What is Scientific Mediation?

by Judith Curry

Making clear what the real scientific dispute is about.

From an essay at Big Think – What is Scientific Mediation?  (h/t Steve Mosher):

Scientific mediation works like this.  You bring together one scientist from each point of view.  Scientist A wants to do one thing, Scientist B wants the opposite.  Then with the help of a mediator, they write a joint paper.  And the purpose of the paper is to advise a government agency or a court.

They write a joint paper where they state the areas they agree on in order to narrow down the dispute, the fundamental points that they disagree about, and then – this is the trick – they have to agree on why they disagree.

They never have to agree on the merits, but they have to agree on why they disagree.  And in doing that, with the help of a mediator, they really begin to understand each other’s position and what happens is that their personal biases surface.  Because when the science is incomplete, and people are taking opposite sides, it’s because they’re filling in the gaps with their own persona biases and their political opinions.  And that’s not what we need from scientists.  We just want their scientific opinion.  We want to get rid of all that other stuff.  That’s not their job to tell us what to do politically when they’re advising the government.

So, this process removes all of that and it shows what’s really known, what’s not known and why people from different political leanings will fall in different places along this spectrum of possibilities and then that report makes clear to the nonscientists, either the agency or also the public, what the real scientific dispute is about.

Some of us have been arguing for something like this, but can it work for the climate change issue?

Climate Dialogue

The closest thing that I’ve seen to scientific mediation in the climate change debate is Climate Dialogue.  If you haven’t visited that site, I highly recommend it.  From the About page:

Climate Dialogue offers a platform for discussions between (climate) scientists on important climate topics that are of interest to both fellow scientists and the general public. The goal of the platform is to explore the full range of views that scientists have on these issues.

Each discussion will be kicked off by a short introduction written by the editorial staff, followed by a guest blog by two or more invited scientists. The scientists will start the discussion by reacting to  each others’ arguments moderated by one of the members of the editorial staff. Once the discussion has reached the point where it is clear what the discussants agree or disagree on and why, the editioral staff will round off the discussion. The decision on when that point will have been reached is up to the editorial staff. It is not the goal of Climate Dialogue to reach a consensus, but to stimulate the discussion.

To round off the discussion on a particular topic, the Climate Dialogue editor will write a summary,  describing the areas of agreement and disagreement between the discussants. The participants will be asked to approve this final article, the discussion between the experts on that topic will be closed and the editorial staff will open a new discussion on a different topic.

The public (including other climate scientists) is also free to comment, but for practical reasons these comments will be shown separately.

I participated in the first dialogue on sea ice.  This one is notable because it is the only one that has a summary prepared by the moderators (summary of the summary is here).    There are 3 levels of dialogue in response to the essays by the contributors:  one dialogue for the contributors and moderators only, comments that are deemed relevant and topical, and comments that are deemed not on topic.  In the dialogue between contributors and moderators, contributors are asked to comment on comments made in the other essays, and to clarify areas of agreement and disagreement.  Overall, as a contributor, I found this to be a very worthwhile experience.  I am not surprised that the moderators haven’t continued the model of preparing a summary, I know this took alot of work.

The main person at Climate Dialogue that I have communicated with is Dutch journalist Marcel Crok.  Marcel told me that they were having trouble recruiting contributors/participants from the ‘consensus’ side (not from the skeptical side).  Rather surprising that, with the 97% and all that (ha ha).

JC summary

IMO, the IPCC consensus building process has many flaws, particularly for a topic as complex as climate change (see my paper No Consensus on Consensus.)  The consensus building process acts to amplify personal biases, and marginalizes disagreement from either a majority opinion or the opinion of the loudest or most motivated person in the room.

Rather than the consensus approach, I have espoused an approach that lays out the evidence for, the evidence against, and describes the uncertainties.  The idea of scientific mediation goes one step further, in terms of having the opponents clarify why they disagree.

Scientific mediation – I like it.  And I applaud the efforts of Climate Dialogue along these lines, heres to hoping that we will see more of this sort of thing.  Climate Dialogue takes a slightly different approach, with objective mediators (rather than the opponents actually doing this).

Re Climate Etc.  In a given post, amidst all the noise, the arguments on both sides of a topic get aired.  In the early days of the blog, I was often asked to provide a post discussion summary.  I didn’t do this since it is too much work, and I am not an unbiased participant  but wield authority over the blog.

In any event, we need to move beyond the consensus building approach in my opinion.  Scientific mediation seems an approach worth trying.

449 responses to “What is Scientific Mediation?

  1. Judith, you write “Rather than the consensus approach, I have espoused an approach that lays out the evidence for, the evidence against, and describes the uncertainties.”

    I have enormous difficulty with this idea. There can be a complete difference in the quality of the evidence. If some of the evidence is hard, measured, replicated, empirical data, where the uncertainly is completely known, then this needs to carry more weight than, say, the output of non-validated models, where the uncertainties are legendary..

    Who is to judge the quality of the evidence in this idea of mediation?

    • The reader is to judge.

      • Yup. Ultimately, you have to do your own thinking, however painful. Any ‘shortcut’ can be circumvented those with the will to beat your system for a lazier way to arrive at the truth.

      • typo
        “..circumvented BY those..”

    • Excellent question. The moderator(s) has to judge because:

      “Once the discussion has reached the point where it is clear what the discussants agree or disagree on and why, the editioral staff will round off the discussion.”

      If one “side” believes that validation of models is necessary and the other “side” claims that traditional concepts of validation do not apply to models, what is the moderator to do? In other words, if one participant chooses not to engage a particular topic, what is a moderator to do?

      Ideally, mediation could work. Practically, it has little chance of success. Regretably, scientists who support the CAGW position have tended to label their critics as no-nothings, even when the critics are prominent scientists such as Christy, and to deny that events such as the 17 year flat-line in temperatures is evidence against CAGW. Do the moderators enforce discussion of scientific method?

      • Excellent question. The moderator(s) has to judge because:

        Whoever is chosen to make decisions must make decisions.

        If the judgements get overturned by more data, a different judge must be chosen until success is achieved.

      • Herman Alexander Pope | September 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

        Seems to me that you support my point. An infinite queue of moderators is not helpful.

  2. Seems to me that in identifying points of dispute, you not only have to tease out the personal political (etc.) biases of the scientists, but also where they fall on a spectrum of response to paradigm-breaking ideas (sensu Kuhn). A similar process probably needs to be done with respect to the ideas themselves.

  3. Judith, you also write “The main person at Climate Dialogue that I have communicated with is Dutch journalist Marcel Crok. Marcel told me that they were having trouble recruiting contributors/participants from the ‘consensus’ side (not from the skeptical side). Rather surprising that, with the 97% and all that (ha ha).”

    I take it that, like me, you are not in the least surprised that the warmists are reluctant to commit to an honest debate with the skeptics. They know that if they do, the skeptics will win hands down, on every single occasion. Fox News could not find any warmist to debate Roy Spencer. The Royal Society seems to have chickened out on it’s idea of briefing Nigel Lawson and his team of experts. etc. etc.

    Hopefully, sooner or later, maybe even in a court of law, the warmists will be forced to debate the skeptics. I cannot wait for this to happen. I am sure it will be a long time before it actually does, but we can always hope the time could be just around the corner

    • The warmists’ refusal to debate in any serious way should be in its meaning, transparently clear to any fair minded observer. It’s also prima facie evidence of bad faith. Much, much easier for these guys to pretend they’re not about to waste their valuable time arguing with “deniers.” How convenient.

      • “serious” debate is welcome.

        The ‘skeptics’ bring farce.

      • Serious one-sided debate are yer sayin’ Michael?

        ‘I will only *debate* with my team the extent ter which
        we are right.’

        Hmmm … a bit like fan’s *discourse*

      • “serious” debate is welcome”

        Can we use Fan’s Smileys? :) :) :)

        Andrew

      • Can we use Fan’s Smileys?

        Please don’t!

      • Beth,

        The problem seems to be what one considers serious debate.

        Are we really meant to seriously engage with; CO2 is not a GHG, it’s a plot to install one-world govt, it hasn’t warmed….???

      • Michael, you write “The ‘skeptics’ bring farce.”

        Please see http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/05/Sir-Paul-Nurse-March2013.pdf

        Nigel Lawson suggested he was willing to meet with the team of experts from the Royal Society, and discuss CAGW. The team supporting Nigel Lawson consists of
        Prof Vincent Courtillot, Prof. Mike Kelly, FRS, Nic Lewis, Prof Richard Lindzen, Viscount Ridley, and Prof Richard Tol.

        The Royal Society seems to have declined entering into any scientific discussion.

        Are your really suggesting that this team would bring “farce” to the discussion? If you are, then you and I must be living on different planets.

      • Jim,

        This doesn’t appear to be the ‘science mediation’ that Judith was suggesting.

      • Well Michael hereqwith:

        *Serious debate about serious EVIDENCE of forcings

        *Explanations for lack of correlation between rising CO2
        and global temperature

        *Debating why the present pause in warming while CO2
        continues to rise.

        *Explaining the mid-20th century cooling period (when Erllch
        and Hansen were predicting a coming ice age and famine.)

        * Debating cloud albido effects as in ENZO

        *Value of tree rings as weather proxies and justification for
        a highly selective data process fer same to achieve a
        ‘Hockey Stick’ graph.

        *Debating how missing heat got to be stored in the ocean
        depths and how it will come back with undisipated energy
        like a blast from the past.

        *Debating why we should proceed with high regrets policies,
        given the stats re trivial emissions reduction ratio to enormous
        costs (in trillions of $ to the western economy) of inefficient
        renewable energy and poverty consequences of the same.

        Here are a few serious problems they should, if they could,
        debate but won’t.

        bts ( Serfs know about livin’ on the littoral, it ain’t good.)

        .

      • Michael, you write “This doesn’t appear to be the ‘science mediation’ that Judith was suggesting.”

        So what? You remarked that “The ‘skeptics’ bring farce.” What I am asking is whether you really believe that Nigel Lawson’s team of very highly respected people will bring “farce” to the discussions. Because if that is what you are suggesting, then I am at a complete loss to think that you can possibly be serious. So why would the Royal Society not be interested is having a serious scientific discussion?

      • Michael | September 4, 2013 at 10:24 am |

        Are you really unaware that you are posting serial “abusive ad hominems?” Do you really expect us to believe that you could commit such a simple fallacy and not be aware of it?

      • Michael,

        Serious debate as in not picking a minority opinion (CO2 not being a ghg) and trying to make it sound as it what all skeptical opinion believes.

        There are a wide range of points for serious debate. That you choose one outside of that range indicates you have no interest in serious.

        There are a wide range o

      • Jim,

        That’s an interesting list – I note that they can only come up with one climate scientist.

        Perhaps the climate scientists at the RS have little interest in being lectured on their field by politicians and economists?

        Again, I refer to what Judith posted.

      • Theo,

        Your concern is noted

      • Michael who -doesn’t – debate- with -sceptics will not debate
        therefore with anyone who disagrees with him. Say, don’t that
        contradict the whole idea of debate?
        Its a puzzlement.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are a couple fundamental concepts in modern climate science without which understanding is impossible. Climate – and models – are chaotic. Patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation shift every few decades. The last shift was in 1998/2001. We are currently in a cool global mode and these last for 20 to 40 years. The global surface temperature – at the very least – is not increasing for another 10 to 30 years. This is mainstream and leading edge climate science.

        What we have in Michael and Co. are scientifically illiterate twits who insist by reference to a fanciful consensus that their delusional space cadet science is real. Hilarious.

    • There are plenty of cases in the courts, but the courts are stacked in favor of the Consensus. We need to get these cases out of the hands of appointed judges and into the hands of real jury cases.

    • “I take it that, like me, you are not in the least surprised that the warmists are reluctant to commit to an honest debate with the skeptics.”
      ROTFLMAO !!

  4. Thanks Judith!
    Was funny that I started reading your blog post thinking, this is exactly what we try to do. Then just slightly later you mentioned us.

    “The main person at Climate Dialogue that I have communicated with is Dutch journalist Marcel Crok. Marcel told me that they were having trouble recruiting contributors/participants from the ‘consensus’ side (not from the skeptical side).”
    This was/is correct although I do taste a slight improvement. I applaud the participation of Mears and Sherwood. The controversy about the tropical hot spot has been huge. It’s great to see them exchanging arguments in a constructive way. Mears so far told me he is happy with the platform, mainly because discussions are polite and off topic comments are seperated from the on topic ones.

    We do plan to finalise the other discussions with a summary. I am currently working on the summary of the long term persistence dialogue. But as you notice it is a hell of a job.

    Still a lot of challenges ahead before we can claim that Climate Dialogue is a success. Some of your readers have been sceptical about it right from the start :)

    • Marcel Crok,
      Climate Dialogue is an interesting and useful effort. Please keep it up on a variety of subjects. What about a discussion of sea level rise and sea level projects like National Geographics illusion of 260 feet up the Statue of Liberty?

      I would simply like to encourage and support your efforts of finding and providing both sides of the controversy.

      Scott

    • Marcel – I would like to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate your efforts on Climate Dialogue. It’s a valiant attempt to bring the scientific dispute into the open, where so many others have failed. But, I’m not sure that it has been fully successful, because the dialogue tends to disintegrate (in a literal sense) because no-one is able to integrate the opposing comments in the way that Judith is suggesting.

      In your latest Climate Dialogue topic – the troposphere hot-spot or lack of – Steven Sherwood lists some features that could make good Climate Dialogue topics: the large asymmetry in warming between the north and south poles; models underpredict the observed poleward shifts of the atmospheric circulation; cannot explain the warmings at high latitudes indicated by paleaoclimate data in past warm climates; appear to underpredict observed trends in the hydrological cycle; rain that is too frequent, too light, and on land falls at the wrong time of day; tropical oceans are not warming as much as the land areas, or as much as predicted by most models.

      Perhaps more importantly, Steven Sherwood goes on to ask if the hot-spot is a hot issue “because the “missing hot spot” can be spun into a tale of model exaggeration, whereas all the other problems suggest the opposite problem?”, To me, this is typical of what is going on in the climate science debate: unless I am seriously misunderstanding something, it is a complete misrepresentation. Most if not all of the things he lists suggest very strongly that the models are exaggerating, just like the hot-spot discrepancy does. Maybe, just maybe, with a mediator as suggested by Judith, gross errors (if I have it right) such as this could be picked up and dealt with instead of continuing to cloud the issue.

      • Sherwood has a point. Most climate skeptics (even ross mcintrick it would appear) don’t understand how the “hot spot” bears on AGW.

        The term “hot spot” was coined by climate skeptics and betrays it’s own lack of understanding of the subject. Sherwood’s suggestion that this subject has been promoted simply because of appearances (Hot..Spot) rather than importance is plausible.

      • Lolwot: Would you agree with this? Perhaps this so called “hotspot” is simply semantics? I don’t know but I remembered this from the IPCC.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html

        Greenhouse gas forcing is expected to produce warming in the troposphere

    • Mr. Crok, I do not comment much here but am a regular reader. I have been a supporter of Climate Dialogue since your Day 1 and continue to be.
      You have my congratulations and appreciation.

  5. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry approves a shockingly nonsensical statement  “We just want [from scientists] their scientific opinion. We want to get rid of all that other stuff. That’s not their job to tell us what to do politically when they’re advising the government.”This statement is dumb from beginning to end!

    The statement is dumb at the beginning  because it begs the question: Who is ‘we’?

    The statement is dumb at the end  because it amounts to: “Scientists should do only what they are hired to do, and say only what they are hired to say.”

    Suggestion  Study the history and articles at Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. What lessons does the past history of atomic science have for the future of climate-change science?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • +1

      Naive and nonsensical.

    • This statement is dumb from beginning to end.

      The statement is dumb at the beginning because it misuses begs the question

      The statement is dumb at the end because it links to a web site that exemplifies exactly what is wrong with fan, other posters like him, and the entire CAGW movement.

    • I find many Americans, especially those on the left, are passionate about the separation of Church and State.

      Why then not the same separation between Science and State?

      Is it not reasonable that the State does not limit scientific investigation and scientists do not attempt to impose their views on the state?

    • Doc,

      Sure, as long as you think scientific discourse and methods are no different from religious belief and institutions.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      AK‘s vehement denuciation “[The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists] exemplifies exactly what is wrong with FOMD, other posters like him, and the entire CAGW movement.”

      LOL ^hellip; Monty Python’s King Arthur said it better than you: Shut up. Shut Up! I command you to SHUT UP! BLOODY PEASANTS!

      But those pesky peasant-scientists just don’t shut up, eh AK?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • I don’t want you to shut up, fan. You do an excellent job of making the side you claim to represent look foolish. The tactics adopted by the CAGW movement are a major part of the reason no significant action has been taken on the “climate risk”. Just as well, perhaps, until substantial increases to energy prices are off the table.

      • Peasant scientists, right.

        On second thought fan, perhaps only an uneducated, superstitious type would believe that a clock that hasn’t been capable of accurate time keeping has any value.

      • AfoMd. Hearatic

      • I hear his tics, too. Every time he says ‘Hanson’, it’s a tic. It’s a deep neurological mystery.

    • While we’re studying history, Pileke Jr has posted the Senate testimony of Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren in 1974 about the urgent need to take political action to avoid starvation due to the limits of growth.

      http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/09/1974-ehrlich-and-holdren-senate.html

      You might enjoy answering the questions Roger will assign his students.

      • Classic. The Senator who invited them and is seen in transcript frequently replying “I agree with everything you’re saying…” is John Tunney, who lost his seat two years after this testimony.
        The LA Times did a “where are they now” kind of thing on him in July of this year. This bit was classic given that Tunney believed whole-heartedly in 1974 that oil was gone, gone, gone:

        “Tunney said he and his wife, Kathinka, who also maintain homes in Los Angeles and New York, enjoy traveling abroad; their latest international journey was a trip to South Africa earlier this year.”

        http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/23/local/la-me-pc-john-tunney-20130723

      • “Holdren:
        Economics is the study of how to allocate resources that are fundamentally scarce in the most efficient way”

        Which is why the Soviet Union was a better place to live than the USA.
        In the USSR they had highly trained economists who allocated resources in the most efficient way.

    • shut up and dance

      • Put another way I can think of a few climate scientists who are capable of speaking intelligently about politics. The vast majority should shut up and dance. or stick to their knitting.. whatever metaphor you like.

        If the shoe fits…

        Fan eats it.

    • let me lay it out for you fan.

      Should a scientist, more specifically, should a climate scientist speak about climate policy.

      1. Does he have a right to? Well, of course in the US he has the right to speak about most anything he damn well pleases to. Its not a matter of rights.

      2. Is it morally required for him to speak or remain silent? I see no ethical
      obligation either way and because of this I see that it is not a moral issue.

      Speaking about politics is a practical issue. Not an issue of rights, not an issue of morality.

      and so we are left with a pragmatic justification. Some folks might argue that he has a pragmatic obligation, speaking truth to power. Some folks might argue that speaking about politics undermines ‘scientific objectivity” .
      Neither of these positions is very convincing.

