How to earn trust in climate change debates

by Judith Curry

Where trust is most needed, it is least likely to be gained by relying on the source factors identified in empirical scholarship on persuasion.

In the early days of Climate Etc., Communication was a frequent topic for posts.  This topic was not a popular one among the denizens, but I felt that it was an important one in understanding how the public has come to form opinions about climate change, and also to help me learn how to be a more effective communicator.  Many of the papers discussed here seemed more geared towards propaganda than to genuine communication.

So I am very pleased to discuss a new paper on this topic by by Jean Goodwin at Iowa State University, that I think presents some important insights about communication in climate change debates.  Jean Goodwin’s work has been discussed on these previous threads:

Communication strategies for earning trust in climate change debates

Jean Goodwin and Michael Dahlstrom

Climate scientists need the trust of lay audiences if they are to share their knowledge. But significant audience segments—those doubtful or dismissive of climate change—distrust climate scientists. In response, climate scientists can undertake one of two general communication strategies for enhancing trust, each appealing to one of two broad types of cognitive processing mechanisms. In the first, the communicator displays traits like humor, attractiveness, vigorous delivery, and likeability that audiences use as heuristics in determining whom to trust. But this strategy is unlikely to be successful with the very audiences who are its main targets, since those audiences will be primed to employ amore analytic and critical approach to assessing trustworthiness. In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself vulnerable in ways her audience can enforce. This vulnerability signals her trustworthiness, since the audience can reason that she would not undertake such risks unless she was confident in what she was saying. Climate scientists have a variety ofways ofmaking themselves vulnerable, including committing themselves to engaging with doubtful and dismissive audiences, undertaking burdens of proof to argue with them, empowering audiences to assess the science themselves, admitting error, and focusing on small issues. Overall, when adopting the second strategy, climate scientists must extend trust in order to earn trust, committing themselves to an on-going relationship within which their true trustworthiness will become apparent.

WIREs Clim Change 2013. doi: 10.1002/wcc.262 [link] to abstract.

Excerpts:

These models recognize that humans have two broad capacities for processing information. One—sometimes called ‘heuristic’ or ‘peripheral’ processing, or most simply ‘Type 1’—is rapid, low effort, based on rules of thumb and associations, and generally unconscious. The other—’systematic,’ ‘central,’ or ‘Type 2’—is slow, high effort, analytic, and at least partially under conscious control. The former allows us to respondmquickly and easily to the flux of circumstances: to run away from the tiger, without pausing to think. The latter allows us to reason our way through complex problems: to make prudent decisions about retirement investments.

Persuasion research suggests that source factors appear to have the most influence on judgments when the audience is employing Type 1 processing, but have less direct impact when audiences use Type 2 instead. In a pair of classic studies, attitudes towards a topic of high relevance to the audience were found to be primarily affected by the quality and quantity of the arguments presented. By contrast, when the proposal was of low importance, audiences were influenced primarily by the communicator’s apparent expertise or likeability. Such reliance on source factors is not lazy or irrational; instead, it is a prudent strategy for actively managing the flood of information characteristic of contemporary life.

What does this mean for the communication of climate science? The public controversy surrounding climate science and policy creates conditions under which key audiences are likely to employ the more effortful, Type 2 critical thinking. Audiences tend to adopt a Type 2 approach when the topic has significant personal consequences, when it relates to their personal values and when they expect to interact with others about it. Prior knowledge about the topic and the presence of multiple, competing messages on the topic have also been identified as increasing the likelihood of elaborated processing.

Several of these factors are likely to be triggered for doubtful and dismissive audiences, who rate their involvement in politics high and believe policies to address climate change will be very costly. But if key audiences will process their messages with Type 2 cognitive approaches, then enhancing the likeability, humor, delivery, and attractiveness of climate scientists will not help them communicate more effectively. Where trust is most needed, it is least likely to be gained by relying on the source factors identified in empirical scholarship on persuasion.

From the Conclusion:

In this review, we have focused on communication theories that can orient climate scientists to gaining and maintaining the trust of lay audiences. Social scientific approaches to communication recommend that scientists enhance their likeability, invigorate their delivery and use humor in order to sustain the trust of the favorable or disengaged audiences who are likely to process messages using Type 1 cognitive mechanisms.

Complementing this advice, the humanistic approach to communication taken in rhetorical studies provides recommendations for addressing doubtful and dismissive audiences likely to process messages using Type 2 cognitive mechanisms. Audiences exercising epistemic vigilance recognize that they are undertaking a risk when they accept a scientist’s word; climate scientists can provide such audiences good reasons for trust by conspicuously enhancing the risks that they themselves undertake in response. Gaining and maintaining trust is only the first step in what must be an on-going effort to communicate climate science. But it is a necessary step.

As a recent editorial in Nature concluded, ‘scientists will be only as persuasive as they are trusted—which means that preserving and cultivating the public’s trust must be the scientific community’s top priority.’ The overall message of this review is that climate scientists bear substantial responsibility for securing the trust of their lay audiences. Trust and mistrust are not static, background properties of social interactions. Instead, appropriate communication can create opportunities to get on an ‘escalator of increasing trust’ in which a judgment to extend trust in small ways leads to further interactions that confirm trustworthiness.

Inappropriate communication, by contrast, can create a downward spiral, where distrust leads to limiting interactions and reinforces suspicions. To climb on the upward escalator, a climate scientist might attempt to present herself strategically in ways that her audience finds trustworthy—that is, she might try to play a role. But climate scientists are unlikely to be capable of pulling off strategic manipulation of audiences, especially with doubtful and dismissive audiences who exercise a degree of epistemic scrutiny. As Brian Wynne has commented:

it is simply not possible to expect the other in a relationship to trust oneself, if one’s assumed objective is to manage and control the other’s response. The only thing which one can expect to control, and to take responsibility for, is one’s own trustworthiness—but this cannot encompass the reaction of the other in the relationship.

The theories reviewed in this essay point to strategies for climate scientists to earn trust by making apparent what is in fact the case: that they are willing to sacrifice in order to engage even doubtful and dismissive audiences, that they invite critical scrutiny, and that they are committed to full transparency in regards to data, analysis, limitations, and errors. By undertaking such vulnerabilities, climate scientists put their lay audiences in a position to assess for themselves the true trustworthiness of climate scientists.

Earning Trust Online:

The blogosphere conveniently allows climate scientists to engage diverse audiences without leaving their offices. Judith Curry’s blog Climate Etc. has put the rhetorical principles identified here into practice over the past 3 years. Curry has invested her time to work up three to five posts per week, which has also required breaking down the larger issues into smaller daily chunks. She reads (or at least scans) from 150 to 1000 comments on each post, and not infrequently writes about what she has learned from them. She has welcomed to the blog participants representing the full range of knowledge and views on climate change and climate policy—with the more doubtful and dismissive perhaps being the loudest voices. As is typical in an online forum, ad hominem attacks are frequent in the comment threads. Some of them are leveled against Curry herself, especially for dignifying possibly marginal points of view by choosing to write about them. But the blog’s regular participants (‘denizens’) often come to her defense. Curry’s undertaking of the burdens and vulnerabilities of blogging has apparently  laid the groundwork for mutual trust, creating one of the few places online where people find it worthwhile to debate each other on climate issues, and worthwhile also to listen in to those debates.

JC Comments:  Well I’m glad someone has figured out what I am doing here at Climate Etc.!  I owe thanks to all the commenters who insult me and/or the blog, you are helping build the public’s trust in Climate Etc.

Assuming that Goodwin and Dahlstrom are correct in their analysis (and personally I think they are), the shrill ‘Masters of the Universe’ types screeching ‘denier’ are digging themselves into a deep communication hole in terms of effectively engaging with doubtful and dismissive audiences.

478 responses to “How to earn trust in climate change debates

  1. Thanks, Professor Curry.

    The old fashion way to build trust is to tell the truth. The way to destroy trust is to lie.

    • “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is” – Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU)

      That’s a lie, and agenda driven alarmism – period. Trust ? Credibility ?

      ..might as well say “If you like your current health insurance plan, you can keep it – period.” Same BS, different shovel…

      • Walter Carlson

        Teddi..please show how it is a ‘lie’!! I take it as a ‘prediction’ !! So, how can a prediction be considered a lie???

      • @ Walter Carlson | November 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm |

        Viner made this comment in 2000, since this leading “expert” made his forecast in the year 2000, the Northern Hemisphere has had five of its six snowiest winters on record.

        You can call it a prediction, I call it out for what it is – a lie. Here is my prediction…

        “Children just aren’t going to know what accurate prediction is”
        “Children just aren’t going to know what a real scientist is”

      • Teddi,

        After atomic bombs ended WWII in August 1945, public funds were used to advance the careers of scientists and publishers of textbooks and research journals to obscure/hide/deceive/manipulate experimental data that might reveal the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms above A ~140 amu, planets and stars: Neutron repulsion

        See: ”Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal 19, 123-150 (2012): http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/V19NO2pdf/V19N2MAN.pdf

        “Yes, the Sun is a pulsar,” Nature (submitted but not reviewed) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Yes_the_Sun_is_a_pulsar.pdf

      • Walter Carlson

        Teddi…and according to NASA &NOAA, ten of the warmest years have occurred since 1998. Ergo, I consider Viner’s prediction more accurate than yours !!

      • Walter, put your message on a pilgrim’s placard and make a tour through the whole island of Great Britain, this Winter.
        ============

      • Walter

        Amply illustrating that we need to look at what regional data sets are telling us rather than a composite global that hides many realities, here is the CET Met office record.

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        tonyb

      • Walter, note the hockey stick in tony’s link. Note the fairly straight shaft. Note the abrupt blade at about 1980(So, the hysteria), but look at the last decade. Almost put ‘decade’ in caps. Resisted.
        ===========

      • Kim

        If Walter really wants to see the mother and father of hockey sticks he needs to look at 1690 in the extended CET record

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/08/the-curious-case-of-rising-co2-and-falling-temperatures/

        Our memories of the recent warm decade have faded in the reality of the cooling of the last decade. A small hockey stick up from 1980 and an as yet unknown size of hockey stick on the way down.

        A set of crossed Hockey sticks would look really good on Dr Manns Heraldic shield don’t you think? What Latin motto could go with it?

        tonyb

      • Mann’s motto, Tony?
        Excelsior.

      • Beth

        I assume you are using that term in the context of ‘ever upwards’ rather than the ‘superior quality’ or ‘softwood shavings used to protect fragile goods’ meaning?

        tonyb

      • kim & climatereason…For a credible explanation of the ‘hockey stick, I could go to its author, Michael Mann, but I would never go to WUWT. However, here is an explanation of the stick and you can see how well it stands up to scrutiny. It is the BEST study results and to all except a closed mind, clearly shows how global warming has progressed. To compare to CO2, you will have to look up Charles Keeling work at the Scripps Institiute. My assessment is that since 1958, the CO2 level has risen from around 315 ppm to over 400 ppm while the hockey stick has turned upward. Estimates of a 0.9 C rise compare favorably with an 85 ppm rise. And, as I mentioned, the NASA and NOAA websites state that the warmest ten years have occurred since 1998. Perhaps you can see how these two scientific results reinforce each other, perhaps not.

    • Beth Cooper above: http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/12/how-to-earn-trust-in-climate-change-debates/#comment-414659
      “Mann’s motto, Tony?
      “Excelsior.”
      Disagree. It is “Forward”

  2. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    I do not have any “communication strategies for earning trust in climate change debates”. And I do not care. I have analyzed the science behind IPCC’s climate change and anyone can conclude that there is no scientific support to the Anthropogenic Climate Change:

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA

    Starting from here, what else can we communicate in order to earn trust on anything related to climate change?. Or do you (Mr. Goodwin) pretend to talk about climate change without talking about its scientific basis?.

    • David L. Hagen

      Caution. Sometimes the most difficult lie to detect is that which is closest to the truth.
      The greatest danger for the IPCC is the argument from ignorance:
      “It must be anthropogenic because natural causes don’t fit.”
      Uncertainty and chaos make it difficult to discover and quantify “natural”.
      E.g. see Murry Salby exposing the order of magnitude errors in understanding how high “natural” CO2 was in ice cores.

  3. No trust in Poland as 50,000 angry demonstrators denounce global warming initiatives.

    “Before what was one of the largest audiences to ever hear a speech denouncing UN global warming policies, Rothbard said he was honored to stand with the Poles in a “new battle for freedom against those who would use environmental and climate alarmism to steal away our liberties and give international bureaucrats control over our energy sources, our daily lives, our prosperity, and our national sovereignty.”

    wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/12/50000-at-rally-against-climate-agenda-in-poland/#more-97313

    • “The address was carried live on national television and covered by a large number of international media outlets. It took place just as the UN was kicking off its COP19 climate conference a few kilometers away.”

      wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/12/50000-at-rally-against-climate-agenda-in-poland/#more-97313

      • Have no independent verification at this point. If it’s true, I see it as a landmark event

      • Ahem…actually the video looks rather pathetic. Crowd’s pretty big, but I’m not even sure they knew what was being said re climate speech.

      • Australia, Poland, lack of interest in AR5 all seems to suggest a dying CAGW movement. Are we approaching a tipping point ?

      • Are we approaching a tipping point ?

        No doubt, a tipping point pushed off balance by the immense weight of final nails in coffins and stakes through hearts. Thousand upon thousands of them.

    • A number of German and European countries are planning to leave Germany or minimize investments there due to high “green” energy costs. That won’t make their populace very happy either.

  4. The concept of ‘earning trust’ is something only salespeople, babysitters and criminals are concerned with.

    Andrew

    • And politicians, but I guess that’s included in the latter category.

    • Bad Andrew,
      There is something treacherous in the distinction between being “trustworthy” and “earning trust.” And I’m with you on the “earning.” I hope our wonderful hostess comes to her senses and realizes that her concern bespeaks an interest in “influencing” with which I would be more comfortable were it less conspicuous.

      It seems to me that the disease which runs rampant in climate science is the desire to influence. This alone, would make me wary.

      Give it up Judith. You have helped many of us immeasurably with the articles you’ve posted and the comments entertained here.

      • “It seems to me that the disease which runs rampant in climate science is the desire to influence.”
        Applied Jerome Ravetz.
        Antidote Dr. Curry.

      • I’m actually amazed that anyone thinks the two article’s quoted are anything other than poorly thought out,, over analyzed nonsense. Of course cognition is important in information processing but the whole subject of communication is addressed as if its something you do to someone. It isn’t, communication is an interpersonal activity and beliefs involve more than cognitive processes. The desire to influence others isn’t in itself a problem because we all do it all the time, in fact the people who influence us most are those we care about. Firstly the problem isn’t about how better to communicate, initially global warming had a high level of support, which has evaporated. People no longer see attempts to influence then, they see attempts to control. Consider what removing information and minimizing uncertainty because we don’t want to confuse the poor dears, communicated. When you start from a position of we will tell you what to believe because your to stupid to decide yourself and no you cant ask questions, how would you describe the cognitive process that follow. Nice, complex discussions on irrelevant detail simply confirms how detached from reality the debate has become.

    • Harold and j ferguson,

      ‘Amen’ to both your comments.

      Andrew

  5. They lost me at the first sentence:

    “Climate scientists need the trust of lay audiences if they are to share their knowledge.”

    Sharing their knowledge is easy. Persuasion is a whole other matter, and every used car salesman knows how to do that. But where is it written that the mission of scientists is to sell?

    • “Every encounter in life involves communications. This means we are all in sales. So, whether you are an accountant, a doctor, an engineer or a stay at home mom, you are in sales because you are a communicator.” – Blurb on the book, Everyone is in Sales.

  6. omanuel, the other way to be trusted to tell people what they want/expect to hear. Doesn’t need to involve truth.

    • I agree. Rigorous application of the scientific method helps scientists discover and accept ego-deflating truths, although preferring to believe ego-inflating falsehoods.

    • Reality has a way of catching up here, tho that lesson may take place some time later when the folks that have told you “what you wanted to hear” have skipped out of town. Anyone in Gary Indiana for band uniforms and musical instruments?

  7. The widespread refusal of promoters of CAGW to enter into any public discussion with those who question it has, over time, seriously eroded trust. Al Gore has even, reportedly, refused to take questions from the floor at his lectures. People do notice these things.

    • I am told that Al Gore will take questions from the floor provided he knows what the questions are in advance and that he agrees with them, I think a fee may also be involved???

    • Walter Carlson

      Mike..your assertion (refusal of promoters…) is without merit. While I have read a half dozen books explaining AGW, I have NONE that attempt to deny the SCIENCE behind it. IF the science behind cagw is erroneous, why hasn’t some climatologist (NOT funded by Scaife, Koch, Exxon, or other fossil fuel industry) written a book based upon peer-reviewed and published studies?? I might ask Ms Curry the same question!

      • Walter Carlson – That would be an excellent question to ask Judith Curry.

        And indeed, there are books: “Heaven and Earth” by Ian Plimer. “Taxing Air”, by Bob Carter. “Who turned on the heat?” by Bob Tisdale. “The Chilling Stars” by Henrik Svensmark and Ian Calder. There are dozens of them. Most of them do not “deny” the science behind AGW, in fact many of them support its core, and some of them might not even mention AGW at all. But they do go into the science, and they either cover parts that have been ignored by the IPCC and the AGW books or they show that AGW has been exaggerated. Some of them may well be of dubious quality (Ian Plimer’s re volcanoes, eg?), but then some of the AGW books are of dubious quality (major errors in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, eg?).

        Of course, the argument doesn’t take place only in books, it also takes place in the journals, the media, and the blogosphere.

        Coming back to your opening remark “your assertion (refusal of promoters…) is without merit “. My assertion was “The widespread refusal of promoters of CAGW to enter into any public discussion with those who question it has, over time, seriously eroded trust.“. That statement stands regardless of what may be happening in the world of books, or anywhere else. People do notice. For those with little or no scientific leaning, one of the ways they assess the argument is by the behaviour of the contenders – which person seems trustworthy? Not engaging in public discussion is seen as an untrustworthy type of action.

        I would ask that you see my comment as being positively helpful to those promoting AGW science: I am giving you information on how they can improve their influence – engage in open public discussion. If their case is good, it can only help them.

      • perhaps you just have not read enough. Try some more books if that is your preference.

      • Try “Chill a reassessment of Global Warming” by Peter Taylor, the result of three years extensive analysis of the science. It is endorsed by W Jackson Davis who wrote the first draft of the Kyoto Protocol who said it is a must read for people on both sides of the debate.

  8. You might decide that one of the fundamental rules for living a quiet life is : – exercise more than your normal quota of caution when anybody says “Trust me.”

    All the trust in the world (plus $5) is probably enough to buy a cup of coffee.

    You may put your trust in whatever or whomever you wish. Time will tell if your decision was right or wrong.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  9. Project something significant and be right about it–e.g., The Sun is about to change its polarity:

  10. The problem with honest engagement is that you might end up getting your mind changed by some argument(s) you hear. In a large on-line forum open to many smart people, sooner or later you’re going to have to choose between honest engagement and keeping your prior opinion.

    Thus, one powerful way of earning the trust of other honest engagers is to keep, and make publicly available, a record of the times you’ve had your mind changed by an argument offered in the forum.

    • Interesting AK -

      I think that would be powerful (relatively, I mean really who cares? They’re only blog comments).

      Honest question – do you have such a record?

      • Not really, Joshua. My opinion WRT climate change and appropriate policies has evolved over the years, but I haven’t really kept a clear record of where and by whom the various writings that changed my mind occurred. (Partly laziness, and partly because I expect my points to be taken on their own merits (or lack thereof), so the only “trust” I worried about was that reading my comments was worth somebody’s while.)

        The only case that comes right to mind doesn’t involve Climate etc., but another short-lived blog about climate, where I finally got my questions about the deficiencies in the early “greenhouse” cartoons answered. It was Michael Tobis who explained that the key to “greenhouse warming” was raising the average height from which outgoing IR at relevant wavelengths reached space.

        Cartoons of the time had implied the “greenhouse warming” was due to increased absorption of IR from the ground, which I knew to be (mostly) wrong, since the atmosphere is saturated WRT absorption of the relevant wavelengths (except for a slight effect from pressure-broadening).

        This didn’t convince me the “greenhouse effect” was real, vs. thinking it wasn’t. I was already sure real scientists in the field didn’t think the way the cartoons implied, which I knew (correctly) was wrong. But at least I found out what I was missing in understanding the “greenhouse effect”, and its role in climate.

