John Howard: One Religion is Enough

by Judith Curry

“I chose the…title largely in reaction to the sanctimonious tone employed by so many of those who advocate substantial and and costly responses to what they see as irrefutable evidence that the world’s climate faces catastrophe…To them the cause has become a substitute religion.” – John Howard

John Howard’s GWPF Lecture

The Honourable John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, gave the Annual  GWPF Lecture in London on Nov 5.  The title of his lecture was One Religion is Enough, and full text is available from the GWPF.   Excerpts:

I chose the lecture’s title largely in reaction to the sanctimonious tone employed by so many of those who advocate quite substantial, and costly, responses to what they see as irrefutable evidence that the world’s climate faces catastrophe, against people who do not share their view.  To them the cause has become a substitute religion.

Increasingly offensive language is used. The most egregious example has been the term “denier”. We are all aware of the particular meaning that word has acquired in contemporary parlance. It has been employed in this debate with some malice aforethought.

An overriding feature of the debate is the constant attempt to intimidate policy makers, in some cases successfully, with the mantras of “follow the science” and “the science is truly settled”. The purpose is to create the impression that there is really no room for argument; this is not really a public policy issue; it is one on which the experts have spoken, and we would all be quite daft to do other than follow the prescriptions, it is asserted, which flow automatically from the scientific findings.

Writing recently in Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Dr Richard S. Lindzen, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said of those with political agendas who found it useful to employ science, “This immediately involves a distortion of science at a very basic level: namely science becomes a source of authority rather than a mode of inquiry. The real utility of science stems from the latter; the political utility stems from the former.”

It is a proven technique. It is behind the expression I am sure you have heard that something is “above politics” or “too important to be left to the politicians”, with politicians themselves sometimes being the worst culprits of all in advocating that decisions they should make are in fact determined by others. Politicians who bemoan the loss of respect for their calling should remember that every time they allow themselves to be browbeaten by the alleged views of experts they contribute further to that loss of respect.

Scientists are experts in science. Judges are experts in interpreting the law and doctors are skilled at keeping us healthy-provided we take their advice. But parliaments –composed of elected politicians are the experts at public policy making, and neither expressly or impliedly should they ever surrender that role to others.

In the past five years, the dynamic of the global warming debate has shifted away from exaggerated acceptance of the worst possible implications of what a majority of climate scientists tell us, towards a more balanced, and questioning approach. 

The flood of emails coming from the University of East Anglia, the admitted errors regarding the Himalayan Glaciers, as well as the nakedly political agendas of some of those allegedly giving impartial scientific advice have degraded the image of the IPCC as the unchallengeable body of scientific experts on global warming.

I have always been something of an agnostic on global warming. I have never rejected, totally, the multiple expressions of concern from many eminent scientists, but the history of mankind has told me of his infinite capacity to adapt to the changing circumstances of the environment in which he lives.

My suspicion is that most people in countries like ours have settled into a state of sustained agnosticism on the issue. Of course the climate is changing. It always has. There are mixed views not only about how sustained that warming is – seemingly it has not warmed for the last 15 years, and also the relative contributions of mankind and natural causes. The views are anything but mixed about the soaring cost of electricity bills, with a growing consciousness that large subsidies are being paid for the production of renewable energy, with this having an increasingly heavy burden on low income earners.

Where are we left in this debate? From this agnostic’s viewpoint some broad conclusions can be drawn.

1. First principles tell us never to accept that all of the science is in on any proposition; always remain open to the relevance of new research.

2. Keep a sense of proportion, especially when it comes to generational burden-sharing. 

3. Renewable energy sources should always be used when it makes economic sense to do so. The less that governments intervene the more likely it is that this will happen.

4. Nuclear energy must be part of the long term response. It is a clean energy source, has the capacity to provide base load power as an alternative to fossil fuel, and modern nuclear power stations have a sophisticated level of safety.

5. Always bear in mind that technology will continue to surprise us. I doubt that the expression “fracking” was widely known, let alone used five years ago.

The Economist

The Economist has a response to Howard’s talk, titled: Global Warming and Religion: Faith Upon the Earth.  This essay is on the Economists’s Erasmus Blog, which considers the intersections between religion and public policy.  Excerpts:

THE WORD “religion” is often used, rather effectively, to demonise a category of people who hold a strong conviction about something and propose to translate that belief into action. “Global warming is a new religion and blasphemy against that religion is not a laughing matter,” Lord Lawson has said, adding that “there is a great gap in Europe with the decline of any real belief in Marxism and any real belief in Christianity. This has filled the vacuum.”

Before making any comment on this variety of scepticism, I should declare an interest. Over the past decade, I have participated in many conferences and symposia that explored the link between faith and the environment, in places ranging from Brazil to Greenland to New Orleans. So I’m familiar with most of the standard arguments in this area. There are many different points on the spectrum. As well as green-minded people of faith, there are greens who hate religion, arguing that the anthropocentric bias of the Christian West has made humanity indifferent to other living things; and there are religious people, including some evangelicals, who scorn environmentalism as neo-paganism.

Well, perhaps such people exist; prigs and bullies can be found on almost any side of any dispute. But at their best, religion and environmentalism interconnect in a much more positive way. Both invite people to think far beyond the particular physical space and moment in time which they happen to occupy. Both encourage virtues such as caution and self-restraint in the face of uncertainty—values which are absent from most political discourse, and are hard to fit into any electoral cycle. Traditional societies used to have rites and beliefs which affirmed a sense of connectedness with past generations and responsibility for future generations; such a sense is absent from the short-term calculus of secular politics and economics. Lord Lawson may be quite right to say that the decline of Marxism and organised Christianity has pushed people towards concern for the planet. But that doesn’t mean the concern is foolish.

JC comments:  It is difficult to argue against Howard’s 5 broad conclusions regarding climate policy; they seem eminently sensible.
.
The nexus between religion and global warming is an interesting one.   The dogma associated with global warming was discussed in a number of my previous posts:
Issues related to religion (particularly Evangelical Christianity) and the global warming issue have been discussed previously here:

The following statement in the Economist article bears repeating:  But at their best, religion and environmentalism interconnect in a much more positive way. The Creation Care movement among Evangelicals is a good  example of this.

In context of the current status of the CAGW-policy debate, moral arguments seem to be in ascendancy as the scientific argument seems to be weakening.  Climate change is a complex moral and political issue; thinking that science and scientism holds the answers is unfortunate dogma and ideology among too many scientists.

And finally, Lindzen’s statement bears repeating, a statement that is wholly consistent with my own statements on the Subterranean War on Science:

“This immediately involves a distortion of science at a very basic level: namely science becomes a source of authority rather than a mode of inquiry. The real utility of science stems from the latter; the political utility stems from the former.”

391 responses to “John Howard: One Religion is Enough

  1. Erasmus has completely missed the point (deliberately?) of John Howard’s article. CAGW proponents are not religious, but they are treating their issue as a religion by couching the arguments both in terms of belief (since there is precious little proof for any of the catastrophic outcomes) and treating those who disagree as apostates who do not deserve any consideration.

    By focussing on the declared religious faith of the people themselves, Erasmus has simply created a straw man argument and tried to demolish that. This is what makes me think that this was a deliberate misunderstanding and not just an mis-reading of the speech.

    •  

      “denier”. We are all aware of the particular meaning that word has acquired in contemporary parlance. It has been employed in this [the climate] debate with some malice aforethought.

      Exactly. A Leftist propaganda tactic. Global warming is not just a Left vs. right issue. It’s America vs. them. And, that is what so aggravating — school teachers have sided with them and are using our money to help create the America they want, by any means (scaring children and turning English into a liars language): an America that is more like them… thankless secular, socialist Eurocommies with a cargo cult understanding of economics that lives in fear of free, self-actualizing individuals who are willing to take responsibility for their own lives.
      9

    • Walter Carlson

      Waggy…forget about signng me up with whoever pays you to come up with the slop you toss around. Obviously, having an intelligent discussion with you is not possible.

    • Some people can’t handle the truth that the environmentalism movement has been hijacked by the Left. Understanding that does not mean we must accept it. We certainly should not ignore it. And, we ought to know where it is leading us.

      “I don’t blame them for seizing the opportunity. There was a lot of power in our movement and they saw how it could be turned to serve their agendas of revolutionary change and class struggle. But I differed with them because they were extremists who confused the issues and the public about the nature of our environment and our place in it. To this day they use the word industry as if it were a swear word. The same goes for multinational, chemical, genetic, corporate, globalization, and a host of other perfectly useful terms. Their propaganda campaign is aimed at promoting an ideology that I believe would be extremely damaging to both civilization and the environment.” ~Patrick Moore

    • Wagathon, it may come as a shock to you, but most of the world does not regard “America” as the central reference point for what they believe or do.

      I agree with a lot of the points that you make here, but this parochial perspective does you, and your arguments, no favours.

    • The UN including dead and dying old Europe is anti-America. Obviously, most of the world does not regard ‘America’ as the central reference point fro what they believe or do.

      We do not disagree. Accordingly, you must have missed the central reference points, which has nothing to do with most of the people of the world living in Brazil, Russia, India and China who are getting a good chuckle at the Western obsession on CO2.

    • Well put, old trout!

    • Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. ~Henry David Thoreau

    • … first thought that came to mind, during the read, is the use of terms ending in “ism”.

      There is an interesting spin in this post — usage of Proper Nouns, Nouns, and terms which reflect a behavior tendency or general opinion resulting from a doctrine, ideology, and or a principle.

      e.g.: Calvinism vs. baptism, criticism, magnetism vs. romanticism, patriotism, opportunism…

      Those in Science, Engineering, Industrial Design, City and Regional Planning are NOT in politics and seek the most Insightful solution to meet the True needs of the end user.

      I do not find Howard’s comments to be anything more than an extension of the nonsense that perpetuates the silly Climate dialogue and thus inhibit Insightful solutions which meet the true needs of the taxpayer…

    • cronyism and nepotism also jump out in response to this wonderful post

  2. Richard Dawkins would say one religion is one too many……

    Except that he may live within the CAGW church……

  3. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    John Howard asserts [wrongly] “Increasingly offensive language is used. The most egregious example has been the term “denier”. We are all aware of the particular meaning that word has acquired in contemporary parlance.

    A PUBMED search finds more than two thousand scientific articles discussing the phenomenon of “denial” in its various forms.

    Question  Has the term “denial” accreted a pejorative connotation?

    Answer  Yes. Rightly so!

    Summary  Ideology-driven denialist cognition is profoundly opposed to the rational/scientific/Enlightened worldview.

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Dang! I forgot to include “Denialism by John Howard, facts by FOMD!

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    • FOMD attempts to rewrite history.

      The link to holocaust denial was made EXPLICITLY at the time the word was first applied in the context of climate. This is no mere accident of similar terminology creating an association. It was deliberate from the start. Prior to that time we were known as climate skeptics.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Ian H asserts [without evidence or reference] “The link [of climate-change denial] to holocaust denial was made EXPLICITLY at the time the word was first applied in the context of climate”

      PUBMED provides the earliest reference to “climate-change denial” as appearing in February of 2005 (that is, eight years ago):


      Heavyweight attack on climate-change denial

      by Nigel Williams
      v15(4):R109-10 (February 2005)

      Concluding Paragraph  In a lecture last month at the Royal Society, biologist Jared Diamond drew attention to populations, such as those on Easter Island, who denied they were having a catastrophic impact on the environment and were eventually wiped out, a phenomenon he called ‘ecocide’. “It’s time for those living in denial of the evidence about the impact of climate change to take note.”

      It is a pleasure to verify scientific history and usage, eh Ian H?

      The entire Current Biology article (full text here) is well-worth reading, as among the first (possibly even the very first?) usages of “climate-change denial” in the academic literature!

      Thank you for suggesting this historical investigation, Ian H!

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    • Walter Carlson

      FOMD…I think you and I worship at the same laboratory :-) While most on this blog practice a religion of ‘denialism’, some of us have studied the many sources of science which corroborate that our world is warming. And we have seen proof of right wing efforts financially supported by fossil fuel corporations and ‘think tanks’ with ultrarich backers.

    • Environmental Politics
      Volume 5, Issue 4, 1996, pages 729-735
      Peter Newell & Matthew Paterson

      “From Geneva to Kyoto: The second conference of the parties to the UN framework convention on climate change”

      “intolerance with ‘naysayers’ who he argued were seeking to undermine the credibility of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He called on parties to negotiate a legally binding protocol for adoption at Kyoto and made clear that delay and denial were no”
      DOI:10.1080/09644019608414300

    • Matthew R Marler

      Walter Carlson: FOMD…I think you and I worship at the same laboratory :-) While most on this blog practice a religion of ‘denialism’, some of us have studied the many sources of science which corroborate that our world is warming

      The scientific case implicating CO2 increase as a cause of global warming is full of holes. Perhaps you would like to take a crack at addressing one. An increase in atmospheric CO2 is said to produce an increase in downwelling long wave infrared radiation; on the 90% or so of the Earth surface that is not dry (ocean, savannah, forest, farmland), what fraction of the increased energy of radiation will be transferred to vaporization, and what fraction will to go warming?

      There is all this talk of the equilibrium, but the equilibrium comes after the transient, if it ever comes at all. The transient response to CO2 may be an increase in the water vapor and hydrological cycle, and increase in cloud cover with a concomitant decrease in solar radiation at the surface.

      Recall that there is always evaporation from the surface driven by wind and radiation; so what will be the response to a surface that is evaporating (so to speak) when more radiant energy is added? On forest, savannah and farmland, should we expect a higher rate of photosynthesis? That is another direct effect of CO2 itself.

    • Walter Carlson

      Mathew…not being an atmospheric scientist, I could not presume to attempt a cogent answer. However, that you offer one, or many perceived problems that you don’t have an answer for, does NOT negate AGW!! It does, however, offer a challenge for investigation. Assuming you are up to the task!

    • @MM: An increase in atmospheric CO2 is said to produce an increase in downwelling long wave infrared radiation; on the 90% or so of the Earth surface that is not dry (ocean, savannah, forest, farmland), what fraction of the increased energy of radiation will be transferred to vaporization, and what fraction will to go warming?

      This is a very reasonable question, and one that used to worry me when I first heard of the back radiation theory of global warming not so long ago. (This was several years after I’d retired from teaching. I’d first learned about the greenhouse effect as a physics major in the mid-1960′s, but I don’t recall any mention of “back radiation” by our physics professors.)

      This question about flow of photons through a greenhouse gas can also be asked about flow of electrons through a resistor in an electrical circuit. The counterpart of the back-radiation theory of greenhouse gases would explain resistance by saying that with higher resistance, electrons traveling from minus to plus are more likely to be bounced back by the resistor.

      With that point of view, how would you derive Ohm’s Law, V = IR? It would be extremely difficult: you would bog down in ostensibly reasonable at first, but ultimately unanswerable, questions about the statistical distribution of electron velocities in the resistor.

      I have never seen the back-radiation concept lead to an effective way of estimating global warming. If you want to understand the impact of greenhouse gases you may be better off viewing them as a sort of resistance R reducing the flow of photons from the surface to space.

      The fundamental equation of global warming is that if the temperature of the planet is to remain within reasonable bounds, the energy in that flow needs to equal the incoming energy from the Sun in the long run. Increasing R forces the surface temperature to increase until the two flows become equal (which conceivably might never happen if you keep increasing R). This is a constant-photon-flow requirement.

      The principle here is similar to that of a constant-current (constant flow of electrons instead of photons) electrical circuit, in which an increase in the electrical resistance increases the voltage drop (the counterpart of temperature drop) across the resistor, as required by Ohm’s Law.

      The physics of radiative flow differs in certain respects from that of electrical flow, but the basic idea, namely that raising the resistance in a constant-current circuit results in raising the voltage drop across the resistor, remains the same. In this case it is the radiation from the Sun that is providing the energy needed to increase the temperature drop.

      For any given surface temperature, more GHGs result in a reduced flow of photons to space. These are the only photons that can offset the warming influence of the Sun.

      The reason for this is that the more GHGs there are in the atmosphere, the higher a photon has to be in order to have a 50% chance of escaping to space. For any given frequency of photon, that altitude can be taken as the definition of Earth’s photosphere for that frequency, thinking of Earth as a low-temperature but otherwise star-like radiator of thermal energy.

      Higher altitudes however are cooler, and the Stefan-Boltzmann law of radiation says that cooler objects radiate less. This reduces the flow of photons to space, much as increasing electrical resistance reduces the flow of electrons to the positive end of the resistor. In order to restore the balance between incoming and outgoing energy, Earth raises the temperature at the surface. The energy to do so is provided by the Sun.

      The transient response to CO2 may be an increase in the water vapor and hydrological cycle, and increase in cloud cover with a concomitant decrease in solar radiation at the surface.

      On Tuesday I attended a talk by Professor Hideo Mabuchi from Stanford’s Department of Applied Physics in the Department of Statistics’ weekly seminar. Hideo had little to say of a statistical nature, while the statisticians in the audience, with several world-famous representatives of their discipline in the front row, asked nothing relevant to physics.

      I mention this communication gap between physicists and statisticians only because during 1970-2000 the CO2 went from 326 to 367 ppmv while HadCRUT4 (smoothed to a 5-year moving average) went from −0.1 to 0.5 °C.

      As someone trained in physics I would have said naively that this entailed a positive correlation. Evidently you statisticians have deeper ways of drawing the opposite conclusion.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      5 year smoothing is probably not the best option. If we exclude the big ENSO transitions in 1976/77 and 1998/2001 – the resultant is shown here from Kyle Swanson at realclimate.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/rc_fig1_zpsf24786ae.jpg.html?sort=3&o=26

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

      Deducting natural variation – which ERBS and ISCCP-FD suggest is mostly cloud cover – and the residual due to greenhouse gases is teeny.

      Of course the theory – a leading edge climate science paradigm – suggests no warming for decades hence.

      This paper discusses the resistance of astronomers to new paradigms – but it might easily be applied to physicists.

      ‘ Because many scientists are extremely reluctant to change their fundamental assumptions about the Universe, major paradigm shifts are often delayed until the older generation of scientists dies. It is customary to refer to scientists who adhere to the old paradigm as “dinosaurs.” Note that scientists with new-fangled ideas that conflict with the correct paradigm should of course be referred to as “crackpots.”

      http://members.verizon.net/vze3fs8i/air/paradigm.html

    • @CH: 5 year smoothing is probably not the best option.