      In truth, there are some scientists who just just shut up and dance. Not because they dont have a right to speak, not because it is “immoral” for them to speak, but merely because they suck at talking about politics.
      Put another way I can think of a few climate scientists who are capable of speaking intelligently about politics. The vast majority should shut up and dance. or stick to their knitting.. whatever metaphor you like.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Steven Mosher emits fog “Let me lay it out for you fan. [foggy prose follows]”

        Who are you, Steven Mosher, who are so wise in the ways of scientific history?

        As with AK’s politics-first rants and Monty Python’s hilarious skits, your assertion amounts to a puerile (and futile) plea that peasant-scientists who don’t agree with my views should SHUT UP!.”

        That’s not likely to happen, is it Steven Mosher?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Put another way I can think of a few climate scientists who are capable of speaking intelligently about politics. The vast majority should shut up and dance. or stick to their knitting.. whatever metaphor you like.

        If the shoe fits…

        Fan eats it.

      • I can think of one who should have his twitter taken away, though.

      • FOMD, I am acutely aware of the scientists who actively helped exterminate the inmates of death camps and performed medical experiments on inmates; they argued that all the ’tissue’ would go to waste anyway.

      • Fan.
        u have it wrong. I dont want those who disagree with me to shut up. Just the opposite. I want those who agree with me to shut up. They hurt the cause.

      • Since nobody agrees with you across the board, nobody needs to shut up. Except Fan. He needs to shut up for other reasons.

      • harold. Lets say i agree with Mann on the science. That does not entail i want to hear him speak about politics or watch him twerk in a speedo.

      • Mosher, “twerk in a speedo.” That was just uncalled for! There are people eating in some time zones.

      • What fan doesnt get is that my objection to “scientists” speaking about politics is not generalized.
        They have every right to. What I am am saying is that I think listening to many of them speak about policy is like watching mann twerk in a speedo.

        Yes he has a right to. And yes some folks will cheer him on and defend his right to shake that thang. But seriously some shouldnt talk about policy because they SUCK at speaking. They just suck.
        Others suck less. So I am quite happy with some scientists speaking about policy. Not because of the content of what they say, but rather because they dont suck at it.

    • -1.0e50
      The “we” our host is referring to are members of the body politic: In the U.S. it is the people who have equal standing under the Constitution. They are the ones whose tax money supports the scientific establishment (excepting some private foundation monies that are a drop in the bucket by comparison), and whose votes elect those whose task is to make public policy. They are the ones who rightfully may insist that the experts they pay to advise them stay within their corrals.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Bob K. gives a dominance display “The body politic … are the ones who rightfully may insist that the experts they pay to advise them stay within their corrals.”

        Or not, eh Bob K?

        Fortunately for us all!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • @ A fan of *MORE* discourse | September 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        +(-1)^0.5

    • Fan

      a slight change in barometric pressure, a traffic detour, a black cat, all things that will cause the panties to twist for a member of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

      Credibility fan. You lose it making reference to people who have none.

    • Berényi Péter

      @fan –

      “Who is ‘we’?”
      Is “We the People” good enough for you?

      “Scientists should do only what they are hired to do, and say only what they are hired to say.”
      Yep, exactly.

      To be a scientist is not a personal trait, but a role. In that role scientists belong to a meritocracy with its own specific rules of selection. However, we do not live in a meritocracy of any kind, but in a democracy. That means scientists are not authorized to make political decisions any more than the last guy across the street.

      That role is reserved for elected officials, who may or may not ask for scientific advice. If they do, it is improper for those hired for this end to act in a different role than the one they were supposed to. That is, it is not the proper time to exercise their rights as ordinary citizens and articulate their personal preferences & interests, although in other circumstances they are perfectly entitled to do so.

      Elected professional politicians have their own job needing specific expertise, which is not delivered during scientific training. Contrary to popular belief it is not about grabbing public money and distributing it among their pals, but reconciliation of interests articulated by diverse groups of society, by either finding solutions promoting all those interests at the same time or forging compromises.

      Any scientist, as ordinary citizen, may choose to join an interest group of her preference, of course, and in the name of that group can give her expert judgment in public on a scientific issue related to said interests. However, in this case she is better draw a sharp line between science & policy, otherwise her credibility may suffer, both in public and in the scientific community.

      A politician may also pretend to act in the name of “science” (as Al Gore does), even if it is not the wisest possible path, for “science” as such does not have a vote (plus he risks to make an utter fool of himself, like Great Al did with his infamous “The interior of the earth is extremely hot – several million degrees”).

    • Fan of more BS ON : “Other stuff”
      Judith Curry approves a shockingly nonsensical statement “We just want [from scientists] their scientific opinion. We want to get rid of all that other stuff. That’s not their job to tell us what to do politically when they’re advising the government.”
      …begs the question: Who is ‘we’?

      We is very obviously the public, who are funding the ‘scientists’, and who just as obviously want an honest assessment for their money.
      How dumb does FOMBS have to be to not see this?
      Or, perhaps more likely : how dissembling does FOMBS have to be to pretend to not see this?

      The statement is dumb at the end because it amounts to: “Scientists should do only what they are hired to do, and say only what they are hired to say.”

      What truly staggering double-talk. They are (supposed to be) hired to discover the truth of their science, and this is what they hired to speak of.

      Again, how dumb/dissembling does FOMBS have to be, to think this is dumb?

      Wait, I think I’ve just seen it. FOMBS wants climate ‘scientists’ to make their science a servant to their politics – which, being political employees, is totaliarian-leaning – and pass this off as objective science, so as to lend force to the argument for further politicization. Just like they already do.

  6. “You bring together one scientist from each point of view.”

    It took climate science decades to come up with this idea?

    Andrew

    • Very well said. Funny. Isn’t it true that mainstream climate science and the IPCC deny that there is more than one point of view.

    • It goes back to the history of the scientific revolution, where the reformers (then mostly outside the academies) tried to get rid of the centuries-long norm that people who were good at winning disputations had the right of things. The idea was that experiments and conclusive mathematical demonstrations would make debates obsolete as a truth-finding method. The intellectual historian Stephen Toulmin and the economist and rhetoric scholar Deirdre McCloskey have decried this move as anti-humanist, scientistic, and misleading, but the ethos of “my results should speak for themselves to those who seek the truth; I argue with no one” is still pretty embedded in the self-image of science (and the norms of published work). Of course, the real science that gets done at conferences and other less-formal venues involves lots of arguing and disputation.

      • ” Of course, the real science that gets done at conferences and other less-formal venues involves lots of arguing and disputation.”

        The experiment is still trumps

        “It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you. On consideration, I realized that this scattering backward must be the result of a single collision, and when I made calculations I saw that it was impossible to get anything of that order of magnitude unless you took a system in which the greater part of the mass of the atom was concentrated in a minute nucleus. It was then that I had the idea of an atom with a minute massive centre, carrying a charge”
        —Ernest Rutherford

  7. The other obvious problem is the assumption that there are just 2 view points on a single problem and that you can get a representative perspective from a single individual from the ‘two sides’.

    It’s all highly simplistic, but I’ve no doubt that it’s possible to come up with a number of examples that could fit such a simple dichotomous framework.

    • wrong. the procedure is used when there are two points of view. It does assume there are only two points of view, it can be used WHEN there are two points of view.

      but this is the internet and you have to disagree.

      Go ahead, disagree.

      • When aren’t there 2 points of view??

        Ho hum.

      • Sorry Michael. “only two points of view’ but you knew that.

        Go ahead, disagree. I order you to. And you will do as I say.

      • “but I’ve no doubt that it’s possible to come up with a number of examples that could fit ” – me

        That’s exactly what I said, but hey, disagree, while telling me that I’m the one that has to disagree.

        Sheesh.

      • Micheal,

        Micheal: “The other obvious problem is the assumption that there are just 2 view points on a single problem:”
        Moshpit: “the procedure is used when there are two points of view.”
        Micheal ‘When aren’t there 2 points of view”
        Moshpit: only two points of view’

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

        Its pretty simple.

        Your objection was the the procedure assumed there are JUST two points of view.
        As I explained the procedure, as defined, is used when there are only two points of view and is silent on what you would do if there were 3 or 4 or 50. You assumed that they assumed that every situation involved only two points of view.

        Now be a good little bitch and go back to the error bar.

      • Steven’s ego is out the door and has caught the bus, before his brain has got its’ pants on.

        “As I explained the procedure, as defined, is used when there are only two points of view and is silent on what you would do if there were 3 or 4 or 50.” – Steven.

        Which is why I said,
        “but I’ve no doubt that it’s possible to come up with a number of examples that could fit”
        ie. it’s of very limited use.

        “You assumed that they assumed that every situation involved only two points of view.
        Now be a good little bitch and go back to the error bar.” – steven

        Oops!

        If only you were half as clever as you think you are.

      • Mike and Steve are a great example of two dweebs sizing each other up with a microscope.

      • Howard, I dont think he gets what Im doing.

      • Howard,

        Mosher and Michael are more an example of someone who knows how to argue and someone who knows how to bray.

      • No one ‘gets’ things like Steven. We poor mere mortals must struggle on as best we can.

        Tim – you’re killing me.

      • Michael,

        Although I do believe there are people in this world who need killing, you get no further than being someone to tolerate. The gulf between the two is immense.

        FYI – there is something worse than being tolerated. Its being ignored. You walk that line quite often.

      • tmg, he doesnt even get that any disagreement can be re arranged into a two sided debate by judicious use of the word “or”

        But of course being michael he had to latch onto what he thought was a salient point and say something negative. Its easy to do. You just isolate on a single part of text, ignore the rest, and make your argument.

  8. “we need to move beyond the consensus building approach”

    Says Judith, trying to build a consensus to that effect.

  9. The always entertaining Fan writes: “The statement is dumb at the beginning because it begs the question: Who is ‘we’?”

    “We” includes all people of good will who hope and pray (some of us) that “we,” as a society have access to the information we need to make the most informed decisions possible. I assume you’d include yourself Fan, in that group.

    So what’s not to like? Are you in some sense afraid of open and honest debate? The Fan I know and love certainly wouldn’t be…

    • Pokerguy

      Defining who is meant when stating “we” is an important activity. The specific actions taken in response to a concern about a changing climate will frequently vary depending upon the entity deciding. What makes sense in one country may not make sense in another.

  10. Scientific Mediation is Climatists never having to say, I’m sorry, because they replaced the scientific method with omphaloskepsis.

  11. What happens when they reach an impasse?

    I think the adversarial trial is a more effective model for resolution than mediation, when one side refuses to let go of its strawmen.

  12. Fitting that this is the new thread. I challenged a skeptic on the previous thread on natural variability to name a commenter on the skeptical side that actually can hold their own in a scientific argument.
    I am curious who this would be.

    Right now, this place is comprised mainly of rednecks and kranks. With that kind of makeup, why would one think that something like Climate Dialogue would succeed on a populist scale?

    • Sounds like you need some science medication then meditation.

      • Followed by some mendication. ;)

        Andrew

      • Cappy, you are the exemplar for arguing science the wrong way. You would last a day or two within a real research environment. But continue on with your fantasy of pursuing “redneck physics”.

      • Webster, “Cappy, you are the exemplar for arguing science the wrong way. ”

        How? By insisting that the problem be defined before it is solved? By double checking basic accounting before running down rabbit holes? By looking for the flaws instead of accepting vague assumptions?

        I damn sure don’t do “your” kind of “science”.

      • Cappy, I am certain that you could never work in a collaborative environment. Right off the bat, you don’t practice what you preach.

      • Webster, “Cappy, I am certain that you could never work in a collaborative environment. Right off the bat, you don’t practice what you preach.”

        How do you figure? You started your ocean diffusion model and I reminded you that SST is underestimated and that the polar sinks are asymmetrical. You can’t use a simple slab, but need at least two slabs. You run right ahead an ignore that. For radiant impact at the “surface” you need to use the temperature/energy that a photon would “see” at that surface. The NH oceans are 3 C warmer than the SH oceans, variation in the ITCZ will change the mixing efficiency. It is not rocket science.

        That was simple practical advice that produced a redneck crank response from you. Then you mention that Pratt agrees with you, an appeal to authority. Well, Pratt’s wrong too, that is an appeal to common sense, you have to consider asymmetry. Judith mentions asymmetry, Toggwieler asymmetry, pretty much everyone with a clue notes asymmetry, but you don’t listen or collaborate, you preach.

      • This time you hold him and I’ll collaborate that fish.
        ===========

      • You are unable to do anything but make up a scientific sounding word salad with all these bizarre graphical croutons.

        And you admit to the fact that it is all but a joke to you.

      • Webster, “And you admit to the fact that it is all but a joke to you.”

        Of course it is. You are assuming that a frigging planet can be reduced to simple diffusion from an unknown starting point, with an unknown forcing impact with assumed feedbacks greater than the unknown forcing, then are stupid enough to put 95% confidence intervals on the guestimates because you think it is linear. What is not to laugh about?

        I dealt with non-linear systems, lots of them, I don’t make such dumb assumptions. I think it is a joke mainly because of the stupid assumptions you think are “physics” when you have the mother of all fluid dynamics problems.

        Remember this bubba?

        That solar/mechanic pump gives you variable mixing efficiency on time scales to 1000 years, with 60, 120 and 250 to boot. There is a nominal +/2C variability that should be expected during an interglacial. Right now because to the phase of the precessional cycle, there should be ~0.5 Wm-2 imbalance in the oceans with “charging” times over 500 years. And you guys are arguing over a tenth of a degree and claiming 0.015 Wm-2 accuracy? Of course it is a joke.

      • The joke is that you call what you do Redneck Physics.

        What that means is that you are proud of your ignorance and reactionary stance.

        And like a redneck you obnoxiously flaunt that ignorance on others.

        Can you imagine mediating the discussion between a scientist and a redneck?

        I can’t either, so here is a deal.

        Cappy, please show a complete example of something you have worked on. I know for a fact that employers don’t pay you to be act like a redneck when you write a report.

        Show us that what you are doing is not a prank.

      • WebHub:
        “Aussie, American, Canadian, and British…”
        We are the World…

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      “why would one think that something like Climate Dialogue would succeed on a populist scale?”
      _____
      As pointed out here by myself and others, like it or not, we are pretty much all “freaks” who come here. The general population doesn’t care about this topic to the extent the denizens here do. You know this is true, even if you won’t admit it. This topic gets mentioned now and then in the MSM, but it doesn’t often rise to the level of conversation around the water cooler at work– unless you happen to work for NCAR maybe. The general population might start to care when IF : a) it hits them in the pocketbook b) weather get’s so freakishly extreme their lives are constantly disrupted c) grocery store shelves are empty

      • “The general population might start to care when IF :
        a) it hits them in the pocketbook
        b) weather get’s so freakishly extreme their lives are constantly disrupted c) grocery store shelves are empty”
        No call me Dr. Suspicious here, but of the three I find a) by far the most likely.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Doc,

        That’s why I listed it first.

      • Gates, I do not deny that this place is a microcosm that probably reflects nothing with respect to other cross-sections of population.

        Any forum has to obey Dunbar’s number for social group size, which is about 150 people. Anything bigger than that and it will start to collapse.
        Climate Dialogue can’t even approach Dunbar’s number because it is too sporadic in nature.

        The only very weird statistic about Climate Etc is the number of Australian commenters that say a lot, both repetitively and at length. This makes it even less representative of anything in the real world.

        Aussie bogans, American rednecks, Canadian hosers, and British bumpkins are all cut from similar cloth, and my oh my, are they common here.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You forgot dimwitted Minnesotans webster.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        “Aussie bogans, American rednecks, Canadian hosers, and British bumpkins are all cut from similar cloth, and my oh my, are they common here.”

        ——
        Could make an interesting genetic heritage study. Maybe they are all actually cut from the same cloth!


      • Chief Hydrologist | September 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm |

        You forgot dimwitted Minnesotans webster.

        Chief, If you didn’t exist, I would lack a certain type of competitive motivation. Dunking over someone isn’t very impressive unless you can find someone to dunk over.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Your maths are not all that difficult webster. Incompetent to the point of insanity. Trivial to the point of inconsequence. You lack any breadth of understanding, contribute nothing but loser blog science and persist only in silly little whines and utterly irrelevant complaints.

        Dunking? You are as I keep saying utterly pathetic.

      • Chief, you beat me to it.

        RG, you may be on to something.

        Web, are you adopted?

      • I beat both of you to the hoop. Can’t take the trash talk, eh?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You do it as poorly as you do anything else – at about the level of a 5th grader.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

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

      Shall we start with Bill Patzert and Josh Willis? We can then proceed to people like Judith, Tim Palmer, James McWilliams, Anastasios Tsonis, Michael Ghil, Wally Broecker, Richard Alley, Jochem Marotzke, Jonathon Overpeck, Dorothy Peteet, Roger Pileke Sn, Raymond Pierrehumbert, Lynne Taley, Danielle Verdon, Stewart Franks, Anthony Kiems, Jose Rial, Martin Beniston, Martin Claussen, Josep Canadell, Peter Cox, Hermann Helder, Nathalie De Noblet-Ducoudre, Ronald Prinn, Jams Reynolds, Jose Salas, Julio Slingo, etc., etc.

      It requires an understanding of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, oceanography, chemistry, biology, hydrology and chaos theory. An in depth and nuanced understanding of complexity and uncertainty – not merely the simplest of radiative physics from which are drawn dogmatic and simplistic conclusions.

      • As if, Chief.

        As if any of those people you listed would consider commenting here. What would provoke them to have a discussion with kranks and their squirrelly theories?

        Besides that, many of the people you mention aren’t even skeptics. Pierrehumbert and Alley certainly aren’t. Richard Alley calls your type climate zombies

        You really are completely lost in the ozone, Chief.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Alley was on the authors list for the NAS publication Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises. Pierrehumbert as well.

        Researchers first became intrigued by abrupt climate change when they discovered striking evidence of large, abrupt, and widespread changes preserved in paleoclimatic archives. Interpretation of such proxy records of climate—for example, using tree rings to judge occurrence of droughts or gas bubbles in ice cores to study the atmosphere at the time the bubbles were trapped—is a well-established science that has grown much in recent years. This chapter summarizes techniques for studying paleoclimate and highlights research results. The chapter concludes with examples of modern climate change and techniques for observing it. Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        Not sure what bee is in Alley’s bonnet – but modern climate shifts happen every few decades. What we do know is that we are in a cool global mode since the 1998/2001 climate shift and that these last 20 to 40 years.

        The researchers used a climate model, a so-called coupled ocean-atmosphere model, which they forced with the observed wind data of the last decades. For the abrupt changes during the 1970s and 1990s they calculated predictions which began a few months prior to the beginning of the observed climate shifts. The average of all predictions for both abrupt changes shows good agreement with the observed climate development in the Pacific.

        “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold.” Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin.”

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

        Abrupt change is the central theorem of climate change and Alley does know it.

