Mutually Assured Delusion (MAD)

by Judith Curry

Groupthink:   A pattern of thought charaterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.

Groupthink: Collective Delusions in Organizations and Markets, by Roland Benabou, published in the Review of Economic Studies.  Benabou also has a talk (ppt slides) on this subject.

First, a definition of groupthink (from the ppt slides):

Janis (1972)’s eight symptoms [of groupthink]:

  • illusion of invulnerability
  • collective rationalization
  • belief in inherent morality
  • stereotyped views of out-groups
  • direct pressure on dissenters
  • self-censorship
  • illusion of unanimity
  • self-appointed mind guards

Sound like any groups that we know?  If you are on different ‘sides’ of the AGW debate, you may be evaluating the IPCC and anthropowarmists  against these criteria, or you may be evaluating the opposition against these criteria.  While both groups seem to be subject to the first 4 symptoms, I would say that the IPCC and anthropowarmists have a lock on the last 4 symptoms.

Excerpts from the paper:

To analyze these issues, I develop a model of (individually rational) collective denial and willful blindness. Agents are engaged in a joint enterprise where their final payoff will be determined by their own action and those of others, all affected by a common productivity shock. To distinguish groupthink from standard mechanisms, there are no complementarities in payoffs, nor any private signals that could give rise to herding or social learning. Each agent derives anticipatory utility from his future prospects, and consequently faces a tradeoff: he can accept the grim implications of negative public signals about the project’s value (realism) and act accordingly, or maintain hopeful beliefs by discounting, ignoring or forgetting such data (denial), at the risk of making overoptimistic decisions.

The key observation is that this tradeoff is shaped by how others deal with bad news, creating cognitive linkages. When an agent benefits from others’ over optimism, his improved prospects make him more accepting of the bad news which they ignore. Conversely, when he is made worse off by others’ blindness to adverse signals, the increased loss attached to such news pushes him toward denial, which is then contagious. Thinking styles thus become strategic substitutes or complements, depending on the sign of externalities (not cross-partials) in the interaction payoffs. When interdependence among participants is high enough, this Mutually Assured Delusion (MAD) principle can give rise to multiple equilibria with different ‘social cognitions’ of the same reality. The same principle also implies that, in organizations where some agents have a greater impact on others’ welfare than the reverse (e.g., managers on workers), strategies of realism or denial will ‘trickle down’ the hierarchy, so that subordinates will in effect take their beliefs from the leader.

JC note: This last sentence highlights one of the problems of AGW advocacy statements by professional societies in terms of amplifying groupthink.

The underlying insight is quite general and, in particular, does not depend on the assumptions of anticipatory utility and malleable memory or awareness. To demonstrate this point, I analyze a variant of the model in which both are replaced by Kreps-Porteus (1978) preferences for late resolution of uncertainty. This also serves, importantly, to address collective willful ignorance (ex-ante avoidance of information) in the same way as the benchmark model addresses collective denial (ex-post distortion of beliefs). In line with the MAD principle, I show that if an agent’s remaining uninformed about the state of the world leads him to increase the risks borne by others, this pushes them toward also delaying becoming informed; as a result, ignorance becomes contagious and risk spreads through the organization. Conversely, when information avoidance has beneficial hedging spillovers, it is self-dampening.

The model’s welfare analysis makes clear what factors distinguish valuable group morale from harmful groupthink, irrespective of anticipatory payoffs, which average out across states of the world. It furthermore explains why organizations and societies find it desirable to set up ex-ante commitment mechanisms protecting and encouraging dissent (constitutional guarantees of free speech, whistle-blower protections, devil’s advocates, etc.), even when ex-post everyone would unanimously want to ignore or ‘kill’ the messengers of bad news.

In the remainder of this section, I provide empirical evidence on both types of cognitive distortions (ex-ante and ex-post) considered in the model. On the theoretical side, the paper relates to two broad literatures: (i) self-deception, anticipatory preferences and attitudes toward information; (ii) social conformity, herding and bubbles.

Besides the vast literature on over-confidence and over-optimism, there is a long-standing body of work more specifically documenting people’s tendency to selectively process, interpret and recall data in ways that lead to more favorable beliefs about their own traits or future prospects. While earlier studies relied on self-reports rather than incentivized choices, several recent papers offer rigorous confirmations of a differential response to good and bad news.

The curse of Cassandra. Consider a denial equilibrium. Suppose now that an individual or subgroup  attempts to bring the bad news back to everyone’s attention. If this occurs after agents have sunk in their investments it simply amounts to defeating expectations, so they will refuse to listen, or may even try to ‘kill the messenger’ (pay a new cost to forget). Anticipating that others will behave in this way, in turn, allows everyone to more confidently invest in denial at t = 0: To avoid this deleterious outcome, organizations and societies will find it desirable to set up ex-ante guarantees such as whistle-blower protections, devil’s advocates, constitutional rights to free speech, independence of the press, etc. These will ensure that bad news will most likely resurface ex-post in a way that is hard to ignore, thus lowering the ex-ante return of investing in denial. Similar results apply if the dissenter comes at an interim stage, after people have censored but before investments are made. They should welcome the opportunity to correct course, but in practice this can be hard to achieve, requiring full coordination. With pay off heterogeneity, dissenters’ motives may also be suspect. Things are even starker for people who strongly value hope and dislike anxiety. Facing the truth now lowers everyone’s utility, generating a universal unwillingness to listen – the curse of Cassandra. Free-speech guarantees, anonymity and similar protections nonetheless remain desirable ex-ante, as they avoid welfare losses and, on average, save the organization or society from wasting resources on denial and repression.

JC comment:  people on both sides of the debate can lay claim to Cassandra’s curse.  But in the case of AGW, we have a scientific debate/disagreement about a highly uncertain and complex system.  Acknowledging the complexity and uncertainty is key to generating a willingness to listen to to different ‘prophecies’ of what the future might hold.

The intuition for what I shall term the ‘Mutually Assured Delusion’ (MAD) principle is simple. If others’ blindness to bad news leads them to act in a way that is better for an agent than if they were well informed; it makes the news not as bad, thus reducing his own incentive to engage in denial. But if their avoidance of reality makes things worse than if they reacted appropriately to the true state of affairs; future prospects become even more ominous, increasing the incentive to look the other way and take refuge in wishful thinking. In the first case, individual’s ways of thinking are strategic substitutes, in the latter they are strategic complements. It is worth emphasizing that this ‘psychological multiplier’, less than 1 in the first case and greater in the second, arises even though agents’ payoffs are separable and there is no scope for social learning.

Proposition 1 shows that the scope for contagion hinges on whether over-optimism has positive or negative spillovers. Examples of both types of interaction are provided below, using financial institutions as the main illustration.

Limited-stakes projects, public goods: The first scenario characterizes activities with limited downside risk, in the sense that pursuing them remains socially desirable for the organization even in the low state where the private return falls short of the cost.

High-stakes projects: The second scenario corresponds to ventures in which the downside is severe enough that persisting has negative social value for the organization. In such contexts, the greater is other players ‘tendency to ignore danger signals about ‘tail risk’ and forge ahead with the strategy — accumulating yet more subprime loans and CDO’s on the balance sheet, increasing leverage, setting up new off-the-books partnerships– the deeper and more widespread the losses will be if the scheme was flawed, the assets ‘toxic’, or the accounting fraudulent. Therefore, when red flags start mounting, the greater is the temptation for everyone whose future is tied to the firm’s fate to also look the other way, engage in rationalization, and ‘not think about it’.

The proposition’s second result shows how cognitive interdependencies (of both types) are amplified, the more closely tied an individual’s welfare is to the actions of others.

Groupthink is thus most important for closed, cohesive groups whose members perceive that they largely share a common fate and have few exit options. This is in line with Janis’ (1972) findings, but with a more operational notion of ‘cohesiveness’. Such vesting can be exogenous or arise from a prior choice to join the group, in which case wishful beliefs about its future prospects also correspond to ex-post rationalizations of a sunk decision.

A first alternative source of group error is social pressure to conform.  For instance, if agents are heard or seen by both a powerful principal (boss, group leader, government) and third parties whom he wants to influence, they may just toe the line for fear of retaliation.

Self-censorship should also not occur when agents can communicate separately with the boss, who should then want to hear both good and bad news. There are nonetheless many instances where deliberately confidential and highly credible warnings were flatly ignored, with disastrous consequences for the decision-maker.

A second important source of conformity is signaling or career concerns. Thus, when the quality of their information is unknown, agents whose opinion is at odds with most already expressed may keep it to themselves, for fear of appearing incompetent or lazy. Significant mistakes in group decisions can result in contexts where differential information is important, if anonymous communication or voting is not feasible.

This paper developed a model of how wishful thinking and reality denial spread through organizations and markets. In settings where others ignorance of bad news imposes negative externalities (lower expected payoffs, increased risk), it makes such news even worse and thus harder to accept, resulting in a contagion of willful blindness. Conversely, where over-optimism has beneficial spillovers (thus dampening the impact of adverse signals), ex-ante avoidance and ex-post distortion of information tend to be self-limiting. This mechanism of social cognition does not rely on complementarities in technology or preferences, agents herding on a subset of private signals, or exogenous biases in inference; it is also quite robust. The Mutually Assured Delusion (MAD) principle is thus broadly applicable, helping to explain corporate cultures characterized by dysfunctional groupthink or valuable group morale, why willful ignorance and delusions flow down hierarchies, and the emergence of market manias sustained by new-era thinking, followed by deep crashes.

Patterns of Denial

The paper has an Appendix D: Patterns of Denial, listing 7 patterns of denial and illustrating with examples from Space Shuttle disasters and financial crises.  Here I discuss these in context of the IPCC:

1. Preposterous probabilities.  The 95% confidence level is arguably an example of this, although it is not exactly clear how to interpret the 95% in context of probabilities.

2. New paradigms: this time is different, we are smarter and have better tools. Every case also displays the typical pattern of hubris, based on claims of superior talent or human capital.   The ‘we are smarter and have better tools’ is reflected in the extensive reliance on climate models, and labeling of anyone who disagrees as a ‘denier.’

3. Escalation, failure to diversify, divest or hedge. Wishful beliefs show up not only in words but also in deeds. The most vivid current example seems to be President Obama’s ramping up of a climate program in the U.S.

4. Information avoidance, repainting red flags green and overriding alarms.  The ‘pause’, and its dismissal in the AR5 is a prime example of this one.

5. Normalization of deviance, changing standards and rationales. How do organizations react when what was not supposed to happen does, with increasing frequency and severity? An example of this is the changing goal posts for the pause.  A few years ago, periods of pause/cooling longer than 10-15 yrs were not expected, which was recently bumped to 17 years by Santer et al.  The start date for the pause seems to be moving towards 2001 – away from the big El Nino of 1998.

6. Reversing the burden of proof.  See my essay on Reversing the Null Hypothesis for a discussion of this issue.

7. Malleable memories: forgetting the lessons of history.  This one is particularly true re arguments linking AGW and extreme weather.  Often ‘remembering’ back to the 1950’s or the 1930’s is all that is required.

JC comments: I find Benabou’s analysis to be very insightful.  Awareness of these symptoms and patterns is the first stop towards inoculating against groupthink.  Encouraging dissent is key to not falling into the groupthink trap.

While the examples provided are markets and public and private sector disasters, these ideas are broadly applicable to the different social ‘realities’ surrounding anthropogenic climate change.  I’ve tried to find an analogous set of examples for the ‘denial’ of say U.S. Republicans and some oil companies, but could only come up with  examples for 3, 4, 5 of the ‘patterns of denial’.  Sort of changes which foot the ‘denier’ shoe fits best.

302 responses to “Mutually Assured Delusion (MAD)

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry posts  “Groupthink: a pattern of thought charaterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.”

    Comment by Curry, humor by The Onion

    Conclusion  By definition, “wicked” problems have no simple solution.

    \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}

    • As it to prove a point FOMD shows it is all about politics

      • Scott Basinger

        Sadly, it’s almost a charicature portrait.

      • I withdraw my comment on FOMD, having completed the article. Though I disagree with him, he is not the one who brought Republicans into it.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        You are correct Tim. In regard to ideology-driven denialism, Judith Curry had the first word and yet (surprisingly often) The Onion has had the last word.

        Several top writers at The Onion have science degrees; hence The Onion’s climate-change humor commonly is on-target.

        \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}

      • Well FOMD, there you go. It is obvious that you are a political partisan, like just about every proponent of CAGW that I have ever encountered.

      • Scott Scarborough

        What the heck are you and FMOD talking about… linking a Satirical article about health care and Republicans in comments about this article. What does it have to do with this article? Please spell it out for me.

      • “I’ve tried to find an analogous set of examples for the ‘denial’ of say U.S. Republicans and some oil companies, but could only come up with examples for 3, 4, 5 of the ‘patterns of denial’.” – JC

      • Much more global warming dust coming soon.

        Get those winter tyres fitted: you’ll need them even in Louisiana!

    • Matthew R Marler

      Repeating the phrase “you can keep your current doctor” over and over until something happens

      It nearly rescued Ken Cuccinelli. I would not want to be a Senator up for re-election who voted for the law that caused cancellations of hundreds of thousands of policies among the swing voters of my state, and raised the prices or deductibles of all the policies that were not cancelled. Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor are busy at work trying to postpone (some of) the implementation. Ben Nelson of Nebraska has already decided not to run again. This is the best issue for the Republican Party since they ran against Obamacare in 2010 and won the majority in the House.

      • The Current governor refused to sign up for the train wreck. MacAwful will try. Which will ensure a huge democrat defeat in 2 years as the horror tales from other states are visited upon Virginia.

    • Walter Carlson

      ‘Direct pressure on dissenters’….Judith, have you ever asked Michael Mann how much pressure was brought on him by Senators, reporters, fossil fuel corporations, NON SCIENTISTS, who offer no technical rebuttal, but make demands for his data, emails, and methodology, just to intimidate ???

      • Just to intimidate? How about to check it? Replicability is key to all science.

      • Walter Carlson

        John…how many of those I listed have advanced degrees in paleoclimatology?? So, if they are unable to ‘check’ Dr. Mann’s work, what other reason, than intimidation, is there???

      • When did Mann get an advanced degree in paleoclimatology?

      • walter, “John…how many of those I listed have advanced degrees in paleoclimatology?? So, if they are unable to ‘check’ Dr. Mann’s work, what other reason, than intimidation, is there???”

        Initially the people questioning Mann’s work had advanced degrees or extensive experience in statistics which is where the issue were. Recently the people questioning some of Mann’s work are dendroclimatologists to the point that Rob Wilson called Mann’s volcanic aerosol tree ring hibernation theory a Crock of $hit. Mann’s “novel” statistical methodology used in the Steig et al. paper also caused a stir in the statistical community. At what point is calling a spade a spade reserved by members of the Paleoclimatology Club?

      • So you are saying that those who pay you should make no demands on you? You can do what you want, without any responsibility to what you were paid to do?

        Who do you work for?

      • I think we should all stop for a moment of respectful silence in awe of the demonstration true believer logic and imagination as demonstrated by Walter Carlson. Worth every penny of himself, he is.
        ============

      • Walter Carlson

        Hey capt….which ‘Rob Wilson’?? The astronomer or the physicist?? And how do statisticians qualify as dendrochronologists??

        Kim. Do you have something intelligent to say??? I thought not.

      • Walter Carlson

        Oh, and by the way cap, how did Mann’s study get published WITHOUT peer review??

  2. This applies beautifully to ‘green’ Enron, which tried to please the consensus on global warming and renewables as part of its ‘shared narrative’.
    http://www.masterresource.org/2011/10/rob-bradley-at-enron/

    • Lest we forget, doubling the nation’s electric grid was a central goal of Enron for profiting from trading. Of course the cost of achieving this goal could only be justified by the “need” to install wind and solar farms all over the place.

  3. All eight symptoms are on continuous display over at WUWT (and frequently here – did you read Kent’s comments on the Meme thread?)

    • did you read Kent’s comments on the Meme thread?)

      In the running for my all-time Climate Etc. favorites. Right up there with Wags, GaryM, and Chad Woz-whatever.

    • @Louise, I totally disagree with you, there is NOT group think here or at WUWT. You see, you and I aren’t group thinking, I thought you may not get my point because we don’t think even remotely alike, hence the explanation.

      • That was just Louise’s way to get more activity out of you in the hope of breaking the GW hiatus

      • detecting on which side of the groupthink you are is not easy.
        reading the paper you see few details that may give a hint.