      Fair enough. Instead of taking the end points of 5-year-smoothed data, how about fitting a trend line? Swanson and Tsonis don’t give the value of the trend in their graph, but here’s what it comes to for some periods of interest in HadCRUT4, in units of degrees per century, along with the rise over that period.

      1970-2000: +1.68 °C/cent (0.50 °C rise)
      1975-2005: +1.93 °C/cent (0.58 °C rise)
      last 17 years (204 months): +0.59 °C/cent (0.10 °C rise)
      last 3 years (36 months): +3.07 °C/cent (0.09 °C rise)

      Not much different from taking just the end points, at least for 1970-2000. I included the last 3 years because the Swanson-Tsonis paper predates them, it would be interesting to see what difference if any the more recent data makes to their conclusion.

      Deducting natural variation – which ERBS and ISCCP-FD suggest is mostly cloud cover – and the residual due to greenhouse gases is teeny.

      Good, sounds like we agree that Matthew’s theory that “The transient response to CO2 may be an increase in the water vapor and hydrological cycle, and increase in cloud cover with a concomitant decrease in solar radiation at the surface.” doesn’t fit the data. He would have rising CO2 cause a decline in radiation at the surface.

      However you didn’t say whether the cloud cover had increased or decreased. Which is it?

    • Vaughan,
      This is what Chief bases it on
      http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/PalleSST_cloud_zps21b3b881.png

      He claims that the increase in cloud cover raises temperature.

      Unfortunately this is in the wrong direction for skeptics. Skeptics need increases in cloud cover to REDUCE temperature because they can only hope that the albedo would increase with more fluffy white clouds. Instead, this is a positive feedback situation — more clouds appear to be raising temperature in this case.

      Of course the obvious argument is that clouds are a side effect of warming .
      If warmer SST causes greater specific humidity and more clouds as a result, this would be in line with GHG theory [1].

      [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.
      \

    • cloud effect depends on what latitude, what time of day, what height, and whether deep convective or not. The sign of the cloud feedback is a big debate; IPCC seems to think overall positive, but I don’t agree

    • Ok, but what does CH say on this?

    • CH can’t think for himself. He needs a cherry-picking quote-mining contraption to generate assertions. It is tuned to agree with the skeptical POV.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Sorry take so long to respond. Using HadCRU4 – degrees C

      year……..Temp anom
      1976…….-0.251
      1977……. 0.033
      1996……..0.142
      1998……..0.490

      Total warming in those 2 ENSO transition periods was 0.632 degrees C. The total warming is 0.741 degrees C. So some 85% of the total was ENSO just in those 2 periods.

      The warming between 1977 and 1996 is 0.109 degrees C – or about 0.054 degrees C/decade.

      More than half of that seems to be decadal variability.

      Here’s the model – that also suggests non-warming for a while yet. The theory of synchronous chaos is necessary for a proper understanding of the temperature trends. id I mention dinosaur?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/rc_fig1_zpsf24786ae.jpg.html?sort=3&o=29

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC AR4 WG1 3.4.4.1

      Low frequency variability – of the decadal variety as well as longer term shifts – is the result of shifts in climate states in a dynamically complex system. And I won’t go into complexity theory here.

      Palle and Laken (2013) used both ISCCP-FD data and MODIS to produce a composite data series using cross calibration with sea surface temperature in the tropics.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=36

      It shows decreasing cloud cover to late in the century and a step wise increase in the turn of the century climate shift. A shift that is also captured by Project Earthshine.

      The shifts are significant and the periods are not arbitrary. It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

      Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events – these are dragon-kings in the terminology of Didier Sornette. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

    • You might find this interesting.

      Glickstein, PhD, Ira. “Visualizing the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ – Emission Spectra.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, March 10, 2011. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/

      “The Atmospheric “greenhouse effect” has been analogized to a blanket that insulates the Sun-warmed Earth and slows the rate of heat transmission, thus increasing mean temperatures above what they would be absent “greenhouse gases” (GHGs). Perhaps a better analogy would be an electric blanket that, in addition to its insulating properties, also emits thermal radiation both down and up. A real greenhouse primarily restricts heat escape by preventing convection while the “greenhouse effect” heats the Earth because GHGs absorb outgoing radiative energy and re-emit some of it back towards Earth.”

    • Fan

      I think you miss the point. ‘Denier’ has been used to create a link to other extreme views, such as holocaust deniers, as you well know. .Dr Hansen deliberately created a further link with his comment;

      “The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/feb/15/james-hansen-power-plants-coal

      That was not his finest hour.

      My father in law was traumatised for life when entering one of the Nazi death camps as a young British soldier as world war two finished. It is horrible to deliberately make that link and perpetuate that term .

      Am I a climate change denier then? Certainly not. What exactly is it you believe I am a denier of Fan? I suppose I am a CAGW denier but I prefer the word ‘sceptic’ (spelt properly).

      tonyb

    • 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.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/06/a-subterranean-war-on-science/#comment-409449

    • Speaking of “verifying history”, look at this:

      “Concluding Paragraph In a lecture last month at the Royal Society, biologist Jared Diamond drew attention to populations, such as those on Easter Island, who denied they were having a catastrophic impact on the environment and were eventually wiped out, a phenomenon he called ‘ecocide’. ”

      Jared refers to his lead story from his book “Collapse”. It is another example of his sloppy research, which has earned him a low reputation of academics in the fields he writes about. His Easter Island eco-story is little more than an urban legend, unsupported by the large body of data collected there.

      The Easter a Island population was devastated by diseases delivered by western ships, after which much of the population was enslaved and deported.

      It is nice for us of the West to imagine that they did it to themselves. Unfortunately, much of the damage was inflicted on them by us. Some accidentally, some deliberately.

    • The Gods walked.
      ============

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Voracious Polynesian rats versus voracious Big Carbon denialists, what’s the difference? Either way, the ecology gets irrevocably fubar’d.

      Isn’t that plain common-sense, Fabius Maximus?

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    • The 1300-1375 event on the Polynesian society’s was due to significantly fast decreases in T, large drops in sea level and increased storminess.

      http://www.amergeog.org/gr/jan07/nunn.pdf

    • Fan,

      Your quote of Jared Diamond: “who denied they were having a catastrophic impact on the environment and were eventually wiped out”

      That is largely false. They didn’t do it to themselves; we did.

      “Voracious Polynesian rats versus voracious Big Carbon denialists, what’s the difference? Either way, the ecology gets irrevocably fubar’d. Isn’t that plain common-sense, Fabius Maximus?”

      I leave such big speculations to experts, like Curry. My little point was that the material quoted was false, a widespread legend.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      Fabius Maximus has decided to take one of the sides in the ongoing debate about Diamond vs. Hunt at

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Easter_Island

      It would be interesting to know why FM finds one side more convincing that the other. There are some strong words in that debate, e.g. “In brief, there is no indication that Hunt’s rat-induced collapse theory has any basis in fact at present. It might be true, it might be utter bullshit.”

  4. > The nexus between religion and global warming is an interesting one. The dogma associated with global warming was discussed in a number of my previous posts: [...]

    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.

  5. Dr. Curry,
    You have put together a most interesting and educational several months of postings. I must admit that you have opened my mind and made me appreciative of the beauty of getting “informed critiques” on a variety of climate positions.

    This posting certainly addresses one of the problems which most vexes me about climate science. Why are there “so many extremely strident” positions on both sides. Your daily assessments must cause you to laugh, cry and scream? Are students open minded about conflicting conclusions?

  6. Mr Howard was, in a sense, preaching to the converted.

    I noticed this while reading his speech. While I agree with most of what he said, I can’t see any real likelihood of it changing anybody’s mind.

    Perhaps nobody’s left whose willing to change their mind. Perhaps everybody’s mind is already made up, and they’re just looking for ways to rationalize their opinions.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Perhaps everybody’s mind is already made up…”
      ______
      What “makes up” a mind? A mind is made up from an ecosystem of memeplexes. Your mind has been “made up” for you your entire life.

      “… and they’re just looking for ways to rationalize their opinions.”

      The desire to justify those memeplexes in your mind varies from person to person, but generally everyone will want to seek a minimum level of cognitive dissonance, or tension between the memeplexes that make up your mind. For example, you can’t both believe that God is Love and think that killing innocent people without cause is okay. These would be in competition. No one ever changed their minds, as their minds are just, again, a ecosystem of memeplexs. People will cast out the memeplex that is the least powerful and causes the most cogntive dissonance.

    • Are you serious? Or is this sarc?

  7. It is true that many proponents of CAGW have taken to behaving in the way we might expect religious believers to behave. In the absence of scientific evidence, they have resorted to belief-based tactics in order to try and push across their message, whilst at the same time still claiming to exclusively occupy the hallowed ground of scientific respectability. This is what sets them firmly apart from traditional believers – they have corrupted scientific method in order to promote their belief as ‘settled science’. Their ‘God’ is of their own making, manufactured from the illusory confetti of contorted ‘scientific data’ combined with the erroneous interpretation thereof.

    Dismissing them now as faith-based zealots is, in a sense, allowing them off the hook and possibly entertaining the continuance of their scientific fraud in some guise of respectability, which it deserves nothing of the sort. We don’t convict preachers of fraud; we convict fraudsters of fraud. By adopting an evangelical stance, these people are only escalating their fraud to the next logical stage.

    • +1000

    • “We don’t convict preachers of fraud; we convict fraudsters of fraud.”

      Indeed – yet politics changes EVERYTHING where legislation is concerned. For example, in my view the 9-11 perpetrators should never have been charged with “terrorism”, as that legitimises their “cause” – they should have been charged with 2,397 (or whatever the number is) “murder” counts and 5,000+ “attempted murder” or “conspiracy to commit murder” charges (as appropriate). Anyone can have some sympathy with a terrorist (as in “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”), but who defends the actions of a mass murderer?

    • There is an old saying about power in pursuit of self-interest: “Their god is their belly”.

  8. AGW is a cult. With priests that own dozens of homes and have a harem of female attendants and fly first class around the world and encourage the gullible to drink the kool-aid that kills economies..

    • Drink the kool-aid, deny the holocaust and death trains.

      Please describe for me how these three metaphors are all the same.

    • Do you deny the AGW Cult is trying to kill off the western economies while giving China a free pass. Why are you a denier?

      The AGW CUlt loves to kill old people by making energy more expensive so they have to choose between food and warmth.

      Why do you deny the murder that is going on?

      I don’t deny the holocaust occurred. Why do you deny the new green holocaust is occurring?

  9. Fingerprints of Salem all over the place.

  10. Increasingly offensive language is used. The most egregious example has been the term “denier”.

    Oh. Brother. Maybe John should follow Judith’s sage advice.

    Posted on November 6, 2013
    by Judith Curry

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

    Selective “outrage” is selective, Judith.

    • “Maybe John should follow Judith’s sage advice.”

      Miss this bit, Joshua? : “I have always been something of an agnostic on global warming. ” – which, I might add, is completely in accord with (my memory of) his previous public pronouncements on the subject.

      John Howard was ALWAYS prepared to take the “no regrets” options on AGW, and, as he admits, only caved in to political reality when the pressure to conform become significant enough that he felt to do less was political suicide. With the current conservatives elected with a scrapping of the carbon tax at the top of their list (and publicised as so), it’s beyond belief that such an electoral mandate could be ignored. Neither can the progressives claim this is not a good enough reason – after all, they ALSO claimed that Julia Gillard’s (previous progressive PM) “no carbon tax under a government I lead” promise prior to her election was somehow a mandate to introduce the very same thing when they required a green coalition to even form a government!

      I guess this shows another “religious” aspect of the debate: “if you’re not with us, your agin us”; or perhaps “if doesn’t matter what else you believe, if you don’t believe as we do, you’re a heathen and will burn in hell”.

  11. Looks like some mending needs to be done here:

    An overriding feature of the debate is the constant attempt to intimidate policy makers, … with the mantras of “follow the science money” and “ the science is truly settled it’s all a hoax perpetrated by the godless statists who are intent on destroying capitalism, installing a one-world government, and starving millions of children”.

    • No need for mending, Joshua:

      President Obama today declared a war on coal, and thus declared a war on Kentucky jobs and our economy. Whether it is through the retroactive denial of permits, onerous regulations on coal-fired power plants, or unreasonable environmental requirements, the policies of this Administration are threatening the very way of life that has sustained Kentucky communities for generations. As a defender of the free market and of coal, I will continue to fight back against the EPA and any other federal agency whose goal is to stifle coal production. I will continue to stand up for our miners in Washington as we continue to recognize the sacrifices they make to provide food for their families and energy for America.

      http://www.paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=875

      Res ipsa liquotur.

    • As a defender of the free market and of coal,…

      Personally, I’m a fan of Roy Spencer’s “noble cause” of performing in his role as a defender of the public interest – you know, as he stands up to those religious zealots that Judith thinks should put on their big boy pants.

      One might think that Chief with his crusades (against the “enemy”) or GaryM with his fight against immoral “progressives” (who don’t share his understanding of the unique value of Judeo-Christian doctine) or Peter Lang’s battle with the name-calling “true believers” (who don’t have complete faith in nuclear), but be subject to criticism for having a religious orientation.

      But no. Because selective reasoning is……….. (all together now).

    • “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Period.
      ==================

    • Was that aimed at me Joshua?

    • AK -

      ???

    • Joshua…

      Just pointing out that not all skeptics are tolerant of the people you mentioned. I’d forgotten you’re not good at recognizing sarcasm.

    • Willard

      Wal, now – efn Ah lived in Kaintucky, Ah reckon Ah’d lissen to whut thet feller said.

      Makes sense.

      (Not only fer Kaintucky, either.)

      Max

    • AK -

      Just pointing out that not all skeptics are tolerant of the people you mentioned. I’d forgotten you’re not good at recognizing sarcasm.

      One might argue that by putting “skeptics” in quotation marks I am not referring to skeptics, but to “skeptics.” One might, in fact, have read me make that distinction on many occasions. One might think, that if one has read me make that distinction, perhaps many times, and nonetheless identify themselves as someone I refer to as a “skeptic,” then that person might just be a “skeptic” after all.

      And if one had read me make that distinction, and one made your comment anyway, then ironically that person might not be so good at recognizing unintentional irony.

    • Joshua…

      I suppose anybody who reads (even a large, random, selection of) your comments will make their own determination regarding the selectivity in your use of “scare quotes”.

      Ironically, some might actually class you with other socialist religious fanatics practicing Taqiyya. Or perhaps I should say “ironically”?

    • [Me] Res ipsa liquotur [sic., think liquor]

      [MiniMax] Nobody will ever listen to you, Wal.

      Makes sense.

  12. Enlightenment scholars in the 18th century and modern historians in the West have expressed moral outrage at the conduct of the crusaders. In the 1950s, Sir Steven Runciman wrote that “High ideals were besmirched by cruelty and greed … the Holy War was nothing more than a long act of intolerance in the name of God”.

    … The lives and labours of millions who were buried in the East, would have been more profitably employed in the improvement of their native country
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

    And so it is with the fight against “global warming.”

    • It’s not often that I agree with J. K. Galbraith, but he spoke sense when he said (in “The New Industrial State”):

      “Beneath the mantled crosses beat hearts soundly attuned to the value of real estate.”

  13. Judith, you write ” thinking that science and scientism holds the answers is unfortunate dogma and ideology among too many scientists.”

    I must have missed something. We call it “climate science” for a reason. The study of climate IS a science. I am a scientist, and I firmly believe that science holds all the cards, the empirical data, which will decide whether CAGW is right or wrong.

    • Jim

      You comment on Judith’s choice of words; I have added two-does it help?

      ‘…thinking that science and scientism (presently) holds (all) the answers is unfortunate dogma and ideology among too many scientists.”

      tonyb

    • Sorry, Tony, I think your two added words change the whole meaning of the sentence. Science does not presently have all the answers. The current empirical data is not sufficient to show whether CAGW is or is not correct. We are going to have to wait some time before this data is conclusive. But I have no doubt that, in the end, it will be conclusive. I am just not sure we can afford to wait that long.

    • Well, Jim, we can’t afford not to wait.
      ===============

    • Jim: “But I have no doubt that…”
      The data is inconclusive (you admit) still, you “have no doubt”

      This is a perfect example of quasi-religious certainty.

    • Tony,
      You are a wise man!

    • my point was that science does not hold the answers in debates about politics and values

    • In an insane intellectual atmosphere (which we have in both the climate science and political spheres today), anything reasonable you try to say–especially about the differences between essentially experimental (hands-on) science and philosophy (political or otherwise) you see goes right over the heads of the more myopic (over-focused) dogmatists. Or, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

    • ” Or, “No good deed goes unpunished.””
      It’s clear from the “war on science” thread that Judy is now fed up (like John Howard, in fact!) of being labelled as a “denier”, “misinformer” etc when she is rather more to be considered as “agnostic”. IMO, since the “other side” not only picked the fight in the first place, but also “removed the gloves” on her, she’s decided to hit back – good for her! She played by the rules and only went after the ball before, but since “they” decided to play “the (wo)man” instead, she has (IMNSHO) decided enough is enough – you can’t build a bridge when one side (at least) is prepared to continuously undermine the supports to prevent it’s construction. Perhaps this is a minority position, but it’s certainly well promoted and is certainly used by the “heavy hitters” on the believer side.

    • “my point was that science does not hold the answers in debates about politics and values”

      Truncate that and use it as a title of a thread. Just because some people are professional scientists does not make them as more likely to have better answers to political or moral questions.

      I find it odd that many people think professional scientists are better at making policy decisions than are professional, elected, politicians, yet do not think that professional politicians are better at making scientific discoveries than are professional,trained, scientists.

    • Point Taken. I agree!

  14. “It is a proven technique. It is behind the expression I am sure you have heard that something is “above politics” or “too important to be left to the politicians”, with politicians themselves sometimes being the worst culprits of all in advocating that decisions they should make are in fact determined by others. ”

    Howard glossed over the most pernicious aspect of this. This isn’t just an attack on politicians, this is a full frontal attack on democracy itself. This notion very directly claims that there are things that should properly be beyond the democratic process. It’s one thing to have constitutional principles that are difficult to change and require supermajorities to enact. It’s another thing entirely to claim that there are certain things that are completely immune to the will of the people, and have to be deferred to a credentialed class.

    • Study the career of Lenin.

    • “It’s another thing entirely to claim that there are certain things that are completely immune to the will of the people….”

