A subterranean war on science?

by Judith Curry

[T]here is a routine confusion between science as a process (the scientific method), and science as an institution. – Ben Pile

This thread is motivated by the recent publication of a paper entitled The Subterranean War on Science, by Stephan Lewandowsky, Michael Mann, et al.  The first sentence of the paper is “Science denial kills.” Lewandowsky and Mann coauthoring a paper is  a pairing made for climate blogospheric heaven.

Before digging into  the Lewandowsky et al. paper, lets take a look at a recent blog post by Ben Pile that provides some interesting context.

What is science?

Ben Pile has a provocative and lengthy post entitled What is Science?   The entire post is worth reading; here I excerpt from the closing paragraphs:

Putative fans of science often wax lyrical about the wonders it can reveal. But not so far behind this wide-eyed poetry is a desire to turn it from discovery into a petty-minded bureaucracy. Science identifies the mechanisms of our planet, but then is employed to enforce the optimum and most efficient ways of managing public affairs, in spite of people’s wants and needs, rather than overcoming what appear as boundaries and limits. Worse still, it seems that the scientists didn’t even realise that the notion of optimums, efficiencies, boundaries and limits are not scientific discoveries, but ideological prejudices they bought to their investigation.

So what is science? A point made here a lot is that there is a routine confusion between science as a process (the scientific method), and science as an institution. Ince, Klein, and the rest aren’t merely seeking authority for their arguments in science, i.e. as a source of some kind of unimpeachable objective truth or facts. They are seeking authority in a very real sense, for the sake of having an authority. It’s not a search to explain the world, but to create order within it.

Notice that the climate debate descends to science — it is not elevated by it. Venture criticism of the proposal that a global scientific panel should determine the parameters of domestic energy, climate, and economic policies, and rather than being offered a defence of such a form of political organisation, you will be accused of ‘denying the science’. You will be accused of being ‘ideologically-motivated’, as though the design of this form of politics was not itself every bit as ideological as eugenics, as Malthus, or less alarmingly, the promises of jet-packs, flying cars and ‘energy too cheap to meter’. Many scientists and their institutions have been complicit. Perhaps science isn’t so great, after all.

A subterranean war on science?

Read the paper Subterranean war on science by Lewandowsky et al., its a short read.  My first reaction was ‘How on earth did this get published in a journal?’  On further reflection, this article does provide some insights into the ‘war’, but it is not the  ‘war on science’ that they think it is.

Some excerpts from the paper that illustrate the tactics being used by deniers:

In light of the lethal track record of denial, one might expect opprobrium to be reserved for those who deny the public’s right to be adequately informed about risks such as AIDS or climate change. Paradoxically, however, it is scientists whose research aims to inform the public of such risks who have been at the receiving end of hate mail and threats.

Other attempts of intimidation have involved the solicitation of potentially compromising information from the first author by a non-existent internet “sock puppet” whose unknown creators pretended to be victimized by climate deniers — and who then splattered the private correspondence on the internet

At a public level, an American lobbying outfit has recently likened climate scientists to the Unabomber in a billboard campaign, and a British tabloid journalist entertained the execution of the second author by hanging in what passes for a “mainstream” newspaper in the UK.

Another common tool of harassment involves FOI requests. Under many legislations around the world, email correspondence by an academic is subject to almost unconditional release. During the last 9 months, the first author has been subject to numerous requests for correspondence and other documents, including trivial pedantry such as the precise time and date stamps of blog posts.

A further line of attack involves complaints by members of the public to scientists’ host institutions with allegations of research misconduct. The format of those complaints ranges from brief enraged emails to the submission of detailed, elaborately-formatted multi-page dossiers.

Those attacks on scientists by personal abuse, vexatious use of FOI and the complaints process, and legal proceedings, have not only consumed valuable time, thereby delaying research, but have also taken an emotional toll. Those attacks have caused considerable trauma among some junior scientists known to us. However, the problem does not end there. Even more concerning is another line of attack that directly targets the integrity of the scientific process: We are concerned about the activities of individuals outside the scientific community and of little scientific standing, who systematically insert themselves into the peer-review and publication process to prevent the publication of findings they deem inconvenient. Those insertions typically involve emails to editors which have been described as “bullying” by some parties involved. Far from being isolated incidents, at last count we have identified 7 editors of several journals who have been subject to such bullying tactics across two disciplines; viz. climate science and psychology.

How should the scientific community respond to the events just reviewed? As in most cases of intimidation and bullying, we believe that daylight is the best disinfectant. This article is a first step in this effort towards transparency. Knowledge of the common techniques by which scientists are attacked, irrespective of their discipline and research area, is essential so that institutions can support their academics against attempts to thwart their academic freedom. This information is also essential to enable lawmakers to improve the balance between academic freedom and confidentiality of peer review on the one hand, and the public’s right to access information on the other. Finally, this knowledge is particularly important for journal editors and professional organizations to muster the required resilience against illegitimate insertions into the scientific process.

Oh my.  As Lucia would say, please put on your big boy pants.

Matt Briggs

Matt Briggs has written two biting essays that respond to this paper:

The Supraterranean War on Sanity:  Scientists Versus Civilians.  This post is summarized by a tweet:  There is a war brewing between (self appointed) Experts and Citizens. At least, I hope there is. Excerpts from the post:

If there’s one thing you can count on in a scientist, it’s that he never lets his failures hold him back. How could they? He never remembers them. No matter how many mistakes the scientist has made, no matter how over-certain he has in the past proved to be, he will sally forth boldly in his newest venture chock full of assuredness.

And, boy, will he be angry if you don’t fall in at his heels chirping, “You’re so smart. We ought to listen to you.” If you have the temerity to remind him of his previous sins, he will boast, “Science is self-correcting!”, never realizing that this argument is fallacious. Self-correcting science may be, but this is not evidence that the theory in front of us does not need correcting. Tell a modern scientist this and he begins to babble about “deniers”.

Lewandowsky in particular, like most who teeter on the leftmost fringe of thought, finds it unfathomable that anybody can differ from his opinion. He dismisses as ludicrous the idea his opponents hold reasonable arguments. No: it must be some deep-seated pathology, some psychological aberration that accounts for the deviant behavior he feels surrounds him, that is closing in on him, constricting his movements, tightening the noose…it’s a conspiracy of oil companies and nefarious corporations! 

The world views of the experts are being challenged, and the experts are aghast, unsure what to do about it. Lewandowsky, after all but labeling his opponents mentally ill dimwits, was horrified—he tells us this—I almost can’t bring myself to type it—that somebody called him a bad name. Oh, the humanity!

Mann is a pest, an intellectual lightweight who in his imagination sees himself sparring with the big boys, but who puts on his glasses and whimpers at the first sign of trouble. Somebody dared asked for proof of his statistical, government-funded ravings and the poor dear was reduced to a blubbering mess.

What Happens When Research Yields Unpopular Findings.  Excerpts:

Scientists do face enmity for their beliefs; they do endure acrimony; they do suffer ignominy—but the most vicious and wounding attacks come from fellow scientists, not civilians. Georg Cantor, anybody? Alfred Wegener? How many stories do we know of men whose work was vilified, whose livelihoods were trashed but who saw ultimate vindication (usually after death)?

Then there were the fellows whose views were wrong but who were not politely informed. They were attacked and eaten alive in academic feeding frenzies. B.F. Skinner, Emanuel Velkovski. I

Why are scientists’ attacks so cruel? Because they know better than anybody else how to best stick it to you. They know just who to whisper to behind your back. They know who’s in charge of funding and are pals with the dean and journal editors. A nastier group cannot be found outside a girl’s locker room after cheerleading practice. What harm can a civilian do besides hurting the feelings of overly sensitive coddled academics by calling them bad names?

Scientists are too used to deference. This attitude might have been the proper reflexive stance for civilians back when the number of scientists was small and the preponderance of their work sterling. But now when PhDs are minted faster than plastic Halloween decorations at a Chinese factory, and the quality of their research of the same durability as spiderwebs in a can, the appropriate response is, “Is this guy for real?”

Well, it seems to me that the most vicious attacks do come from fellow scientists. The Climategate emails provide ample examples.  In my own case, the most vicious attacks of me have come from Michael Mann.

Warren Pearce

Warren Pearce has a post The Subterranean War on Science? A comment.  The comment section is particularly interesting, with perspectives provided from Mann’s ‘tormentor’:  Steve McIntyre, and Lewandowsky’s ‘tormentors’:  Barry Woods and Jeff Condor.

From a comment by Steve McIntyre:

The Climategate dossier showed a clearcut example of bullying of the journal Climate Research by Mann and associates at University of East Anglia and elsewhere, in which various scientists considered an organized campaign to boycott the journal, which had published an article criticizing Mann. Lewandowsky and coauthors should surely begin with a condemnation of this conduct.

As to FOI requests, Mann and associates had no compunction about Greenpeace and USA Today issuing FOI requests against Soon and Wegman.

FOI requests for data should never have been necessary. To my knowledge, every FOI request for climate data has ultimately resulted in the data being made public. There is no public support for scientists withholding data if they also expect their articles to influence public policy. Efforts by climate scientists to oppose or delay deserve no support.

Nor has Mann had any compunction about academic misconduct complaints being filed against Wegman – complaints that were intended to silence his criticism of Mann’s statistics. Nor have Mann and associates had any reluctance to file complaints under UK press regulations, Mann himself filing a complaint against Booker, UEA against Delingpole.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

A comment by Paul Matthews:

It is delightfully ironic that the author of papers labelling other people as conspiracy theorists should write this paranoid piece claiming that there is a “subterranean war on science”.

Lewandowsky’s paper was criticised because it was junk. Briefly, in order to find evidence to support his preconceived notion that climate sceptics were conspiracy theorists, Lewandowsky concocted a survey with such a transparent agenda (a sequence of questions on absurd conspiracy theories followed by questions on climate change) that any results coming out of it would have been meaningless. Worse still, the survey was only posted at activist blogs (referred to by Lewandowsky as “pro-science”). One of the blogs named did not post the survey at all, a basic factual error in the paper that has been drawn to the attention of authors and editors, to no avail. A link to the survey could easily have been placed in a comment on sceptic blogs, but this was not done, showing that the authors were not seriously interested in getting sceptics to take the survey.
When the errors were pointed out, the authors wrote a second paper, labelling those individuals who had dared to point out the flaws as conspiracy theorists – a gross violation of the ethical principles of the field. When this was pointed out to the editors of that journal, they pulled the paper.

Similarly with Mann’s work – it was criticised by many of his own colleagues, as we know from the leaked emails. They described it as “sloppy”, “dodgy”, “suspect”, and worse. It was Mann, not his critics, who violated statistical conventions (the so-called decentered PCA), and it was Mann and his colleagues who engaged in bullying and intimidation of journal editors who dared to publish any dissenting papers.

JC comments

The Lewandowsky, Mann et al. paper provides substantial insights into the ‘victims of deniers’ group of scientists.

The first insight is that they appear not to understand the difference between challenging science as a process vs challenging the authority of a group of scientists in a political debate.  Once the debate becomes about challenging the authority of a group of scientists, the debate shifts to the boundary work of distinguishing those who are ‘qualified’ to comment versus those who are not.  These efforts have characterized skeptics from within the climate science community as small in number, extreme, and scientifically suspect. Or Michael Mann simply shouts ‘denier!’, which seems to be ‘evidence’ in a certain segment of the community.

Critics from outside the climate community are automatically dismissed with this statement from Lewandowsky et al.:

We are concerned about the activities of individuals outside the scientific community and of little scientific standing, who systematically insert themselves into the peer-review and publication process to prevent the publication of findings they deem inconvenient.

In the context of concerns of Mann and Lewandowsky, this presumably refers to Steve McIntyre, Jeff Condor and Barry Woods.  What is ‘scientific standing’?  Sounds like a frightening concept.  What happened to ‘scientific argument’?  Isn’t this what counts in the process of science?  This clearly speaks to their concerns as being rooted in the perceived affront to their ‘standing’ and ‘authority’ in the public debate on climate change; and not the process of science.

Well, Steve McIntyre et al. are concerned about the process of science and the accountability of science.  They demand access to the data.  They expect transparency in methods.  McIntyre’s expertise in statistical analysis far outstrips any paleoclimatologists that I know of, and he has become extremely knowledgeable about paleoclimate proxies.  He has brought much needed probity to the field of paleoclimatology, probity that seemed absent from within the field.  And we are supposed to object to all this because of McIntyre’s lack of ‘scientific standing’, whatever the heck that is?  The ‘in crowd’  of paleoclimatologists won’t stamp his membership card or something?

With regards to the Lewandowsky papers that were the subject of Condon’s and Wood’s concerns, it is difficult to call that twaddle ‘science.’  Lewandowsky’s defensive moves trying to cover up the deficiencies of his studies was pathetic.  And this is somehow ok because Lewandowsky has ‘standing’?  Now that he has published a paper with Mann, looks like his membership card has been stamped.

This is the stuff of high school cliques, and it has no place in science, and most particularly not in policy-relevant science.

The real war on science is from WITHIN:  scientists who are playing power politics with their expertise.  When the politics are questioned, or the link between their expertise and the politics is discussed, or the authority of science in a political debate is questioned, these scientists claim ‘war on science,’ victim status, and call the questioners ‘deniers.’  These so-called scientists are less concerned about the process of science than they are with their ‘standing’ in their self-appointed community and their authority in a public debate.  This is the real war on science, and it comes from self-appointed scientists with ‘standing’ who are attempting to cover up their own shoddy science and to elevate their own influence in a political debate.

Policy-relevant science needs to be transparent and publicly accountable, and it should be audited by a wide range of people from outside the community with ‘scientific standing’ on that particular topic.  Claiming that this constitutes a ‘subterranean war on science’ is a perversion of the political process  and worse, it inoculates flawed science from the scrutiny that it deserves.  Inoculating flawed science from the scrutiny it deserves by shouting ‘denier’ is the real war on science.

498 responses to “A subterranean war on science?

  1. Does a psychologist have ‘standing’ in the climate debate?

    • Walter Carlson

      Judith…I take it that you have never had US Senators demanding the background data of your research!! (You have published peer reviewed research-is that correct??) Since ALL the fossil fuel funded allegations have been thoroughly investigated and ALL have been found false, why doesn’t the denialosphere turn around and slink away in shame.

  2. Dr. Curry,
    Wow. Maybe there is hope to bring sanity to offset the AGW social madness.
    Hang tough. I can only imagine how the true believers are going to respond.
    Keep up the good work.

  3. “Scientists are too used to deference. This attitude might have been the proper reflexive stance for civilians back when the number of scientists was small and the preponderance of their work sterling. But now when PhDs are minted faster than plastic Halloween decorations at a Chinese factory, and the quality of their research of the same durability as spiderwebs in a can, the appropriate response is, “Is this guy for real?””

    No Climate Scientist left behind.

    • The truth is, scientists of previous generations earned that respect and deference. Probably the first celebrity scientist was Einstein. He was a weird-haired little guy with an accent who just about everybody would trust, even if they thought he might have a few screws loose. Feynman, Sagan, Hawkings, we’ve seen a parade of them in the 20th century, and while they’ve all been a bit eccentric, we’ve never had a reason to distrust any of them.

      It was only a matter of time before political operatives figured out how they can ride those coattails. Here we are.

      I remember a physics prof who was a little whack in the head with some rather bizarre conspiracy theories about how Nixon was 3 weeks from a military dictatorship. I always thought he was sincere and honest, but had some hardware rattling around loose inside the skull. Looking back, I can see that he was exactly the kind of guy who was ripe for the picking for some more nefarious characters.

      Looking back, it is all too obvious how easy it was to exploit the loose hardware. This was inevitable.

      • I was fairly lucky. I had one Indian physics professor than made me by Tipler’s Physics. Tipler did the Anthropic principle, the physics of the universe have to be consistent with the conscious life that observes it. Now that we unconscious scientists, I guess things have to change :)

      • Good that you bring up Einstein. He was known for his humility and self-sufficiency. Upon being employed by the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, he was asked what salary he required. He had to talk with his wife. He came back with the figure of $4k annually. (Right on the money for the middle class at that time.) They paid him $30k annually.

  4. I made 2 comments on the APS –article when it came out
    (neither comment appeared)

    In the APS article comments I reproduced the email I sent to Lew reporting an error in LOG12, and requesting data (as Erich Eich, Chief editor, suggested I do ) Was it so terrible for Lew et al to receive this?

    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/november-2013/the-subterranean-war-on-science.html

    missing comment below:

    Here is the email I sent to Professor Lewandowsky:

    From: barry.woods
    Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:32 PM

    Dear Stephan

    I wish to formally report to you (as lead author and contact) a substantial factual error in the methodology of one of your papers –

    “NASA faked the moon landings – Therefore [Climate ]science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, Gilles Gignac – Psychological Science [LOG12]

    I have also reported this factual error to the Chief Editor of Psychological Science.

    The factual error is:

    The LOG12 methodology states that the survey was posted at the SkepticalScience website, when in fact the survey was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.

    This has the following implications for LOG12, which will require corrections to the paper:

    1) The methodology of LOG12 states that the survey was posted on the website http://www.SkepticalScience.com (1 of 8 websites) This claim appears to be falsified.

    2) The methodology also states that the survey was potential visible to 390,000 visits from readers, including 78,000 sceptical visits at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website. This is a key claim of the paper that the survey was potential viewed by a large, broad audience, (with a 20%
    sceptical audience) representative of the wider general public. As the survey never appeared at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website this claim is falsified

    3) Additionally, the content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience.com is used to assert that there was a diverse representative audience across the other 7 blogs that linked to the survey. As the survey was never show at http://www.SkepticalScience.com the claim of diverse and wide readership for the whole survey, based on a content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience is now unsupported by the evidence in the supplementary material.

    New content analysis will be required for the other 7 blogs, including readership traffic volumes as well.

    Tom Curtis a Skeptical Science regular author and contributor (like yourself) appears to have established beyond doubt that the survey for LOG12 was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.

    Tom Curtis wrote to Steve McIntyre (who had made a similar analysis ) publically confirming this in April 2013, following the publication of LOG12 in the Psychological Science journal. To put the importance of Skeptical Science into context, the Skeptical Science website, is by far the most well known, with the highest traffic of the all blogs surveyed.

    If you recall, I requested evidence that the survey had been linked at Skeptical Science on July 31st 2012, and at the time you stated to me that you had had the url for it, but had lost it, and perhaps that John Cook had deleted it, (this would also be against UWA policies for data retention I believe)

    From: Stephan Lewandowsky
    Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:00 AM
    “Hi Barry, the survey was done about 2 years ago, and I don’t have the link to SkS: I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it. I suspect he removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.

    Regards Steve”

    John Cook has since rather ambiguously stated that he did post the survey (to Geoff Chambers), but can provide no evidence for the survey ever being posted at Skeptical science. Tom Curtis (also from SkepticalScience) has publically completely contradicted this, as does the evidence in the Wayback machine web archive for the Skeptical Science website. It appears John Cook merely tweeted it from his personal twitter account (at a time when he had a mere 1000 twitter followers) and these tweets did not appear at the Skeptical Science website.

    This is a substantial factual error in the methodology of the paper and not a simple matter of scientific debate or interpretation, the survey was either posted at Skeptical Science website or it was not. I suggest that the authors now confirm the fact that the survey was not linked at the SkepticalScience website this for themselves by checking with the owner John Cook.

    I then expect that the authors will then seek to quickly issue a correction to the methodology of paper. This will presumably require new content analysis for all the seven remaining blogs, as the Sceptical Science website content analysis cannot apply, due to the fact that the survey was not posted at the SkepticalScience website

    I do believe this situation originally arose due a simple innocent error in email miscommunication between yourself and John Cook in August 2010, where you believed that John Cook was going to post it on the Skeptical Science website.

    I do think it is in the best long-term interests of the journal and authors, (due to the fact that the paper has seen wide media attention), if they were seen to quickly make the relevant corrections to the paper, following formal reporting of this substantial factual error about the papers methodology to the authors and journal.

    Best Regards

    Barry Woods

    (Tom Curtis has publically stated that he contacted the authors and John Cook about this issue via email in September 2012 (see Tom Curtis writes, link below) but he did not state whether his emails had been acknowledged)

    I have also raised this error with Chief Editor of Psychological Science in more detail, but it simply comes down to whether the survey was posted at SkepticalScience website or not.

    ref:

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/03/tom-curtis-writes/

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/28/lewandowsky-doubles-down/#comment-408051

    http://climateaudit.org/2012/09/14/the-sks-link-to-the-lewandowsky-survey/

    http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13716/

    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/5/622.abstract#aff-2

    ——————–

    I had also copied him our private correspondence from a year ago as a reminder, but I have removed that from this comment.

  5. Isn’t it great that the lead author on “subterranean” breezily admits this personal interest:

    “…allegations of defamation have led to the re-examination of one of the first author’s papers to eliminate legal risks that is ongoing at the time of this writing…”

    Note the implication that this “risk” is unjustified by the “war” like nature implied, rather than the more obvious observation that this self interest should’ve made him recuse himself from taking part.

    I can only think that some names lower down in the authorship order may eventually regret being involved in this article if the adage about mixing ice-cream with contaminants apply here ;)

  6. It does no harm that someone with real standing on the world stage calls out these practitioners of flawed ‘science’. Well done Judith Curry.

  7. Stephan Lewandowsky, Michael Mann, et al. are engaged in a dangerous war against reality.

    They will lose, but a great deal of damage may be done to society before this situation corrects itself.

    With deep regrets,
    -Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    • Their modus operandi seems to follow the sporting metaphor of “get your retaliation in first”, and then claim victimization when the replies arrive.

  8. Disgusting, but hardly surprising. These people are showing all the symptoms of defensive, in-group thinking.

  9. This is fabulous post Judith. Depressing and not a little frightening, but ultimately hopeful that these perversions of science are being recognized and struggled against. It’s been inspiring to see the evolution of your thinking over the years. Always mindful of the courage it takes to buck the powers that be,,,

    Just as a side note, B.F. Skinner might have been wrong WRT to his reductive approach to behaviorism, but he was a brilliant guy who did important work. I think he was dismissed too easily above.

  10. Reblogged this on The View From Here and commented:
    Dr. Curry concludes:

    Policy-relevant science needs to be transparent and publicly accountable, and it should be audited by a wide range of people from outside the community with ‘scientific standing’ on that particular topic. Claiming that this constitutes a ‘subterranean war on science’ is a perversion of the political process and worse, it inoculates flawed science from the scrutiny that it deserves. Inoculating flawed science from the scrutiny it deserves by shouting ‘denier’ is the real war on science.

    Hear! Hear! … +100 … or whatever measure of appreciation and endorsement you might choose

  11. John Robertson

    I read the Mann,Lew paper as panic setting in.
    The projection from the team is well established, time and time again their claims of vile and pernicious behaviour, by their perceived foes, has turned on later inspection to be behaviour they are fully engaged in and committed to.
    The scientific method is a tool we invented as a defence system from the madness of crowds, crowds of academia are not immune from the disease of groupthink and self congratulation madness.
    Given the predominance of government agencies in this CAGW, I would suggest it is madness by committee, given the nature of bureaucrats to never acknowledge their ignorance,( do not ask when you do not know), bluff your way through the meeting.Anything before appearing ill-informed to their comrades.

    • Panic should be setting in. The wanna be Mr. Wizzards have botched things up enough that the real Mr. (Ms) Wizzards can’t avoid the fall out. Once they started with the , “They aren’t CLIMATE SCIENTISTS” ad homs they pi$$ed a few folks off :)

    • John, a pertinent bureaucrat story. For more than 30 years, the idea of a light metals (magnesium) plant had been floated in Queensland. It was never going to be commercially viable, so was never pursued. The Beattie ALP government decided it was going to have a plant built. The output was, planned the government, to be used by Teksid, the world-leading producer of metal automotive parts. As head of Treasury’s economic policy branch, I advised the government that there were 12-14 factors needed for a successful plant, Queensland was competitive in one, marginal in another, way behind in the remainder. Teksid’s analysis was very similar, they walked away. My team conducted financial and economic analyses which showed that the plant would bring massive losses if it proceeded (it eventually collapsed with losses of $A450 m, incurred by the state and Commonwealth governments and “mum-and-dad” investors who Beattie had persuaded to invest as commercial investors wouldn’t have a bar of it).