        Large, abrupt, and widespread climate changes with major impacts have occurred repeatedly in the past, when the Earth system was forced across thresholds. Although abrupt climate changes can occur for many reasons, it is conceivable that human forcing of climate change is increasing the probability of large, abrupt events. Were such an event to recur, the economic and ecological impacts could be large and potentially serious. Unpredictability exhibited near climate thresholds in simple models shows that some uncertainty will always be associated with projections. In light of these uncertainties, policy-makers should consider expanding research into abrupt climate change, improving monitoring systems, and taking actions designed to enhance the adaptability and resilience of ecosystems and economies. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/299/5615/2005.abstract

        Perhaps I should have added Mojib ‘my name is global warming’ Latif on the list.

        I agree with Richard Alley – I fail to see why that makes me a climate zombie. Although on the basis of the video perhaps he would be better advised to take another look at multi-decadal variability.

        You however as usual remain utterly clueless.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is a quote from sciecedaily that should be italicised.

      • Richard Alley says you are a climate zombie, Chief.
        Zombies get debunked soundly each time, but they keep coming back.

        And like I said earlier, I was talking about skeptics commenting on this blog. You, OTOH, took a list of authors from a report and made the astonishingly absurd connection that these people would start commenting on this blog, and therefore suggesting I would have someone to argue with.

        Rainman, you are not an excellent driver.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I get debunked by you only in your fetid little imagination. The post is of course about science and competing views. All of the scientists I quote focus on chaos on climate, shifts, regimes in oceanography and hydrology, top of atmosphere radiation, etc. None of which you have a freakin’ clue about.

        If you want to wank on about your private little battle of the witless wonders – of which you are king – go right ahead. You want a pissing contest with the Webster the champion debater of climate etc? It’s a joke right? You are a worthless little twit with not the sense you were born with. You’re playing with yourself only and don’t have any balls to play with in a scientific metaphor kind of way. No one can be bothered playing that game. It is a bit repugnant really.

        I provide endless science – all of the people on my list I have quoted amongst many others. Richard Alley I agreed with explicitly – many times. All you can do is is call me a climate zombie for saying what is so abundantly clear in climate science but that you lack the chops to understand.

        I just quoted again Mojib Latif. Did you bother to read – or just respond with the usual empty headed nonsense?

        ‘What happened in the years 1976/77 and 1998/99 in the Pacific was so unusual that scientists spoke of abrupt climate changes. They referred to a sudden warming of the tropical Pacific in the mid-1970s and rapid cooling in the late 1990s. Both events turned the world’s climate topsy-turvy and are clearly reflected in the average temperature of Earth. Today we know that the cause is the interaction between ocean and atmosphere.’ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

        I suppose you’re offended because I call you out for the habitual and oh so stupendously and idiotically simplistic nonsense you spout. Mainstream climate science it is not.

      • Chief, I have no doubt that Richard Alley would classify you as a climate zombie. You consistently make predictions — based only on your own imagination — that the world will see no warming for “the next decade or three”.

        Alley would try to beat your claim into submission based on paleo evidence, but he would eventually realize that you were just a climate zombie.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are a couple fundamental concepts in modern climate science without which understanding is impossible. Climate – and models – are chaotic. Patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation shift every few decades. The last shift was in 1998/2001. We are currently in a cool global mode and these last for 20 to 40 years. The global surface temperature – at the very least – is not increasing for another 10 to 30 years. This is mainstream and leading edge climate science.

        ‘Insofar as the global mean temperature is
        controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansen et al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al., 2007]…

        Using a new measure of coupling strength, this
        update shows that these climate modes have recently
        synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year
        2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an
        increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’

        You are an utter twit webster – with no understanding and unmatched personal charm. I am in no doubt that Richard Alley would would find your nonsense entirely stupid.

      • Huh? I think Professor Richard Alley would consider you, Chief, a climate zombie. That’s the description he uses for denier trolls that keep rising from the dead.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It seems much more likely that someone who includes abrupt climate change in his research interests has a better grasp of things than you by far webster. Easy enough to find out – let’s ask the question.

        Dear Professor Alley,

        I have followed your work on abrupt climate change for some time. Climate shifts are evident on many scales in the Earth system. What seems especially intriguing and relevant is the potential for decadal shifts. For instance Mojib Latif discusses a new paper in sciencedaily

        “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold.” Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin.”

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

        The climate shifts occurred in 1977/1977 – the Great Pacific Climate Shift – and in 1998/2001. The latter is something I am somewhat ironically calling the Momentous Pacific Climate Shift. Together they signal the need – I feel – for a momentous change in thinking about climate. There are obvious implications of such frequent climate shifts – it raises the ire of Broeckers angry beast. On the other hand it raises the possibility of no warming – or even cooling – decades into the future. In the words of Anastasios Tsonis and colleagues.

        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ Swanson, K. L., and A. A. Tsonis (2009), Has the climate recently shifted?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L06711, doi:10.1029/2008GL037022.

        And again.

        ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis – the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ Kyle L. Swanson, George Sugihara, Anastasios A. Tsonis (2009), Long-term natural variability and 20th century climate change, 16120–16130 _ PNAS _ September 22, 2009 _ vol. 106 _ no. 38

        The political implications of decades more of no warming seem obvious. I was surprised therefore at your recent AGU presentation that seems to neglect this potential. It seems an all in strategy more likely to fail than otherwise if temperatures fail to rise for decades – as they may well do in the current cool decadal mode. The risk of calling people climate zombies for saying that global temperature stalled post the 1998/2001 climate shift appear therefore to be all on the downside. It leads to the most relevant question – is warming over the next few decades not a certainty that may well come unstuck?

        Regards

      • Alley will go TLDR and assume that it is the loony rant of a climate zombie.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And yet the science is solid and the question legitimate. Simply ignoring it as you do is far from a legitimate strategy for success in carbon mitigation.
        Ultimately very short sighted.

        Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27).

        We will see.

    • WHT,
      The unbearable tightness of labelling.
      Y not as a telescope be more encompassing?
      bts on the littoral

      • Are you impersonating an Aussie Ocker, a Bogan, or a Yobbo?

        Ocker
        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        The term “ocker” is used both as a noun and adjective for an Australian who speaks and acts in an uncultured manner, using a broad Australian accent (or Strine).

        Strine
        ‘Eye-level arch play devoisters …’ (“I’ll have a large plate of oysters”).

        Whatever the case, the joke has run dry long ago. This blog attracts lots of people from Australia with obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is of course a cultured literary allusion webster – which you are too dumbass to recognise – and a suggestion that you be more civilised and sophisticated. An utter waste of time with you.

      • Beth

        Nice literary reference.

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

        Post modern (how appropriate to Climate science) and about the Prague Spring. Last year or two there has been a renaissance in scepticism as nature doesn’t conform to the models.
        tonyb

      • Tony,
        J’attends ce soit, l’insoutenable legerete de l’etre.
        The end fo the carbon tax burden in Oz.
        Beth the serf.

  13. I hope you do like science mediation, Judy.

    Just think of all the air time it gets you.

    • yes its great fun, being caught in the middle of all these food fights

      • I had the impression that a scientific mediation would provide a more balanced view, which in turn would reduce food fights.

        If mediated debates do not diminish food fights, the fact that Marcel Crok finds it easier to find contrarian viewpoints might tell something about the interested parties’ preferences (without ha ha).

      • well no, if we were doing this in a sensible way, food fights would arguably be diminished

      • This is just another bright shiny thing.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        yes its great fun, being caught in the middle of all these food fights

        Excuse me for pointing this out, Dr Curry, but you have egg on your face.

        Perhaps you regard this fashion statement as practice for your new career in politics…?

      • Perhaps you regard this fashion statement as practice for your new career in politics…?

        I thought politics was one of the primary functions of department chairs. But maybe it’s different at Georgia Tech?

      • Judith,

        You will find that any suggestion you offer for improving the situation will be rejected.

        You see the planet is at stake and the current approaches are working just fine. Look at the traction at realClimate! look at the success at Copenhagen. Look at the awards that the 10:10 video won. Al Gore’s approach is working great, why he has cut his staff from 300 in 2009
        to 30 today! Thats how well it is working.
        The old methods are working just fine. Just ask willard the conservative.

      • Steven, and others, lack (or ignore) historical perspective on the policy response to scientific discoveries.

        I did try to point this out to Judith just the other day, but I don’t think she got it.

        When did we figure out smoking was oh-so-bad? How long did it take to implement effective policies to reduce the public health burden of smoking related disease?

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

        Mosher:

        You will find that any suggestion you offer for improving the situation will be rejected.

        That’s because “suggestions” and “improving the situation” are not the jobs of a scientist. Advocacy bad.

        Note the OP: “We just want their scientific opinion.”

        Walk the walk and all that.

      • > if we were doing this in a sensible way, food fights would arguably be diminished

        We might need a true Scotsman as a mediator, then.

        To the extent that true Scot mediation reduces food fight, you’re “yes, but food fight” was a red herring, Judy.

        Contrarians have little to lose by having their views taking half the rhetorical space. In fact, considering the talking head market, filling up the contrarian role speeds up the access to counterbalancing tribunes.

        That said, having issues played out in full is an honorable ideal.

      • I had the impression that a scientific mediation would provide a more balanced view, which in turn would reduce food fights.

        I don’t see that as a goal of a mediation process. Mediation helps participants to align interests to create synergy. Mediation helps people to distinguish positions from interest. I’d say those goals to not presume, as an outcome, some kind of balanced view on any particular scientific controversy

        The problem here is one of will, IMO. There is very little will towards constructive engagement in the climate wars, IMO. Most people that are heavily engaged in the debate are (whether unconsciously or not) primarily confirming biases, justifying a sense of vindication, strengthening their identifications socially, politically, ideologically, etc. This is why so many people are so convinced about the science, one way or the other, despite large amounts of uncertainty. This is why so many people are so convinced about the science, on way or the other, despite not even being particularly familiar with the science (present company excluded, of course).

      • We might need a true Scotsman as a mediator, then.

        I’m not sure what to make of that statement – whether is is merely sarcastic and should be left as such.

        Effective mediation and true Scottsmen do not mix. A mediator must implement strategies of non-alignment actively, and proactively. This is the exact opposite of a true Scottsman. If someone is claimed as a true Scottsman, he could not be an effective mediator, by definition.

      • Suppose you have a true Scot mediator, Joshua.

        Let’s call him Mc Y.

        What will prevent honest brokers to whine about his mediation scottishness?

        Not enough air time.

        My position was misccharacterized.

        He did not pressed that point strongly enough.

        I’m going home.

        Since he broken some moral rule M, here are his emails.

        Et cetera ad nauseam.

      • willard –

        That is all a potential in the mediation process. A talented mediator can often get past such ill-will, but not always. There are situations where those who are engaged are fundamentally engaged in bad faith. They see no possible gain that is not zero sum.

        But again, a good mediator develops the skills to get through that quagmire. A good mediator does not even have to be non-aligned, personally, but s/he needs to be skilled at non-aligned mediation.

        But, IMO, the needed ingredient is a communicative structure there the participants are part of a process where they have true power to affect an outcome, where they have a true stake in the outcome, where the power is not stratified hierarchically, and where they are personally affected by a failure to achieve a mediated outcome.

        One of the problems with the climate wars is that people confuse bickering in comments with a productive mediation process. There is a confusion of kind. Blog discourse produces more same ol’ same ol.

        Over and over.

      • The first and only rule of food fights is don’t start until everyone’s full. A derivative of Rule #1 outlaws aiming at eyes.

        Supreme Ammunition? Depleted bread balls.
        =================

      • Also, don’t bring an oven to a cupboard fight.
        =============

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse Wrote:
        Excuse me for pointing this out, Dr Curry, but you have egg on your face.
        Are you looking at Dr Curry or in a mirror?

      • Food fights? You mean high quality intellectual debates surely?
        tonyb

      • Thank you for the kind words, Joshua, but not thanks. I’m not here to bring peace.

        Those who wish to have more mediators ought to mediate.

      • The food fights will be diminished when people start getting hungry.

        I think that’s called ‘hunger games’.

      • John Carpenter

        Never try anything you haven’t tried before. Only attempt those things where you have the past experience and knowledge and know you can succeed. There are reasons why some things have never been done.

      • Michael,

        When did we figure out that smoking was bad? Pretty much by the turn of the century (20th), if not earlier.

        When did we start enacting policies about it? When attorneys and state AG’s figured out there was a ton of money to go after and recognized they had a case due to the actions of the tobacco companies – ie saying one thing in public and another in private.

        So, how does this relate to climate change?

      • > Pretty much by the turn of the century (20th), if not earlier.

        Indeed, see for yourself:

        We might need some backdating to make sure of the correlation expressed by Tim.

      • willard,

        it might require a Congressional hearing for you to believe something. For most people, not so much.

        That tobacco was not good for your health was recognized at about the same time cigarette consumption exploded – which was right around the turn of the century. It’s bad health effects were recognized enough for several states to consider enacting smoking bans. The term coffin nails predated the year 1964 by several decades.

        Don’t let sophisticated make you look stupid.

    • willard, mediation is a way to avoid litigation.

      Climategate 2.0 email: ‘What if climate change turns out to be a natural fluctuation? They will kill us all.’

      • Mediation and litigation lead to the same predicament, Cap’n.

        A never ending audit.

        Besides, we can see how some Climaballers specialize in playing the ref, be it a litigation jury or a true Scot mediator. Sounds like the honestly broken dance all over again.

      • willard –

        Mediation and litigation lead to the same predicament, Cap’n.

        A never ending audit.

        Besides, we can see how some Climaballers specialize in playing the ref, be it a litigation jury or a true Scot mediator. Sounds like the honestly broken dance all over again.

        Gonna disagree again.

        I see this as similar to Judith’s mistaken premise about “consensus” – in other words, inaccurately generalizing from the specific.

        The fact that some people mischaracterize the meaning of “consensus” does not negate the value of determining the prevalent view among experts.

        The fact that some people might distort or corrupt a process of mediation does not invalidate the value of mediation in principle.

        If the process of mediation is engaged with good will, and if the process is not saddled with unrealistic or inappropriate expectations that can’t be fulfilled, it can certainly have value. But the value to be gained from mediation assumes that those who are engaged, are engaged with good faith. There has to be a goal of “getting to yes.”

        Climateball is engaged by people who see a zero sum game, who believe in scorched earth tactics. It is a given that mediation will fail under such circumstances, but that doesn’t mean that mediation can never work.

      • I don’t dispute the value of mediation, Joshua.

        I don’t even dispute its efficiency in “playing the ref” games.

        I am simply pointing out that this is all déjà vu all over again.

        Non nova, see move.

        ***

        Take NG c. Judy, for instance. Did we need a mediator? Not really.

        Just people playing by the rules of discussion.

        ***

        The mediator we need might be something more static than blogs.

        All this gets us are rinsed and repeated rushed rehearsed replays of the same silly moves over and over and over again.

        The same is true of many textual endeavours, though.

        ***

        With some irony, scientists might appreciate how biblical exegeses get done.

        Cue to Tom in 3, 2, 1.

      • It’s all been mediated, the sausage made, the eye of the camel needled into obedience.
        ========

      • Yamal, Koldie. Remember Yamal.

      • Yeah, that high, mighty and lonesome sigma must be Howard’s neologhorrific total quality management(TQM).
        ==========

      • Interesting dialogue by Joshua and Willard. Thanks for that. As for Capt’s idea that mediation is a way to avoid litigation I believe that litigation can only arise if someone suffers an economic loss or damage from an action or lack thereof. The only thing that seems to be at stake here are some very well-nourished egos. ;)

        In the case at hand a zero sum game is being played out between people of divergent views and political orientation, but no-one will claim absolute victory until the data adjudicates and unfortunately no-one here will live to see this issue resolved conclusively. The trajectory and overall time-span of Earth’s climate is part and parcel of the evolution of our universe and hence will remain enigmatic and impossible to analyse with current computing capabilities.

      • Peter Davies, “I believe that litigation can only arise if someone suffers an economic loss or damage from an action or lack thereof.”

        No big ego are easily defamed, at least in their own eye. Not being able to make all those speaking engagements because someone notes that your math sucked is grounds for legal action. Silly world we live in, is it not?

      • The grounds for an effective legal action being the unspecified economic loss of possible future speaking engagements? Hmmm. Dunno Capt but if this right then its crazy but we know this already!

  14. Having my head forced under water by the “continuous improvement” and “lean” movements at work I find this mediation method quite interesting. I am used to seeing the results from CI and lean events as nothing more than group think compromises and instead of streamlining processes they usually do nothing but add bureaucracy. Consensus building is group think, whether it’s climate science or a CI event. I can see scientific mediation as being a useful tool to counter group think.

  15. I scratch my head and wonder how climate science became a political football. I can’t recollect anytime in my previous +60 years when science was so entrenched in politics. That in of it self is what keeps me on the fence. I distrust all politicians and now distrust climate science.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      M. Hastings confesses to a foggy memory “I can’t recollect anytime in my previous +60 years when science was so entrenched in politics.”

      There is good news M. Hastings! Your memory can be refreshed by the on-line free-as-in-freedom archives of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that begin with the year 1945.

      Conclusion  The great conservative science-respecting US President Ronald Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol (restricting harmful fluorocarbon emissions) and the START accords (restricting harmful nuclear weapons).

      Good on `yah, Ronald Reagan!

      Nowadays similarly foresighted science-respecting conservatives are increasingly advocating wise restrictions upon carbon emissions.

      `Cuz that’s what “the best available climate-change science” plainly calls for, ain’t that right M. Hastings?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • M Hastings:

      It’s human nature. I’m surprised yu can get up in the morning.

      Environmental Science (that is not climate science) = Political Football
      Creation Science = Political Football
      Medical Science = Political Football
      Petroleum Geology = Political Football
      Computer Science = Political Football
      Nanotech = Political Football

      • Howard you need Sunday Ticket.

      • I wake up happy everyday thank you, I do have a choice. I disagree with you Howard, I don’t find any of those subjects as polarizing as Climate Change.

      • Tom

        You got me pegged. My wife subscribes to NFL Rewind. She can’t help herself as she was born a Raider Fan.

      • M Hastings:

        I suppose it is useful being comfortable with a slightly narcissistic, myopic perspective. In weak personality types, that can be the only foothold to functional sanity.

      • Silver, oxidized and unoxidized, spoon, a loving mouthful. She cook Uhtaliano too?
        =================

      • Howard, do we have an IPCS, or an IPMS, or an IPPG or an IPCSS or an IPN. NO?

        We do have an IPCC.

    • Scientists have the right to be advocates if they wish. Of course they do. Free speech and all that. However, they cannot do so imvho, without compromising their claims to objectivity.

      As the lovely and talented FAn is fond of saying, “isn’t this nothing more than plain old common sense?”

    • Bad Science has always been used by politics, You forget the Ozone and CFC Scam. The patent ran out on R12 and they needed to charge more for the new replacement. The Earth was Flat for many years. DDT was banned and millions died. This list is huge, but you can do your own research if you are interested.

      • I agree we have a problem now, but I disagree that this is new.

      • “You forget the Ozone and CFC Scam. The patent ran out on R12 and they needed to charge more for the new replacement.”

        Oh dear, a conspiracy theory.