      I see, you believe your right to YOUR life, YOUR liberty, and YOUR pursuit of happiness should be subject to majority vote. If so, then when the majority says they would be better off taking all you own and executing you even though you violated no one else’s rights, you would accept it as their right to do so and quietly go to your death.

      It has rightly been observed that a true democracy is two hungry wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Care to guess which way the vote fell? The wolves won’t be eating grass for lunch and neither will the lamb.

    • “I see, you believe your right to YOUR life, YOUR liberty, and YOUR pursuit of happiness should be subject to majority vote”

      And you do not? Surely these rights were created in law in the first place because the majority believed them? Can this not change as society evolves? If not, why the progressive desire to remove and/or restrict the right to bear arms under the US constitution?

    • As I thought. You have no concept of rights nor have learned the lessons of history.

    • “As I thought. You have no concept of rights nor have learned the lessons of history.”

      Heh. I did NOT suggest that these rights should be changed lightly, or that abuses from “mob mentality” are impossible. But there is ALWAYS a way to change these “rights” – else why else do amendments to the US constitution exists? Your “right” not to incriminate yourself is NOT enshrined in the US constitution, it is in an AMENDMENT to it! Was not this amendment and the right it confers upon you ADDED to the constitution after the majority agreed to it? Sure, it’s a little more complicated than “normal” legislation, I agree, but surely you are not suggesting this amendment was added without “majority support”?

      Do you think your “right to freedom” applies where you have committed a crime – say, treason or murder? How can an “inalienable right” like “liberty” or “to bear arms” be even temporarily removed from me by the state by force? Is this not tyranny?

      Just pointing out the abject stupidity in suggesting that “rights” are set in stone, unalterable and unbreakable for eternity – they are written by (wo)men, and change over time. Hopefully with the full and informed consent of the populace and for the better of all, but alas, this is not guaranteed.

  15. “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”. Period.
    ================

  16. On the interaction between religion and ecological/climate issues, see this about a forthcoming meeting at the Vatican:

    Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility
    http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/accademia/en/events/2014/sustainable.html

    Luis

  17. Passionate belief in AGW provides many of the main ingredients of a mainstream religion, without the inconvenience of having to believe in a supernatural God: guilt about one’s personal actions, apocalypse if mankind continues on its current path, the possibility of redemption if we mend our ways.

    • High priests, check.
      Dogma inaccessible to the masses, check.
      Dispensations, check.
      Egregious use of fear and guilt, check.

      Oops, bearing down too hard, the red pencil lead just broke.
      ==============

    • Wearing the ‘robes of authority’, check

  18. A rat named Howard, having accepted that the barge is scuttled, has leapt overboard and is swimming furiously for land.

    Soon, one will be able to walk ashore on the backs of rats.

  19. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    climatereason/tonyb asks “Am I a climate-change/tobacco-cancer/Darwin-evolution/Tragedy-of-the-Commons/radiation-risk/endocrine-disruption/pesticide-neurotoxicity/ozone-destruction/antibiotic-resistance/pregnancy denier?”

    Your questions are excellent TonyB!

    Please allow me to recommend Joshua Rosenau’s clear-headed essay Science denial: a guide for scientists (2012, free text available) for assistance in recognizing various forms of denialist pushback against scientific advances.

    Summary  It commonly happens that “the best available science” challengesdearly-held political/economic/religious beliefs; these challenges have been posed by science ever since the dawn of the Enlightenment; the nature of the anti-scientific pushback from denialists, ideologues, contrarians, cranks, corporate interests, and politicians can be foreseen with considerable accuracy.

    Thank you for your thoughtful question TonyB!

    \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}

    • The “best available science” DDT scare has killed 100 million people (and counting) to stop the possible thinning of a few egg shells of Eagles (which are routinely pureed by wind torbines).

    • Fanny

      Evolution, climate change, and vaccination: in these cases and more, scientists, policymakers, and educators are confronted by organized campaigns to spread doubt, denial, and rejection of the scientific community’s consensus on central scientific principles.

      Huh?

      What’s the connection or similarity between these three totally different topics?

      And what evidence exists that there is a conspiracy to “spread doubt, denial and rejection of the scientific community’s consensus” on “climate change”?

      The answer to both questions is: None. Nada. Zilch.

      What’s happening in the case of climate science is that the CAGW fraud is being exposed – by a growing number of scientists as well as by Nature, itself.

      Don’t dredge up such silly stuff, Fanny – it only makes you look stupid.

      Max

    • GMO foods, fluoridated water, and vaccination: in these cases and more, scientists, policymakers, and educators are confronted by organized campaigns to spread doubt, denial, and rejection of the scientific community’s consensus on central scientific principles.

      Fixed it.

    • This also works:

      The cause of Arafat’s death, and vaccination: in these cases and more, scientists, policymakers, and educators are confronted by organized campaigns to spread doubt, denial, and rejection of the scientific community’s consensus on central scientific principles.

    • Fan

      As you well know I said nothing remotely of the sort. Please write out fifty times ‘I will not completely fabricate what other people write in order to make my point.’

      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      sunshinehours1 claims “The best available science DDT scare has killed 100 million people (and counting) to stop the possible thinning of a few egg shells of Eagles (which are routinely pureed by wind torbines).”

      Denialist demagoguery by sunshinehours1, scientific links by FOMD.

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    • This sounds familiar.

      “In Silent Spring, Carson stated that the overall rise in U.S. cancer rates between 1940 (the dawn of the DDT era) and 1960 proved that DDT was a carcinogen. She predicted that DDT and other pesticides would spark a cancer epidemic that would wipe out “practically 100 percent” of the human population within a single generation.”

      And yet the truth was:

      “After seven months of hearings in 1971, which produced 125 witnesses and 9,362 pages of testimony, EPA Judge Edmund Sweeney concluded that according to the evidence:

      “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man … is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man … [and the] use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.”””

      http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1259

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      sunshinehours1 references “[cherry-picked legal quotations, forty years out of date]“

      Forty-year-old legal quibbles by sunshinehours1, best available contemporary science by FOMD.

      Thank you for strikingly illustrating outdated legalistic demagogic quibbling as a key element of denialist cognition, sunshinehours1!

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    • The “contemporary science” seems as full of holes as climate science.

      “However, in spite of these outcomes, the hypothesis that such excess risk is related to the use of pesticides has not yet been formally demonstrated. Various other factors have been suggested to explain the increase in prostate cancer in agricultural or rural populations, such as dietary issues, contact with infectious agents via livestock, dust, tobacco and chemical products [154]. Rigorous studies with larger cases that accurately and objectively estimate pesticide exposures and consider gene-environment interactions are needed to determine a potential relationship between pesticides and prostate cancer.”

      Note the mention of tobacco.

      My source:

      “Among the inaccuracies in Carson’s book was the author’s contention (mentioned above) that DDT had contributed significantly to the overall rise in U.S. cancer rates between 1940 and 1960. Yet Carson’s claim is definitively refuted by Centers for Disease Control data showing that cancer rates had already been rising long before the introduction of DDT in the early 1940s. Indeed, between 1900 and 1960 Americans’ cancer rates spiked mostly as a result of an increase in the use of tobacco.”

      The accusations against DDT in your “contemporary science” are not very conclusive at all.

      Malaria deaths are real. The numbers are staggering.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      sunshinehours1 distills “[drops of doubt from tsunamis of evidence]“

      Denialism by sunshinehours1, evidence by FOMD. That’s why Climate Etc folks are well-advised to read for yourself and think for yourself.

      \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}

    • FOMD = Fan of Genocidal Environmental Policy

      100 million dead. If the AGW CUlt get their way, it will be more than 100 million dead.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      sunshinehours1 froths incoherently “FOMD = Fan of Genocidal Environmental Policy. 100 million dead. If the AGW CUlt get their way, it will be more than 100 million dead.”

      Abuse-and-ignorance by sunshinehours1, science by FOMD:

      The changing epidemiology
      of malaria elimination:
      new strategies for new challenges./b>

      Malaria-eliminating countries achieved remarkable success in reducing their malaria burdens between 2000 and 2010.

      The shift in the populations most at risk of malaria raises important questions for malaria-eliminating countries, since traditional control interventions are likely to be less effective.

      Approaches to elimination need to be aligned with these changes through the development and adoption of novel strategies and methods.

      ————-
      Shrinking the malaria map:
      progress and prospects

      In the past 150 years, roughly half of the countries in the world eliminated malaria.

      Nowadays, there are 99 endemic countries-67 are controlling malaria and 32 are pursuing an elimination strategy.

      Challenges and risks of elimination are presented, including Plasmodium vivax, resistance in the parasite and mosquito populations, and potential resurgence if investment and vigilance decrease.

      The benefits of elimination are outlined, specifically elimination as a regional and global public good. Priorities for the next decade are described.

      Sunshinehours1, it is a pleasure to help increase your appreciation of rational medical optimism that is solidly grounded in sustainable scientific advances!

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    • “DDT use had halted in Loreto, an Amazonian department
      that constitutes one fourth of Peru’s area, in 1988,
      though bed nets were still used [17,19,20]. Between 1992
      and 1997 malaria increased four-fold in Peru and fifty fold
      in Loreto”

      http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1475-2875-12-303.pdf

      Environmentalists conspired to murder 100,000,000 people.

      Genocide for brown and black people. Racist mass murder on a monumental scale.

    • Environmentalists conspired to murder 100,000,000 people.

      Well, that is impressive. I’ve heard tens of millions before, but I don’t think I’ve heard 100 million before.

      Good work, Sunshine. I’m impressed. You have managed to exploit more deaths for the sake of over-the-top partisanship than I have ever seen previously.

    • Joshua, denier of genocide. Typical lefty. As long as the Stalin and Mao butchered the “right” people, it was ok.

      As long as banning DDT only killed brown and black people it was ok with Joshua.

    • Am I a climate-change/tobacco-cancer/Darwin-evolution/Tragedy-of-the-Commons/radiation-risk/endocrine-disruption/pesticide-neurotoxicity/ozone-destruction/antibiotic-resistance/pregnancy denier?”

      1) climate-change. Few people think that the Earths climate is unchanging and the majority of people you call ‘deniers’ accept that AGW is occurring. Most ‘deniers’ believe that the change in global temperature from 2xCO2 is going to be between 1 and 2 degrees, and that any number below 3 is going to be beneficial to the biosphere and humanity.
      2) tobacco-cancer. Prick.
      3) Darwin-evolution. Darwin was the finest biologist who lived and his ‘evolution by natural selection’ is one of the finest products of human intellect and tenacity. However, he was a man of his time and things have moved on. Darwin would have hate evolution to be described in his name, he loved the term suggested to him, ‘evolution by natural selection’. We have much to learn about evolution and particularly speciation.
      4) Tragedy-of-the-Commons. You mean that the contents of peoples minds is a finite resource and the free exchange of both information, and also disinformation, means that those who know what is best for use must police information transfers so no disinformation contaminates young minds? You want to make drinking hemlock the punishment for ‘ corrupting the youth ‘?
      5) radiation-risk. You mean that we should no rely on data obtained from a half-starved population of very depressed Japanese atomic bomb survivors, but should instead use the data from animal models and from people who live and work in radiation rich environments. Treating radiation like powerlines hasn’t really worked has it.
      6) endocrine-disruption. My paper on endocrine disruptions was published today. I hate ED’s and work to identify them. I spent 18 months examining all sorts of potential ED’s. It is hard, painstaking, work and we do not need shroud waving or Wakefieldism. To finger-point at something which is safe devalues the whole field of ED work. Running around shouting about myriad invisible dangers is the sure way to destroy the field. I looked really, really hard at Atrazine; got a ED effect, but in 10′s of micromolar ranges, didn’t include in the study.I showed one PCB with an effect, many other tested, zilch effect. The one way to disfigure a field is to make claims unsupported by data.
      6) pesticide-neurotoxicity. All ears. Tell me. What pesticides are neurotoxic at concentrations found in peoples bodies?
      I grow human cortical neurons, which are eye-wateringly expensive and very hard to culture.
      I grow human astrocytes which are expensive and fetal, giving me moral twinges, but I justify the game being worth the candle.
      Tell me which pesticide has a neurotoxic effect at concentrations found in the human body and I will test it, if I have not already. Tell me. If you think it is a tetragen, I can test that too. I will happily spend 10 hours at a time in the dark room, counting individual neurons in mouse pup brains.
      Put up or shut up. Tell me the pesticide and concentration range reported in human serum, or shut up about things you cannot understand. I have been doing this for two decades and I know how to identify if neurons and astrocytes are feeling peeved, rather than dying. I would love to stop neurotoxins entering the human food chain, indeed, I live for it as do all Autism researchers.
      7) ozone-destruction. Reagan?
      8) antibiotic-resistance. See 3) Darwin-evolution and fund and refocus NIH. NIH will not fund drug discovery work they think drug companies should be doing.
      9) pregnancy denier. 4D ultrasound

      20 weeks

      22 weeks

      24 weeks

      According to prevailing political views, some people deny that these human beings are viable, and as such these human being are denied fundamental human rights.
      What about you FOMD? Do you a ‘denier’ and think those individuals rubbing their eyes and and yawning are not deserving of the ‘Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’?

    • Doc, keep up the good work. And keep enlightening the ignorant.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      •  Parkinson’s disease risk from ambient exposure to pesticides

      •  Pesticide toxicity and the developing brain

      •  Epidemiologic evidence of relationships between reproductive and child health outcomes and environmental chemical contaminants

      There’s no shortage of (a) observational evidence and (b) physio/physical mechanisms … for developmental neurotoxicity *or* climate-change, eh DocMartyn?

      PS Enjoyed the Sam Vimes tribute!

      \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}

    • FOMD, any meta-analysis of many studies like these? I hardly believe single-study results anymore. Including my own.

    • We had this discussion about lead in the environment.
      Poor people live in poor locals and have poor outcomes. The outcome could be due to domestic or environmental factors, or a mixture of the two. Comparing children born of agricultural workers, normally of recent immigrant stock, with children born and raised in the ‘burbs whose parents are middle class professionals may be misleading.
      Interestingly, Autism has opposing character with parental education and wealth being a contraindication.
      Individuals who spray pesticides are an exposed group, with levels of exposure >1000 times the general population. We know that paraquat cation is a substrate of the dopamine transporter, and so is elevated in the dopaminergic neurons and we also know it migrates into the mitochondria and generates superoxide and daughter oxidants. That paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease isn’t a revelation, which is why its use is regulated. However, the levels of Paraquat you find in the general population are so low as to not have a biological threat.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Your speculations in regard to developmental neurotoxicity of environmental toxins are soothing and plausible, DocMartyn.

      However, these soothing beliefs have not been assessed with adequate scientific rigor. Have they, DocMartyn?

      It has commonly happened that scientific research refutes soothing beliefs. Isn’t that plain common-sense *and* an oft-repeated lesson of scientific history, DocMartyn?

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

    • Fan, you are a complete moron. I asked you to name a pesticide, which at normal serum levels, acts as a neurotoxin. You failed and posted a review of associations of brain defects with some classes of compounds.
      Association does not indicate causation.

    • I’m curious what you might think of this paper, FOMD, and whether you think there might be something there relevant to the Parkinson’s paper you posted.

      http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/11/1359.full.pdf+html

      Ditto for this paper:

      http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124#pmed-0020124-b1

      The first three references [1-3] in the Ioannides paper are useful too.

    • Illuminating ter read yr posts based on yr deep research,.
      Doc Martin, a humble serf appreciates it.

  20. Lindzen is always a pleasure to listen to and read.

  21. Of Religion and environmentalism Both encourage virtues such as caution and self-restraint in the face of uncertainty

    They are only virtues when the basis is open-minded rational inquiry, rather than dogmatic belief. I consider myself to be a staunch environmentalist, socialist, and humanist. The consequences of ill-considered over-reaction to uncertain science is contrary to those ideological goals.

    As an aside, I used to watch John Howard and Paul Keating spar in Parliament on TV during my Uni student days. Now that was when politicians had the gloves off. He absolutely was not my cup of tea, but I have to admit in parliament he was brilliant. I also thought he was pretty brave taking on some of the issues he did. He really left himself open for misrepresentation which occurred very often and cost him the leadership of the Liberal party one year.

    Never-the-less, however he might come across, and his manner of speaking comes across in the document, his speech is excellent and worth reading in full. I find his position on the issue very reasonable indeed.

    • I formed my opinion of Howard in the 1980s from the media. I met him once, about 1990, and found him totally different, and far superior, to how he had been portrayed. He even gave credit to Keating, who always vilified Howard, for some of his achievements. I think he could have done better as PM, but he was only one of two (behind the very good Hawke) good PMs in the post-Menzies era.

      Erasmus: caution as a virtue? That is often not the case.

    • > [C]aution as a virtue? That is often not the case.

      Virtue is not a matter of cases, but of principles. “Caution” seems to refer to this cardinal virtue:

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

      The political subtext was quite transparent, BTW.

    • Wiki: “Prudence is the ability to judge between virtuous and vicious actions, not only in a general sense, but with regard to appropriate actions at a given time and place. … Distinguishing when acts are courageous, as opposed to reckless or cowardly, for instance, is an act of prudence, and for this reason it is classified as a cardinal (pivotal) virtue. … Although prudence would be applied to any such judgment, the more difficult tasks, which distinguish a person as prudent, are those in which various goods have to be weighed against each other …”

      Appropriate actions, I’ll support that. They won’t necessarily be cautious ones. Cf escaped POW Richard Pape’s story “Boldness be my friend” and the SAS motto “Who dares wins.” Caution is not a virtue if it leads to failure to contemplate or take superior choices which involve risk.

      Wiki: “In modern English, the word has become increasingly synonymous with cautiousness. In this sense, prudence names a reluctance to take risks, which remains a virtue with respect to unnecessary risks, but when unreasonably extended (i.e. over-cautiousness), can become the vice of cowardice.” Or of failure to act optimally.

      The COD (2201 edn) says: “behaviour showing high moral standards; a quality considered morally good or desirable; a good or useful quality of a thing.” I don’t think that caution necessarily complies with that definition.

      But, then, I’ve always lacked circumspection.

    • Checking the Pape reference led me to a great exchange at http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?68113-quot-Boldness-Be-My-friend-quot-by-Richard-Pape-a-pack-of-lies

      Alexander Biggs, this one is for you.

