whining is delicious. Google Skeptical Science and “big oil” and see how many hits you get. But point out a bit of their own hypocrisy, and “WTF?!?!”

      • I rarely find anything of value that our favorite attack puppy says, but as I’ve stated elsewhere, the misrepresentation of Scooter’s employer or its relevance in these discussions is a useless distraction and reflects poorly on those doing it.

        That Dana might agree with Mann’s claim he is a victim of a Big Oil funded conspiracy is no justification to attempt to smear or ridicule him over where he works. All it does is lower one’s self to the same idiocy that Mann exhibits with his Big Oil spiel.

      • IIndeed, timg56, who cares if Willie Soon:

        [o]ne of the world’s most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical about climate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon

        He’s certainly not an hypocrit according to Tonyb’s criterium. Willie Soon’s ultra concerns are quite compatible with those of the corporations that pays him for his services.

        Quite useless distractions, really, except perhaps for Willie Soon, who seems to get paid for his distractions.

      • Willard,
        I see you have gone from hunting squirrels to catch and release.

        not even trying to stay on topic.

    • Tony, Fine, but do you suppose he’d extend a skeptic the same courtesy? That’s the point here, in imvho.

      • Pokerguy

        We must all play by the same rules. Just because other people choose to play unfairly does not mean i have to as well.
        Tonyb

      • Tony,

        You’re a better human being than I am. They lie, cheat, twist, malign, goalpost move, steal documents, forge documents, conspire to keep skeptical papers out of journals, and much more.

        And why? Self interest, pure and simple. ANd at what cost to our economy, and our individual rights?

        Fine Tony, I respect you We all have to be faithful to our own ideals. As for me, screw ‘em all. This is war.

      • > This is war.

        Indeed:

        http://memegenerator.co/instance/40094844

        but against whom, if we’re all the 97?

      • Now this is a nice little interaction between Tony and
        pokerguy…One side of me brain agrees with Tony, and
        the other side agrees with pokerguy, … ‘ screw ‘em all,
        this is war. Lol Open society VERSUS closed society.
        Bts

      • pokerguy

        I was brought up to believe that good and the truth will ultimately triumph and that I should play fair. Perhaps these are all contradictory and naive aspirations but I hope not.

        Most scientists-and most people don’t lie cheat etc. Are scientists-as with the general population sometimes misguided ? Yes. Scientific Groupthink? Yes. Over reliance on models? Yes. Painting themselves into a corner? No better example than Dr Mann..

        Lying and cheating? Mostly not
        tonyb

      • Beth

        Ah kinda reckon thet both sides of mah brain uh-gree with BOTH Tony and Pokerguy.

        Seems lahk thers sum crooks an phonies in BOTH camps, but it shore is easier ta spot ‘em in the gumment-financed (yore taxes an mine at work)warmer-ist team than in the skeptikal-ist bunch bein paid by them eevil oil an coal cump’nies.

        Reckon it mus be the ol’ 97% at work.

        Jes another serf.

  49. Willard

    I don’t care what he (or Anthony Watts) do. Its the hypocrisy of someone being ultra concerned about AGW but then working in oil etc I would be concerned about. As far as I can see Dana doesn’t do that, so it doesn’t apply.

    It would be good to see a proper objective analysis of the 97% as it all seems to have become muddied.
    tonyb

    • Tonyb,

      Fair enough. If I get you straight, you find that someone who would be ultra concerned about X and working for an entity that does not show much concerns about X would be an hypocrite. Is that correct?

      ***

      As far as your request goes, here’s my estimate:

      Unless, of course, we can find someone who could specify and design a study that would be contrarian-proof before that.

  50. ” process of testing competing theories.”

    This is some kind of joke. Climate realists understand that the blogs and comment sections are filled with alternate climate theories that are kompletely krackpot.