        One is the transition. Realist do change their position because they suffer less from the denial and the punition. Seing old apes, retired, escape from the delusion is more logical than seing young researchers ruin their career.
        If you are realist, transitioning to delusion can only be logic if you gain something, or if you are already losing much from others delusion…

        (For example on another domain, if you see the installed boss of the physics dept of UNi Missouri jump from a well funded expensive research into an official heresy without serious funding, you can assume he have some reason… some would say he is honest, I would say he have big selfish expectations, which will pay only if he is right )

        of course all is noisy, and there are some personal cause of decision… but not much…

        this is a personal concern for me , every day, since I work on blackswan and heresy… everyday I have to doubt and fear to be wrong. I just cannot find a theory that reassure me and send me to the consensus.
        Climate is the least certain subject, and my position si simply that all is rotten in that science, making no serious position really solid…
        Judith is one of the least compromised actor here… but she had positions, like me, and that alone create a risk.

        The problem is that you can be unbiased when ignorant, and the flooded with data you can capture some honest feeling of the situation.
        But instantly you get convinced, thus biased.
        If you start to invest energy in a position, to commit your credibility, you get incentive to be delusioned.

        My advantage is that I have been ridiculed all my life, and I know how to quickly admit I’m stupid. Admiting errors is my way to keep my self-esteem…
        Not all, and sadly very few physicist or climatologist , are able to admit they were wrong.
        I see scientists very cautious to take a decision when they are not sure, which is counter productive in hard time, but when they have said something, I sadly see they cannot go back and simply say “I screwed up”.

      • “this is a personal concern for me , every day, since I work on blackswan and heresy… everyday I have to doubt and fear to be wrong. I just cannot find a theory that reassure me and send me to the consensus.
        Climate is the least certain subject, and my position is simply that all is rotten in that science, making no serious position really solid…”

        I see no reason for blackswan events occurring now, as compared to century or 1000 years ago.
        We are in warming trend- despite the 17 year pause. And seems throughout human history warming period have been regarded as the better times, as compared to decades to centuries of cooling periods.
        It seems more likely blackswan event within the next decade would related to unlikely severe cooling.
        If believe that warming causes cooling [as some do] then have much to say, but I believe any cooling in near future would probably have something to do with the Sun or other factors, and it doesn’t seem to me such factors include increase in a trace gas which is about .04% of the atmosphere.

  4. Judith Curry

    Thanks for posting this.

    Benabou’s analysis is “insightful” (as you write).

    However, I find your analysis of the IPCC and consensus team behavior relating to the seven listed “patterns of denial” even more to the point.

    And, yes, it’s hard for me to see most of these in rational skeptics – but, then again, I may be biased.

    Max

  5. There was a fascinating discussion between pro and anti IPCC views here (link below) last night. It was clear that the anti IPCC wouldn’t address the science, insisted on shifting the debate and then appeared to stalk off in a huff.

    http://wottsupwiththatblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/sceptics-vs-academics/#comment-8004

    • That you found that exchange fascinating says more about you than anything else. The exchange was dribble.

      • VeryTallGuy summed the discussion up perfectly:

        “SS: here’s my list of what sceptics think about the theory that lizardmen are not taking over the earth
        VTG: Ah, I see at number two you claim the moon is made of blue cheese. That’s false, do you agree?

        SS: This is a carefully constructed list taking into account the views of many sceptics
        VTG: Yes, but specifically, do you agree that the moon is not, in fact made of blue cheese?

        SS: There is rock, and there is blue cheese. It may be that the proportion of blue cheese is very small, but we cannot be certain of the proportion of cheese.
        VTG Really? The mass balance of blue cheese made clearly shows it’s all eaten on earth. Plus the gravitational pull of the moon shows it’s density to be incompatible with that of cheese.

        SS: Some sceptics believe the moon is entirely made of blue cheese, but I don’t know why you think it’s important. Did you realise that HG Wells observed canals on Mars and lizard DNA is alien?
        VTG Let’s stick to the cheese issue. What would the magnitude of tides be if the moon was made of cheese?

        SS: Did you know that Neil Armstrong liked stilton? How can we be certain he didn’t get a taste for it on the moon?
        VTG: I’m afraid you’re avoiding the issue and denying the facts. Sorry but there’s no point continuing

        SS: Why am I being libelled and insulted? Let’s audit astronomy with uncorrupted scientists who believe in blue cheese. The we’ll know the truth”

    • Louise – I hope you dont spend a lot of time on that blog. Definitely low brow.

  6. Why do I expect Mosher and Joshua will love this thread? LOL

    • hehe. too busy today.

      lets see if people can practice some skepticism toward what this guy says.

    • I’m too busy also – just enough time for a quick drive-by.

      Mosher will have to wait for another thread to make the discussion all about me.

    • Out of control groupthink amongst the believers in Ohm’s Law.

      Why can’t they buck the tide, and come up with an alternative approach?

      • “Out of control groupthink amongst the believers in Ohm’s Law”

        Definitely a skeptic with respect to ‘Ohm’s Law’, all transmembrane ion fluxes are non-Ohmic.

        http://www-04.all-portland.net/bsr/017/0251/0170251.pdf

      • If all physics followed Ohm’s Law, we would’t have semiconductors.

        Hmmmm, then I could live my life withoutWeb, Joshua, FoMD…

        BRING IT ON!!!!!

      • 1 K resistor across a 1.5V cell, what does groupthink the current is?

      • Webster, “1 K resistor across a 1.5V cell, what does groupthink the current is?”

        Group think = 1.5000 K resister and 1.5000V cell

        Real think, check the tolerances

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn says he is “Definitely a skeptic with respect to ‘Ohm’s Law’”

        Too-simple groupthink calculations *can* be misleading to folks uninformed in thermodynamics! Here are two familiar examples:

        • Melting-point of water ice = 0°C; melting-point of NaCl = 801°C; melting-point of road-salt/ice eutectic = ??? (far lower than either ingredient).

        • Melting-point of UO2 = 2815°C; melting-point of PuO2 = 2400°C; melting-point of ZO2 = 2715°C; melting-point of Fukushima’s uranium+plutonium+zirconium melt-down ‘corium’ eutectic = ??? (far lower than any corium ingredient).

        It ain’t so obvious that the same thermodynamical physics that swiftly melts ice on roads could swiftly melt Fukushima’s reactor cores, eh DocMartyn?

        Gosh, maybe Jim Hansen is similarly right about thermodynamical mechanisms that boost climate-sensitivity to CO2?

        Do yah think that could be the case, DocMartyn?

        \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}

      • No concrete in your ‘corium’ this time FOMD?

        The fuel still is molten, in all three reactors at 50 degrees is it?

        You degenerate.

      • “Group think = 1.5000 K resister and 1.5000V cell

        Real think, check the tolerances”

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        Correlation coefficient of 0.975 to a simple model of log(CO2) sensitivity.
        I will give it a TCR of 2C, amplified to ECS=3C on land. Cappy, you still have nothing to show for all your efforts. Why is that?

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Ohm’s law doesn’t appear to be delusional. It can be supported by experiment. Like Newton’s Laws of Motion, it applies under certain conditions, not all.

        Global warming, apparently resulting from interposing CO2 between the Sun and the Earth’s surface, cannot be supported by experiment at all. It is an example of delusional groupthink.

        Or to put it another way, the madness of a crowd of gullible and easily lead people.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Webster, “I will give it a TCR of 2C, amplified to ECS=3C on land. Cappy, you still have nothing to show for all your efforts. Why is that?”

        Actually, I have quite a bit for my effort. There is still no reason to assume that CO2equivalent forcing has more than a 0.25C impact on temperatures from 1900 to 2013. The magnitude of the recovery from volcanic and other “natural” past events is on the order of 0.4 C. The amplification of both natural and anthropogenic impacts is on the order of 1.8 times, most noticeable in the land temperature data between 30N and 60N. There is an 85+% correlation between GISS loti and Indian Ocean SST which indicate century and longer recovery from lower than “normal” conditions between 1600 and 1900. The difference between the north Indian ocean and the southern Indian Ocean 30S-0 and 0-30N appears to be a better “climate” index and SOI, For ocean basin heat capacity, the North Atlantic heat capacity changes correlate with GISS loti in the 80% range while land only is in the 50% range.

        Once you allow for recovery which appears to have effectively ended in 1985 when the diurnal temperature range trend shifted, you have a Climate “Sensitivity” of ~0.8 to 1.2C per 3.7 Wm-2 of atmospheric forcing.

        Other than that, I got nothin’

      • Cappy, why are you having so many problems with your analysis? Do you lack the skills to come up with a 0.975 correlation to log(co2) plus natural fluctuations?

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

      • Webster, “Cappy, why are you having so many problems with your analysis? Do you lack the skills to come up with a 0.975 correlation to log(co2) plus natural fluctuations?”

        Because I am not assuming away all the fun part. The THC does not recharge each ocean basin equally. To find the settling times relative to each basin you have to actually consider each basin and the century scale lags. Then as each basin recharges the you can use the e^(-t/RC) recharge curve versus the 5.45ln(Cf/Ci) atmospheric forcing curve to determine which is responsible for what. It is all about attribution.

        Your methods are pretty similar to the Utah “Cold Fusion” discoverers :)

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: 1 K resistor across a 1.5V cell, what does groupthink the current is?

        Capt Dallas 0.8 or less: Real think, check the tolerances

        What is the resistor made of? Does its physical structure remain independent of the voltage and temperature? Ohm’s law is frequently violated for biological and other complex “resistors”. Even a copper or lead wire will melt and develop an extremely large resistance in response to a large enough voltage. Circuit breakers are designed on purpose to defy Ohm’s law at high voltages that produce large currents.

        Doc Martyn: , all transmembrane ion fluxes are non-Ohmic.

        Really, WebHubTelescope, you need to get used to thinking more about complex systems. The range of applicability of some of “the physics” that you write about is quite limited.

      • Ohm’s law, like Fick’s law, Fourier’s law, and Newton’s law of viscosity is phenomenological. None of those laws are rigorous.

        Hook a diode up to your ohm meter and see what happens.

        Fail.

      • Here the skeptics are, ironically, more concerned about a tipping point when trying to answer Web’s question.

      • Ohm’s Law to Fokker-Planck or Maxwell-Boltzmann equations is much like terminal velocity is to Newton’s Law of gravity.

        Place a resistor in a SPICE model and it will use Ohm’s Law, but apparently the peanut gallery here thinks that it will use something else, all because they are immune to groupthink.

        See how brave they are, bucking the tide.

      • Cappy,
        The physics you know is quite limited. Whatever recharge you are referring to is not first-order kinetics like you and your buddy Marler believe, with that exponential response that you showed.

        Diffusional responses are solved by applying a diffusional transport equation. That is based on models of physics that skeptics now consider “groupthink”.

        Read Hansen and then perhaps you will figure it out.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Place a resistor in a SPICE model and it will use Ohm’s Law, but apparently the peanut gallery here thinks that it will use something else, all because they are immune to groupthink.

        Oh, boy! Another modeling argument. Nobody has denied that Ohm’s law is sometimes accurate.

        How well does SPICE simulate neural transmission or the propagation of action potentials? The melting of fuses?

      • webster, you are continually babbling. Your model assumes way too much to be of any use. Scaling Solar, Volcanic, dnLOD and SOI without knowing which contributes what where is just plain useless.

        Internal variability is driven by internal imbalances, period.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-jHVdY0w4aJA/UnqS-S8ty7I/AAAAAAAAKc8/akWOvmkxkuI/w775-h421-no/io+v+soi.png

        That compares the equatorial imbalance of the Indian Ocean to the Southern Oscillation Index. I have already posted the Brierley and Toggweiler papers on meridional and zonal imbalances plus the shift in the westerlies plus the Crowley and Unterman 2013 paper. You avoid all that and keep pulling your pud.

      • Webster, “The physics you know is quite limited. Whatever recharge you are referring to is not first-order kinetics like you and your buddy Marler believe, with that exponential response that you showed.”

        I guess I am in good company since Schwartz simple two compartment model is a 2 RC circuit. e^(-tau/RC) describes the charging of the capacitance. With Tau of the surface layer at around 8.5 years and the THC transfer on the order of 100 years and greater you have some long time constants ans each ocean basin has a pretty fair size capacitance.
        The North and South Pacific are ~25% of the global ocean heat capacity followed by the Atlantic and India.

        https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-7qLULzENGsY/UnjzGi33VkI/AAAAAAAAKas/jmdTYzEKpis/w881-h503-no/Ocean+basin+SST+and+VTA.png

        They have a little different R values though because each doesn’t have Webster ideal mixing.

      • This is rich, the crackpot calling the kettle unschooled ^^^.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Set up a SPICE simulation of an astable multivibrator. Watch it NOT oscillating. Everything in accordance with all known laws of physics and electronics.

        Hmmm. Tweak (falsify) the initial values until it simulates something close to reality. Job done.

        Or, set up a 1.5 V button cell across a 0.0001 Ohm resistor. After 1 hour, minutes, how much power has that tiny button cell produced? Magic! The power of models based on physics!

        Just like climatology!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Oh how they desperately cling to their hopes that things are much more complicated than they seem.

        Here I come up with a basic thermodynamic energy balance model that has a corrrelation of 0.975 over the past 130+ years and suggest that it captures the current theory behind GHG AGW.

        On the other hand, most of the alternate theories are at their core based on some often convoluted premise that is equally simple to debunk. There is always some fundamental flaw that can be exposed with a simple counter model.

        So the skeptics and deniers are left to wield the complexity argument to counter the simple energy balance models. Which again indicates they have no argument.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Have you offered your simple model to the IPCC?

        I’m sure they would appreciate one accurate model, rather than the multitudinous inaccurate models currently in use. Think of the money they’d save!

        Keep me informed.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Webster, “Here I come up with a basic thermodynamic energy balance model that has a corrrelation of 0.975 over the past 130+ years and suggest that it captures the current theory behind GHG AGW.”

        I do have to admit that your model perfectly captures GHG AGW theory. Ignore everything that may mean something else and that is all you have left.

        Remarkably you have the the huge mass of the oceans dancing the GHG AGE even though with an imbalance of ~.32 to 1.0 Wm-2 it should take the oceans between 300 and 1200 years to get on the dance floor. To do that you assume that land areas that are 10s of degrees cooler than the SST area and warming in areas at rates nearly 50% higher than GHG AGW theory are just miraculously doing exactly what GHG AGW theory dictates.

        On top of that your model “fit” equally fits data with +/-0.25C of error as it does data with +/-0125C error and even matches the Antarctic temperature interpolation error in the data.

        By carefully avoiding regional and hemispheric comparisons your model is darn near infallible and unfalsifiable for decades or at least until rebaselining of the SOI. :)

      • And so the oceans act as a heat sink.
        The land doesn’t. It’s simple physics.
        Might as well get used to it.

      • Webster, “And so the oceans act as a heat sink.
        The land doesn’t. It’s simple physics.”

        The oceans are thermal reservoirs. They warm the land and since there are ocean basins with less than optimal heat transfer between basins, they warm/cool each other.

        The Indian Ocean has the best correlation with “Global” surface temperature because its upper half is more isolated than the rest. The Gulf of Mexico also has a high correlation with “Global” surface temperature and the North Atlantic 0-700 meter ocean has the highest correlation with “Global” temperature because it is the main beneficiary of the THC.

        The neat THC loop off East Africa is like a diverting value which varies the THC flow into the North Atlantic and that Flow varies considerably with location and extent of Antarctic Sea Ice and the location and strength of the southern Hemisphere “westerlies” That makes the difference between 0-30N and 30S-0 between 20W and 147W a great index of the impact of the “Shifting Westerlies”.

        http://www.woodhous.arizona.edu/geog453013/Toggweiler2009.pdf
        Your model is cute, but it is not even wrong :)

        btw, http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/6/369/2010/cpd-6-369-2010.pdf

        Paleo but “Solar-forced shifts of the Southern Hemisphere Westerlies during the late Holocene” is probably a paper you should avoid :)

      • Webster, here is a little teaser out of that paper you won’t read :)

        “Evidence for a significant solar influence on climate is rapidly growing based on natural archives from the Northern Hemisphere. Proxy data from the Southern Hemisphere, however, are notoriously sparse (Versteegh, 2005). Here, we presented proxy and model evidence that centennial-scale variability in the position of the SWW was significantly influenced by fluctuations in solar activity during the past 3000 years. Periods of lower solar activity were associated with annual-mean equatorward shifts of the SWW, whereas periods of higher solar activity were linked to annual-mean poleward displacements of the SWW.”

        http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/6/369/2010/cpd-6-369-2010.pdf


      • captdallas 0.8 or less | November 6, 2013 at 11:19 am |

        Your methods are pretty similar to the Utah “Cold Fusion” discoverers :)

        Well Cappy, I dealt first-person with one of the Cold Fusion whackos before, which I recounted here:
        http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7942#comment-804923

        I would put you well below Fleischmann, at least he did some interesting work before he flipped out.