    • Faustino:The only thing I had in common with Pape was that we were both in aircrew in WW2 supposedly.Connection with John Howard is even more tenuous. Those of us who actually engaged with the enemy in battle were given the “Gold” medical card by the Howard government, ending the argument whether disabilities were war caused or not. It covers medical expenses and we are all grateful for that.

      But Pape. It seems unlikely he could be both an airman and a SAS soldier in the same war, and a prisoner of war as well. But that was a totally different war in Europe. My war was in Catalina flying boats in the Pacific One of my best friends was taken prisoner of war, tortured, forced to dig his own grave and executed. I was lucky in not flying with him that day. Back as a civilian at University it did not help my studies reliving those events and wondering how I would have coped. So I was never a prisoner of war. Another crew member was wounded and taken prisoner by the Japanese Navy,He was treated the same as their own wounded sailors and survived the war.

    • > Caution is not a virtue if it leads to failure to contemplate or take superior choices which involve risk.

      Like divesting from fossil fuels, as I’m sure you’re envisioning when you say that, Faustino.

      To fail to contemplate is the opposite of being cautious. To posit a failure to contemplate or take superior choices provides a casuistic hindsight which agents can’t access. In cases where virtues are invoked, one does not ultimately know beforehand what choices are superior, even when it’s only a matter of Justice.

      Every choices implying virtues involve risk. In other words, Courage is the condition of any virtuous act more than a virtue itself. Thus the tension between Courage and Prudence, which just means that virtue theory is no decision theory.

  22. Michael Crichton:

    Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is
    environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of
    choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look
    at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is
    in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian
    beliefs and myths.
    There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with
    nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of
    eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions
    there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners,
    doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called
    sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the
    environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that
    pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs,
    imbibe.
    Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming
    doomsday—these are deeply held mythic structures.

    http://www.pe.tamu.edu/DL_Program/graduate_seminar_series/Documents/MichaelCrichton_evironmentalism.pdf

  23. “This immediately involves a distortion of science at a very basic level: namely science becomes a source of authority rather than a mode of inquiry. The real utility of science stems from the latter; the political utility stems from the former.”

    inquiry is a tool. explanation is the goal. is one central?

    if the utility of science stems from inquiry, then the question is what use?
    what is the “real utility” of inquiry? inquiry for the sake of inquiry? curiosity for curiosity’s sake?

    The ultility of inquiry is to give an authoritative account of what is, which is always tied up with the control of behavior.

    Inquiry, is not primary, but rather just a means to an end. The end is the control of behavior. power.

    Of course when you are skeptical, you valorize inquiry.

    • “Inquiry, is not primary, but rather just a means to an end.”

      It would be nice, however, if the inquiry preceded the explanation.

    • Steven Mosher

      its the sun stupid

    • look, squirrel!

    • Steven Mosher, “It’s the Sun Stupid”

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

      This decade anyway. Unicorns are next then we do pirates again. I am not sure which will be more alarming, unicorns or pirates?

    • Phase three is pirates riding unicorns scattering corium in their wake.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “it’s the sun, stupid”

      ___
      What a memeplex that one is! This kind of very new research says, “It’s NOT the sun, stupid” must therefore be rejected or attacked (much like a white corpusal attacks an invader)…to preserve the harmony of the memeplex ecosystem:

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/4/045022/pdf/1748-9326_8_4_045022.pdf


    • http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/4/045022/pdf/1748-9326_8_4_045022.pdf

      Thanks RG. That is a devastating critique of the Cosmic Slop theory.

    • gates, that solar paper you linked looks like another in a long line of poorly considered application of inadequate methods on complex responses measured with inadequate data with sexed up conclusions to get published in a classier journal.

      https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_AvbafVHhEQ/Un4sO5_HrsI/AAAAAAAAKfE/eBHl3ESphUk/w719-h481-no/sh+tropics+v+composite+tsi.png

      The solar “signature” is in the tropical oceans where the metric is SST which is actually a mixture of measurements of the bulk surface layer. There is an approximate 27 to 30 month lag of solar impact which just happens to correlate with the Quasi-Beinnial Oscillation frequency. The authors noted the correlation or solar with the 27 to 30 month lag, the wandered behind the little animals chasing cosmic rays which do not have an impact of the tropical ocean bulk mixing layer but may indirectly have an impact on polar cloud cover which would have a different lag and be more obvious in the (Tmax+Tmin)/2 estimate of “surface” temperatures over land masses.

      Thanks to the rotten luck of having volcanic activity at the start of the satellite era data, only the last third of the Solar composite has a strong correlation and even that requires properly allowing for ENSO which is linked to equatorial energy imbalances like the QBO.

      The authors brought a signal processing box cutter to a statistical gunfight.

    • Cappy, obfuscation as usual. However you cut it, the temperature oscillations due to TSI variability is minimal. Less than 1 part in a 1000 variation impacting a T^4 root translates to around 0.05C temperature variability.

      You always construct this word-salad when all it takes is first-order physics as taught by any qualified instructor to completely debunk your junk.

    • Webster, “Cappy, obfuscation as usual. However you cut it, the temperature oscillations due to TSI variability is minimal. Less than 1 part in a 1000 variation impacting a T^4 root translates to around 0.05C temperature variability.”

      If you have one uniform surface with zero feedback, that would be right. You don’t have one uniform surface being uniformly heated. First the main surface receiving energy is the oceans with that energy spread between the surface and a hundred meters. There is also ~ 47% of the energy being absorbed in the atmosphere. The energy between the two surface interact.

      Then you have the measurement issue. You are measuring a bulk ocean surface of approximate 10 meters depth and assuming that is a “surface” temperature.

      That is not obfuscation, that is just fact.

      Then based on the land surface temperature data, land surface amplifies the impact of forcing by ~1.8 times especially in the 30Nto60N latitude band. Your “ideal” 0.05C is now up to ~0.15C which is more inline with other estimates.

      Oceans having a greater thermal mass and lower mixing rate produce a number of lags including the ~27 month lag noted in the paper, 8.5 years noted by Schwatrz, plus century scale lags as equatorial water meanders between basins and poleward. That strongly implies that much longer scale imbalances can have a significant impact.

      If all the world was ideal, it would be a simple problem and climate “Sensitivity” would not be dropping like a brick.

    • Curious George

      I found a fitting quote in “Up for Grabs” by A.A.Fair, 1964:

      When {Sergeant] Sellers starts building up a case against someone, every bit of circumstantial evidence he gets hold of has to point directly to the culprit Sellers has picked out, otherwise Sellers thinks it isn’t evidence.

    • A.A. Fair was a pen name used by Erle Stanley Gardiner, creater of the Perry Mason series of books

    • Samuel Vimes…had a jaundiced view of Clues. He instinctively distrusted them. They got in the way

      And he distrusted the kind of person who’d take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, ‘Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fallen on hard times,’ and the unroll a lot of supercilious commentary and calluses and stance and the state of a man’s boots, when exact the same comments could apply to a man who was wearing his old clothes because he’d been doing a spot of home bricklaying for a new barbecue pit, and had been tattooed once when he was drunk and seventeen* and in fact got seasick on a wet pavement. What arrogance! What an insult to the rich and chaotic variety of the human experience!

      It was the same with more static evidence. The footprints in the flowerbed were probably in the real world left by the window-cleaner. The scream in the night was quite likely a man getting out of bed and stepping sharply on an upturned hairbrush.

      The real world was far too real to leave neat little hints. It was full of too many things. It wasn’t by eliminating the impossible that you got at the truth, however improbable; it was by the much harder process of eliminating the possibilities. You worked away, patiently asking questions and looking hard at things. You walked and talked, and in your heart you just hoped like hell that some bugger’s nerve’d crack and he’d give himself up.
      — Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett, pp. 205-206

    • Chief Hydrologist

      “What was the Sherlock Holmes principle? ‘Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’ ”

      “I reject that entirely,” said Dirk sharply. “The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbably lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is that it is hopelessly improbable?…The first idea merely supposes that there is something we don’t know about, and…there are enough of those. The second, however, runs contrary to something fundamental and human which we do know about. We should therefore be very suspicious of it and all its specious rationality.”
      ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

    • The ultility of inquiry is to give an authoritative account of what is, which is always tied up with the control of behavior.

      The ultility of Scientific inquiry is to give an authoritative a predictive account of what is, which is always tied up with the control of behavior the environment (sensu latu).

      There. I fixed it for you. Of course, Kuhn says the real purpose of scientific inquiry is to satisfy curiosity. And I’m a big fan of Kuhn, in the same way I’m a big fan of Darwin. So I’d have to say all such statements have to be taken in context, with plenty of skepticism.

    • Steven Mosher

      “predictive account of what is,”

      predictions are about what will be.
      descriptions are about what was.

      Kuhn, has to argue that curiousity is its own end.

      every system of ethics requires something that is good in and of itself.

      and here you thought Kuhn was being scientific.

      Since humans do science you will want to understand human behavior Before you attempt to understand science behavior and why folks would want to have some value ( curiosity) that was beyond challenge or that was self justifying.

    • @Steven Mosher…

      predictions are about what will be.
      descriptions are about what was.

      And Science is about taking descriptions of what happened (during experiments in the classic case) and using them to validate (“prove”=test) predictive theories of what’s happening. Those theories, in turn, can be used to predict the outcome of future conditions.

      For instance, using thermodynamic principles to predict the outcome of treating certain mixtures of air and gasoline in a certain way, thus allowing efficient design of internal combustion motors. That design is engineering, but the principles of thermodynamics were discovered and validated by people doing Science.

      Kuhn, has to argue that curiousity is its own end. [...] and here you thought Kuhn was being scientific.

      Kuhn was performing one of the processes involved in Science: noticing certain patterns and attempting to formulate a theory explaining them. He specifically limited the scope of his inquiry to “Science” not subject to substantial government or business funding or control.

      Based on my own inquiries, I would (tentatively) define curiosity as an instinctive drive present in many mammals, probably including the evolutionary stem reaching back (at least) into the Permian, at least. Most likely implemented as a lust for knowledge, built into the nervous/endocrine system just like the lust for food, and the lust for status(/power) in social mammals. And, like them, fixed in the lineage(s) by the relatively superior survival/reproduction rates of individuals expressing such phenotypes.

      Kuhn’s speculations, like Darwin’s, represent the primitive beginnings of a paradigm, not the full-fledged version of the sort we now have from Darwin’s work. His hypothesis that simple curiosity was the primary raison d’être of “Science” remains a simplistic starting point for inquiry in much the same way that Darwin’s “infinitesimally small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being” did.

      But until a far more rigorous understanding of the role of government funding, corporate funding, and other normative social pressures in “Science” has been worked out, it certainly shouldn’t be ignored. (Which was my point)

      every system of ethics requires something that is good in and of itself.

      Understanding your use of the term “system of ethics” from context as some primitive form of social engineering, my response (evidently like yours) is that engineering works much better based on scientific understanding. And any scientific understanding of human behavior must, IMO, begin with our closest relatives, along with theories (or at least hypotheses) regarding common ancestors and the evolutionary paths by which surviving populations came to exist.

    • postmodern rubbish.

    • Steven Mosher

      peckham is hardly postmodern.
      He belongs to the school of american pragmatists, which google can help you with. Suffice it to say, they predate what we typically refer to as post modernism. Now of course Rorty would argue for some commonality between the two schools, but I can testify that Derrida himself saw no connection, at least he would admit to none in the discussions we had.
      perhaps he said something different to you?

    • Steve,
      “Of course when you are skeptical, you valorize inquiry”.

      When you directed corporate projects would you come to the same conclusion? I doubt that? In the military they call that call dereliction of duty when you are officer. I think, “inquiry” is the gift of the gifted. Inquiry makes things work better (my opinion). I think without “inquiry” the resultant status quo is the worst example of human nature. Humans need the challenge. Not my job or “what me worry” makes everyone crazy?

  24. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    The text says that it has been degraded “the image of the IPCC as the unchallengeable body of scientific experts on global warming.”
    But anyone reading:
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA
    would agree that IPCC has never had a solid scientific basis; so no science degradation can happen in something that has never been scientific.

  25. The people whose feelings seem to be hurt the most by the use of the term “denier” are the “moderates”, “independents” and lukewarmers. Most have never considered themselves conservatives, and so have never cared about, or even noticed, that demonization is the normal course of business for progressives.

    Since the 60s, conservatives have been described as racist, sexist homophobes who want to starve children and push grandma off the cliff. Now some people find themselves on the wrong end of the term “denier”, with its admittedly slanderous implication, and all of a sudden its “Stop saying that! You’re hurting me!”

    Put on your big boy pants indeed. You aren’t going to stop it with appeals to rationality or “fairness”. Progressives think they have trademarked fairness as their own corporate slogan. Get over it. Ignore it, or turn it to your advantage. This is not a dubtante’s ball. It is a political fight for the very nature of the countries we live in.

    Denier is just one in a long list of buzz words designed to delegitimize the thoughts of another to the point they do not even merit consideration. It is one thing to discuss tribalism, political motivation etc. in weighing the arguments of opponents. It is another to use them as means to cut off discussion.

    Racist
    Sexist
    Homophobe
    Denier
    Creationist
    Big oil funded
    Conservative
    Religious

    I use some terms in explaining who I am talking about (progressive, warmist, CAGWer), as a short hand way of describing what they think and why I take what comes from some people with a box of salt. I do NOT use them to suggest others should not consider the thoughts and positions of the others.

    Progressive activists use such terms (eg. with respect to a Watts, McIntyre or Curry), precisely to encourage their followers to ignore them. Don’t read them. No need. We have already determined their arguments are not worthy of consideration,

    But that is how they operate. That is what they were taught in Progressive Activism 101. Those of us who have been opposing progressivism for decades know they don’t stop.

    So ignore it, make fun of it, turn it around on them. But you can give up trying to get them to stop. It is a tactic that has served them well for decades.

    • demonization is the normal course of business for progressives.

      Ya’ just gotta love GaryM.

    • Dude, no matter what you say, I’m not paying rent. You’re the one who has decided I should take up permanent residence in your head.

      (And by the way, how about hanging some tapestries, or laying some carpet – the echos in here are maddening….Oh, and you might want to dust once in a while. When was the last time this place was used…used…used…?)

    • Absolutely right. First two pages of the leftist playbook are 1) slander and 2) use of the poor as human shields.

      Anyone used to being called hate-filled, mean-spirited, bitter, clinging, racist, sexist homophobe bent on killing seniors, starving children, denying access to healthcare, raping the environment, exploiting workers, etc. doesn’t get all that worked up about ‘denier’.

    • stan,

      It’s conservatives’ war on humanity, dontcha know.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      stan reminds us “Anyone used to being called hate-filled, mean-spirited, bitter, clinging, racist, sexist homophobe bent on killing seniors, starving children, denying access to healthcare, raping the environment, exploiting workers, etc. doesn’t get all that worked up about ‘denier’.”

      James B. Duke, is that you?

      \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}

    • First two pages of the leftist playbook are 1) slander and 2) use of the poor as human shields.

      Damn near up to GaryM standards, stan. Keep trying and you might reach those lofty heights.

    • > It is a political fight for the very nature of the countries we live in.

      Some, but not me, may use a more religious terminology to describe such an endeavour, e.g.:

      Hayes is unfamiliar to RCP Watch, and we did wonder if he was a new convert to the cause but he looks a bit too old and wizened for the sect which prefers bright young things like Ben Pile and James Panton. Wrinkly recruits aren’t worth investing effort into as they’ll soon retire and/or die off. However, it turns out, from the credits of one of Hayes’ many articles for Spiked [1], that he was once “head of the centre for professional education at Canterbury Christchurch University”, which reveals the connection as The Dear Leader, Uncle Frank Furedi, is of course Professor at the University of Kent at Canterbury, so they’d have been old muckers.A bit of a comedown for Hayes to go from a 3rd- to a 4th-rate university, but needs must in tight times, one supposes.

      http://rcpwatch.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/east-midlands-salon/

      There might be more recent examples.

      I wonder where l read about religion and science lately.

      It’s all a nexus anyway.

    • willard, I’ve no idea what that’s about, but I have a high regard for Frank Furedi, whose writings make a lot of sense.

    • Faustino,

      The excerpt contains a religious terminology, i.e. “new convert to the cause” “a bit too old and wizened for the sect”.

      As for Furedi, even Rand Paul can do sensible stuff, e.g.:

      > Late Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a bill that would repeal part of a law aimed at fighting offshore tax evasion.

      http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/rand-paul-fatca-repeal-offshore-tax-evasion

    • “A bit of a comedown for Hayes to go from a 3rd- to a 4th-rate university”

      Jesus H Christ. What intellectual snobbery. Willard you are a 1st-rate jerk to treat institutions of learning in this manner. What a horrible, horrible snob you are.

    • You left one off. Islamophobe.

      It’s kind of odd that “islamophobe” and “religious” are both pejoratives used as weapons like that. Particularly when you consider the Koranic teachings about homosexuality, women’s rights, evolution, and yes, even abortion.

    • Askimet eated my comment. I guess you’re not allowed to bring the 7th century religion into the discussion.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The Allinsky game plan – rules for radicals – is applied by Joshua unrelentingly whether he understand explicitly or not. It is the radical weltanschauung.

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

    • Gary- Beautifully explained. All points hit the bullseye. They will never recognize themselves though.

  26. John Howard should look inward and check out the citizens that his country is producing

    http://www.amazon.com/Larrikins-A-History-Melissa-Bellanta/dp/2239127

    The dudes from SkS and elsewhere are a reaction to the bullies from down under that have their own religion of confronting authority and not being able to work with others.

    Check out the commenters on this site. In the USA, we call them rednecks and they are also represented here.

    That is my opinion and will now get back to analysis.

    • The Aussies are coming! The Aussies are coming!

      Oh the horror. Thank Heaven we have Skeptical Science to stem the Aussie horde.

    • “We’ll all be (kanga)rooned!”

    • The way to completely disarm an Aussie is to ask how the Cricket and Rugby teams are performing.

    • Doc, I thought I’d be away for the start of the Gabba test, got a late ticket for day 2. Look for me under the big scoreboard, row 16, wearing a Newcastle United strip. If we don’t win in four days, I’ll probably go to day five too.

      I remember the horror of Harmison’s first ball a couple of series ago, but Cook & Trott’s heroics last time were a redeeming feature.

    • 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.

      Let m quote yet again from another Tsonis study.

      ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’
      http://deepeco.ucsd.edu/~george/publications/09_long-term_variability.pdf

      The central political dimension of natural variability is evident to Tsonis et al. It is obvious to anyone who isn’t madly clinging on to outmoded ideas.