        My views of the risk from burning fossil carbon have certainly evolved. I regard the risk via the “greenhouse effect” on climate to be real but minor, ocean acidification is also a real, if badly over-hyped, risk. Other risks include climate via the direct effect of changing pCO2 on the relative vapor pressure over liquid and solid water in clouds, with a possible follow-on effect on precipitation levels under various conditions (and, perhaps, overall cloudiness).

        The major risk(s), IMO, involve the effect of increased pCO2 on and changed carbon flow into various ecosystems, with the (perhaps) enhanced threat of pushing them into catastrophic re-organizations. AFAIK nobody has made a credible argument discussing these risks, and my appreciation of them derives entirely from my own (amateur) understanding of non-linear systems, biology, and ecology.

        My views of what to do about it have also evolved: I started out with the idea that the best option was a gradually increasing fee on fossil carbon, to be applied entirely to a subsidy on all types of non-fossil-carbon energy. While “nice” in theory, such an idea would be a nightmare to effectively implement, given the proclivities of bureaucracies, especially government bureaucracies, for corruption and diversion of funds for internal busywork.

        Eventually I came to the conclusion that solving the fossil carbon problem by raising the cost/price of energy was a game that wasn’t worth the candle. The economic downside simply wasn’t justified by the risk. Perhaps it would be, if there weren’t many ways to solve the problem without raising the cost/price of energy. Certainly the references here to “Dyson’s Carbon-eating Trees” played a part in that. As did my own investigations of the feasibility of synergies in alternative energy and remediation ideas.

      • AK,

        That’s interesting because I find that the “radiation is only released from higher, colder levels of the atmosphere” to be an insufficient explanation of the greenhouse effect. It takes me several intermediate steps to get to that explanation from the starting point of “known spectral properties of CO2″ and “addition of more CO2 to the atmosphere”.

        Do you do this or does the statement you attribute to MT below make sense on its face without a chain of reasoning?

      • @bill_c…

        I suppose you could say there are several steps in my reasoning, but they’re clearly apparent to me, along with a large host of caveats. Increasing the pCO2 reduces the average mean free path of a photon at any wavelength that interacts with CO2. This, in turn, means that looking down from interstellar space (at ~3 degrees Kelvin), the radiating part of the atmosphere you see is higher. Assuming no change to the planetary configuration of lapse rate(s) (a highly questionable assumption), as well as a typical radiating surface in the troposphere and lower stratosphere where the temperature typically decreases with increasing height (which I’ve never checked but assume people like our hostess would have), this higher radiating surface will emit less IR to space than the lower surface with lower pCO2.

        This is about as far as I’m willing to go applying linear assumptions to a very complex non-linear system. My own studies of chaos theory leave me very skeptical of the “equilibrium”-based system of “feedbacks” against an averaged model of atmospheric radiation. As both Tomas (here) and Lindzen (among others) have pointed out, averages don’t do anything. They are simply artifacts of our limited ability to conceive, understand, and measure the actual spatio-temporal chaos of the ocean/atmospheric system.

        This is all summarized in the oft-heard blanket caveat “all other things being equal” or equivalent. Things aren’t equal, and there are almost certainly a large number of critically important factors involved in the real-world effect of increased GHG’s that haven’t even been considered yet, much less adequately estimated or measured.

      • AK,

        Thanks for the explanation of your thought process. I think it’s reasonable. One place where it appears to me that there is a gap is between your earlier comment

        the atmosphere is saturated WRT absorption of the relevant wavelengths (except for a slight effect from pressure-broadening)

        and your later comment

        Increasing the pCO2 reduces the average mean free path of a photon at any wavelength that interacts with CO2. This, in turn, means that looking down from interstellar space (at ~3 degrees Kelvin), the radiating part of the atmosphere you see is higher

        The filling of that perceived hole in my mental model goes something like this: The saturation effect is present near the surface and less so in extremely cold regions or at greater heights due to the lower pressures/densities. The level of saturation decreases as we move vertically in the troposphere. At the surface, adding more CO2 does not result in more absorption (except for the pressure broadening) because all the IR at the relevant wavelengths is absorbed. However, as we go higher and the absolute density of CO2 (moles per unit volume, not pCO2) decreases, some of that IR absorbed and re-emitted by the radiatively active gases at lower altitudes, gets out into space. Adding more CO2 to the whole mixture reduces the amount of IR flux that gets out from that altitude, because more of it is absorbed. Eventually (if we’re still moving upwards with time) more and more of the IR flux can escape – but the altitude at which that fraction of the IR flux can escape is higher (compared to pre-AGW conditions) because of the greater concentration of CO2 (after AGW).

        But that only gets us a picture of the IR flux at the relevant CO2 wavelengths ~15 um or whatever. At the same time, the absorption of energy by CO2 is transferred extremely rapidly, especially at low elevations (about 10^9 times faster than re-emission, thanks Pekka) to the surrounding components of the gas mixture, warming it. Since the vast majority of the atmosphere essentially does not emit IR, there is a net warming (some energy is eventually transmitted back to the CO2 by collisions, and so the warming doesn’t occur indefinitely). The atmosphere warms by this principle. The surface is warmed by conductive/convectiveinteraction with the warmer atmosphere.

      • @bill_c…

        The filling of that perceived hole in my mental model goes something like this:[...]

        That’s not in accord with my understanding of emission /absorption in a gas. When I said “saturated” I meant that none of the IR in the relevant wavelengths emitted by the surface reaches space. Understand that absorption in a gas always is partial for a short enough distance, depending on the photon’s interaction with the gas involved. Higher absolute pressures of CO2 at the surface result in a shorter mean free path (or half-life, which is related but not the same thing).

        In my terms, this increases the amount of thermal “coupling” via radiation between any two points in the atmosphere as the pCO2 increases. IR (in the appropriate wavelengths) emitted by the surface is absorbed at a relatively lower altitude, that reaching the surface was emitted by air at a relatively lower altitude. Similarly, such IR coming from space is absorbed at a higher altitude, while that reaching space (TOA) is emitted from a higher altitude.

        Yes, AFAIK when a photon is absorbed by a molecule of CO2 (in air in the troposphere and stratosphere) that molecule will probably undergo many collisions, transferring the extra energy into the thermal pool of the gas (air) independently of its emission, which latter is dependent on the average energy of thermal collisions (i.e. temperature) as well as the absorption coefficient. My understanding is based on applying my own perspective to the radiative thermodynamic behavior of gases, as described in any good textbook on the subject.

        The atmosphere both emits and absorbs IR. The mean free path, and total decay (via absorption), of photons emitted in any direction by any parcel of air will depend on the absorption coefficient of the air along that path. The level of emission will depend on both the absorption coefficient and the temperature (of the parcel involved). You can find all this described in rigorous terms in any good textbook on atmospheric thermodynamics, although it isn’t hard to work out the partial differential equations from first principles.

        People who can’t grok partial differential equations probably aren’t (IMO) going to understand how atmospheric radiative thermodynamics works. Any effort to describe it in “plain English” will end up so ambiguous and subject to misunderstanding that it’s not really worth trying.

      • Good dialogue between Bill C and AK. I think that Tomas and Chief are right but there are as yet no models based on spatio-temporal non-linear dynamics and even if one were to be constructed, it would be necessarily limited in the number of parameters and field vectors that can be accommodated by computing power that is currently available.

        My preference is for climate science to go back to its meteorological roots and construct more sophisticated weather models that will improve forecasting at a regional level to the extent that the more vulnerable communities (such the Philipines) can be given more time to prepare for climate extremes.

      • AK,

        I’ve heard that perspective from others on these blogs that this stuff can’t be explained without PDEs. I think that saying it can’t be explained adequately in words is not true, but it is intensive and possibly not worth the effort. However, although I can understand PDEs just fine, I think sometimes its worth trying to shoulder through with the verbal alternative. So I am going to try to unify what I wrote and what you responded. I do think you understand this stuff better than I do, but I disagree that all textbooks cover it adequately – it’s my recollection from reading Pierrehumbert’s Principles of Planetary Climate that it skips links in the reasoning chain, perhaps because they are so innate to physicists. Anyway:

        When I said “saturated” I meant that none of the IR in the relevant wavelengths emitted by the surface reaches space.

        That’s my understanding as well. Maybe I didn’t explain it as well.

        In my terms, this increases the amount of thermal “coupling” via radiation between any two points in the atmosphere as the pCO2 increases. IR (in the appropriate wavelengths) emitted by the surface is absorbed at a relatively lower altitude, that reaching the surface was emitted by air at a relatively lower altitude.

        Agree.

        Similarly, such IR coming from space is absorbed at a higher altitude, while that reaching space (TOA) is emitted from a higher altitude.

        I think an often unstated follow-on is that because the IR reaching space is emitted from higher, colder altitudes, that means there is less of it because the emissions are temperature-dependent. Because at steady-state the energy in has to equal the energy out, that means the flux at other wavelengths has to increase (i.e. something has to heat up). Because other gases aren’t radiatively active at relevant wavelengths, they warm (from collisions), and eventually that warming reaches the surface, which radiates in broadband (blackbody) and eventually gets hot enough to close the energy balance by increasing the IR flux at wavelengths not intercepted by GHGs.

      • @bill_c…

        I think that saying it can’t be explained adequately in words is not true, but it is intensive and possibly not worth the effort.

        The problem is that words don’t have precise meanings, except when they’re used as in-specialty jargon. Which leaves the problem that people not familiar with the field won’t understand their precise meanings.

        I do think you understand this stuff better than I do,

        Perhaps, but probably not. I do understand it my own terms, which serve my purposes.

        Because at steady-state the energy in has to equal the energy out, that means the flux at other wavelengths has to increase (i.e. something has to heat up).

        That seems (to me, anyway) to be the common assumption in “global warming”. But IMO it’s unwarranted, although having a good chance of being true. The increased pCO2 may well result in more clouds, with higher albedo, reducing the energy in. If the level of cloudiness was dependent on the average temperature at the surface, this “negative feedback” couldn’t be larger than the original effect. But it’s not. The cloudiness at any point in space/time is dependent on a complex history of temperatures nearby in the recent past (among other things). Some of those historical dependencies can result in a strong local “negative feedback”, much stronger than the original effect of more GHG’s. It’s possible, although unlikely, that the consequent average of reduced incoming energy is actually larger than the reduction in outgoing IR from the upper atmosphere. That’s why I keep saying that the PDF for “sensitivity” has a tail that crosses zero, although probably a very thin tail.

      • AK – thanks. I think we agree on the AGW theory at least. And when I say OLR has to increase at other wavelengths, that’s if all other things are equal, which of course they’re not.

      • “… this higher radiating surface will emit less IR to space than the lower surface with lower pCO2.”

        Will it? Even though it has a greater surface area? I thought THAT would be the “fight” – lower temp but higher surface area “balances” at some point, in terms of total energy emission.

        In any case, given that the moist lapse rate is approx 2/3 the dry rate at present, this is one area where I can see great scope for things NOT “being equal” any more. If more pCO2 -> higher humidity -> reduced lapse rate -> less change to SAT than you might think – a negative water vapour feedback that does NOT rely on clouds, ice etc, just “simple physics”. Of course, this only affects temperature, which is only one of the significant climate stats.

      • Kneel, it is higher by a few hundred meters and the radius is 6370 km. How much more area does that give? Not much if you work it out.

    • I would be nice if the UN-IPCC admitted it lied about the MWP and LIA not existing when it showcased the ‘hockey stick’ — the graph that was replaced showed that — and, that it still gets a good chuckle when to this day Western academia circles its wagons around Mann.

      • Science works by refinement. Newton didn’t lie, but Einstein showed he wasn’t exactly right when relativity comes into it. The MWP was and still is not a well defined truth, so when you go from one level of knowledge to another, the previous level wasn’t a lie. You could say the same about Arrhenius and his early rough estimates of CO2 doubling effects. They were not lies either, just the best guess at the time, which is what science is.

      • Science works best by throwing out the ideas of charlatans who prey on the superstitions and ignorance of others. M&M are the Newtons — bringing truth while outlining the dead bodies of the witchdoctors — whereas, the UN-IPCCC-approved scientists are charlatans.

      • Newton didn’t say the world as we know it is coming to an end.

      • Isaac Newton was sitting in the garden and this apple falls on his head and — genius that he was — he has a moment of brilliance, exclaiming suddenly, “You know what: it’s goddamned warm out,” which he found interesting considering his days were during an ice age coinciding with the solar minimum from 1640 to 1700.

  11. This piece makes good sense to me: It fits reasonably well with much of what (we think) we’ve learned about conditional cooperation, trust and reciprocity from laboratory experiments on games.

    “In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself vulnerable in ways her audience can enforce. This vulnerability signals her trustworthiness, since the audience can reason that she would not undertake such risks unless she was confident in what she was saying.”

    This sounds like both high game theory and behavioral game theory. You are right: It is most definitely not the usual communications fare.

  12. From here on we can expect the same mixed messages from the global warming alarmist industry that we have been treated to by those in the heart-calamity industry—e.g., “In 2005 it was considered reprehensible to feed your child butter; today, it’s reprehensible to feed your child margarine. Now eating some fish will save your life thanks to omega-3 content, unless the mercury content does you in first. A diet low in carbohydrate is good for you, or not. A diet low in fat is good for you, or not. Red meats are bad, except maybe a little is okay; white meats are good unless toxic substances lurk in the juices.” ~Dr. Nortin Hadler, Worried Sick

  13. What happen to the concept of not losing trust? The PhD provides Ethos that should be guarded. If you invest that much time, energy and money to become a “professional” some portion of time should be devoted to learning to act professionally with things like archiving data, not over-hyping research and avoiding the advocacy side without making sure your advocacy hat is turned the right way.

    The number of climate scientists with actual “trust” issues looks to be very small relative to the general public and more an issue with in the climate science group. That btw has just about promoted our host to sainthood.

    • Yes, captain. To me the word “professional” implies maintenance of high standards, of being trustworthy. As had often been pointed out here, far too many climate scientists and CAGW advocates have been unprofessional and demonstrated that they can not be trusted. This has been severely compounded by the failure of their peers to call them on it: the misdeeds of a few have tainted the whole, as the whole failed to deal with them. There will be no basis for trust until the shenanigans of Mann, Jones et al are publicly acknowledged and repudiated by leaders in the climate science field.

      Terminating the IPCC process would also help.

      • far too many climate scientists and CAGW advocates have been unprofessional and demonstrated that they can not be trusted. This has been severely compounded by the failure of their peers to call them on it: the misdeeds of a few have tainted the whole, as the whole failed to deal with them.

        + many x many ^ lots

      • Faustino, “Terminating the IPCC process would also help.”

        The IPCC “Process” is a good example of the Peter’s Principle. There aren’t that many people that are qualified but plenty that think they are.

    • Walter Carlson

      Capt….See my comment above!!

  14. After hearing an intelligent climate scientist on CNN being called a “denier” and personally denigrated last night in prime time, I think it’s just best to admit your just a witch right up front. You are truly an evil witch and you want to repent and accept the teaching of the Carbon Dioxide God, accept the sacrament of Consensus (you are a 97%er) and the body of Al Gore. Then make your argument. If you just fight it with facts they will burn you at the denial stake. Remember, after you show repentance be sure to pledge allegiance to the Hockey Stick and all will be well.

    • Roy Spencer was on CNN recently.

    • I thought the treatment of Dr. Spencer by Mark Hertsgaard was appalling on that CNN program. Truly disgusting behavior…

    • The consistent use of ad hominem argument by the “consensus” scientists has the effect of making it look like their arguments cannot sand up to critical scrutiny. It also makes them look unprofessional. The behavior of Gavin Schmidt is an excellent example.

      • David Springer

        Bingo.

        Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
        Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period. ~Michael Crichton

        The mere mention of consensus amongst a group raises a red flag. Upon even modestly informed, objective examination one finds the consensus in climate science is a perfect example of the emperor wearing no clothes. The so-called pause has put paid to what little credibility the CAGW movement had left at the turn of the millennium. Now the most hyperbolic among them are a laughing stock on the order of these folks:

        http://tinyurl.com/momjlz6

        A bitter p.ill to swallow for a PhD I’m sure but that’s what happens when you decide to wrap shoddy science in a groupthink sheepskin to make it look robust. You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

      • There is no pause.
        Cowtan & Way, as in see.

      • David Springer

        You’re probably right about there being no pause. As in something that was never happening in the first place cannot have a pause. LOL

        Pause deniers. Funny stuff.

  15. I once got chatting with a brain scientist (prof at Uni of NSW). When I asked him a couple of things about the brain, he said he just did not know. He explained that the brain was fantastically complex and he and his colleagues didn’t have a clue about much of what was going on, including some really crucial stuff. (We had no trouble with “communication” since we both spoke the same Western Germanic language, called English, and used it in its clearest and simplest form.)

    If any climate scientists are reading…That bloke got my trust.

    • If you read the whole IPCC reprt, you’ll see endless mentions of uncertainty ans what we don’t know, as well as what we do.

      • But we want to throw out the whole of Western Civilization anyway.

      • I’m not talking about discreet back doors for when stunts go wrong. I’m talking about genuine “don’t knows”. (eg. The hydropshere is largely unvisited and we know too little about the hot, sloshy ball we happen to be living on. That’s the kind of “don’t know” I’m talking about.)

      • The SPM is less up front about them and the original drafts were more honest.

      • David Springer

        The IPCC report reads like a manifesto. What other branch of science has a comparable multinational outreach program?

      • International co-operation in science is the norm.

      • David Springer

        That didn’t answer the question, “Michael”. I’ll ask again.

        What other branch of science has a multinational outreach program comparable to the IPCC?

      • Michael

        Yep.

        But then there is that embarrassing “95%”.

        Ouch!

        Max

      • Maybe you could explain what a ‘multinational outreach program’ is??

      • David Springer

        A multinational outreach program is exemplified by the IPCC.

        Thanks for asking. Now how about you stop dodging the question and tell us what other branch of science has something comparable to the IPCC. Good luck.

    • “He explained that…he and his colleagues didn’t have a clue.” One of the most valuable lessons I learned about teaching: When a student asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, say “I don’t know, but I’ll find out and tell you what I think next class” and then do it. Big, big rewards to the teacher who learns early to do this!

    • mosomoso,

      Therein lies at least one problem. Your grasp of English is obviously defective. You should have written ” . . . any climate scientivists . . .”

      When a “scientist” hasn’t a clue, he admits it.

      When a “scientivist” hasn’t a clue, he becomes ever more shrill and strident, expressing his belief that he actually knows everything, and the fact that Nature is uncooperative merely shows the stupidity of Nature.

      I hope I have assisted you to correctly understand the oxymoron inherent in the term “climate scientist”.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • mosomoso-
      I have had the same experience and with neuroscientists. When someone admits they still dont know a lot about their field of expertise, it is refreshing and they gain my trust instantly. First, because if you have been around the block a few times, you have seen how many times science in all the fields have changed theories and secondly, it signals a little humility on the part of the scientist. Hubris can be an awful impediment to genuine inquisitiveness and a desire to admit errors in one’s own work.

      • dennis adams

        I have had the same experience and with neuroscientists…
        Hubris can be an awful impediment to genuine inquisitiveness and a desire to admit errors in one’s own work.

        Yeah.

        But they don’t have an international political agenda to slap a global tax on energy, which every man, woman and child will have to pay.

        Max

    • ” He explained that the brain was fantastically complex and he and his colleagues didn’t have a clue about much of what was going on, including some really crucial stuff.”
      That is about right. In the adult hermaphrodite Caenorhabditis elegans there are 959 cells, of which 302 are neurons. They all have names and we know their development history. You can splice a gene for a fluorescent protein into individual ones and view them, non invasively, in living organisms.
      Now you can train C. elegans to traverse as maze

      http://microfluidics.utoronto.ca/papers/worm%20learning.pdf

      The lovely thing about nemaodes is that they are active at room temperature, but pop them in the fridge, and they go into stasis, when you warm they up its back to normal. When you cool a worm, the center of the brain switches off last and on warming, the center switches on last.

      Cooling/heating cycles don’t affect memory. You can crash and reboot their brains, and their brains sill work. You can do the same with humans, either by anesthetic (fairly safe) or with hypothermia (very dangerous).

      The brain modelers think they will have a complete computer model of C. elegans in about a decade.There are only 20 neurons in the pharyngeal nervous system, 282 neurons in the somatic nervous system which only has 6,393 chemical synapses, 890 gap junctions, and 1,410 neuromuscular junctions. I suspect I will be dead before they nail it.
      The human brain has 86 billion neurons, and a good guess is that about half involved in high brain function.

      I am rather glad that brain researchers are, on the whole, upfront with their pathetic understanding of their specialty.

      • Is climate so complex that it thinks?