    For instance, take Chef Hydro’s theory that any global warming is due to the instntaneous combustive heating of fossil fuels. This is so much outside of the realm of first-order physics as to be likely intended as a prank.
    And that is just scratching the surface as there are dozens of other clownish theories which pepper this site as well as other gatherings of intellectual shortcomings such as WUWT.

    That is the 3% which turns into a majority on these kinds of sites.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      We have the champion of climate triviality seemingly incapable of understanding simple radiative physics or deliberately misrepresenting.

      The usual formulation is that greenhouse gases reduce outgoing energy, warm up and increase emissions and the world is in a higher energy state from then on as more solar energy is retained in the atmosphere and oceans.

      What’s wrong with that second step? The anthropogenic molecules are released at 1000′s of degrees C. They cool down rather than warm up – but the rest follows as more solar energy is retained in the system. All other things being equal. The first order effects of combustion and radiative decay internal to the planet exceed the increase in ‘forcing’ of greenhouse gases. So the question is – is there a radiative imbalance at TOA caused by the initial warming of the atmosphere?

      The Webster completely fails to understand the question even. I give him an F.

      • See what I mean?

        Chef Boy R&D promotes krank ideas and so by definition is part of the 3%, yet the 3% acts like a manufactured consensus given his dominating attitude on a commenting site.

        Again, one cannot state that warming is due to combustive heating of fossil fuels like the Chef believes and expect to be included in the 97%.

        Same with the dozens of other commenters with their krackpot ideas of warming.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        See. Extremely odd. One cannot discuss the temperature at which gases are emitted without getting into a p_ssing contest with an utter twit whose only expertise is in climate trivia – usually nonsensical trivia – and personal abuse.

        Give it a rest Webster. Either come up with some no regrets policy options or slink back off into whatever hole you come out of.

      • Chef, You routinely back the most absurd theories to explain climate science. Everyone understands this about you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You understand about 3% of the science webby – the trivial bit. Everyone understand that about you. You have nothing to offer but personal abuse.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/27/the-97-consensus-part-ii/#comment-353755

        I challenged you to discuss ‘no regrets’ options. None of you seem up to it.

      • Chef, You are about as slow as they come. I have repeatedly stated that the No Regrets policy of climate change mitigation is to reduce our reliance of fossil fuels since they are a finite and nonrenewable resource. We thus have no regrets in moving to solar, wind and other alternative energy sources.

        You are once again in the 3% of AGW and fossil fuel depletion deniers.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are actually quite a lot of fossil fuels. What you are talking about is liquid fuels. Liquid fuels are not a problem either.

        e.g. http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/hydrogen_clean_fuels/refshelf/presentations/CTL%20Tec%20Cicero%20June%2008.pdf

        Wind and solar – is that your advice? Adopting substantially more expensive energy technologies is not ‘no regrets’.

  51. “Humans are causing global warming” probably is a 97% agreement point. I could sign-off on that one myself (I consider myself a lukewarmer)

    Now, put “all” or “most” after “causing”, and the consensus disappears. The thing is, folks like Cook are implicitly wanting people to read it like “all” or “most” are there, in my opinion. Bish is reading the actual words on the page which fit “some” just as well. For “some” you could probably still get 97%, if you could read it over the loud teeth-grinding from folks like Cook who could still sign on to a “some” formulation while hating it.

  52. Bart R says:
    “For me, it leaves that the composition of the air is changing verifiably and in one direction without the united consent of or individual compensation to the owners of the air.”

    I am a liitle familiar with what Bart R is saying. The current state of the Air is regulation. Some Carbon taxes in some countries. A possible decrease of Coal power plants in the U.S., that whole uncertainty about that major pipeline in the U.S., Mpg standards for vehicles, and we can probably think of other things that make the Air the Atmosphere, non-market based, and to some extent under governmental control. When you ask which is the better way to efficiency, some might say, the Markets over the Government. You might say we trust the Markets more than we trust the Governments.