    • In the CSALT model, I apply the fluctuations as described by the Stadium Wave view of Wyatt and Curry.

      http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

      Amazing how well this works in capturing the temperature trend of the last 130+ year

      Chief has no answer for this model and as you can see is not willing to add constructive comments — but like a true larrikin shows only skeptical disdain

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Again – webby has part of the picture but uses it in odd post hoc rationalisations of AGW. The essence of the stadium wave is that the system has components that interact over characteristic timeframes. The source and nature of the characteristic periods – and their impact on climate – is another matter entirely.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/07/john-howard-one-religion-is-enough/#comment-410021

      Until he gets a clue about the nature and abrupt variability of the systems under discussion it is all just nonsense.

    • Chief, Get with the program and start to use the fluctuation components as nature has provided them. If we use the Stadium Wave as described by Wyatt and Curry via the LOD measurements, and then either SOI or AAM as subdecadal variations, we can get very good agreement between the data and the model (CSALT – http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate)

      Check it out
      http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/6972/hzih.gif

    • Chief Hydrologist

      We were there 10 years ago. You keep repeating yourself – and it keeps being wrong because you don’t understand the origins of these global dynamic patterns – and so have a wrong idea of how and why they evolve as they do.

      You are 10 years behind the science and parroting nonsense is how I would characterise it.

    • The fluctuation amplitude does not change much given the relatively small perturbation of global warming. That is why the CSALT model works so well — the stationary fluctuation time series can be subtracted from the global warming time series, revealing a partially de-fluctuated trend.

      That’s good if “we were there 10 years ago”. Good ideas stand the test of time.

      Instead of using the SOI, we can just as easily use the atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) fluctuation [1]. I added this component in the latest version of CSALT:
      http://entroplet.com/context_salt_model/navigate

      [1]R. Abarca-del-Rio, D. Gambis, and D. Salstein, “Interdecadal oscillations in Atmospheric Angular Momentum variations,” Journal of Geodetic Science, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 42–52, 2012.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You are still parroting nonsense – what are the causes of these multidecadal shifts in various indices? LOD is an effect and not a cause.

      They are not cycles but have a periodicity of about 60 years. There are no causes. There are control parameters and multiple feedbacks.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/bifurcations.png.html?sort=3&o=68

      The amplitude of the resultant surface temperature changes is enough to influence trajectories of surface temperature on decadal scales. Warming to the mid 1940′s, cooling to 1976, warming to 1998, etc.

      The model I have shown you several times now suggests that recent warming due to greenhouse gases was at most 0.05 degrees C/decade.

      It all comes together in a coherent theory and makes everything you say uninformed nonsense. To make any sense of it at all you need to understand both the physical reality of these systems and the theory of synchronous chaos as it applies to climate. You are simply a not so scientific dinosaur.

    • The causes of small fluctuations have to do with variations of spatiotemporal flow which have relatively little memory from season to season. What memory they do have may be related to longer time constant behaviors.

      The remarkable fact that we can isolate the predominant fluctuations means that the attribution of the long-term warming trend becomes more straightforward.

      The deniers do not want to pursue this approach, while the real scientists such as Kosaka & Xie are making rapid advances.

  27. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    I agree that any strong belief system can be turned into a “religion”, and that includes the strong belief that there is not evidence that we’ve entered the Anthropoecne. From the oceans to the atmosphere to the biosphere, the human fingerprint upon this this planet and the dominance of one species in having such widespread effects is more than clear to those who care to look at all the facts. The denial of this fingerprint (a fingerprint far beyond simple “climate change” is an equally strong religion. Having been to old-time revival meetings for each group, I’ve seen the same look in the eyes of boths sides- that look says “I’m right and the other side are a bunch of wild-eyed fanatics”.

    • Doesn’t that depend on which facts you look at? The “fingerprint” is about 0.5C +/-0.25C The “fingerprint” stands out most between 30N and 60N. The “fingerprint” has been smudged for the past 15 years or so by some other fingerprints.

      Can I get a AMEN!

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Of course capt, your definition of “fingerprint” seems to narrow constrained to sensible heat in the troposphere over a very narrow region chronologically as well. Such a narrow definition of finding the human fingerprint of the Anthropocene would seem to indicate you’ll do whatever you can not to seem them.

    • Gates, “Such a narrow definition of finding the human fingerprint of the Anthropocene would seem to indicate you’ll do whatever you can not to seem them.”

      No. I have actually looked quite hard to find a definitive “fingerprint” of CO2 equivalent forcing and there is a “signature” in the Land ocean difference. That doesn’t do much to explain quite a few other signatures of “other” impacts. The assumption that the “global” oceans recovered from 800 years of less than normal conditions magically in circa 1900 appears to be one of the greatest “Scientific” screw-ups of the 21st century. There will likely be songs and poetry of the sarcastic variety immortalizing the Scientist that leaped to that conclusion.

    • Gates

      Don’t you think your use of the term Anthropoecne is a strong indication of your bias on the topic? I by no means am inferring that humanity is not having a large impact on the planet, but the invention or use of the term Anthropoecne seems to indicate a clear agenda.

      Sticking to the specific topic of AGW and the potential of it being greatly harmful; imo there is as little reliable evidence to support the belief as there is to support evidence to support most of the major religions. There is not sufficient evidence that it can be proven false, but it requires faith to believe.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Don’t you think your use of the term Anthropoecne (sp) is a strong indication of your bias on the topic?”
      ____
      No more bias is shown by that term than the term Holocene. The criteria for deciding when a geological period begins and ends is based on a specific scientific perspective and the case for the Anthropocene is as strong as any other period. A million years from now, it would be quite easy to identify this period of Earth’s history in which the composition and chemistry oceans, atmosphere, upper lithosphere and biosphere were so dominated by the activities of one species.

    • “‘Don’t you think your use of the term Anthropoecne (sp) is a strong indication of your bias on the topic?’
      ____
      No more bias is shown by that term than the term Holocene.”

      Nice try. Holocene does not imply human causation, nor is it a term used to affect policy. Holocene is just the IPCC “consensus” by another name.

      From the Oxford English dictionary:

      “Anthropocene: adjective; relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.”

      Nope, no bias here boss.

    • should be Anthropocene is just the IPCC “consensus” by another name.

    • Gates

      It is difficult to believe that you really believe what you wrote. Wasn’t one term originated to define a change in coditions while the other was originated to assign a cause to a change in conditions?

    • Isn’t Holocene a kind of a cow? Are we living in the epoch of cow farts?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      The Anthropocene is far more than just about the highest CO2 levels since the Pliocene and far more than just about the atmospheric chemistry– it is about the full anthropogenic fingerprint across all spheres of the planet, from ocean to atmosphere. Again, a scientist 10 thousand or a few million years in the future could easily distinguish this period of time in looking at the geological record. From the kinds of species present, to the 6th great extinction event (ongoing) to changes in river discharges, ocean chemistry, land use, chemicals in the soil, the human finger print would be so pervasive, that the large influx of CO2, methane, and N2O in the atmosphere would just be one of many components indicating the anthropocene. This period would clearly show up in both soil cores as well as ice cores (assuming there is any ice left in 10,000 years)

    • Gates

      The use of the term Anthropoecne was developed because people saw at a mico level the impacts that humans were doing to the planet. It was developed because those same people believed that those impacts were negative to the planet. You share that belief.

      I am not doubting that humans are impacting the planet, but the development and use of the term was not related to evidence shown in the geologic record, but due to observations of current and recent events. The term is based on an emotional response and not based upon observation of the data. There is not enough of a record for that judgment to validly be made.

      If a “super-volcano” were to erupt next week and wipe out humanity and if the planet were being studied by some non-earth native species at a later date, would the human impacts even be noticeable in the long term record???
      by humans would result

    • 70,000 years ago Toba exploded and flung 650 cubic miles of vaporized rock into the air. Human numbers dropped to between 500 and 40 breeding pairs over the next 1,000 years; we nearly went extinct.
      Now look at us, we live in the Anthropoecne, top dog, big cheese, head honcho, number one, King of the Hill….Damn I love my species, a bunch of over sized fruitivores, driven from the forests by climate change and then as thing begin to go our way the planet block the sun with ash for 6 whole years.
      Who the man now Earth?

    • And right on cue – Judith gives us an even better example:

      “Some of the worst policies in our history.”

      Heh. Now that, obviously, is the product of a scientific approach, eh Steven?

    • There you go again, Joshua. Until you provide some proof that you aren’t a socialist religious fanatic practicing taqiyya, this is pretty good proof that you are.

    • She calls it relevant. not better. not true. not scientific. relevant.

      and its quite true the article is relevant.

      Why not ask her what that means if you disagree that it is relevant.

    • Climate scientologist.

      A cute epithet.

      Is it more cute or less cute than “denier,” Judith?

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Too funny.

      This blog gets better and better at saying less and less with every post.

      It is only a matter of time before Dr Curry hits the scientific nadir and begins quoting Ayn Rand.

    • Reverend shows up at a religion thread. Mumbles something about Ayn Rand and leaves. C’mon, Rev. Let’s have an old time sermon! Got the gospel choir and the Hammond B3 right here.

    • Expect P.T. Barnum quotes before Ayn Rand.

    • “The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.”

    • curryja | November 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply

      Hi Judith, commentary like this at Forbes appears to be growing. People perceive the dogma you mention, and they do not like it.

      At the risk of raising blood pressure in a few folks here, memetics offers a useful perspective on the nature of religions. From this perspective, their similarities to the *social* phenomenon of CAGW can be understood as springing from common drivers beneath, i.e. the differential selection of narratives and the penetration of memes into the psyche. Yet there are differences too. Secular memeplexes do not typically have quite so much lattitude, e.g. CAGW offers two ‘substitutes’ instead of blatant salvation (1 weak and 1 strong). The essay referenced by the guest post you kindly put up on 1st November explores this whole area in some detail, and I believe sheds light on the cause and spread of the behaviours Epstein quotes, plus related behaviours. A short section also covers the ‘shall-we-shan’t-we-dance’ between Christianity and CAGW. [I emphasise *social* so folks know this excludes actual climate events, and also any genuine science going on; corrupted or biassed science is however fair game for a memeplex].

    • Hey Andy -

      FYI (and I know I’m not going to convince you of anything here), that article at Forbes is fantastic evidence, IMO, of a “skeptical” memeplex. It touches on so many of the individual “memes” that you see, ubiquitously, throughout the “skept-o-sphere” – and that link “skepticism” to a larger matrix of politically-related “memes.”

    • The MemepleX-Factor.
      =================

    • Joshua | November 8, 2013 at 8:17 am |

      I agree there are memes employed by skeptcism in there, for instance ‘scientologists’. But a few memes do not make a dominant memeplex or all the structure and mass adherence that comes with it. Hence, whether you agree with the opinons stated or not, they are imho not dominated by an emergent agenda.

  28. Interesting post. On the topic of the term “denier”.
    I consider myself a luke-warmer on AGW. I view it as possible that AGW may become CAGW, but I don’t think the evidence is convincing at this point. I am highly skeptical that the proposed policy recommendations of mainstream environmental activists will be effective. I think my position is reasonable and informed, but nevertheless I am frequently called a “denier” .

    I don’t get all bent out of shape by the label so in one sense I really don’t care if the activists want to use the term. I have long ago put on my big boy pants so to speak.

    However, it seems clear to me that the label is intended as an “insult”. It is intended to shame or, perhaps, intimidate the person against whom it is directed.

    As a result, it doesn’t seem to be a good strategy to use the term. It smacks of the type of tactic that a person would use when they don’t have good evidence to support their position. It doesn’t convey arguments about a position. It sounds like propaganda. When it is applied to persons such as Dr. Curry by other scientists such as Michael Mann is causes to me to think less of the credibility of the person who uses it. It doesn’t persuade the person against whom it is directed. It makes any type of productive discussion less likely.

    Why use it?

    • It sounds like propaganda. When it is applied to persons such as Dr. Curry by other scientists such as Michael Mann is causes to me to think less of the credibility of the person who uses it.

      What are the criteria that you use to in deciding whether to judge a person’s credibility on the basis of their use of epithets?

    • “What are the criteria that you use to in deciding whether to judge a person’s credibility on the basis of their use of epithets?”

      My overall life experiences dealing with people of all sorts. Generally, those who have good arguments, tend to use them; those who don’t tend to rely more on name calling.

      A did not say that those who use epithets have no credibility. I said it causes me to think less of their credibility. Such a person could convince me otherwise. I don’t think anything I said would strike most people as controversial.

  29. Howard, as a retired politician, has a lot more freedom to state his real opinions than those still practicing the art. Similarly we have seen many distinguished but retired scientists prominent in the ranks of the skeptics.

  30. Uh Oh. Looks like “skeptics” are going to have to come up with a new set of generalizations about climate scientists:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/its-time-adapt-unstoppable-global-warming-scientists-say-8C11554338

    Will this also require a new set of epithets? Maybe Judith could write a post asking for suggestions. “Adaptionists” just simply isn’t demeaning enough.

    • “greenhouse gases already emitted to the atmosphere will warm the planet by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century”

      When the doomsday cult prediction for the end of the world fails to come true there are a couple of steps they can take to keep the con going.

      1) Make predictions for 87 years from now so that they cannot be falsified.

      2) Make them in Fahrenheit so they look worse.

      3) Make the predictions small so that they are well within the range of natural variation.

      4) Use the words magic and magically a lot so people mistake scientists for wizards in a silly game.

      5) Ignore the fact that records emissions over the last 15 years = zero warming

    • Oh Joshua

      So now you have “skeptics” and “climate scientists” all figured out huh? In your world do all climate scientists have the same or even similar views? Same with skeptics?

    • Josh:
      GRANTMONGERS

    • All public scientists are whores with respect to grant money, not just climate scientists, grantmongers applies to us all.

  31. I know it’s not true for most but for me I have to completely understand something before I believe or disbelieve it. i don’t have a belief ‘system’ per se. I noticed there is a few definitions: 1. To accept as true or real. 2. To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully. 3. To have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to. Number one sounds like the right benchmark for me. Number two sounds like CAGW movement to me. Number three sounds like religion.

    I will give an example that can lead a general public type like me to just more muddled confusion:

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/cirrus-clouds-and-climate-change/4579930

    So here we have the former prof saying that (not in this article but known for it*) Okay CO2 will cause cirrus clouds to disappear that will cause cooling. Now the new prof says No, dudes wrong climate change is on (He has a very different take on the issue from Professor Lindzen, and describes the current state of climate change science as ‘very solid’.–from the article) then the article goes on to have the new prof explain how throwing the blankets sitting in the sun on is akin to the clouds ie: you get hotter. So what am I missing here? It sounds like he agrees with the old prof?? I guess Nasa data has confirmed that heat causes less cirrus? I know the subtitle says cirrus reflects sun rays back into space but the article doesn’t touch on it?

    Anyone care to clear that up for me?

    *However, he believes that decreasing tropical cirrus clouds in a warmer world will allow more longwave radiation to escape the atmosphere,counteracting the warming.[60] –wiki

    –serial non-believer

  32. Chief Hydrologist

    webby continues to insist – despite having seen it several times – that there is no alternative model to his simplistic nonsense.

    Here’s one from Kyle Swanson that was posted at real climate.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/rc_fig1_zpsf24786ae.jpg.html?sort=3&o=26

    Excluding the large ENSO transitions in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 – dragon-kings in the terminology of Didier Sornette – leaves a warming from greenhouse gases and decadal variability. The latter seems related to cloud cover in ISCCP-FD and ERBS data.

    The warming from greenhouse gases is at most 0.05 degrees C/decade. The implications include no warming – or even cooling – for decades to come.

    This is a different paradigm for climate – but it is at least 10 years old and is supported by an immense body of scientific literature. Of course this does mean that ‘climate is wild’.

  33. science becomes a source of authority rather than a mode of inquiry.

    A club instead of a carrot. And why we see deceased equines being flagellated.

  34. Stephen Segrest

    Dear Dr. Curry — Have you ever had any interactions with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe of Texas A&M or others like her (both climate scientists AND Christians)? If so, your thoughts/impressions?

  35. Interesting, since Howard takes his religion quite seriously, that he has taken the skeptical road. And he is not alone. There is George Pell, Tony Abbot, also skeptical of global warming. Yet, then there is John Cook, the Vatican(?), and many other religious organizations such as Oxfam international, that have embraced “warmism”.

    It seems that in any case “warmism”, science in general, is perceived as a threat to the age old religious values. In Cook’s case, if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them ( a Christian rock analogy?), where as in Howard’s case, he seems to be convinced that “warmism” is one two many a religion…..he is writing like it is a fad about to end.

    It seems the old faiths have hedged their bets on global warming.

    • “…in Howard’s case, he seems to be convinced that “warmism” is one two many a religion…..he is writing like it is a fad about to end.”

      Given his decades-long involvement in Australian politics, I think it’s fair to say he has a rather good “political antenna” for such matters. And given that the current conservative government was elected with repeal of the carbon tax explicitly advertised by their leader as the number one priority, it’s hard to credit that such a stance (“.. is a fad about to end”) is actually incorrect (although it might be).

  36. “But at their best, religion and environmentalism interconnect in a much more positive way”
    I can not help but note that whenever religious people in the USA take part in the abortion debate they views are not viewed positively.

  37. petermartin2001

    John Howard may be a wily politician but as a climate scientist you’d have to say he makes a good cricketer! He also has a fair bit to say on that subject!

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The reality remains that temperature increases from greenhouse gases has been minor and temperatures are unlikely to increase for decades more.

      The progressive denial machine rolls on – but increasingly divorced from reality. It is more a space ship cult than a mainstream religion and no amount of cricket failure will change that despite cringe worthy diversions from TT.

      It is difficult to imagine what a discourse focused on the central issues would look like.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Chief said:

      “…temperatures are unlikely to increase for decades more.”
      ____
      You must know this is pure fabrication on your part, or is this the hopeful memeplex mantra of those skeptical faithful who think a:

      Cool PDO/New Maunder Minimum/Cooling AMO/Stadium Wave/Eternal La Nina/Bond Event/End of the Holocene/Cosmic Rays/You Pick It

      Is going to counter the rapid increases in CO2, CH4, and N2O that we are seeing? Even though not one scientific study would indicate that even all the above mentioned factors combined will counter the increased energy begin stored in the system from these GH gas increases. Your position is a matter of faith, then?

