Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise

by Judith Curry

Researchers need to communicate the policy implications of their results clearly and comprehensively to policy makers and the public—including a clear assessment of the uncertainties associated with their results—while avoiding advocacy based on their authority as researchers.

In January 2012, I was invited to make a presentation to the InterAcademy Council Project on Research Integrity and Scientific Responsibility:

The outcome of the IAC Project is provided in this Report (published September 2012) entitled Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise: A Policy Report.  The 62-page document is an important one, and well worth reading.  I excerpt here some text that is germane to issues that I have been discussing related to the integrity of research, notably these recent posts:

Excerpts from the IAC report:

Overview of Research Values

Responsible conduct in research is based on many of the same human values that apply in daily life, but these values have specific implications in the context of research. The discussion in this guide draws on seven overlapping fundamental values:

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Objectivity
  • Reliability
  • Skepticism
  • Accountability
  • Openness

In research, being honest implies doing research and communicating about research results and their possible applications fully and without deception, whether of others or oneself.

Being fair means treating others with respect and consideration, whether in citing a colleague’s ideas in a paper or mentoring a student in the proper conduct of research. In research—as in life—scientists and scholars should treat others as they hope and expect to be treated in return.

Objectivity implies that researchers try to look beyond their own preconceptions and biases to the empirical evidence that justifies conclusions. Researchers cannot totally eliminate the influence of their own perspectives from their work, but they can strive to be as objective as possible.

Research communities over many years have developed methods to enhance the reliability of the results they obtain, and researchers have an obligation to adhere to these methods or demonstrate that an alternative approach does not reduce the reliability of research results. degree of skepticism toward research results and conclusions so that results and explanations are continually reexamined and improved.

Researchers are accountable to other researchers, to the broader society, and to nature. If challenged, they cannot appeal to authority but must demonstrate that their results or statements are reliable.

Finally, researchers need to be open with others for research to progress. All researchers deserve to work independently as they balance the competing considerations of “what if?” and “what if I am wrong?” But they ultimately need to convey to others their conclusions and the evidence and reasoning on which their conclusions are based so that those conclusions can be examined and extended. This requires careful storage of data and making data available to colleagues whenever possible.

The primacy of these seven values explains why trust is a fundamental characteristic of the research enterprise. Researchers expect that their colleagues will act in accord with these values. When a researcher violates one of the values, that person’s trustworthiness is diminished among other researchers. In addition, the public’s trust in research can be damaged, with harmful effects on the entire research community.

JC comment:  I like the idea of introducing research values in this report, not just cautioning against falsification, fabrication and plagiarism.  These values provide a report card for researchers to be graded against.

Communicating with Policy Makers and the Public

The public’s trust in research depends on the honesty, openness, and objectivity of researchers in communicating the results of research to those outside the research community. This responsibility can take time away from research, but public communication is essential given the pervasive influence of research on the broader society.

Researchers have the same rights as all other people in expressing their opinions and seeking to influence public policy. But researchers must be especially careful to distinguish their roles as specialists and as advocates. Researchers who choose to be advocates have a special responsibility to themselves and to the research community to be very open and honest about the support for the statements they make. Researchers should resist speaking or writing with the authority of science or scholarship on complex, unresolved topics outside their areas of expertise. Researchers can risk their credibility by becoming advocates for public policy issues that can be resolved only with inputs from outside the research community.

A particular problem is communicating uncertainties or probabilities clearly and comprehensively. Statistical evidence can be counterintuitive or poorly grounded. Moreover, uncertainty about measured quantities differs from the uncertainties associated with model calculations. A particular need is for cogent theory and explicit methodology in integrating uncertainty estimates across studies inside the same discipline but with different starting points.

At the same time, all researchers have information of value that they can convey to policy makers and the public, and researchers are particularly well suited to act as honest brokers to untangle basic facts from economic, social, and political considerations. Today, new tools of communication such as blogs and videos are providing innovative ways for researchers to engage with the public. New communication tools also are enabling the development of peer communities around issues of regulatory or policy relevance. The widespread dissemination of solid peer-reviewed information benefits both research and the society in which research is embedded.

Recommendation:  Researchers need to communicate the policy implications of their results clearly and comprehensively to policy makers and the public—including a clear assessment of the uncertainties associated with their results—while avoiding advocacy based on their authority as researchers.

Policy Advice

Researchers often are called upon to serve as advisers to governments, industry, or nongovernmental organizations. This advice can be extremely influential and must avoid bias or parochialism.

Documents generated by researchers to provide advice differ from research articles, but they, too, are based on evidence and reason. These documents should be peer reviewed to bring the quality control mechanisms of research to bear on public and private advice. If formal peer review is not possible, informal consultations with peers, including those who would be expected to be critical, may be necessary.

Recommendation: Scientific policy advice to governments, industry, or nongovernmental organizations should undergo peer review and should not be made from an advocacy perspective.

JC comments:  These are common-sense and sage guidelines from the IAC.  In terms of advocacy by scientists, the perspectives of JC and Tamsin seem more consistent with the IAC than the perspective of Gavin Schmidt.  I find it useful to remind ourselves on these issues as we prepare to evaluate the forthcoming IPCC  Report.  And wouldn’t it be great if the IPCC lead authors could take some time from what must be enormously hectic schedules to  read this report as they prepare their final Summary for Policy Makers.

264 responses to “Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise

  1. Researchers need to communicate the policy implications of their results clearly and comprehensively to policy makers and the public—including a clear assessment of the uncertainties associated with their results—while avoiding advocacy based on their authority as researchers.

    Yes!

    We need to understand what is the benefit expected from proposed policies. The benefits needs to be quantified.

    We have a fair understanding of the costs, but what is the benefit?

    For example:

    1. By how much would a proposed mitigation policy change the climate? How much in degrees C temperature change by say 2050 and or 2100? How much would it change the sea level?

    2. What would be the economic benefit of a proposed mitigation policy?

    3. What is the cost per tonne CO2 abated? What is the cost per degree of temperature change avoided?

    • Peter L. I agree with your general propositions re the ascertainment of the costs and benefits of policy options but query whether such considerations need to be covered by climate scientists? Seems more a job for the likes of Faustino.

    • Peter Davies,

      That’s true. But the economists like Faustino, Garnaut, Nordhaus, Stern etc. cannot do the economic analysis unless the scientists provide reliable input data – such as:

      • Equilibrium temperature-sensitivity coefficient
      • Damage parameter (intercept of damage equation)
      • Price of backstop technology
      • Transfer coefficient in carbon cycle
      • Total resources of fossil fuels

      (Nordhaus, A Question of Balance Table 7-1, p127: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

      After 25 years we have next to no idea what benefits we’d actually get for our expenditure. The Australian ETS would cost $12 for every $1 of projected benefit to 2050. But the projected benefit would almost certainly never be delivered: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2013/08/why-the-ets-will-not-succeed-peter-lang/

      If we can get this message through to the climate scientists they might be persuaded to stop advocating for policies which is a role that is way outside their area of expertise.

      The Australian Climate commission is funded by government and is supposed to provide government with impartial scientific advice on climate. Yet it is up to its ears in advocacy.

    • I agree that these parameters are important for policy Peter Lang but apart from that of temperature-sensitivity the other parameters need to be assessed by sciences other than that of climate. It begs the question why there hasn’t been more multi-disciplinary approaches taken with respect to policy development.

    • We have a fair understanding of the costs, but what is the benefit?

      We can look at Germany to get an understanding of the costs and the lack of benefit.

      All that cost and harm to the economy and absolutely no understandable or measurable change to temperature.

    • “Researchers need to communicate the policy implications of their results clearly and comprehensively to policy makers and the public—including a clear assessment of the uncertainties associated with their results—while avoiding advocacy based on their authority as researchers.”

      This statement needs one point of clarification. It should not permit the inference that the researcher, as researcher, has a duty to communicate results to policy makers. The scientist qua scientist has no ethical duty dictated by his science alone. Scientists must voluntarily agree to serve policy makers before they have a duty to share results with policy makers. The terms of the agreement between scientist and policy maker should spell out the duties of the scientist and should be endorsed by both parties.

    • Theo, scientists do have a duty to policy-makers when they are funded by government to address a potentially massive problem requiring costly attempts at remedy. I think that almost all climate research falls into this category

    • Faustino,

      In absence of the worry about climate change we would certainly have atmospheric and Earth sciences, but they would surely concentrate much more on the shorter term issues that are both easier to study empirically and of more immediate importance.

      The fundamental problem with climate science is that it’s funded so much asking for almost immediate answers to questions that are so difficult that normal scientific processes cannot answer them properly on the expected schedule.

      The scientific process requires time for iteration. Early results must be reconsidered by other scientists. In some cases that leads to confirmation and added precision, in other cases the early results get dismissed or even reversed.

      What’s expected from climate science are results of applied science, but applied science is unreliable without backing from well established basic science. The difficulties of science don’t remove the need for knowledge. They don’t remove the need for making decisions. Decision makers must choose their approach under these conditions. They should understand the situation, and scientists should help them in that.

      Doing decisions under uncertainty is what politicians do all the time, but the potential threat of climate change is in many ways different from the other issues they face. Their earlier experience in handling uncertainties is perhaps not a good guide in this case. Science can therefore offer essential support assuming that the message can be transferred without too much distortion.

    • Pekka,

      You miss the point. Climate scientists are advocating for particular policies, like renewable energy and carbon pricing, that is way outside their area of expertise. the public do not know they are speaking through their backsides and, wrongly, believe they are knowledgeable about the policies they advocate. Their advocacy is negligent. If they were professionals – like engineers and other disciplines – they would be disciplined for their negligence. That is the issue.

  2. I’m not sure whether the report makes this point, but ‘researchers’ are now profession (in Australia, an ‘industry’), and like other professions they need a canon of professional ethics and behaviour. If this document is the basis for one, well and good.

  3. IAC is not a UN organization. It’s an organization founded and run by the national academies of science. Giving advice to UN is listed as an activity IAC aims to do, and it has been commissioned by UN to do studies. As far as I can see UN has no other role in the administration or decision making of IAC.

  4. JC comment: I like the idea of introducing research values in this report, not just cautioning against falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. These values provide a report card for researchers to be graded against.

    Fine. But how do you apply it? How do you evaluate breach of values? How would you evaluate:

    James Hansen
    Michael Mann
    Stephan Lewandowski
    John Cook
    Dana1981
    Will Steffen
    Tim Flannery

    Have these guys breached the scientist’s values?

    If not, then the values need to be modified, all swapped science for advocacy.

    • +1. Violating research values has no downside. Grant money is not affected nor is status within the research community.

  5. Scientists in most fields of science can easily agree on all the excerpts and accept those as the guidelines scientists should follow. Problems with that seem to arise when other strong values get involved. In recent years those values have most often been related to the environment but social and religious values are other examples that have led to similar problems.

    If scientists want to maintain their status as scientist, and if they consider the good of science as most important, they should follow guidelines like those presented by IAC. As Steven Schneider has written, some scientists consider the other values so important for them that they may reach different conclusions.

    • Where are the national bodies that discipline scientists who breach their code? Professional Engineers and other professional disciplines are disciplined for breach of their code. Why aren’t scientists?

      How can it be justified that scientists to not have a code of conduct and professional bodies that discipline scientists who breach the code?

    • What is the Professional Engineers ‘code’ and what does this ‘disciplined’ look like?

    • Michael,

      It depends whether you print in colour or black and white, what size font you choose, what background, paper quality and size. But, of course, A4 always looks much better than 8 1/2″ x 11″.

    • Where are the national bodies that discipline scientists who breach their code?

      Yet another statist, looking for a daddy to enforce the rules.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      What Peter Lang advocates amounts to requiring “a government license to practice science”.

      Does licensing make reasonable sense in medicine, engineering, professional electric work, and even in operating airplanes/automobiles?

      Yes (obviously).

      Does licensing make sense creating new ideas? Whether by science, writing, painting, poetry, singing, politics … or any other creative process?

      No (obviously).

      Conclusion The vision of “licensed/certified science” is novel-but-unsound, Peter Lang!

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    • FOMD,

      Does licensing make sense creating new ideas? Whether by science, writing, painting, poetry, singing, politics … or any other creative process?

      I’d suggest there is a very big difference between “writing, painting, poetry, singing,” versus science and advocacy of policies that will cost trillions of dollars and in most cases have near zero probability of success. Yet most of the top climate scientists are into advocacy for policies in a really big way. This is clearly irresponsible. They are advocating for policies that are way outside their competence. They are being negligent. They should be disciplined by their peers, and serious cases of negligence, should be disciplined by the courts – just as happens to engineers. That is why engineers, as a rule, are cautions, conservative and have high integrity.

    • Howard,

      Thanks for the link in answer to Michael’s question. It wsill be interesting to see if he actually studies them and comes back with constructive comments.

      Here are Engineer’s Code of Ethics from Canada and Australia:

      Engineers Canada:
      http://www.engineerscanada.ca/e/pu_guidelines.cfm

      Engineers Australia:
      https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/western-australia-division/code-ethics

    • That is why engineers, as a rule, are cautions, conservative and have high integrity.

      And good looking and charming, no doubt.

      Seriously, that is beautiful, Peter. Your selective vision almost completely categorical.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Lang’s authoritarian worldview: “Most of the top climate scientists are into advocacy for policies in a really big way. This is clearly irresponsible. They are advocating for policies that are way outside their competence. They are being negligent. They should be disciplined by their peers, and serious cases of negligence, should be disciplined by the courts.”

      Or as Monty Python put it: Shut up! Shut UP! Will you SHUT UP! BLOODY PEASANTS!

      Seriously Peter Lang, why not trust the marketplace of scientific ideas?

      The marketplace of ideas is *FAR* more fair and efficient, than any hidebound central authority!

      This is solid scientific conservatism, eh Peter Lang!

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    • Peter Lang’s authoritarian worldview:….

      It’s particularly amusing to read how folks like Gary and Peter post over and over about how “progressives” are authoritarian, and statist, and elitist, and still manage to write so many comments that reflect “statist,” authoritarian, and elitist (my favorite is when Gary determines that only he can define people’s political orientation) attitudes.

      Here’s the reality, IMO. Such broad and categorical generalizations say more about the accuser than about those they are describing,. Folks like Peter and Gary are so ideologically wedded to a selective, scorched earth, zero sum gain, motivated reasoning that not only can they not see they gaping holes in how they characterize others, they are unable to be reflective about applying the principles they espouse to their own reasoning,.

      In reality, we are all (except for maybe Don Montford) far more alike than different w/r/t our values, our goals, and morals. More understanding of that reality is the first step in moving past the jell-o flinging.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      We don’t think so Joshua. The modern radical has a worldview that endorses transition of societies to a new order involving reduction in economic activity. This necessarily involves fear, uncertainty and doubt – created by cult of AGW groupthink space cadet science – and accompanied by hopes of natural disasters in which to engineer a transformative moment. Laframboise’s use of religious terms is entirely justified. Fortunately or unfortunately – space cadet science bears little resemblance to real science.

      There is no rapprochement with these people. The Borg analogy is apt – assimilate to the cult or die. The best we can do is to ensure to the best of our abilities that this cult is contained politically. They have an overwhelming political weakness. They need to deny limits to growth and affirm it at the same time.

    • Chief –

      The sort of extremist you describe exist on both sides of the political divide.

      So here are the two basic follow-on problems with the way you deal with that reality.

      1) You extend that vision far beyond what can be reasonably proven. I know this because of how I have been inaccurately characterized, over and over, in this threads – but my own experience could be an outlier. It isn’t. We can see the precisely same phenomenon ubiquitously (and again, bilaterally).

      2) Because you are “motivated” to extend your characterizations beyond what can be reasonably proven, you are then “motivated” to find proof where it doesn’t exist.