    To get to that ideal Market based Atmosphere, we draw up a flow chart. One of the boxes is entitled, Insert Miracle Here. So it is difficult to get to a Market based Atmosphere, and I imagine we’d find all kinds of political resisistance as well. My own take on Carbon taxes is thumbs down as I feel, they’ve missed the target. I am reminded of the Tragedy of the Commons. There are many versions of that. But my own is that, If something is owned in common, people will forever argue about it. Our roads are common property. We recall that wonderful decision to make the National speed limit in the U.S., 55 mph. And we loved that one, and we still see remants of it, even with vast improvements in vehicle safety. One final point: Would you rather the IPCC or the Markets be our path here with the Atmosphere?

  53. In my observation, the sociological musings of ‘super messy wicked problems’ and ‘speaking consensus to power paradigms’ have not produced meaningful insight into the current debate.

    Most people who recount how they become skeptical of AGW don’t usually cite these highfalutin concepts Judith enjoys. Nor could I see how they would. Once the term is defined, it ends up being possible to argue almost anything can be included or excluded. There is no falsifiable hypothesis at the end of these discussions, only more discussions.

    On the other hand, auditing like McIntyre’s recent AR4 vs. Met Forecast graph pierce through the cacophony of very important people with studies and opinions (e.g. Lewandowsky). Almost everyone who is a skeptic is one because a climate scientist lied. Or made an unforgivable act of incompetence. That is it. Until the day where the climate science field does not publish and promote non-sense on a daily basis, there will continue to be a stalemate / [insert whatever it is we're calling this debate].

  54. Dana Nuccitelli | July 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    Entertainment trumps facts – Judith Curry in a nutshell.

    Yep, entertainment is good for one’s soul

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/TolDana.htm

  55. I am reminded by certain exchanges here, that we can write with the objective of making the reader stupider, or we can write with the objective of making the reader smarter.

    Try to write smarter.

    It is true that there is an almost complete agreement by expert readers of the scientific writing meant to make us all smarter that the smart scientific conclusion is that human action is disrupting the climate, and imposing needless risks of needless threats.

    The smart conclusion of by far most of the smart readers is that the globe’s climate is exposed to anthropogenic Forcings due lucrative industrial commerce, and this will make extreme and harmful events more common and more harmful.

    They didn’t all start out thinking this and then go looking for confirmation. Smart people don’t tend to seek to do that. Smart people who have been reminded and cautioned and taught all their lives not to do that really don’t tend to seek to do that.

    Smart people who have been nagged and attacked and warned and threatened not to do that — as Lawson and Monckton and Peiser and Rose and McIntyre and McKitrick and Singer an Inhofe and Cuccinelli and Stevenson’s acolytes and Murdoch’s editors and Koch-funded groups have certainly nagged and attacked and warned and threatened, do not lightly seek to do that.

    If there’s a consensus, it’s a consensus of the smart making the smart inference from smart observations in the face of a concerted and unprecedented campaign to silence Science. The Spanish Inquisition had nothing on climate denialism. In the Spanish Inquisition, if there was a hearing and it had a finding, it didn’t follow up with seven more fruitless hearings, and calls for more. In the Spanish Inquisition, the Pope admitted he was backing it. In the Spanish Inquisition, the source of funding was not anonymous. Can the GWPF say the same? Can Heartland?

    Worse than the Spanish Inquisition.

    That’s what smart people think of you when you pretend innocently you just have a little doubt, and just don’t think the level of confidence the calculations of the smart is warranted, because of whatever pretext you cling to.

    Stop writing stupid.

    • The IPCC was set up to build a scientific consensus for dangerous anthropogenic climate change, in context of the UNFCCC treaty. Individual scientists did not necessarily start out seeking to do this, but certain people at the ‘top’ framed the entire endeavor around building this consensus, and soon there was a social contract with policy makers and funding agencies that reinforced this, which was further reinforced by professional societies, etc.

      • curryja | July 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

        The IPCC was? Is that in its public charter, or its secret one?