        You really have no clue do you?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Here I come up with a basic thermodynamic energy balance model that has a corrrelation of 0.975 over the past 130+ years and suggest that it captures the current theory behind GHG AGW.

        So now your are abandoning your claim to the universality of Ohm’s law, without telling anyone you were wrong?

        I have written that your lnCO2 model is “live”, meaning not yet disconfirmed by data. It’s reasonable. But it has to be tested against “out of sample data” for reasons written many times about curve fitting. I also have written that it has no energy balances in it — some contemporaneous terms and some lagged terms, but not energy flows in and out. It also has no “warming in the pipeline”, a consequence of the model you don’t seem to want to discuss. Recall that you had a nearly equally well-fitted model that had a time^3 term, that you abandoned without admitting it was absurd or even admitting that you were abandoning it.

        Are you prepared yet to tell us, from physics, how much effect an increase of CO2 will have on the rate of vaporization of water on the 85% of the Earth surface that is not completely dry? Isn’t that something important to know for predicting the future mean temperature response to a doubling of CO2 concentration?

      • Webster, “I would put you well below Fleischmann, at least he did some interesting work before he flipped out.”

        Another nice evasion, if you your strawmen had brains :)

        There is nothing particularly interesting about double checking energy balances and finding 18 to 20 Wm-2 errors that seem to be accepted as some climate science gospel in order to take what should be a coin toss and turn it into 95% probability of disaster. You are doing a Fleischmann by assuming the temperature data is accurate enough to confidently assert your model “proves” a climate sensitivity to CO2 equivalent forcing when if your model were useful it would have highlighted the uncertainty in the data.

        You are finding what you want. You have flipped out. Backup, regroup and try to be objective.

      • Webster, btw, you should know the models over-estimate CO2 impact by a factor of two to four by simply looking as the assumptions. Different layers of the atmosphere and ocean transfer energy poleward at different rates and even in different directions. Since CO2 doesn’t add mass or viscosity to the atmosphere it can’t build energy uniformly to get the maximum effect.

        The models have to slow the layers down in order to “work”. Since the oceans move energy completely out of time with atmospheric CO2, the impact of a doubling of CO2 is totally dependent on the oceans. That is why “Global” surface temperature correlates with the Indian ocean and the North Atlantic ocean heat content. That is why there is an inconsistent lag/lead between CO2 and temperature in the paleo records. “Global” surface temperatures are not measuring what you think they are measuring.

      • Cap’t –

        Just in case you have reason to be near Philly:

        http://www.wheretoeat.in/2013-philadelphia-bacon-and-beer-festival/

    • “Why do I expect Mosher and Joshua will love this thread? LOL

      Steven Mosher | November 5, 2013 at 10:59 am

      hehe. too busy today.

      lets see if people can practice some skepticism toward what this guy says.”
      Well, the list:
      “Janis (1972)’s eight symptoms [of groupthink]:

      illusion of invulnerability
      collective rationalization
      belief in inherent morality
      stereotyped views of out-groups
      direct pressure on dissenters
      self-censorship
      illusion of unanimity
      self-appointed mind guards”

      I would say above describes groups.
      Put bunch humans together and this kind of stuff is what groups
      do.
      One could say this how groups live.
      It’s only a matter of degree.
      Or if you can’t find these characteristics [and searched carefully] then the group is doing a good job of hiding them, or it’s not a group.
      Judith says:
      “JC note: This last sentence highlights one of the problems of AGW advocacy statements by professional societies in terms of amplifying groupthink.”
      The amplification of them is interesting aspect. But I would say it’s how much one is invested in the group. Or if our whole life is the group, it will amplify.
      Since these nutters think they are charged with fate of the world, one should expect that they are invested in the group.

      Looking for such descriptions, be might useful, but should able to find them in any group. And more apparent in groups who more towards the fanatical side.

  7. Dear FOMD,

    I too love The Onion and your specific link to the US air conditioner (which I have actually proposed for Singapore where it’s hot all the time). By the way, do you know how many degrees cooler the US average temperature is compared to the global average (since I assume you believe in those concepts)?

    • Geoff asks: “By the way, do you know how many degrees cooler the US average temperature is compared to the global average (since I assume you believe in those concepts)?”

      The average U.S. (30N-49N, 125W-70W) land surface air temperature (1982-2012) is about 1.8 deg C warmer than global land surface air temperatures (based on GHCN-CAMS dataset) or about 4 deg C cooler than global land air plus sea surface temperatures (GHCN-CAMS @ 30% & Reynolds OI.v2 SST @ 70%).

      What do I win?

      • CAMS is not suitable for climate studies. you know this because you yourself wrote about it

      • Steven, GHCN-CAMS is a reanalysis. There are plenty of climate studies based on reanalyses, and, BTW, this is a response to a blog comment, not a climate study.

  8. Well, the cow jumped over the moon, so…
    ==========

  9. I expect this paper will have a big impact on believers and skeptics alike: Believers will apply it to skeptics, and skeptics will apply it to believers.

    • Indeed – which is consistent with the paper itself, and therefore tending to confirm its propositions. Imagine that – the reaction to the paper itself provides evidence that the paper is accurate! Too funny…

  10. While the paper, and this discussion, did not teach me a lot I did not already know, it was very timely. It forced me to rethink my own slippings into “group think”, and to then stop the slide and broaden my base once again.

    Group think is the warm fuzzy that people crave. Unfortunately it is like the Sirens of old. Thanks for the wake up call.

  11. collective rationalization sounds a lot like a neurotic need to fabricate a supposed scientific consensus of opinion to justify self-defeating behaviors.

  12. hmmmm…

    I would say that the IPCC and anthropowarmists have a lock on the last 4 symptoms.

    Really?

    direct pressure on dissenters…

    Ingroup dissenters – “No one listens to the Sky Dragons, to anyone who doubts that ACO2 affects the climate,” etc. Richard Muller, anyone?

    Outgroup dissenters – “Michael Mann is a liar. Al Gore is fat. And don’t forget that “realists” are eco-Nazi, statist, Lysenkoist, Eugenicists who are trying to create a one-world government so they can destroy capitalism and starve children.

    illusion of unanimity

    To paraphrase: “No one in the room doubts that ACO2 affects the climate,” and “Almost all “skeptics” accept that the climate is warming and that ACO2 plays a role, they only question the magnitude of that role”

    self-appointed mind guards

    Paraphrasing: “No one in the room doubts that ACO2 affects the climate.”

    Who decides who’s in the room, Judith? By what measure do you escort the many folks who show up here, and don’t match your description, from the room?

    self censorship

    By what measure do you determine that “self-censorship” characterizes the one group but not the other? How do you determine what “self[s]” are doing?

    • I tend to agree, but it depends by what you mean by “a lock”

      the biggest issue is that skeptics dont have institutional power.

      “direct pressure on dissenters”

      Examples: Banishing sky dragons, Tallbloke, and Goddard from
      WUWT.

      problem. we should probably see a difference between the pressure
      exerted by a blog and its readers versus the pressure exerted when a state fires its climatologist for being a denier.

      “self-censorship”

      Example; calling for a cooling off period in Willisgate. the debate between
      Willis and Spencer.
      Example; skeptics refusing to call out other skeptics for their mistakes or lapses, for example Scaeffetas refusal to supply McIntyre with code

      illusion of unanimity:

      we can all spot trivial examples.. I’ve yet to see a skeptic hold on to this illusion when challenged however. They usually play the true scotsman when challenged

      self-appointed mind guards.

      plenty of mind guard with limited power

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

      In the end the difference comes down to one of degree and to the issue of power.

      • “Scaeffetas refusal to supply McIntyre with code”
        What’s that about?

      • I tend to agree, but it depends by what you mean by “a lock”

        Lock generally means something pretty categorical, as in “locked-out” or “lock-tight,” not just a relative strength advantage. But sure, there’s wiggle room there.

        the biggest issue is that skeptics dont have institutional power.

        More self-serving definitions.

        Skeptics on even numbered days
        “The NYT is a powerful institution that corrupts the mind of the innocent.”
        “Democratic politicians have institutional power.”
        “The UN is a powerful institution that is causing ruination.”

        Skeptics on odd-numbered days
        “Fox News (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, BIll O’Reilly) have no institutional power”
        “Inhofe and the ‘skeptical’ Tea Partiers have no power”
        “The UN is a feckless institution that can’t get anything done.”

        The David/Goliath “meme” is ubiquitous on both sides of the debate. Perspectives on that “meme” are reliant on a selective approach to defining institutional power.

        we should probably see a difference between the pressure
        exerted by a blog and its readers versus the pressure exerted when a state fires its climatologist for being a denier.

        We can “see” all kinds of differences depending on what we want to see. What I see is hatred directed towards climate scientists in all variety of media – and I see that as a manifestation of “institutional power” in public discourse and public policy. Blog comments in themselves are absolutely meaningless, but they reflect powerful undercurrents.

        That is not dismissive of the tribalism that exists among “realists” who have measures of institutional power. It is a call for evidence to support claims.

        In the end the difference comes down to one of degree and to the issue of power.

        That, also, sounds like a call for validated data. How does one measure degrees? What is your instrument? How is it calibrated?

      • miker613 | November 5, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        “Scaeffetas refusal to supply McIntyre with code”
        What’s that about?

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

        a couple years back Mcintyre and gavin ( separately ) were trying to replicate what scaffeta had done in a paper.

        neither could.

        So they asked him for code.

        he refused and turned it into a game, mocking McIntyre.

        one of his co author’s, sceptic craig loehle, has since distanced himself from scaffetta based on scaffettas mannian behavior.

        But few sceptics care. None will call him out like people called mann out.

        his crap still gets pushed.. although Anthony has come around somewhat.

      • Joshua

        Its easy to measure institutional power

        the state fires a climatologist for his denialist opinion.
        he has a real measureable loss. in dollars.

        find an example of a skeptical institution that has fired a skeptic for saying warmist things?

        Find one.

        The difference is obvious. It doesnt look good for you to deny the obvious.

        it would be better for you to suggest that minority opinions be protected.

        So when hansen was prevented from speaking his mind by bush, we all saw that as institutional power gone awry. right?
        And so when that same institutional power is exerted on sceptics
        we should not give up our values.

        Now of course we might find a similar example with skeptical institutions
        name one? to be comparable it would have to be a legal entity with
        monetary power over the individual. like the power to hire and fire.

        When you find such an institution we can talk. And perhaps we will
        find some balance in the abuse of institutional power.

        But that’s a case you need to make.

        Find a skeptical institution with monetary power over an individual
        who uses that power over the individual in an abusive fashion with regards to their views on climate.

        hint. I know of one case, lets see how smart you are today

      • Link? I’m not doubting you, I’d just like to see the story. Since McIntyre is like the Big Hero to skeptics, I’d have thought that most people wouldn’t have a hard time putting Scaeffeta under the bus. And wouldn’t he have to be crazy?

      • Steven Mosher

        I tend to agree, but it depends by what you mean by “a lock”

        I think that the meanings of more terms than “a lock” are important here.

        “direct pressure on dissenters”

        Examples: Banishing sky dragons, Tallbloke, and Goddard from
        WUWT.

        In the context of the ‘global warming’ conflct, these are not “dissenters” from the skeptic side. Other skeptics are not fighting against them, they are fighting being associated with them. Dissenters would be those that accept, adopt, or argue for fundamental aspects of the ‘consensus’. Skydragons are not dissenters. You are.

        “self-censorship”

        Example; calling for a cooling off period in Willisgate. the debate between Willis and Spencer.

        That was not self censorship. Self censorship occurs when a person censors their own public comments, not when a third party shuts them up by turning off the blog. And the subject matter of Willisgate was not ‘global warming’ or any other issue of common interest, it was Willis’ behaviour. If Willis had any capacity whatsoever for self censorship, it would not have occurred.

        In the end the difference comes down to one of degree and to the issue of power.

        Yes. No one’s livelihood rests upon their maintaining fidelity to ‘the skeptic line’. Even if there were a ‘the skeptic line’, which there is not. Social controls enforcing the ‘consensus’ are far more powerful.

      • Steven Mosher

        mike

        start here

        gavin shows up at lucias

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/arent-end-points-pesky-sciaffetta-responds-to-bs-paper/#comment-17440

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/arent-end-points-pesky-sciaffetta-responds-to-bs-paper/#comment-17478

        you can follow the conversation there.

        Of course no one cares that scaffetta doesnt release his code.

        mc picks it up here

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/09/some-data-and-scripts-for-bs09/

        steve has problems with replicating

        steve posts his code

        niccolla plays games, too busy, his codes a mess,

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/09/some-data-and-scripts-for-bs09/#comment-190694

        So when asked to post code he turns it into a game, says he doesnt have time, argues that his code is a mess, lies, you name it.

        And of course the outrage we had for mann and hansen is no where to be seen.

      • I only asked him (Goddard) what the pressure of the triple point of water was, and it was his ensuing behavior that got him kicked off of WUWT.

        So science hasn’t been shut out of WUWT, but it does take a daily beatdown.

        Yea to putting pressure on the dissenters to get the science right.

      • Thanks for the links. Interesting. I think I agree with most of the posters there, though: Outrage would not have been an appropriate reaction. Sounds like not every scientist understands the importance of posting your code, there’s hopefully an education process going on. I do not think that you-all were outraged at Mann on the first day either; I expect it was a process that went through literally months and years of stone-walling, hiding, and mocking (which Scaeffeta did some of too).
        I’m also imagining that part of the outrage comes from months of basically wasted work trying to recreate something that the other person could and should provide immediately. You and McIntyre described a little of that on the thread. Doesn’t sound like anyone was putting in a major research effort.
        None of this makes Scaeffeta right – he didn’t come across very well at all – but it could explain why no one screamed.

      • Just looking at it completely from the outside, I don’t think there would be ‘outrage’ about Sciaffetta in comparison to Mann and Hansen because no one Knows who Sciaffetta is outside of the scientific community whereas Mann and Hansen are internationally famous. Even Steve McIntyre would not be really well known by comparison. He’d be thought of as that ‘Mining Engineer’ who tried (unsuccessfully) to take down Mann. I realize you think those guys McIntyre et al should be more upset but it looked like there was no interest in that direction. Meh!
        Hansen followed by Mann are lightening rods.
        There is perception and there is reality who knows which is which.

      • “Just looking at it completely from the outside, I don’t think there would be ‘outrage’ about Sciaffetta in comparison to Mann and Hansen because no one Knows who Sciaffetta is outside of the scientific community whereas Mann and Hansen are internationally famous.”

        It’s not really matter of ‘outrage’, though if it was it’s about the responsibilities of position that the public servant is suppose to be assuming.
        What it’s about is, criticism of a particular paper which had been published. And lack of scientific practice of what is standard in any serious discipline.

        “Even Steve McIntyre would not be really well known by comparison. He’d be thought of as that ‘Mining Engineer’ who tried (unsuccessfully) to take down Mann.
        The Hockey has be proven be insufficient in terms indicating with any skill
        the global temperature or the northern hemisphere temperatures for last
        1000 years.
        That you don’t know this is your problem.
        If determining that Hockey Stick wasn’t a temperature record which would allow someone to have an idea of temperature over last 1000, was “taking down:” Mann then Mann was “taken down”.

        “I realize you think those guys McIntyre et al should be more upset but it looked like there was no interest in that direction. Meh!”

        That seems quite wrong.

        “Hansen followed by Mann are lightening rods.
        There is perception and there is reality who knows which is which.”

        Well, Hansen has retired as one of directors for NASA. So the fact of Hanson improperly using government position to push his wacky theory/agenda is no longer an issue.

      • And of course the outrage we had for mann and hansen is no where to be seen.

        For goodness sake Steven, where has Scafetta’s work been used as a poster child for restructuring the world economy? The reaction was exactly the same, just scaled appropriately to the influence of the work.

      • David Springer

        Scafetta’s work didn’t become an iconic symbol bandied about by powerful tax-funded institutions and big non-profits with political agendas. Mann’s did. Therein lies the difference. It’s like the difference between you not making your tax returns public and Mitt Romney not making his returns public. One is who-the-phuck-cares and the other isn’t.

  13. There are plenty of examples of groupthink which had negative implications for public policy (and the well-being of the public) – germ theory is an obvious example. It took a long time before “mainstream” barber-surgeons would acknowledge that washing their hands and their instruments was a good idea. Transmission of cholera through infected water was another unwelcome truth similarly resisted by the establishment.

    The good news is that eventually the truth won out. The bad news is that a lot of people had to die first because of blind denial of easily verified facts.

    With CAGW, it looks as though a generation of scientists and politicians have to shuffle off the stage before we can make much progress. They have too much to lose to ever admit that they were wrong, even partially.