      • Doc-”I am rather glad that brain researchers are, on the whole, upfront with their pathetic understanding of their specialty.”
        I am too and that is why I trust their work more than climate scientists as a whole. And to think what brain researchers dont understand can be put in their hand, but some climate scientists think their science is settled and they cannot even begin to understand the dimensions of their subject.

      • And yet those damn scientists think that they make ‘consensus statements”.

        http://longevity3.stanford.edu/brain-health/expert-consensus-on-brain-health/

        oh noes!

      • Mike, you can see that they are trying to protect the public from being ripped off by ‘snake oil’ salespersons

        ” Consumers should be leery of anyone who claims to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or pre-dementia. Any such products would need FDA approval to properly make such claims, and no currently available products have obtained approval. There is no evidence that software products on the market or any other cognitive or social interventions available today can delay or prevent disease. On the other hand, taking good care of your health, especially blood pressure and blood sugar, can aid cognitive performance.

        It is not quite ’97% of scientists agree we are all going to be baked like hedgehogs in Romani camp’ now is it?

      • Michael, I read that link. Basically it says: “Regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar, and get physical exercise, and please don’t believe everything you hear.”

        Strike one.

      • Basic nematode physics easily proves that the human brain is just a concatenation of nematode responses, so once we nail that little worm’s neurophysiology, Bob’s your uncle. Global Cognition Models will be able to predict your multi-decadal response to a compliment or eating an extra Oreo.

      • …but ‘manufacturing consensus’ !!

    • David Springer

      A multinational outreach program is exemplified by the IPCC.

      Thanks for asking. Now how about you stop dodging the question and tell us what other branch of science has something comparable to the IPCC. Good luck.

  16. Trust is a 2 way street – and I think that this still misdisagnoses a good part of the problem. The study states that the doubters tend to be very political and are mostly ocncerned with economic issues of policy implementation. Distrust of the scientists comes from this , rather than doubt over the science being generated by a distrust of scientists.

    And given that Judith constanstly tells us that scientists have no business dsussing policy, it’s not clear how scientists can use this advice to have much affect on these objections which stem from politiacl/policy considerations.

    • The study states that the doubters tend to be very political and are mostly ocncerned with economic issues of policy implementation. Distrust of the scientists comes from this , rather than doubt over the science being generated by a distrust of scientists.

      This is a (probably, IMO, deliberate) mis-statement of the problem. Consider from the paper:

      These models recognize that humans have two broad capacities for processing information. One—sometimes called ‘heuristic’ or ‘peripheral’ processing, or most simply ‘Type 1’—is rapid, low effort, based on rules of thumb and associations, and generally unconscious. The other—’systematic,’ ‘central,’ or ‘Type 2’—is slow, high effort, analytic, and at least partially under conscious control. The former allows us to respond quickly and easily to the flux of circumstances: to run away from the tiger, without pausing to think. The latter allows us to reason our way through complex problems: to make prudent decisions about retirement investments.

      What “Michael” is calling “Distrust of the scientists” appears in my reading to be switching from “Type 1″ to “Type 2″ processing due to the perceived importance of the issue.

      Of course, my own “type 1″ reaction to the hordes of Marxbots pushing Kyoto in ’98′ was that these sorts of arguments, from these sorts of people, have more to do with socialist scam than science. It was much later that I got a more nuanced understanding of the whole thing.

      • In an equilibrium state, there is no forcing and no feedback by definition.

        But is there any evidence at all that any blackbody can change its internal molecular composition and therefore change it’s temperature in space under the influence of constant sunlight?

    • “The study states that the doubters tend to be very political and are mostly concerned with economic issues of policy implementation”
      If you have a general theory, it must apply generally. This means that things like GCM’s must match temperature changes over decades of the thermometer record and the ice-core record; so if you use CO2 and aerosols from 1900-2013, you have to use ice-core CO2 AND dust changes over the last 400 Ky.
      If you think that temperature proxies are found in tree rings, coral carbonates, X/Y ion ratios you must plot your series, drawn based on a prior sampling criteria, all the way to the ends, no truncation.
      If you want to talk about thermodynamics and kinetics, then use the classically accepted descriptive terms; calling a steady state an ‘equilibrium’ is a sign that one doesn’t understand basic thermodynamics, calling an energy flux a ‘forcing’ is a nonsense, using the term positive or negative feedback to describe progression along a line-shape is thrown board wiper time. Only Climate Science puts up with the misuse of agreed terms.
      Earlier today people were talking about how long it would take for the oceans to come to ‘equilibrium’, with respect to temperature, following an increase in a ‘forcing’. The answer is never. The oceans are not in thermal equilibrium, they have a constantly renewed cold bottom.
      Earlier today people were stating that large volumes of warm waters were subducted into the lower depths, removing heat from the surface and sequestrating it into the depths.
      Such a movement would take water low in CO2/DIC down and raise CO2/DIC rich waters to the surface. Such movements would stand out in the Keeling curve, in the disappearance of the bomb-test generated 14C record and be a final nail in the coffin of the fat-tail of the Bern model of atmospheric CO2 ‘equilibration’ with the deep ocean.

      • A forcing is a change in energy flux. If you add 1% to the solar intensity, the earth warms. That 1% is the forcing, and the warming is the response. I think it is easy to understand this term. Feedbacks, on the other hand, have confused people (possibly engineers) for whom a positive feedback is always a runaway effect, while in climate it is just a finite amplification unless it is strong enough to be a runaway effect. There are shades of positive that are too subtle for some.

      • JimD, “There are shades of positive that are too subtle for some.”

        You got that right. Especially when the sign is wrong.

      • Is that 1% change in solar flux with respect to the perihelion or the aphelion?
        Would the Earth have the same steady state temperature if the angle were to be tilted from +23 degrees to -23 degrees?
        If altering the tilt of the Earths axis can change the steady state temperature, at the same solar flux, how can ‘forcing’ be plotted against temperature?

      • DocMartyn:

        Agreeing again.

        + CO2
        + Temperature step 1 (Accepted)
        + Temperature step 2 (Subject to discussion and refinement)
        Full Stop

        Step 1 causes step 2 until step 1 no longer causes step 2. Which I think is the same as saying, all temperature changes cause additional temperature changes until they don’t.

        If we say it’s possible that increased water vapor can follow CO2 as it rises when we do get to plus 4 C that’s going to be a lot of water vapor. If natural variability offsets step 1, it also cancels out step 2, as may be the current situation. If the heat is in the deep oceans, it wouldn’t be able to do much to increase water vapor to warm the atmosphere, apparently also canceling step 2. We also need that all this increased water vapor, will not betray us, and turn into high albedo clouds, perhaps offsetting step 1 and once again, canceling step 2.

        I do wonder if we needed to invent new terms for processes that are understandable in the small scale. We use old Science to understand the CO2 effect I believe. Why don’t we stick with that?

        I don’t think it’s too tinfoil hatted to say that step 2 seems unreliable.

      • Let’s say that the sun itself increased its energy by 1% over the course of a century. That would lead to a warming due to that forcing change. I don’t think I am saying anything complicated here.

      • Re: Jim D | November 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
        Feedbacks, on the other hand, have confused people (possibly engineers) for whom a positive feedback is always a runaway effect,

        Correction.. just the “possibly incompetent engineers”. Those who know what they are doing know that with positive feedback, you can also have damped oscillations and no runaway effect.

      • Michael,

        The Earth moves closer to the Sun. An object on the surface warms a little more – maybe – depending on whether it’s in the NH or the SH.

        The Earth rotates the object away from the Sun. Night falls. The object cools. By dawn, the object is the same temperature as the rock it sits on.

        Temperature continues to drop until it reaches a minimum, and starts to rise again.

        CO2, Fe, H2O, all “trap” heat during the day. Maybe even pixie dust. At night, they all “untrap” heat. The heat “trapped” in the molten surface in the Hadean era has all gone. Untrapped. Lava and geothermal vents – heat untrapped quite rapidly, day or night. Day and night, around 44 TW “untrapping” itself from the interior.

        So sorry. No extra heat left over to be “carried forward”.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike Flynn said this when “debating” with Lacis a while ago. I remembered it because it was monumentally stupid.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/06/confidence-levels-inside-and-outside-an-argument/#comment-395213

        Astrology, on the other hand, requires more knowledge than possessed by the average 12 year old.

        That is the level of debate of Flynn.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        And you know this how? How many average 12 year old children can you produce that can name the signs of the Zodiac (Western or Chinese) in correct order, and write the astrological symbol for each?

        What 12 year old child knows what a quincunx is?

        Was Johannesburg Kepler more stupid than a 12 year old? He studied astrology, as did Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin.

        Whether you like it or not, some fairly intelligent people believed they were smarter than your average 12 year old when it came to the study of astrology.

        On the other hand, climatology is studying the averages of weather parameters (and an abbreviated subset, at that). Maybe you have difficulty working out averages. I can help if you like. It’s not that hard.

        The predictive ability of astrology is at least as good as that of climatology – which is to say, none at all. On the other hand, many members of the public are actually prepared to part with cash to an astrologer, as opposed to the number (indistinguishable from zero) that pay to have a climatologist see into the future on their behalf.

        Your toy computer program possesses less useful predictive power than my runestones. I have to confess, I’m cheating a bit. My runestones are Runestones of Power, far superior to normal domestic grade runestones.

        Tell me, do you have a very powerful computer, or is it just an ordinary one? Maybe you need a better computer. Climatologists have really, really, powerful computers, and hundreds of models, not just one.

        Maybe you can save really, really, hard!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • You will have to forgive Webby. He blogs from his Mom’s basement and is fond of irrelevancies. There is a hilarious comment from his mother on a previous threads explaining the complex Freudian origins of Webby’s diatribes. Judith thought it was quite humorous. The best humor reflects reality and that’s the case here. Basically, Webby’s Mom begs us to be understanding of his foibles and explains them in terms of his early childhood experiences.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | November 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm |

        “A forcing is a change in energy flux. If you add 1% to the solar intensity, the earth warms.”

        No Jim. This is like saying if you apply 1% more power to the drive wheel of a car it goes faster. The automobile and road together are a non-linear chaotic system. If you apply the 1% increase at the wrong point you can break traction and end up going slower. The earth’s climate is a non-linear chaotic system. Applying more power can have the opposite effect. For instance if the ocean surface warms it pumps more moisture into continental air masses which, in the winter at higher latitudes, produces greater snowfall which takes longer to melt in the spring. This reduces albedo and eventually leads to global cooling if the snow cover reaches a critical tipping point which, empirically, is located on and about 65 degrees north latitude. Thus small changes in forcing that warm the northern ocean in the winter result in ice sheets a mile thick extending south to 45N latitude or farther.

        Write that down.

      • David Springer

        No actually webby is Paul Pukite who blogs from BAE Systems in Minnesota at the expense of BAE shareholders who are certainly not paying him to spend his time at work being a climate blog troll. He and whatever supervisor is responsible for the lack of direction should both be terminated.

      • +1 to Springer.

      • (Posted above in the wrong bit of the thread.)
        In an equilibrium state, there is no forcing and no feedback by definition.

        But is there any evidence at all that any blackbody can change its internal molecular composition and therefore change it’s temperature in space under the influence of constant sunlight?

      • David Springer, your mechanism is opposite to Milankovitch, but anyway that theory hasn’t gone through the thorough testing that yours has, so what did he know? Ice Ages, Schmice ages. They don’t count. This is a climate debate. Milankovitch misled so many people. Right?

      • David Springer

        Jim D you’re babbling and I can’t parse babble. Calm down and try again.

      • David Springer

        Jim D

        You evidently don’t understand the mechanism behind Milankovich cycles if you think what I wrote is contrary. I’m in complete agreement with textbook descriptions of it. Orbital and axial precession change to either increase or decrease the difference between winter and summer. Ice ages are brought on by warmer winters and cooler summers (less seasonal difference). The warmer winter allows the air to hold more moisture which results in greater depth of winter snowpack while the cooler summer is able to melt less of it. Glaciers then advance lower in altitude and lower in latitude. The glaciers increase albedo making for even less melting in the summer and a vicious cycle begins where advancing glaciers provide a positive feedback for even faster glacial advance.

        Write that down.

  17. “The only thing which one can expect to control, and to take responsibility for, is one’s own trustworthiness. …. Curry’s undertaking of the burdens and vulnerabilities of blogging has apparently laid the groundwork for mutual trust, creating one of the few places online where people find it worthwhile to debate each other on climate issues, and worthwhile also to listen in to those debates.”

    Exactly. To be trusted, you must have honesty, integrity and openness, and your motives must be transparent. Without these qualities, you can not expect to convince people of propositions which to many seem highly dubious. In the CAGW case, this is compounded because there are two major elements: 1, the science; 2, the policy response. Even if you are convinced by warmist arguments on 1, you might not trust those proposing costly responses. The latter might be different people from the former, and the former are unlikely to have expertise on policy, however convincing their climate science.

    • Faustino,

      Thank you for your wise comment (as always).

      In the CAGW case, this is compounded because there are two major elements: 1, the science; 2, the policy response. Even if you are convinced by warmist arguments on 1, you might not trust those proposing costly responses.

      I am not sure how much warming, if any) we can expect over the next century. I have even less confidence (much less) regarding how goo versus how bad warming would be.

      But for me, I am very confident (but could be wrong) that raising the cost of energy is the wrong approach to addressing the issues. Therefore, pricing carbon, regulating which raises the cost of energy and renewable energy are absolutely the wrong approach in my opinion.

      • Yes, Peter, in a DT discussion on the UK’s absurd energy policies this morning, I posted:

        “Simple. Remove all requirements to use “alternative energy,” remove all subsidies, and let all existing or potential energy sources and suppliers compete on price. No market direction, no market distortions, lowest cost energy, best for consumers and economic growth.

        “Latest estimates of possible global warming if GHGs are not abated suggest perhaps 1.5C by century-end (and Judith Curry’s 90% confidence limit range includes no warming), Britain should welcome that.”

    • As one of those lay members of the public who have to be convinced to “trust” a climate scientists or scientists of any sort, the whole of that trust communication strategy sounds very “synthetic” to me.

      The “trustworthiness” of an individual regardless of their profession or job is an inbuilt human characteristic which is in all probability fixed for life,
      Scientists are humans although some scientists themselves act as though they are a step above level of humanity and expect the appropriate reverence to be shown, so why should they be any different in the trustworthiness stakes than any other human?

      People subconsciously recognise trustworthiness in an individual although sometimes it does take time for this to happen, But any snake oil salesmanship on the part of the “trust” seeker that tries to fool and buy trust will invariably emerge at some time.
      “Trust” and the level of trustworthiness as it pertains to an individual by others is a very ancient reaction by those others who relied on “trust” in their companions within the family and tribal grouping to collectively protect themselves from the immense array of factors that led to death or even worse for the small family and tribal groups, the extinction of that group through warfare, predators or hunger.

      Trust can be earned but trustworthiness at a high level must first be a natural innate characteristic of the one [s] who are trying to earn that trust from others otherwise it is just a facade and a dangerous one at that, that is soon detected by those from whom the “trust” is being sought.

      All the rest is purely synthetic and closer to an instruction book for snake oil salesmanship.

    • Great comment. Thanks.

    • Great point: In the CAGW case, this is compounded because there are two major elements: 1, the science; 2, the policy response.

      The scientific question should not be: Are Humans affecting climate such that some part of the observed warming is caused by mankind’s GHG emissions?

      The policy relevant question should be something more on the line of “Does the science say that a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate impacts that will cause more societal costs than the social and economic costs necessary to make a 90% reduction with today’s technology?”

      Society needs to address both elements!

  18. Judith -

    I have a strong recommendation for how to communicate effectively.

    Just tell people to put their big boy pants on.

    Oh, and make sure to add that name-calling “anthropowarmsts” are the worst kind of intellectual tyrants, because playing the “denier” card is very, every effective communication.

    • Joshua,

      Judith appears to have communicated with you quite effectively.

      I’m not so sure what your comment ” . . . Is very, every effective communication.” is supposed to communicate. Is “every” what you really meant to say, or is it some cunning Warmist technique to induce people to start accepting that Warmist words have no fixed meaning.

      I’m a denier. I deny that the Earth’s fails to cool at night.

      I trust that you now believe this, because I’m a denier. Alternatively, you may accept it because it is a fact.

      Either way, you can deny that the Earth cools at night, and become a denier in your own right. Nup. I still don’t believe you. Failure to communicate, Joshua.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Mke -

        Judith appears to have communicated with you quite effectively.

        First, whether or not she has communicated effectively with me is not important.

        Whether she has achieved (what I assume to be) her communicative goal, which is to “build bridges,” is probably more important. I’d say that she has failed to do so – although I am open to considering evidence otherwise, if you have some. What bridges has she built? My view of effective communication aimed towards building bridges does not include name-calling, and telling people to “put their big boy pants on” – and particularly not while playing the “denier” card.

        Is “every” what you really meant to say, or is it some cunning Warmist technique to induce people to start accepting that Warmist words have no fixed meaning.

        Huh?

        I’m a denier. I deny that the Earth’s fails to cool at night.

        I trust that you now believe this, because I’m a denier. Alternatively, you may accept it because it is a fact.

        Either way, you can deny that the Earth cools at night, and become a denier in your own right. Nup. I still don’t believe you. Failure to communicate, Joshua.

        Huh?

        Live well and prosper,

        Same to you, Mike.

      • Joshua,

        In typical Warmist fashion, you write one thing, presumably meant to mean another, and then come back with a meaning-free response when somebody asks you what you meant to say.

        In your case, you wrote ” . . . playing the “denier” card is very, every effective communication.” Whilst to a Warmist, “very” and “every” have the same meaning, to us average mortals their meanings are different.

        Your response of “Huh?” Is typical. Never admit a mistake, but imply that the person pointing out a possible failure to communicate is not worthy of an explanation. For my part, I admit that I should have terminated my question about “every” with a question mark. I apologise – Warmists need help to understand, obviously.

        I assume your second use of the nonsense word “Huh?” refers to my attempt to check your assertion that identifying as a “denier” somehow results in effective communication. Your use of “Huh?”, in this context, might indicate that you do not understand my communication.

        My playing of the “denier” card does not seem to have improved my communication ability at all. At least when trying to communicate with a Warmist.

        Maybe you could tell me if using the pseudonym Joshua indicates you are a modern day version of the Biblical Joshua, who was a spy. Are you a member of the Team? The ability to failure to know what you have written, refusing to acknowledge a clear error, and using weasel-words like “Huh!” indicate the same type of thinking as evinced by certain members of the Team.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike -

        In your case, you wrote ” . . . playing the “denier” card is very, every effective communication.” Whilst to a Warmist, “very” and “every” have the same meaning, to us average mortals their meanings are different.

        I gotta say, I have seen a whole lot of folks at this site justify the most absurd conclusions through tortured logic – but that actually takes the cake.

        It was a typo, my brother. Yet you jump from a typo to formulate a completely confident conclusion not merely about me, but an entire group of people who may or may not share a small number of perspectives with me?

        Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a world-class specimen of a “skeptical” analysis.

      • Mike -

        I assume your second use of the nonsense word “Huh?” refers to my attempt to check your assertion that identifying as a “denier” somehow results in effective communication.

        I have never (nevery?) made any such “assertion.”

      • Joshua, “So with that, I’m not seeing any evidence of the beneficial outcomes from Judith engaging in the same behavior she criticizes. I see a lot of same ol same ol, only with the addition of Judith’s participation.”

        I don’t think you are looking very hard. In AR4 there were tuned models being used to determine attribution. That was noted in the “gates. At that time model “tuning” was being denied even though aerosol adjustments were tweaked to beat the band in some of the models. She called them on that.

        She was the first “scientist” IIRC to post on the instrumental data hugging the lower end of the 90% confidence interval. You don’t publish confidence intervals unless they mean something and you don’t ignore them being crossed even if it just a “projection” or some other euphemism to divert attention.

        Both of those “stirred the pot” which needed stirring. You might not like it, but not everyone is as honest and upfront as they should be. So call it “mommy mommy” or fighting fire with fire, but sometimes things need to be shaken up.

      • Joshua,

        You wrote –

        ” . . . playing the “denier” card is very, every effective communication.”

        Quite apart from the typo, you now appear to be indicating that the above statement does not mean what it purports to, in everyday language.

        I can see that you don’t care to answer the question whether you are a member of the Team, as it is commonly referred to. No matter.

        Maybe you can answer this question : -

        Would you trust the conclusions of a group of people who have so little knowledge of the workings of the Earth’s atmosphere that they proudly trumpet the results of 100+ models, all providing differing results, thereby demonstrating that, at the most, only one can be correct?

        Nature seems to be indicating that none, in fact, are of any use even in forecasting the past. Even WHT’s toy curve fitting model works better.