      Our analysis was never faulted (none of our analyses were ever faulted in 11 years). But the bureaucrats from three departments were charged not with getting a viable project, but in getting the project up, full-stop. At our final meeting, their nine reps could not challenge any aspect of our analyses. So they resorted to name-calling: “Mike, you are all just ivory tower economists!”

      I replied that I had worked in policy and admin at the UK’s CEGB, far bigger than the Queensland industry; Greg, my economic modeller, had worked for BHP Steel; Don, my financial analyst, had for eight years been a project analyst for CRA copper. That is, we all had relevant industry experience.

      I asked: “What are your backgrounds?” All were lifelong state public servants, with no other experience. The project proceeded, they got promoted, no minister or bueaucrat suffered any consequence when it collapsed.

      And some people say that my preference for small government is ideological!

    • Rats, my long reply disappeared, maybe later.

  12. Counting the seconds before Josh drops one of his smear bombs, accusing Judith of base hypocrisy and devil worship.

  13. Denizens should read the comments made at the end of the linked article ‘war on science”. They are highly unimpressed. The article is simplistic tripe. Surely not even the cultists here will defend it?

    Tonyb

  14. The complaints from ‘the team’ seem to be a classic display of psychological ‘projection’.

    Projection is a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.

    http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/defensemech_7.htm

    • The complaints from ‘the team’ seem to be a classic display of psychological ‘projection’. ”

      Yup. And we got climategate emails to prove it.

  15. OK, it may be time to eat a little crow. I have commented a number of times that I saw in some of Dr. Curry’s posts and comments a desire to find her way back to her former tribe.

    With this post, I think she has demonstrated a full scale break from the climate science “consensus”. I will not be surprised if this post is met with as much anger and derision from the Klimate Klan as her statement calling “hide the decline” (but not its author) dishonest.

    This is not an indictment of one graph in one paper – it is a wholesale frontal assault on the consensus, with Mann and Lewandowsky just serving as examples.

    The mainstream, real scientists like Schmidt cannot afford to leave Mann hanging. They have already invested too much in defending his sloppy work and dishonest behavior. In the modern political atmosphere, this post strikes me as a declaration of war, to which I expect there will be a “robust” response..

    From outright calling for the demise of the IPCC, to this pillorying of climate politics dressed up as science, I don’t think there is any doubt that Dr. Curry has chosen integrity of the scientific method over membership in the scientific establishment’s tribe (nice to see somebody else making that distinction by the way).

    Anybody got any salt?

    • “Anybody got any salt?”

      Not needed. Always respect those who can admit mistakes. In any case, Judith has never been an easy read. As an added confounding factor, it’s my judgment that her thinking has changed drastically …but gradually…over the last 4 or 5 years. I detected a clear change in tone around the time leading up to the last IPCC report.

      • Pokerguy

        It would be very interesting to know whether Judith’s journey would lead to her recanting any of her published papers pre 2010.

        Tonyb

      • The AR5 – the straw man that broke the camel’s back.

      • Or, “how to hide the decline with this one weird trick”.

      • I agree with this characterization. Back in 2010, Judith Curry thought of the Mann-McIntyre affair as involving “relatively minor errors” – this after several years of being exposed to Climate Audit. In 2013, she writes about “self-appointed scientists with ‘standing’ who are attempting to cover up their own shoddy science”. In keeping with past style, this statement could plausibly be not about Mann’s research. I understand that this transition might be a human reaction to perceiving oneself as the target of intense criticism rather than a renewed appreciation of McIntyre. Likewise, climate scientists could be portrayed as having endured something similar also.

      • I forgot a link above.

      • “It would be very interesting to know whether Judith’s journey would lead to her recanting any of her published papers pre 2010.”
        I would bet on “No.” While Judith Curry may not have realized the depth of unchanging attitudes before she set out on a mission of “building bridges”, my guess is that she is satisfied with developing a niche visibility with an audience that she can come to a stable agreement on emissions policy matters/anti-IPCC/uncertainty sentiments with.

      • Crow definitely needs salt. So does popcorn, and things are getting more and more interesting around here.

        I said myself that Dr. Curry would be under ever increasing pressure to get back on the reservation. Looks that that’s not going to happen, and I applaud her guts for taking this stand.

        Dr. Curry, you keep right on calling em like you see em.

    • GaryM,

      I thought Schmidt was a mathematician. You obviously define “scientist” differently.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • I have no problem referring to Schmidt as a scientist. A PhD in mathematics with 20 year career-long specialization in climate models, combined with his extensive knowledge in the disciplines that go into his modeling, strikes me as meeting the common dictionary definition of scientist.

        I am not one who equates scientist with priest, requiring a specific degree to qualify.

      • Laboring for a decade at a propaganda site fits the definition of an activist.

        Your definition of scientist fills the ‘necessary but not sufficient’ slot.
        ===============

      • kim,

        I hold to the dictionary as my source for defining words:

        scientist: noun: a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences (Oxford English)

        A scientist, in a broad sense, is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method.[1] The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science.[2] This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word. Scientists perform research toward a more comprehensive understanding of nature, including physical, mathematical and social realms. (Wikipedia)

        sci·en·tist noun \ˈsī-ən-tist\
        : a person who is trained in a science and whose job involves doing scientific research or solving scientific problems (Merriam-Webster)
        [note, it is trained in, not degreed in]

        The worship of degrees is a modern (and at times destructive) phenomenon. It s true the consensus revels in it normally. But I see no reason to adopt their parochialism.

        Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, and a good one. Never spent a day in law school or as an apprentice. But his own reading and a career in law made him quite adept at lawyering. His consideration of the legal aspects of his actions regarding slavery during the Civil War was quite adept.

      • Gary, my friend Peter Bocking once that with the touch of eurosocialism about Obama that he might be a Lincoln Continental.
        =====================

      • GaryM | November 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm | So I would then guess you think Steve Mc. is there for a scientist all though with no Phd. ;>)

      • lorne50,

        Maybe, maybe not. I am not terribly interested in titles in this context. McIntyre’s work is interesting, and important, no matter what you call him. I don’t think its value depends one iota on what he is called.

        His expertise in statistics combined with his interest in, and time studying, paleo climate are what lend value to his efforts. If he were completely self taught, and showed the same expertise, I would feel the same way.

        I leave it to the CAGWers to obsess about who is or isn’t qualified to speak. Schmidt and McIntyre both clearly are on the topics they cover.

      • Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (Tamil: ஸ்ரீனிவாஸ ராமானுஜன்; 22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. Living in India with no access to the larger mathematical community, which was centred in Europe at the time, Ramanujan developed his own mathematical research in isolation. As a result, he rediscovered known theorems in addition to producing new work. Ramanujan was said to be a natural genius by the English mathematician G. H. Hardy, in the same league as mathematicians such as Euler and Gauss.[1] He died at the age of 32.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_Ramanujan

      • GaryM,

        I tried to follow your example, but I couldn’t find a definition of a “real” scientist.

        I presume an “unreal” scientist would be one who studied an “unreal” phenomenon such as CO2 induced global warming. Have you got your reals mixed? I would classify Feynman as a “real” scientist, Schmidt et al. as “unreal”. I take your point about formal qualifications. It seems that PhD could jokingly be said to be an acronym for “Piled higher and Dumber” in some cases.

        My definition of a scientist is one who follows the scientific method. It seems sufficient for me. But hey, who cares? What are a few lacking facts amongst friends?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike Flynn,

        Scientists, however defined, are people (newsflash, I know). Some are honest, some are not. Some are competent, some are not. Some are brilliant, some are not. Some are hyper-political, some are not. Etc., etc., etc.

        The CAGWers specialize in finding a multitude of ways to avoid reading, listening to, or even acknowledging those with whom they disagree. I reject that as a matter of pure common sense.

        Claiming someone isn’t a scientist just isn’t that interesting, or relevant to me. Particularly when one defines “scientist” based on whether he agrees with the results of the person at issue.

        I have learned a lot about climate science from reading Schmidt’s writings, including particularly its weaknesses (although I doubt that part is.intentional).

        You can call him a partridge in a pear tree if you like. That doesn’t change anything. I know that many respectable skeptic scientists take his work and his other writings seriously.

        But don’t get me wrong. I am not defending Schmidt, nor does he need that, in his world. The reason I am responding in this thread is that I think it is a big mistake to play the progressive game of ignoring people because, like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts, they do not have a particular degree..

        Seriously, Mann has a PhD in geology and geophysics. Do you consider him more of a “scientist” than Schmidt?

        Oh, and I didn’t look for a definition of “real” scientist. I just posted three definitions of the simple term scientist.

      • GaryM,,

        You wrote : -

        “The mainstream, real scientists like Schmidt cannot afford to leave Mann hanging. They have already invested too much in defending his sloppy work and dishonest behavior. In the modern political atmosphere, this post strikes me as a declaration of war, to which I expect there will be a “robust” response..”

        I presumed you intended a distinction between “real” and non “real” scientists. I am not sure what you mean by “mainstream” scientists. I doubt you know either. I interpret your remarks to indicate that Schmidt is some sort of superior “scientist” to Mann or others.

        Pardon me if I drew the wrong inference.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • I sort of think one legitimate definition of scientist is one who uses the scientific method to advance our knowledge. I think Mac qualifies. Probably Schmidt as well.

        I think many other definitions are used to promote exclusivity of a domain. Defining country club membership eligibility.

    • Gary, in an e-mail to a colleague yesterday, I wrote that “I’ve forwarded your e-mail to Judith Curry, who is increasingly taking on the CAGW establishment. They have already damned her, I think she sees less need to speak softly to them.”

      • I think that Judith has removed her gloves and is getting prepared to really dish it out to the mainstream climate science and to Mann in particular.

        This does not imply that she has descended into advocacy because there are many aspects of human influence on climate and the environment which have not been properly assessed.

  16. A fabulous post, Judith. I cannot find a specific part of what you wrote as a reference, but I believe you have the wrong target for your complaint about the “war on science”.The real targets ought to be the learned societies, led by the Royal Society and the American Physical Society, who have put their stamp of approval on CAGW, without allowing their statements to have adequate scrutiny from both sides of the argument. You are fully aware how the AGU arrived at it’s conclusions. The Royal Society recently held a 2 day “love in” to discuss the AR5. Only tried and true warmists were invited to speak, and no true skeptics were invited. This sort of thing is the true “war on science”, since it is perpetrated by the most senior people who should be guarding the integrity if science; not abusing it..

    Until these august bodies change their approach to deciding whether CAGW is right or wrong, people like Lewandoswsky and Mann will continue to be able to publish their ideas with no problems.

    • I’ve mentioned I am an active and current CPA before. I was considering what is it I want my regulators, my board of accountancy to do when it becomes aware of a CPA who seems to be not upholding the standards of our profession? Though I would wish that CPA no ill will, probably not knowing them, it is in my best interest, more times than not that such a CPA lose their title if their acts have gone too far. I would expect my board to preserve and maintain what CPAs have built up over many years in terms of the public’s trust. Who trusts CPAs? The IRS, state tax authorities, bankers, businesses, individuals and local governments. At least that’s the hope.

      As a CPA, I might argue that I own a tiny part of that trust that the whole profession has. If certain individual CPAs damage that public trust, are they taking from me? Arguably yes. Also we might say that that can be infinitesimally small, the acts of any one CPA. We can also say the bigger the headline, the greater the damage.

      Jim Cripwell’s comment got me thinking some more about societies such as the RS. Should they be idle if some Scientists are damaging the trust in Science? It would be nice if many individual Scientists from all fields started working with their societies to ensure what their profession has, the trust that it has earned and arguably owns, becomes one of the highest ranked goals that are being pursued.

      • Ragnaar, you write “Jim Cripwell’s comment got me thinking some more about societies such as the RS. Should they be idle if some Scientists are damaging the trust in Science?”

        Thank you for the comment, but you have missed my point. It is not that organizations like the RS are being idle. It is that they are being active in doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing. By giving unstinted support for CAGW, while refusing to listen to competent scientists who criticise it, they are debasing science.

      • Jim Cripwell:

        I’d agree the RS is out there with its bias. I guess I walked around that to go at the, You’re making us look bad, approach.

        I think it might be question of rights, though that’s not necessarily the best word to use. A Scientist’s right to be trusted came from somewhere. From past Scientists mostly. This right has at least two parts, the group as a whole, and the individual. While a Scientist may trash their own reputation of trust, how does that effect the group? In my CPA tribe, something is done about it. If something is not done by groups like the RS, then what? What do you end up with?

        I’d say the CPAs value the public’s trust enough, that they will do something about it. They protect a group asset of public trust. In my case it’s voluntary, but if I want to be a CPA, I agree to let them tell me what to do. Which means if I am in, it’s the groups rules. Since I am not a Scientist, I’d only go so far as to say voluntary. With no requirement of membership. However, probably the next step is for governments to only fund member Scientists, so that could be a problem.

  17. You don’t need a weatherman / To know which way the wind blows.

    –Subterranean Homesick Blues

  18. That the IPCC has its roots and continued bearing solidly in political ground, provides some insight to human character.
    A picture of the Hockey Stick in the background of the presentation of the TAR. severely inflated an ego which has been become impervious to scientific logic and worse, impervious to the idea of service to human endeavor.
    What IMO are the three main qualities of science, tests of hypothesis by fact, reproducibility, and welcome openness to skepticism have all been subverted.

    As to human character a parallel can be seen in current American Politics via a change in Health Care Laws. There are certainly some valid parts of health care law which address some needs. However, there is a reluctance to accept the need to address those parts which should be changed.
    Too often, in the MSM bad news is good news and good news is no news.
    In the case of climate change, dire predictions make good news.

    The MSM has for a long time not been objective regarding the executive branch of government (all branches are lacking) just as it has not been objective about the sources of scientific predictions and therefore there has been little self evaluation or evaluation of work, no humbleness, rather an ego so inflated that it appears now there is growing shock and anger.
    There should be empathy toward people losing insurance and being put into a no win situation, instead there appears to be defensive reactions or a complete dismissal of the situation.

    If history is an indicator, one might predict that past shortcomings will now be looked at more closely in both situations that I have mentioned. Winning and losing should not be the consideration, serving should be.

    In her book ‘The Delinquent Teenager’ Donna Laframboise dissects the shortcomings of the IPCC. As Dr. Curry as pointed out, there are many in the IPCC process who are genuinely objective, (Steve McIntyre was)
    Their input is trumped by the need to maintain the status quo.

    I expect that most most people who have done much for all human endeavor have had the benefit of getting hit by humbling reality.

  19. Willis Eschenbach

    Well researched, well argued, well cited, and well written. Your close is outstanding:

    Policy-relevant science needs to be transparent and publicly accountable, and it should be audited by a wide range of people from outside the community with ‘scientific standing’ on that particular topic.

    Claiming that this constitutes a ‘subterranean war on science’ is a perversion of the political process and worse, it inoculates flawed science from the scrutiny that it deserves. Inoculating flawed science from the scrutiny it deserves by shouting ‘denier’ is the real war on science.

    My hat is off to you for tackling this critical issue head-on.

    w.

  20. Brilliant analysis, stunning eloquence. And not a small amount of courage. A landmark post.

  21. The “Observer” has risen to a new low. No value to the article. Time wasted by the authors who should be figuring out how we can adapt to our ever changing climate.

    In that vein, it would be really important to make sure that the data networks used to observe weather and climate are robust and funded or we may never be able to verify any model’s performance. Imagine that!

  22. Back in the day, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union used to stand up for the right of people like American Nazis to speak and organize parades and such, even though such groups were vile. The reason for such support wasn’t just that if you deny free speech to people with hateful ideas, you start down a slippery slope where free speech is denied for increasingly larger numbers of people. Another reason was that if you don’t try to sensor hateful or ridiculous or paranoid speech, and people hear what the idiots have to say, they will turn against such ideas. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant,” words to that effect.

    Let’s broadcast what Mann and Lewandowski have to say, side by side with reality checks. If more people know what Michael Mann says, they less they will think of him, and the less they will agree that discussions of climate science by skeptics are akin to a war on science. Maybe then people like Judith and Patrick Michaels and Steve McIntyre and Nic Lewis and others will begin to get the respect they deserve.

  23. > Steve McIntyre et al. are concerned about the process of science and the accountability of science.  

    Of some and only some.

    The list provided over the years by the Auditor is quite long.

    We ought not go a bridge too far here.

    • The list of reasons why the audit is restricted to some science, that is.

    • Sorry, could you explain this comment?

      • The last time you asked for clarification, miker, you went silent.

        But here you go anyway:

        The main topic here has been millennial multiproxy climate studies. I’ve diversified a little, but I want to keep the focus fairly narrow as there are plenty of other places to talk about things and I think that sticking to a niche is a good idea.

        http://climateaudit.org/blog-rules-and-road-map/

        And even then, CA covers a little part of this niche.

        Project all you want, but the niche of a niche ain’t science.

        ***

        And that’s notwithstanding the inconvient fact that “INTEGRITY ™ we’re only in it for Good Science (c)” is an appeal to motivation which can function as an ad hominem.

      • When willard salivates, bells clang.
        =================

      • “When Willard salivates, bells clang…”

        God that’s funny.

      • Whoa, this should be back on the GondaMAD thread. Yuk, yuk.
        ==================

      • “The last time you asked for clarification, miker, you went silent.” Don’t know what you mean, but if so that probably means I was clarified.

        In this case, though, I’m not clarified at all. I’m just not following your point. Climateaudit focuses on a certain set of issues, as he says? Don’t most scientists? I’m just not following.

      • > Climateaudit focuses on a certain set of issues, as he says?

        My first point was simply that “the process of science and the accountability of science” should be amended with “some science”. My last comment was to add that this “some” should be “a niche of a niche”. What is meant by “I’ve diversified a little” has been left undefined, but that this diversification should be restricted to the scientific process is doubtful, e.g.:

        http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/05/a-new-climate-costumed-vigilante/

        Reading the blog should reveal that CA has very specific targets, targets that are attacked with more than the angle of scientific accountability. This invalidates both the myth that CA is about the scientific process per se and the myth that CA is only about the scientific process. Even to claim that CA is “mainly” about the scientific accountability would be a stretch.

        Our beloved Bishop has a theory why CA came into existence. But I don’t have a copy with me right now.

      • Steven Mosher

        “When willard salivates, bells clang.”

        Slothrop and JAMF come to mind

    • “Of some and only some. ”

      True enough – but do not underestimate the “domino effect” this can have where the paper is “high impact” though. Or forget that other papers that have not yet undergone an “audit” may also contain errors (large or small) that should be corrected even where they “don’t matter”.

      • > do not underestimate “domino effect” this can have where the paper is “high impact” though.

        We can almost see the stadium wave of impact.

        INTEGRITY ™ – Seeking High Impact

        ***

        > Or forget that other papers that have not yet undergone an “audit” may also contain errors (large or small) [...]

        All papers are wrong. Some are useful.

  24. Steven Mosher

    “Why are scientists’ attacks so cruel? Because they know better than anybody else how to best stick it to you. ”

    long ago when I was in academia i rather enjoyed the bitter fighting. Man so really nasty dust ups over Derrida and DeMan.

    Then I went into business. Damn. there were no knock down drag out fights.

    there was feigning. there was signaling. but no fights.

    I watch some dogs one day. one growled. the other played passive.
    no fight.

    Looking at the dogs teeth and seeing the damage they could do I could understand why the digs didnt fight.. i mean really fight.

    And thinking of what was at stake in business, it was clear why real fights were rare. Folks had real shit to lose.

    I went back to my friend in academia and ask him.. why are fights so mean in academia. why so frequent? why so much much gossip.

    As a feminist she had an interesting response about how people without power act in groups. And what happens when people fight over dominance in areas where intangibles ( like reputation) are at risk.

    maybe later

  25. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry asserts [debatably] “The real war on science […] comes from self-appointed scientists with ‘standing’ who are attempting to cover up their own shoddy science and to elevate their own influence in a political debate.

    Please allow me to suggest an alternative perspective, Judith Curry:

    The “War on Science” that Matters  is the political movement that seeks to shut-down the strongest scientific programs.

    Denialism’s War-on-Science Tactics

    fire the strongest scientists from their jobs, and

    defame their scientific integrity and competence, and

    seek to cancel global-scale research programs (esp. satellites).

    By these three common-sense criteria, has there been in fact an long-standing ideology-driven denialist war on science?

    Yah, sure, you betcha.

    \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}

    • Hansen is a strong scientist just like you are a strong blogger.

      He is an activist, just like Mann, Lew, and you.

      I don’t think Dr. Curry’s comments are debatable at all; they are clearly true, as proven by the climategate emails, and by Mann’s and Lew’s conduct and rhetoric to this very day. Your comments, as usual, are misleading to the point of dishonesty. If anyone is a denier, you are FOMTrolling, because you deny every relevant aspect of this issue, including but not limited to:

      1. Where the real money is coming from, and who’s really getting it.
      2. Who the real activists are (Not Curry)
      3. Who gives away the weakness of their arguments by consistently making personal attacks and using belittling and derogatory names for those who oppose them.
      4. Who obstructs the progress of science by refusing to supply their original data and the code they use, and failing to archive the same.
      5. Who constantly attempts to rewrite the past temperatures (always to the downside) to create a false impression of modern warming.
      6. Who is constantly being proven wrong, over and over, (Hansen, Gore, etc.)

      You yourself deny all the above, yet call others deniers. You may have a good brain, FOMTrolling, but you are wasting it by supporting a losing position. People here try to help you, to educate you, to make you see reason, all to no avail. You are a prisoner of your ideology. If I were someone in your family, I would be ashamed of you. None are so blinded as those who refuse to see.

      Sorry to have to point the above out to you, but someone has to

      • You are just providing the little troll with validation, tom. They are impervious to shame. Any attention you give them is food.

      • tomsesabla, The estimable Don Monfort is 100% right, Fan’s world revolves around the worship of alarmist, activist, and former scientist James Hansen. For Fan to link to ThinkProgress and its despicable hatchet man, Joe Romm, as a tool to criticize our esteemed hostess and other scientists who choose the escape the groupthink and territorialism of the “climate establishment,” and citizen-scientists like McIntyre, Condon, etc. proves the close-mindedness and worthlessness of Fan’s posts.

  26. David L. Hagen

    An excellent critique Judith.
    Lewandowsky, Mann et al. do not appear to understand the basic foundations of the scientific method, let alone the wise stewardship of science for the public good. e.g.
    Einstein’s Razor:

    “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

    Albert Einstein:

    “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

    and
    Richard Feynmann:

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

    As shown by Galileo’s publications, it matters not how the evidence is publicized, contrary evidence invalidates unsupportable hypotheses.
    Under the scientific method, hypotheses are only as strong as the data and external critiques by which they are evaluated. By the visciousness with which they protect their models from being evaluated against evidence and external critique, the hypotheses of Lewandowsky, Mann et al. must be extremely weak.
    Furthermore, they appear to see everything through green glasses of Noble Cause Corruption. Rather than debate the cost effectiveness of adaptation versus mitigation in the light of the huge uncertainties involved, they impose their ill considered extremist mitigation policies on the public in the name of science. Facing up to a 100:1 economic disadvantage must be too daunting for such fragile personalities. Thus, they resort to the worst rhetorical logical fallacies, by which they seriously demean both themselves and the “climate science” community.

    • David L. Hagen

      See my further comments responding to Lewandowsky et al.

    • I do so like the opening line, “SCIENCE DENIAL KILLS”
      Rhetorical apocalptic advocacy at its best! Then there’s
      the defence of consensus positions as if these are
      sacrosanct no go zones and non refutable, fergit the
      history of scientific evolution and revolution.

      Then there’s ‘the conspiratorial element [of denialists]
      provides a breeding ground …” and “attacks on scientists”
      statements that fer sheer effrontery win the gold medal
      award at the Hubris Grand Fair.. Instead of listing M/L
      claims of ” the principal techniques of harassment ”
      employed against them, let’s list the principal techniques
      of violation of the scientific method demonstrating siege
      mentality by the tricky duo themselves,( and their hockey
      team ) …you know … cherry picking and concealing data,
      hiding their tricky methodology, cutting and pasting and
      “hiding the decline,” gate keeping ……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Beth,

        Oy! Apocalptic?