    • ” Even though not one scientific study would indicate that even all the above mentioned factors combined will counter the increased energy begin stored in the system from these GH gas increases”

      And yet, something has – for the last 15 odd years anyway. And, I might also point out, several high profile “consesusers” have suggested that (at least part of) this is due to…. natural variation (ENSO etc). And that it may continue for a decade or two.

      It seems R Gates has either not noticed this or chooses to ignore it.
      And Joshua hasn’t chimed in with anything about “motivated reasoning” by R Gates on this point either, as he most certainly would if JC did it.
      Very odd – or not, depending on your expectations I suppose.

  38. Politicians and scientists alike share the “new and improved” faith:

    “modern nuclear power stations have a sophisticated level of safety”

    Pure hubris. But then this is all we can expect from politicians and scientists, hubris.

    Apparently we need to hear from economists and ethicists to get a less faith based conclusion.

    • aletho,
      “economists and ethicists to get a less faith based conclusion.” ??

      Economists?? Blimey, scientists would hang their heads in shame if they had to repeat such obvious untruths as we hear every night from professional economists onTV.

      There are some good ones but most of them clearly have no clue about the way the economy works and why countries like the USA are nowhere near bankruptcy, contrary to what is often claimed.

      Most climate scientists have called the problem as they see it. How many economists called the looming GFC prior to 2007? Some,maybe, but not many.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The asset bubble was fairly obvious – as was the reason for it. That banks were then on selling packaged poorly secured loans on the basis of it is a problem of inadequate ethics and inadequate market supervision.

      You fantasy economics – however – is a delusion of another order.

    • Chief,
      It can be quite difficult to make a reasoned critique. Its necessary to first understand what is being said and point out any flaws in the reasoning. The advantage of using terms like ‘space cadet’ or ‘fantasy economics’ or whatever, is that no understanding is necessary.

    • Nobel Prize in Economics winner Paul Krugman

      “I, like many others, was frustrated at the smallish cut at the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting: I was pretty sure that Alan Greenspan had the tools to prevent a disastrous recession, but worried that he might be getting behind the curve.

      However, let’s give credit where credit is due: Mr. Greenspan has cut rates since then. And while some of us may have been urging him to move even faster, the Fed’s four interest-rate cuts since the slowdown became apparent represent an unusually aggressive response by historical standards. It’s still not clear that Mr. Greenspan has caught up with the curve — let’s have at least one more rate cut, please — but the interest-rate cuts do, cross your fingers, seem to be having an effect.

      If we succeed in avoiding recession, this will mark a big win for let- bygones-be-bygones, and a big loss for crime-and-punishment. And that will be very good news not just for this business cycle, but for business cycles to come”
      2001

      “The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance.To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble
      2002

    • @DocMartyn – so I guess Krugman’s shenanigans at Enron were not enough.

    • Doc, of course, Krugman’s Nobel was for his excellent work on international trade theory, not macroeconomics, in which as far as I know he has no substantive background except as a columnist.

    • I thought Krugman’s Nobel Prize was for being a daily critic of the alarming-in-every-way George W. Bush. At least one other Nobel laureate from around that time (Harold Pinter) seemed to get his prize for the same reason, and another one (a few years later) simply for not being George W. Bush.

      But you are right, Faustino, he has no special competence in macroeconomics.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Peter – your fantasy economics revolves around a fairy tale of a king printing money. I doubt if it is difficult thinking in fairy tales.

  39. Strewth, stone the crows,strike a light and fair suck of the sauce bottle. An old, Australian, ex Prime Minister, who actually brought in some gun legislation,finally speaking some sense.

    • John Howard is a consummate politician who usually has a good sense of the concerns of his electorate, and he has got more good things done than the gabfest of lefties that constituted the former Labor Government. My main criticism of his rule has always been his Government’s underfunding of tertiary education.

      In my view, the debate on climate change has already been lost by the warmists and economic pragmatism with respect to environmental issues will reign, with the majority endorsement of the electorates of most Western democracies. The current sequence of La Nina’s will put paid to yet another social experiment that went drastically wrong.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Peter Davies said:

      “The current sequence of La Nina’s will put paid to yet another social experiment that went drastically wrong.”
      _____
      Except of course, there currently is no La Nina occurring, so we can’t be in a “current” sequence. Might want to check your facts before pontificating.

    • Bah, RobertG. ‘Current sequence of Las Ninas’ can well apply to the Las Ninas dominant present phase of the PDO. Did you ignorantly or disingenuously misconstrue Peter’s words?
      ========

    • RGates this is my authority

      “http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/08/28/la-nina-behind-gentler-global-warming-study-finds/”

      While there is some room for disagreement I find that the current PDO phase is certainly turning up more La Nina’s as the graph in the above link clearly shows.

    • Gates, “Except of course, there currently is no La Nina occurring, so we can’t be in a “current” sequence. Might want to check your facts before pontificating.”

      I amazes me how you can note the shift in NH SSW event magnitude and the Tibetan/Mongolia Connection without realizing that the western Pacific and Indian Ocean SST are driving that shift. Tsonis et al. noted the “Mongolia” influence on the NAO and if you looked at “ENSO” you would note that the “ENSO” region has been shifting westerly since its discovery. That is why there is Nino1 through Nino 4 regions which have to be manipulated to create a zero mean Nino index.

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

      You can research the data yourself but that compares the equatorial imbalance of the Indian ocean with the Southern Oscillation Index.

      It is like you pick up a relevant tidbit then zombie out into your human carbon volcano and other irrelevant nonsense. Focus man!

    • Sorry the link failed to work. Try again

      “http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/08/28/la-nina-behind-gentler-global-warming-study-finds/”

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Not a “Robert” Kim– that would be my father. Peter Davies point is illogical from many perspectives, not the least of which is that we’ve not been in a La Nina for quite some time. The “cool phase” of the the PDO is NOT a sequence of La Nina’s, but simply a period when La Nina’s might be statistically more likely to occur, though not necessarily as a sequence. But Peter’s argument is silly from the foundation, as he is claiming that natural fluctuatations (i.e. your cool PDO) do damage to the support for AGW, when the theory and unpinnings of AGW fully acknowledge natural variability. I seems as though Peter is engaging in a form of “wishful” thinking, that somehow the issue of AGW and the social stress caused by deciding the proper approaches to the issue would magically go away, just because of a period of natural variabililty when less energy is flowing from ocean to atmosphere. Not logcial.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      It is very interesting that during a cool phase of the PDO like right now we get the warmest La Nina’s ever recorded, and during a warm phase of the PDO we get record high temperatures, and now, during a ‘La Nada’ period, not dominated by El Nino’s or La Nina’s, we are once more getting temperatures pushing toward records (2013 will likely be the warmest non-El Nino year on record). Skeptics” can’t see the underlying warming trend here, and how much additional energy must be staying in the system?

    • Gates, ” Skeptics” can’t see the underlying warming trend here, and how much additional energy must be staying in the system?”

      Skeptics see a general continuation of a lower term warming trend. The “pause” is just an indication of reversion to mean of that trend. There is a difference though.

      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0Ljwh9NTkS0/Ubx9dAfZtAI/AAAAAAAAInM/UROadZys8_k/w807-h513-no/giss+and+ersst+with+ipwp+from+0+ad.png

      The Climate System appears to be approaching a much longer term mean. With the rate of OHC on the order of 4 centuries per degree, longer term trends should not be the least bit unexpected.

      Since most of the evidence of near zero past climate variability is dubious at best because of “novel” statistical methods, skeptics generally do not assume that decision based on dubious methods are worth the paper they are printed on.

    • R. Gates - The Skeptical Warmist

      Captn. said,

      “The Climate System appears to be approaching a much longer term mean.”

      —-
      Could you please elaborate. What longer-term mean are you referring to, exactly? Considering that during the Quaternary Period, we’ve spent more time colder than now, that longer-term mean is colder. No indication of that. Not with the present rate of Earth system energy accumulation.

    • R. Gates - The Skeptical Warmist

      Peter Davies:

      Don’t put quote marks around HTML links and they’ll work just fine.

    • Ah so that what it was. Thanks for the heads up R Gates.

    • Gates, A longer term mean,

      https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-rRs69Ekl9Zc/T_7kMjPiejI/AAAAAAAAChY/baz0GHWEGbI/w917-h443-no/60000+years+of+climate+change+plus+or+minus+1.25+degrees.png

      Climate generally wanders between semi-stable states.

      ” Not with the present rate of Earth system energy accumulation.”

      In the current orbital condition, 1410Wm-2 Austral Summer, the southern oceans gaining energy is to be expected. If you look at that 0-700 meter vertical temperature anomaly by basin, you can see how the basins are warming and the actual margin of error in those estimates. If you happen to believe that the 0-700 meter OHC data from 1955 to 1959 is actually as accurate as the Argo period, you might want to reconsider hobbies. There appears to be just one more minor error in the OHC re-analysis. The actual rate of heat accumulation doesn’t appear to be exceptional once you consider the error range and the “Climate Science” hype factor.

    • Peter Davies

      The current pause is a recorded fact (with only a few hard-line deniers that it exists remaining).

      Its cause is still being debated, but the PDO and “current sequence of La Nina’s” have been cited as likely candidates.

      So are a whole bunch of what I would refer to as unsubstantiated “rationalizations”: Chinese aerosols, heat disappearing into deep ocean, etc.

      However, assuming that a cooling PDO/ENSO signal are now “overwhelming” a GH signal from the highest-ever level of GHG emissions and concentrations, then it is clear that the past warming PDO/ENSO signal of the 1980s/1990s (culminating in the 1997/98 super El Nino) played a significant role in the late 20thC warming.

      It may not completely wipe out the GH impact on late 20thC warming, but it could reduce it significantly.

      R. Gates has a hard time dancing around that premise.

      But he’ll keep trying, because he knows that CO2 is the “climate control knob”.

      Max

    • The last quarter of the last century may well grandly illustrate the ‘Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc’ logical fallacy. The shape of the temperature curve for next few decades could well settle the climate sensitivity to anthroGHGs, except for the rising chance that a millennial scale change is now torqueing the curve. Well, and dragon princes.

      RG, sorry for mistaking your name, but one you can alzo be proud. Be careful for the times you seem disingenuous, and have courage. There is no necessity to seemly so.
      =====================

    • Max, this is the remarkable curiosity. Exquisite understanding and failure to see an obvious point. I think not male fides, rather faith, and his case, fear.

      Now, how do I distinguish my use of ‘fides’ and ‘faith’. Must I drag religion into it?
      ==============

    • RG writer….”the theory and unpinnings of AGW fully acknowledge natural variability.”

      And yet nary a model predicts the pause, which is now knocking on the door of its 17th year. Longer even, according to some accounting. I’ve read that a few more years of no warming will statistically invalidate many of these models..

      Kind of looks to these untrained eyes anyway, as if natural variability (however that’s defined) might have been underestimated. In fact it seems to me the IPCC did a bit of hand waving in this regard in their last report, though I can’t swear to it…

    • the pause is very easy to model.

  40. As an Australian I was a tad disappointed with John Howard’s lecture (see ). Too much of it was a re-run of Australian political history which would have been of only marginal interest to his London audience. There’s nothing in it with which I would have disagreed, but then there’s nothing new in it, either.

    • Don,

      I enormously respect what you write, but sometimes disagree on some things you say.

      I think Howard’s was an excellent speech. It was great that the record was put straight and honestly from his perspective. Who better to tell it. And what a perfect time to tell the story: the electorate has voted massively to repeal the carbon pricing legislation; Labor has said they will oppose the repeal unless the government does what Labor wants (i.e. put a price on carbon through an ETS); and Parliament is about to sit to debate the repeal bills. Perfect timing.

      Furthermore, the next round of the annual climate conferences is about to be held in Poland and the Australian is not sending any ministers, and deputy ministers or any senior bureaucrats. That sends a pretty clear message of what the new government thinks of carbon pricing. So another reason Howard’s speech was excellent timing. Tell the world Australia is open for business again!

      I disagree that politicians aren’t the best people to make the policy decisions. Who else is more capable? What evidence is there that some other group in democratic society could do a better job of leading the nation in the direction it wants to go than democratically elected politicians? To implement the best policies, overall and on balance, the politicians have to deal with the politics and can only implement reforms as fast as the electorate is prepared to support them. If a political party does not do what the majority of electors want it cannot win government and stay in government. If it is not in government it cannot achieve anything. So, overall, I think professional politicians are the capable people to lead us and to implement the best policies (overall; but accepting that it is nowhere near perfect).

    • Peter Lang

      You said;

      ‘I disagree that politicians aren’t the best people to make the policy decisions. Who else is more capable.’

      I can think of few people less capable of making policy decisions than politicians. Many of them are not that bright, often lack common sense, have no training in strategy, are always looking to the next election so rarely take a long term view, and to cap it all virtually everything they do is diffused through their brand of political ideology which is often fused with their other beliefs-green, religious, etc
      .
      I feel very disconnected from our UK politicians and even more so from the EU politicians.

      So who else is more capable? Numerous groups and countless individuals, but without being in political power they can’t prove their capabilities. Whether they would become as bad as the politicians once they did achieve power is another matter.
      tonyb

    • Tony,

      We disagree on this. I’ve got to my belief having worked as a policy adviser at Parliament House and seeing at close hand what is involved and what and how they have to deal with it. I’ve also seen how ‘blow in’ politicians fail when ‘professional’ politicians succeed. One excellent example was Paul Keating versus John Hewson. There was no way John Hewsen should have lost the 1993 election in Australia, but he did. the professional politician, Keating, although despised by the Australian electorate, won the election. Hewson should have won but didn’t have the experience and he blew it.

      Now, to convince me to change my mind on this, I need to see substantial, convincing evidence and example of countries where non politicians have run a country (all the things the politicians have to do) and done a better job than politicians. I don’t believe you can provide such evidence. So I think you are not properly recognising all that has to be done and all the skills and experience involved.

      I must reiterate that the first and most important thing is to get elected and then get re-elected at subsequent elections. Unless you are in government you can achieve nothing.

    • “Peter Lang

      You said;

      ‘I disagree that politicians aren’t the best people to make the policy decisions. Who else is more capable.’

      I can think of few people less capable of making policy decisions than politicians.”

      Well, in US, politicians aren’t making decisions, they trying to represent the will of the people who elected them. So the political decisions
      are about how to deal with a political body to pass laws which would be in accordance with will of the people they represent.
      Though is mostly or most strongly associated with the lower house of House of Representatives which are elected every 2 years. The Senate is suppose to be more insulated from immediate desires or whims of the public and so being elected every 6 years.

    • Peter
      You said;

      “Now, to convince me to change my mind on this, I need to see substantial, convincing evidence and example of countries where non politicians have run a country (all the things the politicians have to do) and done a better job than politicians.”

      Now, I never said the ‘other’ groups WOULD make a better job of it than politicians, I merely said they were capable of doing so. I suspect the political process means we get the systems and people we do because the politicians are adept at getting elected and not because they necessarily know what they are doing.

      Perhaps it is better in Australia, but Major, Blair Brown and now Cameron are all pretty woeful. Obama is no better and seems determined not to lead the Western world. Julia was hardly a shining example nor is Hollande.

      The fact that -for a variety of reasons-politicians are the best we can probably hope for, to do a job many are not suited to, says a lot about the democratic processes and the people they throw up to represent us.
      tonyb.

    • tony b and peter

      Ich liebe Mutti Angela.

      (Aber noch besser sind Volksabstimmungen*)

      Max

      *but even better are general pebiscites (where voters get to decide)

    • Manacker,

      Your spoilt. You live in Switzerland, right? Our democracy has not progressed that far yet, but our new government seems to have the intention to push democracy and accountability to lower levels. But very slowly. We can hope.

    • Max

      I nearly referenced Switzerland. I would like many more referendums on vital issues and also on more general issues. I do not trust politicians to make correct decisions on my behalf or even bother to ask me in the first place..

      It might be a coincidence but I can not think of a single Swiss politician.. Perhaps they are more humble and try to merge into the background rather than attempt to stride the global stage displaying their shortcomings for all -but themselves-to see.
      tonyb

    • It’s all Lin Thal.
      ==========

    • Peter Lang

      “I must reiterate that the first and most important thing is to get elected and then get re-elected at subsequent elections. Unless you are in government you can achieve nothing”.

      It is the only important thing. Politicians are often elected with no experience in making “policy dcisions” an no training in making them either. And they often turn out to be useless.

      Eg Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (the previous and previous-but-one Prime Minsiters of the UK) came to power in 1997 with no previous experience of Goverment, or of runing any other kind of organiation, except the Labour Party. Blair turned out to be very good at getting elected and re-elected. But he acheived next to nothing except ill-considered constitutional meddling, and none of his main objectives. Eg he totally failed to reform welfare. He made many changes to the health service and education but failed to improve either. Brown turned out to be not even good at getting elected. The only thing he was ever good at was clibing the greasy pole within the labour party. He turned out to be totally ill-equipped to run the country.

      And Barack Obama appears to have been elected with no experience of running so much as a whelk stall. I claim no expertise in american politics, but I have seen it said that he lack the basic political skill of being able to work with people who don’t agree with him.

      My solution? For the UK,at least, raise the age for entering Parliament to 40. That would force aspiring politicians to forge a career outside politics. If , at 40, they still want to turn to public service, we will be able to judge them on what they have actually acheived in the real world, and they will bring the skills aquired with them.

    • TonyB, in the post-Menzies era (from 1966), Australia has had two periods of good government, under Bob Hawke (1983-91 – although it went downhill after Keating’s first challenge in 1990) and John Howard (1996-2007, although it fell away in later years, with too much middle-class welfare). Both prime ministers were genuinely interested in fostering the well-being of the Australian community. I worked for the Hawke government (and attended long meetings with Hawke from 1985-91), which drew on advice from many sources and had several highly-competent and well-intentioned ministers. Admittedly, that was a high-point, and we have had several bad governments, none so bad as the Rudd-Gillard governments from 2007-2013. The jury is still out on the Abbott government.

      I also met some very good and well-intentioned ministers in the UK before I left work to go to India in 1972.

      But it does seem that things have gone to the dogs in the UK, and in Australia parliament is increasingly made up of political hacks who have had no life outside of politics, rather than, as in earlier times, people with a wide range of non-political experience (this lament is often made by several Hawke-era ministers).