        Is that in the UNFCCC treaty’s official wording, or in the under-the-table handshake between all o’ them durned pinko commie dictators?

        Who are these certain people at the top?

        What top?

        What are their names?

        What makes it the top?

        Name one single US policy maker or funding agency that has put a single dollar into bribing or blackmailing or extorting a single scientist to produce a single altered result?

        It’s the role of professional societies to make clear public statements. The State of the Union of the United States of America is a regular clear public statement. The WMO’s statements don’t seem to be made under duress or in exchange for funds. Indeed, the people who make the funding decisions by and large, and by a wide margin, are _not_ scientists, _not_ supporters of the UN, _not_ even remotely persuaded by climate change.

        Who has more sway on spending?

        Inhofe, or Obama?

        Who has had more control of purse strings for the past 20 years, the long dead Strom Thurmond or the still-kicking Barbara Boxer?

        Representatives and senators from fossil and corn producing states, or from states that will most adversely be affected by subsidies to fossil and ethanol producers?

        If your hypothesis were true, it would explain facts more parsimoniously, simply and universally than any other. If it can explain facts, present the facts.

        And after the USA, we can compare how well it lines up with the facts observed in the rest of the world.

      • Judith and Bart R

        From “Principles Governing IPCC Work”

        Approved at the Fourteenth Session (Vienna, 1-3 October 1998) on 1 October 1998, amended at the Twenty-First Session (Vienna, 3 and 6-7 November 2003), the Twenty-Fifth Session (Mauritius, 26-28 April 2006) and the Thirty-Fifth Session (Geneva, 6-9 June 2012)

        From “Role”, paragraph 2 (bold face by me):

        The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.

        From “Procedures”, paragraph 10 (bold face by me):

        In taking decisions, and approving, adopting and accepting reports, the Panel, its Working Groups and any Task Forces shall use all best endeavours to reach consensus.

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • BartR

        Certain people at the top included tony Blair and then other leaders of the EU, plus the BBC and indirectly the met office through the appointment of committed chief executives

        The consensus also included the uk opposition parties secured by a visit from al gore. I wrote about it here

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/crossing-the-rubicon-an-advert-to-change-hearts-and-minds/#comments

        It’s a murky story with many highways and byways. You must remember the US has always been a bit player in all this as it was outside the Kyoto convention so it isn’t the place to start looking

        Go to ‘ harmless sky’ and speak to blog owner tony Newberry who has spent years delving into all this

        Tonyb

      • I do not believe that IPCC was set up to influence scientists. Some scientists have surely tried to use it to influence other scientists, but they would have done the same without IPCC. Furthermore I don’t believe that anyone really knew what the IPCC will be when it was established.

        One more point is that the first assessment report did emphasize extensively the lack of knowledge and great uncertainties. There was some change in that in subsequent AR’s.

        Having a report of the type of the IPCC AR’s may actually influence scientists in two ways:

        1) Under certain conditions they may become reluctant do disagree.

        2) Seeing views presented as consensus when they disagree may make the work harder to prove their point.

        The second alternative is very common in science.

        Was it possible to foresee that that would not be the actual result of IPCC reports?

        Is it certain that that’s not the actual result?

        I really don’t believe that IPCC is an essential factor in the polarization of views, I think more or less the same would have occurred without IPCC (but probably not without UNFCCC).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Just for a start – it is not something that warrants much of my attention. Merely more bart babbling.

        http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2013/01/the-ipcc-s-fatal-founding-flaw

        http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/03/bob-carter-john-mclean

        The worst failure is scientific in missing the most momentous 21st century climate event. The 1998/2001 climate shift.

        ‘Figure 3. Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’ It is before ARGO as well.

        http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

      • Bart – the (anti) progressives have a legion of NGO’s pushing their causes. Even the (i assumed) neutral League of Women Voters send me emails urging me to write Congress to fight “climate change.” The Ps have the IRS on their side. The Attorney General is on their side. The multi-billionaire Soros is on their side.