        Love it. Beat the Warmists at their own word mangling efforts! Only joking, Typos can be a curse.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • @ David Hagen

      “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your cause is, it doesn’t matter how much you spin the data. If it doesn’t agree with the real world, it’s wrong.”

      • David L. Hagen

        As Steve McIntyre observes:

        That Lewandowsky should make untrue statements will hardly occasion surprise among CA readers. However, drawing conclusions from a subpopulation of zero does take small population statistics to a new and shall-we-say unprecedented level.

        More false claims from Lewandowsky

  27. Excellent. Quite more than just reason.

  28. Chief Hydrologist

    As any science fiction afficianado can attest – science is a quest for an unbounded future.

    TOBY: There was some form of civilisation. They buried something. Now it’s reaching out, calling us in.
    DOCTOR: And you came.
    IDA: Well, how could we not?
    DOCTOR: So, when it comes right down to it, why did you come here? Why did you do that? Why? I’ll tell you why. Because it was there. Brilliant. Excuse me, er, Zach, wasn’t it?
    ZACH: That’s me.
    DOCTOR: Just stand there, because I’m going to hug you. Is that all right?
    ZACH: I suppose so.
    DOCTOR: Here we go. Come on, then.
    (The Doctor hugs Zach.)
    DOCTOR: Oh, human beings. You are amazing! Ha! Thank you.
    ZACH: Not at all.
    DOCTOR: But apart from that, you’re completely mad. You should pack your bags, get back in that ship and fly for your lives.

    Doctor Who – The Impossible Planet

    It is a misuse of science to reinforce a weltanschauung of limits.

    • As any science fiction afficianado can attest – science is a quest for an unbounded future.

      Views also held by Francois Alcasan, Dr. Filostrato, and Lord Feverstone.

      I wonder if Mark Studdock is approaching his final transition.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The National Institute of Coordinated Experiments (“N.I.C.E.”) is a scientific and social planning agency, furtively pursues its program of the exploitation of nature and the annihilation of humanity. The Institute is secretly inspired and directed by fallen eldila, whom they refer to as “Macrobes”, superior beings. Their takeover of Edgestow and its surrounding area shows the manner in which they use human pride and greed to get what they want. After the N.I.C.E. would achieve its ends, the earth would only belong to the “Macrobes”.’

        Scientific dystopia has it’s place in literature – 1984 – Brave New World – Fahrenheit 421 – Stand on Zanzibar – The Hunger Games is an addition to the large genre that is quite fun. The dystopia is a social construct mostly – when not imposed by aliens.

        It is assumed that the goal of the warminista is to send all sceptics – including sceptics of a planet bound future – to UNtopia Minnesota to be reeducated by webby.

  29. Judith Curry

    You comment:

    The Lewandowsky, Mann et al. paper provides substantial insights into the ‘victims of deniers’ group of scientists.

    Yes. It displays the unmitigated arrogance and audacity of this group to depict “science” (i.e. themselves) as the victim of concerted personal attacks by a nefarious anti-science conspiracy.

    Such utter rubbish.

    These guys really need to grow up.

    Max

    • PS I forgot to add:

      Thanks very much for posting this.

      It may get you some bruises and scars along the way but, unlike the little boys who are crying about being unfairly attacked, you are big enough to take the blows.

  30. What a fantastic post. This one is going in my already too extensive ‘climate file’ on my computer, but it’s going to take pride of place.

  31. Isn’t it ironic…Lew and Mann would have dismissed Callendar without thinking twice about it…

    • I’ve yet to see any evidence that Lewandowsky or Mann actually think (let alone twice!) before engaging their respective dismissive keyboards. But, I must concede, they do perform exceedingly well at their “specialty”: knee-jerk projections of their very own follies and foibles, which each will exercise almost reflexively, at the mere hint of <<gasp>> criticism.

      • Good point, Hillary. Because “knee-jerk” projections of one’s own follies and foibles, exercised reflexively at the mere hint of criticism surely reflects a failure to think.

        Which is why we know there are so many folks thinking here in the “skept-o-sphere,” eh? None of that to be seen here.

      • Oh. Geeze. Hilary. I got in so much trouble for that last time.

      • I was thoroughly enjoying this wonderful post when, out of the blue, it got infected at 7:32.

    • > Lew and Mann would have dismissed Callendar without thinking twice about it…

      They might also have gaveba hand to Cardinal Bellarmin by sending Galileo by organizing FOI expeditions and publicly commenting his emails.

  32. Try reading this article through the filter of one essential truism: the more politicized, opinionated and self-important scientists become the less reason there is to have science.

  33. Fyi– Freeman Dyson has been telling us: “Climatists are no Einsteins.” Or, did the idea of school teachers saving the world ever make some kind of sense to anyone? Did you know Caltech recently announced it has plans to capture an asteroid? Understand that the use of the scientific method has fallen into disfavor. Moreover, scientists no longer need feel obliged to share their data nor any of the assumptions they made that are implicit in their handling of such data: at least in the field of climatology, enabling scientists to come to the same answer, by replicating your work, is no longer a part of the definition of doing good work.

    • Where has Freeman Dyson said “Climatists are no Einsteins.”?

      Can’t see evidence for this direct quote anywhere and it doesn’t strike me as the sort of thing he would say.

      • The Star Ledger may have given wings to the implication–e.g.,

        “I think any good scientist ought to be a skeptic,” Dyson said.

        Dyson came to this country from his native England at age 23 and immediately made major breakthroughs in quantum theory. After that he worked on a nuclear-powered rocket (see video below). Then in the late 1970s, he got involved with early research on climate change at the Institute for Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

        That research, which involved scientists from many disciplines, was based on experimentation. The scientists studied such questions as how atmospheric carbon dioxide interacts with plant life and the role of clouds in warming.

        But that approach lost out to the computer-modeling approach favored by climate scientists. And that approach was flawed from the beginning, Dyson said.

        “I just think they don’t understand the climate,” he said of climatologists. “Their computer models are full of fudge factors.”

        A major fudge factor concerns the role of clouds. The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide on its own is limited. To get to the apocalyptic projections trumpeted by Al Gore and company, the models have to include assumptions that CO-2 will cause clouds to form in a way that produces more warming.

        “The models are extremely oversimplified,” he said. “They don’t represent the clouds in detail at all. They simply use a fudge factor to represent the clouds.”

        Dyson said his skepticism about those computer models was borne out by recent reports of a study by Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in Great Britain that showed global temperatures were flat between 2000 and 2010 — even though we humans poured record amounts of CO-2 into the atmosphere during that decade.

        That was vindication for a man who was termed “a civil heretic” in a New York Times Magazine article on his contrarian views. Dyson embraces that label, with its implication that what he opposes is a religious movement. So does his fellow Princeton physicist and fellow skeptic, William Happer.

        “There are people who just need a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said Happer. “Then they can feel virtuous and say other people are not virtuous.”

        To show how uncivil this crowd can get, Happer e-mailed me an article about an Australian professor who proposes — quite seriously — the death penalty for heretics such as Dyson. As did Galileo, they can get a reprieve if they recant.

        I hope that guy never gets to hear Dyson’s most heretical assertion: Atmospheric CO-2 may actually be improving the environment.

        “It’s certainly true that carbon dioxide is good for vegetation,” Dyson said. “About 15 percent of agricultural yields are due to CO-2 we put in the atmosphere. From that point of view, it’s a real plus to burn coal and oil.”

        In fact, there’s more solid evidence for the beneficial effects of CO-2 than the negative effects, he said. So why does the public hear only one side of this debate? Because the media do an awful job of reporting it.

        “They’re absolutely lousy,” he said of American journalists. “That’s true also in Europe. I don’t know why they’ve been brainwashed.” [And in Australia - Ed]

        I know why: They’re lazy. Instead of digging into the details, most journalists are content to repeat that mantra about “consensus” among climate scientists.

        The problem, said Dyson, is that the consensus is based on those computer models. Computers are great for analyzing what happened in the past, he said, but not so good at figuring out what will happen in the future. But a lot of scientists have built their careers on them. Hence the hatred for dissenters.

        “It was similar in the Soviet Union,” he said. “Who could doubt Marxist economics was the future? Everything else was in the dustbin.” (source)

         

  34. Thanks for a useful roundup, for quoting me, and for adding your own view.
    I still find it depressing that so few scientists are speaking out.

    • Paul Matthews

      You “find it depressing that so few scientists are speaking out”.

      The multi-billion dollar CAGW business still has a lot of momentum.

      The CAGW meme is still the “politically correct” story.

      But the CO2 control knob has stopped working.

      And the number of scientists speaking out is growing.

      Max

    • Paul, you write “I still find it depressing that so few scientists are speaking out.”

      I suggest it is not a question of numbers, but importance. There are lots of scientists who are speaking out. The scientists who really matter, however, still give unmitigated support to the hoax of CAGW.

    • “I still find it depressing that so few scientists are speaking out.” Paul, the pool of scientists is limited to those with tenure.

  35. I think saying L. et al is about “the difference between challenging science as a process vs challenging the authority of a group of scientists in a political debate” is over-intellectualizes what is going on. L. isn’t a scientist even by the already relatively low standards of social psychology (I’ve commented elsewhere on the basic methodological failings of some of his work – much more fundamental than some of the issues raised at Climate Audit and the like).

    L.’s body of work is polemic.

    It is developed and published for political objectives (and not necessarily across the left/right divide as some suggest). He uses things like sophistry (e.g. false analogies between AIDS etc and Climate Science), second-rate polling that even a political party would be embarrassed to use, and ex-cathedra statements that a modern Pope would find hard to come up with with a straight face.

    So it is a mistake to buy in and try and debate the content. In political terms that only helps give respectability.

    Call it for what it is.

  36. The gory details of the “Mann saga” are covered in great detail in Andrew Montford’s book, but the basic plot was quite simple:

    - Young freshman scientist sees chance to shine by eliminating a worrisome MWP
    - So he cheats a bit and creates the “smoking gun” evidence: the “hockey shtick”
    - IPCC lap it up, since it fits its story of unprecedented 20thC warming to a “T” – it gets centerfold prominence in its summary report
    - Two Canadian outsiders demonstrate that the analysis is fatally flawed
    - A panel of statistical experts confirms the finding of the two Canadians under oath before a US congressional committee
    - A panel from the NAS confirms under oath before the same committee that the findings of the panel are correct and the shtick is flawed
    - Subsequently leaked e-mails confirm that the freshman scientist used a “trick” to hide another discrepancy in his already refuted analysis
    - Freshman scientist cries “foul”, accusing critics of waging a war on “science”

    It’s a satirical comedy in four acts (the fourth has not yet been written):

    Act 1: Mick’s shtick is created and becomes an icon; Mick (and 2,500 other scientists) get a Nobel Peace Prize
    Act 2: The shtick is discredited and trashed; Mick’s trick is exposed
    Act 3: Mick fights back by framing himself as the victim of an anti-science conspiracy
    Act 4: ?????

    • You nailed it, manacker.

      It it hadn’t actually happened, though, no one would believe you. Truth keeps being stranger than fiction: if Monica hadn’t actually existed, the fictional satire would have been been great, but scarcely credible.

    • Act 4: Forced to surrender his faux claim to Nobel fame, Mick declares vindication and victory (again!) when his favoured political candidate is elected by a very narrow margin – a result for which the actual “assessment of cause” jury has not yet convened!

  37. It seems to me that identifying which scientist has authority is related to the question: who is listening? The scientists do not directly wield the power, the scientists try to influence the people who have power. So the answer to the question of who is listening? it is usually the people who surrounds the pillar of power.

    In the recent disastrous roll-out of Obamacare, it has become obvious that the flaws were well known years in advance and the executive decision to use in-house management for the web-site etc was by a President insulated from reality by cadres of political per functionaries.

    Change venues, EPA is merrily going about its regulatory business claiming CO2 is a toxin. Such managerial and conceptual basis is also insulated from reality, for the same reasons, insulating the President by cadres of political per functionaries.

    The Lewandowski & Mann Subterranean War story is yet another plea for attention, trying to capture the attention of those who surround the pillars of power, so that these scientists’ message gets in and obfuscates competing agendas/ideas.

    Leaders surround themselves with those who one can “trust”. Great leadership reserves a place where the trusted are by-passed and the con-travailing messages also get listened to.

    Solution to the current messenger assassinations ?: nature, the pause, a reality that challenges the dogma, a dogma which can resonate no longer with the crowd because….it no longer makes any sense. Higher CO2 not accompanied by lock-step escalation in temperatures means, the control knob is broken.

    • “The scientists do not directly wield the power”
      They review other scientists papers
      They review other scientists grant applications
      ‘leading’ scientists, drawn from grant review panels, act as government advisers.

  38. Leonard O'Reilly

    May I make a rather obvious observation?
    People should not confuse science and scientists.
    Science is a method and the body of knowledge created by that method.
    Scientists are, well, human, and as such, are not always equal to the science they wish to practise.
    This presents a problem because, for the layman, a scientist, by virtue of his/her advanced learning, acquires the imprimatur of science. The scientist, ipso facto, is authoritative in the popular imagination.
    But in science there is no authority. There is only the method, and it is the method that determines what is authoritative.

  39. Bah, how ludicrous, Judy. Don’t you read the papers? It’s in all of them, the President believes it, the learned societies endorse it! Good gracious, even the Weather Channel has it.

    C’mon, when are you going to wake up?
    ==============

  40. RiHo08

    +100

    Yes. The CO2 control knob is broken and people are noticing it.

    A travesty.

    So what to do to keep the pitch going anyway?

    Use the “look a squirrel” tactic by conjuring up a sinister anti-science conspiracy to detract public attention from the travesty.

    But are the top “policymakers” really insulated from the facts?

    Or are they actively encouraging that side of the argument that fits their own needs (higher tax revenues and government control of the energy market)?

    Max

    • Max, you write “Or are they actively encouraging that side of the argument that fits their own needs (higher tax revenues and government control of the energy market)?”

      Or maybe, just maybe, something different may be happening. George Osborne seems to be realising that the Climate Change Act is stifling the British economy. It may be farfetched, but sometime in the near future, he may WANT to believe CAGW is a hoax.

    • “Or are they actively encouraging that side of the argument that fits their own needs (higher tax revenues and government control of the energy market)?”

      Plus he shining light of glory in saving the planet

      Hubris is ever the inseparable handmaiden of power

  41. The Boston Globe carried this front-page centered headline:

    Climatechange skeptic gains an outsize voice
    Industryfunded Cambridge researcher adds to partisan divide
    By Christopher Rowland
    Globe Staff November 05, 2013

    Rowland used the top post on the front page and all six columns on p.6 to discredit Dr. Willie Soon and everyone who even listens to him. Apparently, according to Rowland, Soon has too much influence inside the Beltway. Frankly, I was annoyed that a BG editor would use his authority for this purpose.

    I rarely respond to MSM journalists that raise my ire; I decided to send
    Mr. Rowland this message:

    Mr. Christopher Rowland,
    Being a BG subscriber, I read your front-page post yesterday. I can only surmise why you used so much column space to discredit Dr. Soon and everyone who ever listened to him. You apparently accept the AGW meme that “the science is settled” and that anyone who doesn’t accept that meme is “uninformed, unenlightened, etc…”
    I assume that you are also aware of a card-carrying climate scientist, Prof. Judith Curry, who disagrees with the AGW meme that “the science is settled” and that some of the IPCC’s AR5 assertions are unfounded.

    Perhaps you should read her post on her blog today:

    A subterranean war on science?
    Posted on November 6, 2013 | 35 Comments
    by Judith Curry

    I also assume that you are at least aware of the Climategate saga that Prof. Curry mentions:

    From a comment by Steve McIntyre: The Climategate dossier showed a clearcut example of bullying of the journal Climate Research by Mann and associates at University of East Anglia and elsewhere, in which various scientists considered an organized campaign to boycott the journal, which had published an article criticizing Mann. Lewandowsky and coauthors should surely begin with a condemnation of this conduct.

    As to FOI requests, Mann and associates had no compunction about Greenpeace and USA Today issuing FOI requests against Soon and Wegman.

    If you aren’t familiar with the Climategate revelations of as regards some the elite climate scientists, I suggest that you have one of your staff examine the details.

    Regards

    Hank McCard

  42. Excellent post. And thanks for quoting Ben Pile, who may not be known to many US readers. His blog is well worth a visit.

    As for all the boo-hooing, it strikes me that these people have been surrounded by sycophants for so long that when a cold blast of real opposition hits them, they are completely at sea. What a bunch of wimps.

    I imagine that if they had to undergo the vilification that our admirable hostess has endured over the years, they would be weeping, quivering wrecks. I mean, in summary, this paper says “Waaah! A boy was mean to me in the playground!” Since when was that an acceptable rationale for a published paper?

    • > I imagine that if they had to undergo the vilification that our admirable hostess has endured over the years, they would be weeping, quivering wrecks.

      The most hyperbolic hyperbole would not warrant the assumption that Judy was more vilified than Mike.

      Using counterfactual thinking when mentioning Lew adds a nice touch.

    • Mikey was surrounded by supportive scientific institutions, a compliant and friendly media, politicians all over the world, the UN and the IPCC.

      So when a few people said that he was a (fill in the blank), it was of no consequence in his world. Until recently, it seems, when his rice-paper thin skin has felt a few slights..

      Dr Curry, OTOH, was vilified as an untrustworthy person by the heavy hitters in her own field, for years. Not only that, she recently told us that even the most egregious personal attacks on her are circulated every day to her work colleagues by her employer’s media monitoring service. I would bet my house that Michael Mann’s colleagues do not get daily reports on every attack on him by bloggers and website commenters.

      Contrast Mann (who cannot tolerate any criticism) and Lewandowsky (who pathologises it) with with steadfast and level headed behavour of Dr Curry, and draw your own conclusions. That includes not setting her views in stone. If the evidence changes, she is prepared to honestly reconsider.

      We don’t agree about everything, but I sure know who I’d choose to trust, and have in my camp.

      • > I would bet my house that Michael Mann’s colleagues do not get daily reports on every attack on him by bloggers and website commenters.

        Define colleague, then please tell us if you still have a mortgage.

      • willard gets picked last, again.
        ================

      • > Not only that, she recently told us that even the most egregious personal attacks on her are circulated every day to her work colleagues by her employer’s media monitoring service.

        Citation needed.

      • see the disinformation thread

      • Willard, it is not my job to do your homework. The post where Dr Curry mentioned this occurred in the last 2-3 months.

        For someone who spends so much time here, you seem not to have been paying much attention to things you would rather not notice.

      • Auditing without ears.
        ============

      • Pull on the big girl pants

      • Auditing without ears.

        No, auditing with “motivated” hearing.

      • You’ve got your reference, willard.

        And, you asked about the definition of “colleagues”, carefully avoiding the word “work” that I put in front of it.

        Anyone who has worked in a large organisation knows that when media reports about someone (however baseless or inaccurate) are circulated around as part of the information stream, it matters.

        In answer to your question, I own my home (my only major asset) outright. And I would be prepared to bet it at its current value (evens) against the proposition that Mann’s workplace colleagues get the same stream of commentary against him in their daily media digests as she does at her workplace.

      • > The post where Dr Curry mentioned this occurred in the last 2-3 months.

        Mentioned what exactly? Do we have a quote? Sloppy reference.

        ***

        > [I]t is not my job to do your homework.

        Your reference, your job. Sloppy confusion of responsibilities.

        ***

        > See the desinformation thread:

        Try: http://judithcurry.com/?s=desinformation and report. Sloppy search tool.

        ***

        > [Y]ou asked about the definition of “colleagues” carefully avoiding the word “work” that I put in front of it.

        In “work colleague”, the operative word is “colleague”, not “work”. The usual meaning of “work” should be enough. That’s not the case for “colleague”. In other words, the set of Mike’s work colleagues is underspecified.

        This “carefully avoiding” remark shows sloppy reading. Resisting in answering a question about an underspeficied term shows sloppy wordsmanship.

        ***

        Here is an op-ed to which Judy may refer:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/25/misinformation-disinformation-and-conflict/

        Was “her employer’s media monitoring service” an definite description for Twitter? Let’s see how it would look:

        Judy recently told us that even the most egregious personal attacks on her are circulated every day to her work colleagues [on Twitter].

        But then, how do tweets get “circulated everyday” specifically to Judy’s colleagues? Sorry, “work” colleagues. Sloppy whining.

        ***

        Everyone can read Mike’s tweets, just as everyone can read Judy’s tweets. Everyone can also read Judy’s op-eds, where she bashes Mike by name or by innuendo, every odd day since september 2010. Or perhaps I should say that Judy wrote:

        Commentary threads, on topical issues related to the climate science-policy interface and the philosophy, sociology, and politics of science and its institutions.

        http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/02/test/

        (Some test indeed.)

        Could we say that “Even the most egregious attacks on Mike are circulated every odd day to his work colleagues via Judy’s”? Just look at the next op-ed, where we learn that “the nexus between religion and global warming is an interesting one”!

        Sloppy innuendo.

        ***

        Yeah, I ommitted “personal” in “personal attacks”. That’s a trap. Anyone who recall my contribution to the “disinformation thread” should get why I let that door open.

        Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy Denizens.

      • You may have convinced yourself, willard, but I doubt if an impartial observer would be impressed.

        As for “colleagues”, there are work colleagues (i.e. those who share your workplace but not necessarily your precise occupation) and professional colleagues (i.e.those who share your profession but may work elsewhere). Sorry if that distinction is lost on you.

        In Dr Curry’s case, her work colleagues see derogatory material about her which is circulated by her employer in its media digest. Most of them, in a university with numerous specialities and faculties, have no objective way of assessing this material. It is therefore intrinsically damaging to her reputation, unless human nature is completely different at Georgia Tech than it is anywhere else.

        I trust that this clarifies the point for you.

      • > In Dr Curry’s case, her work colleagues see derogatory material about her which is circulated by her employer in its media digest.

        A quote and a citation would be nice. There’s nothing like this on the disinformation thread. Failure to substantiate daily reports on every attack on him by bloggers and website commenters shows sloppiness, a sloppiness which might be explained by this rhetorical bet:

        I would bet my house that Michael Mann’s colleagues do not get daily reports on every attack on him by bloggers and website commenters.

        Notice the lack of the word “work” in the above quote, which undermines the womansplanation:

        > [T]here are work colleagues (i.e. those who share your workplace but not necessarily your precise occupation) and professional colleagues [...]

        which is irrelevant anyway, as both the concept of “work colleague” and “professional colleague” share the concept of “colleague”.

        ***

        The point of all this is not really to win a house: I have no idea what would be the odds and how to settle that question anyway. The point is to see what johanna’s talking about and to know what’s so special about the fact that Judy’s work colleagues see derogatory material. Unless we see some evidence, we have no idea how this compares let’s say to the twittersphere, blogs such as Judy’s, or op-eds like the ones we can read in the Australian or the National Post. I bet lots of Mann’s work colleagues have access to the Internet, know about contrarian blogs, and read national newspapers.

        For now, all we have is johanna’s sloppy work.

    • I second that Johanna.
      B-t-s

  43. contemporary ”climatology” is made of two religions, not science

  44. So what is science?

    Interesting how Ben asks this question, and answers it, and attributes the supposed answers of others, and Judith and our much beloved “skeptics” applaud loudly.

    So let’s examine in more detail, shall we?:

    Putative fans of science often wax lyrical about the wonders it can reveal. But not so far behind this wide-eyed poetry is a desire to turn it from discovery into a petty-minded bureaucracy.

    Wax lyrical? Wide-eyed poetry? Desire to turn it “into a petty-minded bureaucracy?”

    Geez, seems a tad unskeptical to me. And perhaps more than just a tad unscientific. You know, it seems all squishy and emotional and completely unvalidated and purely opinion with no attempt at critical analysis of counter viewpoints. But perhaps that’s all of those sorts of problems. I’m sure that after the first sentence the stunningly subjectivity lessens. So let’s move on to the second sentence….