    The other notion that needs to be kept in mind is the artificial polarisation of debate by advocates – you have to be either for us or agin us. Dr Curry has experienced a lot of flak from people on either extreme of climate debate on this score. The 97% of scientists nonsense is in this category as well.

    In reality, there is a three dimensional spectrum of views about climate science, with a lot of people agreeing about this but not that, in all sorts of combinations.

  14. One man’s group think is another man’s consensus.

    Group think, tribalism, memetics, confirmation bias, motivated reasoning…who cares what you call it? The question is whether the belief at issue is correct or not. Someone should do a study of all these social “science” labeling efforts. (I thought you all hatred labels?) What they all have in common is a way of dismissing what others think, rather than dong the critical analysis yourself.

    I believe CAGW is a primarily political movement, bastardizing science (AGW) to achieve policy results. But that is only my starting point. I still keep abreast of the claims of the consensus. Every time there is the latest “It’s worse than we think” or “Latest disaster definitely cause by CAGW” headline, I still read to find out what is reported, but with a fair certainty that it is no different from the last 300 such articles.

    The fact that their models suck at predicting future temps does not mean that is no possibility they are right about the risks of “global warming.” It just means the case for implementing their policy is less valuable than if their models worked.

    This AP article discusses how scientists have “found” “At least 8.8 billion” Earthsize planets” with suns similar to ours, that are about as far from their sun as we are from ours.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/11/05/at-least-88-billion-earth-size-just-right-planets-found-study-says/

    When I read the headline, I thought – “wow, that must have been a time consuming process.” A milisecond later l saw it was an AP story, and actually thought about what the headline meant. My response then was, oh, another of THOSE articles.

    Sure enough, what you learn at the end of the article is that the scientists have actually “found” 10 planets that meet the criteria listed. The rest are “calculated not estimated”, with the able assist of the assumption that there must be hundreds of Earth size planets for every one actually…you know…found.

    Does this mean there are not 8.8 billion Earth size planets in our galaxy? Nope. Does it mean the scientists are stupid? No. Does it mean their assumptions are necessarily wrong? Not at all. What it means is that the media and the scientific community report all kinds of things as certain that are the product of assumption and speculation.

    If the article (and the scientists interviewed) has said “We estimate there are 8/8 billion…”, there would have been nothing objectionable. In fact their assumptions seem pretty sound as far as I read from the article (although calculating how many planets you have missed from how many you have seen strikes me as a bit problematic.).

    But it is this desperate, Mosherist need to characterize estimates and assumptions as reality that destroys “science’s” credibility among sceptics. “Calculated, not estimated?” Mosher would be proud. “Found” not “estimated” or assumed”? Brilliant.

    The truth, with all its uncertainty just isn’t enough for some people.

    • Group think, tribalism, memetics, confirmation bias, motivated reasoning…who cares what you call it? The question is whether the belief at issue is correct or not.

      Amazing how there’s all this fuss, when all they need to do is ask Gary what the “correct” belief is.

      Go ahead, ask him. He’ll tell you what is “correct.”

      Ask him who is or isn’t a “conservative.” His belief will be “correct.”

      Ask him about morality. His belief will be “correct.”

      Ask him about the science of polling, and whether or not pollsters were “skewing” their data to give Obama an advantage in the recent election. he’ll tell you what the “correct” belief is.

      • gary knows the truth just ask him.

      • Steven Mosher,

        I confess to actually believing what I write. I know some around here, yourself included, find the concept confusing. But unlike yourself, I only post comments I actually believe.

        And this is what passes for intelligent debate in the echo/ego chamber of the left.

        Pop quiz:

        Post every opinion or statement of fact you have posted on Climate Etc. that you believed was false when you posted it.

        If you can’t post any, that means you think that everything you posted was the truth.

        If you can, then you’re a liar.

      • “Amazing how there’s all this fuss, when all they need to do is ask Gary what the “correct” belief is.

        Go ahead, ask him. He’ll tell you what is “correct.””

        Did you miss this bit?
        “The truth, with all its uncertainty just isn’t enough for some people.”

        You must have, because that indicates to me that the “correct” belief is “the truth”.

        Of course, where uncertainty is high and “the truth” is not immediately obvious to even a neutral observer, it’s easy to fall back on the tribalism and group-think described in the head post – even easier then, than when an objective, neutral observer can say “this side is clearly supported by the available facts”.

        Can we apply the papers insights to YOUR post, Joshua? Are you ignoring evidence etc? Perhaps – or perhaps you have just been careless…

    • What they all have in common is a way of dismissing what others think, rather than dong the critical analysis yourself.

      Thank goodness that Gary stands apart from the crowd, eh?

      I mean it isn’t like he’d dismiss what others think…er….except if you fall into the segment of the population that aligns to he left of him politically (90%? of the American public), and that he describes as moral-less and irrational “progressives.”

      Thank God he’s around to do the “critical analysis” himself – as he did with the polling data on the last election, which he showed through his “critical analysis, beyond any shadow of doubt, was being “skewed” to Obama’s favor.

      Where would we be w/o folks like Gary to do their own “critical analysis?”

      Too funny.

    • One man’s group think is another man’s consensus.
      Group think, tribalism, memetics, confirmation bias, motivated reasoning…who cares what you call it?
      ############
      These are all pathologies (to science). Unfortunately they are all normal (to humans).

  15. It is all a very complex way of looking at something that is really pretty simple logic.

    It is a fact that there is natural variation that cannot be the eliminated as a source of all climate change. NASA admits that and also that a human signal cannot be teased out of the data.

    Given the actual corruption of the data with its positive bias toward warming – due to the UHI effect — it would be an insane waste of time to bother looking for a human signal in uncorrupted data. Obviously, there’s no human signal to be found there, right?

    Accordingly, the logic is simple: it’s even a greater waste of time to look for a human signal in corrupted data and in a sane world, everyone would agree with that. And, that is why global waming alarmism is called a mass mania.

    Western civilization is as nutty as the pre-WWII Germany population. They tried to take over the world even if it mean turn their backs on wanton murder. It happens.

    Societies die and usually it is from rotting from within from the head down. That is what’s so bad and it hurts to admit it: academia was supposed to be better than this and it’s not. We’ve got to accept that and do something about it. Instead, we continue turning our backs on the failure of academia and send our kids there to be ideologically slaughtered.

  16. Of course there’s groupthink. Of course it affects also scientists in spite of the fact that combating groupthink is at the heart of doing scientific work. Every good scientist in every field of science tries to be skeptical of all conclusions in a way that lessens tendency to groupthink.

    Even so I don’t think that this analysis of groupthink helps us in deciding what to trust and what to distrust in climate science. This kind of meta-analysis cannot solve that question in any specific case. All the same doubts have already been presented in many other ways, presenting them with yet another language seems to give zero additional benefit.

    • Number Four.
      ========

    • “All the same doubts have already been presented in many other ways, presenting them with yet another language seems to give zero additional benefit.”

      Thee is nothing new in the climate debate.

    • “Even so I don’t think that this analysis of groupthink helps us in deciding what to trust and what to distrust in climate science.”

      +1

    • “Even so I don’t think that this analysis of groupthink helps us in deciding what to trust and what to distrust in climate science.”

      By and of itself, it clearly cannot make such a distinction for individual cases. However, the response of individuals to being shown such propositions and asking them if they believe it worth considering wrt their opinion on individual subjects MAY shed some light what is trustworthy and what is not in any specific case – not by suggesting what is “right” or “wrong”, but rather on who is taking greater pains to be as objective as they can. I think you would agree that those who follow Dawkins’ suggestion to “bend over backwards” to find and communicate reasons you might be wrong are, in general, more worthy of trust than those who do not – that’s the “self-censureship” part.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Pekka,
      “I don’t think that this analysis of groupthink helps us in deciding what to trust and what to distrust in climate science.”

      I agree.

      What I believe actually helps is to see if new data changes the consensus POV. If the current divergence between models and reality is not enough to change the IPCC consensus projections of future warming in any significant way, nor enough to reduce the upper range of projected climate sensitivities (4.5C per doubling ever since AR1!), nor enough to raise serious questions about the accuracy of long term climate model projections, then I think it is prudent to suspect ‘groupthink’ has taken over the field. We can’t expect perfection, but we sure can expect movement of the consensus POV in light of new data. It doesn’t seem to ever happen: So it seems to me like groupthink. 10 more years of very slow warming may make a difference in the consensus, but I am beginning to think nothing but broad defunding will make a difference.

  17. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry opposes  “Groupthink: a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.”

    Conclusion  Encouraging dissent is key to not falling into the groupthink trap.”

    Meanwhile, over at WUWT

    Lomborg/Watts/WUWT embraces groupthink: “National Geographic is at it again. They present the world if all the ice melted — and they have the temerity to suggest it will happen with more global warming.”

    Eliza says  “Just boycott the magazine. Easy.”
    Rob says  “I haven’t read that magazine in decades.”
    omnologos denounces  “National Scaremongering magazine.”
    Paul Barys says  “I dumped it years ago.”
    Steve Keohane says  “Cancelled my subscription 20 years ago”
    Jeff L says  “Canceled NG & pretty much all other “science” journals”
    D Johnson says  “Let my subscription lapse.”
    Patrick Hrushowy denounces  “What a joke!”
    lurker, passing through laughing denounces  “eugenics and raical [sic] purity.”
    Kev-in-Uk says  “What if NG stopped printing rubbish.”
    Theo Goodwin says  “I simply cannot read it any longer.”
    DavidB says  “I’ve canceled my subscription.”
    Billyjack says  “I canceled NG a while back.”
    R. de Haan says  “NYT and National Geographic subscription cancelled years ago.”

    Groupthink by the WUWT community, science by FOMD.

    Conclusion  Willful ignorance fosters groupthink.

    \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}

    • You have just committed the Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent. The form of your argument is:

      If Groupthink then Consensus.
      Consensus.
      Therefore, Groupthink.

      You have attained quite a distinction for yourself. The Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent is the only fallacy known to have been identified and explained by artists creating cave paintings 30,000 years ago.

    • Normally I would not bother with your posts, but this thread is simply too funny to resist. In a few words in just two comments, you display all symptoms #1 through #8.
      Lomberg’s post at WUWT refers to the actual first page of new Nat Geo what if maps of a 216 foot SLR. That cover also says in plain print text, “If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice free planet…(from which NG calculated the 216 rise)” You intentionally omit (symptom #6) the key factual context. Sensible rejection of a ridiculous assertion about the East Antarctic ice cap is not groupthink. It is rational think. Something you and your emoticons seldom evidence.
      Nat Geo’s related 9/13 issue cover shows rising seas half way up the Statue of Liberty. A cover image SLR calculated from National Park Service information at about 214 feet. Completely fictitious CAGW imagery on the cover of NG is good reason to dump it.
      Many don’t read PRAVDA, either, because it isn’t.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rud Istvan says “ Normally I would not bother with your posts, but this thread is simply too funny to resist  I read all FOMD posts, and this one’s plain evidence and simple reasoning are so inarguable that I will publicly deny them.”

      Denialist cognition by Rud Istvan, translation by FOMD!

      Seriously Rud Istvan, precisely which aspect(s) of the best available climate-change science are disturbing your peace-of-mind?

      The Best Available Climate-Change Science
      [Conclusions C1–C4]

      C1  Slow feedbacks, especially change of ice sheet size and atmospheric CO2, amplify the total Earth system sensitivity by an amount that depends on the time scale considered.

      C2  The slow response and hysteresis in prevailing ice sheet models are exaggerated.

      C3  Global models, simplified to essential processes, find increased sensitivity towards warmer climates, as low cloud cover is diminished and increased water vapour elevates the tropopause.

      C4  Burning all fossil fuels would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change.

      It is a pleasure to assist your recovery from denialist cognition syndrome, Rud Istvan!

      \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}

    • Such a pity that your fandom appears to be restricted to discourse on what to do about AGW, rather than the evidence that something needs to be done.

  18. So Judith –

    you may be evaluating the IPCC and anthropowarmists… …

    Is “anthropowarmist” meant to be more or less denigrating than plain vanilla “warmist.”

    Does your use of denigrating descriptors for other people mean that you no longer object to being called a “denier?”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Let’s apply the Bayesian methods that William Briggs so ably advocates:

      The Best Available Climate-Change Science
      [Conclusions C1–C4]

      C1  Slow feedbacks, especially change of ice sheet size and atmospheric CO2, amplify the total Earth system sensitivity by an amount that depends on the time scale considered. Bayesian Prior: 0.95

      C2  The slow response and hysteresis in prevailing ice sheet models are exaggerated. Bayesian Prior: 0.80

      C3  Global models, simplified to essential processes, find increased sensitivity towards warmer climates, as low cloud cover is diminished and increased water vapour elevates the tropopause. Bayesian Prior: 0.70

      C4  Burning all fossil fuels would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change. Aggregate Bayesian Prior: 0.95 x 0.80 x 0.70 = 0.53

      Conclusion  The Bayesian odds that James Hansen’s climate-change worldview is substantially correct are approximately 53.2%.

      It is a pleasure to apply Bayesian methods in refuting denialist cognition, eh Climate Etc readers?

      \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}

    • “Is “anthropowarmist” meant to be more or less denigrating than plain vanilla “warmist.””

      It’s not denigrating, it’s just informal, like “lumper” and “splitter.”

      Does your use of denigrating descriptors for other people mean that you no longer object to being called a “denier?”

      “Denier” implies bad faith, “warmist” doesn’t.

  19. a good companion piece

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=9825

  20. Excuse me Josh, but there is quite a bit of difference between calling someone a warmist and a denier. Warmist is only slightly derogatory, if at all. I fail to see how it “denigrates” anyone. It doesn’t imply that the person has some kind of psychological issue or problem, just that they believe in something strongly enough to identify with it.

    “Denier” on the other hand is a clearly derogatory term that implies that the person being described is somehow attempting to evade reality.

    Of course, I don’t hold out much hope that you will get this, but we try Josh, we try.

    “Some men, you just cain’t reach”

    • tom –

      (1) I don’t agree with your categories of derogitory-ness – especially when we think of the kind of rhetoric that frequently accompanies the use of the term “warmist.” Also, please note the bemused discussions among “skeptics”, as a matter of kind similar to Judith’s adoption of “anthropowarmist,” about whether it would be better to call “realists” “deniers” or other derogatory names like “anthropowarmist.”

      (2) I think that you are arguing from a perspective of moral equivalence, or its equivalent – which misses my larger point. Honestly, I don’t think which terms are being used is particularly meaningful in and of itself. What difference is it, really, which term is used, except to the extent that the use of any terms reflect: (a) an unscientific approach to the debate: what do these terms mean? How are they defined? Who really fits into which category?, and (b) the over-riding need, it seems, for people to foreground “identification” in the climate wars. It seems that of higher priority than anything else is establishing group identification, and “the other.” Thus, the use of these terms, which despite bickering about which term is more derogatory, are all derogatory in nature, and are meant to denigrate. Pretty ironic, I’d say, on a post where Judith is describing an “asymmetry” in groupthink when looking at the different sides in this debate.

      • No Joshua. let’s not “think of the kind of rhetoric that frequently accompanies the use of the term “warmist;” Let’s just stick with comparing the terms like I did, and I don’t at all think they are comparable, and I disagree that the difference between them is not meaningful.

        It may suit you to muddy the waters, but it suits me to clear them up so we can see the truth. You pick what you want to call a group of people based on beliefs that they consistently hold, and the more derogatory the term that you pick, the more it shows that you need to discredit them by name calling, because you do not have the truth on your side.

        I personally don’t give a crap if the world gets a little warmer, nor do I really care if people are causing it. However, if it later becomes clear to me that not only that we are making the world warmer, but we are making it a lot warmer, too fast for the world to adjust, and that there is a disaster coming as a result, I don’t have a problem admitting it or facing it.

        However, from what I’ve seen so far, I am a long way from convinced, and I have taken painstaking note of the tactics being used to convince me, and I smell a rat. I am quite well aware of who it is that started the name calling, and quite aware that there is a vast difference between calling someone a warmist, or even an anthropowarmist and calling them a denier.

        You want to equate the two terms, and by extension the tactics of both sides, not because they are truly similar or equal in any way, but simply because it suits you. You’re just using a variation of the “Oh, they both do it” argument, but they both are not doing the same things at all. I noticed that from the very beginning, when I first starting frequenting these climate blogs, and from listening to Gore, Mann, Lewandowski, etc.

        I’m not completely stupid Joshua, you think I can’t tell the difference between how those people argue, and how McIntyre, Lucia and Curry argue?

        That profound and obvious difference tells me all I need to know.

        You just can’t admit reality because you know, just as so many experienced observers of debates know, that 99.99 percent of people who argue by personal attack simply do not have the facts on their side. It’s a dead giveaway.