      • Lolwot,

        no conspiracy. Just people convinced the science was correct, when it wasn’t, and from there rushing to conclusions which in hindsight were invalid.

      • The science was correct. CFCs caused the ozone hole to grow.

        Not only was the science correct, there was no conspiracy theory.

        The idea that the CFC industry got all the scientists to claim there was a CFC ozone hole link just so they could switch to a different chemical before the CFC patent run out is a particularly absurd conspiracy theory.

      • Lolwot,

        There is no proof that CFC’s “made the ozone hole bigger”.

        Do you even know where it is?

        What they had was lab experiments which showed the chemical reactions from CFC’s and ozone. They then created models to show what would happen in the real world. Those models did not show the hole developing in Antarctic. The hole is still over Antarctic. I don’t believe it has gotten smaller. You claiming CFC’s made it bigger is indication you haven’t a clue on the topic. If you are so clueless on ozone & CFC’s, why shouldn’t we think you are as clueless on other subjects?

      • An ozone hole is expected over Antarctica due to CFCs for a very good reason.

        Of course being clueless you are clearly unaware of that reason.

        Also the hole is expected to shrink slowly. Again for a good reason. Saying it’s still there betrays more of your cluelessness.

      • lolwot,

        An ozone hole over Antarctica is expected for good reason – correct, after they found it there and not over the northern hemisphere as originally expected. And that very good reason is that given a residence time measured in several decades, CFC molecules have enough time to journey south for the winter. That doesn’t have any weaknesses as a theory.

        As for it expected to shrink slowly, well it must be really, really slowly and if you know the “good reason” for that, please share. It has been 25 years since the Montreal Protocals. Prior to that CFC’s were in use for roughly 50 years. By this time it is reasonable to have seen some reduction, isn’t it?

  16. I read the intro to the hot spot post on Climate Dialog. I think I know why there isn’t the hot spot to the extent expected. The difference is between volume and temperature. With more CO2, there is a greater volume of water vapor emitted by the surface of the ocean. But this nascent water vapor is the same temperature as water vapor emitted with less CO2. Therefore, there is a greater volume, but the temperature is substantially the same.

    • jim2, you get a gold star, CO2 does not significantly change the properties of water.

    • Obviously, heating from more CO2 is manifested on land, not ocean. Any increase in ocean surface temp will be marginal since the downwelling IR from CO2 will almost instantaneously vaporize the surface layer. Any increase in ocean surface temps due to IR will be due only to mixing.

      • Need to read Compo and, Sardeshmukh, “Oceanic influences on recent continent warming”.
        Water vapor feedback is very strong and the thinking is that it will double the warming due to CO2 alone.
        Andrew Dessler has said that 2 w/m^2 of water vapor forcing comes from a 1C increase in global temperatures.

        This also has an effect on the lapse rate in the opposite direction but that is considered not as strong a negative feedback.

        Compo in his most recent paper claims that the land temperatures are accurately predicted without using station data, by a combination of SST, pressure readings, etc. The pressure may go in to the lapse rate estimates, I am guessing.

        This is all part of the foundational elements of climate science where all the pieces have to fit together.
        Every day they are getting closer to a comprehensive model

      • Water is abundant. Water Vapor feedback is real. Water Vapor feedback is a function of water temperature. CO2 is a trace gas and manmade CO2 is a fraction of that. CO2 does likely cause a fraction of a trace of Water Vapor Feedback. Any influence of CO2 to water vapor feedback is lost in the huge uncertainties.

      • Every day they are getting closer to a comprehensive model

        Yes they are.

        Every day the data proves they are wrong and every day they are closer to being forced to admit they have bad theory and closer to being forced to search for a more comprehensive theory and model.

      • Andrew Dessler has lectured our Climate Study Group but he will not discuss and debate and work with us. We did invite him to work with our Climate Study Group and he said we could not pass his most basic Climate Class.

        He is right. He demands 97% consensus and Rocket Scientists do question everything. We would not pass his most basic 97% Consensus Climate Class.

      • HAP, why the sudden agitation?

        Dessler sounds like a very mean man. When I went to school, we had weed-out classes where about 50% of the students flunked out. Those professors were very mean as well …. or were they well-meaning?

        So is it possible that your Climate Study Group is in the bottom 50% as well, and that Dessler was just trying to teach you the best science, but you couldn’t cooperate?

        Sorry about the condescending attitude HAP, but your level of discourse is on par with Chauncey Gardener.

    • disagree, Jim, the greater volume of water vapor would rise to the level at which it condenses, releasing more heat than less water vapor at the same temp. that heat is absorbed in the atmosphere, theoretically –> hot spot.

      • But wouldn’t the condensing water vapor condense at the same temperature, assuming the pressure being equal? It might be that it condenses a little higher in the atmosphere. That difference might then disappear since, at that point, a cloud has formed which then mediates the warming due to blocking of Sunlight.

      • Also, twice as much water vapor at the same temp is twice as much heat, but … well … the same temp. Therefore, no hot spot.

      • But wouldn’t the condensing water vapor condense at the same temperature, assuming the pressure being equal?

        Sure.

        It might be that it condenses a little higher in the atmosphere.

        Likely.

        That difference might then disappear since, at that point, a cloud has formed which then mediates the warming due to blocking of Sunlight.

        Maybe.

        Also, twice as much water vapor at the same temp is twice as much heat, but … well … the same temp. Therefore, no hot spot.

        No. Twice as much heat released in a volume of gas of the same mass more or less. Greater warming of the cooler surrounding gases. I think. It’s not as simple. Read down the climate dialogue post for a possible explanation by Carl Mears (zone of subsaturated air in rapidly convecting areas limiting how close to moist adiabat the lapse rate can get).

      • billc, the heat is created and released at the nearly the same temperatures. The convective triggering potential is not changed by CO2 and the temperature of condensation is not changed by CO2. If the tropical oceans are not warming there is not going to be a tropical troposphere hot spot.

      • So, does a thunderstorm have a moist audioerotic volt lapse?
        =======================

      • captain – “If the tropical oceans are not warming there is not going to be a tropical troposphere hot spot”

        ‘course not, ‘snot wot I said.

        kim –

        I think they call it MArVoLs or somthing like that.

      • billc, “‘course not, ‘snot wot I said.”

        Well, since the tropical oceans have an upper temperature limited set by the convective triggering potential, why would the illustrious climate science community believe there would be a tropical troposphere hot spot? Since CO2 is not changing the mass of the atmosphere, the properties of water and nearly has zero radiant impact below the atmospheric boundary layer, I think it is an excellent point to point to that particular faux pas, theoretically speaking of course.

      • captain, the uncertainty would be in the discovery of the convective limit I guess.

      • billc – nice to have someone to kibitz with :) My scenario wasn’t twice as much heat into the same number of moles of gas. It was twice the moles at the same temperature. How can a fixed wavelength IR, as determined by CO2, impart a higher temp to water? Twice the IR would excite twice the moles, but at same temp.

      • Maybe not exact same temp, but certainly not proportional to the number of IR photons.

      • Jim2, your brain has been instantaneously vaporized.

        That canard about the IR boiling off the surface layer is classic denialist talking point FUD, apparently started by the lobbyist S.Fred Singer at a workshop in 2005.

      • WHT – we have a molecule that radiates at specified frequencies and a phase change that occurs at a constant temperature, given that the sea is at … well … sea level. What’s your take on it? Or do you just want to attack me some more?

      • billc, “captain, the uncertainty would be in the discovery of the convective limit I guess.”

        More the latent+sensible loss per Wm-2 of additional forcing. In the tropics you are adding about 6.2 Wm-2 per degree increase in 29 C SST and losing ~4.9 Wm-2 in latent for that one degree plus sensible and some radiant, it is going to take a lot of atmospheric forcing. With the air near saturation anyway, there would be no surface water vapor feedback to speak of and little CO2 forcing impact at the surface. So solar forcing and cloud feedback controls the tropical SST not CO2 forcing. So if you don’t get anymore water vapor, no hot spot.

      • The mouthpiece Fred Singer was the guy that spoonfed skeptics the stupid idea that infrared radiation can not heat water.

      • This is one of the Webster’s all time favorite charts.

        The stratosphere is just so sensitive it amplifies the least little ole thing like volcanic aerosols and ENSO but when it comes to the pause, even the stratosphere paused, almost like it was approaching a limit of some sort. Using the “pause” for a baseline will throw him for a loop, but you can just see what might be a tropical troposphere warm spot during the time that the tropical oceans were actually warming following those rude volcanoes. The Super El Nino messed thing up a bit, but Steve Schwartz using a simple two box model estimates that it takes about 8 years for the ocean/atmosphere mixing layer to equalize following a perturbation. Dr. Schwartz figures the bulk of the oceans take about 500 years to settle, even though the oceans are according to Webster, “about as conductive as copper.”. Of course Webster was talking about turbulent mixing, not actual conduction or diffusion.

        Webster never did explain why that nasty e^(tau/RC) shape appears in the stratosphere curve. http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/schwartz.html

        Of course Schwartz was totally debunked by GCM with 95% certainty of something or other.

      • Cappy, You are spewing spew.

        You haven’t the slightest idea of how diffusion works.

        A diffusivity of D=1 cm^2/sec (which is close to the diffusivity of copper) will move heat on the order of L= sqrt(D*time) after a given time.

        So 500 years is
        sqrt(1*500*365*24*60*60)/100= 1256 meters.

        How much after 8 years?
        sqrt(1*8*365*24*60*60)/100= 159 meters.

        That is the math of diffusion. It has fat tails over time.

        I don’t know what your problem is other than being a redneck. It is all just spouting gibberish with you.

      • Webster, So it might take 300 years to raise ~1.4 from 1700 and then it might take 500 years for the next ~1.0C?

        Seems to me that the rate would decrease as an “equilibrium” is approached. I must be wrong of course since your diffusion rate seems to be fixed. NBC, nothing but carbon, right?

      • Cap’n Carp, Nice blog name you have there, the Redneck Theoretical Physics Forum. To do Theoretical Physics, I always assumed you have to create some abstractions and use math to create some hypothesis that obeys other laws of physics.

        Yet, you do none of that stuff. You really are a bottom-feeder, aren’t you?

      • Webster, “Cap’n Carp, Nice blog name you have there, the Redneck Theoretical Physics Forum. To do Theoretical Physics, I always assumed you have to create some abstractions and use math to create some hypothesis that obeys other laws of physics. ”

        Yep, that is pretty much what it is about. That doesn’t mean assuming one way works better than another since the answer should be obtainable from several directions. Statics for example would provide what is required for equilibrium, should it exist just just a moment in time. Carnot efficiency would provide maximum ranges of efficiency. Psychrometrics would describe the moist air portion of the problem well. All should converge on a solution without having to make the same assumptions. So you can create envelopes or systems bounded by different processes and determine how the work or waste energy of one impacts another.

        Combining those methods produces effective black body cavities with various thermal efficiencies. The thermal envelop or “shell” may expand or contract with changes in thermal efficiency, but each shell remains a stable reference even in a somewhat chaotic system. Instead of assuming a relationship holds, you can verify against any number of reference shells.

        If you measure the energy emitted from a reference shell it will be exactly 1/2 the energy available to that shell. Kinda fun really.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/06/carnot-divider.html

        Carnot with a radiant limit.

      • That’s all wrong. No such thing as a Carnot Divider. No citations anywhere to be seen.

        The reason I am successful is that I can pick at sophisticated physical models and theories and reduce them to simpler formulations. I have an eye for garbage and for someone trying to create a mentaculus,

        Alas, Cappy Carp is just producing redneck cr*p .

  17. Clearly what is needed is a scientific mediation to discuss if there is any value in scientific mediation.

    • Logic in a round-about way with Michael.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Value? What’s that? Sounds like a rather subjective concept, and one open to political interference.

      Maybe we need mediation to debate this scientific mediation to discuss if there is any value in scientific mediation.

      What if someone wants the opposite?

  18. TVRJH, You want to check the great archivists of history, to find the answer to your burning question. All the best.

  19. I think that such an approach has great promise. What is significant is that the participants are committed to a process of dialogue. Ideally, the process could be enlarged, to one more like participatory planning, where the participants are also committed to a joint policy platform.

    In a given post, amidst all the noise, the arguments on both sides of a topic get aired.

    Except the way that the “arguments on both sides get aired” here, is completely different. Here, neither side has any commitment to defining points of agreement and disagreement. Neither side has any commitment to defining terminology. Instead, far more of what happens is that each side repeats mischaracterizations of the other sides perspective in order to confirm their own biases. Over and over.

    And over again.

    Rather than the consensus approach, I have espoused an approach that lays out the evidence for, the evidence against, and describes the uncertainties.

    ?????

    Establishing what is the most prevalent view among experts is, in no way, mutually exclusive with laying out evidence for and against, describing uncertainties, etc. If those processes don’t take place, it is the result of flawed participants in the process, not the simple fact that a prevalence of viewpoint will, inevitably emerge, and neither that while a prevalence of agreement among experts should never be considered dispositive, it is nonetheless evidence that informs probabilities.

    • Joshua, you like backseat drivers.

    • ” If those processes don’t take place, it is the result of flawed participants in the process,”

      or not allowing some to participate in the process.

    • Forcing a policy consensus before the science is done is like eating apples before they are ripe. You’ll be sorry.

    • Joshua, you write “Establishing what is the most prevalent view among experts is,”

      Who cares what the “most prevalent view among experts is”. In science, physics, the view of experts, by itself, is not worth the powder to blow it to hell. Before the experts give any sort of view, the thing that they must do is put the measured, replicated, empirical facts on the table. Then when these facts are agreed, the experts view is in context, and ideas can be discussed.

      As I have said over and over again, the warmists bring very little, if any, measured, replicated, empirical data to the table. And so the “view of experts” is not worthwhile listening to.

      • Jim –

        Who cares what the “most prevalent view among experts is”

        I care. I’m not smart nor knowledgeable enough to evaluate the science itself. So I have to rely on assessing the logic of those who are presenting arguments, and I have to weigh probabilities. The greater the prevalence of view among those who have expertise, the greater the probabilities. Of course, prevalence of expert opinion should not be considered conclusive.

        The case that you present relative to the importance of “expertise,” is, IMO, quite interesting. “Skeptics” who tend to reject the view that prevalence of opinion among “experts” is relevant turn right around and reject your views because it is, essentially, a minority opinion among “skeptics.” As with the “sky-dragons,” they claim that the opinion of someone like you who, for all I can tell, has a solid understanding of physics and scientific reasoning, should just be dismissed. Why? Because as “experts” they say your reasoning should be dismissed. Or should I accept their views and dismiss yours simply because they say that their reasoning is more solid?

        I have no ability to assess the scientific reasoning. I can assess elements of the logic in how the arguments are presented, but in weighing the scientific views, I also consider the prevalence of view to be information. It isn’t reason to reject your arguments, but the fact that you are an outlier does provide me information that I think is relevant to assessing probabilities.

        But the way that your case is particularly interesting to me is in how it shows that “skeptics” have very selective reasoning when it comes to the value of “expertise.”

      • “Joshua | September 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        Jim –
        Who cares what the “most prevalent view among experts is”

        I care. I’m not smart nor knowledgeable enough to evaluate the science itself. So I have to rely on assessing the logic of those who are presenting arguments, and I have to weigh probabilities. ”

        Now before the late-70’s, the UK prions disease research was a tiny back water, with a handful of people doing work. Then two things happened.
        A) there were a group of kids coming down with CJD. This was due to latrogenic transmission. Growth hormone was harvested from cadavas that shouldn’t be used and growth hormone was injected into children resulting in a total of 226 cases of CJD. In addition, dura mater grafts were also taken from old people, outside the donor criteria, and resulted in 228 cases of latrogenic CJD.
        These cases were direct results of tissue transplants being retrieved from human cadavers with undiagnosed CJD infections, but outside he donor criteria.
        B) then BSE hit the UK herd, and people wanted to know if people who had eaten beef could get CJD.

        The researchers were quite unanimous, and stated one and all, give us more money and we will tell you.
        For about 15 years, money was thrown at prion research, and those who had been at the bottom, were on the express elevator to nirvana. Prion research sucked money and people away from other areas, including money that would have done on dementia research.
        Throughout the BSE/vCJD saga the prion researchers never wavered, Prion Research spending was the best allocation of public spending in brain research. When ever hey had a big grant in; a ‘leader’ would appear on Radio 4 and state that upto 100,000 people were at risk of a long drawnout death.
        Those researchers who were working on stroke, Alzheimer’s and dementia were starved of funding to feed the vCJD monster.

        As of June 28, 2012, variant CJD cases in the United Kingdom have totaled 176. It my personal opinion that at least half of these cases are sporadic CJD.

        The opportunity cost that prion research imposed on other brain research was devastating. Many researchers in Britain either switched to prion research, into other areas of science or emigrated to the USA/Canada.

        All the prion disease experts were of the view that the most important area of research was prion disease.

      • Sometimes a view that is prevalent among “experts” turns out to be wrong. No doubt.

        I think it would be interesting to read a validated analysis of whether it happens about the same % of time that the prevalent view among experts turns out to be right, far more often, far less often, etc.

        But I have to say, I find it amusing the way some “skeptics” feel compelled to point out that it has happened on occassion, or feel compelled to compile a list of times it has happened, etc.

        Is there some meaningful point of doing that, other than to run a flag of binary mentality up the flag pole?

      • Josh, you don’t see any similarities between a pair of fields that were back waters that moved into the limelight and the forefront of funding due to the claims of mass deaths?

      • Doc,
        Further to your issue about the BSE/vCJD link, nothing could be more revealing than Canada’s experience

        Chrisopher Booker comment
        Britain’s most expensive myth

        http://www.warmwell.com/vcjd.html

        Updated projections of future vCJD deaths in the UK
        Azra C Ghani*, Christl A Donnelly, Neil M Ferguson and Roy M Anderson
        Published: 27 April 2003

        http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/3/4/abstract

        Note the date above and the date of Canada’s first case of BSE

        The first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Canadian-born cattle was confirmed in Alberta on May 20, 2003. Soon after, more than 30 countries restricted Canadian beef imports, particularly Canada’s largest trading partner the U.S

        http://www.westernwheel.com/article/20130529/WHE0801/305299986/-1/whe/effects-of-bse-crisis-still-being-felt

        From page 3 Total confirmed cases of BSE for Great Britain up to end of 1992 were in excess of 85K

        http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/files/pub-tse-stats-gen.pdf

        So it was already admitted by UK (although the admission came out with little press/fanfare) that one wasn’t going to have an epidemic of vCJD BEFORE Canada had their first case of BSE.

        And how did Canada react to first confirmed case of BSE?.
        You bet.. Canada/ US etc reacted as if the hysterical scare stories out of the UK from mid 1990’s were still the operative hypothesis!!.

        Nothing could be clearer regarding the corruption of science than an example like this IMO

        all the best
        brent

    • Joshua

      Perhaps you can find someone who can point to the specific measureable benefits that would occur as a result of implementing suggested CO2 mitigation actions. It would be difficult to have a meaningful discussion without knowing that wouldn’t it???