      My mischaracterization of Peter was meant as an object lesson. It was to mock his, and Gary’s, and your, behavior, and that of many others, to show how easy it is to twist someone’s words when you are “motivated” to do so. If I am willing to thrown due skeptical diligence out the window, I can use Peter’s words to argue that he is a “statist” “authoritarian” “elitist” and then use a methodology of guilt-by-association to extent those same attributes to whomever I wish to associate with him based on an arbitrary (in the sense of being subjective, not in the sense of being random) association with any number of nearly universal characteristics I choose to selectively prioritize.

      I’m not surprised that the object lesson was lost on you, as you have a repeated history of making the very type of errors I am describing here. You have also demonstrated, repeatedly, a complete resistance to self-reflection on this issue.

      Unlike you, however, I don’t broaden your attributes, unscientifically, to characterize some large group (as you do with hundreds of millions). To do so would be fallacious. Your type of reasoning is no more characteristic of “conservatives” than it is of “progressives,” IMO. It is no more characteristic of “skeptics” than it is of “realists,” IMO. That type of fallacious reasoning is, as we have evidence to show, characteristic of how all humans reason – as the result of fundamental attributes in how we reason, particularly w/r/t issues that cross into social, political, cultural, or other identifications,.

      What matters most here, IMO, is our openness to engaging our motivations through open dialog. Obviously, you would never be interested in such, as you are so convinced in your characterization of me, and hundreds of millions of others, as being morally and intellectually inferior to you.

      But please don’t get the wrong impression. It isn’t that I object, in any way, to your cute ramblings and your endless display of unintentional irony. You have often made that mistake, also, but that is far from the case. I find your input on these issues quite enlightening, if in an unintended way, and always, without exception, quite amusing.

    • Everybody’s missing something crucial – ethics are only enforceable on engineers if they’re licensed. The majority are unlicensed, and if they stay within the law, and their employers are ok with their conduct, there isn’t a thing a member of the public can do about ethical lapses.

      This is why scientists who offer policy advise should be required to be licensed to do so.

    • Harold -

      Everybody’s missing something crucial – ethics are only enforceable on engineers if they’re licensed

      What evidence do you have the ethics can be “enforced?”

    • Joshua. Learn something about state P.E. licensure. Just like you can file an ethics complains against a lawyer with the state bar, you can file an ethics complaint with the state board against a licensed P.E. If the engineer isn’t licensed, you can’t do bupkis.

      Imagine most lawyers being allowed to practice without passing the bar. That’s the situation with engineers.

      Of course, certain ‘special’ lawyers in Massachusetts are allowed to practice law without being bar members because they’re ‘special’. But she’s special so that’s ok.

    • If you follow the link, it also includes the science of geology. The premise is that some engineering and geologic disciplines are practiced to ensure public health and safety like civil and environmental engineering and hydrogeology, environmental and engineering geology.

      Professional engineers and professional scientists make policy recommendations all the time, however, they are held accountable for these policy recommendations. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to hold climate science to these same professional standards if they are to have any legitimate influence on policy.

      http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/laws/index.shtml

    • Joshua:
      The entity could have voluntary membership. Like the AICPA.

    • To add to my previous post, the AICPA is a voluntary organization with voluntary membership. Most if not all states have an authoritative body, where licenses are renewed, in my case annually. I am active and current, which means, my name can go on my clients returns as the preparer. I am also given other privileges by various authorities including the IRS.

      Regulation is a trade off. To some extent and in some interpretations, the CPAs have used government to try to corner their market. They’ve done a better of job at the high end then at the broad base of tax return preparation. An H & R Block Franchise can be owned and operated without being a CPA. And all the online S/W out there cuts into our market share also.

      Their high end market includes the services provided to larger companies. They are often involved as gatekeepers of the financial statements the publicly traded companies are required to issue.

      What do people get for this regulation? CPAs have to consider what their regulators think? They are bounded by laws. The public does have a place to go if they want to file a complaint. Regulation provides structure, it sets a bar for CPAs. It perhaps contributes to stability and predictability. In some ways, I’d expect one CPA to sound like the next one. There will be some more aggressive CPAs and some less so, but long term CPAs generally hang in that 95% confidence interval.

      I am a bit of libertarian so how to I reconcile the above with where I am supposed to be against regulation? Protecting my clients come before my political views, they are the world to me. I see one of my roles is keeping them within the bounds of law. I’d guess many professions have this protecting mentality.

      I can’t say I have an opinion on regulating Scientists, though their work can have large effects on us, like all these Ethanol plants, and the price of Corn. The low hanging fruit here is a voluntary organization. Perhaps existing voluntary associations can approach this issue, and consider the costs and benefits.

    • Michael,

      You can go to any professional engineering society to find the rules.

      As to what disciplining looks like, revocation of one’s professional license.

      Joshua,

      You apparently misunderstand. There is nothing statist about it.

      fan,

      purposefully misrepresentative as always.

    • k scott denison

      Joshua | September 11, 2013 at 8:18 am |
      Where are the national bodies that discipline scientists who breach their code?

      Yet another statist, looking for a daddy to enforce the rules.
      =========
      Huh, and here I thought the national society of professional engineers was not run but the government. Thanks for correcting us Joshua.

      Oh wait, the NSPE is not run by the government. Huh. Wrong again, Joashua.

    • Peter Gleick is the poster child for your 2nd para

    • Just as Donna Laframboise is the poster child for poor quality ‘journalism’.

    • Michael

      Donna Laframboise is the poster child for poor quality ‘journalism’.

      Huh?

      Howzat?

      Max

    • Perhaps, Judith, but it is interesting who was left off, and that failed to catch your attention:

      Richard Lindzen with his essays comparing environmentalists to eugenicists?

      McKitirick, calling people cowards?

      Perhaps Spencer?

      I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.

      Selectivity is selective, eh Judith?

    • Interesting Joshua. None of these instances involve fraud, illegality, dishonesty, negligence or gross incompetence. You just don’t like skeptics or their opinions.

    • John Carpenter

      “Just as Donna Laframboise is the poster child for poor quality ‘journalism’”

      Uh… but David Rose…

      Mommy mommy, they do it toooooooooooooo.

      You see this Joshua?

    • stan -

      None of these instances involve fraud, illegality, dishonesty, negligence or gross incompetence. You just don’t like skeptics or their opinions.

      To a certain extent, I think that your point is valid. I’m not willing to accept that there is a provable distinction (of kind) with respect to those descriptors you used to distinguish the various individuals and their actions, but there are differences (of degree, perhaps)..

      But that is largely independent of my point, which is that people draw arbitrary distinctions of kind where they don’t exist. And my point was directly related to Peter’s comment and Judith’s response. The issue in question was:

      How do you evaluate breach of values?

      I would say that in terms of “breach of values,” specifically scientific values, and in terms of the criteria that Judith uses to assess breaches in values, I think that Judith should include Lindzen, Mckitrick, and Spencer along with Gleik. She says that Gliek is a poster child for breaches in values, but why not scientists who name-call, who write polemics to demean millions of people, or who do something that Judith critcizes as unethical – advocate with politicians as Spencer does? But she refuses to do so. She refuses to apply the same standard to “skeptics” that she applies to “realists.” Instead, she applies her criteria selectively.

      You just don’t like skeptics or their opinions.

      You are wrong about this. First, I greatly admire skeptics and their process of formulating opinions – even if I don’t always agree with their opinions.

      My focus here is not so much on skeptics, however, but on “skeptics.” Even still, however, just because I point out selectivity in their reasoning does not mean that I don’t like “skeptics” or their opinions. I don’t know many “skeptics” and those that I do know, I “like.” I have no particular opinion w/r/t “liking” the “skeptics” I see here. I’ve never met them.

      As w/r/t their opinions, it isn’t a matter of “liking” their opinions or “disliking” their opinions. I don’t really see “opinions” as being something to like or dislike. Maybe agree with or disagree with might be more appropriate, but even there I should point out that I can certainly see validity in an opinion even if I don’t agree with it. Opinions based on selective reasoning, however, I don’t see as valid, and I comment accordingly. Just because you don’t agree with my opinions does not provide you the evidence to draw conclusions about who I like, or whose opinions I “like.”

      To do so would be “skeptical” and not skeptical.

    • k scott denison

      Joshua | September 11, 2013 at 8:23 am |
      Perhaps, Judith, but it is interesting who was left off, and that failed to catch your attention:

      Richard Lindzen with his essays comparing environmentalists to eugenicists?

      McKitirick, calling people cowards?
      ======
      Remind me, which of these admitted to committing fraud in order to obtain documents they had no rights to?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The marketplace of scientific ideas enforces a strict discipline:

      If young scientists (and entrepreneurs) ignore your ideas  then you are a scientific mediocrity (at best).

      If young scientists (and entrepreneurs) embrace your ideas  then you are a scientific success.

      Strictly following the IAC Guidelines  maximizes the likelihood that your scientific ideas will be embraced.

      Summary Embracing the IAC Guidelines maximizes individual scientific success.

      Could any administrative process and/or standing committee (including the IPCC!) render a more nearly fair scientific judgment than this?

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    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Indeed, some of the late Steven Schneider’s comments are completely consistent with what we see in the outspoken advocacy of many well known climate scientists today.

      Unfortunately, a list of admonitions from the IAC is unlikely to change the behavior of those outspoken climate scientists in any meaningful way. When the cause is honestly thought to be sufficiently noble, most any means to support that cause can be justified, which is why it is sometimes described as corruption of a noble cause. I prefer to think of it as a strong personal sense of morality corrupting science. The only reasonable things the public can do are 1) take into account the kind of advocacy we see in climate science, 2) accept that noble cause corruption may be tilting ‘the science’, and so 3) very critically examine both the policy arguments offered by advocate scientists and (even more) the quality of the research used to justify those policies.

      My personal opinion is that outspoken advocacy by climate scientists has greatly damaged the credibility of the field, and, if anything, made adoption of policies which will reduce fossil fuel use less likely rather than more. Climate scientists should consider the public’s views on the credibility of trial lawyers, who are full time advocates, when weighing the costs and benefits of part time advocacy.

    • Well we’ve seen evidence of peer review corruption by
      “the team” and in the last thread, by implication when
      discussing retrospectivity, the Pacchauri led IPCC
      without a conflict of interest policy in place, and all
      that $$$$$$$$$$$ of taxpayers’ money involved. (

    • When you come up with a theory and decide it is 97% right before you know enough, you are doomed to failure.

  6. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry, are the IAC Guidelines not radical in their implications? Do they not imply the Papal charter of the coming Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature workshop?

    “Today no one in our world feels responsible; we have lost a sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters. […] The culture of comfort, which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people, makes us live in soap bubbles which, however lovely, are insubstantial; they offer a fleeting and empty illusion which results in indifference to others; indeed, it even leads to the globalization of indifference. […] “Adam, where are you?” “Where is your brother?” these are the two questions which God asks at the dawn of human history, and which he also asks each man and woman in our own day.”

       — homily of Holy Father Francis, 8 July 2013

    Conclusion  The IAC Guidelines comprise a conservative scientific means toward a radical scientific end; that radical scientific end being Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature.

    Judith Curry, young climate-change scientists (and older ones too!) appreciate that the embrace of conservative scientific means leads rationally, progressively, and inexorably to the embrace of radical scientific ends.

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    • Pity about his views on contraception isn’t it.

    • Everyone should remember also that the outcome of her or his acts is not necessarily what the actor had in mind.

      I support the recommendations of the IAC report because I believe that scientists are ultimately of greatest value when they follow them and let their other values determine the behavior within the limits set by these principles. That leaves enough freedom of choice to avoid serious conflicts between values of science and other values of the person, who happens to be a scientist as well.

      While I believe in the above, I can see, how others may perceive and claim that a scientist operates in conflict with the values of science, when that’s not true, i.e., when the scientist has full justification for believing that results of science are presented honestly, objectively and fairly. Therefore every scientist should apply the principles to her or his own activities, but not without strong objective justification accuse others of violating them.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      But Pekka, any rational person can see that statements by the late Steven Schneider suggest the real possibility of a conscious overstatement of both the magnitude of projected impacts due to warming and their certainty. Are you suggesting that people should not more critically examine the scientific work of someone like Steven Schneider based on statements which appear to advocate willful exaggeration? Are you suggesting that obvious policy advocacy by climate scientists is not a legitimate basis to have greater skepticism about the validity of their scientific work? More formally: Should not advocacy by climate scientists shift our Bayesian prior in the direction of doubt/skepticism based only on the increased probability of noble cause corruption when strongly held moral views are relevant?

    • Steve,

      No, that’s not what I mean. Rather I want to say that scientists should be equally critical on their own thinking when they present judgment on other scientists as they should be in presenting results of their own work.

      When a possibility exists that science can properly support policy relevant conclusions, presenting such conclusions doesn’t by itself indicate any violation of proper scientific conduct.

      When accusations about violation of proper scientific conduct are presented everyone else interested in the issue should make their own judgment on who of the two scientists involved has behaved properly and who not. In blogosphere we’ll naturally find often two sides, each fully convinced that the other side is the one guilty of improper conduct.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      “When a possibility exists that science can properly support policy relevant conclusions, presenting such conclusions doesn’t by itself indicate any violation of proper scientific conduct. ”

      Sure, but that doesn’t really address what we (as observers) see actually happening. If a climate scientist like James Hansen gets himself arrested for illegally blocking a roadway during a protest against the mining of coal, then it seems to me likely that scientist holds very strong personal/moral views about the need to stop burning coal. My experience is that strongly held personal/moral views can (and often do) change the way a person thinks about all kinds of subjects, including but not limited to science. Do you agree that it is reasonable to consider a person’s past behavior and past statements when considering their credibility?

    • If such conflict would not exist, Steven Schneider had had no motivation for his pondering and writing.

      James Hansen has made it fully clear that he acts based on his moral values. I have also been highly critical of his recent scientific paper. We learned that Katz, Craigmile, Guttorp, Haran, Sanso, and Stein had similar doubts on that paper. I don’t consider these observations unrelated, therefore I an skeptical on what Hansen publishes even when that is done in a peer reviewed journal.

      We have concrete reasons to be wary of the influence of other motives on the scientific publications, but it’s difficult to tell, how widely that happens.

      When such observations can be made, those who have opposing political views take advantage of the situation and many of them promote the view that the problem is widespread and affects all climate science. That’s, however, not at all obvious, on the contrary most of papers on climate science show no sign of such of error as far as I can judge.

      I have written above that my view is that scientists should follow fully guidelines like those presented by IAC. That’s important, because only through that could we improve the present situation, where those who would like to believe in conclusions different of main stream climate science can show examples of deviations from proper scientific conduct. Whatever the motivation of the messenger, the error is not in the messenger as long as there really is conduct that deviates from the guidelines.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pekka Pirilä says “James Hansen has made it fully clear that he acts based on his moral values. I have also been highly critical of his recent scientific paper. We learned that Katz, Craigmile, Guttorp, Haran, Sanso, and Stein had similar doubts on that paper.”

      Pekka, your remarks fall short in (Judith Curry’s criteria of) scientific “accountability and openness” in leaving key questions unanswered:

      (1)  Would that article be Climate Sensitivity, Sea Level, and Atmospheric CO2?

      (2) What was the scientific substance of “the doubts”?

      Non-scientific doubts regarding (e.g.) the wisdom of coal-related civil disobedience are of course scientifically nugatory!

      James Hansen tackles these issues accountably and openly, for example in his on-line essay Making Things Clearer: Exaggeration, Jumping the Gun, and The Venus Syndrome (15 April, 2013).