        Only a typo, I assume. The “New Warmist Heat Theory” appears to defy Nature, as well as QED. Photons that penetrate hundreds of meters of matter without interaction? Really? “Heat” taking refuge in the depths?

        One might as well believe the capacity of tree rings to accurately reflect the temperature of the air surrounding the tree at time of formation of the ring.

        Good luck, Joshua. Nature doesn’t appear to want to pander to the Warmist fantasy. I’ll trust Nature.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • David Springer

        Curry is more in the business of demolishing bridges that can’t safely support the weight of the traffic being put across them.

        Now that we’ve strained that metaphor to the breaking point can we move on before it too collapses like the narrative house of cards constructed by bandwagon climate scientists?

    • Way to go Josh! Keep boosting her trust index :)

      • Keep boosting her trust index :)

        Good point, Cap’n.

        By telling people to put their big boy pants on, Judith boosts her trust among many of her denizens. Ditto when she calls others intellectual tyrants, or when she calls people anthropowarmists.

        Every single time she plays the “denier” card, she boosts her trust index among some “denizens.”

        And no doubt, when I give her a hard time about those tribalistic tendencies, if it has any effect at all (which I doubt), it is to solidify her support among those denizens who trust her because of that tribalism.

        So what does that tell us?

      • What does that tell us? That 97% of the people needing big boy pants worry about her “tribalism”

      • What % of people playing the “denier” card need to put on big boy pants, Cap’n?

      • Players don’t need the big boy pants. Those being played do.

      • Cap’n -

        Players don’t need the big boy pants. Those being played do.

        Completely transparent ducking is a sign of needing big boy pants.

      • No it is not ducking. If you can’t take it don’t dish it out. Judith got in the dog house by having an honest opinion on the ‘gates and being willing to confront the “deniers” on their own turf. She catches crap from both extremes. Just because she doesn’t live up to your standards doesn’t mean she has compromised her standards.

      • No it is not ducking. If you can’t take it don’t dish it out.

        Dude, she writes many blog posts that basically amount to playing the “denier” card even as she engages in similar name-calling. She is concerned about the use of the term “denier,” but can you recall when she showed similar concern about the long string of epithets used by her denizens and other “skeptics” on a regular basis?

        I happen to agree with you, except that: (1) I’d say that your sage advise applies to both sides, and (2) I’d say that you shouldn’t dish it out irrespective of whether or not you can take it. What does the one, really, have to do with the other except by some sort of juvenile extension of junior high school cafeteria food fight rules of engagement?

        Just because she doesn’t live up to your standards doesn’t mean she has compromised her standards.

        What standards is she living up to when she plays the “denier” card even as she engages in similar epithet-slinging?

        Selective standards? Yes, I agree.

      • Josh, “(2) I’d say that you shouldn’t dish it out irrespective of whether or not you can take it.”

        If you are in a profession and one of your peers does something potentially damaging to your profession you should privately discuss your concerns with that individual. If the individual doesn’t consider your advice responsible and continues to potentially damage your profession’s reputation, then you can speak out more publicly to distance yourself from their behavior. I don’t think you or I are privy to any of Judith’s private expressions of concern nor will we ever be, but after the proper initial action, the game is on Bubba. Now it would be different if Climate Science had an ethics board or some means to herd the cats, but it don’t. It is probably the most powerful “political” professional organization in the world with zero oversight and has more than its share of loose cannons. She is doing what she thinks is appropriate. You are not in the loop.

      • Cap’n -

        If the individual doesn’t consider your advice responsible and continues to potentially damage your profession’s reputation, then you can speak out more publicly to distance yourself from their behavior.

        Nothing wrong with speaking out to distance yourself from behavior in colleagues that you don’t approve of.

        But by what standard is engaging in those same behaviors distancing yourself from those behaviors?

        She is doing what she thinks is appropriate. You are not in the loop.

        Sure. So, then, all I can do is try to evaluate the evidence available as to whether her assessment of what is or isn’t “appropriate” leads to beneficial outcomes. Since I’m not in the loop, I only have some evidence available. But in the end, what is “in the loop” is not particularly important, IMO. What is important is what is manifest in the public arena.

        So with that, I’m not seeing any evidence of the beneficial outcomes from Judith engaging in the same behavior she criticizes. I see a lot of same ol same ol, only with the addition of Judith’s participation.

        I am open to evidence otherwise, however. Do you have some?

      • Joshua,

        You appear to be confused, at the least.

        Obviously, you have a definition of “beneficial outcomes” which, in the best Warmist tradition, you choose not to share with us.

        To judge our gracious hostess on the basis of your secret “beneficial outcomes”, and to expect others to place their trust in you being judge, jury, and executioner, indicates a degree of megalomania.

        If you need any help with your confused perception of reality, please let me know.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Joshua’s approach: “You complain about Soviet aggression but you throw Molotov cocktails at our tanks. Hypocrites!” Seriously, you need a new schtick.

      • steve -

        My “approach” is that there are underlying influences in these debates that affect everyone. They are rooted in cognitive and psychological attributes that have been studied, empirically. Despite that, what we often see is that people on each side argue that as if by magic, it is only those that they disagree with who are subject to such influences.

        The underlying factors that lead to name-calling are not differentiated by views on climate change. The meaninglessness of name-calling is not negated by respective views on climate change.

        Now you, and others, may think that you inhabit some lofty space that exempts you (and those you agree with) from the prevailing influences and dynamics, and perhaps you are right. I’d love to see evidence if you have some.

      • David Springer

        Joshua your misogynism is showing again. You and your partner must be real hits at GLBT cocktail parties but amongst regular folk not so much.

      • > No it is not ducking.

        Indeed. It’s more like squirelling.

        ***

        Josh might have missed the cocktail thrower when he drew Judy, Steve. Please send him a note.

      • Joshua said:
        “Dude, she writes many blog posts that basically amount to playing the “denier” card even as she engages in similar name-calling ["anthropowarmists"].

        “Denier” implies bad faith; “anthropowarmist” is mere informal shorthand for a believer in manmade global warming. It’s as neutral as “lumper” or “splitter.” It’s not “similar.”

    • Mike -

      (1) I was being sarcastic. I don’t think that playing the “denier” is an effective communication strategy.

      (2) by “playing the ‘denier’ card” I was referring to when “skeptics” try to garner sympathy by representing themselves as victims of those who call them “deniers.” In other words, Judith is the one playing the “denier” card, not those who call her a “denier.”

      • I think the denier meme has become wrapped around the axle. It’s leave a trail of meme heme.

      • Josh, do you believe that the majority of people who do not support the ‘consensus cAGW’ position are being funding by a cabal with vested interests in fossil fuels?

      • Doc -

        Here’s what surprises me. I find it hard to understand why someone who reads my comments fairly regularly, and who obviously possesses very sophisticated analytical skills, and who has much experience in evaluating how to validly draw conclusions from assessing evidence, would ask me that question.

        I state my views pretty regularly about how I see a “motivating” (in the sense of motivated reasoning) mechanism in how beliefs about climate change are formed.

        Perhaps you have seen evidence that supports a conclusion that some who engage in this debate have a belief as you describe (although I doubt it: There are millions of people who doubt the “consensus” perspective on AGW, and I doubt that there are very many who think that those millions are funded by a fossil fuel cabal).

        You have never seen evidence to support such a conclusion about my beliefs.

      • “You have never seen evidence to support such a conclusion about my beliefs.”

        I was not interested in my ability to sift through your prose and arrive at a conclusion as to what you thought, I am an experimentalist, and prefer binary outcomes. Hence, the direct question;
        So Josh, do you believe that the majority of people who do not support the ‘consensus cAGW’ position are being funding by a cabal with vested interests in fossil fuels?

      • Doc -

        An experimentalist could have figured out the answer even if it wasn’t direct.

        Do you think the moon is made of green cheese?

      • Joshua,

        Thanks for the response.

        I’m a non believer, but I can’t see any purpose at all in seeking sympathy.

        Sympathy seekers obviously can’t find anything better to do. It’s the “born victim” syndrome. “Oh, dear! Those nasty “skeptics” want to see my workings. They don’t trust me. They only want to criticise. I’ll fix them, I’ll tell them I lost the data. Dear oh dear, I’m about to have a breakdown. The stress! I need sympathy – I’m a scientist!”

        It probably rings no bells with you. That’s life. You no doubt need all the sympathy you can get, but you are well advised not to depend on mine.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Doc Martyn,

        Shame on you!

        You should know better than to expect a direct answer from a Warmist.

        A Wriggling Wiggling Waffling Warmist would probably ask you if you believed the Moon was made of green cheese.

        How’s that for forecasting the past?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

  19. Judith,

    Excellent post and congratulations on the excellent endorsement of Climate Etc. and your efforts in getting it to where it is now.

    I don’t trust people who practice the ’10 signs of intellectual dishonesty’ http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/ – especially those who obstinately refuse to admit when they are wrong even when the evidence is absolutely clear.

  20. to ”earn trust” is to believe and agree in any B/S, regarding climate

  21. I like science oriented posts better than the peripheral topics, but even those can be fun.

  22. Trust is a word that should not be explicit in a conversation or dialogue between two people, it needs to be implicit and that if such engagements are to be a true meeting of minds, they need to be totally honest with each other.

    Judith has managed to convey through her writings and speeches this special quality not only in a one-to-one situation but also to groups of people who need to be honest in themselves to appreciate this.

    • Peter -

      Micheal Mann has also, through his writings and speeches, shown the quality of generating implicit trust – in the judgement of a select group of people.

      And the same is true of Judith. So has Lord Monckton, and so has Anthony Watts. So have Obama and Rand Paul. Limbaugh and Al Gore.

      What does that tell us, exactly?

      • Joshua,

        You may know better than I, but I assume Mr Mann’s first name is spelled “Michael” rather than “Micheal” as you have written. I also assume that the period you placed after “Paul” should have been a comma.

        On the other hand, maybe these sorts of things are all part of the Warmist “New English Expression” paradigm.

        Did you make mistakes, or were your writings intentional? Very confusing to us mortals.

        In answer to your question, relative to Michael, (or Micheal) Mann, it tells us that a select group of people can be as gullible as any other group. Do you disagree? Silly question, of course you don’t!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike -

        On the other hand, maybe these sorts of things are all part of the Warmist “New English Expression” paradigm.

        Damn. And there I thought we could get away with it!

      • Joshua, you always want to make it about Judith.

        How about we make it about lessons learned…

        1. what did you learn about rhetoric from this piece
        2. how would you evaluate Mann and Jones in light of this.

        Start there.

      • Joshua the unfortunate truth about trust is that it can also exemplify gullibility, as for example the trust placed on Hitler by most German people.

        I was thinking more in terms of dialogue between a person and those that come into contact with that person. The list of people that you have listed are like Hitler, experts in demagogy but communication is one way only.

      • I found the type 1) and 2) arguments a little weak. As a person, Bill Clinton is a nice, fascinating guy, who would make a great dinner guest; but I sure as hell would trust him.

    • Oh BTW not ALL people you have listed are demagogues and I think you know who I mean. The difference is in one’s perception that true communication and empathy to other people’s viewpoints is occurring.

      • Peter -

        Yes, I knew that you weren’t calling everyone there a demagogue.

        I don’t think that you’ve addressed the heart of my comment – which was not really specific in any way to the list of names.

      • Joshua was your comment implying that trust springs from confirmation bias? ;)

      • Peter -

        The issue of who “trusts” which “experts” is something that Dan Kahan has studied empirically. I think that he provides compelling evidence that trust in experts is strongly associated with ideological identification, across a number of issues that play out in a “polluted’ (his term) communicative environment (climate change, gun control, nuclear energy…). I also think that his findings are pretty consistent with just plain ol’ common sense.

        You might want to check out his blog.

      • Joshua his piece on the “white male effect” was interesting but I guess that its OT. While I think that overanalysis of people’s motivations can occur, I agree with you that trust is synomymous with confirmation bias, but if this were completely true con men would be doing extra well!

        I wonder if people who respond too readily to demagogues are in some way less rational and more emotive than average when it comes to the issue of trust, especially wrt strangers and internet identities who may or may not use their real names?

  23. Making oneself “vulnerable” is meaningful only when the risk of being disproven or contradicted by additional data is real and accessible to the audience. I.e., it is not possible to “pose” as vulnerable and have any but a destructive effect on trust. The willingness to provide falsification tests for hypotheses and theories, and stand by their outcome, is key. And utterly absent in CS, to the best of my knowledge.

    • What would disprove your opinions about climate change, Brian H?

      • Joshua,

        I must admit you have me at a disadvantage, sir. What are Brian H’s opinions on climate change, and what relevance do they have?

        Do you seriously believe that the weather (and hence climate) is immutable, and never changes? Or do you really mean something else, but deliberately use “climate change” in order to confuse?

        May I respectfully ask you to write what you mean?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Oh, actual warming as predicted in step with CO2 increase, e.g.
        Falsification tests offered and passed by modellers.
        Lots more, but AGW has no prospect of providing any of them, apparently.

    • For a scientists, making oneself vulnerable simply means to tell the truth. Science is never settled, even the simpler stuff. Climate scientists just need to be honest, the rest will fall into place.

  24. It is my impression that Judith Curry is essentially in agreement with the CO2 emissions policy/anti-IPCC/climate sensitivity uncertainty (with little emphasis on the higher side of the IPCC-range) due to natural variability sentiments of the bulk of the audience here. So, it is not clear what Jean Goodwin means by “By undertaking such vulnerabilities, climate scientists put their lay audiences in a position to assess for themselves the true trustworthiness of climate scientists. “. My guess is that Judith Curry has not changed any minds regarding the trustworthiness of climate scientists with pro-IPCC views that are contrary to their own.

    • My guess is that Judith Curry has not changed any minds regarding the trustworthiness of climate scientists with pro-IPCC views that are contrary to their own.

      Bingo.

      It is quite interesting how, in this debate, so many of those concerned about conclusions being formulated without a solid foundation of supporting evidence readily formulate conclusions without a solid foundation of supporting evidence.

      • I think even more nterestingly, Juidth has used a technique not discussed by Goodwin et al; which is to throw other scientists under the bus in an expression of solidarity with the target audience, eg corruption in the IPCC, scientists more interested in career advancment than science etc and other skeptics memes that are popular.

        This does seem to be successful in generating some trust with blog skeptics, but at what cost and for what purpose?

        My feeling is that this process has not enhanced trust, but just the opposite – perceptions are just reinforced in an echo-chamber.
        So Judith trades on general distrust of climate scientist to generate personal trust for herself.

        Is this progress (or even ethical?)?? I think that’s highly uncertain.

        The Sky Dragons keep fluttering around, and the denizens seem to say the same thing on thread after thread after thread, not matter the topic,over a long period of time (anecdotes to the contrary welcome).

      • Yes, in general it’s easy enough to win the trust of a particular group of people if you just press the right buttons, and if winning trust is seen as an end in itself.

        The thing that gets me about these kinds of articles is that the obligations are always entirely on one side – the mindset, prejudices etc of the other “side” are taken as a given. But communication is a two way street – if people are actually interested in learning then they need to try to put their own biases aside and make an effort to look at the information they are given objectively. If they are not prepared to do that then why shuld scientists make an effort to engage them?

      • Andrew,

        Yes. I said earlier- trust is a 2 way street.

        Would be intersting to hear from Judith what she thinks ‘skeptics’ should do to earn the trust of scientists in debates (I’ve a rather long list in mind).

      • Indeed. Or maybe she would welcome some advice on what she needs to do to earn our trust.

      • andrew adams

        What JC needs to do “to earn (or keep) our trust”?

        - Remain honest and straightforward

        - Tell it “as it is” NOT “as you think it ought to be”

        - Do not bend to the political pressure of forced consensus attempts

        - Avoid getting caught up in polemics.

        Any other suggestions, Andrew?

        Max

      • Josh

        It is quite interesting how, in this debate, so many of those concerned about conclusions being formulated without a solid foundation of supporting evidence readily formulate conclusions without a solid foundation of supporting evidence.

        Speak for yourself, buddy.

        Max

      • Max,

        Well it was kind of a rhetorical question but I’m sure that if JC does those things (at least from your perspective) she will maintain the trust of people here who support the views she expresses here. My point was though about how she might win over those of us who are more skeptical of what she is trying to do. Of course the answer could be that she is not interested in winning us over at all as we are not her intended audience, she’s perfectly entitled to take that view. As are other scientists who lean more on the “consensus” side.

    • “My guess is that Judith Curry has not changed any minds…”

      I think her own has changed.
      I think she has had some impact in generating trust, not just for herself, but also for her field.
      I think her refusal to bow to peer pressure and stick to her own conclusions after investigating matters herself is admirable (and demonstrates her willingness to “put it on the line” – that’s where the trust comes from).
      I think that like Pielke Jr, she only pontificates where she has expertise and bows to others expertise when required, but is willing to perform her own investigations when things don’t “gel” – also admirable and trust generating.
      These are all areas where “alarmists” fail – well, most do anyway.
      For example: temperature didn’t go up with rising CO2 as predicted.
      Alarmist responses: “If I use this metric (that I didn’t use before, and may actually have said wasn’t important either), I can show it actually did go up and that it matches predictions”, “It’ll come back with a vengance!”, “That makes it worse than we thought!”
      More realistic response: “Phew! Fortunately it now appears we now have a little more time to respond, and things might not be as bad as we thought.”
      JC response (guess): “Well, clearly the predictions were wrong, let’s find out why so we can do better next time.”

      • In short, it’s about the science. It isn’t about making the science sound as scary as possible to effect a political outcome.

      • Kneel,

        +1

      • I think her own has changed.
        I agree with this.
        I think that like Pielke Jr, she only pontificates where she has expertise and bows to others expertise when required
        In her blog postings, it is my impression that she has not taken any risks with the skeptical majority. But as you say, her views seem to have over time instead aligned with theirs.

        I read Jean Goodwin’s article as implying that climate scientists have something of significance to say to skeptics but their method of communication has been lacking and that Judith Curry has laid the foundation for such future interaction. So far, Judith Curry has been more vocally impressed by views favorable to the skeptics (e.g. Salby: “wow”. Kosaka and Xie: mind blown by an interpretation attributing more than half of warming to natural variability). So, yes, she has highlighted the uncertainty in common with the skeptical audience here, but like with her audience, it has been for all practical purposes a one-sided engagement with uncertainty. In other words, I believe that Judith Curry has earned the trust of her audience by being more like them (excluding the sky dragons which would be academic suicide) and it’s not clear where Jean Goodwin is going with her climate communication theme.

      • Correction: Kosaka and Xie attributed the fluctuations (not warming) observed to natural fluctuations. Fluctuations cancel.

      • Re: WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | November 13, 2013 at 2:18 am

        I was referring to Judith Curry’s interpretation as described here:
        “But no matter what, I am coming up with natural internal variability associated accounting for significantly MORE than half of the observed warming.”

      • The greater the rise is attributed naturally, the better off we are. The higher the climate sensitivity to AnthroGHGs, the colder it would now be without their effect.
        =====================


      • RB | November 13, 2013 at 8:37 am |

        I was referring to Judith Curry’s interpretation as described here:
        “But no matter what, I am coming up with natural internal variability associated accounting for significantly MORE than half of the observed warming.”

        Yeah, Half the warming is accounted for on the upward slope of the fluctuation. Then it gets compensated as a cooling on the downward slope of the natural fluctuation. Sum Total = ZERO and nothing gets added to the trend.

        How basic do you have to get to spell this out to people? Do we need to resort to an abacus?

        Mosh will appreciate this one:

        Mike Flynn can teach the 12-year-olds astrology.

      • “Yeah, Half the warming is accounted for on the upward slope of the fluctuation. Then it gets compensated as a cooling on the downward slope of the natural fluctuation. Sum Total = ZERO and nothing gets added to the trend.”

        Timescale(s)?
        That’s the kicker, innit?
        IF there are “random walk” “fluctuations” on timescales of 1k years (and there are many reconstructions that appear to show this), then using 30, 50 – even 100 – year trend lines is, at least potentially, highly misleading – at least as misleading as the sub-30 year trends so stridently warned against and dismissed by the alarmist crowd, and for EXACTLY the same reason! Given that the 30 year period has NEVER been derived empirically or demonstrated empirically to be THE “change over point” between weather and climate, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to at least consider 1ky+ “cycles” (stochastic autocorrelation creating “trends” over any particular timescale that are negated over a longer period) as a “possible” explanation. IOW, it’s a plausible candidate for things like the MWP, the LIA etc. If you know of a way to show these “don’t matter” that uses something OTHER than climate models, I would appreciate any links (since climate models appear to be unable to recreate such fluctuations, I don’t see them being usable for this anyway).