      • Rob –

        First, your mind is already made up. In that sense, you are not a good candidate for mediation. But it doesn’t rule you out. It just makes achieving the objective more difficult.

        Second, you are asking me, essentially, to play the role of mediator but you would never see me as being non-aligned, particularly if the structure is that you and I are the active disputants. Perhaps if you and someone who disagrees with you expressed a viewpoint, I could help you both to see common interests in various policy options. Although clearly I would not be first choice as a mediator.

        But here’s a suggestion for you. Consider the opinions of someone that you think is intelligent, and generally engaged in good faith, but who disagrees with you, and search through what they say for points of common interest.

        Assuming that you might find anyonewho fits that description, you might surprise yourself.

      • And assuming you can’t find anyone who fits that description, you might consider why that is the case. I offer two possibilities:

        1) it just so happens that everyone you disagree with is engage in bad faith and/or not intelligent. And not coincidentally, those that you agree with are all intelligent and/or engaged in good faith.

        2) there is some reason why you are inclined to inherently reject the views of those you are in disagreement with.

      • Oh I’ll play. “No regrets” solutions not allowed because there would be some better, more targeted way to achieve the complementary goals.

        Therefore, measurable benefits limited to forestalling CO2 damages.

        Problem – lots of measurement uncertainty. Quantifications range from very negative to very positive.

        ?!

      • Joshua
        I would disagree that my mind is already made up. I simply have not been able to read any reliable data that can show that a CO2 mitigation activity will have a measureable benefit worth the cost. If you or someone else was able to provide reliable data on the subject, my position might well change.
        Imo, there is one portion of the discussion/debate that believe it is critical to significantly reduce CO2 emissions now. Personally, I do not see that they have a viable case at present to support their beliefs. The position would seem to need to be able to define how much the planet will warm over a specific timescale, then to define the net harmful results to humanity of that warming, and then to show how those predicted harms will be avoided if the actions they support are implemented.
        If that cannot be done there is not much of a reason to have a discussion is there?

  20. “Scientific mediation” is a misnomer. Mediation is not a process for advisers, it is for stakeholders.

    But the bigger problem is this. Mediation requires that both parties have to want to come to an agreement. See, even the basic terminology shows the idea doesn’t fit – “parties”. You don’t send the expert witnesses in the case off in a room with a third expert to let them decide what is to be presented to the court and how.

    Quick, somebody post a list of the members of the consensus who have shown a willingness to engage in open, fair debate about the science, or anything else in the climate debate.

    Dr. Curry and Gavin Schmidt engaged in something like this on Keith Kloor’s site some years ago. Both were civil, both were honest. And they got precisely no where. Schmidt, who started the discussion by agreeing to answer questions from all comers, has since taken to avoiding debate like the plague (walking off John Stossel’s show in a huff after saying his piece).

    This post is just an attempt to take the IPCC process, and make it “fair.” Rodney King couldn’t say it any better. Can’t we all just get along? No! One side of the debate has been willing to lie, and distort, and evade; and its very livelihood depends on the immediate outcome.

    But here are some real world, practical problems:

    1. Who will be the mediators?

    1a. Who on this planet who has not been living in a cave does not have an opinion on the political issue at the heart of the climate debate – centralized control of the energy economy vs. free market.

    1b. Who with the capability of “mediating” scientific disputes, does not have an opinion already on the “science” of the consensus?

    2. Who will appoint the mediators? Who decides who is “impartial?” (I thought all the “social science” was supposed to show no really one is. Everybody, altogether now – Motivated Reasoning!)

    3. Who will make the decision on what goes in the final mediation report?

    4. Why would skeptics agree to any such mediation when they would have no control over the final product? Some might, but only those who have been asleep for the last 20 years.

    (I do think I have an idea of who the lukewarmers have in mind to be the “mediators.” but good luck with that.)

    And here’s my final point.

    We don’t need no stinkin’ mediators. Just tell the truth about your research. We aren’t having an academic debate in the faculty lounge. We’re trying to decide whether to decarbonize the global economy and risk impoverishing billions because the failure to do so might cause “apocalyptic” (TM James Hansen) damage. We the voters, and our elected (supposed to be) servants, the politicians, will decide what is important and what is not, and who we believe and who we do not. Thank you very much.

    • “We don’t need no stinkin’ mediators. Just tell the truth about your research.”

      +1000

    • Just tell the truth about your research AND discuss and debate and listen to those who disagree. The odds of someone being 97% right about something they cannot make skilled forecasts for is a negative value.

      • Herman Alexander Pope,

        I would settle for just the first. The reality is that the consensus scientists know every bit as much, and probably in most cases more, about the weaknesses and uncertainty in their case. They therefore have nothing to gain by debating. Either they tell the truth and weaken the “marketing campaign” of their CAGW agenda, or they lie and risk getting caught.

        This happened in the blog exchange between Dr. Curry and Gavin Schmidt when Schmidt got irritated by having to defend Mann’s hockey stick again and again, and in a fit of pique posted a graph he claimed was from MBH ’99. But it clearly wasn’t. A number of commenters noticed right away it was not in the paper, and had been generated after its publishing.

        The consensus brahmins simply have nothing to gain by debating. So they won’t.

      • Yet I actively debate here and climate skeptics slink off. Time and time again.

      • Lolwot,

        your active debate consists of playing dialing graphs and making unsupported claims of what the future will look like. More than once I have asked you to provide evidence on negative impacts from a warming world. The one who disappears is you.

      • I’ve explained time and time again what the status of AGW is and how greenhouse gas emissions risk climate destabilization.

        All I am met with is the strawman of “CAGW”.

      • In other words lolwot, you ain’t got squat.

        Claiming there is a risk of “climate destablization” gets you nothing. I could claim there is a risk from super volcanoes and be on far more solid ground than you.

        I can state that there is a risk of death or serious bodily harm from getting into an automobile. The difference between your claim and mine is that I can back mine up with data. You have never provided a single piece of data to support your argument.

        To give credit where it is due, fan has at least provided data from time to time. Such as with SLR. Of course his data hasn’t ever supported his point (rather embarrassingly it has refuted it), he at least tries. You don’t even do that.

      • TimG said

        “mine is that I can back mine up with data. “

        Does this suggest that TimGFiftySix claims that he has data from the FUTURE?
        Either that or he is talking about something not related to the future.
        In that case, no one really cares and he “ain’t got squat”, using his own phrase.

      • Web,

        Indeed. Tim giving a nice display of kind of misunderstandings that typify the ‘skeptics’ .

        Tim, you have ‘paleodata’ on car accidents, which you are using, via a model, to make projections for the future.

        Sure, it’s very good data, but you are still relying on a model (gosh, probably a computer model!!) to ‘predict the future’.

        Shame on you!

      • Yes, most of these gutless wonders are ever so casual when they make predictions about the future. Take the Chief Waterboy, who insists that he can predict no warming for the “next decade or three”. And he divines this future based on reading papers on non-periodic oscillations.

    • Gary –

      2. Who will appoint the mediators? Who decides who is “impartial?” (I thought all the “social science” was supposed to show no really one is. Everybody, altogether now – Motivated Reasoning!)</blockquote?

      This is a classic example of a fundamental misunderstanding of mediation.

      There are many mediations that take place where a mediator might have a perspective on the conflict being mediated, but where they implement the principles of non-aligned mediation to the satisfaction of those engaged on both sides of the conflict. The mediators goal is to uncover common interests and to differentiate positions from interests. Those phenomena are inherent in the issue being mediated – not the product of what the mediator does or doesn't do.

      Perhaps if you're going to determine that mediation offers no promise, you should learn about it first?

      'Cause, you know, that is what a skeptic would do (as opposed to a "skeptic.")

    • “Quick, somebody post a list of the members of the consensus who have shown a willingness to engage in open, fair debate about the science, or anything else in the climate debate.”

      dont forget…there is no consensus, so there can be no members of the consensus.

      But hey, I disagree with almost every skeptic about the land record.
      I offer to write a paper with any skeptic, hell I’ve offered to help Anthony.
      I accept any mediator of your choosing.

      Here is the deal. You wont find a single skeptic who will take up the offer to write a joint paper.

      As for debate, did you catch the debate we tried to have with Monckton over at Lucia’s? he ran away.

      Bob Tisdale is welcome over there to defend his ideas, but he doesnt.

      • Steve

        What would the topic of the joint paper be? It would seem likely to have to have wide margins of error for TCS over the next 50 years to reach any agreement. Assuming that is reasonably true, how can the authors of such a paper reach conclusions as to sensible government policy actions?

      • Nice to see you’ve traded your white hood for your obscurantist cap.

        The topic of the post is “scientific mediation.” All the comments are about scientific mediation. So I ask for an example of a climate scientist who is willing to engage in a debate because that is what mediation is) and your response is to talk about joint papers.

        Because, of course, you can’t name any. Maybe you can find a few skpetics who have refused to engage in a particular forum, but there have been numerous requests to debate made by numerous skeptics. I think it was Spencer who appeared on Stossel’s show when Schmidt did, and it was Schmidt who slunk away.

        As to your diversionary question, I can’t imagine why a genuine skeptic would want to write a joint paper with a genuine member of the consensus. Unless it was a paper version of a debate. On the points on which skeptics agree with the consensus, what is the purpose of a new paper? Look at what happened when Watts simply shared his data and was rewarded with the “best” one upsmanship that money can buy.

        So, now that I have humored your obscurantist diversion, how about answering my question that is on the point of the current post.

        Can you name a prominent member of the consensus who has shown a willingness to engage in an open and fair debate? And I shouldn’t have to explain this, but I will, to try to anticipate further obscurantism.

        Dr. Curry’s post calls for “mediation” between scientists on science. So by member of the consensus, I mean a scientist who is commonly associated with the IPCC consensus who is willing to debate a skeptical scientist on the climate debate. If I have to define the word prominent, I will. But the whole point of the proposal is to move the debate forward. I don’t think a debate between Mosher and Wagathon on the net impact of the PDO on the global mean temperature would do much in that regard.

      • Here’s I’ll make it easier for you. Name a climate scientist who would do this:

        http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/3/9/lindzen-at-the-oxford-union.html

        A scientist. No debate with his peers. Lindzen simply agreed to answer questions, including by consensus advocates (ie. non-scientists), hosted by a warmist journalist.

        Schmidt did something on a much more controlled scale on Kloor’s blog once as I noted above. And none of them has done it again to my knowledge. Feel free to post a link. I would be fascinated to see it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I find it odd to see Steven Mosher talk about other people refusing collaborative efforts and/or running away. That describes the exact behavior he’s shown with me, many times.

        As for his claim that no skeptic “will take up the offer to write a joint paper,” that’s only true if he’s claiming I’m not a skeptic. I’d write a paper with practically anyone. Heck, when I criticize people’s work, I usually try to work with those people.

        Interestingly, my efforts to do so with the BEST team have failed spectacularly as nobody on the BEST team has addressed any issue I’ve raised, even when they responded to me. This amuses me as the latest BEST release has an obvious problem caused by the changes they made to address an issue I’ve highlighted multiple times.

        By the way, I wish BEST would update their code and results at the same time so one could keep track of what code goes with what results. As it stands, they either haven’t released the code for their latest version, or the last code release was for results they hadn’t released yet. Either way, it makes attempts to check their work awkward.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        GaryM, I believe that was when Gavin Schmidt got frustrated at having to answer the same points over and over even though he hadn’t actually addressed what people said. And when called on this, he left the discussion. And then later, on a totally different site, admitted the point people had been raising all along.

        Sadly, it’s still the closest there’s been to actual dialog.

      • “Nice to see you’ve traded your white hood for your obscurantist cap.

        The topic of the post is “scientific mediation.” All the comments are about scientific mediation. So I ask for an example of a climate scientist who is willing to engage in a debate because that is what mediation is) and your response is to talk about joint papers.”

        1. Please read the article. see the part where they talk about writing a joint paper.
        2. mediation is not debate.

        “Because, of course, you can’t name any. Maybe you can find a few skpetics who have refused to engage in a particular forum, but there have been numerous requests to debate made by numerous skeptics. I think it was Spencer who appeared on Stossel’s show when Schmidt did, and it was Schmidt who slunk away.”

        1. Dessler debated Lindzen
        I dont have to name one, I’ll show you the tape

        2. mediation is not debate.

        “As to your diversionary question, I can’t imagine why a genuine skeptic would want to write a joint paper with a genuine member of the consensus. Unless it was a paper version of a debate. On the points on which skeptics agree with the consensus, what is the purpose of a new paper? Look at what happened when Watts simply shared his data and was rewarded with the “best” one upsmanship that money can buy.

        So, now that I have humored your obscurantist diversion, how about answering my question that is on the point of the current post.

        From the current post

        “Scientific mediation works like this. You bring together one scientist from each point of view. Scientist A wants to do one thing, Scientist B wants the opposite. Then with the help of a mediator, they write a joint paper. ”

        Lets agree that you are stupid.

        “Can you name a prominent member of the consensus who has shown a willingness to engage in an open and fair debate? And I shouldn’t have to explain this, but I will, to try to anticipate further obscurantism.”

        Well, see the youtube I posted. He’s very prominent.
        I would add Judith to that list.

      • “As for his claim that no skeptic “will take up the offer to write a joint paper,” that’s only true if he’s claiming I’m not a skeptic. I’d write a paper with practically anyone. Heck, when I criticize people’s work, I usually try to work with those people.”

        Ok Brandon.

        choose 1 and tell me what work you are able and willing to do.

        re assesment of microsite
        assessment of cold air drainage
        re assessment of UHI
        LST to SAT correlations
        Regional GCM validation
        out of sample testing.
        cool stations study.

        thats 7 topics pick one you like and tell me what you are actually capable of doing ( i wont hold your hold your hand with mat lab) and willing to do.

      • Uh, oh! A Mosher-Brandon S. collaboration/fight would require a powerful moderator. I am willing and would bring my own whiskey.

      • I’m with you Don. I’ll bring tequilla

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, you didn’t ask if I’d like to pick one of those; you told me to pick one. That means “no” isn’t an option. That seems a rather strange way to try to start a collaboration. Before I give an answer, I have to ask: What if I don’t agree to any of those topics?

        I can say this much right away though. If I do write a paper, I intend to do any analysis with non-proprietary software. Matlab isn’t open source, and I don’t intend to do my work in it.

      • Brandon

        1. You can suggest any topic you like if mine are not to your liking
        2. you can select a mediator of your choice, you can pick anyone you like including people who openly disagree with me.
        3. I dont work in matlab. You are free to work in any language you like.

        After you present your topics if we cant agree on a topic, you can decide to let your mediator pick the topic or you can suggest any topic picking mechanism you like. flip a coin whatever, you can demand to work on a topic of your choosing and force me to work on that. or we can present arguments and let your mediator choose.

      • Don,

        I will do you better and bring a cooler full of scotch, beer and wine.

        And if you can get a sponsor, I will bring along my wife to provide chair massages in the event it us a long affair.

      • OK! We have a panel of three lean and mean moderators, plenty of alcohol, chair massages from the lovely mrs. timg56 and I’ll kick in the pulutan and cigars. A good time will be had by all, except Brandon.

      • This sub-thread shows just how mediation should be made to work. Thanks to Don, timg56 and Howard for the inspiration. If the dust-up between Mosher and Brandon is any indication, however, the establishment of a working praxis between the potential collaborators seem to require quite a bit of mediation as well!

      • In offering to be a third mediator to the great scientific bun fight, I will stick to water as it sounds as if Don and Howard will be drunk and incapable. Which may or may not be a good state in which to check Brandon’s and Mosh’s figures…
        tonyb

        tonyb

      • Sorry Tim. I hadn’t seen your offer to be a mediator so I will offer to make it four. However we need to exercise some scepticism here. I suspect that proof of meanness may be possible, but leanness?
        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Alright. With that clarified, I’d say the topic that interests me the most (outside wanting to resolve my issues with BEST) about the surface temperature record is the Urban Heat Island. I don’t really care who would be the mediator(s) though.

        As for what I can do, I’m not sure how specific you want me to be. I’m capable of pretty much any analysis that’d be needed. I struggle some with data I/O, but otherwise, I’ve never seen a problem I couldn’t figure out a solution for.

      • > I don’t really care who would be the mediator(s) though.

        The may I suggest Tamino?

      • UHI is interesting. Willieboy nominates tamino. LOL! How about willis e.? Let’s be serious, for a moment. Judith, and/or Lucia.

      • Ok, Brandon.

        UHI is a good choice for the following reasons in my mind.

        1. Its a problem that even non scientists can get a handle on, for example,
        even Bill Clinton found the problem important.
        2. Marcel at climate dialogue has been considering a session on the topic, and doing a mediated paper might be interesting in light of his
        blogging efforts.
        3. while the vast majority of accepted science seems to find no UHI
        bias, I’m unconvinced, even by my own work in the area.

        Moderators:
        I’ll suggest tonyb as a head moderator as his aquaintence with the data
        and the problems with records, not to mention his even temperment, should be a good thing. I would leave it to him to decide how he wants to
        handle Don, Howard and any others who want to sit in on the mediation team. I’m willing to live by any decision they make.

        Workplace:

        I think a google group might be the best place to carry things out
        so this weekend we can probably work to set it up and make the invites

        Workplan: we can work in R if thats ok with you. As for who does what
        I think that will clarify onece we decide on an approach.

        If you have any ideas or objections just let me know.

        I think first order of business is setting up a space ( google group) where we can get the adminsitrative details sorted ( moderator etc ). If you have a different idea, shout it out.

      • tony try this

        https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/uhi-science-mediation-experiment

        its public so it should work
        or send me an email and I can add you

      • I’m not interested in being a moderator. I will volunter to be the ring referee. As I respect both gentlemen, I will ensure they shake hands and and fight cleanly.

        was to willard’s suggestion for moderator – if Tamino, I’ll have to bring a second cooler. For the rotten produce. He’s one ass that deserves a good pelting.

      • Tony can do it. I am not qualified, unless brute force is appropriate. I will be on call.

        I predict that Steven and Brandon can work together and come up with something of value.

      • Mosh

        It’s getting late here so I will look at your link in the morning.
        Tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher,

        I think I agree with everything in your comment. I didn’t know they were considering doing a session on UHI over at Climate Dialogue though. That’s interesting. Also, while I think tonyb would make a good mediator, I kind of like the idea of Tamino doing it. That’d be funny.

        R would definitely be my first choice. The only language I like more than it is perl, and it’s nowhere near as good for this sort of thing.

        timg56, I doubt Tamino would ever go for it, but it’d be funny to see. I suspect the mediator would be the one who’d need the most mediation.

      • Brandon

        By all means see if tamino wants to be involved as you suggest. It would be very good to see someone rather demonised by sceptics to be seen to be a moderate and even handed participant in a useful scientific project

        Tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Tonyb, while that is a nice thought, I’m not sure Tamino would even talk to me. Maybe someone else can run the idea past him.

      • Steven Mosher,

        “1. Please read the article. see the part where they talk about writing a joint paper.
        2. mediation is not debate.”