    Science identifies the mechanisms of our planet, but then is employed to enforce the optimum and most efficient ways of managing public affairs, in spite of people’s wants and needs, rather than overcoming what appear as boundaries and limits.

    What’s this? Science is “employed to enforce….in spite of people’s wants and needs…”? Oh. Right. All that Lysenkoism. All those “skeptics” that have been thrown in to gulags and executed. How could I have forgotten? Or. Wait. Maybe I hadn’t forgotten, and in reality that was all entirely unskeptical hyperbole. Emotional grandstanding, perhaps?

    But surely after the first two sentences it gets better, right? Understandable that two sentences might slip past the notice of Judith and our much beloved “skeptics” – no matter how keen their insight is. Not even they can be perfect. So I’m sure that by the third sentence the subje….oh. Wait. What’s this?

    Worse still, it seems that the scientists didn’t even realise that the notion of optimums, efficiencies, boundaries and limits are not scientific discoveries, but ideological prejudices they bought to their investigation.

    Hmmm. “It seems?” It seems that “the scientists”? It seems that the scientists “didn’t even realize?” So, it “seems” to Ben, surely a climate warrior, that something is true. So surely he engages his estimations with an effort to validate his feelings with carefully evaluated evidence. Surely, he qualifies who “the scientists” are, and he gives us hard evidence of what they “didn’t even realize?” Surely, Judith and our much beloved “skeptics” would accept no less. They would absolutely demand a rigor from Ben that they find so sorely lacking form amongst “the scientists” who “don’t even realize” what is so obvious and are “enforcing” management of public affairs in spite of people’s wants and needs.

    Well, maybe it was just the first three sentences that so completely fail to meet scientific scrutiny. Surely, by the forth sentence these minor problems will be corrected. So all we need to do is move past the first three sentences to the fourth (what a coincidence that the only three sentences that failed a test of due skeptical scrutiny should be in sequence and at the beginning, eh?).

    And certainly after that fourth sentence, we won’t find Judith engaging in macho posturing, we won’t find her selectively calling out the self-victimization so prevalent on both sides in the climate wars.

    Of course not.

    • Joshua,

      I confess to being a little curious. What is the main point of your comment?

      Is it some sort of sarcasm directed against people who don’t necessarily accept mathematicians and psychologists as scientists?

      As I’m unsure as to your motives, could you please let me know your definition of “scientist”. I may be misunderstanding your comment.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Hey Mike -

        Thanks for asking rather than assuming…

        Is it some sort of sarcasm directed against people who don’t necessarily accept mathematicians and psychologists as scientists?

        Nope. It is sarcasm at people who call themselves skeptics but fail to apply due skeptical diligence. I couldn’t care less about whether people “necessarily” accept mathematicians and psychologists as scientists. AFAIC, the determination of who are or aren’t “scientists” is quite secondary to examining who does or doesn’t employ a scientific approach to their analysis.

        As I’m unsure as to your motives, could you please let me know your definition of “scientist”. I may be misunderstanding your comment.

        I’m not sure what my motives are either.

        I’m not sure I have a definition of “scientist.” I am assuming your question was related to my excerpting “the scientists.” My point there was the pure subjectivity reflected in Ben’s use of the definite article. Using the definite article generally suggests that the subject was already clearly identified.

        it seems that the scientists didn’t even realise that the notion of optimums, efficiencies, boundaries and limits are not scientific discoveries, but ideological prejudices they bought to their investigation.

        Well, looking beyond the simple reality that “scientists” had not been mentioned previously, (“putative fans” were, and those supposedly “employ[ing]” science to “enforce” things against people’s wishes were – passively), but who are “the scientists” who don’t realize the differences between ideological biases and scientific boundaries? All scientists? Just some. Perhaps, coincidentally, only those that Ben’s disagrees with Rather magical, isn’t it, how only those that Ben disagrees with don’t recognize such obvious “notions?”

      • I once had a teacher who graded essay questions by the inch. Well, it was a big class.
        ==========

      • My brother achieved local fame by putting two coherent sentences at the beginning and the end of a long essay, and filling the middle with nonsense. He got an ‘A’.
        ====================

      • Reminds me of this test:

        1. Read all directions before beginning.
        2. Take out one sheet of lined paper.
        3. Place it on your desk so that the holes are on the left side and the margin is at the top.
        4. Skipping lines, number your paper 1-7
        5. On the first line, write your name.
        6. On the second line, write the name of the person sitting across from you
        .
        [...]

        26. Ignore directions one through twenty-five and enjoy watching everyone else do this activity wrong.

      • Joshua, “1. Read all directions before beginning.

        26. Ignore directions one through twenty-five and enjoy watching everyone else do this activity wrong.”

        My last instruction was to quietly turn in you exam, grab you books and have a great weekend.

        I think I was the first one out of the door :)

      • Joshua,

        I’m definitely not suggesting what you should or should not do or think, but if you don’t know what your motives are, and have no definition of a “scientist” to hand, is it logical to assume that you know what another persons motives are, or indeed what their definition of a “scientist” is?

        I’m just curious as to your reasons for not asking someone what their motives and definitions are, before being sarcastic based on possibly incorrect personal assumptions.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Although pretty funny, that test has pretty disturbing implications, IMO.

        It suggest that what should be rewarded in education is following directions.

        When was the last time you used an instruction manual to install an HVAC system? Probably around the same time I opened up a pound of bacon by following the printed instructions.

      • Mike -

        is it logical to assume that you know what another persons motives are, or indeed what their definition of a “scientist” is?

        (1) where did I assume motives?
        (2) Actually, my point is that “the scientists” was undefined. Where did I assume someone else’s definition?

        I’m just curious as to your reasons for not asking someone what their motives and definitions are, before being sarcastic based on possibly incorrect personal assumptions.

        (1) Why should I ask about people’s motives?
        (2) You’re saying that I shouldn’t ask that definition of terms be a key foundational component of arguments?
        (3) By “personal assumption” do you mean assumptions that I make about someone, personally? Where did I talk of “personal assumptions?” My comment was specifically focused on the Ben’s reasoning, and the lack of skeptical scrutinization of his reasoning.

      • Joshua, “When was the last time you used an instruction manual to install an HVAC system?”

        Actually, I didn’t install them I tested and adjusted them. For that I wrote the manuals for unique systems. My reports provided the baseline performance. Back then I had a secretary that could actually type :)

      • Back then I had a secretary that could actually type :)

        Probably doesn’t matter anyway. My guess is that most installers never cracked the manual anyway.

      • Joshua,

        I merely asked. Of course, what you do, and how you do it, are entirely your decisions. I just wasn’t sure what it was that you were trying to achieve. I am not trying to fight with you.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • I also disagree with these types of statements by Ben Pile that try to blame policies on science. Policies are informed by science, not dictated by it. If you don’t like the policies, blame the policymakers, not the scientists. The scientists only say things like a 700 ppm world is not such a pleasant place, and that is where the science stops. Pile’s argument packages the policies with the science, so that the scientists can be blamed for them and with that the science is tangled with the policy in the minds of his audience. This is a common tactic of muddying the boundary between science and policy, so that both can be dismissed in one go, and it is because it is such a weak position to argue against the science by itself.

      • You think the UK’s government’s response to vCJD and BSE were independent of the advise of scientists?

      • The science points out hazards, whether to general health or climate. Policymakers respond, and sometimes the solution is obvious and easy to implement.

      • I would agree with you JimD if it weren’t for people like Steven Schneider, Peter Gleick, Michael Mann, James Hansen and many of the Real Climate team who so blatantly put a political spin on their work.

        You’ve been living off this planet if you don’t think climate scientists haven’t been working with politicians and lobbying them for specific policy decisions.

      • I think scientists are allowed to be activists. It is their choice. The activists are not in the majority, and they are sometimes viewed as publicity seekers within their scientific community. It is not something that is generally seen as positive and few aspire to that, but it is their own choice.

      • If you don’t like the policies, blame the policymakers, not the scientists. The scientists only say things like a 700 ppm world is not such a pleasant place, and that is where the science stops. – Jim D

        The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death. When I testified against the proposed Kingsnorth power plant, … – Jim Hansen

      • I agree that everyone can make their own choices. But choices have consequences. Climate science generally suffers a decline in credibility when scientists publicly espouse political and policy positions. I much prefer Richard Betts to Phil Jones or Michael Mann and Betts has a chance to make a bigger difference, I think.

      • JJ, when Hansen says that, don’t you think he is being an activist rather than a scientist? Testifying against coal is a policy opinion, not a science one. It is hard for people to make that distinction because it is subtle. Some people draw a more direct line between science and various specific policies than others, but those lines should not be assumed to be part of the science.

      • The vast majority of scientists don’t publicly state a policy preference, but they also are confident in AGW as an academic matter and may be willing to testify on this aspect. If some want to be interviewed on specific policies, or run opinionated blogs, good for them.

      • David would agree with Jim if the Moon was made of Wensleydale.

        Alas it’s made of Stilton:

      • Jim D

        JJ, when Hansen says that, don’t you think he is being an activist rather than a scientist?

        Jim D, when you say that, I do think that you are being an argumentative twit rather than an honest conversant.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        I think you misunderstand the underlying issue. It is the selective use of data and analysis by climate scientists which is the biggest problem, combined with overstated certainty. “A 700 ppm world is not such a pleasant place” is only true if the sensitivity to GHG forcing is high. The current AR5 IPCC range covers everything from “who cares” sensitivity to “could be bad” sensitivity… and that range has broadened (toward lower values!), not narrowed, since AR4. The case for immediate action depends on the upper sensitivity range being credible, and that appears ever less likely in light of the last decade of temperature trends. Had the measured trends actually followed model projections, then projections for the next 100 years would be more credible. Had the IPCC shifted both the range of sensitivites and the projections of future warming significantly downward overall in light of new data, then the projections would be more credible. But those things didn’t happen, and the projections are NOT any longer scientifically credible. That is why you see so much criticism of climate science and see many claims of politics influencing ‘the science’.

        The answer for climate science is simple: admit that they got the sensitivity range wrong, and stop exaggerating the likelihood of extreme future warming. There is a case to be made (and one that should be made!) for sensible public energy policy, but that case requires credible projections of warming, not scare stories. Climate science remains stuck in the same ‘scare story’ mode they have been in for the last 2+ decades. The sooner they get over that, the better it will be for everyone.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        +100

      • Jim D

        You seem to believe that a 700 ppmv CO2 world would not be a pleasant place.

        Let’s do a quick sanity check on that.

        A 2011 study by Richard Tol concludes that the warming experienced to date has had a positive impact for humanity and that, on balance, warming of up to 2.2°C above today’s temperature would be beneficial for humans.

        http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

        Many individual components were estimated to be beneficial beyond 2.2°C. The largest negative component came from imputed higher energy costs, rather than from environmental impacts. IOW if unit energy costs are kept low this impact would be reduced and the net overall impact would be positive at temperatures higher than 2.2°C.

        A recent (2013) update by Tol, adding new data and methodologies, extends the earlier estimate slightly but points to the large uncertainty in the bases

        https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps-64-2013.pdf&site=24

        The impacts of climate change do not significantly deviate from zero until 2.5-3.5°C warming.

        On the other hand, the official position that 2.0°C is dangerous is not well supported. The second striking result is that none of the frequently used impact functions fit very well to the pattern of the primary estimates. This is doubly sobering. Not only is the empirical evidence thin, the models used are not consistent with the evidence.

        Using IPCC’s most recent mean 2xCO2 estimate of 3.0°C at equilibrium, we would experience theoretical greenhouse warming of 2.5°C at a CO2 level of 700 ppmv, or just within the net beneficial range.

        However, if we use the mean 2xCO2 ECS value of 1.8°C based on several recent independent observation-based studies, we arrive at 1.5°C warming at 700 ppmv CO2, well within the net beneficial range.

        Sounds like at 700 ppmv the winners will exceed the losers, Jim – so it’s not at all certain that it would be such an unpleasant world, after all.

        Max

      • The parameters of this analysis can be manipulated to get any result desired, see the snake Stern.

        Or, we could look at paleontology where warmer sustains more total life and more diversity of life.
        ==================

    • Joshua

      ‘Well, maybe it was just the first three sentences that so completely fail to meet scientific scrutiny”

      If you read an opinion piece as it it were science, then of course it will fail to meet scientific scrutiny. just as your opinion of his opinion fails to meet scientific scrutiny.

      Bad faith is no way to start your day. Please get on your knees and say the following

      Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
      Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
      Where there is injury, pardon;
      Where there is error, truth;
      Where there is doubt, faith;
      Where there is despair, hope;
      Where there is darkness, light;
      And where there is sadness, joy.
      O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
      To be consoled as to console;
      To be understood as to understand;
      To be loved as to love.
      For it is in giving that we receive;
      It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
      And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

      • If you read an opinion piece as it it were science,

        They were opinions that were based on reasoning that failed to meet skeptical scrutiny or scientific standards. They were opinions that were expressed as fact, and done so w/o careful definitions, validation, etc.

        What I just wrote are opinions. Not science. So subject what I wrote to skeptical scrutiny, as I did with Ben’s facile arguments.

        Selective approaches to skeptical scrutiny are selective, Steven.

      • Joshua

        “skeptical scrutiny or scientific standards”

        Notice how you changed your terms of reference and notice how you now conflate two different standards, rather than admitting any wrong doing.

        Bad faith is no way to start the day.

        You could say “I meant skeptical scrunity” not “Scientific standards” and be done with it, but you’d rather not be caught out in an error, however minor.

        Scientific standards would apply to science. his piece is not science, does not purport to be science and is only mis construed by you as science because you needed a jumping off point.

        This is simple. You were wrong to use the phrase scientific. Admit it and move on. Otherwise your comments were fine.

      • He states his conclusions with certainty – as if they were the product of something resembling a scientific process of weighing and validated evidence.

        They aren’t offered as hypotheses. The are stated as facts.

        I should have said “skeptical scrutiny and/or scientific standards.”

        Please forgive my error.

        Scientific standards would apply to science.

        Scientific standards apply to a process of reasoning, whereby evidence is evaluated and validated before conclusions are drawn. They are not mutually exclusive with the formation of opinions. They are certainly not mutually exclusive with skeptical scrutiny. They apply to the reasoning process by which we formulate conclusions. They are a basis for formulating conclusions. There are other bases for formulating conclusions also, such as faith or unexamined belief – as we see with Ben’s writing. Rather ironic give the thread upstairs.

        But continue on with making it about me, steven. You seem to get real enjoyment out of it, why should we ruin your fun?

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘But continue on with making it about me, steven. You seem to get real enjoyment out of it, why should we ruin your fun”

        it’s not about you. it’s about your mistake. That mistake spoils an otherwise good comment. I suggest a remedy.

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

        He states his conclusions with certainty – as if they were the product of something resembling a scientific process of weighing and validated evidence.

        I find no evidence that he intends them to be taken AS IF they were the output of a scientific process.

        the sky is blue.

        Do you take this as if i have performed an experiment or collected data?
        No. Again, Now you are admitting to reading INTO his work. And that reading INTO gave you a jumping off point. you misread for a purpose and the purpose wass not understanding.

        ‘Scientific standards apply to a process of reasoning, whereby evidence is evaluated and validated before conclusions are drawn.”

        wrong. scientific standards ( citing your evidence, following lab protocal, submitting your work for review) apply to science. The mistake you make is thinking that everything can be or should be subjected to science.
        You might be more skeptical of that. The arguments you attempt to make about mutually exclusivity are interesting.

        1. please show how you determined this by experiment
        2. show your data
        3. bring your code

        etc

        In short, your defense of what you wrote doesnt exhibit the very things you demand of Pile. you presented no evidence. You performed no experiment. you made no hypothesis. and you didnt test it.

        In your response to me make sure you do eveything that you demanded of Pile. Or practice more Bad faith.

        your choice.

      • I always love this:

        In short, your defense of what you wrote doesnt exhibit the very things you demand of Pile.

        Again with the drama-queening. I have “demanded” nothing.

        I have observed how Ben’s arguments are facile, un-skeptical, and not based on a scientific approach to validating evidence in support of an argument.

        As to whether I meet those same standards is absolutely, completely, irrelevant as to whether or not Ben does. And so, we come back to your habit (is it a need?) to make this about me.

        It’s not about me, Steven.

        It’s about whether Ben’s article is consistent with skepticism or consistent with “skepticism.”

        I say his article was dreck. I was pretty specific, to the point of being criticized for being too specific although I only considered his first four sentences.

        You could agree with me. You could disagree, and explain why you think I’m wrong. You could ignore my comment. And you could try to make this about me. Why do you choose the course you choose? Interesting, isn’t it?

      • See how your interest in making this about me leads you into bizarre trajectories of argument?:

        the sky is blue.

        Do you take this as if i have performed an experiment or collected data?

        You could make that statement of fact based on a careful evaluation of evidence, you could make it based on faith, or you could make on a purely anecdotal approach to evidence, with no attempt to control for their biases.

        Depending on the context, I might take this as if you have employed any of those processes.

        But your example is not very instructive. Let’s pick something more similar, a more appropriate example:

        Suppose someone says: “libertarians are nutjobs!”

        I can take that as if they have studied evidence about the sanity of libertarians, I could take it as if they are just repeating what they’ve heard, or I could take it that they are drawing their conclusion based on an anecdotal approach to evidence, with no attempt to control for their biases.

        My opinion is that in expressing such an opinion, more than likely the person speaking would not have utilized a scientific approach and studied the evidence because I can think of obvious counterexamples. I can see how that individual hasn’t bothered to use a qualified definition of what s/he meant by the term “libertarian,” or even that person means by “nutjob.”

        That latter example is similar to Ben’s article.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua you certainly write as if it were a demand.

        “I have observed how Ben’s arguments are facile, un-skeptical, and not based on a scientific approach to validating evidence in support of an argument.”
        ########################
        you made no such observation. You didnt present it as an observation,
        .You even read charges of Lysenkoism into what he wrote. iHorrible bad faith reading on your part.

        ########################
        As to whether I meet those same standards is absolutely, completely, irrelevant as to whether or not Ben does. And so, we come back to your habit (is it a need?) to make this about me.

        1. You assert that it is irrelevant.
        2. you need to show that it is irrelevant

        One aspect of showing good faith is holding others to same account that we hold ourselves to. This is not about the validity of arguments, this is about good faith versus bad faith. Now, that you exhibit bad faith is not about you. it is about your behavior. Arguing without evidence or scientific support that I am making it about you, when I have made clear that it is about your behavior, is another example of bad faith. When I choose to make it about you, you will know. because I will say so directly and have in the past. So stop pretending that I mean one thing when I have clearly stated otherwise. use your skeptical powers with regard to your own position.

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

        It’s about whether Ben’s article is consistent with skepticism or consistent with “skepticism.”

        Neither Bens article, nor your comments, nor my comments can probably ever be consistent with skepticism. That is because skepticism cannot be lived. Pointing out that he falls short of the glory of science is no great insight Joshua. Further, you really havent shown that he falls short, you’ve merely asserted it. You might be more skeptical about your ability to see others lack of skepticism. or not.

        #########################
        I say his article was dreck. I was pretty specific, to the point of being criticized for being too specific although I only considered his first four sentences.

        The problem is you pick the weakest way of supporting your case
        and you use sarcasm to do so.

        ###############
        You could agree with me. You could disagree, and explain why you think I’m wrong. You could ignore my comment. And you could try to make this about me. Why do you choose the course you choose? Interesting, isn’t it?

        look at all false choices. Funny how you always leave one out

        you always leave this one out:
        “you could make this about my ineffective rhetoric?”

        Now, why do you leave that choice out, when you know that is my point. why leave that choice out when Ive explicitly made that point to you over and over again? why leave that out when others have told you the same thing?
        That is not interesting. Obvious things seldom are.

      • Steven -

        I have to do something productive – but it really doesn’t matter because you’re just flailing at this point:

        For example, I say this:

        You could disagree, and explain why you think I’m wrong.

        And you say this:

        you always leave this one out:
        “you could make this about my ineffective rhetoric?”

        Yeah. I left that one out by making it the first one I listed.

        Too funny.

  45. Lewandowsky and Mann do not have anything of substance to say. They never had and never will and I certainly will not be reading anything that they publish.

    They have made a travesty of academic research and represent shining examples of poor personal ethics and as practitioners of poor science. Hence any further comment on my part would serve to give these charlatons far more air time than they warrant.

    • Come on, Peter. I can understand your feelings, but saying that Mike & Lew have anything of substance to say in one sentence and that you won’t be reading anything they publish in the next is asking for trouble.

      • That’s ‘trouble’ with a lower case ‘t’.
        ==========

      • Sloppiness with little things
        can indicate sloppiness
        in big things, a private investigator
        once said to an auditor.

      • You’re quite right Willard. I was a bit cranky that day and vented some steam but I should have done this in private and not inflict it upon CE’s readers, many of whom I hold in high esteem.

        To clarify, I have read what they have written in the past and find their individual work to be less than impressive, but now they have joined forces, I rather not go to the trouble of reading any more.

      • Trouble, oh we got trouble,
        Right here in River City!
        With a capital “T”
        That rhymes with “C”
        And that stands for Carbon,
        That stands for carbon.
        We’ve surely got trouble!
        Right here in River City,
        Right here!
        Gotta figger out a way
        To keep the young ones’ carbon footprints low!
        Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…

        Mothers of River City!
        Heed the warning before it’s too late!
        Watch for the tell-tale sign of fossil fuel!
        The moment your son leaves the house,
        Does he climb into his Prius with bended knees?
        Is there a gasoline stain on his index finger?
        A motor bike hidden in the corn crib?
        Is he starting to memorize routes to drive his cycle to school?
        Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
        Words like ‘wealth?”
        And ‘prosperity?”
        Well, if so my friends,
        Ya got trouble,
        Right here in River city!
        With a capital “T”
        And that rhymes with “C”
        And that stands for Carbon.

        (With apologies to the Music Man)

      • It’s OK, Peter. You were just mad. H/T Tony.

        Again, I understand your feeling. In fact, this is this feeling that shows how Mike himself become a proxy.

        ***

        Since GaryM sings, let’s see if I can find a Rand Paul video where he sings. (Searching…) Fortune favours the lucky:

        http://www.prosebeforehos.com/video-of-the-day/08/16/politics-musical/

        Hmmm. Does not work here. I’ll see with other comps later.

    • I’ll bet you’ll read Mann’s mails from climategate III

  46. Hmmm …

    Mann and Lewandowsky? You could say, like
    Anthony and Cleopatra, Samson and Delilah,
    like Macbeth and his equally ambitious lady,
    Machievelli and the holy Roman Empire, or
    Marxist – Leninist thought, Mann and Lewandowsky
    go together like birds of a feather.

  47. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Breaking News in the War on Science
    !!! SCIENTISTS FIGHT BACK !!!
    on the Fukushima Denialism Front

    Mike Flynn claims “The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 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.”

    Astoundingly, this it turns out that the above anti-scientific nonsense has been quoted uncritically on hundreds of denialist websites … many of which *also* promulgate climate-change denialism.

    Good News  Responsible scientists fought back, and it appears that UNSCEAR has retracted its original draft (copies of the UNSCEAR draft can still be downloaded, albeit from ever-fewer sites) … and in any case broadly distributed faux-quote never appeared even in the now-refuted first draft.

    Conclusion  The War on Science has many fronts, and it’s good to see that scientists are pushing-back — and winning! — against egregiously anti-scientific ideology-driven denialism.

    After all, what is CAGW … but Fukushima drawn-out?

    The world wonders!

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

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      More Breaking News in the War on Science
      !!! GOOD SCIENCE PUSHES BACK BAD SCIENCE !!!