      • kneel, the longer the period, the milder the slope. Make the cycles hundreds of years and it has no real effect on the fast slopes we are seeing.

      • “kneel, the longer the period, the milder the slope. Make the cycles hundreds of years and it has no real effect on the fast slopes we are seeing.”

        Indeed the low frequency component certainly does have a slower increase. But what makes up a square wave, specifically, what in the frequency domain? The major component of a square wave is a sine wave at the fundamental frequency, and it’s the other components (in this case, odd harmonics of the fundamental) that sharpen the edges.
        If there are “natural cycles” (ie, cylcic-like variations) at multiple timescales, then depending on the phasing, they can create very sharp edges. Since those who chase such things have identified what appear to be cyclic-like variation at many timescales, the speed with which the changes occur cannot be considered indicative of the changes being “unnatural”.

  25. I seem to have lost a post. Please check the spam bin

  26. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    There are some excellent points made here and certainly Judith has created the best cyberplace for general discussion and debate of climate issues– usually not allowing extreme ad homs. Certainly by being reasonable and polite, never using direct or indirect ad homs etc., you will at least keep the “audience” from outright dismissing anything you say, in short, basic courtesy goes a long way. In terms of on-line debate and discussion, we should be honest and realize what an incredibly unique group that come here and to climate blogs in general (an extremely tiny subset of society), and most of who come here have already, for the most part, made up their minds to a pretty high degree of certainty. We can hope that those minds have been made up from long hours of reading all the research for themselves. Those who don’t have the background to understand the research themselves, or the time or interest to actually read it for themselves, will follow the debates, and certainly those who remain courteous will score points and be more pursuasive. Overall though, because this is truly a chance for a social exchange on issues we all happen to care about (which the average person does not), being courteous during this social exchange is key to the ongoing success of CE.

  27. Yes, calling people “shrill ‘Masters of the Universe’ types screeching ‘denier’”, and then overacting to “insults” like a basketball player who gets bumped, and falls down clutching his knee to ensure the bumper gets a foul — is a great way to build trust.

    I would guess that most people think “to deny” means to say something isn’t so, and very few associate it with Peter and the cock crowing. I even doubt most Americans could tell you what a “Holocaust denier” is.

    What I see is a remarkably effective strategy of maintaining that to call someone “Climate Change Denier” is tantamount to calling them a Nazi. “Holocaust deniers” aren’t even Nazis by and large. Some of those that get the most attention seem to me to be perverse controversialists who convince themselves they are like Galileo before the Inquisition.

    “AIDs deniers may have been similarly outraged. They were just embracing the theory of an acclaimed cancer researcher (Peter Duesberg) who just happened to be flying in the face of the scientific consensus that was forming about how to respond to AIDs. But unlike Holocaust denial, AIDs denial led to probably millions of deaths, when some African leaders embraced it.

    And those who believe AGW will have a catastrophic effect on humankind are afraid of a similar thing happening, but on a far greater scale. I suppose if you think they are all simply liars you will deny this assertion. But I’d challenge Judith Curry to deny that she knows better than to say they are liars and aren’t genuinely afraid of what is going to happen to the planet.

  28. Yes ter opennesss, admitting uncertainty, showing yer data and
    yer workings. Serfs have had it up ter here with “smooth – operator
    – communicators – look – yer -can – trust – us – have – yer -heard
    - the -one -about – sell” … jest as much as with “abusive tirades
    and tales – of – apocalypse -a – coming -and u -serfs – are – ter -
    blame.” UP – TER – HERE I tell yer.
    Beth -the -serf.

  29. Does the mean the enlightenment is back on?

  30. “And those who believe AGW will have a catastrophic effect on humankind are afraid of a similar thing happening, but on a far greater scale. I suppose if you think they are all simply liars you will deny this assertion.”

    I am sure that’s generally true – sure, there are some rent seekers (there always are), but by and large I agree. This in no way excuses obfuscation, mendacity or ad hom attacks on those who hold differing opinions – most especially on a question (like climate) where a great deal of evidence is dependent on assumptions that are unjustified, a great deal of data is highly uncertain, and the field is still in it’s infancy.
    IMO, those who practice the above need to “pull their heads in” and do the work required to show their fears are justified – if that means thinking outside the box and listening to criticisms, so be it.
    IMO, one of the reasons that Judith gets trust from “deniers” is that she took the effort to look at what Steve Mac had to say, found out it appeared to be correct, and then stood her ground against intense pressure from her peers to conform with a view exactly opposite from the one she had just come to. She may be wrong of course – but I bet she is more willing to acknowledge this than anyone who calls her a “denier”.

  31. On one side they are called deniers and on the other they are called part of a big hoax. Which is better? I recall Stephen Schneider towards the end of his life talking to an audience in Australia. He gave a measured and well constructed speech about climate change, and afterwards was faced with some very angry denialist/conspiracy theory audience questions, which he dealt with calmly. I don’t think this kind of debate persuades people, but based on behavior and sanity, he won that one.

  32. Judith

    “Curry’s undertaking of the burdens and vulnerabilities of blogging has apparently laid the groundwork for mutual trust, creating one of the few places online where people find it worthwhile to debate each other on climate issues, and worthwhile also to listen in to those debates.”

    I think the above is a fair assessment. You set out to build bridges. That didnt happen so much. But I think its fair to say that you laid a ground work.
    Note the precision here. She doesnt say you established trust. She says you laid the ground work. Are all the debates worthwhile? nope. are they all worth listening to? nope.

    but all in all.. not bad for your first damn blog. not bad at all.

    • but all in all.. not bad for your first damn blog. not bad at all
      Judith Curry has recently said that she has shifted her peer group away from the AGU/IPCC crowd to representatives here because “she finds it more rewarding.” I think, whatever her motivations when she started out, it is less “black art” now than one might imagine.

  33. 1+1=2 no matter how it’s framed.

  34. There’s a fundamental flaw in the paper. You have to understand who the intended audience is to evaluate the effectiveness of dishonest speech.

    The dishonesty and exaggeration of the warmists worked for the audience for which it was intended. The only reason they didn’t achieve their ultimate goal at Copenhagen was that skeptics were able to communicate the political reality of the massive cost of what was being proposed.

    The targets of the climate consensus advocates are not skeptics, nor are they policy makers. Skeptics are unlikely to be convinced, and the policy makers are the one who told the scientists what results to produce.

    The whole function of the IPCC, Climate Progress, Real Climate et al. is to push public opinion. Not necessarily from direct viewers of those sites, but from providing the ammunition for their progressive comrades in the MSM. And it works marvelously. And not just on climate policy.

    Progressives do not call conservatives and libertarians (and anyone who disagrees with them) racists sexists and homophobes. They do that because character assassination works. Inner city black Americans have been more devastated by progressive education, tax, and business policy than anyone. Yet fed a lifetime of demagoguery that all their problems are the fault of those evil white conservatives, they vote 95-98% for the very Democrats who destroyed their schools and chased jobs out of their cities

    Lying works. That is why so many do it. That is why Schneider and Alinsky advocated it.

    Even for the commenters here at Climate Etc., skeptic and lukewarmers denizens are not their audience. They post for each other. They also seek to limit the effect of the blog by providing real time reactions.

    It is naive to advise those who exaggerate and lie for political advantage that they can communicate better by “undertaking burdens and commitments.” It reminds me of our ridiculous State Department filled with people who believe that the way you deal with Iran and North Korea is to convince them that State’ knows what is in their best interest better than they do.

    • ‘Progressive’ public opinion pushers promoting propoganda
      prefer a pliant public ter pesky sceptics.*

      *Whom they tend ter refer to as deniers.

    • Yet fed a lifetime of demagoguery that all their problems are the fault of those evil white conservatives, they vote 95-98% for the very Democrats who destroyed their schools and chased jobs out of their cities

      If only they had the wisdom that comes from your non-elitist perspective, Gary, they’d stop voting for the people that they, foolishly, believe better represent their interests.

    • Could you explain what you mean here I don’t comprehend it:

      Even for the commenters here at Climate Etc., skeptic and lukewarmers denizens are not their audience. They post for each other. They also seek to limit the effect of the blog by providing real time reactions.

      Who is their, They and They? I guess you mean the alarmists. Why would they post for each other aren’t they just fighting it out with the skeptics? Seems like there is an actual debate to me … taunts aside. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth but it sounds a little conspiratorial like you think they’ve been sent here by Alinsky.

      • ordvic,

        Conspiracy claims bore me. Calling someone a conspiracy theorist is just another excuse to ignore what they say.

        CAGW is not a conspiracy. (That word actually has a precise meaning depending on the context in which it is used, not that you’d notice around here.) CAGW is one part of a progressive political movement. The goal being centralizing control over other people’s lives in the government.

        The subject of my pronouns “they” and “their” are in the earlier paragraph:

        “The targets of the climate consensus advocates are not skeptics, nor are they policy makers.”

        Climate consensus advocates.

        “Why would they post for each other aren’t they just fighting it out with the skeptics? Seems like there is an actual debate to me … taunts aside.”

        Sure there is a debate. That s what makes this site so interesting. But my entire point is that you have to know who the audience of a speaker is to understand his tactics.

        Do you actually think fan of MORE discourse, WHUT, for example, are trying to convince the skeptics? The warmists/CAGWers, whatever you call them, are not engaging in dialogue designed to change minds. You don’t change minds with ridicule, caricatures, and straw man arguments.

        They know their audience. They enjoy their own echo chamber, the claims of being saviors of the Earth, and guardians of science, against the heathen skeptics. And every once in a while, Dr. Curry, as a prominent voice in the climate debate, makes news. So some of the commenters here act like they are part of the rapid reaction climate cops. Their function being to moot any impact she might have.

        You will know when someone is trying to convince their opponent when they treat that other with respect, and actually engage in a real debate on the substance of what that other says.

        R. Gates does that on occasion, and about 5% of the time Mosher does. But otherwise, that is rare among the warmists here.

      • GaryM,

        Thanks for the good reply. I wasn’t calling you a conspiracy theorist I said it just sounds like it. I do understand big government control centralization and power hungry people like the Clintons. It seems to be what they breath. I also read a recent history that sounded propogandistic* although I don’t think the early people like Arrhenius or Callendar had government power motives. Callendar actually thought GW would be good going into ice ages. I really have a hard time understanding why big government types would think this a good method of control but since energy is the main economic engine I guess it’s the best place to meddle. It seems like many of the players and hangers on really do believe the problem and really do think big carbon is evil. They also really do believe the deniers are just tools of big carbon and ignorant fools.

        So there you have it. You think they are socialist manipulators out for control with a concocted guilt science and they think you’re capitalist snakes out to destroy the planet by selfish short term thinking and greed. They really do think they need to save the planet and you really think you need to protect individual liberty against tyranny. It’s a little hard for me to separate all that out and really understand the underlying motivations. This is for me just an attempt on my part to find out what the real science is, so attributing all that crap is just a nuisance.

        * http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=discovery-of-global-warming

  35. I would have more trust in climate scientists if they beat their climate models into shale reservoir models. That’s something that could actually be helpful, perhaps.

  36. Back in the eighties when I first heard about global warming and I heard the term greenhouse gas It sounded really logical and I just assumed it was true. I came to that quick conclusion having previously read about sunlight and greenhouses. When Hansen had his senate hearing, I was left shaking my head about how everything turns political. Although I had a fairly good opinion of Al Gore at the time I still had reservations about what was coming out of all that at the time. i kinda thought Hansen was a bit of a nutter. From that time until Gore’s movie I pretty much thought greenhouse gas caused warming but I looked at it as being fairly benign. I mostly ignored it for 20 years. I never saw the documentary but my opinion of Gore was less positive than when I used to see him back in the eighties. It did make me want to learn more though.

    As far as greenhouse gas, I don’t really remember when I knew about CO2 specifically. I may have just thought about burning exhaust without really identifying the gas. It was very clear after the time of the documentary that it had to do with CO2 and there was this incredible hockey stick with a huge blade being pointed at on a slide show. I had a deep suspicion of that. So I started to check the internet and read a lot about CO2 and especially about past climate. I remember in particular reading a USA Today story about the old hot times where there were anaconda snakes the size of a bus feeding on crocodiles. I spent months looking a wack job sites not knowing what to trust. I did, early on, look at McIntyre’s site and thought he was a brave man taking on the establishment like that. I had a higher opinion of him than Mann and Hansen. I had a real low opinion of James Watt as well and rarely looked at his site as I thought it was another nutter site. I realize now that i had the wrong first opinion of him. I actually have a much higher opinion of all three guys: Hansen, Mann and Watt now. Mann is a little too hysterical for me though so I dread reading him but I try to be objective.

    i first heard about Judith Curry sometime after climategate. When I found her site and realized where she was coming from I decided to park here as there was plenty of information to be had and diverse opinion. I only looked at it about once or twice a month though. One thing i am really happy about was being pointed to CO2 physics by Steven Mosher as it has been the number one thing i wanted to know about. Also since I’ve been here and learned about natural variability I feel as though I’m closer to understanding all of this. I am also able to find papers that I can put some trust in thanks to being pointed by links here and browsing information received. I’m like Beth the Serf though the slicksters and smooth talk doesn’t work on me. So I guess I’m guilty of both type 1 and type 2 receptor cognizance. It’ll still be a while before I get a grip on this though.

  37. The Goodwin and Dahlstrom article focuses manly on verbal presentations, but written debate is quite different. In a presentation the personality of the presenter can make a big difference to the acceptability of the message, Written debate is more likely between academics or experts and the right technical jargon and references to the works of others are more important, On line work tends to be a subset of the latter but tends to be more interactive.

    I have helped PhD students prepare presentations of their research and have often noticed that females are at a disadvantage by being less assertive and the lower volume of their voices requires adjustment of the sound systems, I have tried to correct such problems.

    There are special problems in presenting papers on security classified subjects. For example preparing a paper on the response of a rocket to wing angle variation it might be necessary to demonstrate the validity of the model, but security considerations might require graphs to be calibrated as percentages rather than actual values. Well, taxpayers are entitled to know how their taxes are spent. If you accept questions you have to be careful not to overshoot security boundaries.

    So the subject is much wider than the authors’ suggest and important to the careers of young researchers.

  38. Brandon Shollenberger

    I have one problem with this post and the paper it references. The entire time I was reading, I kept thinking, “Duh?”

  39. “it is simply not possible to expect the other in a relationship to trust oneself, if one’s assumed objective is to manage and control the other’s response. “

    A statement of common sense that invalidates the balance of the piece, and the field that produced it. People who are trustworthy do not need to be taught how to appear to be trustworthy.

    We don’t care much about what you say, and a good deal less about how you say it. What you do is all that really matters. People trading on the imprimatur of science need to stop doing propaganda and start doing science.

  40. This is how our government communicates with women to get them to buy into socialized medicine. Talk about earning trust.

  41. This would be fine if there was a debate, but, like the American political system, climate change is now completely polarized and a political football. Debates are to change minds. That is not happening. Facts on the ground change minds. Give it a couple more years for the next temperature step to a new warmest year, or sea-ice loss record. Ocean heat content records that are being set now seem not to count for much among the skeptics, but that’s fine. They want to live and die by the surface temperature record and Arctic sea ice. Let them follow those indicators which are at least simpler to understand than the science.

    • Jim D

      “Facts on the ground change minds.”

      Like the pause in global warming despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels.

      Right.

      Max

      PS Once we know that the ARGO measurements are really telling us it is warming and we have a few decades of data, we will know if there really is an increase in OHC. We do not know this today, so we should not ASS-U-ME it, as you are doing..

      • This must not be your day Max.

        There is no pause, courtesy of Cowtan & Way.

      • And the 30 year trends are right where they said they would be.

        Who be they?

        The IPCC

      • You will find that the pause is just borrowed time before a sharp rise. The OHC build-up below the fixed SST gives a clue. You skeptics need to plan for excuses after the pause, otherwise you’re in a mess with all your eggs in that basket. Two years from now the global-average surface air-temp “pause” will be gone and the “debate” will have to move on to something else.

    • “Stephens et al (2013) illustrate an imbalance at the surface of 0.6 watts/meter^2 with an estimated uncertainty of +/- 17 watts/meter^2.”
      Are we sure there is a build up of heat content?

      • no, at least not anymore. While the stratosphere was cooling we could be pretty sure there was a build up of heat content. When the stratosphere took that classic 1-e^(-t/RC) approach to flatsville, things started getting more interesting.

  42. From a recent editorial in Nature: -

    ‘scientists will be only as persuasive as they are trusted—which means that preserving and cultivating the public’s trust must be the scientific community’s top priority.’

    Silly me. I thought the scientific community’s top priority might actually be “doing science”.

    To paraphrase Tina Turner “What’s trust got to do with it?”

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn

  43. plus one. Seems like a case of goal cin-fushun.

  44. We learn at the UN climate talks in Warsaw that not only was Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda caused by “global warming”, but

    “We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now, right here,”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/philippines/10443097/Typhoon-Haiyan-the-result-of-climate-change.html

    Makes me feel like posting that Flash Gordon youtube clip again. “Saviors of the universe!!!”

  45. Type 1 and Type 2 thinking were probably exhibited by the general public in Australia.

    When a then-popular candidate proposed that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol would be his first priority in office, opinion polls showed a large majority for those who “believed in” AGW.

    But when a carbon tax was proposed, the believers became thin on the ground. As Goodwin & Dahlstrom observe … “Audiences tend to adopt a Type 2 approach when the topic has significant personal consequences”.

  46. Climate scientists need the trust of lay audiences if they are to share their knowledge.

    Quite wrong, its exactly the opposite. Trust may be important to accept an opinion, to share it. But, to look at a scientist’s knowledge all you need is … curiosity.

    A scientist looking for trust is an activist. But you should never trust an activist. Never ever.

    A scientist playing fair will be respected, and probably listened. The more complete and interesting his knowledge, the better. The more predictions come true, more trust will get the theory. Not the scientist, but his theory. The point is knowledge and predictions; trust is only a side effect. A sympton. Is not worth looking for.

    I wasn’t going to read any more. But I did. So, do we trust Judith Curry? Sure; in the sense no one with as much brain as a mosquito would think she is lying. But this doesn’t make you buy – say – the Stadium Wave, or Tsonis. You will buy it -or not- for other reasons. She may teach you, though, to think correctly in this field. Not for the trust, but for the good management of perspectives.

    I don’t get the purpose of this “trusting game”. Unless we are talking about providing a good “arena” to debate. But then, what you need is some fair rules, and writing and thinking skills; the trust follows the rules.

    In short. How to earn trust in climate change debates? Don’t even try it, and you will be in the good way to get it. Michael Mann tries to get trust. Hey! I am a big macho Nobel Prize. Trust me! Well … no.

  47. Caldeira and Myrhvold [1] put together a mini tour-de-force on how to simplify climate models. I blogged about it here

    http://contextearth.com/2013/11/13/simple-models-of-forced-warming/

    [1] K. Caldeira and N. Myhrvold, “Projections of the pace of warming following an abrupt increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration,” Environmental Research Letters, vol. 8, no. 3, p. 034039, 2013.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/3/034039/article

    • WebHubTelescope,

      Have you suggested they contact the IPCC?

      The 100+ models currently used could probably use a bit of simplification. That would ensure the use of fewer scarce resources to come up with wrong answers. It’s a start.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  48. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    HOW TO EARN TRUST
    IN CLIMATE-CHANGE SCIENCE

    • Publish comprehensive textbooks … like Ian Roulstone and John Norbury’s new Invisible in the Storm: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather (2013).

    • Publish accessible technical surveys … like Valerio Lucarini, Richard Blender, Corentin Herbert, Salvatore Pascale, and Jeroen Wouters’ new Mathematical and Physical Ideas for Climate Science (2013).

    Ally with non-commercial/non-ideological/non-political interests, per the Vatican’s upcoming “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility” (2014).

    Tough Question  Can trust be established with innumerate, willfully ignorant, short-sighted, amoral, profit-focussed, ideology-first interests?

    Short Answer  No.

    Conclusion  Climate scientists should work to cultivate a thoughtful/foresighted/literate polity, and work to educate-and-recruit undecided citizens, such that climate-change irreconcilables are isolated within an ever-shrinking “bubble” of denialism-and-ignorance.

    Denialism’s “bubble” never will disappear entirely, but it *is* becoming so tightly circumscribed, and so abusive, and so willfully ignorant, and so short-sighted, and so timid, and so ideology-driven, and so vehemently irrational, as to be politically impotent.