      Pekka Pirilä, it would be well were you — and your claimed cohort of Katz, Craigmile, Guttorp, Haran, Sanso, and Stein too? — to reciprocate Hansen’s demonstrated commitment to Judith Curry’s call for scientific accountability and openness!

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    • Trust is never complete, and should never be. Science as a process is, however, highly dependent on the trust in that other scientists follow commonly understood guidelines, written or just known otherwise. Every failure to follow those rules has a multiplicative influence, first on the credibility and trustworthiness of the scientist found deviating from the guidelines, but often more widely.

      Making errors is unavoidable, admitting explicitly and immediately errors, when they are found is a willful decision, and so is failing to do that. To me Hansen failed on that point and that’s a very serious blow on his credibility. What’s worse, that kind of failures do affect science more widely. For that it’s much worse if other scientist are knowingly willing to overlook the error. It’s good that Katz et al picked that up, but even they did it in a way that very few could recognize.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Whoops! Here is the working link to the above “wisdom of coal-related civil disobedience” that contains the Jeffersonian common-sense/scientific wisdom you cannot regulate an abomination.”

      That’s plain human common-sense, eh Pekka Pirilä?

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pekka Pirilä says “I have also been highly critical of [James Hansen's] recent scientific paper. We learned that Katz, Craigmile, Guttorp, Haran, Sanso, and Stein had similar doubts on that paper.”

      Pekka Pirilä, it is gravely disappointing that you have not “openly, responsibly, and accountably” identified *which* Hansen paper you are speaking of, nor who *we* are, nor provided any evidence that “Katz, Craigmile, Guttorp, Haran, Sanso, and Stein had similar doubts”, nor stated concretely what those “similar doubts” might be.

      Surely you can be more “open, responsible, and accountable” than this, Pekka Pirilä!

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    • I thought, perhaps erroneously, that you and many others would know it from earlier threads. In Katz et al. the issue is stated as

      It has recently been claimed that, along with an increase in the mean, the probability distribution of temperature is becoming more skewed towards higher values [13,14]. But techniques based on extreme value theory do not detect this apparent increase in skewness [15]. Any increase is evidently an artefact of an inappropriate method of calculation of skewness when the mean is changing [16].

      where the ref 14 is Hansen, J., Sato, M. & Ruedy, R. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, E2415–E2423 (2012).

      I have discussed earlier in considerable length why I consider the error totally essential for the paper. In my view everything that’s apparently scientifically new in that paper is probably just an artifact of the error. At least the paper cannot prove the opposite.

      The nature of the technical error was pointed out by Tamino.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pekka Pirilä, your response is disingenuous (to say the least!) in failing to cite the subsequent scientific literature regarding this topic.

      And it is disingenuous too not to acknowledge Hansen’s overarching concerns — which are scientifically well-founded — to the effect that

      Hansen’s Scientific Proposition

      “If we should “succeed” in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35°C. At such temperatures, for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive, because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest. Thus even a person lying quietly naked in hurricane force winds would be unable to survive. Temperatures even several degrees below this extreme limit would be sufficient to make a region practically uninhabitable for living and working.”

      Needless to say, researchers whose climate-change horizon is a few decades or less (Judith Curry, for example) may well consider that Hansen’s longer-term climate-change considerations are scientifically irrelevant.

      But it is wrong to assert that Hansen is obligated — morally or professionally — to remain quiet about these topics. Moreover, it means that there exist no scientific grounds to criticize Hansen for emphasizing these longer-term climate-change considerations.

      These considerations are scientific common-sense, eh Pekka Pirilä?

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    • Fan,

      Your response is not relevant for my concern. My claim is that the scientific value of the paper is totally lost by the error. The paper may be interpreted to discuss other issues related to policy, but I look at it as contribution science.

      It’s not new that rising temperatures raises temperatures. Noting that contains nothing of scientific interest. Everything that might have been new for science in that paper is related to changes in the shape of the temperature distributions. That applies also to the map based graphics. They are also influenced by the error, and are therefore of no scientific value as they stand.

      Of course I may err in part in my analysis, but presently I’m convinced that I’m right and write on that basis.

      If I have something to contribute to the climate discussion that’s totally dependent on my best attempt of being objective and critical whenever I firmly believe that that’s justified and when I feel that the issue is important enough for being brought up.

    • Fan

      Just a day or two ago Pekka was your new best friend. What happened? You are fickle

      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pekka Pirilä, wasn’t the upshot simply this?

      Frequent summer temperature extremes
      reflect changes in the mean, not the variance

      Andrew Rhines and Peter Huybers

      “The main conclusion of Hansen et al. was that recent extremes would be highly unlikely without a warming climate, and this finding withstands our additional analysis.”

      Isn’t this how scientific validation works?

      It is disappointing that you do not cite this conclusion!

      This is scientific common-sense, eh Pekka Pirilä?

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    • Thank you for bringing that paper to my attention. For some reason I haven’t seen that mentioned even, when the error was later discussed by Tamino and others on his site. It may be that been mentioned but I haven’t noticed that.

      There’s also another PNAS paper by Katz and Katz, but as far as can see they didn’t discuss specific errors, but only their analysis using a somewhat different method. Rhines and Huybers point out the error stating This bias is because the mean temperature of individual time series generally differs from zero during the later period, and differences in the mean across time series contribute to the aggregated variance estimate.

      We have since February seen many people refer to the Hansen et al paper, but evidently few to the paper of Rhines and Huybers. What should we think about that?

    • I tried to find out, when the discussion at Tamino’s took place, but couldn’t find it any more. It may have been already in autumn 2012, i.e. before the Rhines and Huybers paper was published, but I cannot be sure.

      Some related discussion took place here around that time, but I cannot remember the thread where that took place.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pekka Pirilä asks “We have since February seen many people refer to the Hansen et al paper, but evidently few to the paper of Rhines and Huybers. What should we think about that?”

      Perhaps it’s not complicated Pekka Pirilä: “The main conclusion of Hansen et al. […] withstands our additional analysis.”

      And in this regard, Hansen is pretty blunt about his main conclusions.

      Quite properly so, eh Pekka Pirilä?

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    • Now I found discussion from this thread

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/10/fuzzy-dice/

      There was nothing on this issue in the post but the discussion took place soon thereafter. Thus the error was revealed at latest August 12, 2012, not in February 2013, when the Rhines and Huybers short paper was published in PNAS.

      Again I ask: What should we conclude from this?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pekka Pirilä asks “What should we conclude from this?”

      Pekka Pirilä, these findings affirm four conclusions:

      Conclusion 1  Critical scientific review again affirms “Hansen’s climate-change worldview is broadly correct” (as has been the case in every decade since 1981)

      Conclusion 2  For cultural rather than rational scientific reasons, institutions like the IPCC are consistently over-conservative in assessing the implications of Hansen’s scientific findings

      Conclusion 3  The scientific establishment’s innate conservatism is amplified because the scientific case for avoiding dangerous climate change to protect young people and nature is politically and economically unpalatable

      Conclusion 4  The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy is organizationally, culturally, and intellectually better-suited to evaluate Hansen’s research than the IPCC.

      These four conclusions are simple and evident, Pekka Pirilä!

      Alternative We can (irrationally!)( restrict our scientific consideration to decadal (or shorter) time-scales, and focus our attention upon dynamical fluctuations, and thereby avoid all difficult questions, at the price of ignoring “the best available climate-change science.”

      But that alternative would be so timid as to be bad science, eh Pekka Pirilä?

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    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Pekka,
      “We have concrete reasons to be wary of the influence of other motives on the scientific publications, but it’s difficult to tell, how widely that happens.”

      Yes, I agree.

      There are two dangers: 1) we are not cautious enough and accept the conclusions of climate science without sufficient skepticism, and 2) we are too critical and conclude that most climate scientists are not being completely honest in their public statements, based only on the known/verified behavior of a few.

      There are no easy answers. What I try to do is look at published papers, public statements, and public actions, and use those things to evaluate if a climate scientist is consistent and credible. For example, Andy Dessler wrote a paper a couple of years ago about cloud feedbacks being positive. The paper itself was reasonably cautious about uncertainty, even plainly stating that with such noisy data it was impossible to exclude (at 95% confidence) that the true cloud feedback is in fact negative rather than positive. I then saw a video interview of Dessler talking about cloud feedbacks: all scientific uncertainty was gone, and Dessler clearly stated in the video that cloud feedbacks are strongly positive… no comment on uncertainty at all.

      This is a case where a climate scientist makes public claims (for advocacy purposes) which are absolutely NOT supported by ‘the science’. For me, this means that Dessler is simply not a reliable source for information on climate science….. he has let his advocacy dominate his science. A later paper by Troy Masters showed that Dessler’s results… likely positive cloud feedbacks …. were dependent on the chosen data set, and that other data sets, applying Dessler’s analysis methods, indicated negative or near-neutral cloud feedbacks are more likely than positive feedbacks. This further reduces Dessler’s credibility for me: why would Dessler select the one data set which shows the greatest probability of positive cloud feedback?

    • You don’t have to be good, just lucky.
      ===========

  7. AccessIPCC http://tome22.info/IAC-Report/IAC-Report-Overview-Short.html extracts key sentences from the IAC report and groups them under five categories:

    - Political interference
    - Bias
    - Uncertainty
    - Conflict of interest
    - Management

    Click on a sentence to go to the part of the IAC report it is extracted from.

    IMO it is a good presentation of the guts of what is important but buried in the IAC report – and all one page!

    • The above is for the IAC report of the review of IPCC processes and procedures

    • Yes. And what an excellent job they did, eh? They’ve extracted from the IAC report the really important insights and conclusions that otherwise are buried in the text of report. They are not brought out in the Summary because, like the IPCC SPM, the summary was edited by all and sundry to minimise the political damage to the IPCC. But this web site exposes what they really said.

      By the way, FOMD, have you written an expose of the people behind your favourite web site, the un-SkepticalScience team? Have you exposed their backgrounds, their ideological biases, and their conspiratorial activities? Just wondering?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      About Tome22 and the people behind it: Peter Bobroff, Hilary Ostrov, and (anonymous)

      Two non-scientists and one “anonymous”, Peter Lang? And why does Tome22 list Head paragraphs for Peter Lang as a “task for the future on Tome22″? Peter Lang, are you flogging works commissioned wholly or partly by … yourself?

      That’s not “accountable, open, or objective”, Peter Lang!

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    • [Previously posted in the wrong place:]

      FOMD,

      Yes. And what an excellent job they did, eh? They’ve extracted from the IAC report the really important insights and conclusions that otherwise are buried in the text of report. They are not brought out in the Summary because, like the IPCC SPM, the summary was edited by all and sundry to minimise the political damage to the IPCC. But this web site exposes what they really said.

      By the way, FOMD, have you written an expose of the people behind your favourite web site, the un-SkepticalScience team? Have you exposed their backgrounds, their ideological biases, and their conspiratorial activities? Just wondering?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Yes, I have personally verified the crucial scientific ideas of my favorite climate-change website,

      As a wise conservative once said “Trust, but Verify!”

      That’s excellent scientific advice, eh Peter Lang?

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    • Fan

      I had never heard of Tome22 (sorry Hilary) before you referenced it. I am obviously missing something here. These are their aims;

      “Tome22 enables you to discover for yourself the underlying logical of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the activists who support the Panel’s mission. It does so by giving you access to publicly released emails between the activists, by tracking the various connections between these activists and by providing access to critical analysis.

      We have our own agenda, of course, we believe it is important that more and more people discover the goals and methods of the activists who want to radically change of the world.”

      They point out their aims and objectives up front. We can then make up our minds as to whether this is useful. What is the purpose of your linking to it?
      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Lang linked to Tome22 without disclosing his personal role in it. It appears that Tome22′s “head paragraphs” (what are they?) were/are written at Peter Lang’s request.

      The sole Climate Etc folks who can clarify these authorship relations are Peter Lang and Hilary Ostrov.

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    • FOMD,

      Here’s another one: AccessIPCC
      http://accessipcc.com/index.html

      And here’s an example of how to use it:

      - Scroll down to the second table and click on “Physical Sciences Basis”
      - Scroll down to the second table and click on “AR4-WG1-6″
      - Scroll down to the second table and click on “6.3.1″
      - Scroll down to Figure 6.1 and read the caption

      Notice how many of the citations for this critically important figure are “of concern” (for one reason or another as per the symbols after each citation).

      Amazing how much information is out on the internet that you will never know about if all you want to know is what SkS tells you, eh?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Quick, tell Francis that “It’s a scam!”

      `Cuz he’s not as savvy as you are, eh Peter Lang?

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    • So I scrolled down to the caption of figure 6.1 and read the caption.

      “All data have been adjusted to the Gradstein et al. 2004 [NPR] ) time scale.”

      Apparently there’s a problem here. NPR means non-peer reviewed.

      “A successor to A Geologic Time Scale 1989 (Cambridge, 1990), this volume introduces the theory and methodology behind the construction of the new time scale, before presenting the scale itself in extensive detail. An international team of over forty stratigraphic experts develops the most up-to-date international stratigraphic framework for the Precambrian and Phanerozoic eras.”

      “MILLIONS of people can name a single geologic period, the Jurassic. Nit-pickers did argue that the famous film should have been called Cretaceous Park, resting their case on the identification of the beginning and end of a distinct phase in Earth’s history. This task lies at the heart of A Geologic Time Scale 2004, an academic and often highly technical book.”

      Sounds like citing Gradstein et al is fine.

      AR5 should cite the origin of species somewhere so these bozos would have to write [NPR] next to it.

    • lolwot,

      I don’t understand the point you are making. It seems to me you are confirming that AccessIPCC has it right that the citation, Gradstein (2004) [1], is not peer reviewed (one of many in IPCC AR4 despite the IPCC claims to the contrary).

      It seems the example you chose demonstrates that AccessIPCC has correctly identified this citation as NPR (not peer reviewed). Is that the point you were intending to make?

      [1] Gradstein, F.M., J.G. Ogg, and A.G. Smith (eds.), 2004: AGeologic Time Scale.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 589 pp. [NPR]

    • Yes, I have personally verified the crucial scientific ideas of my favorite climate-change website,

      Somehow I doubt this is a honest statement.

  8. Room for improvement, certainly. To date, what they call climate policy seems based on the understanding that one can’t burn an omelet without smashing all the eggs.

  9. No direct paper should alone have no policy implications- it doesn’t have enough information- its also not confirmed. A meta-study might have policy implications.

  10. Judith Curry

    As an interested outsider, I’d agree 100% with your recommendation to go beyond simply looking for “falsification, fabrication and plagiarism” and add the seven “research values” you list.

    What I missed (maybe it belongs under “honesty” or “objectivity”) is to avoid overstating confidence and acknowledge uncertainty, where it exists.

    I’m afraid IPCC would fail this one, if it really claims increased confidence level to 95% in its AR5 report.
    http://www.wunderground.com/news/95-percent-certain-humans-are-causing-global-warming-report-20130819

    An international team of climate scientists says it is 95 to 100 percent confident that human activity — largely from burning fossil fuels — is the main cause of global warming since the 1950s, according to a leaked draft of the upcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Let’s hope IPCC corrects this before the report is final.

    Max

  11. All of these guidelines and recommendations are DOA unless they have actual funding consequences attached.

    Funding is linked to positive results, however, trial and error is the primary path to discovery, therefore, the system is structured to promote white lies and over-optimism.

  12. Judith, government funded research papers and data need to be open and accessible to citizens as well as research buddies. I help pay for the work with my taxes, I expect to be able see the data, math, programs, etc without having to wait for a research colleague to put it on the Internet.

  13. Scientific Forecasting for Public Policy
    The challenges highlighted in this report are part of the broader challenge of scientific integrity in forecasting, especially where the results have major financial impacts. Consequently, Federal agencies have imposed strict regulations on stock and pharmaceutical reports and claims with severe consequences for violating them.