      Doctors Say UN Science Report
      Systematically Underestimates Health Impact
      of Fukushima Catastrophe

      Regarding UNSCEAR’s current report to the UN General Assembly, we find the following 10 issues to be most critical:

      •  It was mainly the direction of the wind that prevented a larger catastrophe in Japan
      •  The nuclear catastrophe is ongoing and continues to be a source of radioactive emissions
      •  Estimates of radiation emissions and exposure should be based on neutral sources
      •  The endorsement of Fukushima produce increases the risk of radioactive exposure
      •  Whole Body Counters underestimate the extent of radioactive exposure
      •  TEPCO’s employee dose assessments cannot be relied upon
      •  The special vulnerability of the fetus has to be taken into account in regards to radiation
      •  Thyroid malignancies and other cancers have to be monitored for several decades
      •  Monitoring should also occur for non-cancer diseases and genetic radiation effects
      •  Comparisons between nuclear fallout and background radiation are misleading

      As of August 20, 2013, 18 children in Fukushima were confirmed to have thyroid cancer, and 25 more have suspect biopsies, indicating possible malignancies. Although it is not possible to determine whether or not these cancers are radiation-induced, Japanese cancer statistics suggest an incidence of less than 1 case of thyroid cancer in this population per year. Moreover, the number of cases is likely to increase, as about 2/5 of the 369,813 Fukushima children have yet to receive their first thyroid ultrasound examination and about half of the children with suspect results are still awaiting their follow-up exams.

      The government failed to protect children by refusing to distribute stable iodine and by raising the permissible annual exposure limits to 20 mSv, thus effectively forcing many children to live in radioactively contaminated areas. School officials are ignoring radiation hot spots just a few feet outside of school premises and are reintroducing Fukushima rice to school lunches. As the government urges people to return to their homes in the evacuated zones, the decontamination efforts have failed to deliver the expected results.

      Conclusion  The pushback of Good Science against the ideology-driven denialism of Bad Science — a pushback that is ongoing year-by-year near Fukushima — is destined to be ongoing decade-by-decade in regard to climate change. All Climate Etc readers can learn from this pushback … and be inspired by it!

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      • AFOMD,

        It may have escaped your notice that, in general, neither human rights experts nor lawyers comprise a fountain of scientific wisdom relative to nuclear radiation.

        International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War has a subsidiary called the Medical Alliance to Stop Global Warming. As global warming doesn’t exist, I have reservations about their level of scientific expertise in other areas.

        For example their first apparent criticism of the report states : -

        “• It was mainly the direction of the wind that prevented a larger catastrophe in Japan.” And so on.

        If this is your definition of “Good Science”, then you have my sympathy.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Fan a clarification
        Doctors Say UN Science Report [only one doctor, not doctors]
        Systematically Underestimates Health Impact of Fukushima Catastrophe

        Regarding UNSCEAR’s current report to the UN General Assembly, we find the following 10 issues to be most critical:

        • It was mainly the direction of the wind that prevented a larger catastrophe in Japan [suggest using Fans in further catastrophes]
        • The nuclear catastrophe is ongoing and continues to be a source of radioactive emissions [There is no more and no less radioactivity than was going on in the enriched uranium for the last 30 million years, as it dilutes the level falls rapidly below that of the ores it was mined from]
        • Estimates of radiation emissions and exposure should be based on neutral sources [surely on scientific measurements]
        • The endorsement of Fukushima produce increases the risk of radioactive exposure [so does eating banana's and brazil nuts]
        • Whole Body Counters underestimate the extent of radioactive exposure [or overestimate it]
        • TEPCO’s employee dose assessments cannot be relied upon
        [bit like climate models really]
        • The special vulnerability of the fetus has to be taken into account in regards to radiation [Hundreds were brought in to help clean up the radioactive areas no doubt, specially trained by the Japanese Government]
        • Thyroid malignancies and other cancers have to be monitored for [after] several decades
        • Monitoring should also occur for non-cancer diseases and genetic radiation effects [otherwise no compensation?]
        • Comparisons between nuclear fallout and background radiation are misleading [very true]

        As of August 20, 2013, 18 children in Fukushima were confirmed to have thyroid cancer, and 25 more have suspect biopsies, indicating possible malignancies. Although it is not possible to determine whether or not these cancers are radiation-induced, Japanese cancer statistics suggest an incidence of less than 1 case of thyroid cancer in this population per year. Moreover, the number of cases is likely to increase, as about 2/5 of the 369,813 Fukushima children have yet to receive their first thyroid ultrasound examination [99,999/100,000 other Japanese children are still waiting for their first USS thyroid and will never have one, The incidence of thyroid and other cancers takes many years to develop and the time span is far to short for any of these children to have magically developed thyroid cancer from their limited exposure to very low levels of radiation - come back in 30 years ] and about half of the children with suspect results are still awaiting their follow-up exams.

    • Onose! Teh fighting scientists!

      That’s no fair. How can you fight with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew when he’s made out of nerf foam?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      angech asserts [wrongly] “The incidence of thyroid and other cancers takes many years to develop and the time span is far to short for any of these [Fukushima] children to have magically developed thyroid cancer.”

      Bad-science denialism by angech, good-science pushback by FOMD

      Conclusion  Denialist faux-quotes from UNSCEAR’s never-released draft report are utter scientific nonsense.

      It is a pleasure to help pushback anti-science denialism by remediating the willful ignorance that is denialism’s foundation!

      \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}

      • Let me guess. You’re also an Arafat truther, right? Arafat was poisoned by Spiro Agnew.

      • Arrgh. better bad science than no science at all Fan.

        Your selective quotes contain no more true material than the original quote I demolished.
        Under the time span is far to short for any of these [Fukushima] children to have magically developed thyroid cancer.”

        The article quoted says “It is well recognized that the use of external irradiation of the head and neck to treat patients with various non-thyroid disorders increases their risk of developing papillary thyroid carcinoma [MANY] years after radiation exposure”
        [Many is my correct medical inclusion for how long it takes to develop thyroid cancer after radiation exposure, ask any oncologist]

        The article has nothing to do with rates of thyroid cancer other than scary asides and is actually about rises in thyroid antibodies in children who had needles stuck into them repeatedly for spurious scientific research with dubious correlations. These were healthy children who were subjected to experimentation but its OK to hurt them because they were overseas ,right?

        Summary verbatim
        “The results demonstrated an increased prevalence of circulating thyroid antibodies not associated with significant thyroid dysfunction. This finding is consistent with the short period of follow-up”
        No cancer, nil,zip, nada, none.
        but you knew that and still posted the scary misleading rubbish.

        These were normal children, probably living in Pisa where the research was done , who were nowhere near Chernobyl. and who had exposure to 1 BED of radiation from Chernobyl, if that.
        A banana equivalent dose (abbreviated BED) is a nonstandard unit of radiation exposure, defined as the additional dose a person will absorb from eating one banana.

  48. AFOMD,

    You may wish to correct the UN, and point out their errors, if any. I am sure they will appreciate any new facts.

    The contact details are : -

    Jaya Mohan
    Communications, UNSCEAR
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4122
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4122
    Email: jaya.mohan@unscear.org

    As I said, the report is in draft form, and of course may contain revisions in its final form. However, the latest information on the UN’s website commences as follows : -

    “VIENNA, 31 May (UN Information Service) – “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,” concluded the 60 th session of the Vienna-based United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).”

    You may read the rest of the text at your leisure. It’s reasonably lengthy. I realise that there are some groups and individuals (as usual) who are critical of the scientific findings. However, a human rights activist, a concerned physician and a lawyer complaining that the Fukushima event could have had far more adverse effects if the wind had been blowing in another direction, cannot create deaths which have not occurred.

    The future is unknowable, of course, but no amount of criticism can either augment or decrease any future death toll, or lack thereof.

    I am unaware of your expertise in the field of the effects of atomic radiation. For all I know, you may possess more knowledge than I. I would, of course, appreciate any assistance you can give me, based on your personal experience in the field.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  49. I just love it when bullies whine.

    • More from the National Review:

      The presumption of radical Islam, wrote Bernard Lewis (the world’s leading scholar of the Middle East before that field of study became extensively politicized and compromised), is that “the duty of jihad will continue, interrupted only by truces, until all the world either adopts the Muslim faith or submits to Muslim rule.” 

      Western politicians have been reluctant to acknowledge this reality and act on it by developing a strategy aimed at defeating revolutionary Islam in both its Sunni and its Shiite variants. The best President Bush could do was to declare a global War on Terrorism — as if we objected only to the jihadis’ weapon of choice. President Obama insists we’re fighting “violent extremism,” a term so nebulous as to be meaningless.

      Senator Paul has yet to improve on these flawed conceptual frameworks. “The ultimate answer must come from Islam itself,” he told his audience. “They will never accept us through force of arms. Somehow, though, they must come to understand that they must police themselves, that they must root out and destroy the sadists and killers who distort and contort religion to justify killing civilians and children.”

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/363311/jihad-according-rand-paul-clifford-d-may/page/0/1

  50. Judith, if you were a “scientist of standing” this essay would be on the pages of the New York Times, the Guardian and discussed on CBC, the BBC and all the other supporters of political science throughout the MSM. Unfortunately to be a scientist of standing you have to take the “right” side in the political debate, so we are the only people who will have the pleasure of reading and discussing your essay.

  51. Peter QWebster

    Great comment, Judith. Sets a new bar for all of us to live up to (even Joshua). Proud of you

    PJ

  52. Peter QWebster

    Peter Qwebster?
    Interesting extension. But thats OK

  53. When I read the piece yesterday, I found it very depressing that Elizabeth Loftus signed on to it. She is actually a psychologist whose work has changed substantial things for the better. I am not surprised to learn that her research has been attacked; there are surely lots of prosecutors and district attorneys (with deep government pocket resources) who must hate her work. Too bad she signed onto this.

  54. “Science denial kills.”

    Yes there is some truth in that statement, especially if you are in the armed services. Having one of my inventions to protect every ship in the Navy..But I doubt that Lewdowsky and Mann intended that sense.

    It is of course an easy travesty of the truth to toss such a statement around. Few people deny science anyway, maybe a few creationists, but few will deny the benefits that science gives to the world.

    So in the widest sense it is a silly and meaningless statement by the authors to perpetuate the label they have fixed on those who disagree with their version of science.

  55. 1. Since the late 70′s, the theory of AGW caused by excess atmospheric CO2 has been estimated to have a mean ECS of 3C.
    2. This number hasn’t changed much at all in the intervening years.
    3. Never has a scientific principle with this consistent level of acceptance ever been overturned.
    4. If you doubt #3, name a principle with as much significance that has been overturned.
    5. A research team that could overturn the AGW theory would be heralded.
    6. All the current alternative theories or counter-theories to GHG-based AGW are easily debunked.
    7. All the current observational evidence points to a value for ECS of 3C.
    8. No one knows whether the ECS value could reach a value over 4C because the positive feedbacks that would cause this have yet to kick in.
    9. The lower bound of ECS of 1.5C corresponds to that of SST rise and assuming the ocean is an infinite sink of heat.

    Entertaining to watch everyone having a pill over a scientific idea that appears solid.

    • Yes, and we are headed towards or even past a 700 ppm world in the next century. Is it safe? The most certain answer is no. Others have said not sure (I don’t think they are being honest with themselves), and no one has said yes it is safe that I have heard, at least. Think of it: 700 ppm, a value not seen since prior to Antarctic glaciation in an iceless hothouse. Is it safe? What do we do?

      • JimD, That is really all that matters.

        10. What we have done is suddenly expose a prehistoric cache of latent carbon dioxide that was buried for ages and expect the planet to take care of it.

        How many more of these layers can we expose? This is just the kind of question that Carl Sagan would ponder, and those of us that grew up watching him are asking the same question.

    • David L. Hagen

      WebH
      See ECS down to 0.9 at 90%

      The posterior mean of the ECS is 1.8 °C with 90% C.I. ranging from 0.9 to 3.2 °C which is tighter than most previously published estimates.

      A lower and more constrained estimate of climate sensitivity using updated observations and detailed radiative forcing time series
      R. B. Skeie1, T. Berntsen1,2, M. Aldrin3, M. Holden3, and G. Myhre1
      Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 4, 785-852, 2013
      http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/785/2013/
      doi:10.5194/esdd-4-785-2013

      • DLH, That paper needs to be interpreted properly. They say this

        “The ECS temperature response will eventually be realized on a timescale on century to millennia when the system has reached a new equilibrium. The uncertainty in TCR may therefore be more relevant for near-term transient climate change (Cubasch et al., 2001; Hegerl et al.,
        2007).”

        So the number that they quote of “ECS is 1.8 °C with 90% C.I. ranging from 0.9 to 3.2 °C” is actually a TCR ! And since we know that ECS is about 50% more than TCR when it finally equilibriates, their actual ECS is closer to 2.7C = 1.5*1.8C. And their spread for ECS is then 1.35 to 4.8C, which is what the current understanding is.

        Own goal, too bad.

      • “The ECS temperature response will eventually be realized on a timescale on century to millennia when the system has reached a new equilibrium”

        Er Web, given this postulated ‘lag’ response of approximately 33% conversion of heat into temperature, does it not mean that all energy balance calculations are, a prior, wrong?
        One must therefore calculate based on transient, without lags, then include a >500 year lag when converting transient into ‘equilibrium’.

      • “Er Web, given this postulated ‘lag’ response of approximately 33% conversion of heat into temperature, does it not mean that all energy balance calculations are, a prior, wrong?
        One must therefore calculate based on transient, without lags, then include a >500 year lag when converting transient into ‘equilibrium’.”

        Why should I have a problem with a lagged effect which is easily accommodated by continuity equations? The ocean is in fact a large heat sink.

        We still have essentially a two-compartment model, with one compartment (LAND) still responding quickly to CO2 forcing. So the ocean doesn’t show a temperature rise as quickly as land, it is still absorbing the heat, in agreement with the fundamental GHG-based CO2 control knob theory.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: “The ECS temperature response will eventually be realized on a timescale on century to millennia when the system has reached a new equilibrium.

        Your model predicts an ECS of 2K with no lag, for surface temperature. All things considered, do you think that is accurate? Is it a fair statement that surface temperature reaches near equilibrium (say moving 90% of the way to the new equilibrium value) very rapidly (in line with your model), and that the long time to achieve complete equilibrium (or within epsilon of the new equilibrium) is the time required for the deep ocean and the many icepacks to warm by 2K?

      • No, it predicts an ECS of 3C. I won’t argue from a false premise.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: No, it predicts an ECS of 3C. I won’t argue from a false premise.

        How do you get that?

        the CO2 term in your model is 3.03lnCO2; double the CO2 concentration, ln2 = 0.69, multiply by 3.03 to get a 2.1K increase. There is no lag in your model between the CO2 change and the change in Earth surface temperature, so in your model TCS = ECS. You estimated the parameters in your model using temperature as the dependent variable in multiple linear regression, according to your report.


      • Matthew R Marler | November 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        the CO2 term in your model is 3.03lnCO2; double the CO2 concentration, ln2 = 0.69, multiply by 3.03 to get a 2.1K increase. There is no lag in your model between the CO2 change and the change in Earth surface temperature, so in your model TCS = ECS. You estimated the parameters in your model using temperature as the dependent variable in multiple linear regression, according to your report.

        That is a TCR. Global TCR ~ 2C

        Next
        ECS > TCR.
        which has to be the case.

        You can get an idea of the actual ECS by what the land temperature is doing. That is showing a TCR = 3C.

        So TCR(Land) ~ ECS. Or the eventual ECS is at least 3C.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: So TCR(Land) ~ ECS. Or the eventual ECS is at least 3C.

        That may very well be true, but it does not follow from your model.


      • Matthew R Marler | November 8, 2013 at 3:15 am |

        WebHubTelescope: So TCR(Land) ~ ECS. Or the eventual ECS is at least 3C.

        That may very well be true, but it does not follow from your model.

        Yet we are seeing land temperatures that appear to have a TCR of 3C, which means the ECS has to be at least 3C. This is directly observed from my model.

        I bet the actual ECS is higher than this. Interesting work by Russell, Rind, Lacis et al [1], who are predicting values around 5C. Hansen thinks that this high a value is not being observed because of the mitigating effects of reflective aerosols, which pushes the observational evidence to 3C.

        [1]G. L. Russell, A. A. Lacis, D. H. Rind, C. Colose, and R. F. Opstbaum, “Fast Atmosphere–ocean Model Runs with Large Changes in CO2,” Geophysical Research Letters, 2013.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Yet we are seeing land temperatures that appear to have a TCR of 3C, which means the ECS has to be at least 3C. This is directly observed from my model.

        What is directly “observed” from your model is what I calculated. If from time t1 to time t2 the concentration of CO2 increases from 400 to 800, your model predicts a temperature increase from t1 to t2 of 2.1C, and that is all it predicts. It predicts no subsequent warming unless CO2 concentration continues to rise.

        You are trying to give your model credit for something it doesn’t do.

      • Marler,
        Good for you, doubling CO2 will increase temperature by 2.1C.

    • WebHubTelescope,

      Caloric theory of heat, existence of phlogiston, luminiferous ether, corpuscular theory of light, ulcers being caused by stress and spicy food, disease being caused by miasmas, illness caused by bad humours, and so on.

      However, since there is precisely no evidence to support the contention that CO2 inserted between the Sun and the Earth’s surface will increase the temperature of the surface, the AGW theory is just a theory, and a foolish one at that.

      Why would anybody try to disprove the existence of something that never existed in the first place? Great fun if you can get people to waste time and money embarking on a wild goose chase, but of little real value.

      The Earth doesn’t seem to be warming. Why would anybody devise a theory that flies in the face of observed fact? What would be gained?

      I don’t understand your motives. Really.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Mike ” illness caused by bad humours” Flynn,
        Science didn’t stop in the Dark Ages, given your reference frame.

        Give it a go, try out some modern day analysis techniques:

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Humourism dictated the progress of Western medicine for a couple of thousand years, and certainly was widely practiced well into the 18th century. Medical terms used today are derived from Humourism in some instances.

        The 18th century was hardly the Dark Ages, if that is what you intended to imply.

        I thank you for your invitation to try out your amateur computer program. As I have said previously, the IPCC will no doubt appreciate your efforts more than I. The past is not necessarily an accurate guide to the future.

        In many countries, it is illegal to imply that past performance is any guide to the future in relation to financial products. Of course, nonsense such as CAGW is not considered by Governments to be worth regulating. Like beauty products, truth in advertising is not a concern. It’s obviously nonsensical, and believers deserve everything they get.

        Good luck with your analysis of the past.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike “Dark Ages” Flynn,
        No one really cares what science was like back then.

        Again you show no evidence of scientific curiosity. The fact that the CSALT model has a correlation coefficient of 0.975 over the past 130+ years does not even register with you — this is quite common among people with an underlying agenda.

      • WHT,

        You don’t even care about the discovery of CO2?

        Where’s your sense of curiosity, lad?

        Could I perhaps suggest that nobody really cares about your toy model? Unverified models count for nought.

        Press on. I’m sure you can achieve something if you try really, really hard.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • FlynnBoy said:

        “Could I perhaps suggest that nobody really cares about your toy model? Unverified models count for nought. “

        No, what matters is that you have no alternative model and you can not beat my model, whether it is toy or not. I mentioned the other day that groupthink accepts the reality of Ohm’s Law, which in its utter simplicity V = I * R would classify itself as a “toy model”.

        Do you have something Flynn? We can compare models with AIC or BIC and see what works better. Otherwise perhaps you should consider tossing-off with your loser Aussie buddies, Chief, Girma, and Biggs.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Mike ” illness caused by bad humours” Flynn,
        Science didn’t stop in the Dark Ages, given your reference frame.

        Your question was whether a false belief had been held by scientists as long as the 3K ECS of climate to CO2 doubling has been held. Once again, you shift your ground away from the answer to the question that you asked.

        Most prominent was the belief among physicists that a thermodynamic argument proved that Wegener’s conjecture had to be false. Those physicists basically turned “There is no known source of sufficient power” (which was correct) into “There is no source of sufficient power” (which was and is incorrect)

    • “3. Never has a scientific principle with this consistent level of acceptance ever been overturned.”

      Like the paradigm that transmission of genetic material is linearal, and never horizontal?
      Of that humans have 200,000 genes?
      Or that embryos transition through stages that mimic evolution?
      Or that Blacks and women are stupider than white men?
      Or that Scientific Socialism delivers happy, healthy societies?

      • I mourn the loss of ‘ontogeny recapitulates philogeny’. What an evocative phrase, and the embryonic insights.

        If it gets cold there will be parallels with the drama of Al Gore and the fevered dreams of James Hansen.

        H/t Sic Semper Tyrannis.
        ==========================

      • Or that a fat calorie is a carb calorie is a protein calorie?

      • DocMartyn,
        Try again.

        Shockley invented the transistor, but was a racist — everyone now accepts the scientific principle of a semiconductor, but no one accepted his racist beliefs. .

        You really can’t think of anything can you?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is a silly game that ignores the essential nature of science.

        http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Paradigm_shift.html

        Some of us have been talking about ‘the hiatus’ for a decade – much longer than it has been fashionable. This is the other key aspect of science – the power to make predictions based on theory.

      • The hiatus/pause comes out of the most simple of models:

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        The next El Nino will spike the warming, and there goes the pause.

        Deniers don’t like talking about simple models, but boy how they 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-argument model.

        So the skeptics and deniers are left to wield the complexity argument to counter the simple energy balance models – and which again indicates they have no argument in the first place.

      • WHT,

        Given a choice between accepting the benefits of the “transfer resistor”, or rejecting them because Shockley was a racist (or more correctly a racialist), give me the transistor. What’s the relevance of his beliefs?

        I don’t refuse to accept Arrhenius’ contributions to physical chemistry because the man was a devoted supporter of eugenics and racial purity. What difference does it make?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • “Given a choice between accepting the benefits of the “transfer resistor”, or rejecting them because Shockley was a racist (or more correctly a racialist), give me the transistor. What’s the relevance of his beliefs?”

        Flynn the Aussie apparently can’t read DocMartyn, who stated that theories like Shockley’s that “that Blacks and women are stupider than white men?” was discredited after first being accepted by science.

        I assert that it was never accepted in the first place, making it pale in comparison to the theory of AGW when it comes to accetance.

      • 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.

        You repeat your assertion and it is still wrong: there are no energy flows in your model that balance. Instead, current temp is a function of current and recent lagged CO2 values, along with other measured values, some lagged.

        You also had a model with time^3 that had a nearly equal trajectory over the past 130+ years and a nearly equal correlation with temp. High correlations do not have that much value when assessing the latest models to be fit to an extant data base that has been much modeled. You have to wait until after it has been tested by out of sample data before you can claim anything more important than the latest good fitting model. I like the model, but your claims for it are too strong.

      • Marler is pouting in that he can’t argue over something as fundamental as a free energy variational approach.

        I could take the first 50 years as training data and the rest of the curve would fill in quite smoothly.

        Try harder, please?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Marler is pouting in that he can’t argue over something as fundamental as a free energy variational approach.

        Where in your model is a free energy variational approach. You have a multiple linear regression model between observed predictors and Earth mean temperature. It does not incorporate any free energy variations.

      • WHT,

        Shockley’s views had peer reviewed support at least as late as 2012.

        Flinging around the term “racist” reduces your argument to an example of name calling, even more so when it is obvious to any reasonably intelligent reader that you meant “racialist”.

        If you refuse to accept that racial differences exist on many levels, from sickle cell anaemia to the epicanthic fold (or lack thereof), scientists in the field will tell you otherwise.

        If you provide a few facts in support of “global warming” rather than just repeating the mantras from “The Way of the Warmist”, I might change my mind.

        You keep asking people to provide a better model than yours. Why waste time?

        You might as well provide a model showing the variations in the numbers of people of different races around the world correlated to the intake of red meat. Who cares? Global warming due to CO2 in the atmosphere is nonsense. Modelling a nonsense is a waste of time.

        Play solitaire, write nonsensical computer programs – if you find it relaxing, and it doesn’t harm others, why not?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.


      • Matthew R Marler | November 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        Where in your model is a free energy variational approach. You have a multiple linear regression model between observed predictors and Earth mean temperature. It does not incorporate any free energy variations.

        Of course the CSALT model incorporates a free energy variational approach. It is described right here:

        http://contextearth.com/2013/10/26/csalt-model/

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Of course the CSALT model incorporates a free energy variational approach. It is described right here:

        http://contextearth.com/2013/10/26/csalt-model/

        Here is what is presented on that web page:

        All CSALT requires is historical time-series of these characteristics:

        CO2 concentration in the atmosphere
        SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) as defined by the difference in values of atmospheric pressure in Tahiti and Darwin
        Aerosol concentration in the atmosphere as generated by volcanic events (and potentially man-made events such as armed conflicts).
        LOD (Length-of-Day) as defined by the correction in the Length Of Day measure in seconds.
        TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) as a measure of the variation in solar insolation due to quasi-periodic sunspot activity.