    \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}

    • “Tough Question Can trust be established with innumerate, willfully ignorant, short-sighted, amoral, profit-focussed, ideology-first interests?

      Short Answer No.”

      Long Answer Hell No! Your question perfectly describes the “Global Warming” consensus.

    • David Springer

      You’re the one living in denial, Sidles. We’ve had satellites monitoring global average temperature for 34 years now and in the second half of that record there’s been no warming. This is empirical fact and is not consistent with the expected behavior of a well-mixed greenhouse gas. Even your hero Jimmy Hansen is scrambling around looking for excuses such as “China’s Coal Plant Aerosols Ate My Global Warming” or Trenberth’s “The Ocean Below 700 Meters Ate My Global Warming”.

      ROFL

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      FOMD posts:

      Tough Question  Can trust be established with innumerate, willfully ignorant, short-sighted, amoral, profit-focussed, ideology-first interests?

      Short Answer  No.

      Edim responds: “Hell No! Your question perfectly describes the “Global Warming” consensus.”

      The most pronounced asymmetry in science-versus-denialism is mathematical, wouldn’t you say Edim?

      Three Math-Driven Predictions

      • Climate-change/sea-level rise will become more-and-more obvious to ordinary citizens around the world.

      • Alternative (non-CO2) scientific explanations for climate-change/sea-level will be eliminated one-by-one.

      • Ordinary citizens will come to appreciate (and publicly shame) Big Carbon’s cohort of gleeful yahoos who are destroying the earth, and mindless oafs who abet them.”

      These science-and-society advances are evolving at an ever-accelerating pace … and these advances can’t be stopped, can they Edim?

      Conclusion  Climate-change denialism is destined to contract to insignificance (mathematically, scientifically, technically, economically, politically, socially, and morally).

      \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}

      • Do you honestly believe the tripe you write?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Your reasoning is impressive, Peter Lang! Have you ever been mistaken for a scientist?

        \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}

      • AFOMD,

        Three “Runestones of Power” predictions of the past or the present.

        1. Ordinary citizens are already aware that the weather (and the average of weather – climate) changes. Climatologists regard this as shattering new science. Sea shells found in sediments above 7000 meters show sea levels dropped by this amount. Climatologists are confounded.

        2. Climate change and sea level changes are found to have been happening for several billion years. Climatologists are confounded yet again.

        3. Ordinary citizens in Poland, Australia, and many other countries discover that they can’t afford to run their trucks, trains, and aeroplanes on wind power. They continue to use practical fuels such as liquid hydrocarbons. Countries build new coal fired power stations. “Death Trains” Hansen has tantrum. Nobody pays any attention. Climatologists run around in circles chanting “It’s worse than we thought!” Nobody listens.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • “Conclusion Climate-change denialism is destined to contract to insignificance (mathematically, scientifically, technically, economically, politically, socially, and morally).”

        I agree again! Climate-change denialism (AGWism) is destined to contract to insignificance.

    • “Denialism’s “bubble” never will disappear entirely, but it *is* becoming so tightly circumscribed, and so abusive, and so willfully ignorant, and so short-sighted, and so timid, and so ideology-driven, and so vehemently irrational, as to be politically impotent.”

      I suppose that if you are convinced that your communication strategy is working as well as you describe, there would be no reason to change it. When I read your description of its effectiveness, however, I scratch my head and wonder if you live on the planet as I do.

      “Can trust be established with innumerate, willfully ignorant, short-sighted, amoral, profit-focussed, ideology-first interests?”

      Perhaps this description might apply to some people on the skeptical side of climate science. Do you honestly believe that this description applies to Dr Richard Lindzen, Dr Roy Spencer, Dr. Christy or Steven McIntyre or Dr. Ross McKitrick? I’ll concede that there are reasons that one might disagree with their viewpoints, but I don’t see any of them as fittings any part of your description.

    • The AGW scare is dying

      The justification for the catastrophic/dangerous climate change scare campaign is over. The public have recognised it. Now there are just a decreasing number of extremists clinging to their doomsday dogma.

      This chart shows the media interest in CAGW over the past 5 years: http://climatechange.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin/topic?#activitytimeline . Even the release of IPCC AR5 caused only a minor blip in the trend of decreasing media interest. It seem justifiable to conclude the scare campaign has lost its effect.

      • Why is the AGW scare dying?

        There are many reasons, but largely because of the exaggeration and perceived dishonesty/unreliability of the main climate science activists.

        We now understand that:

        1. IPCC AR5, WG1, Chapter 12, Table 12.4 effectively takes the ‘catastrophic’ out of AGW http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter12.pdf

        2. Global warming is estimated to be net beneficial up to about 2.2 C from now (3C from pre-industrial): a) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188913000092
        b) https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps37-2012-tol.pdf&site=24

        3. Recent findings that climate sensitivity is lower than in the previous IPCC reports and in the modelling used for the projections, means the likelihood of such temperature increases is reduced.

        4. Carbon pricing will have no effect on the climate but will have enormous costs. http://jennifermarohasy.com/2013/08/why-the-ets-will-not-succeed-peter-lang/

      • Peter Lang

        (The AGW scare is dying – and why)

        +100

        Max

      • Thx Peter fer the Henry Ergas interview:

        Poor climate policy once made locks in interdependencies,
        industries, employment, shareholders, super funds, reseach
        directives, acting ter proliferate these costly policies, policies
        that don’t solve the perceived emissions problems but in the
        long run make society poorer and so less able ter adapt ter
        whatever problems … which we can’t foretell, may confront
        us in the future. (

        bts.

      • Beth,

        Thanks for your comment. It’s revealing that there are no other comments on the Henry Ergas interview. I interpret the lack of discussion to mean most of the bloggers here have little interest in the economics and in the real consequences to all the people across the world who would be significantly disadvantaged by carbon pricing … for no benefit! The fact many warmists keep advocating for such policies, and voting for them, is a clear sign of their ideologically motivated reasoning.

        But it seems my comment did stop FOMD in his tracks. Could it have actually opened the door to his enlightenment just a crack? Is it possible he may have sensed that the people like us who oppose such policies are actually thinking and acting rationally? Is it possible he is just beginning to questions his beliefs?

      • Actually, I have a great deal of interest in:

        the economics and in the real consequences to all the people across the world who would be significantly disadvantaged by carbon pricing … for no benefit! The fact many warmists keep advocating for such policies, and voting for them, is a clear sign of their ideologically motivated reasoning.

        I just don’t want to waste time saying anything about it unless I think it will help tilt the balance.

        But IMO by continuing to push last-century style analysis, you and people like you actually help these people push their agenda. The problem of fossil carbon can be solved by innovative technology without any need to significantly raise the cost/price of energy. You just lack the vision to see many of the potential solutions.

      • AK,

        You are talking complete nonsense on energy. You simple have silly beliefs through a total lack of understanding. I can even get you to do the basics, so you are incapable of learning or understanding. We’ve had “visions” gong on for centuries. I could tell you about a very large number of them. But unless you understand the physical constraints, the costs and the time it takes to get energy technologies to maturity, the discussion is just a waste of time. So I don’t even bother reading your posts an y more.

        If you want to provide a clear abstract at the start of your comment, and it seems reasonable, then I’d read it. As I said before, you need to go through the steps:
        1. define requirements
        2. options analysis
        3. cost analysis

        The main requirements to the energy system (including the electricity system) are:

        1. Secure, reliable and fit-for-purpose supply of energy
        2. Low cost
        3. environmentally benign

        in that order.

      • You are talking complete nonsense on energy. You simple have silly beliefs through a total lack of understanding.

        No, I’m simply thinking outside the tiny little box your tiny little mind is locked into.

      • Well, perhaps your remarkable brain and your self belief in your superb ability to think outside the box might give you a vision about piping hydrogen from the Sun.

      • Not cost effective for Earth, but when space-side industry reaches that point, it’ll probably be easier than scooping it out of the atmosphere of Jupiter or Saturn. All you need is a big funnel, made from magnetic fields, close enough that the solar wind is still fully charged. I hadn’t actually considered it until your suggestion. Thanks.

        But piping energy from the sun, that’s actually something I’ve considered. A century or two down the road, that might be more cost-effective than solar panels in space. Artificial sunspots, or something like that.

      • AK,

        If you re-read your comment, and think how you would react to others who are genuinely concerned about pragmatic achievable policy and write such a comment, you should be able to understand why I dismiss you as a complete loony. I suspect you are young and gullible.

        If you do not consider the costs and practicality of the ideas you have then, you are just a dreamer.

        Do you recall the post about “CO2 sequestration in the Antarctic“? It was by a professor of climate scientist and is a journal article. But he’d clearly had no engineering advice. The CO2 abatement cost turned out to be about $2,600/tonne CO2. Yet he is still advocating to run a pilot in Antarctica. It is irrational and discredits scientists that make such foolish uncosted proposals, IMO.

        You can see how to do rough estimates here. http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/24/a-modest-proposal-for-sequestration-of-co2-in-the-antarctic/#comment-233330
        Summary of main conclusions here:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/24/a-modest-proposal-for-sequestration-of-co2-in-the-antarctic/#comment-234612

        You might consider this example of costing a thought bubble and follow similar practices. I can show you many other examples.

      • @Peter Lang…

        If you do not consider the costs and practicality of the ideas you have then, you are just a dreamer.

        [C]osts and practicality” depend on the circumstances. The “costs and practicality” of building a digital cell phone network would probably have been dismissed the same way you are in 1980. But notice that the necessary time-to-market for important changes is 3-5 decades. What were the “costs and practicality” of building a digital cell phone network in 2010?

        Do you recall the post about “CO2 sequestration in the Antarctic”? It was by a professor of climate scientist and is a journal article. But he’d clearly had no engineering advice.

        Yeah, I rejected it as impractical on intuitive grounds, although I said nothing. But what about direct air capture? My guess is that these people have done the exact analysis you want. (I haven’t been able to find it on-line, but I haven’t looked all that hard.)

        [...] you should be able to understand why I dismiss you as a complete loony. I suspect you are young and gullible.

        Well, 28 years younger than Freeman Dyson. Does that count as young? I spent several decades as a successful IT project manager for a (short) succession of for-profit corporations. I’d have to be “gullible” indeed to believe that the routine you demand is really necessary. Plenty of large projects have failed despite following these procedures. Most of the successful ones I’ve been associated with, the process was used to “guide” management to the desired option, and the process of considering alternative options was pro forma at best.

      • My mistake on guessing your age.

        I’ve come across many people in the past that try to apply their IT experience to electricity generation, transmission and storage. There is an enormous difference because in electricity systems we are dealing with MW and GW rather than the mW and µW the IT industry has to deal with.

        The 10^9 to 10^15 magnitude difference means that electricity generation and transmission are orders of magnitude more massive and the large plants and transmission systems have effective lives of 30 to 100 years. This has many implications:

        1. The rate of learning from major electricity system assets is much slower than for IT – Design improvements for major electricity system assets are incorporated into new models over decades rather than in a year or so as is the case for IT components.

        2. The investment cost for the major components in the electricity system is orders of magnitude more than the components of IT equipment that are regularly upgraded.

        3. Because of the 30 to 100 year life of the major assets, the investment risk is orders of magnitude larger for investments in major electricity system assets than for IT systems.

        To get an idea of scale:

        1. A 1 GW generator turbine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cook_nuclear_turbine_building_interior.jpg

        2. The largest transmissions lines cost around $1-$1.5 million per MW.km. Smaller lines cost much more per MW.km

        3. Worldwide, pumped hydro provides 99% of all electricity storage. The following will give you some understanding of the quantities that would be required to provide sufficient electricity storage to power eastern Australia’s electricity grid (assuming, for the sake of the exercise and clarity, a hypothetical single PV power station with sufficient capacity to provide all the energy needed):

        1. To provide the NEM’s demand from pumped-hydro storage would require pumping 2.3 Sydney-harbour volumes of water up 150 m each day while the sun is shining strongly (a maximum of about 6 hours during winter), and then releasing it to generate electricity each night. This would require pairs of high dams and low dams linked by pipes, pump stations and generating stations. The top dams and the bottom dams would each need a total active storage capacity of 2.3 Sydney harbour volumes of water and would need to have a vertical separation of 150 m on average. The pumps would need the capacity to pump the volume of water up from the bottom dams to the top dams in about 6 hours in winter.

        2. The pumps and pipes need to be sized for a fixed rate of pumping. The pumps need to be able to pump at a steady flow rate for hours at a time. So they need consistent power for the duration of pumping. It is not feasible to stop and start pumping the large amounts of water involved whenever the power output changes, as is the tendency from many types of renewable energy.

        3. The total generating capacity needs to be sufficient to meet the peak demand.

        4. The total area inundated by the reservoirs, for 1 day of energy storage, would be about 260 km2. For 90 days of storage, 24,000 km2 would be inundated.

        http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/peter-lang-solar-realities.pdf

        http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/peter-lang-solar-realities.pdf

      • 2. The largest transmissions lines cost around $1-$1.5 million per MW.km. Smaller lines cost much more per MW.km

        Let’s contrast that with methane (“Natural Gas”): from Wiki:

        The gross heat of combustion of one cubic meter of commercial quality natural gas is around 39 megajoules (≈10.8 kWh), but this can vary by several percent.

        From THE CHALLENGES OF FURTHER COST REDUCTIONS FOR NEW SUPPLY OPTIONS (PIPELINE, LNG, GTL) , a paper prepared for “22nd World Gas Conference 1-5 June 2003, Tokyo, Japan”:

        Globally, the investment required to lay a long distance, large diameter line (46 to 60 inches), enabling a throughput of about 15 to 30×10^9 m^3/year, currently amounts to $1 billion to $1.5 billion/1000 km.

        This corresponds to ~475-950 m^3/second, which at 36 megajoules/m^3 is ~17-34 G(iga)Joules/sec.

        According to The Wiki article on combined cycle power plants:

        In stationary power plants, a widely used combination is a gas turbine (operating by the Brayton cycle) burning natural gas or synthesis gas from coal, whose hot exhaust powers a steam power plant (operating by the Rankine cycle). This is called a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant, and can achieve a thermal efficiency of around 60%, in contrast to a single cycle steam power plant which is limited to efficiencies of around 35-42%

        This means our pipeline, costing about the same per kilometer as one MWatt of capacity of the “largest transmissions lines”, will carry the equivalent of 10-20 G(iga)Watts.

        Obviously, I haven’t had (and don’t have) time to dig into the relative increases in cost for smaller transport options. But unless I’ve made an order-of-magnitude error in my calculations, the cost of transporting methane to small, local, generating facilities is a nit compared to the cost of transporting electricity.

        From the same (latter) Wiki article:

        Gas turbines of about 150 MW size are already in operation manufactured by at least four separate groups – General Electric and its licensees, Alstom, Siemens, and Westinghouse/Mitsubishi. These groups are also developing, testing and/or marketing gas turbine sizes of about 200 MW. Combined cycle units are made up of one or more such gas turbines, each with a waste heat steam generator arranged to supply steam to a single steam turbine, thus forming a combined cycle block or unit. Typical Combined cycle block sizes offered by three major manufacturers (Alstom, General Electric and Siemens) are roughly in the range of 50 MW to 500 MW and costs are about $600/kW.

        Now, I’d like to step outside the box you’re trying to establish, and consider the effect of a large societal push for smaller, cheaper, more versatile generating capacity. Smaller combined-cycle generators presumably cost more per kW. But with economies of scale from volume production, this will come down. How far? Can we use guidelines from prior roll-outs of mass-produced technology?

        I’d say no: developments in IT and active, responsive control of manufacturing processes can be expected to produce tremendous improvements in costs of mass-producing such technology. This means the cost of using methane (“natural gas”) distribution to local generating capacity will be continually coming down relative to huge generating plants and hyper-expensive electricity distribution facilities.

        It will, IMO, become cheaper as time goes by to simply buy more excess generating capacity for small, local installations, and distribute the energy in the form of methane. This solves most of the problems of storing energy. Methane from fossil sources will be available for the next 3-5 decades, while the technology for capturing solar energy and converting it to methane using carbon from the air or sea surface develops and becomes mature. Methane from solar PV/electrolysis/biomethane can be inserted into an existing distribution and power generating system.

        The entire system allows for redundancy and robust flexibility in response to changes in demand or supply. Short term changes in demand can be met with vehicular transport of LNG (or even PNG), while the economics of laying pipe are considerred. Generating capacity can be transported and set up in small modular chunks, eliminating the need for long lead times and regulatory mazes. Investment in equipment can be separated from site requirements, as equipment can be moved and rented to customers in response to demand changes. The whole system of 30-100 year planning and investment in monster electrical power generating and transporting facilities can be rendered obsolete. And good riddance.

      • AK,

        I find all the stuff you write very frustrating because you don’t appear to do the most basic of sanity checks on it. You write;

        It will, IMO, become cheaper as time goes by to simply buy more excess generating capacity for small, local installations, and distribute the energy in the form of methane.

        But this is clearly not the correct, and not even close to correct, or it would be happening in pockets already. It would be close to viable, but it’s nowhere near it.

        the technology for capturing solar energy and converting it to methane using carbon from the air or sea surface develops and becomes mature. Methane from solar PV/electrolysis/biomethane can be inserted into an existing distribution and power generating system.

        As we’ve already discussed previously, solar cannot make a major contribution to providing the world’s electricity supply, let alone enough to power electricity to make methane. We’ve already been through the reasons. Perhaps you didn’t read them, or have forgotten.

        You really need to do sanity checks, not just dream.

      • AK,

        The whole system of 30-100 year planning and investment in monster electrical power generating and transporting facilities can be rendered obsolete. And good riddance.

        Your final comment suggest ideology and belief like “small is good” and “evil big corporations” rules in your vision thing and is dominant over rational analysis.

      • @Peter Lang…

        I find all the stuff you write very frustrating because you don’t appear to do the most basic of sanity checks on it.

        I find your responses very frustrating because you appear to be in complete denial of anything that might threaten your belief in ” the 30 to 100 year life of the major assets, the investment risk is orders of magnitude larger for investments in major electricity system assets than for IT systems.” It’s like you simply blank out when faced with anything that might show that belief incorrect.

        As we’ve already discussed previously, solar cannot make a major contribution to providing the world’s electricity supply, let alone enough to power electricity to make methane. We’ve already been through the reasons. Perhaps you didn’t read them, or have forgotten.

        In an earlier interchange, you dismissed Tom Fuller’s point that, on average, installed solar power has been growing at about 30%/year. In response to your sarcastic question how long, at that rate, before it supplied 50% of the world’s demand, I answered about 40 years, assuming a five-fold increase in demand over that time. This is similar to the time-frame I’m talking about for these other changes. It’s also similar to the time-frame the IPCC offers for any significant change to atmospheric pCO2 from even the most drastic economic changes.

        The parts of the chain of technology necessary for making bio-methane are all either being prototyped in the lab, or capable of rapid development. There is Nocera’s direct PV/hydrolysis technology, which may not be ready to distribute to African villages, but is well past the proof-of-concept stage as applicable to more centralized installations. There are recent developments in fuel-cell catalysis, which could well reach off-the-shelf (OTS) status in 5-10 years. Also catalysis for low-voltage hydrolysis separate from PV, in case something like IBM’s concentrated, micro-channel cooled, technology turns out to be more cost-effective.

        Hydrogen production from Solar PV/hydrolysis, then, could be ramping up as OTS technology within 5-10 years, assuming viable demand. That leaves bio-conversion of hydrogen and CO2 for methane. This depends on two factors: workable gene-engineerd methanogens for use in bio-converters, and a cost-effective way of extracting CO2 from the air or sea-surface.

        Biotech doesn’t have the same system of 30-100 year planning and investment cycle monster electrical power generating and transporting facilities do. Like modern IT, indeed partly dependent on it, biotech development is small and agile. Indeed, so small and agile that, IMO, the risk from small-scale blunderers is something that must be addressed. (But is a perfectly solvable problem, if not ignored)

        Assuming the development of alkalinophile methanogens, CO2 extraction from the sea surface is probably (IMO) a matter primarily of membrane materials technology. This is a field where active research is taking place, although AFAIK mostly shrouded in trade secrecy. But developing membranes with rapid diffusion rates for CO2 while preventing the diffusion of O2 should not, AFAIK, require any special breakthroughs. It’s just work, and ongoing work at that.

        Once all the pieces are available, putting them together can go very rapidly. Given an appropriate demand, 5-10 years would be more than enough.

        Backing up again to your:

        [...] solar cannot make a major contribution to providing the world’s electricity supply, let alone enough to power electricity to make methane.