    See the web site Forecasting Principles and the public policy speciality group
    Methodology for forecasting audits. has been developed to identify compliance with the best international forecasting principles and avoid major forecasting biases.
    The IPCC seriously flunked. See Global warming: Green & Armstrong (Energy & Environment 2007).
    See further articles by Kesten Green

    With far greater financial impacts on public policy and taxpayers, why should not Climate Science be held not just to these IAC evaluations, but to at least as stringent scientific forecasting requirements and federal regulations as Wall Street and Pharmaceuticals?

  14. I am astonished by this thread. The values quoted were those that first my parents, then my teachers, and then my professors hammered into my head as my eductaion progressed. The bad thing was that The Team refused to follow these golden rules, and more, tried to make sure that any suggestion that they ought to be followed should be suppressed.

    The “crime” was that the scientific establishment, led by the Royal Society and American Physical Society, not only condoned this behaviour. but applauded it. Now it would seem that common sense has started to prevail; better late than never.

    I am reminded of the little bit by Grantland Rice
    “For when the One Great Scorer comes
    To mark against your name,
    He writes – not that you won or lost -
    But how you played the Game.”

  15. Rob Johnson-Taylor

    In the UK the Enginering Council are a body that awards Chartered Enginerring status to those who are academically qualified, have attested practical experience and pass a viva voc examination by their peers, the Science Counicil provide a similar role in that they award Chartered Scientist status to those meeting very similar status to the Chartered Engineer. These are enforceable in law, more so for Chartered Engineer than Chartered Scientist as the latter is relatively new. For certain types of work a Chartered Engineer must be engaged, and can not be undertaken by those who are not. The Engineering Council provides the code of conduct, conducts investigations and can strike off miscreants.

    • Rob Johnson-Taylor

      I meant to add I hold Charterd status in Information Technology and also Quality.

    • If Climate Science is on the wrong track, and appears that it is, examination by their peers will not fix anything.

      They need to be examined by a diverse body and not by just peers.

    • When we had serious accidents at NASA, we did not just get examined by Rocket Scientists.

    • Rob Johnson-Taylor

      Fixing things after an adverse event is too late, it should not occure in the first place. The point about chartered status is to ensure and endorse standards of conduct, knowledge and practical expertise.

      Would you go and see surgeon who was inadequatly trained and unlicensed? So why should scientist not be expected to operate to lower standard, and who can affect thousands if not tens of thousands of people.

      Get things right! Get things right first time! Get things right first time every time!

    • David L. Hagen

      Compliments Rob

      It’s shorthand for a level of achievement, a professional approach and a commitment to continuing development.” Bob Sargent CSci CEnv FCIWEM

      Chartered Scientist.org

  16. Almost at random, I selected an interesting article from Science Magazine:
    “Gut Microbiota from Twins Discordant for Obesity Modulate Metabolism in Mice.” http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6150/1241214

    The implications for human health may be profound. Possibly.

    As responsible researchers, should the authors now be shouting and screaming their considered “policy implications” from the roof-tops?

    Or should they just politely wait for the policymakers to come and seek out their opinions?

    • I’ve been tracking that too. The information age is over and we are now at the dawn of the microbiology age. We live in their world, not the other way around. However, we have a long way to go before we start standardizing microbiology policy based on a couple studies, common sense and scientific speculation.

  17. The Global Research Enterprise is an activity of Westerners — what they substitute for productivity as a excuse to pay themselves out of your earnings and what serves as their excuse to buy the votes needed to stay in power and shore up the house of cards.

  18. In Finland national guidelines Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland have been formulated by Finnish Advisory Board of Research Integrity

    Most scientific organizations have committed themselves to following these guidelines.

    Similar guidelines must exist in many other countries as well.

  19. &nbsp:

    These overlapping fundamental values:

    ► Honesty
    ► Fairness
    ► Objectivity
    ► Reliability
    ► Skepticism
    ► Accountability
    ► Openness

    … in an earlier time were referred to as having honor–i.e., precisely what we are lacking in the Western government science of AGW (and that lack of honor carries over into a lot of other things that are destroying Western culture from the head down).

    • Like the man said…

      Dear Senator:

      I have tried to live by the rules my entire life. My father was a Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, who died of combat related stresses shortly after his retirement. It was he who instilled in me those virtues he felt important – honesty, duty, patriotism and obeying the laws of God and of our various governments. I have served my country, paid my taxes, worked hard, volunteered and donated my fair share of money, time and artifacts.

      Today, as I approach my 79th birthday, I am heart-broken when I look at my country and my government. I shall only point out a very few things abysmally wrong which you can multiply by a thousand fold. I have calculated that all the money I have paid in income taxes my entire life cannot even keep the Senate barbershop open for one year! Only Heaven and a few tight-lipped actuarial types know what the Senate dining room costs the taxpayers. So please, enjoy your haircuts and meals on us.

      Last year, the president spent an estimated 1.4 $billion on himself and his family. The vice president spends $millions on hotels. They have had 8 vacations so far this year! And our House of Representatives and Senate have become America ‘s answer to the Saudi royal family. You have become the “perfumed princes and princesses” of our country.

      In the middle of the night, you voted in the Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. “Obama Care,” a bill which no more than a handful of senators or representatives read more than several paragraphs, crammed it down our throats, and then promptly exempted yourselves from it substituting your own taxpayer-subsidized golden health care insurance.

      You live exceedingly well, eat and drink as well as the “one percenters,” consistently vote yourselves perks and pay raises while making 3.5 times the average U.S. individual income, and give up nothing while you (as well as the president and veep) ask us to sacrifice due to sequestration (for which, of course, you plan to blame the Republicans, anyway).

      You understand very well the only two rules you need to know – (1) How to get elected, and (2) How to get re-elected. And you do this with the aid of an eagerly willing and partisan press, speeches permeated with a certain economy of truth, and by buying the votes of the greedy, the ill-informed and under-educated citizens (and non-citizens, too, many of whom do vote ) who are looking for a handout rather than a job. Your so-called “safety net” has become a hammock for the lazy. And, what is it now, about 49 or 50 million on food stamps – pretty much all Democrat voters – and the program is absolutely rife with fraud with absolutely no congressional oversight?

      I would offer that you are not entirely to blame. What changed you is the seductive environment of power in which you have immersed yourselves. It is the nature of both houses of Congress which requires you to subordinate your virtue in order to get anything done until you have achieved a leadership role. To paraphrase President Reagan, it appears that the second oldest profession (politics), bears a remarkably strong resemblance to the oldest.

      As the hirsute first Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834 – 1902), English historian and moralist, so aptly and accurately stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” I’m only guessing that this applies to the female sex as well. Tell me, is there a more corrupt entity in this country than Congress?

      While we middle class people continue to struggle, our government becomes less and less transparent, more and more bureaucratic, and ever so much more dictatorial, using Czars and Secretaries to tell us (just to mention a very few) what kind of light bulbs we must purchase, how much soda or hamburgers we can eat, what cars we can drive, gasoline to use, and what health care we must buy. Countless thousands of pages of regulations strangle our businesses costing the consumer more and more every day.

      As I face my final year, or so, with cancer, my president and my government tell me “You’ll just have to take a pill,” while you, Senator, your colleagues, the president, and other exulted government officials and their families will get the best possible health care on our tax dollars until you are called home by your Creator while also enjoying a retirement beyond my wildest dreams, which of course, you voted for yourselves and we pay for.

      The chances of you reading this letter are practically zero as your staff will not pass it on, but with a little luck, a form letter response might be generated by them with an auto signature applied, hoping we will believe that you, our senator or representative, has heard us and actually cares. This letter will, however, go on line where many others will have the chance to read one person’s opinion, rightly or wrongly, about this government, its administration and its senators and representatives.

      I only hope that occasionally you might quietly thank the taxpayer for all the generous entitlements which you have voted yourselves, for which, by law, we must pay, unless, of course, it just goes on the $17 trillion national debt for which your children and ours, and your grandchildren and ours, ad infinitum, must eventually try to pick up the tab.

      My final thoughts are that it must take a person who has either lost his or her soul, or conscience, or both, to seek re-election and continue to destroy this country I deeply love and put it so far in debt that we will never pay it off while your lot improves by the minute, because of your power. For you, Senator, will never stand up to the rascals in your House who constantly deceive the American people. And that, my dear Senator, is how power has corrupted you and the entire Congress. The only answer to clean up this cesspool is term limits. This, of course, will kill the goose that lays your golden eggs. And woe be to him (or her) who would dare to bring it up.

      Sincerely,

      Bill Schoonover

      As they are saying today, he walked the talk.

    • It has been said electoral government only works until the electorate discovers it can vote itself access to “other people’s money”. That socialist delusion can be perpetuated till too many producers are forced to “go Galt”, and printing money proves an inadequate substitute for making money by creating surplus value.

      How much more so for the representatives who have direct access to the spigots? And the functionaries who shape legislation and regulations?

  20. This is the Obituary of my former boss Dr. John B. Clark, ‘a gentleman scientist in every sense and a true pioneer in the field of neurochemistry and brain energy metabolism’

    We once went to him with a problem. We had a difficult and costly experiment going and were growing primary neurons in 6-well plates. In one of the control wells all the neurons had died. We asked could we drop the size of the control group from an n=6 to an n=5, because of the unprecedented death.
    “Are they green?”, meaning do we have evidence of a fungal infection.
    “No”
    “Well then, no”

    http://www.biochemist.org/bio/03504/0058/035040058.pdf

  21. Let me see if I can make a counter argument.
    In the first place I’m all for guidelines and rulz and codes of conduct. The more the merrier. But such things are just external messaging that say “trust us” we has rulz. To be effective these guidelines need consequences.

    Nothing works like having a way of holding people accountable, and so it’s obvious and wrong to suggest that we should licence researchers. Obvious and wrong.

    My skeptic friends cant think two steps ahead. Go ahead, licence researchers. Then see what happens when a steve mcintyre or anthony watts or whoever wants to apply for a licence. As an independent researcher the last thing I want to deal with is some government run licencing system. Sheesh.

    I look at the matter pragmatically.

    Of the following values only a couple can really be enforced: openness and accountability.

    Honesty:
    Fairness
    Objectivity
    Reliability
    Skepticism
    Accountability
    Openness

    So rather than feel good talk about honesty and fairness the IAC should be focusing on the nuts and bolts of demanding openness and accountablity and enforcing it. Making researchers better people is a noble cause and all, but I really could give a rats ass whether researcher X was honest, fair or objective. Require openness and transparency tie it to funding and the rest will follow by market forces.

    • All well and good, but giving them something to lose will modify their behavior. Of course, once you lose your licence for ethical violations, there’s always politics. Just ask Bill Clinton.

    • Yeah, just look how many “scientific” associations have been subverted to the point of producing political propaganda statements about “Global Warming”. You want outfits like that in charge of deciding who gets licenses to practice “science”?

    • precisely. Folks need to put more effort and noise behind data openess and transparency. The guidelines around that at journals and NSF are far too lax. Strengthen FOlA, and access to public records, put the punishments and putative measures around that behavior and the other stuff will follow.

    • Such as forbidding any government money at all going to the Pacific Institute? At least until 5 years after Gleick has completely disconnected himself from it?

    • AK and Steven Mosher,

      The problem is, who do you think is responsible for “strengthen[ing] FOlA, and access to public records” and “forbidding any government money at all going to the Pacific Institute?”

      The answer is not implementing any new ethics guidelines. It isn’t passing any new fancy laws governing funding. And it sure as hell isn’t giving the government the power to license more professions than it already does.

      We live in a culture where lying is accepted. Where as Steven Schneider can advocate lying for the common good, and Peter Gleick can get caught in the most blatant lies, and almost nobody on his side of the debate cares.

      People care more about the government giving them “free” stuff, and removing all risk from life, than they do about values. A president can lie, under oath, in a federal court proceeding, and half the country yawns.

      Yet again, the IPCC, Schneider, Gleick, and all the rest are doing what their funders want them to do. What is really funny, is that most of you “moderates”, “independents”, and “lukewarmers” think this dishonesty “for the common good” is limited to the climate debate.

      Keep talking about “ethics”, but voting for people without any, and this is what you get.

    • I agree, leave research alone. I don’t think most engineering and geology researchers are licensed. None of their research finds it’s way into policy or practice until it gets road tested by professionals. However, if you want to make policy recommendations, design and implement mitigation programs, then only those with professional licenses and E&O insurance should be allowed to perform those “adult” tasks.

    • “Making researchers better people is a noble cause and all, but I really could give a rats ass whether researcher X was honest, fair or objective. Require openness and transparency tie it to funding and the rest will follow by market forces.”

      To begin with, openness and transparency are values, no different from honesty, fairness and objectivity. They can be made as subjective as the “enforcers” want. Enron was subject to all kinds of security laws that required openness and transparency. Fat lot of good that did.

      And tying any value to funding presupposes that the entity providing the funding shares those values, and (as you especially should know) interprets them the same way you do. remember, we now have the most open administration in the history of administrations.

      Researchers don’t give a rat’s ass what bloggers, or journalists, even voters think about their values. Climate research in general, and the IPCC in particular, are performing in compete compliance with the values of those who fund them. Progressive politicians didn’t create and fund the IPCC to get science. They don’t fund Hansen and Mann and Schmidt and Trenberth to get calm, reasoned analysis.

      They wanted, and got – We’re all gonna die! It’s worse than we thought! We need government to save us! CAGW is not science. The IPCC is not a scientific assessment organization. Nothing is going to change in the IPCC or the climate research/industrial complex so long as the governments that fund the research want the type of “research” we have been getting.

      You want values in science? Vote for someone for whom power is not the only value that matters.

    • ‘You want values in science? Vote for someone for whom power is not the only value that matters”

      Ah vote for unicorns.

      its true that openness and transparency are values. its true that they can be subverted. As a practical matter it is easier to enforce compliance about data access than it is to enforce compliance around honesty and fairness.

      The reason is simple. determining honesty and fairness depends upon openness and transparency.

      If you want to know who values things other than power, you’ll need openness and transparency to determine it.

      In short, everything, even other values you want to promote, depend upon getting data.

    • Let me help you with this.

      “In short, everything, even other values you want to promote, depend upon getting data.”

      should be

      In short, everything, even getting data, depends on having someone in power who can make the release of that data mandatory, and wants to.

      You can ignore the Enron example all you want. No value is worth anything when the people in power don;t share it.

      Which is where your real difficulty lies. because so many on your side embrace dishonesty as a valid tool of implementing policy, you have to claim that looking for politicians with values is like looking for a unicorn.

      But history is filled with people,l flawed in their personal lives as we all are, who nonetheless support principles, values, and vote accordingly. There used to be people of integrity in both parties. Conservative principles were supported even by those who sought progressive policies. But that has fundamentally changed.

      The real progressives, the movement activists, the Alinskys and Schneiders, took control of the Democrat Party in the 60s, and have driven out anyone who values principles over policy. Now it is a party of pure progressivism. Clinton perjured himself? Who cares? Gore is a serial liar on pretty much anything? Let’s nominate him for president.

      There are progressive liar galore in the Republican party too. But the reason for all this is that, as I noted above, people have been taught to value what the politicians promise them, rather than the principles the politician represents.

      Honest politicians are unicorns because suckers like you have bought into the moral relativism of the “post-modern” society. You can preen about how important openness and transparency are It might make you feel better, but you aren’t going to get them with the people you and other progressives, moderates and independents vote for.

    • Gary -

      … people have been taught to value what the politicians promise them…

      If only those “people” were as enlightened as you – to be able to see through the ruse – and were capable of independent thoughts instead of just sheeple who value what politicians promise them.

      Imagine how much better off we’d all be.