      • David Springer

        denier in common parlance is associated with holocaust denier and hence its derogatory nature

        what negative connotation do you believe anthropic and/or warmist carries in comparison

        I trust when I call you a cowardly anonymous phuckwad the derogatory nature is not called into question.

    • I don’t know if warmist is a good term, but the truth is I don’t know of a good term. AGW believers (is that better?) tend to describe themselves as “scientists”. Very nice, but since the other side has scientists as well it doesn’t help to identify them. Of course their point in using that term is generally to deny that the other side has scientists.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘ space cadet
        n. A person who leads people to believe they are from a different planet or dreaming of ancestry in other areas of the universe. The person does not respond when directly spoken to, performs odd food rituals and displays complete disregard for commonsense. A space cadet is not necessarily referring to a person of low intelligence or a heavy drug user, but rather a person who typically focuses on all aspects of life except the one currently at hand.

        This is sometimes portrayed by testing the properties of wooden door hinges and the current coefficient of drag, by accelerating the door into the closed position at a high rate while leaving any room. This will often awaken, startle or confuse normal inhabitants of the planet earth, but will appear oblivious to the cadet. When ascending or descending a staircase, a space cadet will tend to forget that the gravitational constant of earth differs from that of their home planet and will give the impression or a much larger moving mass. The area of the voice box “pharynx” also appears to differ from that of a normal specimen, causing words to be miss pronounced such as sold-her, instead solder.

        The exact origins of a space cadet are unknown but rumor has it that their home planet was destroyed due to pollution caused by poor house keeping. Following this disaster they proceeded to disperse themselves throughout the universe and litter the gene pool. Space cadets are known for their poor skills in common sense areas such as coordination, food preparation, basic cleaning and processing simultaneous coherent thoughts. Examples of some of these thoughts include wanting the dress as another space cadet with a cancerous appendage attached to themselves or ignorant phrases such as “grow a p*nis”.
        Urban Dictionary

        It feeds into the whole waiting for the space ships to come meme.

      • Warmist is a fine term. It implies the three rather obvious possible outcomes from CO2 emissions- warm, luke warm, and nada or cold.
        Joshua, however, is like Romm- a “fake” believer. That is the term the warmists came up with to describe skeptics who take their position based on their political beliefs. The warmists use it on everyone because otherwise they’d have to think. But it’s actually a useful phrase. There are fake skeptics and there are fake believers.

      • Mike –

        FWIW, I like “realist” in quotes. It is a term they like to use for describing themselves (as “skeptics” like that term for themselves), and the quotation marks allow that some are not particularly realistic.

        AGW believer has a derogatory connotation (implying that their opinions are based on “belief” as opposed to science, which may well be true, but no more true than for “skeptics” as a rule).

        Very nice, but since the other side has scientists as well it doesn’t help to identify them. Of course their point in using that term is generally to deny that the other side has scientists.

        Yes, of course, but their are skeptical people on both sides, and “skeptics’ like to use that term to describe themselves to “deny” that the other side has skeptics.

        Same ol’ same ol.’

      • Try Urgent Mitigationist, or UM. Clinical, descriptive, and based on the key policy question that puts all the emotional heat into the discussion. Hansen would be a prototypical UM.

  21. —e.g.,

    Yesterday, I talked to a reporter who asked me how the IPCC came up with the 95% number and our conversation was, as follows:

    Reporter: The AR5 report states scientists are “95 percent certain” human activities are largely to cause for global warming. How was 95 percent calculated?

    Skeptical scientist: The 95% number was simply made up.

    Reporter: You mean the authors just pulled a number out of their arses and said they were 95 percent certain because that sounded scientific?

    Skeptical scientist: They wanted to show progress and they’d already used the 90% number years ago in the AR4 report.

    Reporter: So, no math is involved? No statistics? Nothing happened in the meantime to lend more credibility to AGW theory?

    Skeptical scientist: No, it is totally subjective.

  22. “But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

    “Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

    “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

    The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

    http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html

    • Hey. That’s Obamacare!

      • http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/rand-paul-finally-admits-he-has-problem

        When have politicians given citation for their talking points?

        I have heard politicians a few times give a citation but it’s not typical.

        And it’s not as if it’s improvement to paraphrase.
        I would say it’s worse.
        I always cite source on internet ,but fairly easy [it's easier] and it also adds content as people look at source for context and
        perhaps added info.
        But rather that politicians not cite a source- unless
        it’s important enough check. [A movie is not important enough.]
        But generally don’t want senators [particularly not a President giving speeches from paste and cut wiki or paraphrased whether cited
        or not.

      • Let’s ask Gary to describe the “truth” about Rand Paul’s morality.

      • Why should I care what a libertarian (ie. progressive on social and foreign policy) does or doesn’t do? But it’s interesting that the progressive drones, when confronted with the bald faced lies of their favorite president to the American people on the central political issue of the day, can only respond by pointing to the alleged isconduct of a libertarian.

      • Joshua:

        Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “purloining and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

        Now if I don’t sight Wikipedia as the source?

        I know it not the same though. Wrongful appropriation. Kind of vague. Can words be owned? I mean really. Isn’t that kind of made up thing? Do we find it in the Bible, the Constitution, the Magna Carta or the Koran?

        Purloining? Do author’s own their language? To be or not to be. Can I buy that? How about the word Amen? Or, To death to us part?

        How does one steal another thoughts? That’s a bad Sci-fi movie. Point to an idea. After you do that, lock it up I guess.

        Steal an expression? Sure. What is this concept of ownership of all these things?

        I do think Rand Paul made a big mistake and may be hurt by for years or decades. He broke the rules as most people understand them. Libertarians sometimes have uncommon ideas about ownership and we might agree that some ownership rules are evolving and perhaps some of them should. This is not to excuse Paul. I’d tell him to shape up and get with the program.

      • Notice how Gary, who so often “cares” enough to tell us the “truth” about the morality of the vast majority of people he deems as morally inferior, over and over, suddenly doesn’t “care” enough to tell us the “truth” about a non-progressives morality.

        Selective “care” is selective.

      • Ragnaar –

        I do think Rand Paul made a big mistake and may be hurt by for years or decades.

        Big mistake? I don’t know. People who liked him before will still like him now. People who didn’t like him before won’t like him now. Has he tarnished his image, somewhat, with people who were more indifferent? Probably. Will it significantly derail his political career? I doubt it.

        He broke the rules as most people understand them. Libertarians sometimes have uncommon ideas about ownership and we might agree that some ownership rules are evolving and perhaps some of them should.

        He broke the rules as he understood them. Otherwise he wouldn’t have reacted the way he did when it was uncovered what was going on. I’d say that this has absolutely zero to do with his views on ownership, so much as it has to do with his views on what he thought he’d get away with.

        This is not to excuse Paul. I’d tell him to shape up and get with the program.

        Shape up? Do you really think he’s going to change in any meaningful ways? Does he really think he did anything wrong, something that he needs to “shape up” for? He might not continue quoting sources unattributed, but he’s not going to change in ways more meaningful than that. He will continue to do what he thinks he can get away with, even if it entails doing things that might harm his reputation if it gets uncovered.

        Just to be clear, I don’t think this issue is a question of “morality.” I just think it’s fun to tweak holier-than-thou-ers like Gary.

      • David Springer

        Does someone here actually believe that United States Senators write their own articles and speeches?

        Rand Paul obviously has a staff member who cut & pasted without attribution but I seriously doubt Paul did it directly. It also appears the accusation itself is hyperbolic as it’s questionable whether attributions were journalistically or legally de rigueur in these cases.

  23. It’s funny. The Janis criteria were the reason I shook the dust of WUWT from my sandals years ago and won’t go back for any reason.

    And now, they’re being echoed back by the very groupthinkers.

    Just goes to show, propagandists will inevitably echo every method, with just enough tweaking to spin the method to their propaganda.

    • Your very personal beef with WUWT is irrelevant here.

      Unless, of course, it is ALL ABOUT YOU!

      • johanna | November 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

        illusion of invulnerability
        collective rationalization
        belief in inherent morality
        stereotyped views of out-groups
        direct pressure on dissenters
        self-censorship
        illusion of unanimity
        self-appointed mind guards

        In just two lines, you hit all eight symptoms except, so far as I can tell, self-censorship.

        Congratulations.

        Though now I have to wonder what is it you prevented yourself from saying?

  24. An irregular verb:

    I carefully examine the facts and arrive at the truth.
    You jump to conclusions a little hastily.
    They groupthink.

  25. Schrodinger's Cat

    The Euro is a good example of groupthink on a grand scale. The governments of 17 countries convinced themselves that it would lead to huge benefits. A number of other nations committed to join at a future date.

    Even while the currency was just a proposal, I and other sceptics thought it was a recipe for disaster. It was crazy to believe that such disparate economies could have a single exchange rate and central bank interest rate and be able to react to the whole range of different economic environments in which they existed.

    Today, only the dedicated Europhiles believe that the Euro was anything other than a disaster and a long term solution has yet to be found.

    I see a number of strong similarities with climate change.
    The believers regarded the sceptics as being somehow mad.
    The believers regarded authority as being incapable of being wrong.
    The believers were incapable of seeing the illogical stupidity of their thinking.
    The believers had a strong consensus.
    The sceptics were often denied equal voice and debates were closed down.

    When climate change came along I recognised all the signs immediately.

  26. Judith, thanks for spotting this and bringing it to our attention. The .ppt is particularly simple and clear. Behavioral economics is really gaining significant traction on a lot of difficult non-equilibria issues.

    Seems you are spot on that some of the most interesting conclusions (MAD, Cassandra’s Paradox) are much more generally applicable than to no doc subprime loans or Enron asset lite business models. Sure work for the IPCC and its CAGW groupthink gang, with multiple concrete examples of all 8 symptoms, right down to self appointed mind guards. Also works 8 out of 8 for the ‘no peak oil in our lifetimes’ groupthink. Interesting that folks who are clear thinkers on CAGW can be groupthinkers on a related subject much more amenable to simple factual analysis than climate dynamics.

  27. From my essay over on the Memeplex thread http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/01/cagw-memeplex/ I include a quote also from the domain of economics (and game theory modeling): ‘Redistribution Systems, Cross-Coalitions among them and Complexes of Memes Securing their Robustness’, by Radim Valenčík and Petr Budinský. The authors published their article before Climategate and from a field of study not directly related to climate science, yet it characterizes with uncanny accuracy what was and still is going on regarding the social phenomenon of CAGW.

    “The typical signs of memes active during the formation of cross-coalitions are: the formation of a picture of the enemy, non-critical adoration of some authority, tendency towards solutions based on strength, the consideration of some statements as all-explaining or indisputable, the granting of a right to something for only a few chosen ones, a catastrophic vision of the world, expectation of brighter tomorrows [AW: conditional on catastrophe avoidance], relativization of morality as well as rationality, use of double standards, creation of a feeling of being threatened by something, etc.”

    The article also emphasizes the penetration of memes into the psyche as being the root cause for these characteristics and the means by which the final memeplex is sustained. I guess there’s some overlap with the list in the head post, yet I think this list is one step nearer to the emotive hot-buttons that drive the actions forward, rather than just the actions themselves (i.e. self-censorship, pressure on dissenters etc).

    • Andy, none of the things cited are exactly news to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the classics.

      To pick a random example, look up “hubris” – even Wikipedia will provide an overview. But there is a lot more discussion of it in classical and later literature, going back to long before your great-great grandparents were even thought of.

      Speaking of grandparents, it’s time you and your fellow “born yesterday” academics stopped trying to teach us how to suck eggs. FYI:

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

      You say:

      “The article also emphasizes the penetration of memes into the psyche as being the root cause for these characteristics and the means by which the final memeplex is sustained.”

      Get your hand off it. According to a not very long gone “memeplex”, otherwise you’ll go blind.

      • Golly, how impolite. I’m not an academic. But I do have some manners.

      • “Impolite” is walking into a room full of Latin scholars and saying – “I have recently learned amo, amas, amat, so pay attention to me. I have big news for you. I have discovered the subjunctive mood, and this explains everything.”

        Bio Notes for Guest Speaker:

        Hell, I’m a modest guy. I acknowledge my buddy PJ and my dog Pluto in helping me to scale these heights of critical thought. For a long time, I thought that I wasn’t good enough to take my place among the great thinkers. But Pluto and PJ gave me the strength to go on.

      • johanna | November 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm |

        Well, oh Latin scholar, I’m sure I won’t be the only one to learn a lesson from your delivery of big news.

    • There is sometimes a, uh, Punch and Judy character to this place.

  28. It’s Expert Syndrome, they think they know best how the global climate should function, and this actually blinds them to what the data can tell them. Such is the folly of placing theory before observation.
    http://4realleaders.com/2012/07/expert-syndrome/

    • They OBSERVE a pulsar when the outer layers of a star are blown away.

      But they KNOW stars burn Hydrogen and make pulsars.

      Run along, no need to consider the possibility that pulsars emit neutrons that decay to Hydrogen !. HEARESEY

  29. I really liked number five, the normalization of deviance, in patterns of denial. I wonder, do the universities, namely the Soc. Departments, or Criminology, or Social Psych, actually teach deviance courses anymore, or is that to politically offensive?

  30. As usual, I’m going to give the theory a hard time.

    There are several invisible behavioral economics doohickeys that make the wheels on Benabou’s bus go round and roundand down. But one in particular caught my eye: That’s the assumption of “anticipatory utility,” which is “savoring” experienced while waiting on a desired future outcome. In the model, the savoring motive is parameterized by a positive number s. If s = 0, there is no anticipatory utility.

    s > 0 is crucial to the model. If you look at equation (9), you can see this. Earlier in inequality (3), a maintained assumption about the model’s parameters is spelled out. That assumption implies that the first term in (9) is always negative, and if s = 0, the second term is zero too. So s=0 makes the expression in equation (9) negative. In intuitive terms, when s = 0, there is no benefit to denying the truth because you don’t get any value out of the anticipation of an unrealistically high future outcome.

    This is important because, as far as I am aware, there is no experimental evidence at all that future monetary outcomes are subject to savoring. George Loewenstein is the contemporary dad of anticipatory utility. Look at figure 1 in George’s Loewenstein’s (1987) paper “Anticipation and the Valuation of Delayed Consumption,” linked her for your benefit:

    http://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/AnticipationDelayed.pdf

    As you can see for yourself, all money outcomes are discounted in the fashion predicted by garden-variety discounting of the future. It is only the Kiss and the Shock that generate evidence of savoring or dread (by having a valuation that actually rises with delay over some ranges of delay).

    There must be hundreds of incentivized (real payoffs) studies of time discounting of future money payments. I don’t know of a single one that displays a rising valuation profile with increasing delay, which is the “fingerprint” of savoring and dread. Incidentally this is why the word “Consumption” appears in Loewenstein’s title. It is consumption outcomes only that show evidence of savoring and dread in experiments. This is also true of ALL of the studies cited by Caplin and Leahy (2001), which Benabou cites–all of these are about physical pain or some such and the anxiety generated by anticipating it in the future.

    Because of this, I am extremely skeptical of applying this particular groupthink model to any firm whose sole important objective is to create income for its managers (such as a bank or a financial services firm). But a lot of Benabou’s examples are of that sort.

    Ironically, it might better apply to scientists–at least if you believe the scientist’s primary reward is not monetary, but rather in seeing predictions of their theories or models borne out, which might better be thought of as a consumption good. Of course, you die-hard materialists in the audience don’t believe that, but it is worth mentioning.

    • NW: “Ironically, it might better apply to scientists–at least if you believe the scientist’s primary reward is not monetary, but rather in seeing predictions of their theories or models borne out, which might better be thought of as a consumption good.”

      +1

    • > Ironically, it might better apply to scientists [...]

      It might doubly apply to tantrist scientists.

      ***

      I think I saw somewhere that an amusement park was more satisfying when one had to wait in line. But I can’t find the study. Only found something related to excitation transfer:

      This study examined the effects of residual nervous system arousal on perceptions of sexual attraction. Researchers approached individuals (males, n = 165; females, n = 135) at amusement parks as they were either waiting to begin or as they had just gotten off a roller-coaster ride. Participants were shown a photograph of an average attractive, opposite-gendered individual and asked to rate the individual on attractiveness and dating desirability. Participants were also asked to rate their seatmates’ levels of attractiveness. Consistent with the predictions of excitation transfer theory, for males and females riding with a nonromantic partner, ratings of attractiveness and dating desirability toward the photographed individual were higher among persons exiting than entering the ride. Among persons riding with a romantic partner, there were no significant differences in attractiveness or dating desirability ratings between persons entering and exiting the ride. The findings are discussed in terms of the potential moderator effects of a salient romantic partner on excitation transfer.