      Politics and politicians are not perfect, but, like Peter Lang, I can’t see that any particular group of whatever expertise could be expected to do a better job. How we can raise the quality of politicians is of course an important question. If the system continues to foster the rise of political careerists and instant media-bites, the outlook is notr encouraging.

    • Further to the above, when asked about e.g. the most important factors in elections, my reply tends to be raising the quality of governance and the standards of public life. The “how to” is, of course, another matter, but in the long run probably a lot more important than reducing GHG emissions. I do my little bit via letters to the media as well, of course, in how I conduct myself. Ultimately, it all comes down to the quality of the individuals who make up society.

    • Tony,

      Now, I never said the ‘other’ groups WOULD make a better job of it than politicians, I merely said they were capable of doing so.

      I don’t agree ‘other groups’ would be more capable of doing the job that ‘professional’ politicians do. If that assertions was true, there would be many cases demonstrating it. Certainly the public servants would not do a better job. Imagine allowing the US EPA or the Australian public service to run our countries, or the UN to run world government. So you haven’t provide a convincing argument to support your assertion, IMO.

      I suspect the political process means we get the systems and people we do because the politicians are adept at getting elected and not because they necessarily know what they are doing.

      I suggest it is wrong to blame the politicians. We have to blame ourselves, the electors, for who we elect (and for how we get sucked it to believe in doomsday scenarios like CAGW.)

      If we continue your argument to an extreme, we would set up a body to protect us from making bad choices. :)

    • Faustino,

      I concur with all you say in your two comments.

      Gareth,

      My solution? For the UK,at least, raise the age for entering Parliament to 40. That would force aspiring politicians to forge a career outside politics. If , at 40, they still want to turn to public service, we will be able to judge them on what they have actually achieved in the real world, and they will bring the skills acquired with them.

      Good points. But one problem the younger electors would feel and say that they are not being represented. So, then we’d have to have quotas. And then we’d have to have quotas for the proportion of female politicians, the proportion of each ethnic group, the proportion of people in same sex relationships, etc.

      I think we are are blaming who we elect for being elected. The problem is with the voters, not the politicians the voters elect.

      Part of the problem in my opinion is that the wisest people are not in universities, teaching and unions. The wisest people are in the private sector and making the wealth that the country survives and thrives on. But it is the people working on public sector salaries that have all day to blog while being paid by the taxpayer. And the young who tweitter all day long. These people are largely of ‘Progressive’/ Left/Socialist persuasion.

      The people who are in business don’t have time to blog and twitter all day long about politics and policies for the nation. They are trying to run a business. So they have less input to educating the electorate. They are less influential.

      So far I have seen no argument that persuades me there is a better way than what we have.

    • Good thread Peter Lang and Faustino and others. IMHO Keating and Howard were the best politicians that I have observed, but this does not mean that I like them or their policies. Hawke and Whitlam instituted much more far reaching reforms but were not competent to follow them through.

    • That’s one reason why left-wing governments are so notoriously hard to shift once they’re entrenched in power – people tend not to vote against their employers.

    • I disagree as well Don. The political history part of the speech makes for a great narrative, a story compelling to follow in the traditional sense. It also provides context. What impresses me is the neutrality of its telling, no tub thumping or finger pointing.

  41. Don, I appreciated Howard’s lecture (as excerpted by The Spectator), which encapsulates my own views. I don’t know if it’s linked above, the full talk can be found at http://www.thegwpf.org/john-howard-religion/

  42. Chief Hydrologist

    This paper provides an update to an earlier work that showed specific changes in the aggregate time evolution of major Northern Hemispheric atmospheric and oceanic modes of variability serve as a harbinger of climate shifts. Specifically, when the major modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability are synchronized, or resonate, and the coupling between those modes simultaneously increases, the climate system appears to be thrown into a new state, marked by a break in the global mean temperature trend and in the character of El Niño/Southern Oscillation variability. Here, a new and improved means to quantify the coupling between climate modes confirms that another synchronization of these modes, followed by an increase in coupling occurred in 2001/02. This suggests that a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred…

    Global mean temperature decreased prior to World War I, increased during the 1920s and 1930s, decreased from the 1940s to 1976/77, and
    as noted above increased from that point to the end of the century. Insofar as the global mean temperature is controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse
    gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansen et al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al., 2007].

    It is hypothesized that persistent and consistent
    trends among several climate modes act to ‘kick’ the climate state, altering the pattern and magnitude of air-sea interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean.

    Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the
    climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean…

    Curiously, the most recent and ongoing cooling event has no obvious proximate explanation, as there has been no substantive recent volcanic activity and the ENSO cycle since 2001/2002 has been benign (variability of less than one standard deviation of the multivariate ENSO index).
    This cooling, which appears unprecedented over the instrumental
    period, is suggestive of an internal shift of climate dynamical processes that as yet remain poorly understood.

    There have been other arguments that a shift in the climate occurred around the turn of the 21st century. Cummins et al. [2005] have proposed an upper ocean climate index based upon sea surface height (SSH) data from satellite altimetry and other data which show the mid-
    1970s climate shift from negative to positive and a later change from positive to negative around 1998 which they call a ‘‘shift.’’ Peterson and Schwing [2003], Bratcher and Giese [2002] and Hartman and Wendler [2005] also refer to a ‘‘shift’’ in a climate parameter during 1999 to 2002.
    However, the verification of this shift using the technique here is notable because it appears global and has broad precedents in 20th century climate behavior as well as in climate model simulations.

    Citation: Swanson, K. L., and A. A. Tsonis (2009), Has the climate recently shifted?, Geophys.Res. Lett., 36

    The massive literature on ocean and atmosphere variability combined with a persuasive new paradigm on the source and nature of these shifts suggest – as Swanson et al – say 2 things. The likelihood of the hiatus persisting for decades and that it results from self organising emergent behaviour of the climate system.

    The ‘model’ from Kyle Swanson at realclimate – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/rc_fig1_zpsf24786ae.jpg.html?sort=3&o=26

    It is not necessary to go far to find confirmation of shifts in the system involving cloud.

    e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=33

    and – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=77

    The hiatus has been predicted for a decade at least. Easterbrook is the earliest prediction I know of early this century. It is not cycles however – we now know that it is emergent behaviour at critical points in the dynamic evolution of a complex system. It is not either a quiet Sun or La Niña. The Sun is at a high point in the Schwabe ‘cycle’ – and La Nina has had a couple of big episodes in a decade dominated by weak El Niño.

    Yet people like gates and webby – who are a decade behind the science insist that there is no science or that there is no alternative model. I swear it is like talking to goldfish. Dynamical complexity means that the ‘climate is wild’ – but the shift to cooler conditions at the turn of the century means no warming – or even cooling – for a decade to three is not merely possible but overwhelmingly probable.

    I have been asking them for years what they think is the likely realpolitic outcome of this scenario is? Obviously – it is politicians making hay with yet more confidence as the years pass and warming doesn’t happen. Space cadets are 10 years behind the science clinging to ever more forlorn post hoc justifications and ever more strident progressive science denialism.

  43. John Howard was a great Australian Prime Minister. He led his Liberal Party – CP coalition to Federal election victory three times in succession. An unusual feat for a politician.

    Before the 2007 election, I had the impression that Howard.s heart was not in the emerging AGW story. His speech in the UK summarized here confirms my impression.

    It is an interesting comment on mob-driven democracy that the Labor politician who defeated him now sits on the back bench, One of his party’s innovations was a tax on so-called greenhouse emissions, which is about to be axed by the Abbot government,

  44. That the religious tenacity of warmists makes them hold on to their belief is not hard to understand. Part and parcel of this is their refusal to consider any deviance from accepted dogma. But it is harder to understand such behavior from supposedly competent scientists who ignore well known scientific observations. A specific example is the CMIP5 chart recently released as part of AR5 by IPCC that totally ignores the current standstill of warming. Instead of the real current temperature they have lined up their models with a more than ten year old segment that shows warming and is not even correctly drawn. This is simply another call to warn us from a climate warming Armaggedon ahead. It does not deserve to be called science. It is simply a pseudo-scientific attempt to influence the delegates to the climate conference in Warsaw. It is scientific fraud and must be withdrawn.

  45. Chief Hydrologist

    They will now accuse me of cherry picking or cutting and pasting – rather than actually read the passages or – God forbid – actually go to the papers.

    Here’s the Sun – http://lasp.colorado.edu/data/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png – it is not notably cool – yet.

    Here’s the TOA flux – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif.html?sort=3&o=134 – warming this century in CERES was conspicuously SW.

    Surprise – surprise – it was also captured by MODIS – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=103

    I am expecting SST to cool further as the global cool mode intensifies – and this leads to more low level stratocumulous.

    Do they try not to understand? Is it groupthink? Or is it just plain ignorance? Ah – the mysteries of life. They remind me so much of a spaceship cult – they have no plan B if the ships don’t arrive on schedule.
    You would think it prudent to at least consider the possibility that they are wrong – but no it seems.

    It is policy suicide for any chance of mitigation for another generation at least.

  46. Remember these little gems from global warming evangelists?

    ” 2008 David Susuki calling fer government leaders sceptical
    of global warming ter ‘be thrown into jail.’

    Same year, James Hansen calling fer trials of climate sceptics
    fer ‘high crimes against humanity.’

    2009, Joe Romm warning that sceptics would be ‘strangled
    in their beds.’

    2010, 2012 ….. (
    http://notrickszone.com/climate-scandals/

  47. Walter Carlson:

    It is a fact of nature that warming will naturally occur when pollution settles out of the air, as happens after the cooling from a large volcanic eruption ends.

    Because of this fact, warming HAD to occur after implementation of the Clean Air Act, et al. This is the warming that is wrongly attributed to CO2.

    The real “deniers” are those who deny that the warming was simply a natural occurrance. As such, the “pause” will remain until more cleaning of the air occurs –think China, India, the EPA, and possible changes in solar output.

  48. Endless quarrels of dogmatic scientists and dogmatic religionists – identical twins hiding under different cloaks of respectability – threaten the very survival of society.

    The inhabitants of planet Earth will hang together or die separately.

  49. Richard Dawkins seems to have a a few fans on this blog even amongst the so-called skeptics.( I’ve deliberately chosen the US spelling, Tony Brown, in support of their right to spell the word whichever way they like!)

    Anyway, I just wondered if any have yet made the suggestion that “one religion” is in fact one too many?

    If not, let me be the first!

    • I’d go along with that. It’s funny though no matter how many times I might tell my religious friends how I think it is nonsense they still assume I am part of their way so to speak. So I just tend to not talk about it is opposed to Dawkins who always seems ready for a fight. Sometimes I think he gets too overwrought and starts to talk gibberish though. You’re right there are a few atheist/skeptics here, I ran into one the other day if that’s the part of Dawkineze your talking about.

    • PeterM

      “one religion” is in fact too many?

      If that “religion” is simply a personal conviction used to guide one’s own behavior, it’s probably OK (as long as that behavior does not negatively impact others)

      However, if that “religion” is used to change or control the behavior of others, then I agree with your statement.

      Max

    • Peter M,

      I don;t object to them spelling sceptic and aluminium and other words incorrectly. However, I do object to them using old English Imperial units. What a mess. (I’ve heard that the gallon was the volume piss an English king claimed he could piss after a night on the piss, or how much wine he drank in a night, or something like that). And the US is still trying to use those ridiculous units – and missing Mars with it’s landers as a result of getting miles and kilometres (note the spelling) confused. :)

  50. Former Maryland Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, PhD on pragmatism (not religion)


    As he sees it, there are three groups with a common cause in the debate over fossil fuels and they are wasting time arguing unnecessarily with one another.

    Firstare the “climate-change-global-warming-Al-Gore” types that maintain drastic greenhouse gas reductions are necessary in order to prevent human-caused climate change and all the associated negative impacts.

    Second is the group that believes fossil fuels are finite and that we need to move to alternatives before it’s too late and the transition becomes more costly and painful.

    And third is the group that is concerned with national security and the fact that being a huge importer of oil puts America at the mercy of oil-producing countries.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/07/2862781/tea-party-gore/

    What religion ?

    • Webby

      Bartlett seems to make sense regarding the three broad opinion groups in the climate/energy debate (in the USA).

      There is probably a fourth group, which has concluded (based on the data out there) that global warming from human fossil fuel combustion will not reach levels that are high enough to cause any negative consequences for humanity and our environment and that economically viable alternates to fossil fuels either already exist (nuclear) or will be developed long before they are all used up.

      As long as these groups have all arrived at their opinion based on rationally evaluating the data that are available out there, this has nothing to do with “religion”.

      If they are simply believers of a pre-conceived dogma or a forced “consensus” opinion, then this becomes “religion”: whether this is the IPCC-sponsored “CO2 control knob religion” or the “ABC religion”, to which you refer.

      Max

    • Max, you show no logic as your fourth group is a combination of the second or third group.

  51. Environmentalism is a religion. It’s adherents are nature-worshipers, tree-hugging weirdos. Take for example their criminal activities to sabotage GM crop experiments. Activist climate scientists are equivalent to quack doctors in the medical profession. They both promote pseudoscience for their personal benefit. Quack doctors are rightly discredited but quack climate scientists are rewarded with the Nobel prize. It’s a shame and an insult to all true climate scientists.

  52. Judith and denizens, last night on the BBC was a superb show called “Don’t Panic: The Truth About World Population”. From the point of view of science communication, this has to be one of the best presentations I have ever seen. How do you make statics appealing to the layman? It seems Hans Rosling has found a way.

    The skeptics might be dissappointed that his position on climate change (in so far that he has one) lies with the orthodoxy, but that really won’t matter to the central message. Here is write up of it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10434043/Dont-Panic-the-Truth-About-Population-BBC-Two-review.html

    Try to catch it if you can. While not specifically about climate, it’s extremely important in the context of policy. Also, those of you have read Matt Ridleys “the rational optimist” will recognise many of his points.

    • Agnostic, thanks much for this link

    • The family planning workers whose story Rosling followed are “the heroes of our time”, he said, for making contraception available to poor women, thus helping to avert population disaster. … – from the linked article

      So he is agreeing with at least some of the concerns about there once being a population problem? I mean, at a time before men and women throughout much of the globe stopped breeding like rabbits.

  53. Let’s see who Dr Curry chooses to support or reference approvingly in the last few posts and then see who is the ‘activist’

    GWPF
    David Rose
    Ben Pile
    Matt Briggs

    Hmm… noted for their impartiality? I think not.

    But then just look at her Blogroll – what proportion science based and what proportion activist?

    • Louise,

      IPCC is an activist organisation, so start from there.

      Real Climate is activist as is SkS.

    • Agreed Peter, but Dr Curry seems to be claiming that whilst they are activists, she is not. Her actions and recommendations do not support that claim.

      Dr Curry is an activist – to claim otherwise is to deny reality (nothing new there for many denizens).

    • Peter and Louise

      No, Louise.

      Dr. Curry is not an activist.

      She is a scientist in the true sense of the word.

      There are still a few out there, believe it or not.

      Max

      PS You cannot judge Dr. Curry on her “denizens” here – as you both can see very clearly, these cover a broad spectrum from both sides of the debate.

      PPS Rather than defending a preconceived consensus paradigm, a true scientist concedes uncertainties and remains open to new ideas (as Dr. Curry has shown over the past).

    • Agreed, Max. If Judith is an activist, it is for higher standards and properly presenting uncertainty.

    • manacker – I am not judging Dr Curry by her denizens. I am judging her on her actions:
      - The topics and contents of her posts
      - The individuals and groups whose views she supports (i.e. GWPF)
      - Her recommended further reading via her blogroll and the proportion of those who are anti-IPCC activists.

      This is evidence that she is in fact an activist. That does not mean that she is not a scientist too but she is every bit as much an activist as those she complains about.

    • Louise, take a cold shower and think…it is not that difficult. Peace on you.

    • My comment was not clear. From my perspective some people with very high integrity, and I trust, and come to mind quickly off the top of my head are:

      William Nordhaus
      Richard Tol
      Bjorn Lomborg
      Nigel Lawson
      Steve McIntyre
      Judith Curry,
      Tamsin Edwards
      Lindzen
      Faustino
      Joanna
      Latimer Alder
      Manacker
      ianl8888
      MW Grant
      Gary M
      John Howard
      Tony Abbott
      Businesses leaders (mostly)

      There are many others, but I cant remember the names quickly off the top of my head, so please do not be offended to all those truly hoest people I have missed.

      People who I do not believe have high integrity are:
      -the vast majority of people who blog on climate activist web sites, including here,
      Stefan Lewandowski
      Michael Mann
      James Hansen
      John Cook (SkS)
      The Hockey Team
      The Australian Climate Scientists who wrote these 13 articles and 87 signatories (coordinated by Lewandowski): https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

      The Australian Climate Commission and its Commissioners (they’ve ll been fired by this government but that hasn’t stopped them, they are collecting donations so they can continue preaching their religion)

    • Louise,

      I offer an alternative. Judith Curry is trying to encourage climate scientist to improve its practice of proper science. Every honest scientist and every honest person should welcome and support that.

      But science also needs people (scientists and other disciplines “from inside and outside the argument” who can contribute to trying to falsify the CAGW hypothesis. The scientists have not been trying very hard to falsify CAGW, so people of all disciplines are needed. Furthermore, iven if the CAGW hypothesis stands, then we need the input form, economists policy analysis, politicians, diplomats, lawyers and engineers to advise in what is pragmatic achievable policy.

      I think Judith Curry has done a fantastic job. She is doing what the Royal Society, NAS, Australian Academy of Sciences etc. should have been doing, but have clearly failed and failed badly.

      I feel we should give her all the support we can. A thorough hob of attempting to falsify CAGW is essential, and if it is not falsified, then we need the best we can get to develop realistic, achievable policy to deal with CAGW. Scientists have little to offer in that area, and that is really the most important bit.

      I say, Go Judith!

      What do you reckon, Louise?
      [let us not get tied up in down in the weeds stuff. Let's focus on the big picture and what is really most important]

    • Louise

      We can argue until we’re both blue in the face, but our hostess here has rationally challenged the “consensus” position on CAGW as a climate scientist. She has acknowledged uncertainty in the science and has changed her own opinion on certain topics over time as new information became available. This is what I would expect a scientist to do.

      This is not the same as, for example, James E. Hansen, who has clearly and unwaveringly acted as an activist in support of the CAGW scare.

      If you are unable to see the difference, so be it.