        You are correct. I was wrong in thinking you were injecting an inane tangent into the thread to divert discussion (this time). You were merely repeating the inanity in the article used as the basis for the post. Other than that, my criticism stands.

        Mediation is a form of “alternative dispute resolution.” But as posited by the authors, and seconded by you, “scientific mediation” isn’t designed to resolve anything. It’s basically the IPCC process with some supposedly independent “mediator.”

        If someone uses the word as it is actually defined, it is exactly a form of debate, where both sides present their arguments. It is an “alternative” because the mediator does not actually have the power to impose anything on either party.

        A mediator is essentially a moderator of the debate between the parties, who also tries to use various techniques to help them reach a compromise. He is not a judge or jury. He makes no decisions or rulings. He has no authority other than to try to help the parties resolve their dispute.

        Your baiting of Brandon Schollenberger here is a good example of why I suspect no one has agreed to do any joint paper with you, or any other consensus advocate. Nor do your snide comments show any desire to “mediate” anything. You are hoping to structure a “mediation” designed to demonstrate why you are right and he is wrong. Which simply shows you have no clue (like the authors) of what the term “mediation” actually means.

        I did watch the Dessler Lindzen debate. (Are you and Dessler related? Perhaps that insufferable vanity thing is hereditary. Maybe it’d be responsive to some good gene therapy. Not sure we can do anything about the bigotry though.) And I will admit I was surprised, but not impressed. That stilted form of debate is the safest. Too bad Lindzen came in expecting to discuss science, giving Dressler the opportunity to keep him on the defensive by making the “debate” personal. But you score a point on that. One climate scientist did enter a carefully controlled, strictly structured debate. Three years ago. I stand corrected.

      • Mosh

        GaryM makes some good points.

        Are you going to ask Tamino if he wants to moderate? It sounds a good idea in theory for the reasons I state.

        If not, and if this venture is to proceed, it would be useful to have some ground rules from the outset as to how this will all work, who does what, who listens to whom, what is the ultimate objective, time scales etc.

        tonyb

      • ‘Mediation is a form of “alternative dispute resolution.” But as posited by the authors, and seconded by you, “scientific mediation” isn’t designed to resolve anything. It’s basically the IPCC process with some supposedly independent “mediator.”

        No actually it isnt. The point you miss is that both parties commit to explaining why they think they other side disagrees with them.
        In the IPCC process if an author disagrees with a reviewer there is
        no requirement to acknowledge the disagreement OR to explain the
        disagreement.

        “If someone uses the word as it is actually defined, it is exactly a form of debate, where both sides present their arguments. It is an “alternative” because the mediator does not actually have the power to impose anything on either party.”

        well you havent been through mediation then have you. There are all SORTS of mediaton, for example non binding mediation.
        In this type of mediation the meditor just insures that a process is followed and the mediator may suggest a solution.

        “A mediator is essentially a moderator of the debate between the parties, who also tries to use various techniques to help them reach a compromise. He is not a judge or jury. He makes no decisions or rulings. He has no authority other than to try to help the parties resolve their dispute.”

        WRONG. a moderator in a debate, take a presendential debate, asks questions and keeps time. they dont ensure that each side addresses the other sides best points. they dont suggest solutions.
        They dont mediate.

        That is why our language has one word, called mediaate and another called moderate. Science is not a debate. What happens at debates is a theatrical performance for an audience, typically a live audience.
        of course apples are like oranges and right now you are arguing that they are the same thing. they are not. you are wrong. its not a huge mistake, so take your lumps and think twice next time.

        “Your baiting of Brandon Schollenberger here is a good example of why I suspect no one has agreed to do any joint paper with you, or any other consensus advocate. Nor do your snide comments show any desire to “mediate” anything. You are hoping to structure a “mediation” designed to demonstrate why you are right and he is wrong. Which simply shows you have no clue (like the authors) of what the term “mediation” actually means.”

        1. I dont even know what brandon’s position on UHI is, for all I know he may agree with me.
        2. I hope that the mediation brings out the following
        A a list of things we agree about
        B a list of things we disagree about.
        C a demonstration of how we decide to settled those differences
        by using science.
        D the differences that remain after we do the work.

        finally, the authors are DEFINING a form of mediation For science.
        Guess what, they get to extend, refine, particularize the meaning of term when it is applied in the field of science.

        You could do the same thing for ‘science debate’

        I did watch the Dessler Lindzen debate. (Are you and Dessler related? Perhaps that insufferable vanity thing is hereditary. Maybe it’d be responsive to some good gene therapy. Not sure we can do anything about the bigotry though.) And I will admit I was surprised, but not impressed. That stilted form of debate is the safest. Too bad Lindzen came in expecting to discuss science, giving Dressler the opportunity to keep him on the defensive by making the “debate” personal. But you score a point on that. One climate scientist did enter a carefully controlled, strictly structured debate. Three years ago. I stand corrected.

      • on Tamino as mediator.

        Folks need to re read the the description of what the mediator does.

        The mediator is not a decider, this is not binding arbitration.

        The mediator is not a moderator. this not debate.

        the mediator is a facilitator.

        The mediator helps the team write the paper. For example, they would make sure the parties identify the areas of agreement, and the areas of disagreement and assist them in understanding the other parties point of view. This is not about settling the matter. This is not about a third party deciding which of the two is right.

        What the mediator needs, as a skill, is the ability to remain emotionally detached from the process and the parties. The mediator needs the ability to see all sides of things. Its not about driving the parties to consensus or driving a process where one wins and the other loses.

        I see nothing in tamino’s behavior that indicates he would make an awesome mediator. One reason I like tony as mediator is his back ground in history. Spending ones life reading different versions of the same event, is excellent preparation.

      • Mosh

        Ok, I’ve read your post. Seems a bit ironic that you two can’t agree on a mediator, but If Brandon wants Tamino and you don’t, where do we go from here?
        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Uh… I was mostly joking about Tamino. I think my comments make it clear I don’t believe he’d be a good choice for mediator. If he could do the job and was willing to, I’d be fine with it, but as I said, I don’t think he’d even talk to me.

    • “1. Who will be the mediators?”

      I would chose engineers from the nuclear, aerospace and chemical engineering industries, statisticians, biostatisticians and lawyers from the pharamceutical industry. I would use modelers from the gambling industry.

      “2. Who will appoint the mediators?”
      Get a high court judge from a different part of the anglosphere, UK/Canada/Oz/NZ. They have the legal background, work in committee and don’t have to watch their back for any political group in he US.

      “3. Who will make the decision on what goes in the final mediation report?”
      Judge.

      “4. Why would skeptics agree to any such mediation when they would have no control over the final product?”
      The more open he process, the more people will buy into the arrived at conclusions.

  21. From the Climate Dialogue site, the “Guest blog Steven Sherwood” tab:

    If I were looking for climate model defects, there are far more interesting and more damning ones around [than the “missing tropical hotspot”]. For example, no climate model run for the IPCC AR4 (c. 2006) was able to reproduce the losses of Arctic sea ice that had been observed in recent decades (and which have continued accelerating since). No model, to my knowledge, produces the large asymmetry in warming between the north and south poles observed since 1980. Models underpredict the observed poleward shifts of the atmospheric circulation and climate zones by about a factor of three over this same period (Allen et al. 2012); cannot explain the warmings at high latitudes indicated by paleaoclimate data in past warm climates such as the Pliocene (Fedorov et al. 2013); appear to underpredict observed trends in the hydrological cycle (Wentz et al. 2007, Min et al. 2011) and in their simulated climatologies tend to produce rain that is too frequent, too light, and on land falls at the wrong time of day (Stephens et al. 2010). Finally, the tropical oceans are not warming as much as the land areas, or as much as predicted by most models, and this may be the root cause of why the recent warming of the tropical atmosphere is slower than predicted by most models (there is a nice series of posts about this on Isaac Held’s blog).

    • Type A CO2 molecules, the ones in the Northern Hemisphere, radiate IR. Type B CO2 molecules, the ones in the Southern Hemisphere, not so much.

      • Easy peasy, the Northern ones radiate clockwise, and the Southern ones counterclockwise, you know, righty tighty, lefty loosey.
        ========

    • AK: I’m missing the “why I pasted this here” part.

      • Because it came from a site linked in the main post, and looked as though it might be interesting to some denizens. Also, it’s relevant to the main topic needing “mediation”: how to resolve the issue of political decisions being made on the basis of non-representative models.

    • The Northern oceans are arranged different than the Southern Oceans. In both the North and the South, it snows more on land when oceans are warm and wet and it snows less on land when oceans are cold and covered by sea ice.

      These Polar Ice Cycles work together to put ice on land when oceans are warm and not put ice on land when oceans are cold. They are not exactly in sync with each other, but they are not very far off. In a cycle that warms and cools and warms again 700 to a thousand years later, a little offset in the north and south is more expected than not expected.

      The new, modern, ten thousand year, Polar Ice Cycle has put narrow upper and lower bounds on earth temperature.

      Consensus Climate Scientists do not understand the Polar Ice Cycle and they will never have Climate Models that work right until they understand and model the ice cycle.

  22. What is scientific mediation?

    Did Al Gore invent this too? It seems to be the illusion of an escape without consequence from an untenable position after the opponents have discovered the false basis of your claims.

    • I think it has to do with dialectic, there’s materialism too if Al Gore is in the neighborhood; watch, along all the towers, Ozzie mon.
      ======

  23. Judith, Off topic, but have you seen the new paper by Svensmark? It seems to me very important.

  24. Calling it a dominance display actually is spot on, but that’s the problem for you, isn’t it? In a democracy based on everyone having an equal vote, the high school dropout coming out of BevMo with a shopping cart full of Coors Lite has exactly the same vote as a MacArthur Prize winner. Seems terribly unfair, doesn’t it?

    • More life-giving beverage flows in the ethical fountain of the dropout than the piddling leaky display of Peter Gleick.
      =========

    • Yes, but climategate Al Gore (who is fat) Micheal Mann denier LOOOOOOOoooooo Peter Gleick.

      Yeah, that’s it!!!!

      “Yes, but Peter Gleick.” By jove, I think I’ve got it!!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bob K. emits another dominance display “The high school dropout coming out of BevMo with a shopping cart full of Coors Lite has exactly the same vote as a MacArthur Prize winner. Seems terribly unfair, doesn’t it?”

      Bob K., the scientific community definitely *IS* a democracy too … on generation-long time-scales. Because the future of science is determined mainly by the choices of the smartest, most foresighted young scientists. And these young people definitely “vote with their brains”.

      Whenever dozens of smart scientists of all ages and from many nations choose to collaborate with you then you’re objectively winning. Whenever you mainly present cranky single-author analyses then you’re objectively losing.

      It’s not complicated, Bob K!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • In what universe is science a most or best under a democracy? You write your beliefs and not facts. A large group believing something does not mean it is correct does it?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey is dubious “A large group believing something does not mean it is correct does it?”

        Rob Starkey, when you go to the race-track, and you observe that the smart young horse-trainers are hurrying to place substantial bets on a horse named “Hansen” to win, then perhaps laying a bet on “Hansen” is a good idea!

        That’s ordinary horse-sense, eh Rob Starkey?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        Taking the action that you seem to suggest would seem stupid from my perspective. I would want to know why the supposedly smart horse trainer were making such a bet. Do these people bet often? Do they usually lose or win? Did one of them get a supposedly hot tip and the rest of them are taking a chance?

      • “Rob Starkey, when you go to the race-track, and you observe that the smart young horse-trainers are hurrying to place substantial bets on a horse named “Hansen” to win, then perhaps laying a bet on “Hansen” is a good idea!”

        If you ever see that, you’re right, because “the fix is in.”
        :-)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey asks “Do they [climate-change scientists] usually lose or win?”

        • The betters have a century-long record of winning bets, and

        • now they are hurrying to bet on “Hansen”.

        What bet do you place, Rob Starkey?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        Anyone who follows your ‘Hansen’ link will find it leads to a tiresome pseudo analysis of the flawed Cook study made by a heavily committed green sociology professor. Objective it ain’t.

        Ps Are you being sponsored to mention Hansen as many times as possible in a 24 hour period?
        tonyb

      • Fan

        You once again devolve into silly comments. Since Hansen’s suggested actions were most certainly not adopted he most clearly did not “win” and neither did those like you who agreed with his conclusions. The term to use is Loser- which so far has been Hansen’s track record. Maybe the rate of sea level rise will suddenly increase by 600% or so and support Hansen’s fears. Would you care to wager on what sea level does for the balance of 2013? will it rise by more or less than a rate of 3.2 mm per year?

      • “Bob K., the scientific community definitely *IS* a democracy too …”

        I nearly had a minor stroke reading that.
        Proof that someone may have the job description, but not the job.

    • ‘Splain why it’s unfair.

    • Still obsessed, eh PG?

      Oh. Sorry. “Accidentally” obsessed.

      • Afternoon, Josh,

        IN this case I was following Kim around. I saw your name and as always tried desperately to avert my eyes. But too late! Oh the humanity! Before I knew it, the vile words had sprung from the page, invaded my eyes, then pierced my exquisitely sensitive brain.

        The pain is unspeakable. IN fact I’m thinking of getting special, Joshua resistant goggles.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Interesting mind reading skills you’ve got there Joshua.

        pokerguy, it’d be relatively easy to make a filter that’d prevent comments from certain users from being displayed when you look at the page. I’m not sure if it’d make things better or worse though.

  25. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    The presentation of the actual precise scientific data (to the best extent they are known is absolutely essential if any kind of scientific mediation is going to work. Such facts must be free of loaded or imprecise verbage, for example, don’t begin by saying the “world” or the “globe” or the “planet” has not warmed for 15 years when you can say that tropospheric temperatures have been flat for 15 years, etc.

    When presenting the data, it should always include:

    1) How is was measured
    2) How much uncertainty and error there is in the data
    3) What other ways can the data be interpreted
    4) What other data exists to support of refute the data

    But as soon as someone begins with “the planet has not warmed in 15 years and the models can’t explain why”, you can tell that they aren’t trying to be precise or scientific.

    • Gates

      I do not disagree, but those individuals are not trying to get people to do something specific either are they?

      How much will it warm in the next 50 years?

      What will be the net negative consequences of the predicted warming?

      What actions are suggested and how will these actions impact #2 and what will they cost?

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Rob,

        This question alone, indicates extreme bias toward the issue and why precision in absolutely essential in talking about this issue:

        “How much will it warm in the next 50 years?”

        This is an unscientific, imprecise question. What is the “it” this question refers to– exactly and scientifically. Troposphere 2 meters off the ground? Over ocean? Over land? At what latitude? What about the larger energy reservoir of the ocean?

        Is this even the right metric to be measuring in general? Since we ought to be talking about total energy content of the Earth system (especially considering that the oceans have a greater impact on the overall climate than the troposphere.

      • Gates

        Although i agree with your points about accurate measurement being needed to be agreed upon, I do not think the total energy metric is best. If the “heat” is lost in the deep oceans for centuries do humans care?

      • It seems probable that the ocean ate not only the missing heat, but also the hot spot. Of course, the “missing” heat might have just been reflected back to space. That’s the fun thing about the may, might, could game.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Rob said:

        ” I do not think the total energy metric is best. If the “heat” is lost in the deep oceans for centuries do humans care?”


        And that’s a valid perspective to some extent, but energy, not just sensible heat in troposphere is the key. The scientific question would then be to discover.

        1) How much energy the oceans are gaining?
        2) Where exactly is this energy going?
        3) if and how that energy is having an impact on natural variations in ocean cycles like the PDO, ENSO, etc.

      • Gates

        Measuring the “energy” in the troposphere vs. temperature seems an impossible task in the relevant timeframes.

  26. Judith Curry

    Mediation seems to work best when the emotional agenda is low. Mediation in divorce many times is less effective because one sides mission is to primarily hurt the other side.

    I recall you had remarked that the IPCC consensus building process early on may have been a useful tool to develop the science and move it along, keeping its financial basis. I would liken this to the situation early on when getting married and starting a family.

    Later on in the relationship, values (data) and interests (political agenda) diverge and the emotional energies begin to rise. It is at this point the friction and heat is palpable. Some relationships (consensus building) retain the semblance of normality to achieve a specific agenda (wife staying through a political campaign to an unfaithful husband candidate). Mediation and specific contract language gets hammered out, not reflecting realities, just to address a time sensitive issue. (release of the next AR in this case 5). It seems to me that Climate Science is on tract to get past the unfaithful husband motif (ClimateGate), and secure a political endpoint of implementing and new source of taxation.

    I like the concept of mediation for parties with differences involving uncertain information and outcomes. Mediation works best when the agenda is not value ladened and its purpose is to force someone to do something they don’t want to do. (force society to move willie nillie to some utopian behavior).

    To me, the divorce is within ear shot. Some scientists will get out of the science altogether, as Hansen has already done. Those two or more previously conjoined, will, more likely than not, find other avenues to pursue. The people who are still interested in the science for its own sake, will go about producing more science, a bit sadder but wiser, and fewer.

    “Marcel told me that they were having trouble recruiting contributors/participants from the ‘consensus’ side (not from the skeptical side). ” Not surprising as the agenda had shifted from producing science to driving for societal changes.

    • the IPCC consensus building process early on may have been a useful tool to develop the science and move it along

      The push for Consensus is the first clue that the science is not good enough.

    • Consensus Alarmism has nothing to do with Science.

      Hansen got out of science a long time ago. He just took a retirement so he could get paid for not doing what he has been paid for not doing for years.

  27. What is Scientific Mediation?
    It is clear the the Consensus Theory does not produce Models with skill.
    We should agree to discuss and debate and listen to different theories.

  28. @ Michael | September 4, 2013 at 11:31 am | says:

    “When aren’t there 2 points of view??”

    Answer, when there are 0, 1, 3, or more people.

  29. It seems to me that this discussion misses the one essential point. When someone works out the science that can solve the problem, the problem can be solved. Until someone works out the science of how solve the problem, the problem cannot be solved.

    No amount of consensus, mediation, moderation, etc. is going to change this essential truth.

  30. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    timg56 claims “a slight change in barometric pressure, a traffic detour, a black cat, all things that will cause the panties to twist for a member of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.”

    It’s eye-opening to discover that Climate Etc‘s denialist cohort uniformly loathes The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists … especially since The Bulletin has a distinguished sixty-year track record of nurturing precisely the sort of responsible science-oriented policy dialog that Judith Curry advocates.

    What do climate-change denialists loathe scientific institutions like The Bulletin, one wonders?

    Doesn’t The Bulletin already provide precisely the sort of policy forum that Judith Curry advocates?

    Why not simply write for The Bulletin, eh?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan has a strange concept of distinguished. What have they ever accomplished? Besides a lot of useless talk.

      They are best known for a broken clock.

      • Fan,

        Why make things up?

        Where have I ever sung the praises of Monckton?

        Show us where the good folks at the BoAS’s have achieved a significant impact on policy. Like him or not, Herman Kahn sneezing had a greater chance of significance than anything coming from these people.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      timg56 wonders “What have they [the board of The Bulletin] ever accomplished?”