        The parameters form the mnemonic CSALT, with the CO2 acting as the main driving force to the rising temperature trend (the “control knob” ) and the other SALT terms adding fluctuations (i.e. natural uncertainty) to the trend.

        Nowhere in your model is there a “free energy variational approach”. What you have is a multiple linear regression model in which not a single predictor variable is a free energy variation. What you have is a bunch of predictors that might possibly be translated into free energy (flows) but have not been — they are associatively but not computationally (or logically) related to free energy.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Careful Matthew – webby is the Red Queen.

        “I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
        “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
        Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
        “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

      • “Nowhere in your model is there a “free energy variational approach”. “

        Of course I have it covered in the post I already linked to:

        http://contextearth.com/2013/10/26/csalt-model/

        The idea is borrowed from a variational principle that you would find described in a college class.
        How do you look for perturbations in the ideal gas law –
        nRT = PV
        use a variational approach
        d(nRT) = d(PV)
        nR dT = PdV + VdP

        This is telling us the variations in temperature caused by natural fluctuations in other thermodynamic variables. Once these are removed, the energy additions caused by other energy sources can be isolated.

        These techniques work no matter how much you may belly-ache.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTeleswcope: The idea is borrowed from a variational principle that you would find described in a college class.
        How do you look for perturbations in the ideal gas law –
        nRT = PV
        use a variational approach
        d(nRT) = d(PV)
        nR dT = PdV + VdP

        This is telling us the variations in temperature caused by natural fluctuations in other thermodynamic variables. Once these are removed, the energy additions caused by other energy sources can be isolated.

        These techniques work no matter how much you may belly-ache.

        That is not what is in your model. Your model is a multiple linear regression with global mean temp as the dependent variable and a bunch of other global or regional means as predictors; CO2 is represented by ln(CO2). Admittedly, that means that in your model dT/dt is equal to 1/CO2, but that is a result of your choice of ln(CO2) to replace T^2. You have not related dT/dt to any energy flow.

        FWIW, no model of dT/dt estimated by smoothing divided differences (or any other model), has shown that dT/dt is proportional to 1/CO2, that I know of. Perhaps you know of one that you could link to.

      • Webster, there is a huge wealth of data and sites that can provide data that you should considered before assuming you have found the Holy Grail of Climate models.

        Hadley cells tend to converge at 30 degrees north and south of the equator creating a persistent high pressure zone. By simply masking the 30N and 30S sst latitude bands you can compare the imbalance anomaly with ERSST back to 1853. Global heat capacity is asymmetrical and mixing between basins and hemispheres complicated by Coriolis effects so there can be century and longer lags reestablishing the Hemispheric “norm”. I kind of doubt that CO2 caused that dramatic shift in the the equatorial imbalance or that the SOI index will be zeroing out anytime soon.

      • Marler, Did you find something wrong yet? One of these days you may be able to add a valuable contribution.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system. Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007), A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288.

      It is difficult to imagine how webby can continue to be so wrong without groupthink.

      1. More famously, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (21) shows the spread among climate models for global warming predictions. One of its results is an ensemble-mean prediction of ≈3°C increase in global mean surface temperature for doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration with an ensemble spread of ≈50% on either side. The predicted value for the climate sensitivity and its intermodel spread have remained remarkably stable throughout the modern assessment era from the National Research Counsel (NRC) in 1979 (22) to the anticipated results in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (foreshadowed, e.g., in ref. 3) despite diligent tuning and after great research effort and progress in many aspects of simulation plausibility…

      In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

      Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.
      James McWilliams

      There is a reason for consistency in this very broad spread. The models are chaotic – the possible range of solutions remains unexplored – solutions in ensembles of opportunity are chosen arbitrarily from multiple feasible solutions.

      2. It hasn’t changed because there is – realistically – no rational basis for reducing the spread. But is it wide enough?

      3. Arm waving – science progresses. Besides an idea based on such shaky foundations can’t survive.

      4 Arm waving – climate is chaotic as Tsonis et al say above. AGW is dead in the water.

      5. The new paradigm of abrupt climate change – climate shifts – has predictive power lacking in the AGW nonsense. The world is not warming for a decade to three more.

      6. He should really try to debunk Latif – Tsonis or the NASA page I keep linking to.

      7. All rational – new paradigm – considerations lead to a climate sensitivity of λ – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=16

      8. No on knows diddly squat about climate in a hundred years because changes in control variables – Sun, atmosphere, orbits are difficult to predict accurately – and they interact with climate components producing multiple negative and positive feedbacks. It is impossible to predict.

      9. More arm waving.

      AGW has been debunked by the abrupt climate change paradigm at least a decade ago. AGW is grimly hanging on
      only in the imagination of its groupthink adherents.

      • Chef, Those are piddly fluctuations.

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        Get rid of the fluctuations and one gets ECS=3C.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are talking in language and ideas that have been superceded by a more complete science theory. A better explanation with more predictive power – at least for a few decades.

        In terms of paradigms – you are a clueless dinosaur who has got whomped by an asteroid. Yesterdays man. A dollar short and day late. Nothing you say makes any scientific sense in the light of the new ideas. But you keep trying. God bless your little red cart.

      • The Chef’s war on science involves cherry-picking research that he can mold to his own agenda.

        Actual science involves extending the work of others and continuing to ask questions:

        http://contextearth.com/2013/10/30/detailed-analysis-of-csalt-model/

      • Web

        CLIMATE SENSITIVITY CALCULATION

        CO2 for 1960 = 317 ppm

        CO2 for 2012 = 394 ppm

        Change in GMST since 1960, dT = 0.4 deg C

        Climate Sensitivity = Ln 2 * dT/Ln(C/Co)
        Climate Sensitivity = Ln 2 * 0.4/Ln(394/317)
        Climate Sensitivity = 0.693 * 0.4/Ln(1.243)
        Climate Sensitivity = 0.693 * 0.4/0.217
        Climate Sensitivity = 1.3 deg C for doubling of CO2.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What it actually means is reading and understanding the science of abrupt change. Which actually began for me in the late 1980′s with rainfall regimes.

        The key example is the original 2007 paper by Tsonis et al – of which I quote the abstract in its entireity. The entire literature is immense and diverse – but it bypasses webby entirely.

        There is no agenda – merely the newer ideas and they are at least a decade old – about climate science. Webby is a dinosaur who hasn’t quite made the connection to the new language and ideas. He makes no scientific sense and is gormless enough that he may never see the woods for the trees.

      • Girma and the Chef show the reality of Aussie science — two wrongs make two wrongs.

        The CSALT model applies Tsonis and Wyatt&Curry’s STADIUM WAVE concept as a fluctuation component and achieves a 0.975 correlation coefficient between model and data as a result, further substantiating the log(CO2) sensitivity AGW theory:

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        If you Aussie boys were really interested and excited about the science, you would applaud the effort and perhaps try to improve on it. Instead, you create your own little “subterrrannean war” against logic and reason, using caveman tools as weapons.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby is 10 years behind leading edge climate science at least. He continues to explain ‘the hiatus’ – statistically by reference to ENSO – without any understanding of its origin, nature or significance of ENSO variability.

        ‘Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F12.expansion.html

        Webby eyeballed this and insisted it all evened out in the end. The reality is variability of the global system associated with ENSO variability on interannual to milennial scales.

        Again – he has a tiny part of the picture. Some of us predicted the hiatus a decade ago. Others merely indulge in post hoc rationalisation using outmoded ideas and methods.

        Science is suggesting decades of no warming or even cooling. The reasons are addressed in the Tsonis et al study quoted above. Unless he can understand this – it continues to be merely insistent nonsense.

      • How could I have “eyeballed” this when in fact I applied multiple linear regression analysis to obtain an automatic fit, eh OzBoy?

        All it takes is one El Nino for the pause to lift, yet he thinks that no ElNinos will occur for decades.

        Does anybody believe his argument based on nothingness?

      • “All it takes is one El Nino for the pause to lift, yet he thinks that no ElNinos will occur for decades.”

        If I accused a warmist of thinking something like this (All it takes is one El Nino for the pause to lift), I would be called anti-science.

        So let me get this straight. If reported temps continue to flat line for another twenty years, then we get an el Nino for about 18 months, then reported temps flat line again, the “pause” will have lifted, and we will have to wait another 15 years before we can talk about it again.

        And by the same logic, if there is any rain at all during a drought, the drought has “lifted”?

        Somebody skipped logic in science school.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        He eyeballed the 2000 year Figure 12. He doesn’t remember? Deliberate lies and misdirection? Difficult to comes to terms with dissemblers like this.

        The reality of course is not no El Nino but increased frequency and intensity of La Nina over 20 to 40 years from 2002. El Nino will be smaller and less frequent. This essential realisation is obvious in the instrumental record.

        La Nina dominance to the 1976/77 climate shift, El Nino to the 1998/2001 shift and La Nina again since. The literature on this is immense.

        This seems a simple enough idea and is the beginning of an understanding that escapes webby.

        It is ridiculous to need to repeat this again and again. It is like talking to a goldfish.

      • This is fun. Here you have an OzBoy who accuses me of eyeballing something when he in fact looks at an ENSO chart and says that no ElNinos will appear based on eyeballing some imaginary extrapolated trend.

        That is called projection and it is explained under the Wikipedia entry for Denier.

    • Einstein’s cosmological constant

      “Among the terms in the equations was one Einstein called the cosmological constant, which he introduced because he thought the universe was static. The cosmological constant achieved a static universe by counteracting the inward pull of gravity. Later, when astronomers discovered the universe is actually expanding, Einstein regretted including the constant and removed it from his equations. Legend has it Einstein called the creation of the cosmological constant his “greatest blunder” (though Livio thinks he never actually used the term). But in fact, Einstein’s real mistake was taking the constant out, Livio said. In 1998, after Einstein’s death, it was discovered that not only is the universe expanding, but this expansion is accelerating over time. To explain why that’s happening, scientists have reintroduced the cosmological constant to the general relativity equations. “His real blunder was to take it out, not to keep it in,” Livio said.”

      http://www.livescience.com/32051-greatest-scientific-mistakes.html

      Rarefied air.

      • Ragnaar, The cosmological constant being wrong will not effect the global economy and the direction of future growth. Theories such as AGW and Peak Oil being wrong will. Alas, both AGW and Peak Oil are being proven true with each successive day and the implications are real.

    • WEBhub: yes, I’ll take you up on 3 and 4

      Classically. heat radiation was regarded as a form of electromagnetic radiation and therefor followed Maxwell’s laws and was continuous We now know it consists of photons whose energy depends only on their frequency. Photons are discreet mass-less particles that travel at the speed of light, so their affect on an irradiated object is to raise or lower its temperature in a series of ‘steps and stairs as intensity of radiation varies i.e. more or less photons; This is of course contrary to classical theory and may be of importance to climate theory since CO2 has many modes of excitation at different temperatures. .

      • Biggs, You have a crank theory for 20th Century warming that I can debunk with a log(CO2) sensitivity warming curve, right here:

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        You lose in typical Aussie-krackpot style, badly.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Biggs, You have a crank theory for 20th Century warming that I can debunk with a log(CO2) sensitivity warming curve, right here:

        You are shifting your ground again. You asked a question, Alexander Biggs answered it with a true and relevant example, and you changed the subject.

        The fact is that lots of false beliefs have at times persisted for decades among scientists, even the best scientists.

      • No one used the ether theory to build anything did they?
        That pales in comparison to the situation of GHG based AGW being wrong.

      • WebHub: Thank you for bringing my attention to the SALT model. But on the page you referenced I found nothing on log(CO2) sensitivity. What I did find was that the SALT model probably used the same 20th century basic data as I did. I would not be surprised if they came to different conclusions.

        Changing the subject to your invective against Australians, I think professor Curry would not like her web site to be so used..

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: No one used the ether theory to build anything did they?

        You are shifting your ground again. You requested (demanded?) examples of scientific beliefs that had endured as long as the 3C ECS estimate of climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2. Those have been provided.

    • WHUT, you write “1. Since the late 70′s, the theory of AGW caused by excess atmospheric CO2 has been estimated to have a mean ECS of 3C:

      True. And since that time this number has never been measured. Since the estimate has never been confirmed by an actual measurement, it is still what it always was. Just a guess.

      No-one has any idea want the true value of CS, however defined, is, and to pretend otherwise is scientific nonsense..


      • Jim Cripwell | November 7, 2013 at 6:40 am | Reply

        WHUT, you write “1. Since the late 70′s, the theory of AGW caused by excess atmospheric CO2 has been estimated to have a mean ECS of 3C:

        True. And since that time this number has never been measured. Since the estimate has never been confirmed by an actual measurement, it is still what it always was. Just a guess.

        No-one has any idea want the true value of CS, however defined, is, and to pretend otherwise is scientific nonsense..

        Cripwell likely has no alternative theory for why the recent warming trend matches the log(CO2) sensitivity of GHG theory.

        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        Here is a snapshot of a correlation coefficient of 0.975. Try to guess which time series is the log(CO2) model and which is the data:

        Until he comes up with something better he is an also-ran and not even in the race. If you don’t have a game, you aren’t going to play.

        That’s the way that science works. The better performance wins.

      • WHUT you write “That’s the way that science works. The better performance wins.”

        That is not the way my understanding of how science works. In physics, until a number has been measured we don’t know what it’s value is, It is that simple.

      • Cripwell is so lazy and out of practice with science that he can’t comprehend that inferring values is just as important as measuring values.

        The better inference wins.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Cripwell likely has no alternative theory for why the recent warming trend matches the log(CO2) sensitivity of GHG theory.
        http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

        So what? His point, which you evaded, is that there is no good reason to believe a value of 3K for ECS because it hasn’t been measured. Out of sample data confirming your model will be informative, in my opinion, but in the history of science, scientists have usually eventually abandoned stuff that can’t be measured.

        Measurements are all model based, but the models leading to estimates of ECS have none of them survived rigorous testing with out of sample data. That’s glossing over the difficulty that the E of ECS has never existed on Earth and won’t.

  56. I had an interesting short conversation a month or so back with a local person whom I am sure doesn’t have much of a clue about science and certainly doesn’t follow science in any way, The subject of climate science came up
    His short sharp completely unprompted comment was “those scientists are just in it for the money”

    Definitely not a good sign for the future of science when those who provide the where-with-all to keep scientists in the style to which they have become accustomed are becoming both aware and highly cynical about the sometimes doubtful motives of an increasing number of scientists.

    From the vibes I am now regularly getting as Science and scientists are placed under ever increasing scrutiny and as seen by an increasing number of the peasants out here, scientists are becoming just another part of the self anointed superior and out of touch elite of society.

    Climate warming scientists being the classic case here as they demand ever more sacrifices on the part of the peasants to “save the planet”. but are seen to just going on as usual with their own well paid and padded lifestyle.

    For those same elite’s it is fast becoming a case of “the peasants are revolting”

    Revolting peasantry who were stripped of their assets to fund the extravagant and self indulging ideologies and pastimes of the elite down through history, have destroyed many an elitist who believed they were untouchable until the noose tightened or the shots rang out or the guillotine blade started it’s fall.

  57. David L. Hagen

    CO2 alone is about 1C. The catastrophic AGW claims 2C for feedback.
    You ignore all the papers suggesting ECS is 2X too high.
    e.g., see “Climate Sensitivity” at WUWT.
    For the highest level of integrity in science, see Richard Feynman Cargo Cult Science. Look at ALL the data and contrary hypotheses, not just your pet project.
    5. Ignores the very strong funding bias. Instead, they would probably be vilified, as shown by the Climategate emails.
    6. Only in your dreams. You give no evidence. See http://www.ClimateChangeReconsidered.com
    7. You ignore papers showing ECS < 2. e.g. 1.84 by Skeie
    8. Conversely, you do not know that it might not drop below 1.5C considering 17 years without warming while CO2 rises, or that the Solar Cycle 25 is predicted to be even lower than the current Cycle 24 etc. You don’t know we that we have sufficient warming to overcome descent into the next glaciation.
    9. 1.5C is NOT the lower bound. Just the lowest mentioned by the IPCC. Clouds could provide negative feedback. Uncertainties are so high we don’t even know the sign of cloud feedback.

    • David, you write “CO2 alone is about 1C”

      Wrong. This number has never been measured, so it is merely a guess. No-one has the slightest idea what the value of the CS of CO2 is, however defined.

  58. Alice Thermopolis

    Thank you Judith

    Lewandowsky’s university [UWA] may have “stood behind the study” – whatever that means – but it nevertheless recently removed its logo – and the “affiliate” claim – from his Shaping Tomorrows World website; as did the two other WA universities.

    For back-story, go to: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15507

    Alice

    • Alice, I regret being so flippant about this link earlier this morning. Michael Kile has a very nice precis of this whole thread’s theme.
      =======================

  59. Full moon. Rotting fishes and dead horses. I’ve gotta read this ‘Devils Dictionary of Climate Change’.
    ===================

  60. What is science?

    “In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.”

    Richard Feynman

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman#The_Character_of_Physical_Law_.281965.29

  61. Thanks Mike
    You touched on a subject, future global food production, on which I have had quite a lot to say over the last few years.
    As a former member for 28 years of the 5 man trust that holds the titles to the land on which one of Australia’s big Ag grain research organisations here in Horsham in western Victoria in Australia’s SE, is built, I got to know quite a lot of the Agricultural researchers, particularly those very few in numbers, the food grain and pulse crop breeders.
    .
    Those guys are truly dedicated to their work.

    After the geneticists have run their models of the varieties needed to be crossed to achieve the growing, milling, processing, baking, [ some 4 dozen specific characteristics required for the milling and baking characteristics alone ] required and after the national gene /seed banks across the world [ There is a very quiet world wide network of seed banks that work in close harmony with each other , even between nations that are supposedly hostile. After all food and the assurance of adequate food is universal to all of humanity ] have supplied the couple of seeds, the genetic characteristics of which are needed in that particular cross and after those couple of seeds have been germinated and have reached the flowering stage in a matching specific period of growth with the other varieties they are to be crossed with to get a potential sought after resulting plant.

    Then the girls in the glass houses,[ it's only women who can and are capable of doing this sort of very delicate fertilising and variety crossing work ] transfer pollen from the stamens of one floret to the stamens of another floret on another selected plant variety and the cross is hopefully completed.
    Then the plant is grown to maturity to get the 20 or 50 seeds, each seed a different cross, from that one parent variety plant.
    Then those seeds are planted out, usually from 15,000 and up to 25,000 single grain plants, all the crosses that have been done in the glass houses,for that season which numbers of crosses and plant outs are typical for any single grain plant breeder each year / season

    . Those plant breeders endlessly patrol those rows and rows of single cross plants just ruthlessly pulling up any that don’t meet their requirements in growth and disease resistance.
    And so they then have perhaps some few hundred crosses left which are grown to maturity and the couple of dozen seeds from each plant are kept separately in their own containers.
    Around this time the first quality micro milling and baking assessments are done on a few seeds from each plant and another round of elimination based on the quality tests outcomes takes place.

    Next season these seeds are planted out in their separate crossed single plant specific rows and again the selection process is done all over again and a further ruthless elimination of those remaining crosses based on disease yield and etc and quality testing are done.

    This time there are usually enough seeds from each cross to use larger scale micro milling and baking technology to characterise the quality and suitability of each cross for it’s intended purpose be it bread making or pastry or noodles or just animal feed or for more specific purposes such as gluten extraction and etc
    And so the process goes on for some ten years before there are no satisfactory varieties to be had out of that year’s program of crosses or there are one or two varieties that are a significant improvement on past varieties in one or more characteristics, be it disease resistance, yield, milling and baking qualities and assessed by an expert panel of breeder peers and geneticists and quality experts and if passed, bulked up into quantities sufficient to be released to the farmers for commercial production which might be another two years away.

    So the plant breeders are just now starting the process of breeding the new varieties of grain crops that will be feeding those by then 8 billion or more of mankind in about 2025 to 2030.

    One good plant breeder when measured against their importance to humanity’s future and humanity’s survival and welfare through avoiding famine and a disaster on scale of unparalleled magnitude by their breeding of the new food crops that will adequately feed humanity’s growing numbers into the far future, is worth some hundreds of climate scientists.
    But in the usual stupid manner of humanity we pay even totally incompetent climate scientists far more than we pay good plant breeders who are expected to produce the food crops that will likely feed humanity’s growing numbers in a future that is still 14 to 15 years away.

    The climate scientists contribution to humanity is if anything is quite deleterious and negative in the manner in which so much treasure and resources have been expended and totally destroyed on nothing more than the word and the assurances of climate scientists,
    And all for absolutely no perceivable result or benefit for humanity or the global climate both now and into that future that the plant breeders are expected to work towards .

    And you are right. An empty belly or climate fear?.
    Humanity will fill it’s belly long before it even thinks about any supposed and unproven climate problems

    • ROM,

      Fascinating. I once irradiated seeds for the CSIRO using cobalt – 60 or some such, and they were planted out by the boffins to see what would come out of the ground. Not much of use, from memory.

      But still, if you don’t try, you’ll never know. I dips me lid to the unsung heroes in food research. Farmers as much, or more. It’s a tough life.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  62. The first sentence of the paper is “Science denial kills.” Lewandowsky and Mann coauthoring a paper is a pairing made for climate blogospheric heaven.

    Wow. Michael Mann the Great brought down to the level of Lewandowski. That shows the pressure must be really getting to Mann. His credibility must be in tatters and he recognises it. Now he is kicking and squealing: “denier! denier!”

  63. Most scientists will agree with you Judith about this, even if only in secret. This psychiatrization of politics and science is a reflection of the old Soviet Union, not of enlightenment. It shows how far into polarization we have descended.

  64. Policy-relevant science needs to be transparent and publicly accountable, and it should be audited by a wide range of people from outside the community with ‘scientific standing’ on that particular topic. Claiming that this constitutes a ‘subterranean war on science’ is a perversion of the political process and worse, it inoculates flawed science from the scrutiny that it deserves. Inoculating flawed science from the scrutiny it deserves by shouting ‘denier’ is the real war on science.

    Excellent!!

  65. Joshua
    You could call out Lewandowski if you want any credibility in this post.
    Can you do it?
    His views are so extreme they are not worthy of your support.
    I would hope that your sense of duty to this blog/ Judy might prevail for once.

    On the other hand a ringing endorsement of his views and recent articles by you would not be unexpected.

    Judith, a very provoking article. There will be a lot of flack directed at you and I am afraid that you might be out there on your own.
    I wish you all the very best out of this call for commonsense

  66. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,

    I suspect the ‘in crowd’ will try now to claim you have no ‘scientific standing’.

    Mann’s and Lewandowski obnoxious attitude reminds me of Henry Kissinger’s observation that academic disputes are always bitter because there is so little at stake. They continue to behave as if it were all an academic dispute. It’s not. Everyone, not just those who consider themselves climate scientists, has standing to participate in the debate, and to ask inconvenient questions of climate scientists… like “Why should people believe model projections of future warming when reality has clearly diverged from those same models’ earlier projections of warming?” The paying public has every right to expect honest, substantive answers, warts and all, not AR5′s arm waves, Mann’s shouts of ‘denier’, or Lewandowski’s insulting and idiotic psycho-babble.

  67. Stephan Lewandowsky also has a piece about rejecting wind turbines here:

    http://theconversation.com/look-out-for-that-turbine-climate-sceptics-are-the-real-chicken-littles-19873

    Here, Stephan makes the link between people who don’t like wind turbines…….and big tobacco.

    I challenge Stephan to find anybody who has ‘scientific standing’, ‘political standing’, or just happens to be a big fan of turbines,
    who actually:
    1) Lives within a couple of kilometers of a wind farm
    2) And is able to disclose they have no financial /political gain in wind farms.
    Until Stephan finds a few examples, one can only conclude that he is an academic, who reads lots of psychology text books, and has absolutely no grasp of reality…..

    • You mean Lewandowsky can read? Gosh, he must be brighter than he appears.