        You simply don’t seem to realize the holes in your reasoning. Once the price of solar becomes low enough, siting becomes the major expense. Sites where solar-sourced methane would be cost-effective are far more numerous than those for actual electricity, since the transport of methane is much easier than electricity. With low enough cost for PV/electrolysis, intermittency isn’t a problem with methane, since it’s easily stored.

        Your final comment suggest ideology and belief like “small is good” and “evil big corporations” rules in your vision thing and is dominant over rational analysis.

        Small is cheaper than big, requiring a smaller investment for prototyping and initial ramp-up. I have nothing against big corporations, as long as the regulatory playing field isn’t tilted in their favor. But everything I’ve seen in the financial world suggests that small, agile, players have a much better chance of establishing innovative replacements for existing technology.

        And big corporations doesn’t mean big technology. A big corporation can own many small machines, and have the flexibility to site them and move them according to demand. Big installations, OTOH, can become big, expensive, white elephants, which any profit oriented big corporation would, IMO, be smart to avoid.

      • AK, sorry, but I can’t be bothered to answer any more of this. You think so differently to me, you don’t seem to do any sanity checks on your ‘visions’ and seem to just run on belief. You won’t read the links I’ve given, so I can’t get anything through to you. It’s like talking to a religious zealot. Clearly the discussion has no prospect of making any headway.

        I go to your first paragraph, and decided there is no point continuing:

        In an earlier interchange, you dismissed Tom Fuller’s point that, on average, installed solar power has been growing at about 30%/year. In response to your sarcastic question how long, at that rate, before it supplied 50% of the world’s demand, I answered about 40 years, assuming a five-fold increase in demand over that time.

        As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s meaningless. High growth rates from low starting points (0.2% of world supply), especially given that the roll out was being subsidised by several hundred percent, are meaningless.

        Sorry, I can’t take you seriously.

        Did you notice that Japan has dumped its CO2 targets? They cannot be achieved due to the opposition to nuclear power.

        Did you notice Germany’s CO2 emissions are increasing and the cost of electricity is skyrocketing. That’s due to the market distortions that are forcing high cost renewable energy on the country.

        Di you understand the France has about the cheapest power in Europe and the lowest emission from electricity generation. That’s due to nuclear power.

        Good luck.

      • Notice the average gas prices for households here: http://theenergycollective.com/lindsay-wilson/300911/expensive-average-natural-gas-prices-compared-us-uk-france-germany-and-japan?ref=popular_posts

        Gas prices for households are about twice those for industry (e.g. USA: $14.5/MWh v $33/MWh) (compare Tables 14 and 16 here: http://www.cne.es/cgi-bin/BRSCGI.exe?CMD=VEROBJ&MLKOB=728018434242

        Then consider that small generators need much more reserve capacity than large generators because every small generator needs sufficient capacity to meet it’s own maximum possible peak demand. Also consider that the cost of the generation per MWh is much higher for small generators than for large generators. All in all, you can see that the cost would be many times higher for small generators than large generators.

        That’s why the whole world has moved away from small isolated generators to large centralised generation and electricity grids to spread the load to reduce the generating capacity required.

  49. Tomas Milanovic

    Facts on the ground change minds. Give it a couple more years for the next temperature step to a new warmest year, or sea-ice loss record. Ocean heat content records that are being set now seem not to count for much among the skeptics, but that’s fine. They want to live and die by the surface temperature record and Arctic sea ice.

    Some people will simply never get it. Neither communication understanding nor what the real point is.
    More than 90% of skeptics (or deniers or whatever one wants to call them) simply DO NOT CARE ENOUGH about Arctic ice or whatever useless average temperature is thrown at them to dramatically change their ways of living.
    No fact whatever can change the observation that the huge majority of rational people can’t and won’t take seriously that we should spend hundreds of billions of € just because some irrelevant parameter like average temperature that concretely impact’s nobody’s life could increase by 2°C in one century.
    Or 2 centuries.
    Or whatever since nobody actually makes a prediction.

    With the exception of few cases who have problems to understand Planck’s paper from 1905 and who don’t accept some trivial physics, most skeptics have no major problems with the climate physics – they simply don’t care whether there will be Arctic ice in summer or whatever average temperature there will be in Berlin or Paris in 1 or 2 centuries.

    The day the warmista will understand that this is all about the irrelevance of some average increase of something on a much too long time scale and with unkown uncertainty (e.g it is about politics), the “wars” will leave the scientific grounds.

    Of course many (and I belong to this kind too) will consider that numerical models are wrong and an evolutionary dead end. There will be of course a debate if primitive 1 or 2D models are an approximation of the real Earth and with what accuracy. Etc.
    But this is just business as usual.

    However if the Manns, Hansen and other Gores dare one more time to come on us with pseudo scientific interpretations and irrelevant projections and would want us to spend our money in ways we do not want, then they’ll get the war they want.
    All this has absolutely nothing to do with some ice (I find iceless Arctic a very good thing) or with some tenth of degree more or less in the oceans (I was in Northern Russia last week and they would kill to get a warmer ocean).

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Tomas Milanovic froths “If Manns, Hansen and other Gores dare one more time to come on us with pseudo scientific interpretations and irrelevant projections and would want us to spend our money in ways we do not want, then they’ll get the war they want“Thank you Tomas Milanovic, for exhibiting to Climate Etc demogogic denialist rhetoric that halts just step short of explicitly homicidal threats. It seems to me that denialist forums like WUWT deserve our appreciation and thanks for censoring the (too-many!) denialists who take that final rhetorical step.

      A Point For Reflection  Please consider, Tomas Milanovic, that your vehement rhetoric applies equally to public sanitation as to climate change. And public sanitation isn’t so bad, eh?

      Perhaps a good question to ask is what have the scientists ever done for us? The world wonders, Tomas Milanovic!

      \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}

      • Fanny

        When it comes to “public sanitation” you appear to be a one-man (one-woman?) public polluter with the BS you are spreading here.

        The “world wonders”, indeed!

        Max

      • Tomas Milanovic

        OK I will make an exception and answer your exceptionnaly dumb post and even dumber links.
        I come from a part of the world where we had extensive experience with your kind – intellectually mediocre people, dreaming about power and about enforcing on everybody their dumb world views.

        In one point and only in this point you are right – we have no tolerance whatsoever for this kind anymore. The lesson was useful in this respect.
        And yes if this kind tries to make a come back, they’ll get the fight they want.
        Like a beautiful song goes :
        “Some folks we never forget
        some kind we never forgive
        you have not seen the back of us yet …..”

        OK I don’t expect you to understand anything about anyything (and especially not about science) so here is the deal.
        You can go back to posting irrelevant posts with dumb formulas and ridiculous emoticons.
        And I will go back to ignoring them because there is nothing of interest or of significance.

      • AFOMD,

        I am somewhat bemused by your public sanitation query – I didn’t realise Tomas Milanovic was opposed to public sanitation. Could you provide some evidence of his opposition, as I can only think of a few reasons why one would be opposed to public sanitation, and Tomas may well be opposed for other reasons.

        Or are you just making it up?

        Your second question is incorrectly phrased. It should read “What have the climatologists ever done for us?” – apart from wasting vast amounts of money, that is.

        The world wonders, eh?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Tomas Milanovic rants “I come from a part of the world where we had extensive experience with [third-rate ideologically compatible folk-science] … I will go back to ignoring [modern climate-science] because there is nothing of interest or of significance.”Rhetoric by Tomas Milanovic, links by FOMD.

      Thank you for plainly exhibiting to Climate Etc readers the workings of willful ignorance, Tomas Milanovic!

      \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}

    • Tomas Milanovic, you may not care about the surface temperature or a so-called pause, but it has been the dominant item in skeptical blogs and journalism to the extent that few know of any other skeptical argument these days. You may also not care the CO2 levels would reach 700 ppm without action, and that these levels were last seen 35 million years ago before the Antarctic became the first glaciated region. I think these things are worth thinking and caring about, and can’t be so easily dismissed out of hand as you seem to do.

  50. Judith Curry

    … climate scientists can undertake one of two general communication strategies for enhancing trust, each appealing to one of two broad types of cognitive processing mechanisms. In the first, the communicator displays traits like humor, attractiveness, vigorous delivery, and likeability that audiences use as heuristics in determining whom to trust. … In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself vulnerable in ways her audience can enforce.

    How about simply telling the truth, avoiding any exaggeration or false certainty and not worrying about being effective.

    That’s the only way that climate scientists can regain the credibility they have squandered by following Stephen Schneider’s advice to discard honesty in favor of effectiveness.

    Max

    PS It is amazing to me that writers, such as Jean Goodwin, seem to completely miss the point:

    It’s not about communicating “effectively” – it’s about communicating honestly.

    Are these guys still in denial of what the real problem is?

  51. Unfortunately the article seems to equate climate scientists with AGW advocates and doubtful lay audiences with skeptics. This is the classic fallacy of the AGW side, claiming to speak for science, to an ignorant skepticism. It tends to ruin an otherwise interesting analysis and is quite unnecessary (unless it was required in order to get published).

    • This is the classic fallacy of the AGW side, claiming to speak for science, to an ignorant skepticism.

      It is a classic fallacy of blogospheric “skeptics” to claim that they speak for the skeptical public – when in fact they are an extreme outlier. It is a fallacy to think that anything other than a tiny slice of the skeptical public actually engages with climate scientists and/or actually is familiar with the full spectrum of what climate scientists do and don’t say.

      Interesting that you notice how the article employs a fallacy on one side there, but fail to notice its application on the other side.

      • unless it was required in order to get published

        Perhaps Judith required you to include a fallacy before passing your comment through moderation?

      • It’s easy to speculate about conspiracies. But conspiracies require a lot of evidence, David.

      • It is a classic fallacy of the “skeptical” side to think that they speak for science, for integrity, for impartiality, for saving the enlightenment, for saving the world against a capitalism-hating cabal that wants to install a one world government, for corruption-free research, for the purity of non-activist science, for the protecting children from starvation, against intellectual tyranny, and perhaps most importantly, for wearing big boy pants.

      • Editorial policy is not a conspiracy.

      • Joshua

        The classical fallacy of the “consensus” crowd is that they have followed Stephen Schneider’s advice to sacrifice honesty for effectiveness, where necessary (and they’ve been caught at it).

        Pretty simple, actually.

        Max

      • Ridiculous speculation about editorial policy, when you have no actual evidence pertaining to the editorial policy of the people you’re talking about, is consistent with a conspiratorial mindset.

      • Joshua,

        I must have overlooked the blogospheric “skeptics” who claim to speak for the skeptical public. Would you mind pointing out a few to me?

        Who cares if members of the public are familiar with the full spectrum of what “climate scientists” (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) do or don’t say?

        They haven’t said anything useful, ever, as far as I can remember. The only thing I would be interested in hearing are the words “I resign!” from their mouths, backed up by confirmation in writing. Oh well, I live in hope!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike -

        I must have overlooked the blogospheric “skeptics” who claim to speak for the skeptical public.

        If you read these threads and those over at places like WUWT, you will often read “skeptics” assert what “skeptics” believe (and why they believe it). Invariably, interestingly, they do not have actual evidence for their assertions which seem to be instead, primarily based on projecting their own opinions onto a wider group of people.

      • “It’s easy to speculate about conspiracies. But conspiracies require a lot of evidence, David.”

        Sure. Alignment of personal interests can explain it without the need for any sort of “conspiracy” being involved AT ALL.

        Do you really think the GFC was a conspiracy?
        No, it was group-think and willful blindness to evidence because it didn’t match the consensus view.
        Sound familiar?
        MBH98 ring any bells here?
        “Natural variability” come to mind anyone?
        GMST as a rigorous diagnostic of GW?
        Certainly there are other examples too, but this is enough to make the point, I think.

        If you want to earn trust, you can’t ignore this sort of thing – at least part of earning trust is that you acknowledge your mistakes and that you don’t selectively ignore (or promote) certain things when it suits you and then promote (ignore) them when that suits you (your argument).

      • Joshua,

        So you either can’t provide facts to back up your assertions, or refuse to do so.

        I understand you are admonishing me for asking a simple question.

        Following the dictates of the Book of Warm (never answer a question, adopt a patronising and condescending manner, demand that the questioner go off on a wild goose chase etc.) engenders less and less respect or trust in the practitioners of Warm.

        Not even a good try.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • They also seem to equate trust with being agreed with, which is a huge confusion. I do not distrust most AGW proponents, I just disagree with them. Trust does not come into it. They are honest and I am honest but we just disagree. The climate debate is largely an honest difference of opinion.

      • I do not distrust most AGW proponents, I just disagree with them. Trust does not come into it. …The climate debate is largely an honest difference of opinion.

        Are you speaking for “skeptics” as a group there? Because from what I’ve seen, in thinking that “the climate debate is largely an honest difference of opinion,” you are one of only a small % of “skeptics” who feel that way (I do essentially agree with you about “dishonesty” not being particularly explanatory, although from a slightly different angle whereby “honesty” is not a particularly meaningful criterion. If people’s opinions are influences of the biases of motivated reasoning – it doesn’t make them “dishonest”).

      • Joshua,

        You said ” . . . “honesty” is not a particularly meaningful criterion.”

        Spoken like a true Warmist! And now tell me that you really meant something else – it’s what I would expect.

        Maybe your innate brilliance is blinding you to the necessity to tailor your delivery to your audience. I understand it must be difficult putting up with people who don’t quite reach your exalted level, but I’m sure you can adopt an intellectual stoop, if you try hard.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Joshua

        You write:

        “honesty” is not a particularly meaningful criterion

        Sounds like Stephen Schneider there, Josh.

        Honesty is not only a “particularly meaningful criterion” – it is a prerequisite for any scientist (a point, which Schneider and others on his side have apparently missed).

        Max

      • Mike and max -

        Wow.

        I said that honesty isn’t a particularly meaningful criterion because I agreed with David that there is no “dishonestly” here, per se, but people whose reasoning is influenced by biases.

        You know. Like when smart and knowledgeable people read right past the the obvious content of what someone says, to confirm their biases.

        Do you get my drift?

      • David Wojick

        You make a very good point (with which even Joshua seems to agree).

        In principle, it’s simply a debate about the CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC (i.e. that human-induced greenhouse warming and its effects represent a serious potential future problem for humanity and our environment, unless mitigation actions are implemented today), as concluded by different individuals based on the evidence at hand.

        This debate is fairly clear (and, in principle, has nothing to do with “honesty”, as you write).

        As there is no empirical evidence to support the CAGW premise, a rational (or scientific) skeptic would discard it as an uncorroborated hypothesis, until such evidence is presented.

        An individual, who has faith in the ability of climate models to forecast reality, might accept the premise, despite the fact that it has not been corroborated by empirical evidence.

        However, the topic here is “how to earn trust in climate change debates” (and this is skewed toward the “consensus” side).

        And here the answer seems fairly clear to me: be honest, do not understate uncertainty and do not exaggerate.

        This flies directly in the face of the advice given by Stephen Schneider (bold face by me):

        On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

        That approach obviously has failed (or we wouldn’t be having this discussion).

        Max

      • correction

        This debate is fairly clear (and, in principle, has nothing to do with “honesty” trust, as you write).

      • Joshua,

        What particular Warmist meaning does “Wow.” contain?

        Is it the same as “Huh?”.

        You said : –

        “I said that honesty isn’t a particularly meaningful criterion because I agreed with David that there is no “dishonestly” here, per se, but people whose reasoning is influenced by biases.”

        To be honest, I can’t see where David mentioned biases.

        I think you made it up. I will, of course, apologise if I am wrong.

        Is it a dictate of the Book of Warm, that if all else fails, “make stuff up”?

        I perceive this could lead to a less than optimal outcome, if your aim is to persuade others to accept the logic of your argument. If this is not your aim, then why bother commenting?

        You said, before, that you did not know what your motives were. This is fairly obvious. If you are suffering from a touch of megalomania, then of course, you need no motive. The world must bend itself to your will. This is unlikely to happen, but you cannot see this without appropriate medication. Have you thought about consulting a medical professional?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Joshua: “Do you get my drift?”

        Yep. Got it from the start. I agree the attacks on you about this are unwarranted, and that, if dishonesty is not happening (as speculated), then classifying something as honest doesn’t serve much purpose.

        That’s perhaps a bit more precise than what you said – you should know better! ;-)

  52. [Snake oil sales manager to his team]

    Awright, guys, our sales are at an all-time low!

    We gotta do a better job of co-mmu-ni-catin’!

    Whazzat?

    Folks are angry ’cause the snake oil ain’t workin’?

    An’ it’s causin’ rashes an’ ex-ee-ma?

    Fuggidaboudit!

    There ain’t nuthin’ wrong with whut you’re sellin.

    This here is a co-mmu-ni-ca-shun problem!

    Max

    • I got an ideah ’bout that snake oil.

      Whazzat?

      We jest change the name on the bottle and
      think up a new sellin’ point with a catchy slogan.

      • Da mar-ke-tin’ dee-part-ment has jest spoke.

        An we’re gonna put a new fancy label (with a rosy-cheeked child) on dat bottle, too.

        Here’s da catchy ditty:

        Cooper’s snake oil hits the spot
        Smear it on, it helps a lot
        For moles and colds and joints that’r sore
        In-di-gest-shun an’ a whole lot more.

        (to the tune of “Pepsi-cola”)

      • Well thanks, Max, i mighty appreciate havin’ a snake oil
        with me name on it. When do we go inter pro-duck-shun?

        Beth the swerf.

      • Beth

        With all them crawly critters an rep-tiles yew got down ther in yore country, Ah reckon yew cud git the pro-duck-shun started ther an Ah’ll git the labels fer the bottles.

        Course we’d also add ar-ti-fish-ul snake oil con-sen-trate frum China.

        Here’s the for-mew-la Ah got from mah granpappy::

        1% natch-urel snake oil
        3% ar-ti-fish-ul snake oil con-sen-trate
        0.5% e-mulsi-fire
        0.5% ar-ti-fish-ul “spring rose” ar-o-ma
        rest water

        Shake well

        Max

      • Say, Max,
        3% ar-ti-fish-al snake-oil-con-sen-trate, lol,
        Is there no limit ter hu-man in-gen-new-ity?
        A serf.

  53. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Tomas Milanovic rants “If Manns, Hansen and other Gores dare one more time to come on us with pseudo scientific interpretations and irrelevant projections and would want us to spend our money in ways we do not want, then they’ll get the war they want.”

    David Wojick reasons “I do not distrust most AGW proponents, I just disagree with them. Trust does not come into it. They are honest and I am honest but we just disagree. The climate debate is largely an honest difference of opinion.

    Thank you Tomas Milanovic and David Wojick, for so plainly exhibiting the crucial distinction between climate-change denialism and climate-change skepticism.

    \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}

    • AFOMD,

      You seem to be unable to provide the name of a single person who believes the weather, and hence climate, doesn’t change.

      You are fabricating not just straw men, but invisible men. Good tactic, but only works on Warmists.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Good grief, your straw man comes with trumpets blaring - who believes the weather, and hence climate, doesn’t change.

        Is it possible somebody somewhere believes that, but what difference would it make?

        Lol.

    • Why do you always put your money on red when the colors on this wheel are black and white?
      ===========

      • Some of us don’t have your confidence spawned from a self-inflicted monochromatic myopia typical of hominids maxed out at the People Magazine intellectual capacity.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++
        ++++++++++++++++++++++

  54. Judith Curry writes:

    In the early days of Climate Etc., Communication was a frequent topic for posts. This topic was not a popular one among the denizens, but I felt that it was an important one in understanding how the public has come to form opinions about climate change, and also to help me learn how to be a more effective communicator.

    An effective communicator is one who gets other people to understand what she believes.

    When she instead attempts to get other people to believe what she wants them to believe, and to do what she wants them to do, she is not trying to communicate. She is trying to persuade, which is the propagandists’ term for propagandizing.

    As others have noted, we don’t need “effective communication” from climate scientists, we need honest communication. Calling persuasion techniques “communication” is not honest.

    • Well, we’re all stumbling around in thorny thickets.
      ==========

    • “An effective communicator is one who gets other people to understand what she believes.”

      wrong. effective communication changes behavior.

      • Wrong- An effective communicator is one who gets others to change their opinions, which can then lead to changes in behavior

      • Effective communication results in the participants understanding one another’s opinions. Real understanding may or may not lead to changes of opinion or behavior, unless you want to count no longer talking past one another as changed behavior.

      • Wrong. Effective communication transfers information.

      • Rob Starkey

        Wrong- An effective communicator is one who gets others to change their opinions,

        Wrong.

        Effective communication transfers information.

        Effective persuasion, i.e. propaganda, changes opinion and/or behavior.

        These are two separate things. The second may or may not utilize the first. The first in no way requires the second.