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1026037527455

    • I don’t think s>0 in Benabou’s theory entails that a greater wait for payoff actually increases utility. It just means that anticipated payoffs have a direct effect on current utility in addition to their NPV. The model does suggest that putting off recognition of bad news increases utility, but that only implies that speeding up recognition of good news would also raise utility, not that delaying payoffs after good news would do so. Adding periods of savoring by speeding up recognition of future gains need not be equivalent to adding periods of savoring by delaying those gains after recognition.

      • Steve, look at footnote 13 on page 7. I could be wrong, but I took my cue from (what I thought was) the plain meaning of this. And he cites Loewenstein to support the anticipatory utility assumption.

  31. Intellectual fads tend to make careers and reputation for some, and often leave us with a buzz word or expression we can use for effect, long after the fad has passed. I have no idea what Future Shock was about (except the obvious) but even I have probably used the expression to save myself the exertion of thinking. It’s what cliches do, and I’m a lazy bloke!

    What’s game theory? As long as I get to say zero-sum, who cares? Daniel Kahneman seems to do a nice line in utter commonplaces dressed up as scientific analysis: I’ve noticed how the smug can often triumph over the less smug just by those talismanic words: “As Kahneman says…” Job done!

    To categorise your opponents’ thoughts and motives into “symptoms” of a “principle” having its own fad title with implications of pathology (MAD…I get it, I get it) is to cheapen both sides of an argument.

    I’m a skeptic. I often think those who disagree with me are stubborn, self-interested, naive, conformist…even a bit potty. They often think the same of me. However I will not be reporting their opinions as “symptoms” (or, God help us, as memeplex). We cannot fight junk science and dressed up slobbery with more junk science and dressed up slobbery. Rest assured, the consensus is not far from the authoritarian, and authoritarians welcome the chance to treat opponents as psych patients. Don’t give ‘em the medical jargon for free.

    “…we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague th’ inventor: this even-handed justice
    Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
    To our own lips.”

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Hell I haven’t got past the Secret Life of Plants or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I distrust the intentions of my nasturtiums and the koan I tune the motorcycle to causes it to backfire.

      Perhaps we should ask Fido.

      ‘A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?’

      Joshu answered: `Mu.’ [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning `No-thing' or `Nay'.]

      Mumon’s comment:s To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.’

      Are we clowns perpetually smiling at the foot of a ladder reaching to an infinite void as Miller said?

      ‘“At no time in the history of man has the world been so full of pain and anguish. Here and there, however, we meet with individuals who are untouched, unsullied, by the common grief. We say of them that they have died to the world. They live in the moment, fully, and the radiance which emanates from them is a perpetual song of joy […] like the clown, we go through the motions, forever simulating, forever postponing the grand event- we die struggling to get born. We never were, never are. We are always in the process of becoming. Forever outside”
      ― Henry Miller, The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder

    • “I’ve noticed how the smug can often triumph over the less smug just by those talismanic words: ‘As Kahneman says…'”

      I know just how you feel: Your retort is “Well Gigerenzer doesn’t buy it.”

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

  32. Delusion – one definition : –

    “. . . a false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.”

    For example, the belief that interposing CO2 between the Sun and an object being warmed by its rays, will increase the object’s temperature.

    Further, the belief that increasing the amount of CO2 will result in an even greater increase in temperature.

    If not delusion, then what?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  33. Chief Hydrologist

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

    A matter of group madness versus individual eccentricity? Threading a sane path through dynamical complexity to the literally unknowable future – demands a certain insousiance. Life at the edge of an infinite chaos is only bearable with art and science – engaging fearlessly with demons, gods and eternity – and love.

    Explore

    A framework for bridging the rocky
    crags of experience and emotion.
    It is a child’s green jungle gym in a sandy
    playground by the ocean. The grass
    worn thin beneath the arch of the ladder.

    Can I swing and somersault and twist
    never fearing to fall. No.
    Unless it is a ladder that
    reaches to the moon.
    That’s not this ladder.

    This ladder spans the abyss between sense,
    impulse, emotion and the world.
    Between life and living in the world.
    That was the plan.
    But it never occurs.

    You always twist and somersault and fall.
    The nature of the game dictates the terms
    until destiny succumbs to love
    and arms reach out to clasp you
    safely to their breast.

    Without love all action is daring.
    With love no daring is fatal.

    ‘Complexity is the science of understanding how independent agents are interacting with each other to influence each other and the whole. Organisms constantly adapt to each other through evolution, thereby organizing themselves into an exquisitely tuned ecosystem. Self-organizing systems are adaptive. They actively try to turn whatever happens to their advantage. Evolution. They possess a kind of dynamism that makes them qualitatively different from static objects. Complex systems are more spontaneous, more disorderly, more alive than that. Chaos theory has shaken science to its foundations with the realization that very simple dynamical rules can give rise to extraordinary intricate behavior: river & fractals. Complex systems have somehow found a way to acquire the ability to bring order and chaos into balance. The edge of chaos is where new ideas and innovations are forever nibbling on the status quo. The edge of chaos is the constantly shifting battle zone between stagnation and anarchy, the one place where a complex system can be spontaneous, adaptive, and alive. Complexity, adaptation, upheavals on the edge of chaos gave birth to the Santa Fe Institute and the science of the 21st Century.’ M Mitchell Waldrop

    There are dangers on all sides of a deliberate way forward for the global culture, economics and climate in the assumption that these systems are simple ordered systems. There are simple stability rules for society and economics that come from the tradition of the scientific enlightenment. These provide the foundations for extraordinary innovation at the edge of chaos. They provide a basis for confidently – perhaps irrationally so – meeting the future.

    There is probably a simple rule for climate as well. The faster things change the greater the frequency of abrupt and unpredictable upheaval. Managing greenhouse gases – in an economic analogy – seems similar to managing interest rates to constrain irrational bubbles and the resultant potential for chaotic shifts.

    Fear of the future contaminates the zeitgeist – what is needed instead is an exultant, ecstatic song of the future.

    I’d suggest a continuation of irrational courage in the maws of the inchoate universe that is the true mark of the human race. The other thing to lean is the secret of Angel’s flight – in that they take themselves so lightly.

    I sing the body electric,
    The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
    They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
    And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

    Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
    And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
    And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
    And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?

    The love of the body of man or woman balks account, the body itself balks account,
    That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.

    Walt Whitman

  34. This type of post is a cacophonous train of verbal diarrhea spewing pop-psychology buzzword about the most tedious aspects of climate change internet flame wars. Meh.

    It always brings out the *best* from the hypocritical morality monitors, haranguing supercilious nutters, impotent macho bullies and sarcastic self-proclaimed savants.

  35. There are bucketful’s of studies done on group think and the mental gymnastics required on the part of the individuals that lead to a conforming with the tribe’s / groups./ mob’s various collective memes.
    And our hostess has posted quite a number on this site over the time it has been running.

    One day there might even be a study done on these mavericks who despite everything thrown against them by the group thinkers continue to hold onto their beliefs.
    Often / usually these often stubborn, highly individual and mavericks by nature are wrong in detail or as a whole but when looking through the history of science and the greatest advancements in civilisation it is those sometimes ornery mavericks who have produced the break through technology and science that has lifted civilisation to the next level.

    Studying and researching mass groupthink and conformation to that group think by individuals and the masses is easy compared to studying the handful of sometimes ornery, highly individual, independent thinking mavericks that have been the key and often the initiators to civilisation’s technological break throughs over the centuries past.

    Maybe somebody will look at this one day.

    The only group think left of a social nature to be studied is the mass mentality of our immense conglomerations of human kind which in concentration of numbers of people in our mega cities has never occurred before in any of our previous history.
    Even Rome at the height of it’s power and influence never had more than about a million inhabitants
    Bar for the above there are no social or societal breakthroughs of a groupthink, massed humanity basis left to study.
    Those were all done by politicals to both gain and to ensure the holding onto power far back in prehistory when tribalism still reigned supreme.

  36. One’s-self I sing, a simple separate person,
    Yet utter the word Democratic, the wprd En-Masse.

    Leaves of Grass.

  37. Climate change ‘exaggerated’, says former Australian PM

    Howard’s speech described the advocates of climate change mitigation as “alarmists” and “zealots” for whom “the cause has become a substitute religion”. He said “global warming is a quintessential public policy issue” and policymakers should not become subservient to the advice of scientists.
    “Scientists are the experts in science, judges experts in interpreting the law and doctors skilled at keeping us healthy, provided we take their advice. But parliaments, composed of elected politicians, are the experts at policymaking and neither expressly or impliedly should they ever surrender that role to others.”
    snip
    “One has to question whether the IPCC approach represents in its totality pure, disinterested scientific enquiry. Because after all it was spawned by a political process,” he said.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/climate-change-exaggerated-says-former-australian-pm

    Please be gentle. Practice empathy , feeling and caring!!
    It’s difficult not to feel the pain of Guardian readers!! ::))

      • I’d rather do that than leave our standards of living to economically illiterate poseurs like your Idol Hansen , who is so confused he talks about “potential” fossil fuel “reserves” – apparently not realizing that he is contradicting himself.

        BTW, from what I understand, Exxon did a pretty good job of cleaning up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. According to the NOAA, as far back as 1993, their study of intertidal communities reflected broad recovery in those communities. Surely, they are doing even better now, despite the fact that some oil undoubtedly remains.

        If you want to live in the paradise where there is no free markets or corporations, just smuggle yourself into North Korea FOMTrolling, and then see if you can continue posting your drivel from there eh? Maybe you’ll even get stuck there and be unable to leave, like the people who live there. We should be so lucky

        Glad to have increased your seriously deficient knowledge of Free Markets, Corporate Responsibility, and Individual freedom FOMTrolling!

        Good on yah

      • Nuclear Industry?? Free Market?? ROTFLMAO!!!
        Better stop believing shlock like from Lewandowsky :: ))

        Climate Change “Alarmists” For Nuclear Power
        No one would accuse climate researchers James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira, and Tom Wigley of moderation when it comes to banging the climate crisis drum. The four have now issued an open letter challenging the broad environmental movement to stop fighting nuclear power and embrace it as a crucial technology for averting the possibility of a climate catastrophe by supplying zero-carbon energy.
        http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/climate-change-alarmists-for-nuclear-pow

  38. Take something at random from the paper:
    “A first alternative source of group error is social pressure to conform. For instance, if agents are heard or seen by both a powerful principal (boss, group leader, government) and third parties whom he wants to influence, they may just toe the line for fear of retaliation.”

    Now, we may indeed need study and science to tell us something about the composition of water or the shape of droplets which fall on our backyards. But do we really need study and science to tell us that the rain does indeed fall, and that it does indeed fall on our backyards? What is commonly observed by all does not require research.

    How much thought, research and discovery is involved in determining something like:
    “The proposition’s second result shows how cognitive interdependencies (of both types) are amplified, the more closely tied an individual’s welfare is to the actions of others.”

    Stating the bleeding obvious in clunky jargon will not cure the problems of conformity in groups. In fact, if you look hard into any nest of conformists you will find that few things aid conformity better than…clunky jargon!

    • In grad school, the students put on a skit show every spring. Once we did a Star Trek parody. The last line of the opening voice-over was “To boldly prove what everyone already knows!”

    • I don’t think you’re giving the paper a fair reading. In fact, I don’t think you can even explain the specific mechanism it is asserting. Hint: It is not just saying that people are irrational or that they are influenced by others. It characterizes a specific kind of rational equilibrium and makes specific predictions about how changes in parameters would change that equilibrium. It may very well be wrong, but that’s quite different from your insinuation that it is meaningless jargon dressing up the obvious.

    • moso, I have to say, I am sympathetic to stevepostrel’s point here. There are some genuine insights coming out of theory (if it is descriptive of the actual mechanics, of course). For instance, I think most people’s intuition about whistleblowers is that their social role is to protect against knowing corruption or knowing violation of rules. Benabou’s suggestion is that whistleblower laws may be a sort of precommitment device organizations use to break groupthink.

      • NW, I’ve known a flesh-and-blood whistleblower who was a pleasant lady with temperamental and substance problems who had worked for a charlatan of some prominence. The charlatan – not as bad as all that – is okay, the whistleblower ended up on an island with a grant to write a doctoral thesis – on whistleblowing. A happy end for all.

        You will forgive me if I see things in terms of messy humans, messy interests and messy situations, not in terms of pre-commitment devices, changes to rational equilibria and the like. I am aware of the hopes held for “theory” and wish its proponents luck. An awful lot of luck.

      • Is there, I ask, a substitute fer worldly wisdom-ness,
        trawlin’ through history, Michel de Montaigne f’r instance,
        Talleyrand, Disraeli, faustino now, acknowledging socio-religio-
        politico-human-messiness and seekin’ non-doctrinaire
        solutions ter particular problem situations?

    • “What is commonly observed by all does not require research.”

      This appears to me to be an argument for ONLY applied research, never “pure” (theoretical) research. Yet some of our greatest applied research is only possible BECAUSE of, well, acedemic freedom, curiosity etc. For example, in the early days after the expounding of relativity, did anyone ever suspect that this research would be absolutely vital to the now common-place GPS?

      • In the ’90s especially, I coun’t help thinking of that mega-tonnage of Marxian perspectives of Derrida and Derridan perspectives of Marx and saying to myself: Whither all this, and why? Surely some of these people might wait table or drive cabs, worthy enough things to be doing.

        As to freedom, curiosity and the like, we now have Publish-or-Perish instead, Much tidier.

  39. VIRGINIA CANS the COOCH

    Terry McAuliffe was elected Governor of Virginia today, defeating the State’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli , a Tea Party icon and climate denier who misused his office to attack climate scientist Michael Mann. I imagine Mann must be taking some pleasure in the results of this election.

    • So Virginians have decided to join California and Illinois on the fast track to bankruptcy. Too bad we can’t sell the stock of state’s short.

    • Willard,

      Government good

      Private sector good

      Anti-government bad

      Anti-private sector bad

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Idiot talking points pathetic.

      • Max_OK balanced

        Chief Hydrologist unbalanced

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Still can’t get over yourself Lang?

        There are six gases listed in the Kyoto protocol first commitment period. .

        http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/3145.php

        You will notice I hope both the lack of direct reference to Maxy, that there is a history, Maxy can take care of himself and that idiot talking points – something Max is overly fond of – seems a little more moderate than unbalanced.

        Certainly not as unacceptable as casting professional aspersions. So stop pretending that you want only colourless dross – such as you are inordinately fond of when not indulging in unadulterated calumny and abuse.

        My suggestion – as you have asked for one – is that you take your thumb – sit on it and spin.

      • Still can’t get over yourself Chief,

        There are 23 Kyoto gasses (i.e. different gasses with different chemical formulas and different properties), not six. You are getting confused with the groupings of gasses by type (there are six), despite me having told you many times and linking to the list of the 23 Kyoto gasses together with their formulas and global warming potential. The 23 gasses are listed under heading by type (see Table 26 here: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/sites/climatechange/files/documents/07_2013/national-greenhouse-accounts-factors-july-2013.pdf ).

        If you’d bother to open the link you’d see for yourself instead of continually making the same blatant error, misleading other readers and showing again you are incapable of admitting when you are wrong.

        Once you do open the link you’d either have to admit you are wrong or explain to me why I am wrong.

      • Chief,

        Do you think methane, ethane and propane (CH4, C2H6 and C3H8 respectively) are the same gas?

        If you agreed they are not, then why do you insist that CHF3, CH2F2 and CH3F are the same gas. By the way they have global warming potentials of 11,700, 650 and 150, so rather an important difference between them, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        These are the gases listed in Annex A of the Kyoto convention.

        ‘The targets for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol cover emissions of the six main greenhouse gases, namely:
        • Carbon dioxide (CO2);
        • Methane (CH4);
        • Nitrous oxide (N2O);
        • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);
        • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and
        • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)’

        These are the gases listed in the Doha amendment.

        Carbon dioxide (CO2)
        Methane (CH4)
        Nitrous oxide (N2O)
        Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
        Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
        Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)
        Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)1

        Neither ethane or propane are listed of course. I link directly to it half a dozen times but it doesn’t seem to get through. Hydroflourocarbons and perflourocarbons are generic terms for families of compoiunds.

        ‘Hydrofluorocarbons, organic compounds that contain only one or a few fluorine atoms, are the more common type of organofluorine compounds. Used as refrigerants in place of the older chlorofluorocarbons such as Freon-12, they do not harm the ozone layer if they do not contain chlorine or bromine. However, their atmospheric concentrations are rapidly increasing, causing international concern about a different process: their rising contribution to anthropogenic radiative forcing emissions (i.e., greenhouse gas global warming)…

        Fluorocarbons, sometimes referred to as perfluorocarbons or PFCs, are organofluorine compounds that contain only carbon and fluorine bonded together in strong carbon–fluorine bonds.’ Wikipedia

        Now go away and bother someone else with your idiotic rants

      • Wow, talk about arguing that black is white. Chief has demonstrated he is prepared to go to any extent to avoid admitting he is wrong. And blatantly wrong.