      I can (and so can many others).

      Max

    • Louise, you write “Dr Curry is an activist – to claim otherwise is to deny reality (nothing new there for many denizens).”

      How I wish you were correct!! And in one sense, you may well be. But in the sense you are choosing, it is simply untrue. There are at least as many threads that our hostess has chosen which support the hypothesis of CAGW as oppose it.

      I hope Judith is an activist for the use of proper science in the CAGW debate. I think she is. That is where the discussion should be between scientists. But when the Royal Society holds a 2 day “love in” to discuss the AR5, with no proper scientific debate, and no scientific skeptics invited, I call “foul”. As I do when Lord Rees publicly talks scientific nonsense on the subject if CAGW. If only Dr. Curry would actively support me.

    • Louise, the littoral dweller, misjudges the tide.
      =========

    • Agreed, Max. If Judith is an activist, it is for higher standards and properly presenting uncertainty.

      Except for when she basically ignores uncertainty – which is rather often (I am speaking about non-technical areas, or non climate science areas, such as, ironically, who is and isn’t an activist).

    • Recursive puerile.
      ========

    • kim -

      Judith thinks it’s time for you to put on your big boy pants (or is that big girl pants) now.

    • Et Toto, Joshuaoe?
      ===========

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      It is not dishonorable to suggest Judith is an activist. She is, and (in her mind, and those who support her activism) she is a counter to the IPCC consensus approach. In as much as I too see the consensus approach as a poison to the true skeptical science, I support her activism.

    • A comment about my blog roll: These are blogs that I check regularly (note I also check twitter several times per day, you better go check to see who I am following). I link to people who write original material with some regularity, material that I am not finding elsewhere. On a few of these blogs, I regularly find myself in rather vehement disagreement, although there are instances where I have referred to these blogs in my posts I tend not to include people on the blog roll who tweet frequently, who I can better follow on twitter. My blog roll is not a ‘statement’ about any kind of ‘purity’ re my position on the AGW debate (which evolves regularly as I consider new evidence and analyses).

    • +1000 In all sincerity, Judith, you are doing a magnificent job. Please just keep on doing what you have been all these years. I know you will, and this comment is irrelevant.

    • I second Jim Cripwell’s comment and raise him +1000

    • “But then just look at her Blogroll – what proportion science based and what proportion activist”

      Thank you senator McCarthy. What conclusion do you draw from Judith’s association with these people. ?

    • Climate ETCETERA… Experts and non experts,
      sane and insane. The whole rich collide-a-scope
      of humanitee here at Judith’s Open Society.

    • Beth Cooper,

      Spot on, Well said.

      I’d like to award you + many but fear being prosecuted for breach of patent if I quantify ‘many’ :)

    • I’m just curious. How does the Real Climate blog roll stack up on providing a variety of views? I don’t recognize all of them, but I don’t see a skeptic or even lukewarmer blog listed. Though ll the well known activist CAGW blogs are listed.

      This is not a complaint, I am not one to tell others how to run their blogs. I’m just curious. Surely an expert on impartiality like Louise will know.

    • GaryM, Regarding RC, I wouldn’t advertise other blogs that do bad science either.

  54. 1000frolly here from You Tube.
    The Economist did not read Howard’s speech properly.
    I quote; “As well as green-minded people of faith, there are greens who hate religion”
    What Howard is saying is that people who believe in CAGW; that our CO2 will result in catastrophic climate change, (when there isn’t a shred of evidence for that, and even the supposed small theoretical effect of CO2 on the climate has not yet been scientifically quatified) are all participants in some kind of earth religion; I would say a cult. These unhappy people will eventually have to be deprogrammed and helped to return to normal society. For some of them, their delusion is almost complete, there have been whole family suicides already due to the fear of a ficticious global warming catastrophe.
    I have 135 videos up on you tube to assist those who are afflicted by this cult; I cannot, I fear often help those who are far gone on this stuff; but those who can still think with logic and reason often recover quickly.

    Some you Tube videos I recommend are;

    Alarmists are the deniers; v=Spa35uBZJv8
    Donna Laframboise Part 1 of the IPCC; v=TPz2QnD0HFg
    UKs Economic Suicide – The Climate Change Act ; v=S_V5alLmoBs
    IPCC Doomed as AR5… ; v=pAtoRyJ_3AQ
    Cooks 97% Fiction; v=oY-LVhNM5fA
    Potholer debunked; v=zOmHs3TXNgI
    IPCC climate scientists baffled by pause; v=-L1uB2yYOOE
    Tim Flannery; v=IRT7dlUu3Y0
    David Karoly; v=lHiwp_tq7XU
    Wind Farms; v=PgiFMpzKk74
    Prof Murry Salby; v=Li75zFoaKlI

    Best regards to all, 1000frolly

  55. Dangit, how did I get stuck pointing out the obvious again. Dear John is quite simply wrong; one religion is not enough.
    ===============

  56. Nalimov (1976) examined from a logical aspect,the Eschatological problem arguing the case and allowing the reader to formulate their analysis.eg. chapter 10

    In recent years, the ecological problem has acquired apocalyptic overtones.To solve this problem, science must not only study a phenomenon,but must also learn to predict its evolution on a large time-scale. Furthermore,the solution to the ecological problem cannot but change the direction of our cultural progress. Never before has science been faced with problems of such global significance. Is it ready to solve them? To answer this question we must understand whether scientific forecasting is possible, whether scientific ideas can influence social behavior, whether the historical origin of this crisis can be scientifically analyzed, whether a scientific approach to setting a global goal is possible

    http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/nalimov/faces/faces.pdf

    (click on chapter)

    He cites Toynbee (1972) who examined the emergence of pantheism in the religious background of the ecological crisis .

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207237208709505#.UnzpWSfz6XU

    • Chief Hydrologist

      In my own dark days of the soul I thought poetry dead and the eschatological promise would burst like a new and frightening dawn on the consciousness of humanity. I defined myself as a Sylvan Fundamentalist – but that was just to get girls to dance naked in the woods.

    • I had the extraordinary experience of hearing the word “eschatology” – properly used – on a TV show recently.

      It was on “Seaway”, a very old Canadian crime/adventure series which runs in the wee small hours on a minor channel here in Canberra.

      I doubt that this will ever happen again.

    • “from a logical aspect”? Hardly. The leaps of assumption in the quote you cited have nothing to do with logic.

      For example, how do we get from the unsupported “the ecological problem has acquired apocalyptic overtones.To solve this problem …” to the next ring in this trapeze act: “the solution to the ecological problem cannot but change the direction of our cultural progress. Never before has science been faced with problems of such global significance. Is it ready to solve them? To answer this question we must understand whether scientific forecasting is possible, whether scientific ideas can influence social behavior, whether the historical origin of this crisis can be scientifically analyzed, whether a scientific approach to setting a global goal is possible”

      This is not logic, it’s post-normal science in embryo.

  57. The Economist does not respond to Howard’s talk at all — it goes off in a different direction altogether.

    My religion calls for all of us to be wise stewards of the Earth, to be frugal and intelligent in our use of resources, both natural and personal, and to gain all the [true] knowledge we can about the world around us.

    Thus, I do not belong to the Church of Global Warming or the Church of Environmentalism — both of which are (religiously) false faiths based on mostly false doctrines and neither of which are proper arenas for religious adherence.

  58. Literally wrong on all counts.

    1. First principles tell us never to accept that all of the science is in on any proposition; always remain open to the relevance of new research.

    Newton’s principles conclude exactly the opposite of John Howard on science. When trying to choose which one is the religious nutjob, and which one is the authority on the first principles of Science, I think I’m safe to say Sir Isaac Newton is not the religious nutjob of this pair.

    We are to treat as accurate or very nearly true what inference based on the evidence tells us UNTIL such time as new. See how very opposite that is of John Howards underdeterminism? No? Well, try a case study: suppose you are driving a car and appear to be heading toward a solid brick wall; do you A) treat the existence of the solid brick wall as probable and maneuver your vehicle appropriately or, B) keep your foot on the accelerator and hope for contrary evidence because you’re open minded?

    2. Keep a sense of proportion, especially when it comes to generational burden-sharing.

    What does this even mean? Capitalism doesn’t say keep a sense of proportion. It says let the Market set the price by the law of supply and demand. That’s cap & trade, or revenue neutral carbon tax, or fee and dividend, not incentivize the fossil industry by forgiving all future liabilities. Socialism says from each by his means to each by his needs. Now, of the two, I greatly prefer Capitalism, but you can clearly see that Socialism also doesn’t keep a sense of proportion about ‘generational burden sharing’; it puts the liability on those who right now have the resources, not on some far-flung future to pay the debts of today. Unfunded future liabilities with no exit plan are simply robbing Paul’s grandchildren to pay Paul while keeping a cut for Peter, when it’s Peter’s job to protect Paul’s grandchildren’s interests. In short, no principle of Economics backs John Howard’s GWPF fantasies.

    3. Renewable energy sources should always be used when it makes economic sense to do so. The less that governments intervene the more likely it is that this will happen.

    Oh. Hey. This is exactly right, but exactly not in the way John Howard, incentivizer of coal from Australia means when speaking to the GWPF’s subsidy-hogging petro-freeloaders. If John Howard is proposing to stop tax deferrals for oil, gas and coal, to stop expropriating land and giving gifts of territory to pipelines and refineries, to stop pouring ‘research’ funds into drilling rigs and SUVs, to stop paving more and more roads for more and more gas-burning asphalt gluttons, to stop the half trillion dollars annually poured by governments around the world into the belly of the fossil giants, to stop being an obstacle to entry in the energy Market by anything but fossil, that’d be great. Is that what he means?

    4. Nuclear energy must be part of the long term response. It is a clean energy source, has the capacity to provide base load power as an alternative to fossil fuel, and modern nuclear power stations have a sophisticated level of safety.

    I don’t agree with Hansen on this. I don’t agree with Howard on this. Nuclear energy is nuclear energy. It can stand or fall on its own merits. Pre-determining what nuclear “must” or “must not” be is simply irrelevant. Further, pumped hydro has at least equal potential to nuclear, and is both safer and cheaper where feasible, plus addresses growing infrastructure decay, flood control and irrigation needs.

    5. Always bear in mind that technology will continue to surprise us. I doubt that the expression “fracking” was widely known, let alone used five years ago.

    Howard really doesn’t know that “fracking”‘s been around longer than Howard’s been around? Of all the technologies to choose as one’s champion, fracking’s hardly the darling candidate. Concentrated solar photovoltaic, multijunction photocells, microchannel cooling, hybrid voltaic thermal solar, long term low cost thermal solar storage, nanomaterials and metamaterials.. those are real cutting edge technologies. Fracking’s upsurge is a result of loosening regulation and an increasingly desperate search for domestic production, not new technology. If anything, the technical surprise of fracking is the amount of damage it does to the subsurface ecosystems underpinning life on the planet through acids, biocides and disruption.

    Why do you people fall for such dementedly fact-free guff?

    • “Concentrated solar photovoltaic, multijunction photocells, microchannel cooling, hybrid voltaic thermal solar, long term low cost thermal solar storage, nanomaterials and metamaterials..”

      Now expound precisely how these fine buzzwords would adequately power a city such as Shanghai … no arm-waving, just hard practical applied science

      My good manners preclude expounding on the rest of your wishful ranting

    • ianl8888 | November 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm |

      Compared to fracking?

      And precisely what hard practical applied good manners?

      I won’t bother to wave my arms or rant over the following links, supplied solely to feed your buzz (which appears to be a word you do not quite grasp; concentrated solar photovoltaic is a technical jargon term, but means a precise thing as used, an example of a surprising technology in that CSPV can work between 400-2000 times concentration, allowing one to replace costly photocell area with cheap reflector area and actually gain efficiency whereas ‘fracking’ as used by John Howard himself without understanding its history or meaning really would be just a buzzword):

      http://cornerstonemag.net/the-development-strategy-for-coal-fired-power-generation-in-china/

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2013/10/20/chinas-growing-role-in-the-global-solar-power-industry/

      Shanghai’s air quality issues stemming from coal burning have prompted a dramatic rethink of the Chinese approach to energy supply.

      China plans to add 10 gigawatts of solar capacity each year in the 2013-15 period. Its goal of having 35 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity by the end of 2015 is seven times the five gigawatts it had installed at the end of 2012, and is more than the 32 gigawatts that Germany – the world’s largest player– had installed at the end of 2012. The U.S., by contrast, had only seven gigawatts of installed solar power at the end of 2012, not much more than China.

      Using 2012 figures of 1,144.9 GW total electricity generation, 758 GW from coal, and 248.9 GW (including pumped storage of 20.31 GW) hydro, 32GW is of course chump change. But this 32 GW figure is based on conventional, not CSPV, solar. CSPV solar is over three times as efficient as conventional, and uses a fraction of a percent of the high-cost silicon that is the limiting factor on solar. With hybrid collectors, efficiencies right now, today, exceed 80% in some installations in Isreal, their producers claim.

      That means 32 GW solar in the next two years could be 3,200 GW or 12,800 GW, or 25,600 GW for the same cost in silicon cells in the two years after that. (Yes, that doesn’t actually work, because you still need that 1000 times the area of the solar cells in reflector arrays, for example, which would cost a bit — 3M’s ‘Gossamer’ product is projected to be able to become about http://www.gossamersf.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=18 fifty times less expensive per area than conventional silicon by 2020.) Does China have the physical space for so much solar infrastructure? Yes. Much of China is desert, and China is fortunate to have so much solar potential that it could easily meet or exceed its domestic needs internally.

      Of course the Sun doesn’t shine all day long, and even taking into account that China spans a goodly portion of the globe, it will need power when the sun sets. That takes storage.

      However, China has TWENTY times the installed pumped hydro capacity in flood control infrastructure already in place as it uses, meaning it could add 380 GW hydro storage capacity — over half of its coal production — without exploiting a single additional drop of water. Hydro is cheaper than coal, in this case, and can be used to levelize peak production. Sure, this capacity falls 60% for a few weeks of the year, but that’s hardly an argument for not using it.

      Further, cheap solar thermal rock storage is improving, and demand for energy in China is lower when the sun isn’t shining, in general.

      Is that what you mean by precise hard practical adequate power for Shanghai? Or do you need details on high voltage DC electricity transmission, or some other hard, practical, precise buzz?

    • Thanks, Bart R. I was beginning to despair having to write a comment like this. My explanation for “the fall for such fact-free guff” is that:

      1. “open” and “relevant” are positive words any Lundzian would appreciate;

      2. appealing to temperance is tried and trivially true;

      3. anti-statism is always winning in certain in-crowds;

      4. going nuclear shows free-wheeling optimism, which is a great PR asset;

      5. appealing to one’s ignorance is best served with techno-pop futurism.

      So while I don’t believe these are so “eminently sensible” it would be tough to argue against them, since most are at best empty, I would not consider them demented either.

    • Where to start….
      How about here: “If John Howard is proposing to stop tax deferrals for oil, gas and coal, to stop expropriating land and giving gifts of territory to pipelines and refineries, to stop pouring ‘research’ funds into drilling rigs and SUVs, to stop paving more and more roads for more and more gas-burning asphalt gluttons…”

      Perhaps Bart, there is demonstrable public benefit from these activities – things like efficient transport systems that allow for the “just in time” logistics required for international competitiveness, for our supermarket shelves to be stocked with fresh, organic, sustainable, healthy produce, for our ambulance officers to get you to hospital in time to save your life from a heart attack.

      Perhaps the rampant consumerism you so despise is actually responsible for your ability to spew your invective around the globe in seconds.

      Perhaps the health and lifestyle improvements evident in pretty much any objective look at these would show occurred over the 20th century – the same advantages that the developing world so craves and that you appear to want to prevent them from getting in the cheapest, most appropriate method available to them – perhaps these are all an illusion and we would be better off living in the comparatively brutal savagery of the 1000 years ago.

      Yes, perhaps all that is true Bart. Or perhaps not – perhaps only some is true. And perhaps Bart, all of what you said is also true. Or perhaps not – perhaps only some is true.

    • Kneel | November 11, 2013 at 12:32 am |

      If there were a public benefit preferred by the public, then the public would be willing to pay. The existence of incentives and subsidies to do things is evidence the public doesn’t want them.

      You seem to think I despise things that I rather like. I’m a through-and-through Pure Capitalist, which means the only argument for subsidy I tolerate philosophically is the infant industry case. It’s been demonstrated time and again that subsidies and ‘public benefit’ incentives decided by politburo-style expert committees are almost invariably more costly and less effective at delivering the very benefits you claim; rather, cosy relationships of vested interests almost intractably suckle at the teat of the state, building barriers to entry of innovations like just-in-time or new transportation modes or better health care, and they do it in costly ways that tax those consumers they harm most.

      Your perhapses are just underdeterminist handwaving, loads of suppositions to justify a bankrupt socialist corporate communist philosophy. You think the ‘developing world’ lacks for subsidies in transport as a proportion of its GDP?

      You really think the failed-a-century-ago ‘solutions’ you’re promoting are actually cheapest?

      I’m sure some well-meaning grammar school teacher in the 1950′s taught you the economic basis of your worldview, or maybe taught the person who taught you, when you unquestioningly absorbed these lessons based on no more than their authority on the subject. However, the real data says otherwise, and real analysis of what actually happens when you subsidize an industry forever, and incentivize an activity without limit, shows that it only ever leads to unstable outcomes, such as we see plaguing the world economies.

      Check out The High Cost of Free Parking, or better, there’s this writer you might like who could open your eyes, named Adam Smith.

  59. “One religion is enough.”??

    So says every Believer in every religion. They just can’t consensualize on which, though. Darn.

    • Thought that comment/headline might have raised more than a few eyebrows – no surprise from a bigot like Howard – I guess he’s mostly talking to his demographic here.

  60. Robert Nelson’s “The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion Versus Environmental Religion in Contemporary America” is full of details on the subject of secular religion.

    Art Carden on the book: “The theological approach Nelson adopts is illuminating, and he does a great service by pointing out how much of the materialist and environmentalist gospels are … derived from religion.”

    Dennis Williams: “Both modern American economists and environmentalists have been engaged for over a century in creating new secular versions of American Christianity by replacing God with science..”

  61. Pingback: CAGW bias in academia; Lesfrud and Meyer 2013 revisited. | Watts Up With That?

  62. Pingback: CAGW bias in academia; Lesfrud and Meyer 2013 revisited. | We Are Narrative

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