        You are willfully blind, I am guessing.

      • manacker | July 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm |

        Uh-oh. It’s parsomatic trouble:

        The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies..

        In taking decisions, and approving, adopting and accepting reports, the Panel, its Working Groups and any Task Forces shall use all best endeavours to reach consensus.

        Looking at http://unfccc.int/essential_background/convention/background/items/1349.php we note the origins of this treaty date from 1985!

        Do you recall the state of the data then? In 1985, there was no reliable trendology post 1970.

        For our host’s claims, for manacker’s claims, for the claims of countless denizens to be true would required us to accept one or several of the following as fact:

        1. Psychic powers to predict the weather for the next quarter century or more.

        2. A world-spanning conspiracy without a single Ed Snowden anywhere in it, comprising some 50,000 top flight professionals, for most of whom the IPCC is only an incidental, minor part of their other careers, which would be ruined by actual scandal if they were to risk them for such a criminal enterprise.

        3. Breathtaking coincidence on some FIFTY essential climate variables over more than a quarter of a century, with consilience of behavior that happens to just match the hypothesis the IPCC is faking. The odds of that happening, by the way, is a number larger than all the particles in the Universe to unity against.

        4. The Koch brothers are great humanitarians who selflessly give away billions of dollars annually simply to support an obscure branch of Science by donating it to political lobbyists who largely also lobby to cut funding to education and research.

      • Aha!

        It’s Tony Blair, the man who was caught trying to force scientists — one of whom would rather commit suicide than knuckle under — to ‘sex up’ the evidence for WMDs?

        See, I’m thinking that except in the USA, the ratio of scientists who buckled and leant their credibility to that vast actual conspiracy that led to the deaths of thousands of American patriots in taking war to the WRONG WHOLE FREAKING COUNTRY was exceedingly small.

        And correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t some of the most vociferous Brits backing WMDitis at the time Lords Lawson, Monckton et cie?

        I somehow don’t credit Blair with the competence to contrive this much larger world-spanning conspiracy and keep it quiet some dozen times longer.. especially when the history of this agreement and the talks and diplomacy leading to it began in 1985.

        What was Blair doing in 1985?

        Who was the British Prime Minister in 1985?

        Remind me. I’m American, so I can be forgiven for not keeping track of every petty European head of state from the last millennium.

      • Bart – the Federal government has no authority to do anything with public education. That is the responsibility of the States. The Education Department should be among the first to go.

      • BartR

        You are now conflating the words ‘conspiracy’ and ‘consensus’. I said nothing about the former in my post, and do not believe there is one of any consequence amongst scientists.

        Building consensus amongst an influential body-such as the EU- is what drives them forward. For the sake of ‘unity’ things are agreed that individual countries might be unhappy at. Blair was good at building consensus especially when he became defacto leader of the EU on the revolving presidency idea.

        Building consensus on something whose time had come-green politics as exemplified by Climate change- was like shooting at an open goal.(football metaphor Bart as you seem a little unsure of concepts outside of your own country)

        For the record I did not like Blair but acknowledge he became a world leader and had influence in various matters including climate change.
        tonyb

      • tonyb | July 29, 2013 at 4:00 am |

        Not conspiracy — option two — then?

        So which is it that you believe?

        Option one: Tony Blair is psychic with the powers of Patrick Stewart from the X-Men movies?

        Option three: coincidence of FIFTY DISTINCT METRICS?

        Option four: the Koch brothers are your personal friends and saviors, and every word of their mouths is gospel?

      • BartR

        sorry, but your post is as cryptic as Moshers when on his I-phone (or is it a Blackberry) If you expect a reply kindly elucidate

        tonyb

    • Bart, where is this list of 50 climate variables that match the projections from AR1?

      • steven | July 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

        http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/gcos/index.php?name=EssentialClimateVariables

        Though I don’t recall mentioning AR1.

        Why did you think I had?