        There are 23 Kyoto gasses, not six.

        HFCs and PFCs are not single gasses; they are groupings. There are 12 HFCs and 7 PFCs.

        The fact the PFCs and HFCs are plural should be clear.

        Intellectual Honesty: signs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 especially 5!!
        5. Be willing to publicly acknowledge when you are wrong.

        10 signs of intellectual dishonesty; signs 1 to 7 and 10, especially 5.
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Mann tweets about Cuccinelli:
      “As for @KenCuccinelli, pleased that VA voters rejected his dangerous brand of politics & his contempt for science & rational thought. #HSCW”

  40. Dr. Strangelove

    IPCC is a political organization whose main objective is to control CO2 emission. As such, it can never do real science. It is futile trying to reform it because that requires changing its reason for being. The “consensus” is similar to Ptolemaic astronomy in the 16th century. It is not science. It is religious dogma where dissent is never tolerated and even punished.

    IPCC and activist scientists are the modern Inquisition. They define the dogma and enforce strict adherence to it. What a throwback to the pre-scientific age! All true scientists must revolt and dismantle this monster.

  41. Examples of Mutually Assured Delusion (MAD)

    1) To say the world is warming at 0.2 deg C/decade, when it has warmed only 0.8 deg C in the last 100 years.

    IPCC AR4: For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/compress:12/from:1880/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/trend/offset:0.3/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/trend/offset:-0.3/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/trend

    Actually, the warming rate since 1880 is only 0.06 deg C per decade!

    2) To say the increase in CO2 concentration is man made when it is due to ocean warming.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/from:1979/normalise/plot/rss/trend/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/trend/normalise/offset:0.3/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/trend/normalise/offset:-0.3

  42. Communism and environmentalism – we are talking about two ideologies that are structurally very similar. They are against individual freedom. They are in favor of centralist master-minding of our fates. They are both very similar in telling us what to do, how to live, how to behave, what to eat, how to travel, what we can do and what we cannot do. There is a huge similarity in this respect. ~Vaclav Klaus

    • But Wag, consider this:

      “On the surface conservatives should be an obvious constituency for conservation on etymological grounds alone. Beyond etymology, one can see a close kinship between conservatism and environmentalism on a deeper level; namely, that from the viewpoint of traditionalist conservatism they are both champions of lost causes; both are heralds against the remorseless imperatives of relentless progress–recall William F. Buckley’s famous mission statement for modern conservatism: ”To stand athwart history yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” That could almost be the mission statement of Greenpeace, or Earth First. Both conservatism and environmentalism are powerless to stop progress in its tracks; hence both derive much of their imagination from an appreciation of the tragic sense of life.” –Steven F. Hayward

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/earth-day-blues?page=1

      • Now I wonder why you cut off the very next sentence of that article:

        “But conservatives quickly became alienated from the issue by the revolutionary apocalypticism of the dominant voices of environmentalism, the costly regulatory bureaucracy that emerged in Washington, and the disregard for private property rights in environmental law.”

        Hayward was making the same point as Wagathon.

      • Oh gosh ya caught me! I’m so embarrassed!

      • Tea party hero Rand Paul warned scientific advancements could lead to eugenics during a Monday visit at Liberty University, looking to boost the political fortunes of fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

        During a visit to the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul looked to energize conservative supporters by warning that genetic tests could identify those who are predisposed to be short, overweight or less intelligent so that they could be eliminated. With one week remaining before Election Day, Cuccinelli is hoping the joint appearance with the U.S. senator from Kentucky will encourage the far-right flank of his party to abandon third-party libertarian spoiler Robert Sarvis.

        http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/10/rand-paul-campaigns-for-ken-cuccinelli-96042.html

      • Who would want to, stop progress? Progress is respect for individual liberty. After years of sniping at the heels of America’s productive and two terms of clawing the country’s eyes out because George Bush stood tall against the UN and Kyoto — and had the courage to support America with his whole heart – we now see the government-education machine, the EPA and the rest of secular, socialist bureaucracy (who hate capitalism and the American experience that is based on man’s God-given right to individual liberty and personal responsibility), busily changing all cultural and societal markers pointing to right and wrong, and instead directing everyone to the Castro-Chavez-Mao bridge to nowhere.

        We have reached the point where more good is done in the world feeding one stray cat than wasting one more tax dollar on climatology. We denialists of global warming could apologize for the Left’s Weltschmertz out of sympathy but letting them know the polar bears are actually thriving would be the empathetic thing to do. We don’t need their coats to stay warm, nor do we need liberal fascist gadflies to weave hairshirts for the rest of us to wear as they look down their effete snob noses at the rest of us who actually make things that society wants.

      • Endgame was intriguing and instructive for the PolySci Pros.
        =======

      • NW, most all environmentalism starts with the end in mind. Like how can we NOT cut trees in the PNW. Use an owl and the Endangered Species Act. The end is “how do we stop economic expansion”, there is no real care about a particular species. These are tools of the environut and an extremely progressive got.

  43. petermartin2001

    If, say, a jury return a particular verdict, we can presume the jury are suffering from “Groupthink: A pattern of thought charaterized (sic) by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.

    And therefore, whichever we they go we can conclude that we might be able to get at least as good an answer by spinning a coin?

    And if, say, a panel of Republican congressman decide to re-appoint one Judith Curry to their climate team we can also conclude they must be suffering from “Groupthink. A pattern………………..”

    PS Since I started my blog I’ve found that the form won’t let me use tempterrain any more!

    • petermartin

      With or without your other name, welcome back!

      One of the criticisms often made of “climate skeptics” by the “consensus group” is that they do not have a common theme or thread – and their reasons for skepticism of IPCC’s CAGW premise are all over the place.

      IOW the “climate skeptics”, unlike their “consensus group” counterparts, do not suffer from “groupthink: a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics”.

      Max

  44. “From what I can tell, Powell is not actually calling for a new age of non-skeptical scientists; his argument boils down to efficiency. With the immense volume of data being collected reported on a daily basis, it is in everyone’s interest to give scientists the benefit of the doubt, to assume that they are performing their work competently. And this is exactly what happens, in almost every sub-field of science. We allow the members of each community to check each others work, and then we trust their consensus. Something that is considered established fact by geologists is then accepted by chemists, astronomers, geneticists, and everyone else, including politicians.”

    “So in the end, I think Powell should go easy on Muller and his team. They saw a messy debate (replete with scandals, basically a P.R. nightmare for science), and they decided to enter the fray, but their contribution has been based on calm, rational discourse.”

    http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2012/03/06/trusting-your-fellow-scientist/

    I think the blog author is explaining something useful. Climate Scientists were used to what she describes in the first paragraph. Then they found themselves in a highly charged situation with global warming. Their prior situation had changed, and some were not prepared for that. But what they did know was the people around them. Once they sensed they were under increased scrutiny, it would seem normal to hope for support from the people around them. Perhaps I am trying to say that some of this is just colleagues trying to aid each other.

  45. Someone is right when he says [all other things being equal] that rising CO2 should lead to a rise in the heat/temperature in the atmosphere.
    The problems being,
    if all other things are equal.
    What time frame it will happen in.
    What causes it
    When might it resolve.
    Luke warmer views on climate sensitivity obviously involve some adjustment for other factors [Common sense?].
    How do Luke warmers fit into the MAD Group-think.
    As they are sitting on the fence

    illusion of invulnerability no
    collective rationalization no
    belief in inherent morality yes
    stereotyped views of out-groups no
    direct pressure on dissenters no
    self-censorship yes
    illusion of unanimity no
    self-appointed mind guards yes
    [not a Luke warmer]

  46. An example of group think in nature:

    • Max_OK

      Your example of “Group Think” (the huge swarm of Jack Fish dwarfing the diver is very pertinent.

      The total IQ of the huge like-minded swarm (in our case exemplifying the “consensus school”) is a fraction of that of the individual man (exemplifying the rational skeptic, who thinks for himself).

      Max_CH

  47. I meself would wish ter take
    a leaf out of Socrates book, not
    that he wrote anythin’ down but
    is reported to have said, ‘ I only
    know that I ‘know’ nothin’. And so
    pertainin’ ter this, avoid hubris
    and consensus – thinkin as much
    as yer can, self – reflect, listen ( :0 )
    ter each other, examine evidence,
    stay cool and provisional regardin’
    yer conclusions, and as kim c/o CE
    demonstrates daily, eschew
    guilt and sacrifice of maidens.
    And try crackin’ a few jokes
    befittin’ our fallible human
    con – dishun.

    Jest – a – serf.

    • Beth

      Yore Sock-rat–tease pome is mahty purty – an it got me ta thinkin:

      Ah reckon all them corn-sen-sus fellers don hafta try ta figger stuff out fer themselves ennymore, cuz its already dun fer em!

      Leaves em lotsa idle time.

      Like my pappy tole me, ta keep me from wastin mah time lolligaggin roun: “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, son”

      Stead a jest lolligaggin, Ah reckon them fellers use all thet idle time fer dreamin up wild dee-lew-shuns ta scare the britches offa folks an the wallets rite outa their pockets!

      Don’t look like its workin too good, tho.

      Yore feller serf

      • deer fellow serf,

        I agree and I’m thinkin’ meme – plex theory’s a high
        falutin’ way of sayin’ fergit free will ‘n evidence ‘n
        all, yer – jest – a – puppet – on – a – string – duh!

        Beth -the – serf.

  48. Both convinced and unconvinced make a mistake by occupying themselves, staring too much, on ‘the skeptics’. More likely there’s a geo-side which looks like it might well carry the day against a hydro-side, both institutional, broadly speaking.

  49. A fan of *MORE* discourse
    FOMD wonders  “Are Fukushima’s torus rooms *really* supposed to be filled with corium?”

    Dr. Strangelove answers [incorrectly]  “The whole world knows the obvious answer: Yes, because [Fukushima] Unit 1 Reactor blew up. It’s all over the news media. It would be a miracle if the whole building (not just the torus room) is not filled with corium.”

    Dr. Strangelove, both you DocMartyn are *mostly* correct that “The whole world knows the obvious answer” that the Fukushima reactor cores have melted-down and escaped pressure-vessel containment.

    But there are striking exceptions to “the whole world.” Some denialists still insist that the Fukushima’s reactor-vessel containments are intact.

    Isn’t this a crystal-clear example of 21st century Big Nuclear denialist cognition, Dr. Strangelove?

    Doesn’t it remind you of 19th century Big Sweatshop denialist cognition, in regard to the sanitation-epidemic connexion?

    Doesn’t it remind you of 20th century Big Tobacco denialist cognition, in regard to the smoking-tobacco connexion?

    And doesn’t it remind you too, of present-day Big Carbon denialist cognition, in regard to CO2-driven climate-change?

    It’s remarkable how, in every century, patterns of anti-scientific counter-Enlightenment denialist cognition occur over-and-over again, eh Dr. Strangelove?

    Why do you think this historical pattern of denialist cognition repeats itself, Dr. Strangelove?

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      • Rand Paul does not believe in man-made global warming. He is opposed to cap-and-trade and called the it a scam conceived by “petty dictators” such as Hugo Chavez to end capitalism (as stated by Chavez). He supports coal mining in Kentucky and opposes using the EPA to enforce greenhouse emissions. 

        http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/Senate/Kentucky/Rand_Paul/Views/Energy_and_the_Environment/

      • Typical crap willard.

        Opposition to carbon taxes is not a position on the science.
        On the science, here is what he had to say (see below) . There are probably some other quotes you might find. Of course, the best thing to do is to pick up the phone and call him. Have you tried that ?( this is a trap be careful how you respond )

        “About 1,600 jobs are at the aluminum smelters here and in Hawesville, he said, and another 5,000 jobs probably depend on those aluminum jobs. The aluminum smelters cannot afford higher electric rates, nor can consumers, he said.

        And there’s no need to skewer the coal industry, he said. While the federal government has a legitimate interest in reducing pollution that crosses state lines, he maintained the exact extent of the problem has been exaggerated. “Some of these scientists had their conclusions drawn before they came up with their facts.”

        Asked if climate change were real, he replied, “It’s complicated. Anyone who makes an absolute conclusion is probably overstating their conclusion.”

        Paul said while “we should always strive for less pollution, we’re cleaner than we ever have been. Air today is 30 percent cleaner than it was in 1960. We’ve gotten a lot better.”

      • There are probably some other quotes you might find.

        Heh. Yeah. “Probably.”

        Nothing like trying to build some plausible deniability, eh?

        So Paul thinks that the global warming “scare” is really about ending capitalism and that in traveling to Copenhagen, Obama lent credence to the “idea of global warming.”

        Let’s just be charitable, and see nothing there about the science. Indeed, nothing to see there. He’s not saying anything about the science there. Just keep moving.

        All he’s interested in is “taking our country back.”

        Also, please note, that his goal of slashing the CDC and the NIH has nothing to do with the science, either.

      • Yes, but science.
        Yes, but denier.

        ***

        Here’s the bin Laden quote:

        Now Osama bin Laden had a quote yesterday. He’s says he’s after the climate change as well. It’s a bigger issue, we need to watch ‘em. Not only because it may or may not be true, but they’re making up their facts to fit their conclusions. They’ve already caught ‘em doing this.

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/09/13/174788/gop-senate-deniers/

        See for yourself:

        ***

        Rand’s endorsement of Cuccinelli speaks louder than what Rand can say. Or copy-paste, of course. Wegmanly or not.

        We need to watch them.

    • The core of Fukushima Unit #1 suffered the most damage, with Unit #2 and #3 at 3MI levels.
      Here is the torus of Fukushima Unit #1

      http://www.neimagazine.com/Uploads/NewsArticle/1002025/main.jpg

      That is great ‘corium’ resistant paint they have in Japan.

      http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsunit-1-2-wet-well-investigations-find-no-leaks

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Wrong post you nitwit! This is a different topic. You must be unemployed and have nothing better to do. Waste of time. Bye

  50. “Why do you think this historical pattern of denialist cognition repeats itself, Dr. Strangelove”

    Mornin’ Fan,
    Funny, ‘coz my question is why does the pattern of liberal environmental hysteria and fear mongering continue to repeat? The list is long, well-known, and always laughable in the fullness of time. Remember Alar? And how’s that “population bomb” working out, just to name two. Of course the coming ice age hysteria of the 1970’s is one of the biggest laughs of all, though they might turn out to be right in the longer run.

    WRT Fukushima, this might interest you:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/08/10/the-fukushima-radiation-leak-is-equal-to-76-million-bananas/

    • > The list is long

      Then why do we hear the same two items, Poker?

      Here’s what a list looks like, BTW:

      http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Rand_Paul_Environment.htm

    • Just to add Fan, I don’t underestimate corporate greed, and the great environmental harm it can cause. I’m no libertarian in that respect. But the track record of environmentalism is decidedly mixed, to say the least. Truthfully, I don’t trust anyone.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TEPCO’s own radiation-release estimates are 10,000X greater than the Tim Worstall/Wall Street Journal estimates that you supplied … ain’t that right pokerguy?

      And don’t many analysts believe that TEPCO grossly, persistently, and systematically under-states the magnitude of the Fukushima radiation releases and their health effects?

      So why would any *rational* person place any credence in the WSJ’s willfully ignorant denialist faux-analysis?

      The world wonders, pokerguy!

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      • Fanny

        This was posted over on the “chemistry” thread, but will re-post here:

        You’ve commented on the TEPCO (Fukushima) and BP Deep-water Horizon (Gulf Coast) disasters.

        The two accidents had similar root causes:

        1. Incompetent (or corrupt?) governmental permit authorities, which allowed

        a) BP to save around $ 1 million rather than install a fail-safe blowout prevention system, which is normally required for deep-water offshore wells

        b) TEPCO to “go cheap” and save maybe $ 1 million on protected, fail-safe backup pumping and standby power generation systems, which should normally be required for installation in earthquake/tsunami prone zones

        2. Foolhardy decisions by (the greedy and unconscionable managements of) both companies to take advantage of the lax controls, save the $$$ and take the risk

        The outcome of the two accidents was different, however.

        Unlike the small quantity of radioactively contaminated water that leaked into the Pacific at Fukushima, which is not readily degradable, the huge quantities of crude oil, which flowed into the Gulf, were quickly gobbled up naturally by bacteria, after causing some damage to coastlines and the fishing and tourist industries (and a cleanup effort to undo this).

        Other than some oratory, President Obama had nothing to do with either the BP spill or the subsequent cleanup

        One similarity: As far as I know, no humans died from either “spill“, although 11 rig workers died in the explosion leading to the BP leak and thousands died from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. However, many birds and other animals died from the BP spill.