      Yes, all those dang elitists, who don’t have your wisdom, insight or intelligence.

      Please, Gary, write another post about how “progressives” are elitist.

      You know what, you are actually now my most favorite “denizen.” Wags is a trip, but you’re even trippier.

    • There used to be people of integrity in both parties.

      I love this – the ol’ “Kids ain’t like they used to be.”

      What is your evidence, Gary, that dishonesty was any less prevalent among politicians in the past?

      Do you ever base opinions on evidence, or is confirmation bias your only working rationale?

    • Gary

      ‘In short, everything, even getting data, depends on having someone in power who can make the release of that data mandatory, and wants to.”

      and i will repeat, that you know who to put in power without access to information.

      yes, enron, yes, those in power can fight openness, FOIA, etc.
      yes yes yes. All agreed.

      But repeating that it depends on who you put in power, forgets the fact that you have to count votes. and that requires access to information

      is that access perfect? nope
      is that access always easy to get? nope
      does the system fail? yup.

      but without that access to information you cant even get the folks you think are paragons of virtue elected.

      jeez. Just because this is the internet doesnt mean you have to disagree with whta is obvious true

    • So. You get the data. Like the dog chasing the car, now what when you get it? The surface record, like the paleosticks, are a tiny part of this whole opera. The fat lady bursts out with an aria about the physics, and the tenor starts in about polar bears, and like The Ring, it just goes on, and on, and on…

    • It is possible for a researcher to “lose his licence”, in effect anyway.

    • Openness; allows replication, falsification, etc. Good stuff! But just when is the data “ready” to be shared and archived? Who decides?
      If the Guardians are on the payroll, gatekeeping is the power profession, even more than at present. It’s very hard to keep the rent-seekers’ hands off the money spigots.

      The Accountability / Reliability pair is indeed where the rubber hits the road. Historically and pragmatically, those tires almost always seem to get punctured at the first opportunity..

      The GISS / NOAA access to public records and authority to covertly and without detailed explanation “adjust” them subverts all.

  22. The biggest problem we face in the science of AGW today is that from Michael Mann and on there is no trust in the honesty of the source.

  23. AGW theory and all of the fearmongering that goes along with it are becoming old wives’ tales.

  24. Once in a Feen Lifetime

    So when scientists recommend spending $$$Billions on greenie CO2 schemes and scams instead of medical research, the people who die as a result should be forgotten?

    • Reality Bites. My version of the Invisible Hand rule says “You WILL pay the real price.” And it has brass knucks, and a killer uppercut.
      The bills are coming in, and are “payable on receipt” notwithstanding deferral attempts. The EU and UK are not insulated by cheap frac’ing energy, which is paradoxically and despite his own efforts saving the azz of the Progressive Prez from the bailiffs, for now.

    • As for Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science, it’s in equally great need of whistle-blowing.

  25. Perhaps Judith and Pekka or whomever could also comment on research grants, who is buying and what it takes to get them. I assume when the UN is contracting the IAC for research, the results preferred are in the contract? Isn’t the pressure to get grants huge, and the govts are really only buying particular results? The money is just too good to pass up.

    • Walter Starck sums up the big problem in the science of global warming as follows:

      The leading scientific prophets of this cult are overwhelmingly comprised of young researchers whose entire careers are based on climate alarmism. In contrast, the middleground, balanced (“sceptical”) scientists are overwhelmingly researchers with well established expertise in other fields. The alarmists repeatedly refer to a catechism of highly selective evidence to support their claims. The sceptics cite voluminous other evidence from their own varied fields which contradicts the alarmist’s claims.

  26. maybe we should ask these guys about transparency and openness

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/10/a-science-based-rebuttal-to-global-warming-alarmism/

  27. There is a second order problem. Even if the science itself follows these values, the PR around it (University press releases, author interviews, MSM reports) all too frequently does not. The Marcott affair was but one of many recent examples related to the upcoming AR5. UEA just released a PR example on Sunday 9/8 concerning phytoplankton gene expression under varying temperature conditions. Even the authors quotes are rather circumspect, but not the PR headline, which has worsened as echoed around by MSM.
    And this appears to be a problem also in other areas, whenever political agendas get involved. The California and UK media circus about fracking and groundwater contamination is an example in energy. The documentary Gasland is outright fraud, yet gets repeated coverage.
    Any scientific deviation from these laudable principles gets greatly amplified in today’s world.

  28. “Researchers need to communicate the policy implications of their results clearly and comprehensively to policy makers and the public—including a clear assessment of the uncertainties associated with their results—while avoiding advocacy based on their authority as researchers.”

    The problem is much higher up the stream of public funds for research, not with researchers who learned to fudge data to get more grant funds.

    See: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/

  29. Diogenes Spent His Days Walking The Streets Of Athens, With A Lighted Lantern — Looking For An Honest Man!
    He Never Found One!

    Honesty is such a value ladened facet of moral character. It speaks to integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, the absence of lying.

    We all lie of course depending in part upon the consequences of telling the truth or possibly loosing something valued.

    People maintain fidelity in a relationship rather than risk loosing something that is most valued of all. Honesty in valued relationships reflects the value one has put on maintaining that relationship.

    “I was going a little over the speed limit officer…” Attempting to avoid the consequence of speeding. Honesty, a low ordered value in this case.

    “I just want a small piece of cake.” Lying to others to enforce adherence to a self proclaimed vow. Honesty become elastic and is applied to fit the circumstances.

    The value a scientist has for science can be assessed by how honest they are with their own science. Scientists who value other issues more than science itself, may be categorized as to their degree of honesty, which in turn can be used as a yardstick to measure their science.

    Not particularly wishing to speak ill of the dead, but, Schneider’s ethics and agenda statement seems apropos and a reflection of the value for the science of climate science vs honesty. A scientist who values science most highly, does not suggest others to balance their own ethics with the science of climate science.

    “He (Diogenes) believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory.” Talk is cheap.

    When one does not hold science to be the highest value, then all sorts of biases corrupt the process of doing the science; the formulating of hypotheses, collection of data, its analysis and finally, communicating one’s findings.

    IMHO

  30. Chief Hydrologist

    The only reason why I was going back to the period of the Depression is that was a period of pain. But I think out of that experience, a lot of good things did come. And I think human beings are quite capable of going through a period like that and finding the positives, and then building on them appropriately. I’m sure if people had not been through the Depression, you possibly wouldn’t have had the kind of growth, the enormous desire to succeed with economic activities that you found subsequently.

    So maybe what the world needs is a good depression.

    A bit of a shock. Maybe.

    What will that shock look like?

    The shock would essentially mean the pain of transition. And there’s no getting away from the fact that if we were to bring about a transition, there will be some losers, and those losers are obviously going to depress the economy.

    Those losers are going to be those people that are consuming more than their fair share. Pachauri

    This is only one example of the neo-left. The modern radical has a worldview that endorses transition of societies to a new order involving reduction in economic activity. This necessarily involves fear, uncertainty and doubt – created by cult of AGW groupthink space cadet science – and accompanied by hopes of natural disasters in which to engineer a transformative moment. Laframboise’s use of religious terms is entirely justified. Fortunately or unfortunately – space cadet science bears little resemblance to real science.

    There is no rapprochement with these people. The Borg analogy is apt – assimilate to the cult or die. At least in their fetid imaginations. The best we can do is to ensure to the best of our abilities that this cult is contained politically. They have an overwhelming political weakness. They need to deny limits to growth and affirm it at the same time.

    Joshua complains about my characterisation of ‘hundreds of millions of people.’ I note there is no justification for this figure – does he pull it out of his arse? I point to individual examples that are perhaps representative of dark corners of the zeitgeist. I doubt that it is hundreds of millions. I doubt that it is more than a noisy few. If this is not Joshua – he might merely say so instead of tediously repeating his pop psychology whines. If Joshua is not a part of the millennialist cult of AGW groupthink space cadets – there is little to show for it.

  31. Is the Global Research Enterprise Warming Hoax over yet?

    Andrew

  32. Researchers are accountable to other researchers, to the broader society, and to nature.

    Researchers are accountable to people that pay the bills.
    Their reputation however is an asset they can preserve or sell to the devil as they please. That the Devil has Advocates in high places is another problem entirely.

    On this point, Steven Mosher is right. Trying to make any official accountability board will be captured by special interests and trample Freedom of Speech. No Thanks.

  33. “The Earth, after receiving and storing over the twentieth century an anomalously large amount of heat energy, from the 1990′s began to return it gradually. The upper layers of the world ocean, completely unexpectedly to climatologists, began to cool in 2003. The heat accumulated by them unfortunately now is running out.

    “Over the past decade, global temperature on the Earth has not increased; global warming has ceased, and already there are signs of the future deep temperature drop.” (Dr. H. Abdussamatov)

    Obviously, when and if the Earth does experience an extended period of global cooling — and, perhaps another ice age (which many scientists believe is overdue) — such an event will seriously challenge the world community. I think we also realize that the Leftists-libs’ hatred of Americanism has turned industrialization into a paralyzing Tower of Babel.

    Depriving humanity of the possibility of being more able than our ancestors to face such challenges is the legacy of an ever bigger the secular, socialist government and education industrial complex. Roasting skeptics of global warming alarmism or George Bush or Gov. Palin or whoever may be next on the Leftist-lib ad hom hit-list will not heat homes and run the factories that provide jobs.

  34. ” Honesty, Fairness, Objectivity, Reliability, Skepticism, Accountability, Openness”

    I think this is pretty silly. Telling a dishonest person to be honest, an unfair person to be fair, a nonobjective person to be objective, will only yield small results. Sorry to bring up political names, but Janet Reno was accountable as was Hilary Clinton. So what.

    It’s nice to think our profession is full of the most moral folks in the world, but the actual measure of an institution is its ability to survive with bad actors (and what a bad actor is may change over time). Isn’t that the purpose of the scientific method? It is designed so that others can replicate the results of your experiments. This should be the rallying cry for science, not our early 21st Century notion of Morality.

    As an example, I think Climate Science is currently adversarial, and reminds me often of a courtroom drama. Adversity has merits. Get the old competition thing going. Keep the neurons firing. Force perfection because someone wants to eat your lunch.

    I’m not saying these traits aren’t good traits, but you can’t control it, and if you could, it could be stifling and counter-productive. Codes should be developed only from the first principle of the scientific method. Everything else will flow from that, and human nature.

    • Al Gore’s global warming hockey stick is a lot worse than a fake Picasso but not because it’s a fake. It’s what it says says about modern consumers of information. What’s worse than a fake Picasso is not even knowing Western academia was so eager to take full advantage of what it knew about its audience — We the People – what we’d become (that’s when academia abandoned the scientific method).

  35. If there was any honesty and professionalism – wouldn’t be any GLOBAL warming scandal: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/global-temperature/

  36. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In regard to “Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise”, please answer and submit the following Questionnaire

    Questionnaire

    1. How much poison are you willing
    to eat for the success of the free
    market and global trade? Please
    name your preferred poisons.

    2. For the sake of goodness, how much
    evil are you willing to do?
    Fill in the following blanks
    with the names of your favorite
    evils and acts of hatred.

    3. What sacrifices are you prepared
    to make for culture and civilization?
    Please list the monuments, shrines,
    and works of art you would
    most willingly destroy.

    4. In the name of patriotism and
    the flag, how much of our beloved
    land are you willing to desecrate?
    List in the following spaces
    the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
    you could most readily do without.

    5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
    the energy sources, the kinds of security,
    for which you would kill a child.
    Name, please, the children whom
    you would be willing to kill.

       — Wendell Berry (2010)

    Conclusion  These are five questions to which climate-change researchers may responsibly contribute science-centered answers.

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    • Chief Hydrologist

      How many lies are you willing to tell in a campaign of fear, doubt and uncertainty to tell to transform societies into an acsetic ideal – at least for others?

      How many billions are to be sacrificed in a self loathing orgy of wealth destruction?

      I understand the worship of nature – I am after all an environmental scientist. Snorkeling over a coral reef is being in the presence of God. But spell it out FOMBS – the more you speak the better we understand the soulless nature worship of the neo-radical agenda.

    • Chief,

      You wouldn’t be referring to folks like this, would you?

      1. ”My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
      David Foreman,
      co-founder of Earth First!
      ”A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
      Ted Turner,
      Founder of CNN and major UN donor
      ”The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
      Jeremy Rifkin,
      Greenhouse Crisis Foundation
      ”Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”
      ”The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
      Sir James Lovelock,
      BBC Interview
      ”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
      Stephen Schneider,
      Stanford Professor of Climatology,
      Lead author of many IPCC reports
      ”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
      Sir John Houghton,
      First chairman of the IPCC
      ”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
      Paul Watson,
      Co-founder of Greenpeace
      ”Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
      David Brower,
      First Executive Director of the Sierra Club
      ”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
      Timothy Wirth,
      President of the UN Foundation
      ”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
      Christine Stewart,
      former Canadian Minister of the Environment
      ”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
      Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin
      ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      Maurice Strong,
      Founder of the UN Environmental Program
      ”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”
      ”If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
      Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,
      husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
      Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation
      ”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the US. We have to stop these third World countries right where they are.”
      Michael Oppenheimer
      Environmental Defense Fund
      ”Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
      Professor Maurice King
      ”Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
      Maurice Strong,
      Rio Earth Summit
      ”Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
      Amory Lovins,
      Rocky Mountain Institute
      ”I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
      John Davis,
      Editor of Earth First! Journal

    • Since I’m posting quotes, here is one for fan:

      Love never gives up, never loses faith,

      is always hopeful, and endures.

      – I Corinthians 13:7

      In his case Love might be defined as Love of his own opinion.

    • Tim, great quotes to reveal the true agenda of many CAGW proponents. Copied for future use.

    • Tim, great quotes to reveal the true agenda of many CAGW proponents.

      Ah. The “true agenda” of many.

      How many, Faustino?

      How many “CAGW proponents” do you suppose, for example, what childbearing to be a punishable crime against humanity?

      How do you define a “CAGW proponent?”

      And depending on that definition, do you think “many” in this case would be “most?” Could you give some kind of ballpark estimate of how many people that might be in absolute terms?

      How many people are you so willing to characterize in such a fashion?

    • geez…

      How many “CAGW proponents” do you suppose, for example, [believe] what childbearing to be a punishable crime against humanity?

      And I can’t even blame lack of coffee.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Yes Tim – it is all that I am referring.

      As I have said Joshua – I give examples of the this neo-radical movement in global politics. I don’t count them one by one. I believe they are relatively low in absolute numbers – but inordinately noisy.

      How many? One politician or activist of this type is too many. You simply have to disavow instead of endlessly obfuscating. You know I believe the worst of you.

    • What I know, Chief, is that you constantly mischaracterize my views – and that you do so because you practice poor analysis – the antithesis of skepticism.

      I don’t see the “worst” in you. I assume that you are fine and upstanding person. You’re just not particularly reflective about the thoroughness of your own reasoning.

      But I have faith in you. I have great faith in the ability of people to learn once they are willing to let go of certain “motivations.”

      You’ll get there, Chief. Don’t give up. I won’t lose faith in you.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You know my views Joshua – I don’t, hide, prevaricate or obfuscate for the sake of some silly little strategy of rhetorical advantage.

      As far as I m concerned that makes you someone who is unable to be honest. Please – you need just disavow any tribal allegiances to those worst of the worst sentiments of the extreme radical fringe instead of mincing about with deliberate misdirection as usual – otherwise I will continue to think the worst of you. .

    • You know my views Joshua – I don’t, hide, prevaricate or obfuscate for the sake of some silly little strategy of rhetorical advantage.

      As far as I m concerned that makes you someone who is unable to be honest. Please – you need just disavow any tribal allegiances to those worst of the worst sentiments of the extreme radical fringe instead of mincing about with deliberate misdirection as usual – otherwise I will continue to think the worst of you. .