      • Bart, a list of 50 variables isn’t the same thing as a list of 50 variables that show consiliance with a hypothesis. Why wouldn’t I think you were talking abourt AR1? You mentioned a quarter of a century which would be about the right time span and you stated it in such a way as to indicate it was meaningful. You don’t really think the ability to imitate some aspects of the past is meaningful when you have adjustable parameters to the extent the models have, do you? It really doesn’t matter what you were refering to since the essential variables you refer to aren’t all in agreement and you would actually have to specify the model before many could be stated to be in agreement or disagreement since the models do not all agree on the 50 variables.

      • steven | July 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm |

        Could you name the one climate variable out of the list of 50 that you feel doesn’t show consilience with the other 49 as evidence of unnatural normalized trends in climate?

        Just one will do.

        Oh, and why.

        And on what specific data you make this claim?

        And we can forget the whole model obsession and just go with what the heck I’m talking about, not whatever it is you think you’re reading.

      • Bart, what are you talking about? The world according to Bart or the world according to the IPCC? If it is the world according to Bart then I suppose anything and everything that happens matches perfectly with what you expected to happen. Have something prior to the fact to reference? If it is the world according to the IPCC then the models matter and you can’t have agreement with the models when the models don’t agree.
        As far as something that doesn’t seem unnatural from the list, hiow about water vapor trends. Nothing unnatural about no trend that I can think of

        http://www.leif.org/EOS/2012GL052094-pip.pdf

      • This? “Therefore, at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.” – From steven’s link.

      • Ragnaar, is that indicative of something unnatural or not? The study as it stands indicates no trend. That might change and it might not. If it changes do you think it will change so much as to show it is so much of a trend that it should be considered unnatural? I might add that the IPCC took an even shorter trend and made conclusions based upon the same sort of data when it happened to look like there was a trend up.

      • Didn’t I read that water vapor after being ‘associated’ with CO2 is the biggest driver? So we are missing greenhouse (water vapor) gases, is that right?

      • Water vapor is the primary GHG. Is it missing? According to expectations and observations it is.

      • steven; I think it’s not indicative of something unnatural. Yes, it says no trend. Their conclusion is straight forward. It is nice to realize that we seem to seeing stability or at least not change.

      • I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. We have missing Greenhouse gases. The new water wapor expected doesn’t seem to be detectibile. I am feeling a lot better about the issue. Thank you.

      • Ragnaar | July 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

        That’d be called leaping to a conclusion.

        With only 22 years of data — really difficult to collect and very uncertain data due physical limits of ability to measure water vapor — on an effect that is a feedback of a primary effect that was only confirmed in the past two years by BEST and still produces so much noise in its signal that people talk about a “pause” as if it meant anything on a climate timescale, it’s hardly surprising the study holds back on drawing conclusions about higher order derivative effects.

        However, if you do read the study, you see every indication that the mechanics of a complex globe ought have measureable amplifying positive feedbacks in response to rising CO2E.

        Does the water vapor level respond to the warming of changing seasons? Yes.

        Does it respond to regional variations like warmth? Yes.

        And just because this one single study did not publish a conclusion does not mean it captures the full state of scientific knowledge. It just means one single part of one single study has not found the collection and analyses of observations done within its purview on that one variable of fifty to be mature enough to draw conclusions on. But it does promise future, further papers.

        Where are they?

        And what do papers that cite this source say?

        And what of other sources on the topic, such as references cited by the paper?

        Go ahead, read those references and tell me how the ludicrous notion that there’s no trend in water vapor due Unnatural Climate Kinetics of Forcing from lucrative industry is established just by the problem in measuring such a difficult-to-capture value?

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  61. DESMOGBLOG lists about 285 so-called ‘deniers’ (Dr. Curry among them) – isn’t that more than 3% right there?

    DESMOGBLOG should be thanked for the round up – when looking for research, theories, hypotheses contrary to the ‘received wisdom’ on CAGW, this list is useful resource

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