      • Yes he can read, and like any academic he probably reads quite a bit. The problem begins when he stops reading, it’s likely he tends to get stuck in the 8–12 Hz range. This is likely to severely effect ones problem solving skills, since there is too much past knowledge that has been acquired by reading, verses practically zero application of that knowledge in real world circumstances. In this dream-like state, the individual fusses over the various interpretations of phenomena, while a complete idiot gets the right answer in a nano second….

    • Yes. I noticed he has now become an expert on wind energy, too. Well, he’s certainly adaptable.

      Where does he rank in ‘Survival-Sustainable-Resilient-Thriveable’?

  68. Judith writes: “The real war on science is from WITHIN”

    Yes, that would be by people like you (?). Way to grand-stand to a market of climate skeptics (?) and build a base of followers to gain publicity. …congrats on all of the success (?)

    • Stevie lets try again shall we? Lets have the full quote thankyou!

      “The real war on science is from WITHIN: scientists who are playing power politics with their expertise. When the politics are questioned, or the link between their expertise and the politics is discussed, or the authority of science in a political debate is questioned, these scientists claim ‘war on science,’ victim status, and call the questioners ‘deniers.’ These so-called scientists are less concerned about the process of science than they are with their ‘standing’ in their self-appointed community and their authority in a public debate. This is the real war on science, and it comes from self-appointed scientists with ‘standing’ who are attempting to cover up their own shoddy science and to elevate their own influence in a political debate.”

      Now lets have your thoughts on the content of this quote rather than a somewhat jaundiced viewpoint that you have put forward above and lets see if “me” can see fit to award you another +1 for your efforts! What a pair of putz’s!

    • -1

  69. We are concerned about the activities of individuals outside the scientific community and of little scientific standing, who systematically insert themselves into the peer-review and publication process to prevent the publication of findings they deem inconvenient.

    They assume that everyone who disagrees with them are outside the scientific community and of little scientific standing.

    The got it backwards, when you have consensus, your are outside the scientific community and of little scientific standing.

  70. Matthew R Marler

    As in most cases of intimidation and bullying, we believe that daylight is the best disinfectant.

    So respond positively to the FOI requests.

  71. Dr. Strangelove

    Mann et al are not scientists. They are activists. They have science education but they are not practicing science. They are making up pseudoscience to promote their personal cause. If they were physicians, they would have been sued for malpractice. There should be a code of conduct for climate scientists similar to the medical profession.

  72. I really enjoyed Dr. Curry´s endorsement of McIntyre and his statistical skills. Though WUWT of sometimes mentioned and referenced by Curry, I don´t remember CA being referenced. I probably don’t read thoroughly enough to catch it.

    A fact often overlooked in the comments on blogs is that McIntyre came into this with the stance that climate change is real and might become a problem in the future. I don´t recall if he has changed that stance significantly while working on the science of climate change. I read Curry has having the same stance, both on climate change and on the science.

    • +1 As I was thinking the same in my last post but you have expressed it much better Joachim.

    • I’m a big fan of ClimateAudit and McIntyre, that is the place I started engaging in blogs way back in 2006

      • and if you will recall many people slammed you. I recall one person calling you the wicked witch of the west
        Neither willard nor Josh nor FOMD were there to act as hall monitor.
        where are the bully busters when you need them? where was the union of concerned scientists. ?
        weirdly you did not run away crying as Mann or Lew would do.

      • Heh, I recall people sending StevieMac money to go see her.
        =========

      • weirdly you did not run away crying as Mann or Lew would do.

        Leaving aside your characterization of Mann and Lew…

        Why would it be “weird.”

        Careful there, steven.

      • StevieMac

        Uncertain T. Monster.

        StevieMac.

        It’s nice to know that despite what they claim, people are reading. I find it quite touching.

      • Why would it be “weird.”

        Why am I not surprised that Joshua can’t recognize sarcasm?

      • > where are the bully busters when you need them?

        bender, bender, bender.

      • where the heck has bender been for the past 5 yrs?

      • Well, willard, your pool of information needs a little cleaning out.
        =========

      • It’s eutrophied from the fertilizer run-off.
        ==========

      • Joshua

        ‘Why would it be “weird.”

        it would be weird because my experience is that academics, more likely than not, tend to react to public name calling by whining.

        1. That’s my experience, yours may differ.
        2. Something that is out of the ordinary is ‘weird’ to me, it may not be weird to you. or your definition of weird may differ. If so change my word, i wont object.

        Interestingly the folks who have the atypical response to name calling also share other traits. you are welcome to do your own study.

      • Judy, he’s been listening to reruns of ‘Married with Children’.
        ===========

      • > where the heck has bender been for the past 5 yrs?

        Bender Bending Rodriguez was seen on the 28 october 2009 for 3 days:

        Just 3 days. This is an important phase.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/468514887

        An important phase indeed.

    • Great post, Dr Curry, thanks!
      Joachim | November 7, 2013 at 3:52 am | writes:
      “A fact often overlooked in the comments on blogs is that McIntyre came into this with the stance that climate change is real and might become a problem in the future. I don´t recall if he has changed that stance significantly while working on the science of climate change. I read Curryhas having the same stance, both on climate change and on the science.” I’ve no doubt both McIntyre and Curry still consider climate change is real. I would certainly hope so. One doesn’t have to have even heard of greenhouse gases or global warming or the IPCC to be aware that climate change is a permanent and unstoppable feature of the earth, irrespective of what humans have been doing to influence it over the last few tens of millennia. And climate change may well cause problems in the future, as it has from time to time in the past. Better get used to the idea.

      • ” I’ve no doubt both McIntyre and Curry still consider climate change is real. I would certainly hope so.”
        Change change due to human activity.
        I think both McIntyre and Curry believe human activity has had some affect upon global climate.
        I doubt it has, though did think at one time that human were having effect. And I think it’s possible human activity could have affect- but not much effect.

    • Climate change is real, 100%. It might become a problem in the future, certainly. AGW, on the other hand, is a completely different matter. Please drop the Orwellian language!

  73. I know Mikey’s star has been falling fast of late but I wasn’t aware just how low until now. Being associated in any way with Lewandowsky, let alone publishing a paper with him, shows just what a dark place Mike must be in his own mind.

  74. Pingback: Reticent Mann skates onto melting ice, reinforces Stocker’s “choice” | The View From Here

  75. In case it hasn’t already been posted, here is a link to the speech by John Howard, conservative Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. The speech was to delivered yesterday to the GWPF. It’s about global warming policy and politics. It’s excellent, IMO.

    http://resources.news.com.au/files/2013/11/06/1226753/906885-howard-speech.pdf

  76. Mann and Lewandowsky do not wish to be treated as scientists, they want to be treated as clergy claiming to be prophets and to speak for God. These guys would have questioned Galileo’s scientific standing to deny the consensus about the anthropocentric universe. What is it about the human psyche that allows generations of charletans to convince the masses that man is the central element and cause of all things?

  77. Climate change alarmism is quickly becoming obsolete and along with it the standing of those that pushed it. Get along, Kid Charlemann.

    • ? Steely Dan – Kid Charlemagne (Live) – YouTube

      I’ve been having trouble linking items so this is a test and also a very good live performance by Steely Dan (the group).

  78. I find it ironic that the very people who are doing everything they can to avoid complying with FOI requests say that “we believe that daylight is the best disinfectant. This article is a first step in this effort towards transparency.” Chuckle…

  79. Judith, edit:
    “Lewandowsky’s defensive moves trying to cover up the deficiencies of his studies was pathetic.” were

    The claimed use of FOI requests to harass and waste time seem to result in protracted efforts to deny and dodge said requests, consuming far more time and resources than compliance would have. Odd, that.

  80. Berényi Péter

    Auch, they have got the plot wrong. Subterranean Wars are not waged between Scientists and Deniers but between Deviants and Avengers.

  81. “My first reaction was ‘How on earth did this get published in a journal?’ “

    Wasn’t your very next reaction “Oh yeah. This isn’t a scientific journal. It is a publication for psychologists.”?

    Not that such screeds cannot now be published in what once were respected scientific journals, they certainly can. One of the ways that those warring against science operate is by coopting proper journals and turning them into political pamphlets. The Climategate emails demonstrated that, and how it is accomplished. But this is different. This is a psychology journal.

    No such perversion is necessary for “journals” like Observer. The raison d’etre of such publications is to publish psychologists’ typically disparaging and often politically motivated interpretations of other people’s behaviour, and to call it ‘science’. That is the nature of their journals, because that is the nature of their field. Permit yourself a bit of schadenfreude, and click again on the link to the article. Look to the right side of the page, and witness the pathetic example of public self-affirmation: “I’m so and so, and I do many sciency things. I am a psychological scientist.” Evidently there wasn’t space in the ad to append a plaintive “Really, I am.”

    That’s what Lew and the journal editors are used to working with, so they are well equipped to provide support to other pudgy, goateed bald guys desperately trying to prove that their politically motivated hand waving is also science. It is, literally, what they have been trained to do.

  82. Nicely sinister video – Prof Lewandowsky
    Climate Change Denial and the abuse of peer review.

    • Barry Woods – Prof Lewandowsky’s very own stalker.

    • I’ve seen this. It’s quite extraordinary. If it had been a satirical video made by a skeptic it would have been rightly condemned as a nasty caricature only serving to further polarise the debate. But this guy is dinkum! Truly unbelievable. I sometimes link it to warmist/alarmist friends when trying to get them to examine where their arguments might lead them.

      • He practiced all that stuff in the mirror until he got it perfect.
        ==================

      • Agnostic – I agree this is weird, but at least he is not wearing a superhero costume like some of his warmist allies

    • stevefitzpatrick

      I really liked the final line about subverting or bypassing peer review; I guess that means he didn’t read about subverting peer review in the UEA emails.

    • From no debate in the scientific literature about the fundamentals of climate change to emission cuts being necessary. With leaps like that I see an Olympic position for the long jump in his future.

  83. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Comments here on Climate Etc, and also essays/comments too on denialist websites show a strong correlation between climate-risk denialism and radiation-risk denialism.

    Conclusion  Good science is the best pushback against the willful ignorance that is the psychological foundation of generic denialism.

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

    • “… a strong correlation between climate-risk denialism and radiation-risk denialism….”

      On the basis that ‘it takes two to tango’, we ought to look more broadly and in more depth at the role risk is playing in arguments about What Is To Be Done.

      Today’s risk aversion is a political phenomenon, whether the risks discussed are extant or not. All the best science in the world could not tell you about how that form of politics developed. This should alert us to the limitations of an approach to ‘discourse’ that consists of nothing ‘more’ than shouting ‘denial’ at it, when it occurs.

      • > This should alert us [...]

        By chance this should not alarm us.

      • “By chance this should not alarm us.”

        Characteristically pithy, though also characteristically vapid.

        The difference is between being aware of the limitations of an approach to ‘discourse’ on the one hand, and being urged to ignore them (by continued emphasis on theoretical risks) on the other.

        I’m sure that the difference was forgotten for comic effect. Hilarious though it indeed was — I’m sure we’re all still giggling — the point was to demonstrate that the problem with ‘alarmism’ is that it asks us to suspend judgement, and to take claims about risk at face-value.

        Nonetheless, and if the point was too difficult for you, credulity is a ‘risk factor’.

      • Wait a minute; I thought i had pithy but vapid covered.
        ==============

      • Kim, nobody can do vapid like Fanny. You’re not even in the same league. Pithy, OTOH, isn’t exactly his forte.

      • Today’s risk aversion is a political phenomenon [...]

        Military and police are risk aversion. Risk aversion has (AFAIK) been the primary rationalization of power-hungry politics in all human societies beyond the level of hunter-gatherer bands. It’s also been the only serious justification for governments and other such social institutions.

        The problem is, which risks, and why?

      • “Military and police are risk aversion.”

        it’s a point I raise in the article linked to above.

        >> Although ‘defence of the realm’ and ‘law and order’ have always been at the top of official priorities — for better or worse — the government’s role as protector has expanded in two respects. First, whereas defence and policing deal with tangible threats (albeit ones which historically have been and are overstated for political ends), the state now seeks us to protect us from a constellation of merely theoretical risks, many of which we expose ourselves to as ‘lifestyle choices’. [...] Second, from such important things as telling us what to (and what not to) eat, drink, smoke, and when, and how much exercise to have, how to be happy and find fulfilling relationships, how to behave in public, how much time to spend online, when to go for a walk near some trees, (and the rest), there are the broader theoretical risks that governments now seek to protect us from, but which we cannot understand (complexity again): environmental change of so many kinds, and terrorism being the two most prominent. At the domestic level, this has created a new role for public institutions intended to deliver protection from risk. And of course, at the international level, this has created similar organisations, even further away from democratic oversight, in accordance with the maxim ‘global problems {i.e. ‘risks’) need global solutions’. <<

      • Ben- Dont get too worked up by FOMBS. Like that notorious old uncle locked in the attic, we just smile knowingly and appreciate he gets a lot of joy out of humoring himself.

      • @Ben Pile…

        My point was that politics has been pretty much the same since the invention of agriculture. And we should note: in a primitive, and usually marginal, agricultural society, any change is a serious risk, because they don’t really have any understanding of what the unintended consequences might be.

        Let me give you an example: suppose, in a primitive agricultural society, somebody wanted to plant butterfly bushes around his house. Why shouldn’t be be allowed to?

        I’m not trying to justify the excesses of the CAGW movement, or dispute your suggestion that our society has taken a wrong turn on risk management. Just add some perspective.

      • “My point was that politics has been pretty much the same since the invention of agriculture.”

        Indeed. My point is that is hasn’t, and that it changed significantly over the C20th, and is changing now. The concept of risk has expanded, bringing public/political institutions with it, and creating new ones, within and above normal political organisations, and reconfiguring relationships between them all. As my post attempts to demonstrate, one of the most dangerous losses is the concept of autonomy as the vital concept of democratic politics. We’re asked to defer judgement. (Actually, we’re not even asked). The point ultimately being that the denial of agency that is concomitant with the emphasis on risk (epitomised by Klein) is a consequence of a gulf in pubic life, between the public (or demos, if you prefer) and the political establishment. Put crudely, if you can demonstrate a risk, you don’t have to ask for a mandate to govern.

      • Not to mention the pubic lice infesting the alarmists.
        ======================

      • > I’m sure that the difference was forgotten for comic effect.

        On the contrary, the word choice alerts the nuance conveyed.

        A very important nuance, just as important as was the difference between science as an institution and science as a method, a difference forgotten my so many strawmen.

        ***

        That we can’t derive ought from is has little to do with being alerted that shouting “denial” has limitations. Mr. Pile juxtaposed the two themes because that’s what bloggers with attitudes do.

        Shouting “religion” or “discourse” is so much civilized anyway.

      • “On the contrary, the word choice alerts the nuance conveyed.”

        Contrarian. Denier.

      • A: “Eugenics?”

        Also discussed:

        >>It would be a mistake to say that science (or scientific institutions) was ever one thing, which is its proper function, which has been corrupted. Robin Zubrin’s Merchants of Dispair, for instance, describes a long history of science being used to legitimise some of the most appalling acts in history. Is it a history that Ince and Klein have forgotten? No doubt that they would rightly point to the ‘ideology’ behind the ‘science’ of racial hygiene, but they would forget the fact of the contemporaneous scientific consensus failing to observe it as pseudo-science. At the time, much as Malthusianism before (and again, after it), race was the encompassing framework, that could explain all of society’s moral, political and economic problems, from crime, through drunkenness, war, poverty, to recession. Now we see the same with climate. But the role that science plays, evidently does change. For example, as ‘risk’ has become the dominant political idea, and as global institutions have been established to identify and mitigate them, so we see scientific research reflecting those priorities, whereas in the past, scientific political arguments emphasised the ethno-nationalism that dominated political ideas post-Darwin.<<

      • Sorry, I don’t buy it. Politics hasn’t really changed, only the scope of political arguments. They’ve become “globalized”, in the sense that the risks being “viewed with alarm” are to the species as a whole, rather than local or “national” cultures.

        Of course, “Science” is much more important in selling such “risks”, because it’s much harder to demonize the human sources of “risk” than with local cultures.

        But really, while using “Science” to support the claimed risks ends up perverting Science, I don’t see how the politics is any different.

        On another topic, seems to me the “risk” selection is pretty selective, on ideological grounds. Notice how little attention the risk of asteroid collision gets.

      • AK: “Politics hasn’t really changed, only the scope of political arguments. They’ve become “globalized”, in the sense that the risks being “viewed with alarm” are to the species as a whole, rather than local or “national” cultures.”

        Of course politics has changed, you even identify the change. The ‘scope of political arguments’ is the extent of politics… The ideas and arguments are manifest as institutions, organisations, processes and relationships.

        I think you’re perhaps reading history backwards with this emphasis on risk. Defence of the realm was not risk aversion. Imperialism was not risk-aversion. The idea of creating an Übermensch was not risk-aversion.

      • The ‘scope of political arguments’ is the extent of politics…

        Perhaps in a very limited sense of “extent”. But the methods, goals, and effects of politics are far more extensive (sensu latu) than one specific extent of “who is threatened”.

        Defence of the realm was not risk aversion. Imperialism was not risk-aversion. The idea of creating an Übermensch was not risk-aversion.

        Of course they were.

      • Defence of the realm was not risk aversion.

        You see, AK? Now that’s a “skeptical” comment. Purely subjective reasoning, categorical without consideration of qualifications, and clearly made without the consideration of obvious counterarguments.

        To which you apply due skeptical scrutiny. Why do you self-identify with “skeptics?”

      • AK: “But really, while using “Science” to support the claimed risks ends up perverting Science, I don’t see how the politics is any different.”

        One of the scientific claims that pops up occasionally in debates about the climate, particularly when we’re looking at the likes of Lewandowsky, is that individuals are not competent to understand the world. Others make more explicit claims that, on the same basis, democratic control of political organisation is not adequate to the task of ‘tackling climate change’. Variously, this school of thinking has a very systematic, mechanical, or pathological view of humanity. Democracy, such as it is, is founded on ideas about the capacities of individuals, to understand their own interests, and to participate in public life. It follows that a diminished understanding of the individual — of the kind that Lew et al are involved in establishing — has a corrosive effect on democratic politics. Look at what he’s asking for: privilege for scientists to influence the public sphere, protected from criticism. And it’s a privilege he demands on the basis of his elevated position over the hoi polloi.

        I don’t think it’s helpful to think of science as something with its own history, which can be ‘perverted’ from some rightful course. Of course, there are palpably pseudo scientific ideas or claims, and they can be treated as such. Science develops, as knowledge develops, as history develops.

      • Ben Pile,

        “One of the scientific claims that pops up occasionally in debates about the climate, particularly when we’re looking at the likes of Lewandowsky, is that individuals are not competent to understand the world. Others make more explicit claims that, on the same basis, democratic control of political organisation is not adequate to the task of ‘tackling climate change’. Variously, this school of thinking has a very systematic, mechanical, or pathological view of humanity.”

        You can substitute healthcare, education, retirement, employment, and all other manner of human activity, and your description still applies.

        CAGW is not the disease. It is just another symptom.

      • @Joshua…

        Point taken. But, having read a large, probably random, selection of your comments, I’m still highly skeptical of the “impartiality” of your own selectivity in using “scare quotes”.

        @Ben Pile…

        Look at what he’s asking for: privilege for scientists to influence the public sphere, protected from criticism. And it’s a privilege he demands on the basis of his elevated position over the hoi polloi.

        Perhaps you can explain how this is different, in political terms, from Plato’s demands in favor of his “Philosopher Kings”?

      • Gary “You can substitute healthcare, education, retirement, employment, and all other manner of human activity, and your description still applies.”

        Substitute what for what?

      • Ben Pile,

        “Substitute what for what?”

        For climate/climate change. Sorry, thought that was clear from the quote.

        “One of the scientific claims that pops up occasionally in debates about the climate [healthcare, education, retirement, employment], particularly when we’re looking at the likes of Lewandowsky, is that individuals are not competent to understand the world. Others make more explicit claims that, on the same basis, democratic control of political organisation is not adequate to the task of ‘tackling climate change’[healthcare, education, retirement, employment]‘.”

      • AK -

        I’m still highly skeptical of the “impartiality” of your own selectivity in using “scare quotes”.

        Skepticism is a good thing, IMO. And I am certainly not impartial.

        Where am I selective – by which I assume that you mean capriciously or arbitrarily (not in the sense of randomly but in the sense of in a biased mamnner) – in my use of quotation marks around the word skeptical?

        I will readily admit that there are people who fall into the catagory of “skeptics” who authenticall apply due skeptical diligence, at least at times. Just as while there are “realists” who are not realistic, there are also those that I put in that group who are, at least at times, realistic.

        There is a basic problem here of terminology. But we don’t really need to get hung up on that, as the more important issue, IMO, is whether you can show me where I fail to be septical. I’m sure there are times when that is the case, and feedback is very useful in that regard.

        So let’s have a convo.

  84. Pingback: Third World Applauds Groupthink in Science | al fin next level

  85. AK: ‘But the methods, goals, and effects of politics are far more extensive (sensu latu) than one specific extent of “who is threatened”.’

    Well you’re either making my point, or I don’t understand. The goals of politics have been, of course, various. My argument being that they have only become preoccupied with the mitigation of risk in recent years.

    “Defence of the realm was not risk aversion. Imperialism was not risk-aversion. The idea of creating an Übermensch was not risk-aversion.

    ‘Of course they were’.”

    Kings and clergy believed they ruled by Divine Right, and their conquests a test of their virtues. Nazis believed that the Aryan race was superior, and that races were inexorably committed to fighting. The rubric of these (simplified, of course) positions is not risk aversion, but, on the contrary, to seek risk. Nobody who wanted to avoid risk ever went out to start a fight. Similarly, defence of the realm was never purely defensive. That’s kind of the deal with Empire: you have to defend it. Empire and race no longer have the same hold over politics, which implies a fairly radical shift. Neither do ideological ideas, in fact, such as capitalism vs Marxism. Do the politics of today’s world resemble the darkest days of the Cold War, or WWII, or the Russian, French, or English Revolution? Only on some green perspectives, perhaps.

    Joshua: “categorical without consideration of qualifications, and clearly made without the consideration of obvious counterarguments.”

    It’s called ‘conversation’. I say something. Then you get to say something about what I’ve said, such challenging my argument, or asking me to expand on something you think I haven’t qualified. Then I respond, and you get your turn.

    If this were instead a viva, or a dissertation, your absurd nit-picking might be justified. But it’s not. It’s a chat on the internet.

    • > challenging my argument

      An argument would have been a good idea.

      But why Mr. Pile should use arguments?

      It’s just a conversation to alert for word placement’s sake.

      Risk aversion.

      Risk aversion.

      Risk aversion.

      • “…for word placement’s sake.

        Risk aversion.

        Risk aversion.

        Risk aversion.”

        I’ve said it before: climate change alarmists do climate change deniers’ work for them.

        Heav’n save us from people who want to place words on the internet.

      • It’s a poor man not worth his own tobacco.
        ===========

      • > Heav’n save us from people who want to place words on the internet.

        As long as ClimateBallers don’t pretend it’s made for conversation’s sake.

        Even GaryM has the decency to admit this.

        Speaking of whom:

        At a recent event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Paul described himself as a crunchy conservative who kayaks, composts, and has “a giant sequoia I’m trying to grow in Kentucky.”

        “It’s not quite a giant,” Paul demurs when I ask to see the tree. He leads me onto the deck, where against the wall stands the sequoia, a two-foot-tall potted plant with protective wax candles and cups and wire surrounding the stem.

        “The squirrels are eating the damn roots,” the senator says. “We hate squirrels. Don’t put that in the article,” he jokes. “But we hate ’em. Animal lovers will get us on that.”

        http://www.salon.com/2013/09/18/5_things_you_didnt_know_about_rand_paul/

        Damn squirrels.

    • Well you’re either making my point, or I don’t understand. The goals of politics have been, of course, various. My argument being that they have only become preoccupied with the mitigation of risk in recent years.

      The goals of politics are, and always have been, power. IMO, the satisfaction of personal lusts for power (and sometimes safety) on the part of practitioners. Are you referring to the stated goals of certain political movements?