      You make the same mistakes of weak reasoning, Chief, over and over.

      Just because I don’t espouse views that you fantasize that I have doesn’t mean that I’m not being honest. If you want to know my views, I’ll tell you.

      And then you go even further, to say that I “need” to disavow beliefs that I don’t have, just because I have them in your fantasies of me?

      You never fail to amuse, do you?

      Apparently you think that I am concerned that you fantasize about me and attribute beliefs to me that I don’t have? Why should I be concerned about that? You’re perfectly entitled to your fantasies. It is your right. Fantasize away, my friend.

      But it really isn’t a problem. Even if you make the same mistakes of weak reasoning in the future (as seems highly likely), I will point them out to you over and over. I really do have faith that one day you’ll begin to be more reflecting and thorough. I really do, Chief.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You fail to acknowledge the difference between lies by commission and lies by omission. If you don’t explicitly endorse the violent overthrow of capitalism – the pattern of your behaviour is to denigrate concerns about the growth of lunatic ideas in the radical left. It is either argument for the sake of argument – as Tim says – or a pattern of misdirection and obfuscation that points to support of these repulsive ideas from the loony left. Although argument is perhaps not the best description of what you do. More a recursive whine in almost the same language every time. You don’t have to think deeply do you. It matters little either way.

      As I have said to you before – you concern me very little. It is more important that we focus on the critical purpose of politically containing such a nasty set of ideas as those of the deep green movement. .

    • the pattern of your behaviour is to denigrate concerns about the growth of lunatic ideas in the radical left.

      You are wrong, Chief. My pattern is to point out the glaring flaws in your analysis.

      That you react defensively when I do so, to denigrate me, to pearl-clutch and drama queen, to promise to take your ball and go home and ask Judith to intervene, to speak of anguishing “enemies,” to hurl one insult after the other, to fantasize about my supposed malicious intent is not something for which I feel responsible. You are responsible for your behavior, not I – although I certainly don’t discourage you because when you do all of that it serves a purpose.

    • As I have said to you before – you concern me very little.

      Ah. I was wondering why you so frequently respond to my posts (even though you claim not to read them), and bring up my name in your discussions with others. Because I concern you so little.

      If only I had realized that sooner!

    • Anyway, Chief – it’s time for me to hit my sac.

      Perhaps in the next thread where we meet, you will have given some thought to your comments and realize how shallow they have been.

      There’s always hope, and I still have faith that you’ll get there eventually.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I am so happy that your purpose in life is to correct my glaring inadequacies. But I don’t really respond – I am am in fact merely talking past you to others who share my concern with the nasty ideas of the lunatic left.

      And I do in fact rarely read past the first line of any of your comments. They all say the same thing in the same way with the same words every time.

      Thanks for playing – but you are playing with yourself.

    • Say, fan, “re yer “how many times re the free market diatribe”
      pre the Industrial Revolution and growth of the free market,
      in the West, as in Asia and Africa, whether in 1000AD or in
      1800 yer typical family lived close ter the breadline. Famine
      was a recurrent and widespread event eg The Great Famines
      in India,1022-1033-1052, wiped out entire provinces.In Europe
      in 1816-17, the year without a summer, 6,500 people died.

      Today those against industry, efficient energy and the free market
      like Erlich and Hansen continue to predict disasters from
      population growth or climate apocalypse. Tsk! those pesky
      humans! Despite their dire predictions, humans in western
      industrialized nations flourish due to technological advancements
      and trade. Reliable high yield harvests, famine conquered,
      improved health, longer life and better management of the
      environment. Under good government, with access to efficient
      enegry resources3rd world economies can gain these too,
      http://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/second-edition-serf-underground-journal-food-and-famine/
      bts

    • Having been privileged to survive the womb and childhood – unlike most humans who made it to conception through past ages – I’m prepared to take risk a few naughty chemicals and the odd bit of entropy. Gaia is not my mother, and her ranting Savonarolas are wearing angry red under their pious cloaks of green.

    • Yes, Fan-

      How many billions are to be sacrificed in a self loathing orgy of wealth destruction?

      Please, just admit it. You want billions to die. The more suffering the better. Especially if they’re children.

      You can’t fool Chief and tim. They are just too darn smart.

      In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you espouse any such beliefs or not. What matters is their fantasies of you – because that is all they need to be convinced.

      But think of how happy they’ll feel if you just admit to how right they are. It may not save any children or lead to any less suffering – but at least they will feel more self-satisfied.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The modern radical has a worldview that endorses transition of societies to a new order involving reduction in economic activity. This necessarily involves fear, uncertainty and doubt – created by cult of AGW groupthink space cadet science – and accompanied by hopes of natural disasters in which to engineer a transformative moment. Fortunately or unfortunately – space cadet science bears little resemblance to real science.

      There is no rapprochement with these people. The Borg analogy is apt – assimilate to the cult or die – at lest in their own fetid imaginations. The best we can do is to ensure to the best of our abilities that this cult is contained politically. They have an overwhelming political weakness. They need to deny limits to growth and affirm it at the same time.

      Again and again we see the worst of the worst expressions of neo-radicals. Pachauri I quoted yesterday on engineering a great depression. This has implications globally for already marginal billions. There will be winners and losers Pachauri says.

      Little Joshua has an agenda to confuse and misdirect. I don’t wonder why – I already think the worst.

    • Josh,

      I simply provided actual comments from people. I didn’t state any conclusions. If you have a problem with the comments, perhaps you should take them up with the people who made them. If you believe that the comments do not provide supporting evidence or are even relevant to Chief’s comment, show us why.

      As for saving children, has there been any evidence presented here by fan that he cares (or does not care) about children? He talks about caring for non-existent children – ie future generations. But that kind of talk is cheap. Meanwhile there is a long history of people claiming the planet is overpopulated, that the carrying capacity of the planet is far below population levels of today, that resources will run out any minute and that if we don’t do something (drastic) about it right away, we are all doomed. If you have a different interpretation of the quotes above, feel free to share it.

      Are you going to deny that efforts to provide clean water, energy, transportation, efforts to combat malaria or improve land use practices do little to raise the quality of life for the billions of people currently around the subsistence level? You know Josh, real people. The kind that actually exist. Please explain why the welfare of these people should get a lower priority over the “children” fan is apparently so caring of.

    • Chief,

      I think you read too much into Josh’s motivations. Personally I think his biggest enjoyment is to slice and dice words into as tiny or thin as possible. The issue under discussion doesn’t have to matter. Note how he has such precise differentiations between skeptic and “skeptic”. He also wants to establish a complex set of rules on how people should discuss issues (with it apparent that he thinks Dr Curry breaks them all the time). Finally, there could be an element of displaying cleverness (which might explain his apparent fondness of fan).

      What I don’t believe is his trying to be dishonest. I wouldn’t class him as radical, modern or otherwise. I can’t recall Josh taking much in the way of positions on economic topics. It may be true that Josh has an agenda of confusing and misdirection, but I would instead place my wager on his being a gadfly who, when he stops focusing on his slicing of baloney to make his silly little points, has reasonable and interesting thoughts to contribute. I thought he was doing pretty good further upstream, but I guess he can’t help himself and he’s back to be the clever deli man who moonlights as a Judge. Or maybe Judge is his day job and it’s the deli at night.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Joshua’s inevitable stance is that he is not this or that aspect of social radicalism. He trivialises any discussion of these worst – most evil – expressions of the new radicalism. He never explicitly declares a position – unlike FOMBS – but the pattern of misdirection and obfuscation tells it’s own story. Not explicitly declaring a position is dishonest – and we are entitled to think the worst.

    • FOMD,

      Do you have the patience to listen to this and try to understand it?
      http://topher.com.au/50-to-1-video-project/#prettyPhoto/9/

      If you do open your mind just a crack, you might begin to understand why many conservatives are strongly opposed to wasting exorbitant amounts of money on policies that have near zero chance of producing the benefits their proponents want from those policies.

  37. 1. How much poison are you willing
    to eat for the success of the free
    market and global trade? Please
    name your preferred poisons.

    5-trillons tons of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons not treated due to carbon dioxide treatment fetish

    2. For the sake of goodness, how much
    evil are you willing to do?
    Fill in the following blanks
    with the names of your favorite
    evils and acts of hatred.

    Consign Africa to carcinogenic carbohydrate energy sources while posing for photo ops at Potemkin Solar plants. Block clean water and sewer projects in the developing world. Continue buying oil from despots rather than develop supplies in white countries with strict environmental controls.

    3. What sacrifices are you prepared
    to make for culture and civilization?
    Please list the monuments, shrines,
    and works of art you would
    most willingly destroy.

    Blow up Hoover and Glen Canyon Dam because hydroelectric is politically incorrect renewable energy, but save Hetch Hetchy for San Francisco

    4. In the name of patriotism and
    the flag, how much of our beloved
    land are you willing to desecrate?
    List in the following spaces
    the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
    you could most readily do without.

    Continue to divert limited environmental resources from cleaning up agricultural nutrient pollution of the Mississippi River and the over-pumping depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer to grow corn alcohol for Gaia

    5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
    the energy sources, the kinds of security,
    for which you would kill a child.
    Name, please, the children whom
    you would be willing to kill.

    Continue to subject the children of China, India and Africa choking smog, asthma and lung cancer to save beach houses in Malibu and the Hamptons.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Well done. The great global environmental tragedy is the diversion of resources and attention away from conservation.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Howard advocates (rhetorically) “Continue buying oil from despots rather than develop supplies in white countries with strict environmental controls.”

      Uhhhh … “white countries”, Howard?

      “White countries” with strict environmental controls?

      How does that work, exactly?

      \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}

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It works by managing discharges – I imagine that’s what the lake is for – and by restoring landscapes after extraction.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chief Hydrologist asserts “It [carbon energy economies] work by managing discharges and by restoring landscapes after extraction.”

      How exactly do “free markets” manage *that*, Chief?

      Isn’t it economically optimal to ravage the land, then abandon the wasteland?

      Uhhh … that’s how unrestricted carbon-energy markets work, ain’t it?

      In the long run, that is?

      \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}

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The usual idiotic laisser-faire strawmen. Markets work in the way anything does in a classically liberal enlightenment democracy – under the rule of law.

      You are a disingenuous radical fool.

    • Environmental Justice versus Secular Narcissism.

    • Howard,

      Excellent. But FOMD is stubbornly in denial.

      Or pick one of these:

      bullheaded, dogged, hardheaded, hard-nosed, headstrong, immovable, implacable, inconvincible, inflexible, intransigent, mulish, obdurate, opinionated, ossified, pat, pertinacious, perverse, pigheaded, self-opinionated, self-willed, stiff-necked, obstinate, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding, willful

    • Dishonest.

      How can one engage in honest dialogue with an individual who, when challenged on the validity of his facts, blithely repeats them, or gushes out more irrelevant garbage?

      Someone who repeatedly links to the same stuff, despite its often lack of relevancy, often completely misrepresenting the material.

      Arrogant would be my second choice.

    • Heh, constrained.
      ===========

  38. The value and quality of peer revue is contraversial. It works well in most scientific research establishments, if only to correct spelling and grammer. Clearly it has not worked well in climate research: Hansen’s resarch is contraversial and of course, so is the IPCC’s as these columns have explored endlessly. For the lone researcher, peer review is judst a mirage at least in climate. But knowing how poorly peer review has served climate science, is it worth fighting over?

  39. Wouldn’t this be a great time to see what Lorrie Morgan has to say about the Climate Wars?

    O > O !!! O < O

  40. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘The Chef is both unpredictably evasive and a contrarian. The best description is that he is a prevaricator with the intent to sow FUD.’ webster

    Fear, uncertainty and doubt?

    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.

    This is climate science that has been slowly emerging for the past 20 years. Non warming – or even cooling – is quite likely as we in a cool mode since the 1998/2001 climate shift and these last for 20 to 40 years. Will they ever catch up?

    It seems plain English to me and not FUD at all. The same study usefully subtracts decadal variability from 20th century warming for us. The residual warming is 0.1 degrees C/decade and this includes solar warming.

    The point is that no amount of science seems to penetrate the cognitive defenses of what I have taken to calling the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. It is a bit of a mouthful – and is thought to be an offshoot of the church of the great prophet Zarquon.

    ‘The Great Prophet Zarquon was a galactic prophet from ancient times, and was thought to be revered throughout the galaxy. He had scores of followers and disciples who waited diligently for an event they called “The Second Coming of the Great Prophet Zarquon”. Unfortunately the prophet’s lack of punctuality caused this event to happen only merely a few brief seconds before the end of the Universe itself, during which time he was able to utter only the words “Sorry I’m late…” before the universe ended.’ Urban Dictionary

  41. Reviews of a recent movie about Hannah Arendt brought the “banality of evil” to my attention. I have not seen this movie or read her books, but this concept which was briefly described in the reviews seems fitting to the global warming affair. I will substitute ‘bad’ for ‘evil’. Much that we see as bad is not done by monsters, but by bureaucrats. For ‘bureaucrats’, read “rather ordinary people who for various reasons and rationalizations refuse to think about the ramifications of what they’re doing.” (quote from an IMDB review)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1674773/

    • It struck me early how banal the use of ‘denier’ or its Parseltongue cousin, ‘denialist’ is.
      =========

  42. Turning to policy, The Australian ran a WSJ article by Holman Jenkins on “Reason a lost power in nuclear debate.” It’s not online at the Oz, but worthwhile if you can find it. It looks at some bizarre government responses to Fukushima, and points out that the UN’s Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation has said there is little reason for concern about radiation from nuclear power plants. The committee found that no radiation-caused illness had appeared even in Fukushima plant workers, and none was expected. Apparently it was vilified for this finding.

    Jenkins notes that the US has spent $12 bn on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, but its use had been blocked, probably permanently, by Nevada politicians pandering to ill-informed fears.

    His killer question is: “If two of the most capable governments in the world – the US and Japan – cannot muster the coherence and consistency of purpose to manage a nuclear power industry effectively, how would the world ever rise to the challenge of managing the chemical processes of the atmosphere in order to give us the climate we think we want?”

    No one can answer this question, and we should cease futile efforts to micro-manage climate.

  43. Peter, I’ve watched a few minutes, will watch it all at some stage.

    Earlier in the thread, you referred to “the economists like Faustino, Garnaut, Nordhaus, Stern etc.” Flattering but inaccurate, I’d put Ergas in there but I am far from such august company.

    • Peter Lang. Thanks for the link to Nordhaus. Will read it properly tomorrow as I am preparing to close my computer down for the night.

    • I wasn’t going to say anything when Peter Lang mentioned them earlier in this thread, since it didn’t seem that important but in view of Faustino’s comment above I do have reservations about Garnaut and Stern based on their advocacy of AGW affecting the quality of their economic work. I don’t know anything about Nordhaus so he may well be august company suitable for Faustino and Ergas to be included with them.

    • Peter Davies,

      Nordhaus A Question of Balance
      http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

      Excellent background on climate economics.

    • Peter D, yes, I am disappointed in Garnaut (who I’ve worked with), like Krugman, he was an excellent economist who got seduced by partisan influence and fame. So I’m thinking of his capacity and past work rather than his CAGW contribution. I don’t know Stern, but I think he has generally been well-regarded prior to his very partisan and biased CAGW work. It seems that that cause brings out the worst in many, not just climate scientists and green activists.

    • Just out of curiosity, Faustino – you seem to have a fairly long list of economists who are, in your estimation, “seduced by partisan influence and fame.” You have characterized a number, by name, in such a fashion.

      Now I could be wrong, but to my recollection each and every one that you have so characterized have different political views that you, and different interpretations with respect to economic analysis related to climate change.