        Both companies “lost face”: hurting BP’s efforts to present itself as a “green” company (with its new “logo” and “Beyond Petroleum” slogan) and tragic for a Japanese company, in any case.

        The BP CEO was forced to resign after claiming he was “vilified” by the media (but allegedly got $17 million in severance pay).

        Both companies lost immense amounts of money: BP lost several thousand times as much money as it saved in the first place. It’s hard to tell how much TEPCO has lost and is still losing (probably in the $ billions), and difficult to separate the “spill” losses from the loss resulting from the destruction of the Fukushima plant, which was only partly a result of the inadequate backup facilities.

        I haven’t heard of any governmental authorities getting fired (or committing hara-kiri) as a result.

        Max

  51. AFOMD,

    What point are you trying to make?

    The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation has drawn on 80 scientists from 18 countries to produce a draft report that concludes: “Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers.
    No radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among nearly 25,000 workers involved at the accident site. Given the small number of highly exposed workers, it is unlikely that excess cases of thyroid cancer due to radiation exposure would be detectable.”

    I haven’t read the religious tracts you link to.

    You might wish to put a submission to the UN body if you believe the report is incorrect. The UN will probably require some facts to support any assertions you make.

    Long term health data collected after the use of nuclear devices at Hiroshima and Nagasaki would appear to support the conclusions of the UN Scientific Committee.

    Or you may choose to believe “many analysts”. The choice is yours. As you no doubt realise, what you choose to believe makes precisely no difference to the facts.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn – you’re not actually expecting a denizen of Climate Etc to actually take the word of “The United Nations Scientific Committee on blah blah has drawn on 80 scientists from 18 countries”

    • Fanny’s right about one thing; TEPCO’s emergency response was substandard (and so was BP’s in the gulf, but that’s another story for another day). They should have been prepared, and when it was evident that the weren’t, they should have asked for help sooner (which to Gorbachev’s credit he did do after Chernobyl).

      Having said that, the incident is still a tempest in a teapot. Comparing Fukushima (or even more preposterously, TMI) to Chernobyl is risible. Chernobyl was a real, bonafide disaster. The others were hiccups, as far as the world outside of the immediate area was concerned.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn claims [wrongly] “The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation has  produced  indefinitely delayed the release of a draft report.”

      Claims by Mike Flynn, links by FOMD.

      Mike Flynn boasts [foolishly] “I haven’t read the religious tracts you link to.”

      Willful denialist ignorance distilled by Mike Flynn, sobering scientific literature by FOMD.

      Conclusion  Scientific studies of Fukushima health-effects are being systematically “stonewalled” by political obstruction and/or outright data falsification originating in TEPCO. That particular passage represented by Mike Flynn (and many other denialist sources) as the conclusions of “a UNSCEAR draft report” was in fact neither officially released nor formally approved by *any* professional scientific organization, UN or otherwise.

      Ain’t that the inconvenient truth, Mike Flynn?

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      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Willful denialist ignorance distilled by Mike Flynn, sobering scientific literature by FOMD.

        A particular cause of death or ill health is always horrific. But when the Japanese replaced their nuclear generated electricity with coal generated electricity they caused more death and ill-health than they produced. The most dangerous product of nuclear power plants by far is electricity, which kills and maims directly, and indirectly through fires and power tools.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Marler: they caused more death and ill-health than they produced.

        oops, I meant “they caused more death and ill-health than they reduced”.

    • By the way Fukushima tidal wave swept 12,000 to their deaths and another 8,000 missing out to sea after a year, most likely dead. Three workers got above 25 rem dose which increases their risk of cancer from roughly 24% to 24.1%.
      Scott

      • Matthew R Marler

        The death toll includes those who died in the fire at the LNG terminal. So far, deaths caused by other power sources following the tidal wave outnumber deaths due to the Fukushima power plant.

    • Asking that fool for facts is like asking a cat to thread a needle.

    • AFOMD,

      I stated a draft report had been issued. Which part of that statement do you disagree with?

      UNSCEAR issued the details through un.org.

      Believe, don’t believe. Up to you..

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Mike Flynn asks [reasonably] “I stated a draft report had been issued. Which part of that statement do you disagree with? UNSCEAR issued the details through un.org.”

        It is a pleasure to answer your question Mike Flynn!

        I am skeptical that the UNSCEAR draft report *ever* was officially issued, and I am skeptical too of posts by you, and anyone else, that claim to quote from the text of that report.

        Is this skepticism justified by the facts, Mike Flynn?

        However, I am *not* skeptical of the critique posted jointly by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and by Physicians for Social Responsibility.

        Question  Was this medical criticism so scathing that UNSCEAR withdrew its draft report? That would explain a *LOT*, eh Mike Flynn?

        The world wonders!

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  52. Matthew R Marler

    That is a much better than average paper on that topic. Thank you Prof Curry.

  53. Matthew R Marler

    It is easy to identify the “groupthink” of other groups. Each of us is an independent Galileo, in our own minds.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Each of us is an independent Galileo, in our own minds.”
      ____
      Indeed– and even more to the point– none of us actually are. We are all sort of “stuck” with our own Weltanschauung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_view) which is by necessity extremely biased and makes up our meta-memeplex. Both “skeptics” and “warmists” and everyone in between is stuck with their own exceptionally biased perspective. Now, once in a while, a true Galileo or Einstein comes along that offers a truly unique perspective that might be a bit closer to describing in more predictive detail what is “really” causing the shadows on the cave wall.

      In regards to “warmists” and “skeptics” specifically, the extremes at both ends of these groups are quite similar to each other, and to visit with one of these extremes is a simliar experience- as they both have a high emotional investment in their perspective– and their meeting have a lot discussion about how dishonest or outright evil the other side is. Sort of like an old-time revival meeting.

    • Steven Mosher

      I prefer groucho marx

  54. This news reporter correctly reports the greatest threat to human survival:

    http://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/solar-cmes-are-greatest-earthly-threat/

  55. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Matthew R Marler observes “It is easy to identify the “groupthink” of other groups.”

    •  thalidomide

    •  Minamata disease

    •  Bhopal disaster

    •  antibiotic resistance [disaster pending]

    All were preventable & warning signs were ignored.

    Conclusion  prideful ignorance ⇒ denialist cognition ⇒ horrific catastrophes

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    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse:

      • thalidomide

      • Minamata disease

      • Bhopal disaster

      More confirmatory bias. Remember the epidemic of neurological disorders that was to be prevented by perpetuating the ban on aspartame? It was preventable also, but the Reagan Administration ignored the warning signs. Another part of the “Republican war on science”.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler relies upon memory “Remember the epidemic of neurological disorders that was to be prevented by perpetuating the ban on aspartame?”

        Human memory being fallible, perhaps it is better to consult PUBMED, eh Matthew R Marler?
        Aspartame Cancer Risks Revisited:
        Prenatal Exposure May Be Greatest Concern

        Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in more than 6,000 diet products, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

        In March 2006, EHP published the first compelling experimental evidence for the carcinogenic effects of aspartame at a dose level within range of human daily intake.

        A second animal study by the same research team now indicates that the carcinogenic effects of aspartame are magnified when exposure begins during fetal life.

        Although recent epidemiologic studies have not found an association between aspartame and human cancers, those studies were not designed to measure cancer risks associated with fetal exposures.

        The public health implications of the new findings are considerable. If the U.S. FDA were to conclude that exposure to aspartame causes cancer in rodents, the agency would be required by law to revoke its approval for the popular sweetener.

        These studies serve to remind Climate Etc readers that fallible/confabulated/cherry-picked memories are foundational elements of denialist cognition.

        Thank you for this edifying lesson in science-versus-denialism, Matthew R Marler!

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      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: it was initially neurological problems, based on research of Dr Wolman of NIH. If there is a cancer risk, it can’t be very high, given the volumes of the stuff sold. But while we are on the topic of cancer risk, there’s acrilonitrile.

      • Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health
        2013
        DOI:10.1080/19338244.2013.828674

        Aspartame and risk of cancer: A meta-analytic review

        Sreekanth Mallikarjuna & Rebecca McNeill Sieburthb
        ABSTRACT
        Aspartame (APM) is the most commonly used artificial sweetener and flavor enhancer in the world. There is a rise in concern that APM is carcinogenic due to a variation in the findings of the previous APM carcinogenic bioassays. This article conducts a meta-analytic review of all previous APM carcinogenic bioassays on rodents that were conducted before 31st December 2012. Our search yielded 10 original APM carcinogenic bioassays on rodents. The aggregate effect sizes suggest that APM consumption has no significant carcinogenic effect in rodents.

  56. Paraprosdokian figure of speech–e.g.,

    Global warming is so important we put school teachers in charge.

    • Other figures of speech:

      The Kentucky senator then went into a generic stump speech, talking about the NSA, Guantanamo, and a variety of other issues a Virginia governor would likely have no say in. Cuccinelli followed, proclaiming that he was running a “campaign for liberty” that would “restrain the size of government.” His evidence for doing so was his opposition to gun control and Obamacare, the same pitch he’s been giving to party faithful all year.

      The partitioned room, thickly carpeted and lit by chandeliers, was packed with more than 250 supporters, one of whom eventually fainted and had to be carried out by other attendees. Many seemed to be the usual suspects at Cuccinelli events, including older activists waving “I am with the NRA” signs and moms with gold cross necklaces and kids in tow.

      There were some confessed libertarians in the group. Jason Bowles of Fairfax, an earnest unshaven 28-year-old wearing a blazer, insisted that “the real libertarian running is Ken Cuccinelli.” He thought Cuccinelli’s strong opposition to Obamacare made him the clear choice. Bowles said he could have seen a case to vote for Sarvis in 2009, when the Democrat and the Republican candidates, were, in his words, “milquetoast moderates”—but not this year.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/31/ken-cuccinelli-s-libertarian-love-affair.html

      • “…please increase taxes temporarily on the most affluent and everyone else with a quarter of a cent sales tax,” California governor Jerry Brown

  57. Chief Hydrologist

    Bear with me for another moment of metaphysical abandon. Perhaps not – difficult to know sometimes whether being ignored or abused for myopic ideology are the only options in the blogosphere. This is an idea in progress – someday I might get to the bottom of it.

    I fitted timber blinds today to the dining/kitchen/lounge area of my house – which is just a big open space. The renos are officially complete. I have a modest suburban house surrounded by greenery and with glimpses of ocean and mangrove. The afternoon light is filtering through a tree at the front and being modulated through the half open blind. Warmly diffusing off timber floor and furniture, reflecting of light grey walls and white ceiling strongly contrasting with the vibrant colours of the artworks. Sitting at my dining room table it struck me that life – and language itself – is far from exclusively or even mostly verbal. Not an overwhelming realisation you might say.

    The voice in our heads – or mostly out loud with me in a constant insane muttering – improves cognitive skills. What is this inner voice and what does it portend? Science takes a data point or points – and the inner voice worries out a theory for discordant data. The invariability of the speed of light wrt inertial frames of reference for instance – and astonishingly discovers time and mass dilation and the space/time continuum.

    I fondly imagine that there is an equivalent metaphysical anomaly in climate science. Why oh why do the rivers change form suddenly every few decades in my little corner of the universe?

    The inner voice is not merely language of course – but light, image, feeling, sense and language combining into a coherent whole that can then be packaged for communication. Einstein described it thus.

    ”The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined. …. This combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others”. Albert Einstein in a letter to Jacques Hadamard.

    Feynman describes the essential pre-verbal skills.

    Feynman: “What I am really trying to do is bring birth to clarity, which is really a half-assedly thought-out-pictorial semi-vision thing. I would see the jiggle-jiggle-jiggle or the wiggle of the path. Even now when I talk about the influence functional, I see the coupling and I take this turn – like as if there was a big bag of stuff – and try to collect it in away and to push it. It’s all visual. It’s hard to explain.”

    Schweber: “In some ways you see the answer – ?”
    Feynman: “The character of the answer, absolutely. An inspired method of picturing, I guess. Ordinarily I try to get the pictures clearer, but in the end the mathematics can take over and be more efficient in communicating the idea of the picture. In certain particular problems, that I have done, it was necessary to continue the development of the picture as the method before the mathematics could be really done.” http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/ESM4714/methods/vizthink.html

    The memeplex post put me in mind of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall’. Which I have been listening to and pondering over what prompted the connection in my head of an ordered memeplex with something organized on some other level entirely.

    ‘Oh, what did you meet my blue-eyed son?
    Who did you meet, my darling young one?
    I met a young child beside a dead pony
    I met a white man who walked a black dog
    I met a young woman whose body was burning
    I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
    I met one man who was wounded in love
    I met another man who was wounded in hatred
    And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
    It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.’

    Poetry you would think is quintessentially the highest use of language. It taps directly into a subterranean steam of consciousness of immense depth and power. It is full of image and light. But language can only get you so far after the fact – logic is a repository of treasures gleaned from chaos – poetry is life lived on the edge of chaos. Both are necessary. The prerequisite I think is to imaginatively interpret the world – to see the wiggle and the waggle – and this is a risk. It is unbounded and risks delusion and madness in the ordinary sense. The world is what we imagine it to be – but unbounded imagination needs a metaphysical safety net. Just as science needs a fact.

    But there are real risks in being trapped in logic as well. Of mistaking the narrative for reality. This has led to very dark places in human history.

    • Chief,

      “Poetry you would think is quintessentially the highest use of language. It taps directly into a subterranean steam of consciousness of immense depth and power. It is full of image and light. But language can only get you so far after the fact – logic is a repository of treasures gleaned from chaos – poetry is life lived on the edge of chaos. Both are necessary. The prerequisite I think is to imaginatively interpret the world – to see the wiggle and the waggle – and this is a risk. It is unbounded and risks delusion and madness in the ordinary sense.”

      For me it is the voices in my head, each with a different dialogue that is the cacophony with which I must deal. These dialogues with which I connect, I flit amongst them as my senses seem to help me rejoin a conversation: ecology, weather, healing, autumn, comfort, and on it goes. I pay attention to one conversation, say when I hear my wife working in another room. A host of topics emerge from the mundane to serious issues with far reaching consequences. There is a rhythm to these conversations, not too fast and not too slow. Pacing seems the norm.

      I do find that these conversations seem to at times connect with one or another and voila: insight. An A Ha moment. Logic, concentrating on one voice and persisting doesn’t seem to get me very far, at least until a darting interaction with yet another voice transpires.

      I have it on good authority that I do not need medication for these voices as there is at least one other who picks and chooses which conversation to listen to as they go about their lives.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Rio,

        Well obviously you are mad – but nice poetry of life from you as usual.

        Being religious – the safety net I think of as the laws of God that are written in the heart. The mind otherwise is scarily unpredictable. I read John Cowper-Powys Glastonbury Romance long ago. The core of the book is Grail mythology. There are seven stages of the Grail vision – the 1st is a shining fish and you are supposed to ask a question. The character asked if it was a tench. The rest are shrouded in mystery but the 7th results in floods and cataclysm. I was sitting by a creek a little later when I swear I saw a big, shining fish just floating in the air. I laughed and asked is it a tench. The annoyance of mosquitoes faded into the background and the sounds and smells of birds, creek and bush came into intense focus. So there is my grail vision.

        There is somewhere in there perhaps some mysterious element of human experience. The question of whether it is ‘real’ or otherwise doesn’t seem to matter much as long as the voices aren’t telling you that they are coming to get you.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Chief, I humbly and sincerely apologize for all the nasty things I’ve ever said about you. More depth to you than I could previously see. You poetry is far better than Vogon as well– but for me the greatest truths are of course beyond words– if there is even a chance we can briefly escape our memeplex prisons– we literally must go out of our minds. Really the truth typified by the “finger pointing at the moon”.

      http://www.myrkothum.com/the-meaning-of-the-finger-pointing-to-the-moon/

  58. “Acknowledging the complexity and uncertainty is key to generating a willingness to listen to to different ‘prophecies’ of what the future might hold.”

    Really, I’m beginning to lose interest in your views, Judith. If AGW ever becomes a real issue, it can be postponed by pumping aerosols into the atmosphere. There is enough data to understand how to do it. So the catastrophe will never happen. Earth warms up, people pump aerosols like the natural process of volcanoes does, and migrate to nuclear, or who knows, solar and wind.

    Perhaps you view this as a fun time to think about fun things to think about, but there are a lot of people trying to control a lot of other people, and given their solutions it’s not about what’s good for anyone, but the control.

    Meanwhile, there are all kinds of fun things to think about. We could think about Asteroids. Or new diseases. Or, warlords in the ME. The list of things to prevent against is endless.

    Give us something real to focus on, instead of ifs and buts that can be solved if really need be.

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