      Yeah! Those folks who run The Bulletin don’t stand comparison to the awesome intellect of Chris Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley!

      Seriously timg56 … do yah see any scientific names that you recognize?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  31. This suggestion is quite similar to a process used in the UK.
    Baroness Mary Warnock, chaired the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology from 1982 to 1984. Her formal training was in Philosophy and not in biomedicine.
    The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 basically followed all her committee’s recommendations, The Warnock Report.

    Here is a nice paper about the way Warnock and her committee worked

    “The philosophy behind Warnock was this. Given a novel scientific procedure whose effects on society may be large but unpredictable, a problem of public trust of the procedure arises; in that case, there may be pressure on government to regulate. For regulation to inspire public trust – and we must be careful to distinguish here between the trustworthiness of the procedure, and the public’s trust of the safeguards – then there must be generally held perceptions that the regulations are well-crafted, they are drafted in all stakeholders’ interests, they will be equitably policed with sanctions properly and fairly applied. In other words, trust requires consensus about the costs and benefits of the procedure, and the regulatory regime. .
    One method of establishing consensus is the process of inquiry and report. The report selects a potentially consensual position, which can be shown to be consensual by the public display of the inquiry process, and, en passant, provides the intellectual justification for marginalising those opinions that cannot be reconciled. Such marginalisation may be more or less politicised, of course.

    http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/262491/1/Warnock-thes-ohara.pdf

    • Doc, I dont find you analogy very helpful. On the question human fertilization there was a very well defined problem, and the question was finding the best solution. In the case of CAGW, it has not been established that there is a problem that needs solving. Until we have settled that issue, then we dont know what is the best thing to do. And until someone invents an adequate scientific approach to proving that there is a problem in the first place, no way of trying to do anything is likely to work.

      • In as much as even the EPA agrees that CO2 is a pollutant, and we know from the Leftists that it responsible for everything from making “beer tasting different to Boy Scout-killing tornadoes (“160,000 deaths a year,” or perhaps “315,000 deaths a year,” or is it “300,000 deaths a year”), perhaps we should launch cruise missiles at countries with the highest emissions.

  32. “The fallibility of methods is a valuable reminder of the importance of skepticism in science. Scientific knowledge and scientific methods, whether old or new, must be continually scrutinized for possible errors… Organized and searching skepticism as well as an openness to new ideas are essential to guard against the intrusion of .dogma or collective bias into scientific results.” (US National Academy of Sciences)

  33. The fundamental issue is that one side, the side I am on, notes that human GHG, not nature, will be the dominating driver of global temperature over the period 1900-2200.

    The other side won’t admit this, tries to believe the opposite, that nature dominates.

    • lolwot, you write “The other side won’t admit this, tries to believe the opposite, that nature dominates.”

      Wrong. The other side claims that there is no science to prove that “human GHG, not nature, will be the dominating driver of global temperature over the period 1900-2200.”

      Until the warmits accept that the physics does not exist that proves that CAGW is a scientifically proven fact, then the two sides will conduct a dialogue of the deaf.

    • “The fundamental issue is that one side, the side I am on, notes that human GHG, not nature, will be the dominating driver of global temperature over the period 1900-2200″

      Well, on average about 340 w/m2 of solar energy hit the top of the atmosphere and a doubling of CO2 is recon to give about 3.7 W/m2, so my guess is that 340 is going to have a bigger effect than 3.7, sill, as long as you are happy in your religion and beliefs, good luck to you.

    • lolwot,

      There is a saying about simple things fascinating simple minds. Your description of the debate is too simple, in that it covers some but certainly not all of folks who have questions about CAGW. I do not claim that human GHG are not nor will not be the driver of global temperature. I wouldn’t go so far as to use dominating, but that is because I don’t think we know all of the drivers, let alone their exact impact.

      I would argue that your determination of what is the fundamental issue is incorrect. As I see it, the fundemental issue is what are the impacts of a warming world? On that issue you provide nothing except a conviction in the impacts being all bad. Very, very bad. You know, as in bad.

    • lolwot | September 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm said: ”The fundamental issue is that one side, the side I am on, notes that human GHG, not nature, will be the dominating driver of global temperature over the period 1900-2200”

      in 2200 the temp will be exactly the same as it was in 1900; money back guarantee

    • See, none of them can admit it.

      The evidence screams man is the driver.

      • Iolwot

        You don’t need full blown ice ages to cause glacial changes on a widespread scale

        This is my chart of glacial advances and retreats looking back 3000 years. A closed blue line at the top indicates glacier retreat. The LIA was the greatest incursion of cold/ice during the Holocene. It is thought that around 4000 years ago many of the major glaciers had melted.
        tonyb

  34. lolwot:
    “The other side won’t admit this, tries to believe the opposite, that nature dominates.”
    So do you believe that if Nature decides to start the next ice age soon, man will dominate that?

    • Any ice age will takes thousands of years to affect global temperature. Over the period 1900-2200 man will dominate.

  35. If one really wants to understand the various sides and see their reasoning there is no better way than the issue tree diagram, for the issue tree is the basic structure of every complex issue. See my crude little textbook on this: http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf.

    As for the claim that disagreements are based on biases, rather than on reasons, that is rhetorical nonsense. People are not filing in the gaps with biases, rather they disagree about where the gaps are and have reasons for doing so.

    Nor is identifying reasons a form of mediation.

  36. Several bar fights have erupted here around this question: “…why would one think that something like Climate Dialogue would succeed on a populist scale?”

    I have followed Climate Dialogue from just before Day 1, when it was still being put up put had no content yet. It is a fine and valuable effort.

    It’s About page states “Climate Dialogue offers a platform for discussions between (climate) scientists on important climate topics that are of interest to both fellow scientists and the general public. The goal of the platform is to explore the full range of views that scientists have on these issues.”

    It is not intended to do anything on a ‘populist scale’. But rather to be a tool that allows the very scientists who are involved in a very public Science War (Climate Science for the last two decades) to have civil (usually–though one or two participants recently have been a bit snarky) discussions with other scientists representing opposing viewpoints on particular points involved in the scientific conflict. It is for the benefit of both the greater body of climate scientists and the individuals involved.

    The interaction of the discussants is very educational for those that follow along as bystanders — with the added plus that occassionally, one or two of the discussants answers questions from the ‘peanut gallery’.

    It certainly is not intended to be either the likes of Climate Etc., WUWT, or any of the other popular CliSci sites intended for the general public.

    Those involved are to be commended.

  37. two opposite scientific opinions in the phony GLOBAL warming are not tolerated. Three different opinions gives the shivers to both camps…

  38. Ho hum. Perhaps “What is Scientific Meditation” would be more fruitful. :-)

    • There’s no time for meditation, contemplation, or reflection when “the sky is falling !”

      When a PI for Apollo, there always seemed to be a new set of samples to analyze, and results to present at the next Lunar Science Conference, but little or no time to think deeply about the implications of the last analysis.

      Fortunately some of my students refused to play that game and took the time to study the data and “see” unambiguous evidence of solar mass fractionation across the isotopes of Kr and Xe in the solar wind:

      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data1.htm

    • Faustino and Omanuel,

      It seems the urgency has disappeared, at least from the politics. These charts show the level of in interest in Climate Change / AGW since 2000:http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/media_coverage/us/index.html .
      You can click on the c harts of Media Coverage for

      World (2004-2012)
      Australia (2000-2012)
      Canada (2000-2012)
      India (2000-2012)
      Japan (2005-2012)
      New Zealand (2000-2012)
      UK (2000-2012)
      USA (2000-2012)

      Not the rapid decline in interest overt the past year.

  39. This suffers from the same drawbacks as giving equal airtime to minority scientific views in the media. It can only be made fair by randomly choosing pairs of qualified climate scientists for each debate, and seeing how many pairs agree on what. They could also be made anonymous to each other and everyone, if that helps them give their true opinions of the others’ ideas.

  40. Chief Hydrologist

    There are a couple fundamental concepts in modern climate science without which understanding is impossible. Climate – and models – are chaotic. Patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation shift every few decades. The last shift was in 1998/2001. We are currently in a cool global mode and these last for 20 to 40 years. The global surface temperature – at the very least – is not increasing for another 10 to 30 years. This is mainstream and leading edge climate science.

    Judging from the reactions here and there – this is unlikely to be mainstream space cadet science anytime soon. It isn’t happening. It is happening but the ocean is warming. It is happening but the warming was all greenhouse gases. I don’t freakin’ know what’s happening but you are a freakin’ denier. It is happening but warming will return with a vengeance. Therapy seems more in order than mediation.

  41. This is really just another variation on the “We won’t debate in public” position. Underlying this attitude is the refusal to “dilute” public opinion with confusing and seemingly contradictory facts. CAGW regards convincing simplistic public opinion as its’ greatest achievement

    This worked until the power bills dropped into household letter boxes. Pielke Jr’s Iron Law

    Ho hum

  42. C limate dialogue and the elusive hot spot over the equator..

    It amazes me that anyone would take the climate models seriously enough to take their prediction of a hot spot over the equator seriously, particularly as no such has been measured. What is special about it? The earth does not even spin about a perpendicular to its plane..There is no great industry on it. On the other hand i would not be surprised to learn that there is a hot belt at middle N hemisphere latitudes around the world, because that is where most fossil fuel is burnt That is where hot CO2’s vociferous appetite for heat is most readily satisfied.Too many people cling to the assumption that hot CO2 is uiformly distributed around the globe. No, CO2 cools quickly as it rises in the troposphere, as well as the N2 that went along for the ride. Once CO2 falls below 25C its specific heat tells us it is no more a threat to the planet than N2.

  43. OK then,
    say hello to:

    mediation bias
    biased mediation

    (whatever you want to call it)

  44. Serfs bein’ lowly creatures find in their daily lives
    of hardship and grind, that mediation’s largely myth
    signifyin’ not a lot, and so herewith …

    Some think in the cut and thrust of this and that,
    mediation will resolve an issue regardin’ opinion
    or truth. Sadly it’s like herdin’ ornery cats,
    the mediator likely ter get scratched.
    Little known facts can sometimes surprise.
    ‘War’s the anomaly in history’ we seek ter explain,
    except it’s not, the anomaly. Outbreaks of peace
    are globally the less common event that needs
    ter be explained’. * Why. even
    here at Climate Etcetera, reasonable
    denizens, PHD’s even, sometimes snitch,
    prevaricate, call each other names,
    ‘Take that …and that …and that!’ *
    Mediation’s difficult, re politics, religion, climate
    -sci, jest about anything we opiniated humans
    get involved in.

    * Geoffrey Blainey ‘Causes of War’ CH1 ‘The Peace
    that passeth understanding,’

    ** I includin’ meself in this. (

  45. Maybe when a subject is largely unknown (climate, duh) it cannot be a science, but rather, a field of inquiry. And if, over this great mass of unknowns, there should be constant and vigorous disagreement, why then…you have the untidy makings of some future science right there.

    The problem with Knowledge is that its birth is too often announced prematurely, thus disinheriting its worthy predecessor, Inquiry.

  46. But who shall mediate the mediators? Sorry, my Latin isn’t strong enough to be sure, but Google Translate offers: “Qui mediatus mediatores?”

  47. Steve McIntyre

    Eight years ago – my how time flies – at AGU in 2005, I made exactly this offer to Caspar Ammann in relation to the hockey stick dispute. I observed that our codes reconciled to eight nines accuracy ( Wahl and Ammann was more a replication of the McIntyre and McKitrick emulation of MBH than MBH itself) and that we therefore could set out many points of agreement on empirical matters e.g. the impact of varying numbers of PCs and bristlecones and verification statistics etc. and set out points of disagreement and how one would resolve them. My language was almost exactly the same as Mosher’s – indeed I suspect that we’ve talked about the offer and the incident.

    I proposed that we declare a 60-day moratorium and try to write a joint paper and, if unsuccessful, revert to where we stood. I opined that the community would be more interested in such a joint paper than in seemingly incomprehensible disputes. Needless to say, I was 100% confident of where a clear statement of points of agreement would go.

    Ammann said that it would be “bad for his career” if he did this and turned the offer down. I followed up with two email offers, neither of which he acknowledged.

    I asked him to disclose that they had also obtained a verification r2 of ~0, as I knew they had. Ammann pointblank refused even though he had said that our results were “unfounded” and he knew that we were exactly right on this (and other) points. I told him that I would not stand by idly and took measures that resulted in them (grudgingly) disclosing the failed verification statistic.

    Perhaps this was good for his career, but his refusal wasted a lot of people’s time – especially mine – and, in my opinion, contributed to some of the erosion of public confidence in the Team and the Community.

    In this particular controversy, Mann, Ammann et al had an interest in obscuring the issues rather than clarifying them, as any clarification would show that our empirical claims was well-founded. Although Ammann seemed a pleasant enough young man, I hold him in particular contempt for his role in this incident.

    • Translation: it’s a hoax of hornswoggling racketeers and flim-flam men, foisted upon policy makers and Greenpeace kids via ransack of the authority and reputation of Science.

    • McIntyre, I wouldn’t write a joint paper with you. You have made too many mistakes over your blogging career, and wouldn’t want to risk my reputation based on some slap-dash analysis that you have made. These are judgement calls that scientists make every day. That’s the way the ball bounces.

      • You know you’ve been dissed when the renowned web refuses to work with you. Oh the embarrasment, the shame, the humiliation McIntyre must be feeling.

        Well, maybe not. As any Minnesotan knows, flies and mosquitos are a aspect of life one learns to deal with. Particularly in the Boundary Waters, where they like to tag team you.

      • Hey Webby, did you happen to notice the # of visits to your site vs McIntyre. He is a world class statistician. What are you Webby?, but a half-witted oil basher. At least Ammann had the intellectual wherewithal, but not the courage, to at least attract McIntyre’s attention. You, not so much.

      • Web,

        Your point is illogical. Your reputation would be enhanced by the
        encounter. Like so.

        The paper sets out your points of agreement. That surely would be no
        danger.

        The paper also sets out your points of disagreement. And here with your superior reasoning and math skills you have a clear opportunity to set
        the feeble mcIntyre straight in a document that bears his name.
        What better way for you to make it into the category of most influential
        people.

        So, quite the opposite of what you fear this is a great opportunity to take down Steve. You will not be dragged down, your victory will ensure that you are hoisted on the shoulders of giants like mashey and cook and paraded around AGU.

        hehe

      • Look at the fawning acolytes of a mining speculator. Must have hit a nerve.

        What are we doing mining tar sands?
        Do the statistics on that.

      • web,

        fawning?

        The one with the deer in the headlights look is you. Except that instead of bounding away to safety, you show us your ass and get run over.

        Anyone curious as to what Minnesota dick tastes like? It is definitely a rarity.

      • Detroit leaks mosquito piss.
        =========

    • Mediation might prevent such phenomenon:

      > There are a lot of posts here which start in the middle of the conversation. I’m afraid it’s the nature of this particular blog. I try to write clearly but it’s hard to recite the history of each of this issues in a self-contained manner in every post. Look at the Wahl and Ammann category and work through it if you want a history.

      http://climateaudit.org/2008/08/08/caspar-ammann-texas-sharpshooter/

      Some stories might seem less hard to rewrite over and over again.

      • Were the Catholic Church up-to-date with the auditing technique, they might only have needed to send an FOI to the University of Padua for his intermediate results on his Pisa experiments.

      • Steve McIntyre

        what’s your point? The Texas sharpshooting post was 100% accurate. Wahl and Ammann did not provide the SI to their paper until 2008, three years after they announced their results. They replicated our findings on RE statistics and then invented a “method” to supposedly sustain Mannian significance. But their “method” was nothing more than Texas sharpshooting.

      • Steve,

        My first point is that mediation (the topic of this blog post) should seek to prevent the phenomenon of having posts which start in the middle of the conversation, which arguably is the nature of more than your blog.

        My second point is that I’ve heard your Ammann story more than 20 times, at the very least. This habit of yours (not only yours, I concede) might render the first point less definitive than one might think. If your conversations were as easy to recollect as Ammann’s “bad for his career” line, which I surmise is the whole point of recollecting this particular story over and over again, then I guess most of your posts would not start in their middle.

        My third point would be that considering your editorial line, Ammann’s choice might be, at least in retrospect, quite understandable. Or not, since your loyalty to your collaborator is quite obvious. Until they step on some moral lines which warrant yourself to do all kinds of dubious things, like rehashing a private conversation you had with Ammann.

        Hope this helps.

        ***

        Now my turn. Why haven’t you recalled your offer to Huybers instead? Here it was:

        Given what I perceive as being an underlying interest in resolving these and similar matters, I made the following offer to Huybers:

        1) that he could review our simulations replying to him with no obligation;

        2) if he agreed with our results — and only if he fully agreed with our results – then we would submit a joint paper to GRL reporting on agreed results.

        3) if he did not agree fully with our Reply, then we would proceed on the course that we were pursuing.

        I suggested to him, that while this might be unorthodox in academic terms, it was something that I thought GRL would welcome and that certainly the broader community would welcome. Huybers showed no interest whatever in this offer. So readers will be left one more time to try to sort this stuff out. I thought that we made a good suggestion and I’m sorry that the opportunity was missed.

        http://climateaudit.org/2005/09/16/369/

        Your emphasis.

        May I suggest that rehashing the “bad for his career” line (notwithstanding the privacy questions it implies) is more important to you than to contribute in a non-adversarial way to this discussion?

        Hope you don’t mind if a Mediator overhears our conversation.

        Many thanks!

      • willard

        “My first point is that mediation (the topic of this blog post) should seek to prevent the phenomenon of having posts which start in the middle of the conversation, which arguably is the nature of more than your blog.”

        Huh?

        Conversations dont have beginings and they dont have ends. they only have middles. You must of necessity start in the middle. No matter where you start, there is always a pre text somewhere, some other conversation that is the “real” begining. maybe an oracle started the whole thing. And the mediation does not end the conversation, because there is and will always be points of disagreement and disagreements about why you disagree. The point of a mediated paper is to get parties to commit to a structure that includes by design areas of agreement, which then can be used in future discussions to limit revisiting settled matters, and areas of disagreement. There is no dream of closure here, rather a structured approach to disagreement which is the life blood of understanding.

      • > Conversations dont have beginings and they dont have ends. they only have middles.

        My point does not presume otherwise. To the extent that the ideal of mediation is to narrow down a dispute by stating all the justifications for agreements and disagreements between parties, then I submit (i.e. this is my first point) that a blog does not provide the facilities to mediate. In other words, “read the blog” is not a good answer to “how is this op-ed supposed to mediate anything?”

        One may even argue that blogs are made to recreate the same conversation over and over again. What gets rinsed and repeated is kept to the surface. Everything else sinks into archived oblivion. If the Auditor forgot about Huybers, who won’t?

        A mediation is a very special conversation. It is a conversation where every common step gets a trace. It is a conversation where what we don’t talk about is made clear.

        The idea of mediating knowledge claims is not new.

    • “bad for his career”

      “The doctrine that the earth is neither the center of the universe nor immovable, but moves even with a daily rotation, is absurd, and both psychologically and theologically false, and at the least an error of faith.”