      Assuming that I am write about that – my question would be whether you can also name, specifically, economists who have been “seduced by partisan influence and fame” and who agree with you about politics more generally, or the economics related to climate change.

      If you can’t, I’m wondering why you think that might be? Do you think that the reason might be because of some influence of your own biases, or would you attribute that categorical distinction in how you judge the work of other economists to be purely attributable to some moral or intellectual deficiency, or perhaps some other factor, that results in only those who disagree with being inclined to the biases of partisanship and attraction to fame?

    • er…also assuming that I am right about it…

    • Joshua,

      I haven’t a clue what your blabbering is about, but Garnaut was an economic adviser to previous Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke in the Prime Ministers office. he is politically partisan and that is why he was given the job by the Labor governments (state and federal) to do the analyses. They could trust him to tell them what they wanted to hear to support their already stated policy position on CAGW.

      Look at his reports and specifically at his justifications for his damage estimates. Then justify them to us here.

      Go for it, expert in motivated reasoning and alarmist twaddle!

    • Joshua the link by Peter Lang to Nordhaus A Question of Balance is a good read and I was particularly interested in his criticism of the zero discount rate applied by Stern in his review paper, which has already been discussed at length in a previous thread on Judith’s blog.

      You raised a question as to whether there may be economists of different POV’s on climate change who can be identified. The problem as I see it is that funding for such a study would not seem to be as readily available and hence there is not much contrary eonomic viewpoints to be found. Maybe that’s an example how systematic bias has been working in the field of climate change?

    • Peter (Davies) -

      I haven’t followed that link, but I did spend some time looking at the 50 to 1 clip of the interview with Ergas that Peter (Lang) linked earlier.

      It was a very interesting interview – as Ergas makes some very good points – but what was interesting to me also were the rather obvious counterarguments that he failed to address. Perhaps he addresses those arguments in his more extensive analyses – but it was rather surprising that someone who is clearly capable of such high level analysis would be satisfied to present such a simplistically one-sided perspective.

      Maybe that’s an example how systematic bias has been working in the field of climate change?

      I am a believer that any (and in fact all) individual(s) is(are) subject to biases systemically, but I am inherently skeptical of claims that any particular field is systemically biased in a particular direction (particularly when the claim is made that it is uniquely systemically biased). There are too many improbable events that need to occur, one stacked upon the other, in order for that to be particularly plausible, IMO. The bar, IMO, for such claims to be viable, is set very high.

      That is the reason for my question to Faustino. It seems to me that his observations of bias are completely one-sided, and I find it hard to believe that it is only a coincidence that his observations of bias only apply to those who differ with him politically.

      Now maybe I’m wrong, and so that is why I asked him to mention, by name, some economists that he agrees with politically but who he thinks are biased by partisanship or fame. Of course, if he doesn’t do so (he may simply not want to try), or even if he tries but can’t do so, that doesn’t prove that his own biases are affecting his observations. However, it does make it, IMO, only that much more implausible that his observations of bias are not in themselves biased.

      Sure, it is theoretically possible that because of some systemic bias, only those economists that disagree with Faustino are biased in their analysis. But to be convinced of such a phenomenon, I’d have to see very comprehensive analysis. Perhaps systemic bias prevents such analysis from taking place – but that would explain why people might speculate about some overwhelming systemic bias in one particular direction but not explain the absolute confidence so many folks express. That is, of course, unless they are “skeptics.”

    • Regard the economic benefits of the last 2 degrees of warming and anticipate the benefits of the next; we should be so lucky.
      ==================

    • @Joshua “I am a believer that any (and in fact all) individual(s) is(are) subject to biases systemically, but I am inherently skeptical of claims that any particular field is systemically biased in a particular direction (particularly when the claim is made that it is uniquely systemically biased).”

      Based on what I have read to date The field of climate science is skewed in the political direction of the main sources of their research funding. If you are sceptical of this perhaps you might show other readers your reasoning for holding that POV? In particular, why wouldn’t you agree that academic researchers need to follow the money in order to progress their careers?

    • Josh,

      At times when reading your comments I am reminded of all the times I have watched a dog circle a spot several times before settling down.

      In other words a lot of activity and effort that ends up with the dog right where he started out . You are one of the best at circling with us wondering what is he thinking, all the while supremely confident we know where you will end up.

    • I leave it to those interested to research Ross Garnaut’s record as a miner in the New Guinea region. If your findings about this eminent gentleman leave you scratching your head at the many contradictions, perhaps that merry old song, The Vicar of Bray, will best explain how adaptable to the times some of these “eminent gentlemen” can be.

    • Josh, I’ve just noticed your post. My “long list”?

      Krugman – I drew on his excellent work on international trade theory (for which he won his Nobel) and later work on spatial economics, and thought his initial forays into the media – intended to convey economic understanding to a broader audience were very valuable. But I (and many others) think that he went downhill with his opinion pieces, where he became much less rigorous, and partisan – not just on CAGW

      Garnaut – I worked with Garnaut, visited his house, thought his work was excellent, e.g. on North East Asian economies, the last time I saw him was when I took two of my staff to a seminar of his, and we had some good exchanges. This was pre-global warming work. Like many economists I worked with in Canberra 1985-91, he was (like me) pro-Labor (and a friend of Bob Hawke), but, again like most (though not all), his work was rigorous and non-partisan. That hasn’t been the case with his global warming work, again this is a criticism which has been widespread, it was clearly intended to support the government’s views and policies.

      Stern – I don‘t know his body of work well, my impression is that he was generally widely-regarded, but his CBA for the UK government seemed to be very slanted towards the CAGW position. It has been heavily criticised – cf my CE head-post on Peter Lilley’s critique and comments here by Richard Tol.

      That’s three. I’ve also mentioned Clive Hamilton, who was never a good or prominent economist, although he’s now prominent as a ratbag. Interestingly, my clashes with him were about Krugman’s ITT work, which he totally misunderstood.

      The first three have been very prominent in the CAGW debate, and major influences on policy. Yes, I disagree with them. Yes, I think that Krugman and Garnaut were non-professional and partisan in their CAGW work. I know less of Stern, but he also seems to have had a pro-CAGW bias and set out to make a case rather than do a rigorous analysis – his choice of and arguments on discounting rates are out of line with most work in that field. I don’t know if that’s a big enough count to demonstrate bias.

      On the other side, I can’t think of any economists who have been so prominent in the debate or had as much influence. If there were any, and I knew enough to consider their work was partisan rather than rigorous, I would say so. I’ve had a number of letters in the national press here criticising the ALP, which I used to support, but I’ve also criticised the Coalition – I hold both to the same standards.

    • Mosomoso, I presume you are referring to Garnaut’s activities as Chairman of Lihir Gold. I know a bit about that from another Board member, but obviously cannot say on a web site.

      Faustino, Excellent comment, as usual. You mentioned you have had much to do with Stern’s work other than the excellent post you wrote for Climate Etc. Here is an extract from the chapter in the Stern Report on Nordhaus A Question of Balance, (p167) http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

      To begin with, the Stern Review should be read primarily as a document that is political in nature and has advocacy as its purpose. The review was officially commissioned when British chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown “asked Sir Nick Stern to lead a major review of the economics of climate change, to understand more comprehensively the nature of the economic challenges and how they can be met, in the UK and globally.” For the most part, the Stern Review accurately describes the basic economic questions involved in global
      warming. However, it tends to emphasize studies and findings that support its policy recommendations, while reports with opposing views about the dangers of global warming are ignored.

      Putting this point differently, we might evaluate the Stern Review in terms of the ground rules of standard science and economics. The central methodology by which science, including economics, operates is peer review and reproducibility. By contrast, the Stern Review was published without an appraisal of methods and assumptions by independent outside experts, and its results cannot be easily reproduced.

    • … that should be “well-regarded” for Stern rather than “widely.”

    • Typo correction. The sentence should read:

      Here is an extract from the chapter on the Stern Report in Nordhaus A Question of Balance, (p167)

    • Peter, you mentioned Lihir. We won’t elaborate. Garnaut was also a director of Ok Tedi. We won’t elaborate.

      Oh well, at least Garnaut can turn a profit for shareholders. Who’d be a shareholder in Timmy’s Geodynamics? (I guess you could say we Australians are all shareholders, in a sense.)

      We have some very odd custodians of climate and environment here in Oz. But perhaps they are an odd lot everywhere. Perhaps the shamans of old, and the priesthoods of the Nile and Euphrates, weren’t much different.

      It was only in a very brief period of history, called the Enlightenment, that we stopped paying pious or scholarly scoundrels to fix our weather. Fun while it lasted!

    • PS to my reply to Josh, Garnaut was chosen because he would provide output consistent with the Labor government’s preferred view, I understand that the same is true of Stern.

    • Hoary old gritches.
      ==============

    • Joshua’s gone quiet after asking his question, but not getting answers that support his motivated reasoning and biases.

  44. Judith, the IAC excerpts exemplify not just how research scientists should operate but more generally how each of us should live. Unfortunately, as many posters attest, such values are widely ignored, including by many in government. When my Vipassana teacher, S N Goenka, came to Australia in the 1980s, he used to stress to the trustees that for Vipassana to flourish in a society, it had to be adopted by the leaders of that society. The practice exists today in large part because the Indian Emperor Asoka embraced it in the 3rd Century BC, spread it throughout India and via missionaries to neighbouring countries. Monks in one of those countries, Burma, maintained the practice in its pure form after it was lost in other countries, and from there Goenka was able to take it to the world.

    Some leaders have embraced Vipassana, primarily in South and South-East Asian countries; but not those in Australia, where standards of governance have deteriorated in recent years.

    As an economist, I lived up to the standards sought by the IAC, and made some contribution to the well-being of society. But I think my contribution in helping people learn how to live moral lives, good for themselves and good for others, is ultimately more important. I am an atheist with little faith in organised religion, but the moral underpinnings of most major religions are a guide towards more harmonious living. However, people don’t change through the words of others, it must come from deep understanding of reality as it manifests within each one of us, there will be no overnight transformation of the quality of politicians, but the more who try to hold them to higher standards, the more hope there is. Of course, you can’t do that with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude.

    Practising what one preaches … we had a thread on honesty recently. Even the apparently honourable RiHo08 says above “We all lie of course …” Not so. Here’s a story from 40 years ago. I was doing some shopping prior to returning to India, was going to see my girl-friend but was running early, called on a friend who finished work earlier than she did. My friend supplemented his income with small-scale drug dealing. The police had set up a surveillance operation to catch his supplier. They missed the supplier but picked up me. My friend and his co-dealer pleaded guilty to possessing 2 pounds of cannabis resin for sale, and were each sentenced to two years gaol. The police had no evidence against me, but decided to “fit me up” with false evidence. I was innocent but faced a serious gaol sentence, much more than my friends. My idiot barrister, with no earlier discussion, asked me in court if I had ever supplied drugs. Well, of course, anyone using drugs at that time had also supplied them – passing a joint qualified as supply. So, to his horror and amazement, I said “Yes” – I’m committed not to lie. It is possible. As it happens, ten of eleven jurors thought me guilty, although the evidence did not support that (the twelfth juror had been discharged). One sceptical juror fortunately convinced them to acquit.

    As it happens, I learned that there was another honest man in court – my friends’ supplier, who I didn’t know except for meeting him briefly on the occasion of the surveillance. He had come to the court with the intention that, if I were convicted, he would intervene and admit that he was the supplier, and that I was not involved.

    • We all lie (sometimes). We all tell the truth (sometimes).

    • I don’t rule out that there are people who never lie, but they must be very rare.

    • Honesty and trust ‘I’d say, are the bed-rock of human relationships
      and in our own ack-shuns we need ter try not ter deceive ourselves,
      easier said than done …sigh. Me farher was wont ter say ter his flibbertigibbet daughters, that yer hand shake is yer bond.
      Jest a serf.

    • It sounds to me that Faustino may have been somewhat of a hippie in his younger days and I found the story of the trial for drug dealing very interesting. Rather than being firm on the question of lying I tend to think of this in terms of the complex way in which human thought and actions are based, which is entirely on our perceptions.

      It seems to me that perceptions and reality are constantly battling it out for ascendency in one’s consciousness, where truth and fiction seem to be entangled. As for deliberately lying, as a parent and grandparent, we need to stretch the truth often so as to provide encouragement to a child but lets say that our motives are always pure.

      As a thought experiment, I wonder how Faustino would handle a situation where a person is obviously struggling with something and asks him if he is doing OK or not. He could choose to tell the truth and in so doing further discourage that person or he could stretch the truth and say that he or she is going great, with ever better things to come!

    • Peter, I would be honest and compassionate. I would try to answer in a way which helps the person, but I would not lie. In my experience, that is the best approach. The fact that people have often approached me for advice suggests that it is appreciated.

      In the drug story, the police, who knew they had a shonky case, were elated when my barrister elicited my admission to having supplied drugs. By being honest, I risked being gaoled for a long period. The point of the story was to indicate my commitment to honesty and belief in its importance. (When the barrister got a chance to speak to me, he was flabbergasted, he expected a “No” answer whatever the truth.)

      In general, I’m flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances. But I have some moral absolutes, I don’t try to impose them on others, but I know that they are of great value.

      And, yes, I was “something of a hippie,” at the same time as advising the UK National Economic Development Council chaired by PM Harold Wilson then Ted Heath. I left Whitehall to travel to India in 1972, intending to take 18-24 months off, but becoming a Dhamma bum for eight years. I have many friends from that period.

    • Thanks for responding Faustino. I guess the world we live in (the “real” world) would be characterised by not often offering clear black and white choices but most often in numerous shades of grey.

      The point I was trying to make is that our perceptions colour our reality and the distinction between truth and fiction becomes difficult to comprehend but would be more noticeable to an outside observer.

    • Oh and one more thing about your drug example Faustino. The question that was put to you without warning by the barrister seemed to hinge on what I perceive to be the distinction between a dealer (for money) and a supplier who merely shares his or her dope. I would probably have answered the question by first clarify what was meant by supply or dealing and said yes to the first and no to the second.

    • Sorry that was bass ackwoods. No to dealing and yes to supply.

    • Peter @ 8.32: at the time, I had no experience of trials and no advice from the barrister re, e.g., addressing the jury rather the judge or questioner (I’ve since learned a lot from crime fiction). A lot of police evidence was fabricated and could easily have been shown up, I never had an opportunity to discuss this with the barrister. When arrested, I had a sum of money – much less than the price of two pounds of hash. It was in a concealed inner pocket of a waist-coat made in India to defeat skilled pick-pockets. I had no need to produce the money, but my grandfather was a PC, my uncle a Chief Superintendent, I was brought up to think that the policeman was a friend, I took out the money when asked to empty my pockets. Of the 100 pounds or so, 70 was new issue notes from a bank in SW London – I lived in SWL was arrested in East London, where my girl-friend and friend lived. I was going to walk to her place, someone (Colin) who I hadn’t seen for over a year offered me a lift, I refused but he insisted – his car was stopped. He had arrived with my friend Bron, they worked together on a building site, I’d arrived on foot. The police claimed that Colin and I had arrived together, that he had the dope in a carrier bag (it held a book, he liked to read in work-breaks), and that my 100 pounds was our payment. Well, I could show that the money had been issued a day or two earlier in SW London. But different money – all used notes – was produced in evidence. Altogether, the situation was fraught, I’ve thought many times of how I could have better responded in that court, at the time I was really taken aback by the stupid question – it served no purpose – and answered it directly and truthfully, as is my wont.