      Those are part of the mechanism, roughly definable as “whatever herds the sheeple”. The “sheeple” may be herded by fear of “global warming”, or “British/German encroachment”, or “German barbarians”, or “Persian barbarians”, or “displeasing the gods”, or “displeasing John Barleycorn”, or whatever.

      The personal goals of the practitioners, IMO, are always personal power. Whether they admit it, even to themselves, or not. I don’t see any significant changes in politics since at least the Athenian Empire, and probably long before that although evidence is lacking.

      • “The goals of politics are, and always have been, power… I don’t see any significant changes in politics since at least the Athenian Empire,”

        Perhaps we’re interested in pictures painted with different sizes of brush. I think the proposition that politics=power is a bit of a truism, though both concepts are tricky. Power is just a means. There are some political movements which aim to abolish it, or to limit it.

        “Are you referring to the stated goals of certain political movements?”

        I think the ideas that constitute politics in 2013 are very different to the ideas that shaped history as recent as the 1980s. There’s no cold war, and the threat of nuclear war has gone. Also, since the middle of the last century, there seems to be fewer places for the ideologies that dominated the first half.

      • AK, and Ben Pile, I was enjoying your conversation. I have a question: When AK says the end or goal of politics is power, what exactly does that mean? First, do you really mean the end or goal of politicians? And second, what exactly is meant by “the goal…is power?” Does power mean being the decision-maker for the group? Or is power a means to some other end or goal of the decision maker?

        There’s a field called Public Choice (mostly found in political science and econ departments) that generally takes the goal of a politician in a democracy to be “highest possible probability of election” with no further elaboration. Would that be the same as saying a politician seeks power, or do you have something else in mind? There’s also another school that conceives of politicians having policy preferences which they will implement within the constraints of electoral realities; if you google “citizen-candidate model” you will find this. There, election (and power) are desired for a goal (implementing your policy preferences).

        Or is power some other thing… in itself desirable, or instrumental for something else, or what?

      • @NW (sorry for the slow response)…

        I would regard the “lust for status/power” as “built into the nervous/endocrine system just like the lust for food” in social mammals. See here. In a troop of monkeys, for instance, we can probably define “power” as the ability to get food from other monkeys, and for males mating preference with females, especially high-status females.

        Human “politics” then would be built around various ways of satisfying the human version of this instinctive lust, which is probably much more flexible in how its immediate, local, implementation is determined by culture. By studying the behavior of our putatively closest relatives, and drawing tentative analogies between simple behavioral mechanisms present in them and the more complex human versions, we can produce hypotheses regarding the primitive foundations of political behavior among humans.

    • Ben -

      There are conversations.

      And then there are a processes of exchanging unqualified conclusions that express complete certainty without consideration of qualifications.

      I say that those two processes are, in their pure form, mutually exclusive – although (as Mosher rightly argues) there should always be room to allow for people to back away from unvalidated or unsupported statements of certainty.

      But I find it hard to have the former (conversations) with someone who habitually does the latter (expresses complete certainty without consideration of qualifications). Not impossible, but difficult.

      Where is there room for a conversation with someone who says: “Defense of the realm was not risk aversion?”

      There is a difference between an thesis and a statement of fact. A thesis is, by definition, arguable. A statement of fact isn’t, even when it is wrong (as in this case).

      Let’s have a conversation about the first three sentences of your piece that Judith excerpted. I say that those three sentences were replete with opinions cloaked in the language of fact. I say that they were full of subjectivity presented as objective reality. Undefined terms. Categorical characterizations that need qualifications. There’s more.

      Let’s have a convo.

      • “But I find it hard to have the former (conversations) with someone who habitually does the latter…”

        Really? Well, I find it hard to care, given your contribution at November 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm.

        I’ve been on the Internet long enough to smell bad faith at close range.

        No thanks.

      • Ben -

        Really? Well, I find it hard to care, given your contribution at November 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm.

        That comment wasn’t aimed at having a conversation with you. It was aimed at having a conversation with people here who identify as “skeptics” w/r/t how unskeptical your opinions were, and how your conclusions were not founded on a scientific approach to evidence. I was offering to them a challenge as to how could a “skeptic” not be critical of what you wrote.

        I am of the opinion that the opinions you expressed in that article failed to meet due skeptical scrutiny, and were not based on a scientific approach to formulating conclusions.

        My comment was fairly specific in that regard.

        If at some point you change your opinion about my “faith” being good or bad, let me know, and we could talk about my comment.

        Or, you could continue to try to explain to me what is called a conversation. But I do have a question. If I am only here in bad faith, what made you offer your explanation (especially one as lame as the one you offered)?

      • “If I am only here in bad faith, what made you offer your explanation”

        Err, to explain that I wasn’t interested in a conversation with someone whose bad faith was so evident.

        It was obvious that you hadn’t read the post in question before you’d pronounced on it.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Where is there room for a conversation with someone who says: “Defense of the realm was not risk aversion?”

        Joshua, is this a rhetorical question.
        if so, then I assume that you think there is no room.

        But clearly there is Room.

        “Defense of the realm was not risk aversion?”

        There are many ways to enter a conversation with somebody who makes this claim.

        what could they mean by it? on its face they mean this. people did not enagage in the defense of the realm because they wanted to avoid some abstract notion of risk. They engaged in defense of the realm because
        the thought what they were protecting was worth protecting. They thought it prudent to protect against its loss. They perceived danger and wanted to avoid that particular risk, so while risk avoidance of course plays a role in defending the realm, the goal in defending the realm isnt risk avoidance per se. You could say those words and start a dialogue.

        So,, Where is there room? there is room EVERYWHERE for a conversation. you have to run away to not see the room for conversation. you have to shut the door to avoid conversation.

        you know exactly how to shut the door. you just practice bad faith and people avoid a conversation and instead talk about your bad faith. and then you complain that they made it about you. again shuttng the door.

        and then whining.

  86. AK: “Perhaps you can explain how this is different, in political terms, from Plato’s demands in favor of his “Philosopher Kings”?”

    That’s something I often discuss. (It’s time you read my blog post, I seem to have anticipated many of the things you want to say):

    >>His argument is that the world is complex. Thus it needs technical expertise to serve as managers of public life. He criticises O’Neill for a historical perspective that encompassed Ancient Greece, but has forgotten Plato’s Philosopher Kings — the administrators not even of a ‘swirling f***ng madness’, the Western World, but merely a city state.

    Far away from Plato’s Republic, in Manchester and in San Francisco, Ince and Werner invoke, not love of knowledge, but ‘complexity’ as a basis for their political treatises. But all that is revealed by invoking something so nebulous is that Ince is an inarticulate oaf, Werner is a pseud with a pseudo science, and Klein is a fool. It should be obvious that anyone appealing to ‘complexity’ in this way is admitting their own inability to understand the world. Klein and Ince admit it. Klein defers to the charlatan, who claims to be able to make sense of it by recourse to deterministic models of soap-dodging activists, and Ince merely to ‘science’.<>They are seeking authority in a very real sense, for the sake of having an authority. It’s not a search to explain the world, but to create order within it.

    Notice that the climate debate descends to science — it is not elevated by it.<<

    • I lost some formatting in the above. Here it is again in full:

      AK: “Perhaps you can explain how this is different, in political terms, from Plato’s demands in favor of his “Philosopher Kings”?”

      That’s something I often discuss. (It’s time you read my blog post, I seem to have anticipated many of the things you want to say):

      –His argument is that the world is complex. Thus it needs technical expertise to serve as managers of public life. He criticises O’Neill for a historical perspective that encompassed Ancient Greece, but has forgotten Plato’s Philosopher Kings — the administrators not even of a ‘swirling f***ng madness’, the Western World, but merely a city state.

      Far away from Plato’s Republic, in Manchester and in San Francisco, Ince and Werner invoke, not love of knowledge, but ‘complexity’ as a basis for their political treatises. But all that is revealed by invoking something so nebulous is that Ince is an inarticulate oaf, Werner is a pseud with a pseudo science, and Klein is a fool. It should be obvious that anyone appealing to ‘complexity’ in this way is admitting their own inability to understand the world. Klein and Ince admit it. Klein defers to the charlatan, who claims to be able to make sense of it by recourse to deterministic models of soap-dodging activists, and Ince merely to ‘science’.–

      I agree that the ideas are similar, insofar as people seem to want to make kings out of scientists. But the difference is in motivation. Plato wanted knowledge to prevail. The desire to elevate science today, however, seems to be more moved by a distrust of or loss of faith in others. Judith quotes the important part above:

      –They are seeking authority in a very real sense, for the sake of having an authority. It’s not a search to explain the world, but to create order within it.

      Notice that the climate debate descends to science — it is not elevated by it.–

      • Plato wanted knowledge to prevail.

        I actually read your post before I started commenting (except for my first, a reaction to the original stimulus). My reaction then, as now, is “that’s what he claims!”

        Anybody who’s studied Athenian politics even just a little should be able to see the naked power hunger behind most of the political moves. Even Themistocles, a hero of mine, probably pursued that same personal power, although he probably did so within an environment of real personal belief in the “Persian Threat”.

        After all, with his background he probably (IMO) had little chance at personal power after a Persian victory.

        As for Plato, why should I believe his rationalizations any more than Al Gore’s?

      • “As for Plato, why should I believe his rationalizations any more than Al Gore’s?”

        Well, Plato wouldn’t have let Gore, or his Philosopher Kings live like Kings. The right to rule is not always the right to make money.

        But I don’t have much time for the notion of the Philosopher Kings, either as Plato or today’s ciphers conceive of it. I think it’s a terrible idea. But at least Plato has the excuse of being around thousand of years ago.

      • > Even Themistocles, a hero of mine, probably pursued that same personal power, although he probably did so within an environment of real personal belief in the “Persian Threat”.

        Was Themistocles an alarmist?

        Let’s hope instead he was only an alertist.

      • Serfs are not enamoured of philosopher kings or the
        great man in history as leader interpreting fer the rest
        of the cits what we need ter know, Tsk!

        http://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/the-serf-under_ground-journal/#more-6

  87. @Joshua, answering | November 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

    Where am I selective – by which I assume that you mean capriciously or arbitrarily (not in the sense of randomly but in the sense of in a biased mamnner) – in my use of quotation marks around the word skeptical?

    I’m not limiting it to “skeptical”. You are clearly selective, in the sense of using “scare quotes” when we’re supposed to think you’re questioning their universal skepticism. And, as with Ben Pile, I usually don’t fault you. But you seem to think you’re being a “defender against bullies” by defending supporters of the “consensus”. Seem, that is, to me, based on my impression of the relative numbers of defenses against “skeptics” vs. “realists”.

    See the whole thread here. My best guess is that if I came to the conversation “cold”, I’d still mark you down as an alarmist “sock puppet”. I put the term in quotes because I’m using it metaphorically: I suspect you are, to use my earlier phrase, a socialist religious fanatic practicing taqiyya.

    • AK -

      Thanks for the interesting comment.

      But you seem to think you’re being a “defender against bullies” by defending supporters of the “consensus”.

      Well, I guess that’s fair. But I don’t see myself as a “defender” although I do think that I am shining the light on “bullies” (with the caveat that I don’t think that anyone is really harmed as with real bullies, and certainly not anyone innocent). And I’m not defending supporters of “the consensus,” by pointing out “skepticism.” There is “skepticism” among supporters of “the consensus” also – so your categorization is too broad.

      Seem, that is, to me, based on my impression of the relative numbers of defenses against “skeptics” vs. “realists”.

      Sure, my targeting is selective. But I don’t think capriciously or arbitrarily so. I am not claiming a lack of selectivity. I am, however, targeting those who seem to think that the selectivity in these arguments, on some broad scale, is somehow disproportionate.

      My best guess is that if I came to the conversation “cold”, I’d still mark you down as an alarmist “sock puppet”.

      Happens all the time.

      I suspect you are, to use my earlier phrase, a socialist religious fanatic practicing taqiyya.

      Yeah – that was interesting…but I don’t really fully understand what you mean by that. In what way am I a “socialist religious fanatic?” I’m not sure I know quite what that means. And how do you see me “concealing” my religion?

      • @Joshua…

        Sorry for the slow response.

        Well, I would define “Socialism”, broadly, as an ideology that would have social status defined entirely (ideally) by a person’s ability to manipulate society. Thus, their opposition to “free-market” capitalism is based on the fact that a free market, in both goods/services and capital, will tend to reward an abstract ability to manipulate the real world, regardless of “society’s” wishes. A manager who runs a profitable factory (to use an 18th century example) can be successful despite the fact that social manipulators among the workers have convinced them he’s incompetent, or unfair.

        Everything else about “socialism” stems from that simple ideal, including their constant demands for world government: in competition between nation-states (or any other freely competing social entities) that are “more free-market” and those that are more “socialist”, the “more free-market” competitors almost always come out ahead. Only by implementing some sort of socially manipulable administration that encompasses the entire (and therefore world-wide) sphere of economic/military competition can “socialist” ideology compete with even partially “free” markets.

        Thus, “socialists” come to the CAGW debate with an external agenda: the establishment of a global-scale socially manipulable administrative structure. From that perspective, climate alarmism is just the latest one excuse. This is not to deny the large population of socialists who are also honestly concerned about climate. But the litmus test is their reaction to suggested solutions that don’t fit their agenda. When they go into denial, dismissing them with clearly specious (i.e. bullshi*t) excuses, they show their true colors.

        Similarly, when they(/you) spend most of their(/your) time trying to discredit people trying to achieve more open discussion of the parameters of the “problem”, it shows a similar agenda. The occasional pot-shot at the wildest fringe of alarmist kooks just looks like a “fig-leaf” to me.

      • Oh, Yes: the distinction between ideology and religion is very vague, and I would classify “socialism” as both. And concealing a religious agenda that involves using “climate alarm” or any other supposed “problem” as a stalking horse would, in my book, qualify as “taqiyya”.

      • AK -

        I,m on the road and can’t resond. in any depth now, particularly becslause this phone is really crappy. For now, i will say that what you wrote seems too esoteric for me to understand. thotlroughly,. you may have to dumb it down for me. but from what i can get, i do not hold the beliefs that you attribute to me. also – i am not intending to discredit anyone who, IMO, is. really engaging in open discussion. with those who seem to me to be engaging in open discussion, i generally engage. with those i feel are not engaging in open discussion, i don’t engage. and besides, i am of the belief that there is nothing tha i could do by eay of writing comments on a blog that could discredit anyone. these are blog comments, their weight in the non-etherspheric world, are negligible.

      • check back later for a more in-depth response.

  88. Josh, do you support Lewindowsky, yes or no .
    Second ask
    Let’s have a convo.

    • angech -

      “Support?” No. I read one of his papers, briefly, and found it basically unreadable and essentially the flip side of the partisan nonsense that I read here so often.

      That said, I think that there is a basic reality behind one of his theses – that there is a strong association between free market extremism and climate “skepticism.” I think that the question about an association between “skepticism” and conspiratorial thinking is an interesting, although not particularly important one.

      Please note – I am not saying anything causal about that association, or whether the associations with political extremism or conspiratorial thinking is more or less prevalent on one side of the climate divide in relation to the other.

      So while I don’t “support” Lew, I also don’t support the reaction to Lew from “skeptics.” I see the whole Lew-hoopla to be same ol’ same ol’ on both sides – where, basically, everything serves to further a motivating sense of self-victimization.

  89. A link over to StevieMac’s latest lewd would be nice. There is a very nice Brandon Shollenberger walk-on, too.
    ==================

  90. Well I thought the Lewandowsky, Mann et al. paper didn’t have any close contenders for the most bizarre journal publication related to climate science, but this one is close, published in the journal Celebrity Studies

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19392397.2013.831618#.UnzmkKUyaq9

    See also this post in the Guardian entitled Climate Contrarians More Celebrity Than Scientist

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/nov/08/climage-change-denial-celebrity-not-science?CMP=twt_gu

    • David Springer

      When they do a big Hollywood movie of this whole affair who would you like to see cast in the role of Professor Curry?

      • Judy Garland. Mebbe Dorothy Parker.
        ==========

      • Oh, let’s write the hollywood script- it’s pretty predictable.

        So naturally, Professor Curry will be a bitter gun clinger.
        So, a shotgun in one hand and worn out bible in the other.
        She need some element in past that has traumatized her, so helps
        the audience understand why she is so crazy.
        Obviously she will have a history of being prejudiced against
        charming fat bald men.

      • David Springer

        They are both booked for eternity with unbreakable contracts.

        How about Sally Field?

      • Judy Davis (although I am not opposed to Jodie Foster or Sandra Bullock)

      • Actually a few of us jokingly had this conversation in response to Chris Mooney’s book Storm World about the hurricanes and global warming debate. Picking actors for Greg Holland and Bill Gray was especially fun.

      • “Oh, let’s write the hollywood script- it’s pretty predictable.”
        Joshua’s entry:
        “In a world that was just about ready to be enlightened by the chosen, one lone woman abandoned her crusade for creationism and smoking/cancer denial to launch a well funded counter-attack. Can the shadowy man in his mother’s basement stop her? He must!”
        GaryM’s entry:
        “As the world crumbles all around, a desperate few look for a hero. But is she everything she seems to be, or yet another Manchurian candidate? (cut to back lit profile of a woman racking the bolt on an M60 machine gun) ‘stay away from my data, b#tch!’”
        Web Hubble’s
        “A man driven. (show montage of progressively older versions of an actor shouting “wolf” with ever lessening impact on a large crowd). A prophecy of doom. (show waves breaking over the top of the statue of liberty). A new excel spreadsheet. (show laptop next to half-eaten bag of Cheetohs). A new hero arises- “with statistical obfuscation, I can rule the world!”
        Willard’s
        (grainy film of ice cream falling from child’s cone as he cries. Cut to nuclear mushroom cloud. Cut to black and white take of clown with tears rolling down face. Cue announcer:) “Opens Friday, tickets only $47.50. Attendance mandatory.”

      • umm, the GaryM script entry is an attempted reference to the “Aliens” scene where the female lead shouts the famous line at the monster before opening fire. I just realized it was phrased awkwardly.

      • Darryl Hannah, she already has experience in movies where oceans are a central theme.

      • I can see it now, their agents will have a bidding war to be in the movie

      • Naw.

        My vote would go for someone who’s played “Catwoman” – who carries a whip and moves quickly and lithely to fight for truth and justice.

        Anne Hathaway is the new one.

        But, before that, we had Halle Berry, Julia Rose, and (my favorite) Michelle Pfeiffer

        http://tytempletonart.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/the-top-ten-catwoman-actresses-2/

        Max

      • Forgot to mention the co-stars:

        We have Michael Keaton playing Steve McIntyre as the caped crusader, “Batman”, and Cillian Murphy playing “Hocus-poker”, the evil young serial killer who slays his victims with a hockey stick and leaves them lying in a hockey net with a puck in the mouth.

        jeffn can fill in the plot

    • Judith

      This celebrity contrarian article is just so true. I am constantly mobbed in the streets of my village and asked for my autograph.

      Tonyb

      • tony b

        Funny that this should happen to you as well.

        My hand is sore from all the autographs I’ve had to give here in my village.

        Max

      • Max

        Ah, you may be asked for your autograph but are you mobbed as well?
        tonyb

      • tony b

        “Are you mobbed as well?”

        Only by the goats that come down from the pastures to get my sandwich.

        You win.

        Max

      • Tony you jest want a role in Judith’s blockbuster movie,
        ‘Global Pursuit,’ starring Sandra Bullock as Judith Curry
        and Sydney Greenstreet, resurrected as Michael Mann.
        Maybe a part in the chilling Niagra Falls tight-rope scenario
        … not to be missed!
        Beth the serf.

      • Beth

        I see myself as a Kevin Costner type character wandering round ‘waterworld’ muttering ‘ it’s just a bit of light rain I tell you…’
        Tonyb

      • Tony,
        If i were the Director I’d offer you the role, on good pay. )
        bts

    • Judith

      Agree that the “Celebrity Studies” blurb by Boykoff and Olson comes close, but Mann and Lewandowsky is still the most absurd IMO, since it is based on a personal “mantle of martyrdom” assumed by Mann, rather than simply impersonal psychobabble.

      Max

    • > More Celebrity than Scientist

      One celebrity cult ought to be enough.

  91. Environmentalism and Religion have always been and always will be partners. Humans do not understand Nature, therefore some always take artistic license with explaining it. AGW is just another story in this tradition.

    Andrew

    • Bad Andrew

      Environmentalism and Religion have always been and always will be partners.

      You are certainly correct.

      Both have that underlying basis of human guilt and fear. Doomsday could be just around the corner UNLESS we change our sinful ways NOW.

      It’s an anthropocentric tendency: Humans want to feel important enough to have have caused natural disasters.

      The earliest written record (as far as I know) is that of Gilgamesh and the Great Flood (precursor to the Noah version).

      CAGW is just the latest version.

      Max

      • max and Andrew make excellent points. No matter how hard one might look, they’d never find any association between religious belief, fundamentalism, etc. and anti-environmentalism.

        ladies and gentlemen, i present to you the reasoning of “skepticism”.

      • “Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice (An unachievable goal.). It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof.” – Galt’s speech.

        I think the unachievable goal is perfect altruism. Failing at that may result in guilt.

        Those not wishing to prove their virtue may be separated from the tribe.

        I am not saying there is not proof, I think it’s a lower sensitivity.

        I think in a general way, she captured something. Meet the new boss, same as the…

    • Joshua is mad because he’s just discovered that he’s just as religious as the next guy.

      Andrew

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It is a millenarianist religion. End times brought about by sinfulness – diverted by forms of repentance. If it quacks like a duck…

  92. Dead Parrot – Monty Python

  93. In climate science, at least, it isn’t a War on Science, it’s a War on Corrupt Science.

    One is either for or against activities such as those exposed in Climategate, depending on whether one values political correctness over scientific correctness.

  94. “political correctness over scientific correctness”
    Better? “political power over scientific integrity”

  95. Michael Wood – the initial Frontiers reviewer of ‘Recursive Fury’ – Lewandowsky, Cook Marriott et al, that pulled out of reviewing the paper, has a paper citing Recursive Fury at Frontiers!!!

    I have added this comment underneath the abstract:

    http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00409/abstract

    There is a problem here, one of the papers that is cited is not currently available from Frontiers.

    Additionally the same paper (Lew 2013b) was unavailable over 3 months prior to the publication of this paper.. (and is still unavailable) if the hyperlink in this paper is clicked for LEW 2013b, it returns to the abstract of this paper (truly recursive?!)

    The paper in question – Recursive Fury, Lewandowsky (2013b) et al.. has this statement on the Frontiers website:

    “This article, first published by Frontiers on 18 March 2013, has been the subject of complaints. Given the nature of some of these complaints, Frontiers has provisionally removed the link to the article while these issues are investigated, which is being done as swiftly as possible and which Frontiers management considers the most responsible course of action. The article has not been retracted or withdrawn. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. ” – Frontiers

    As this paper was subject to multiple ethics complaints and factual errors (I made one of them) and has been unavailable for over 7 months, ‘pending investigation’ it seems perhaps unwise to cite it, until this issue has been resolved.

    It also seems very odd, to cite a paper, when the authors presumably knew
    (ie it is another Frontiers paper, and the lead author of the LEW 2013b, was a reviewer of THIS paper, and the lead author of THIS paper, pulled out of being reviewer for ‘Recursive Fury’ Lew et al 2013b)).

    I have heard nothing from Frontiers about my complaint for months, yet authors are now citing this still unavailable paper. This seems very inappropriate.

    I hope Frontiers will be contacting me soon to explain.

    there are currently 2 Retraction Watch articles about Lew 2013b:

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/why-publishers-should-explain-why-papers-disappear-the-complicated-lewandowsky-study-saga/

    perhaps the authors of this paper should read the comments, and the comments under the abstract of Recursive Fury.

    http://www.frontiersin.org/personality_science_and_individual_differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract

    (especially as the lead author of this paper (Michael Wood), PULLED OUT from being a reviewer of Recursive Fury, Lewandowsky et al)

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  97. Mann and Lewandowsky respond to Warren Pearce

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lskymannSubter.html

    A response to my post can surely be coming next? :)

  98. Well written Judith thank you

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