      Formal Church declaration in its indictment of Galileo:

      “The doctrine of the movements of the earth and the fixity of the sun is condemned on the ground that the Scriptures speak in many places of the sun moving and the earth standing still… I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments and demonstrations.”
      Galileo’s reply

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Death, burial & resurrected! Galileo, got only one thing wrong. I wish he had been right there too.

        With all, the best.

      • Were the Catholic Church up-to-date with the auditing techniques, it might have been enough to send an FOI to the University of Padua for his intermediate results on his Pisa experiments.

        A catchy name might also helped. I would suggest the Hockey ring controversy, but I might be biased.

      • Singularity, leads scientist back to nothing and then some.

      • Michael, may want to call it, The Singularity Ring, to stay in his comfort zone.

      • Ice hockey rink, not ring. Seems that rink is a Scottish word:

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

        Must be true, then.

      • Stephen McIntyre

        Willard asked: “Why haven’t you recalled your offer to Huybers instead?” Glad you reminded me of this incident, which had slipped from memory. I submit that the offer was made in a spirit of mediation and the clause that you refer to was inserted with a view to making the offer more palatable rather than less.

        My hope was to reach agreement and avoid pointless academic dispute. Huybers had a small point which, in my opinion, was completely resolved in our Reply.

        I thought that it would make more sense for Huybers to consider our Reply, assess whether it fully responded to his issue (which IMO) it did and then publish a joint paper setting out the issue and its resolution, rather than leaving readers to try to sort out a Comment-Reply.

        To the extent that your point is that Huybers’ course of action, like Ammann’s, contributed to obfuscation rather than mediation, I agree. I wish that Huybers had accepted the offer. Or if any terms were unacceptable, made a counter-offer.

        I think that my extra animosity towards Ammann resulted from his pointblank deception on verification r2 and his baldfaced refusal to report it when confronted. Plus the Wahl and Ammann article contained misrepresentation after misrepresentation, while HUybers original article was written in good faith.

        Y’know, it’s interesting to recall these 2005 events as my offers to both Huybers and Ammann were “business-like” offers – in the sense that they were attempts to actually settle a dispute, rather than perpetuate it.

        Eight years later, I have far more experience with academics and how they perpetuate disputes. I entirely agree with Mosher’s original point about statement of points of agreement and disagreement. This is routinely done in business and legal proceedings, but not enough in academic journal articles, at least in climate.

      • > I thought that it would make more sense for Huybers to consider our Reply, assess whether it fully responded to his issue (which IMO) it did and then publish a joint paper setting out the issue and its resolution, rather than leaving readers to try to sort out a Comment-Reply.

        The joint paper may be the result of some mediation, but it would not be its immediate product, as defined in the current op-ed:

        They write a joint paper where they state the areas they agree on in order to narrow down the dispute, the fundamental points that they disagree about, and then – this is the trick – they have to agree on why they disagree.

        The request that Huybers “fully agrees” with M&M’s results is not exactly the same thing as to report the results and then discuss agreements and disagreements in an explicit manner.

        What is missing from Abrams’ description of a mediation is the need to evaluate what to make of the agreements on the light of the disagreements. Ultimately, the authors themselves should be able to sort out and spell out the scope and impact of their disagreements on their agreements. That the discussion now spins onto itself follows from the very idea of mediation: as soon as you want to have the author evaluate their own work, it gets meta all the way down.

        In other fields, readers inherit this mediating work. Any philosopher is a mediator of some kind. That he’s oftentimes mediating dead parties helps as much as it helps.

        ***

        The main problem I see with the current state of climatological affairs is the lack of competent readership. Blogs do not help improve upon that predicament, and the MSM is worse. Neither does the current practices of scientists: which professional scientist would care or even dare to delve into all these op-eds and articles and datasets and programs and issues and concerns and stories in a way to act as a mediator?

        Like bloggers, scientists seem to prefer to step forward and go to the next iteration of their endeavour. Non nova, sed nove: what remains, in the end, are citations. And stories: how much indignation would we ever be able to muster without stories?

        Let’s all blame the editors.

    • The Hockey Team pucked themselves. They are to blame for their fate. Had they been open and honest, their standing in the public eye would be much greater.

      • willard, is feverishly working on a solution though…

        “That he’s oftentimes mediating dead parties helps as much as it helps.”

        David Apple?

    • ” My language was almost exactly the same as Mosher’s – indeed I suspect that we’ve talked about the offer and the incident.”

      yup. It struck me as a way forward.

      of course its a testable proposal, which makes people’s objections to it
      anti scientific.

    • “contributed to some of the erosion of public confidence in the Team and the Community.”
      Your involvement and time was well spent, then. Crucial, perhaps.

      • One of my best lines ever at climateaudit was when someone sneered that I’d wandered into the wrong classroom and I replied that I was just auditing the class.
        =========

  48. I’ve just returned from an impassioned talk by Bob Carter, which resonates with Steve Mc’s post. Carter outlined the manipulation of the debate by the IPCC-aligned, and the prolonged refusal to debate. He detailed many instances when a prominent body had asked him to debate, and no mainstream AGW scientists would debate him, he quoted some of the correspondence from their institutions which was quite shocking, and the pressure put on host bodies to dis-invite him. How can you mediate when one party won’t engage?

    Judith, Carter’s talk would make a good head post, in a spiteful act James Cook cancelled his Uni e-mail, I’ll send you his current one in case you don’t have it.

    • That’s a shame, for a mediator could oblige Carter to clarify:

      > In 2012, documents stolen from The Heartland Institute revealed that Carter was paid a monthly fee of $1,667 (USD), “as part of a program to pay ‘high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist [anthropogenic global warming] message’.”[29] While Carter did not deny that the payments took place, he would not disclose what the payments were for.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Carter

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Yep, chose your friends and paymasters very carefully.

      • So where would you place Sierra Club’s $26 million from the gas industry on the scale of mercenary behavior willard?

      • Tell me first how you apply what you call a mercenary scale, Tim. I share EW’s opinion on that matter, which might surprise you. I only wish Bob would clarify his Wiki page, for mediation’s sake.

        ***

        Seems that the Australian Conservative has a tag for Bob:

        James Delingpole on the silencing of climate change dissenters

        Bob Carter says the real environmental crisis is one of public perception

        Memo Coalition: Minchin says read Taxing Air before committing to Direct Action

        Bob Carter’s new book: “Taxing Air” – climate change facts and fallacies

        Prof Bob Carter reviews the climate debate and Gillard Govt’s irrational response

        Prof Bob Carter responds to Robert Manne

        “Axe the tax”and “adapt to the fact” of climate change, Professor Bob Carter says

        Climate policy crisis

        Climate Commission advice is no basis for a carbon tax, four scientists claim

        The central hypothesis of global warming fails the test, Prof. Bob Carter says

        Bob Carter analyses 12 global warming slogans

        Climate facts Labor overlooked

        Prof Bob Carter says commentators are ignoring the real carbon tax issue

        Bob Carter on Labor’s futile and economically damaging tax on carbon emissions

        Bob Carter’s latest book cuts through the claptrap

        Gillard’s climate committee is a farce, Bob Carter says

        Politicians miss the point on climate change

        Bob Carter on the climate counter-consensus

        How we were censored

        “Their” ABC gags climate realist Bob Carter

        Scam of the century

        Living in fear of the brainwashed voter

        http://australianconservative.com/tag/bob-carter/

        From 2009 to 2013, imagine that.

        ***

        A Mediator would note that you have not followed on your backdating issue about tobacco and law practice, Tim.

      • willard,

        I am not sure what you mean by “not following on my back dating issue”? If you want to believe that tobacco was not seen as hazardous to one’s health prior to the 1990’s, the 1970’s or even the 1960’s, fine.

        As for scale, if someone wants to keep pushing the Heartland theme, add up the dollars they have received from “oil interests” and compare to what the Sierra Club received from gas interests. Bob Carter getting paid as a consultant to Heartland means what exactly? That he’s a paid shill for oil? That his expertise is tainted? On the assumption this is true, and comparing how much “oil” money Heartland has received to what Sierra Club has, exactly how should we view anything they say or support?

      • Not a cough in a carload of gaspers.
        ========

    • Faustino,

      Bob Carter speaks very well, succinctly, clearly. He, like Roger Pielke Jr., has a grasp of what is pragmatic policy. He understands that policy has to be able to be implemented and sustained for it to succeed. Economically irrational policies, even if implemented as the Australian ETS has been, cannot survive.

      By the way, congratulations on another excellent letter in today’s Australian – this time posted as the first letter! Double congratulations.

      • > Bob Carter speaks very well, succinctly, clearly.

        Very important aptitudes in a debate. Jennifer Marohasy also talks about Bob’s enthusiastic probity:

        Since a dispassionate analysis of scientific facts leads to the conclusion that about anything except CO2 is responsible for our current warming, why would there be a need for a debate with mainstream, IPCC-aligned scientists who reach the opposite conclusion?

    • This isnt about debate.
      science is not a debate.
      debates about science are not science they are theatre.
      Frankly I prefer Wycherly.

      This is about scientific mediation. A structured process for addressing scientific disagreement. Debate is theatre. There is no requirement in debate to set out points of agreement. There is no requirement in debate to explain why you an your opponent differ. There is no data for a debate, no methods. There is verbal behavior in front of an audience.

      I watch a debate once. Two dopes debated the existence of god. do you think god cared who won that debate. i watched two other dopes debate. They debated evolution. Do you think evolutionary biology is wrong because the audience of anti scientific numbnuts think the evolutionist lost the debate? I watched two dopes debate gun control. The anti gun nut clearly won. you think I should give up my right to carry? I’ve watched all manner of debates on science, politics, religion, morality.. blah blah blah.
      None of them brought truth, applause, yes. understanding? nope

      • “This isnt about debate.
        science is not a debate.
        debates about science are not science they are theatre.
        Frankly I prefer Wycherly.”

        Completely wrong. This isn’t about science. This is about the drive to decarbonize the global economy. If this weren’t a political debate, you wouldn’t see the typical progressive tactics of demonizing your opponent, hiding and distorting the facts (climategate and the hockey stick), constant obscurantism, and refusal to engage in a reasoned debate.

        Science is not a debate
        CAGW/decarbonization is not science
        CAGW is political
        CAGW is a debate

        Take away the drive for decarbonization, or lukewarmer decarbonization lite, and 99.9% of the people following the debate won’t care any more.

  49. Lauri Heimonen

    ”In a given post, amidst all the noise, the arguments on both sides of a topic get aired. In the early days of the blog, I was often asked to provide a post discussion summary. I didn’t do this since it is too much work, and I am not an unbiased participant but wield authority over the blog.”

    Judith Curry; http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/03/natural-internal-variability-sensitivity-and-attribution :

    ”How can we proceed to better understand the role of natural internal variability on climate change? More climate model simulations are needed along these lines, with different experimental designs and using different climate models. More insights are needed from observational analyses. And better theoretical frameworks are needed for understanding climate sensitivity to external forcing in a system with substantial natural internal variability.”

    Judith Curry; http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/02/professors-politics-and-public-policy :

    ” – – – I understand enough to have concluded that the best role for myself as a scientist is (from my NPR interview):

    ‘All we can do is be as objective as we can about the evidence and help the politicians evaluate proposed solutions’.”

    The first priority is to solve whether the recent warming has been caused by athropogenic CO2 emissions or by natural factors. I think the easiest way is to fogus, at first, on the question whether or not anthropogenic CO2 emissions have controlled the the recent global temperature.

    IPCC scientists have already, during last 25 years, tried to assess the scientific background of the recent global warming believed to be caused by anthtropogenic CO2 emissions. Until now they have not been able to express any proper evidence according to which the recent global warming could be caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. That is why they have not been able to express any duly working solution for decision-makers.

    In accordance with logic based on natural laws, the content of CO2 in atmosphere is controlled together by all CO2 emissions from CO2 sources to atmosphere and all absorptions of CO2 from atmosphere to all CO2 sinks. Because the share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the recent total CO2 emissions has been about 4 %, the share of anthropogenic CO2 content in the recent total CO2 content of about 395 ppm in atmosphere is about 4 % at the most, i.e. about 16 ppm at the most. This expresses the real bias of IPCC, as there the scientists assume that all the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere during the industrialized era is anthropogenic – i.e. a little bit over 100 ppm. As to the share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the recent total increase of atmospheric CO2 content it is only about 4 %, too – i.e. in the recent increase of about 2 ppm CO2 a year there is only about 0.08 ppm CO2 a year caused by human CO2 emissions.

    In my opinion, on the basis of the truth above, even politicians as laymen are can be made understand, that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not dominate the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere, as it is properly stated for them.

    In addition, according to observations in reality the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has followed the global warming and not vice versa, where any influence of anthropogenic CO2 emissions has not been observed. That is to say the influence of manmade CO2 emissions on the global temperature is too minimal to be empirically distinguished.

  50. The climate alarmist have already won the debate. The science is settled. The alarmist view, “urgent mitigation action is imperative”, is the one that is accepted and drives policy. It is being implemented. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent on mitigation (or – pseudo mitigation). The IPCC is wholly alarmist owned and controlled.

    From the alarmist point of view there is no need for any mediation. There is no need to debate or clarify or enhance scientific knowledge. Everything is already known.
    Case closed.

    You want to engage them in debate? Forget about it. They, correctly, assume that there is nothing to be gained from debate.

    All the skeptics can, and should do is hammer away at the shoddy science. Steve McIntyre is the example.
    Forget mediation, sociology, psychology. communication and other such nonsense. It gets you nowhere.
    Just do you science in the best, most open, correct and honest way you can.

    • Hu McCulloch also champions writing joint papers. He also seems to understand that, sometimes, it’s not possible:

      > I was going to suggest that you write up a joint paper with him, but it doesn’t look like he would be inclined!

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/05/15/new-data-from-hantemirov/#comment-333890

      Here’s the comment that justified the last part of Hu’s take:

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/05/15/new-data-from-hantemirov/#comment-333857

      (The quote has been omitted to bypass Judy’s filter.)

      The suggestion to write a joint paper may have been prompted by the beginning of the op-ed:

      > Yesterday, I received updated Yamal data (to 2005) from Rashit Hantemirov, together with a cordial cover note. As CA and other readers know, Hantemirov had also promptly sent me data for Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002.

      The wording is interesting: the dating of “CA and other readers know” is left indefinite.

      Some meditation might be needed to insure proper backdating over that sentence.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      All the skeptics can, and should do is hammer away at the shoddy science. Steve McIntyre is the example.
      Forget mediation, sociology, psychology. communication and other such nonsense. It gets you nowhere.
      Just do you science in the best, most open, correct and honest way you can.

      Exactly. Go for it! Good luck!

      But your example is a bit weak.

      From: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Steve_McIntyre

      He managed to get a shoddy paper attempting to “debunk” the “hockey stick” published that has itself been repeatedly debunked since its publication. He is generally known for obtaining the denier Holy Grail: finding an actual flaw in the scientific data. Rummaging through NASA code, McIntyre discovered a Y2K bug. NASA was notified and revised the code. In the revision, 1998 was demoted from the then hottest year on record in the US with 1934 overtaking it by an astonishing (drumroll please…) 0.01 degrees Celsius. The change was statistically insignificant, but it was naturally trumpeted by the denialist blogosphere and some mainstream denier outlets like the Daily Fail as the nail in the coffin of the hockey stick graph and AGW theory as a whole. This led Tim Lambert of Deltoid to coin the term “The McIntyre factor”:
      “”The McIntyre factor is the amount that you have to multiply the size of an adjustment in the GISS US temperatures by to get the number of words in the resulting Steve McIntyre post. Empirical evidence puts the McIntyre factor at 125,000.

      So what else has he done? Nothing really. The great victory for the denialist movement was a statistically insignificant change in one country for one year

      And: A Canadian who hates hockey sticks.

  51. Among all human activities creating scientific knowledge does not appear as one in need on much mediation. Administration of science might need it, use of results of science in support of decision making might also need it. Personal relations of scientists and non-scientists involved in disputes with scientists might sometimes be improved through mediation.

    But science itself?

    That could equally well lead to wrong consensus building and other unwanted consequences. In science proper we have other and more appropriate ways for resolving disagreements. They may be slow, but then that’s an unavoidable property of the scientific process.

    Some of the examples discussed in this thread have only strengthened my view on what I write above.

    • Of course you are correct, mr. pirila. Scientific mediation is just a trick cooked up by the deniers to get their noses under the tent. I think the clever consensus boys will see right through such a transparent ploy and the smarmy little twits will continue to do their magic, behind the curtain.

    • Pekka – 100% correct.
      Scientific knowledge is gained by doing science.
      Not by mediation, communication, consensus or psychological analysis of the investigators and the process.

      • It’s mundane to recoil from mediation in science. It’s policy that needs, mediation; perhaps intensive such. Remediation? Intervention? Intercession?
        ==============

  52. It’s always odd being called a denier by people who deny that there is even a pause. This despite the pause being the hot topic among mainstream believer scientists with a myriad of guesses to explain it away rather than admit that CO2 is not really that important after all. It’s obvious that only the skeptics are grounded in reality.

  53. The basic problem is that there are thousands of subarguments, many of which assume what others question. For example the accuracy of ice cores or surfave temperature averages. Some even assume AGW while questioning CAGW. Tree structures are like that. So any model of the debate that assumes a simple structure of consistent arguments is just false and unhelpful.

    • > So any model of the debate that assumes a simple structure of consistent arguments is just false and unhelpful.

      Tree logic is a species of temporal logic. Temporal logic can be used in software V&V. Verification determines the correctness of a formal specification. Validation determines if what we represent has a proper semantics, i.e. it means what it should.

      Representing “thousands of subarguments” is certainly not intractable. Using human-powered facilities, Skeptical Science did a splendid job of distilling the most important:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

      ***

      If that’s not enough to expose David Wojick’s formal obfuscation, we can refer to this basic demonstration:

      > Converting trees to proofs in quantified modal logic is both possible and straightforward.

      http://courses.umass.edu/phil511/qmeta.pdf

      David Wojick should restrict himself to anticlimatic obfuscation.

      • Willard, in desperation, reveals the fountainhead of his beliefs, and by Golly, it’s a bunch of skeptics. moshe, help me understand.
        ===============

  54. The thing is, Willard, I am not doing quantified modal logic, although I can. Issues have a tree structure because every claim or objection has several responses, as does every response, etc. It is that simple. Nothing modal or temporal about it. How else do you explain the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of blog comments for example? Not to mention the tens of thousands of scientific articles? It is not just a big pile of words. The debate has a formal structure, the issue tree.

  55. willard cored the tree, not knowing it was a strip bark specimen.
    =================

  56. when the science is incomplete, and people are taking opposite sides, it’s because they’re filling in the gaps with their own persona biases and their political opinions. And that’s not what we need from scientists. We just want their scientific opinion. We want to get rid of all that other stuff.

    That “other stuff”. We of course know it as The Consensus.

  57. Pingback: IPCC stevig op de vingers getikt door Lewis en Crok - Climategate.nl