    • Peter @ 8.23: some things are black and white, and not only Newcastle United strips. For example, all living beings consist of a flow of sub-atomic particles, arising and passing away with great rapidity. Many of us know that intellectually, that knowledge has little impact. Observing it at the actual level within oneself, with detachment, leads to a deeper level of understanding, it weakens the attachment to “I, me, mine” and changes behaviour. To observe at this level, you need a calm and concentrated mind. To have such a mind, you need to avoid behaviour which disturbs it. You can’t lie, cheat or steal with a calm and harmonious mind, if you want such a mind you must eschew such things. Black and white, not subject to perceptions.

      Of course, in general, our vision, our perception, is affected by conditionings in the so-called subconscious mind, by all the baggage and bias we carry. So I’ve worked for over 40 years to dismantle those conditionings, to see clearly. Still a work in progress, of course.

    • Alcohol and drugs tend to make one create and sometimes believe fantasy – not via perception – but instead by impairment of normal mental activity. This is more insidious than merely believing what you perceive. This is trickery worked on the brain itself. I’ve often heard drunks referred to as “bullet proof.” That is what they believed. Then there is the day after, when you are under the impression you were having fun while throwing up in the toilet. Right.

    • jim2, I was never interested in alcohol and my drug use was from 1967, predominantly 1968-72, I doubt that there is any ongoing effect.

    • “We all lie sometimes.”

      What if telling the truth discourages someone?

      Ahh the rationalizations that our culture has adopted wholesale to justify abandonment of morality. I want to do what I want to do. And I don’t want to feel guilty about it, or be judged ()particularly by someone who can actually see through all my BS.

      OK, I now am an atheist, and will concoct my own set of ethics.

      Wait, everybody else is doing the same thing.

      Hey, their ethics aren’t the same as mine.

      Damn this world is starting to get even more chaotic and dangerous than ever.

      This sucks!

      Let’s pass an international set of ethical standards that will apply to everyone, with “mediators” to resolve disputes, and “consequences” for those who break these new fangled ethical rules.

      Cool. You geniuses have just learned the same lesson mankind learned a couple thousand years ago. And many times since.

      Those too vain to learn their own history are doomed to repeat it.

    • Heh.

      Ahh the rationalizations that our culture has adopted wholesale to justify abandonment of morality.

      Yes, indeed. Our “culture” has “abandoned morality…wholesale.”

      If only we could get back to those days of morality when you know, women were disenfranchised, people were uniformly discriminated against on the basis of sexual preference, people were treated like animals because of their skin color, people were considered “heathens” and “savages” on the basis of religious affiliation people were burned at the stake because they were “witches,” ….uh…..er…. when was that, Gary, you know, before “morality” was “abandoned wholesale?”

      Do you ever get tired of the old man yelling at the clouds routine?

    • Hi GaryM,

      Interview: Maurice Strong on a “People’s Earth Charter”

      But, let us be very clear, the UN action is not going to be the only goal. The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere. And, that is where the political influence, where the long-term results of the Earth Charter will really come.
      http://tinyurl.com/ygq9maj

      The Earth Charter is based on Bio-Ethics.

      Is Bio-Ethics Ethical?
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/31/open-thread-weekend-30/#comment-373005

      Yes that’s right. People of the ilk of Peter Singer the Animal Rights Inventor are busy “devising” the “supposed” Ethical standards for the new millennium. Best to study carefully.
      Under Bio-Ethics, Human Life has NO unique or special value compared to other lifeforms.
      Animal Rights for example is not about enhancing the value of non-human life, it is about “removing” the special and unique value historically ascribed to “human life”.

      Deep-Ecology is even worse. The radical leaders believe that Human Life doesn’t necessarily have any special or unique value compared to rocks or landscapes

      Arne Naess (Co-inventor of the Deep Ecology Cult)

      Biocentric equality: all natural things – ecosystems, life and landscape – have an intrinsic right to exist. However, “The presence of inherent value in a natural object is independent of any awareness, interest, or appreciation of it by a conscious being.”[3] Living a simple life, a human will effect the earth minimally: “Simple in means, rich in ends.”[4] Naess believes there are too many humans on the planet: “I think we must have no more than 100 million people if we are to have the variety of cultures we had one hundred years ago
      http://www.ekosidan.se/mer/naess.html

      Rebutting Rockefeller: the chairman of the Earth Charter drafting committee takes issue with this magazine’s expose, “The New World Religion.” The facts show that his objections are not sustainable. (Earth Charter).
      Professor Steven C. Rockefeller has objected to my critique of the Earth Charter, “The New World Religion,” in the September 23rd issue of THE NEW AMERICAN. (See his full letter on page 3). The article, he says, “contains some misunderstandings” about the Earth Charter Initiative which he then purports to correct. Below is my response to a number of his points.

      Rockefeller: “The Earth Charter is the product of a worldwide, cross-cultural, interfaith dialogue on common goals and shared values that has been conducted as a civil society initiative.”

      Response: The global campaign for the Charter is not a grass-roots, bottom-up effort, but a closely controlled, top-down operation masquerading as “dialogue.” The Charter was cobbled together under the leadership of Dr. Rockefeller, former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev (representing Green Cross International), Earth Summit I Secretary-General Maurice Strong (representing the Earth Council), and representatives from the government of the Netherlands.
      snip

      Maurice Strong opened Earth Summit I with a “Declaration of the Sacred Earth,” accompanied by “indigenous” animist Earth worship ceremonies — standard practice at UN convocations. The Charter says protecting Earth is our “sacred trust.”

      Dr. Rockefeller is a leading advocate of the radical “biocentrism,” under which, he says, “the rights of nature are defended first and foremost on the grounds of the intrinsic value of animals, plants, rivers, mountains, and ecosystems” against “human oppression.” Biocentrists believe that humans are no more important than other life forms or natural objects. Of course, rocks, trees, and ecosystems speak in words only understood by enlightened souls like Rockefeller and company, who have assigned themselves the noble task of defending these “rights of nature.”
      http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Rebutting+Rockefeller%3A+the+chairman+of+the+Earth+Charter+drafting…-a094174234

      The most visible propagandists for Bio-Ethics are the Animal Rights nutbars. There’s a tendency to dismiss them, and their agenda because they are clowns running around flashing their tits and so forth.
      This is a mistake IMO
      It’s well worth the effort to seriously examine the thinking of the Elite Bio-Ethicists,(who the AR nutbars parrot) because these people DO matter.

      all the best
      brent

      BTW.. I’m a double D Denier. Not only about CAGW because I see no reason for alarm based on a bunch of unvalidated GCMs
      I’m well aware of the sustainability agenda, and have been told that I’m in complete and utter denial if I don’t concede that human population must be reduced to a few hundred million.
      The person that told me that was not at all what I would consider one of the real human haters. He was just a long time student of LTG, Overshoot etc, however influenced by considerable groupthink .
      The divide we are seeing with people talking completely past each other in different paradigms is very dangerous IMO

    • Broken link converted to tinyurl
      http://tinyurl.com/qhebu9d

    • Gary, “OK, I now am an atheist, and will concoct my own set of ethics.” I stopped believing in God in 1955, when I was 13. But I’d had a strong commitment to honesty and integrity as far back as I can remember, and found ongoing value in the strong moral values of my Christian mother. I had, and have, a concern for others and avoiding harming or exploiting them. I’ve commented once before that I was very trusting, and it was only at age 25 that I realised that the perception of the world that I’d received from society was deeply flawed, that I needed to work things out for myself.

      The panca-sila (five-fold morality) taught by the Buddha, which I came across via Goenka in 1972, was consistent with much of how I already behaved although I had to deal with sexual promiscuity and drug use. In doing so, I at first was motivated by conforming to an externally-derived morality, as are many people of religious faith. But I knew that such conformity was not sufficient, to be truly moral you need to develop your own understanding and wisdom – to “know thyself,” as many saints and sages have advised – so that the morality is embedded, is intrinsic, is how you are. The reason that we’ve been having these discussions at CE is that many people in positions of authority and influence do not have this embedded morality, whatever morality they might profess is belied by their actions, hence the loss of trust in what they say.

      It doesn’t matter what external ethical standards might be promoted, the change must be within each individual. Whether or not there is a gods or gods is secondary, each of us is responsible for our own volition and behaviour, we have to resolve issues of morality within ourselves. If there is a god or gods as posited by Christianity and other religions, I’m sure that he/she/they would be happy with my approach and life. Most major religions have similar views on core morality, most/all also have various rites, rituals and practices which have nothing whatsoever to do with living a harmonious life, good for you and good for others. The latter become a barrier to stripping away accreted nonsense and living a truly moral life.

      I lead a moral life not because of any external teaching, not from fear of retribution, not because someone else thinks I should, but because I worked hard at a practice which develops understanding and wisdom, which breaks down past conditionings and reduces or eliminates the forming of new ones, and which makes you inherently moral.

  45. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Chief Hydrologist version of public discourse “You [FOMD] are a disingenuous radical fool.”

    Me and plenty of science-respecting Republicans, eh Chief?

    Question  Which is more toxic: Chief’s style of pure-abuse/no-science public discourse, or Howard’s isolationist vision of “white country” carbon-energy economies?

    Answer  It’s a tie!

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL  and now, yet *another* voice is heard:

      Monckton of Brenchley explains it all “The trolls are so persistent in peddling confusion and nonsense that one infers they are paid to do it, for no one would make such an ass of himself otherwise. The troll-count in this thread is higher than usual, and that means They are worried.”

      LOL … perhaps it means rather that WE are triumphant!

      Seriously, Monckton sings conspiracy-theory in perfect harmony with Chief’s song of zero-science personal abuse and Howard’s song of “white nation” economics … and these are precisely the demagogic voices that Trish Roberts-Miller describes.

      Conclusion  The dogs of demagoguery are barking, yet the caravan of sustainment travels ahead.

      \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}

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Sorry – the Pope, Wendell Berry and the Audubon Society of Portland counts as science?

      I do admit you link endlessly to a couple of arxiv articles from Hansen and his many teeny bopper colleagues. When you are not linking to the incredible, unbelievable and utterly irrelevant. Or indeed linking to your own comments in some infinite regressive loop of discourse free rhetoric.

      A radical fool seems relatively mild. Your politics and your economics are on display. I find both appallingly lacking in historical, economic and social perspective.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chief Hydrologist gratuitously smears “Hansen and his many teeny bopper colleagues.”

      Chief, your novel views vividly illuminate denialist cognition. Hansen’s distinguished scientific “teeny bopper colleagues” Makiko Sato and Camille Parmesan and Lise Van Susteren and Karina von Schuckmann especially will appreciate your meaning!

      Thank you for educating us all, Chief Hydrologist!

      \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}

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You don’t recognise the allusion to your recursive assertions of young scientists?

      Thanks for playing – but haven’t you been caught out peddling disinformation yet again.

      Substance rather than endless peddling of the same message in the same passive/aggressive form would be less idiotic.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Skepticism that restricts its attention to weak and/or cherry-picked climate science, while remaining abusively ignorant of “the strongest available climate-change science”, amounts to futile denialism.

      Ain’t that everyday common-sense Chief?

      \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}

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Please – you are on an infinitely recursive loop and risk disappearing up your own arsehole.

  46. Chief Hydrologist

    Let’s just have few little bits of science here.

    The warming or cooling of the Earth is dependent only on the energy budget –

    The change in in heat content = energy in – energy out

    This works because energy is conserved and energy is always moving from the Sun to the surface, to the atmosphere and back out to space again. The first and second laws of thermodynamics.

    The change in heat content largely reflects what is happening in the oceans. Useful ARGO data is available from 2005 when coverage was sufficient – it shows about half a Watt/m^2 warming in the period 2005-2010. The increase in sea level with that warming is 0.69mm/yr. The salinity trend was marginally negative – meaning that there was less water from ice melt less evaporation over the period. The volume of the oceans was decreasing. These facts tell a story.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=47

    The cause of this short term warming is the difference between incoming and outgoing energy. Natural variations dominate at these scales. The most significant factor was a small change in cloud in the period.

    e.g. – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=94

    The central fact – however – of climate in the new century is the climate shift of 1998/2001. This is a difficult concept. Climate is capable spontaneously changing abruptly into new patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation. ‘The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm.’NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM -JOSÉ A. RIAL
    et al 2004

    The system shifted in 1998/2001 – seen in patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation in the Pacific especially. Clouds change with these changes in circulation resulting in large changes in top of atmosphere energy dynamics. (Advances in Understanding Top-of-Atmosphere Radiation Variability from Satellite Observations
    Norman G. Loeb et al 2012) Cloud cover is negatively correlated with sea surface temperature.

    The shift is seen in ocean indices, surface temperature and was captured as measurements of albedo both with satellite observation and in Earthshine.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SWupnotes_zps3f1ab841.jpg.html?sort=3&o=41

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.

    One of the difficulties of data is the evolving instrumentation. Intercalibration is problematic as is the difference in coverage and quality. Palle and Laken (What do we really know about cloud changes over the past decades? Enric Palle and Benjamin A. Laken, 2013) have made a recent effort to join the ISCCP-FD record with the more recent MODIS record using sea surface temperature over the Pacific to validate.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=24

    Climate shifts occur when small changes push the system past a tipping point. The decadal shifts occur with a periodicity of 20 to 40 years. The change in cloud cover suggests that energy into the system peaked around 1998 as measured in ERBS and ISCCP. The cloud record made available by Palle and Laken suggests that energy inputs are currently at 1990 levels but below the end of century peak.

    Climate shifts and decadal warm and cool modes, changes in TOA energy dynamics associated with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation, the possibility of no warming – or even cooling – for decades hence is all mainstream climate science.

    ‘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.’ Long-term natural variability and 20th century climate change, Kyle L. Swanson, George Sugihara, and Anastasios A. Tsonis, 2009

    This is in plain English and you would think there could be some progress on these idea. Instead we get simplistic space cadet science, disingenuous argumentation, lies and distortion and assertions about my lack of science, psychological instability demagogic politics from all the usual suspects. It all seems par for the course for the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets.

    • Thanks, Chief, I don’t comment on your scientific posts as I can’t add value to debates on them, but I appreciate them. Likewise with a number of others posting on science, of course, I try to “stick to my knitting” in choosing when to comment.

    • You are strangely attracted to strange attractors, and wild leaps from one to the other.

      The only apparent nearby island of quasi-stability is, as you suggest, a cold one. We’d best maximize our access to efficient and minimum expense energy as quickly as possible. Not “pressing” is not an option.

    • cf. Colony Collapse, as, for instance, the hive in Oz. Then, there’s the Andromeda Strain, beware the Mutant Mid-life Fanja Tortoises.
      ========================

  47. WHT’s long list of attributes of deniers on this blog leads me to suggest the following link as required reading for everyone who would prefer to have their comments treated seriously.

    http://scitechframework.wordpress.com/author/scitechframework/

    I recommend that the earlier posts be examined as well as there are 7 principles of good scientific practice have been put forward for discussion.

    Judith may wish to have a new head post on these topics.

    • Not tea bags. Lapses into educationese a bit too often for my taste, but done competently, it would have been an upgrade on grade-school blackboard/textbook ‘science’, at the very least.

      The 7 principles are more often honored in the breach than the observance in CS, certainly. The love of money …

  48. Judith;
    Edit note:
    “reliability of research results. ↑ degree of skepticism”

    Missing words. “An allegiance to empirical evidence requires that researchers maintain a “

  49. “providing data to colleagues” may be bent a la Jones “You’ll just try to find something wrong with it”.

    Feynman’s idealistic vision was that this would be exactly what was to be hoped for, since despite best efforts you’d failed to disabuse yourself of the conviction it was accurate, so far, and hence had succumbed in all probability to the easy way: fooling yourself.

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

  51. Pingback: Rethinking climate advocacy | Climate Etc.

  52. Pingback: The Art of Science Advice to Government | Climate Etc.

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