        To equate the two, as Curry does here and IPCC et al does elsewhere, is dishonest.

      • Always Be Closing.
        Here is Mosher in his titular role

      • Steven Mosher,

        “wrong. effective communication changes behavior.”

        Only if you’re trying to change behaviour, surely?

      • If no one changed their position or perspective as a result of the communication how was it effective? It was effective at what- creating noise??? I almost never join these exchanges—

      • Rob Starkey

        If no one changed their position or perspective as a result of the communication how was it effective?

        Communication is effective if it transfers information. That is what communication is – transfer of information.

        If Mosher attempts to communicate to you that he sees presents under a tree on Christmas morning, and that he saw none under the tree the night before, that communication is effective if you come to understand that he saw no presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, and did see presents the following morning. He had information, and now you have it too.

        Whether or not this causes you to accept the ‘Santa Claus’ hypothesis is immaterial as to the effectiveness of his communication.

        It was effective at what- creating noise???

        Communicating.

        “Communicating” and “persuading” are two different words that describe two different things. Pretending you are interested in the former when you are attempting the latter is dishonest.

  55. How to earn trust?

    Start by deserving trust.

    Instead of lying, tell the truth. Do that every time. That deserves trust.

    Instead of defending allies in the wrong, express loyalty, disappointment, and confidence your allies in the wrong will amend their error.

    So when Dr. Roy Spencer is caught flat out lying to America on Piers Morgan’s CNN show, don’t whinge that he’s been bullied by some mean journalist who has facts and knowledge on his side; instead, acknowledge that you have in the past found Dr. Roy Spencer’s biblical interpretation of satellite data religiously moving, admit disappointment that Dr. Roy Spencer so frequently bears false witness about climate, and say you hope Dr. Spencer will stop lying to America, apologize to the American people, and turn over a new leaf by starting to embrace honesty and honor.

    Oh, and thank Piers Morgan and Mark Hertsgaard for devotion to truth in journalism because, let’s face it, that value is too much overlooked these days.

    See how that works?

    • Bart R

      Sounds good, Bart.

      Let’s apply it to the IPCC gang, too.

      OK?

      Max

      • Roy Spencer is a master deceptionist. He has a post up that claims 1.3C for ECS.

        Yet, this is actually a value of TCR.
        Yet, he doesn’t average in land values.
        Yet, he plays tricks with subsurface vs surface temperatures.

        These are facts and standards for playing fair. Why must Spencer cheat? He knows he will be found out. Obviously he doesn’t care because the denialists cover his back.

      • “Roy Spencer is a master deceptionist. He has a post up that claims 1.3C for ECS. Yet, this is actually a value of TCR.” [etc]

        This sort of claim was discussed in comments on WUWT a day or two ago and rebutted. (I couldn’t find the thread, altho I googled for it.)

    • Bart, I listened very carefully to the tape. I did not detect a single thing that I would call a lie in Roy’s statements. Could you give me the specific words he spoke that you claim are lies? All of them if possible. TIA.

    • “Roy Spencer is a master deceptionist. He has a post up that claims 1.3C for ECS.”

      MBH98 was bad science.

      Yet, it appeared as a “poster child” in IPCC reports.
      Yet, the mistakes were defended using logical fallacies until the defenders realised it wasn’t working.
      Yet, even once acknowledged the errors were not corrected and the paper is STILL being cited.

      Why must IPCC “cheat” like this? They know they will be found out. Obviously they don’t care because believers cover their back.

      See how easy that is? See how easy it is to say something like “But that’s an isolated example from one person and is not indicative of general usage”.

      Fair is fair, and turn about is fair play. Fairness and more specifically fair play engenders trust. The opposite engenders – not surprisingly – the opposite response. Who’d a thunk it, eh? Apparently not AGW believer advocates!

    • Oh.. and being sane helps glean trust, too.

      So insane replies would rather tend to lead to distrust.

      Such as pretending not to understand what is meant by Mark Hertsgaard’s statement about Dr. Roy Spencer lying.. or actually not understanding it.

      Here’s a hint, it was in what Dr. Spencer said immediately before Mark Hertsgaard interrupted to contradict Spencer’s 50:50 fabrication.

      • I don’t see it in as you said watching the video until Hertsgaard interrupted at about 40 seconds. Was it that he said the Earth has warmed a little? That he said we’re not exactly sure why or words to that effect? I think it’s fair to say Hertsgaard attacked. What’s to understand about behavior like that?

        I’d also say a fabrication needs a clear statement of fact. He said we don’t know. In the first 40 seconds I don’t think he did make a fabrication.

      • Ragnaar -

        I think it’s fair to say Hertsgaard attacked.

        OK.

        What’s to understand about behavior like that?

        I think it’s fair to say that Spencer attacked. What’s to understand about behavior like that?

      • I saw one instance of Spencer marginally attacking. “I know what kind of Scientists you’ve interviewed…” << Paraphrase.

        Would it be fair to say Spencer after about 40 seconds was on the defensive? If so, is there some equality to be found with that?

        Hertsgaard was swinging widely and I don't think he did his cause any favors.

        Perhaps the audience wanted to here a diatribe from Hertsgaard, or perhaps they were more interested in what a somewhat skeptical climate scientist had to say?

        Hertsgaard decided what the audience wanted for everyone, in my opinion.

      • Ragnaar -

        Was Hertsgaard more on the offensive? Probably – but I don’t know that is particularly meaningful in any way.

        I don’t see any equality to be created by trotting out tired (conspiratorial) “memes” (if you will).

        I don’t think that either side did their cause any favors, if by that you mean influence opinions that were already fixed. As for influencing the opinions of those not already affiliated with one side or the other – I wouldn’t hazard a guess. W/r/t the thread’s theme of gaining trust… probably both participants gained trust with their own side and didn’t raise trust with the other side. Same ol same ol.

        I don’t see how either participant decided for the audience what to hear. They just both argued in ways they felt supported their opinions.

      • Bart, you write “Here’s a hint, it was in what Dr. Spencer said immediately before Mark Hertsgaard interrupted to contradict Spencer’s 50:50 fabrication.”

        I ma not interested in hints. Let us have the actual words Roy used which you claim are lies.

      • Joshua:

        Hertsgaard by his actions during the interview, turned it into a him versus Spencer event. Prior to 40 seconds, Spencer was responding to Morgan. For the next 140 seconds, It was the Hertsgaard show with him trying to show how off track Spencer was. Hertsgaard was able to do this by assuming control. Attempting to control what everyone ended up hearing.

        What is to understand about Hertsgaard behavior? If I could advise him which isn’t likely, I’d say consider the blow back that one can get from using too assertive behavior. While a few may cheer as you attempt to and superficially succeed in overwhelming someone with your tone, more may identify with the target of your attacks. Rightly or wrongly you will be seen as representing your side. Is that the representation you wish to give your side?

      • Jim Cripwell | November 14, 2013 at 7:24 am |

        res ipsa loquitur

        As does your game-playing. Not interested in playing.

      • Bart, you \write “res ipsa loquitur

        As does your game-playing. Not interested in playing.|

        Thanks, Bart, very much indeed. In other words, Roy did not lie at all, or come anywhere close. It is just the usual false accusation by the warmists, to try and justify the un justifiable.

  56. Reading Jean Goodwin’s past work, I think this might be what is guiding her portrayal of climate communication techniques:
    “… For example, the long work of the civil rights movement did not eliminate racism, but it made openly racist arguments unsayable in mainstream political discourse. ….
    …In the blogosphere as a whole, my impression is that the more responsible voices are disputing only the C in CAGW–a big change over the last few years. In sum, skepticism about the existence of climate change seems to be inching into the category of the unsayable.”

    http://scientistscitizens.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/listening-to-what-cant-be-said/

    In this mould, Judith Curry for her might be a pioneer laying the groundwork for future climate science communications (not necessarily by her) by making her audience more receptive to climate science findings. If so, I think that this idea is fundamentally flawed as Judith Curry is probably better viewed as ‘changed’ rather than as an agent of change. The responsible voices that Goodwin speaks of have likely not changed their views much over the last few years, as they probably had similar views even when they started out, i.e., accepting of the warming properties of CO2 and man-made contributions to CO2 change.

    • RB

      That IS the debate.

      It is ALL about the CAGW premise, as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports.

      That premise is, in summary, that human GHG emissions have been the primary cause of late 20thC warming, that the mean 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is around 3 degC and that human GHG emissions will lead to potentially catastrophic GH warming in the future with potentially serious negative consequences for humanity and our environment, unless actions are undertaken now to curtail these emissions dramatically.

      It is NOT about whether CO2 (along with H2O plus a bunch of other trace gases) absorbs LW radiation, whether this could theoretically lead to warming of our atmosphere due to the GH effect and whether humans are emitting GH gases (principally CO2), which results in an increase in their atmospheric concentration.

      Max

      • Max,
        Jean Goodwin left undescribed what she meant by “responsible voices” and what she meant by “changed.”

      • RB

        Goodwin did not specifically mention the IPCC “consensus” position (or CAGW premise, as it is also known).

        But that is the climate change message that the climate scientists cited by IPCC want to sell to the general public (or, as Goodwin puts it, the “knowledge” they want to “share” with their “lay audiences”).

        Climate scientists need the trust of lay audiences if they are to share their knowledge. But significant audience segments—those doubtful or dismissive of climate change—distrust climate scientists. In response, climate scientists can undertake one of two general communication strategies for enhancing trust, each appealing to one of two broad types of cognitive processing mechanisms. In the first, the communicator displays traits like humor, attractiveness, vigorous delivery, and likeability that audiences use as heuristics in determining whom to trust…. In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself vulnerable in ways her audience can enforce. This vulnerability signals her trustworthiness, since the audience can reason that she would not undertake such risks unless she was confident in what she was saying….

        Goodwin has not specifically referred to the “what” (of the message), but has rather concentrated on the “how” (to effectively communicate the message).

        She has started off by stating that “significant audience segments—those doubtful or dismissive of climate change—distrust climate scientists”, without addressing the “why” (why the general public does not trust climate scientists).

        This appears to me to be the real issue.

        And the answer (in the case of the IPCC scientists) is that there is a perceived lack of honesty, a perceived understatement of uncertainty and a perceived exaggeration of future negative impacts, which has resulted (based on a US poll) in close to 70% of the general public believing that climate scientists have fudged the data.

        This is the root cause that should be addressed IMO – not how to “frame” the desired story so it “sells” better.

        Max

      • Max,
        I doubt that Goodwin understands that skeptics admitting the warming properties of CO2 places them any closer to mainstream climate scientist views on AGW. Judith Curry has an approach which has earned the trust of her skeptical audience. At the same time, she is fully aligned with their sentiments. In my opinion, it is virtually certain that if Judith Curry was to become more aligned with the IPCC message than to what her audience believes, her trust will be gone. Isaac Held and the Science of Doom blog, for example, are aligned with the IPCC consensus and in my view practice what Goodwin seems to allude to in methods that climate scientists should employ. But I doubt that either blog will earn them the trust of the bulk of Judith Curry’s audience.

      • RB, “But I doubt that either blog will earn them the trust of the bulk of Judith Curry’s audience.”

        I don’t know. Both Science of Doom and Dr. Held are well respected as far as I know. What is interesting is that the GFDL seems to be much more well respected than GISS. Perhaps a poll?

      • Max,
        Add in the data tampering issues that somehow always change the past in a single direction and we get to the trust issue.

        Data Tampering At USHCN/GISS
        from a Real Science blog post.

        What did you think of the changes to past data?

        Scott

      • “In my opinion, it is virtually certain that if Judith Curry was to become more aligned with the IPCC message than to what her audience believes, her trust will be gone.”

        I don’t agree – I think you are confusing “trust” with “agreement” or “popularity”. Certainly both would decline if she moved suddenly as you suggest.

        For me, she gets trust (but not always agreement) simply because she would be more likely (IMO) to say something like “That’s interesting, and given the uncertainties it’s certainly possible, but current evidence leads me to believe it’s likely wrong” rather than “Wrong. You are in denial. Read the science”. The former indicates to me a thoughtful, inclusive, evidence based response to a challenge to held opinions, while the later indicates a closed mind even in the face of large uncertainty. That means I feel I can trust her to be objective rather than dogmatic – even if we disagree on any specific point.
        Accurate? Dunno.
        Semantics? Maybe.
        Effective? You bet!

      • RB

        The issue is not the “trust of the Climate Etc. denizens”, as you write, it is the “trust of the general public” (or as Goodwin puts it, the “lay audience”).

        And the “knowledge” that “mainstream climate science” wants to “share” with this audience (according to Goodwin) is the CAGW message, as outlined specifically by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports.

        And this message is not coming across because the general public does not have “trust” in the “mainstream climate scientists”, as confirmed by the US poll I cited.

        You can side-step the main issue all you want to, but the underlying root cause of this lack of trust is the perception that climate scientists fudge the data, as the poll showed.

        My point was simply that Godwin ignored the root cause of the problem in her attempt to find solutions for it.

        Max

      • Scott

        You ask:

        “What did you think of the changes to past data?

        I think “re-writing history” to get a preconceived message across is a doubtful practice.

        When GISS or Hadley change their past temperature records to make current warming look more dramatic, this borders on lying.

        When they do this at taxpayer expense to fool the very taxpayers that are paying them, this borders on fraud.

        Max

    • It’s probably true that the skydragons have been disinvited from the skeptical tent over the past decade. It’s not true that they were ever the ‘consensus’ of the skeptics. Unless you’ve been paying close attention, it’s easy to miss this.

  57. I may have missed it up thread, and I was looking for it, I didn’t see where honesty was viewed as a philosophy of life; i.e., how one conducts oneself with others as well as with one’s self. I also didn’t see where we learn that honesty emanates from building upon small honesties, compiling a repertoire of honest behavior such that when confronted with bigger issues, one is honest because that is how one has always done things.

    If I look at climate science or any other nobel endeavor, I look for all the prior baby steps that represent a build up to an honest statement. Most times I have to rely upon others to judge the baby steps for honesty in content and execution. I do know enough to listen to some people and discount others by their response to errors, either their own or others. So I listen to those whom I am learning from, how they respond to errors as they give a rationale.

    I judge if someone is being honest by listening. In a one off conversation, I usually can’t be certain. Over time, after repeated conversations, the honesty/dishonesty in the baby steps become more obvious, and, if the preponderance of these steps are one way or the other, then, no matter how distinguished the speaker appears, I consider what they are saying to be worthwhile to pursue, or, discount what was said and go in another direction.

    So, to address the question: “How to earn trust in climate change debates”, listen for the honesty in the baby steps that lead up to the conclusion. If you or others spot errors, how are these handled. “I don’t know” seems to be three little words worth listening for.

  58. “Climate scientists need the trust of lay audiences if they are to share their knowledge. But significant audience segments—those doubtful or dismissive of climate change—distrust climate scientists.”

    The reason people dismiss climate change, is the term “climate change”.
    Which is suppose to mean what changes in climate are occurring
    due to humans caused effects.

    To say there are people dismissive of climate change is fraud.
    To not be fraud one must say. those doubtful or dismissive of “climate change”. As “climate climate” is coined term, which does not mean a change in climate.
    Because knowingly or unknowing the author suggesting that there are people who are arguing about whether climate has ever changed.

    This is simply and obviously not the issue, and is actually if anything it is an inverted misrepresentation in sense that the people are in the “climate change” camp have the belief that climate hasn’t changed *much* prior to “pre-industrical times”.
    They are hockey stick fans.
    So an essentially unchanging climate for last 1000 years, then suddenly it’s changing [which is assumed due to humans].
    Or “climate change” is synonymous to the hockey stick.
    Rather than world where there changing climates.

    So unless you have been living under a rock, you should realize that there *might* be something wrong with Mann’s Hockey Stick graph.
    And you should realize that “climate change” is a term. Just like “global warming” is a term.

  59. David Springer

    One way of earning trust is for the usual suspects to pay attention to papers such as this one:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13143-014-0011-z

    Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
    November 2013

    The role of ENSO in global ocean temperature changes during 1955–2011 simulated with a 1D climate model

    which finds the best fit for equilibrium climate sensitivity at 1.3C/doubling. I think that might still be twice as high as reality due to not accounting for the fact of a solar grand maximum (Mosher’s denial of the modern maximum notwithstanding) in the latter half of the 20th century and its effect on cloud formation as well as large change in power spectrum between UV and lower energy wavelengths which at this point are not understood but have the potential to effect a global average temperature change.

    • “Mosher’s denial of the modern maximum notwithstanding”

      face it dave, you dont have the chops to actually plow through Leif Svalgaards presentations. It’s elementary. Observing practice changed.

      So.

      you know how people complain when thermometers are moved from the country to the city?

      you know how people complain when we count hurricanes in different ways then and now?

      you know how people complain when we change from buckets to ship inlets
      when measuring SST?

      you know how people complain when we change how we count tornados?

      you know all these valid complaints.

      And you know the efforts people undertake to rectify the records as best they can.

      Look at the sunspot record. Look at all the various changes in observation devices and techniques and counting proceedures. Unravel that mess
      and you get no modern solar max. none. zip. nada.

      or you can continue to believe that a record based on changing methodologies is correct. something you and others refuse to believe in every other case of changes in methods of observation

      Say goodbye to the modern solar max…

      • Hi Steven
        AMO, the major climate natural variability index can be reconstructed from the SSN records, using the solar magnetic cycle instead of more usual 11 sunspot cycle.
        Interesting point here is that if a phased in COS curve with period of 21.3 years (average length of magnetic cycle since 1900) is used instead, it makes only minor difference . Changing phase by couple of years the whole thing falls apart.
        Ergo: It is not the amplitude of the sunspot cycle but its phase that makes a difference; long cycles tend to undermine correct phasing, hence oft claim that long cycles mean cooling. This is not entirely correct, since strongest cycle on the record (SC19) cantered on year 1960 was at the time of significant cooling, but it was barely 9 years long and wrecked phasing, it took couple of more cycles for phase to recover. All indications are that the current ( long ) SC24 cycle will do the same and despite the SC19 being strongest and the SC24 weakest since 1820s, the effect on the climate may be very similar.
        So there :)

      • David Springer

        Steven please get back to me when Leif manages to get the modern maximum removed from textbooks. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’ve already shown you how historic records of sunspot counts have been corroborated by carbon-14 ratio in woody plants. See here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation#Carbon-14_production

        I’ve also pointed out that there have been no radical changes in how sunspots were counted circa 1990 and circa 2010. We can see a huge decline since and you can’t have a huge decline without an elevated number to start with. Like duh.

    • So Spencer could only get the Koreans to publish his stuff?

      Every journal would outright reject this paper.

      He refers to TCR as ECS.
      He doesn’t include land data.
      His use of subsurface temperatures is suspicious, as these are obviously suppressed in comparison to SST.

      F

      • Web

        Speaking of scientists earning trust there is an addendum to the arctic warming story posted by Dr Marcia Wyatt which I think creates trust in both Dr Miller and Professor Miller.

        “I did re-read your piece. Indeed, you did not assert that we claimed the entire Arctic was experiencing unprecedented warmth. Sorry about that. I thought you did an excellent job in explaining our paper…..”

        I appreciate Dr. Miller’s openness and fairness in our dialogues. I have learned many a lesson from this experience.”

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/29/unprecedented-arctic-warming-part-ii/

        tonyb

      • WebHubTelescope (@whut) | November 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
        So Spencer could only get the Koreans to publish his stuff?

        You are so right. Maybe one day Spenser’s work will be good enough to get into a white man’s journal. Until then, he will only be able to hang with whom you obviously consider to be Untermensch.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@whut) | November 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply

        “So Spencer could only get the Koreans to publish his stuff?”

        Yeah. The team hasn’t figured out how to get Asian journal editors fired for publishing articles with findings contrary to the Euro-American climate science bandwagon.

        Might I ask which climate science journals have published any of WebHubTelescope’s (a.k.a. Paul Pukite) work? Hahahahaha… that’s a rhetorical question, son. A joke that is.

      • David Springer

        A Chinese paleontologist once remarked “In China we can’t criticize the government but we can criticize Darwin. In the west you can criticize the government but not Darwin.”

        Evidently the same thing applies to criticism of Svante Arrhenius. ROFL

      • David Springer

        @Horwad

        Are you saying Paul Pukite is a racist?

        I wonder if BAE Systems, who does business with South Korea (see here: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120806/DEFREG03/308060001/ ) is in the habit of employing racists?

  60. Michael Crichton: Two quotes:

    “I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

    “Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past. So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.”

  61. Sad state of PC today.
    …In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself/himself vulnerable in ways her/his audience can enforce. This vulnerability signals her/his trustworthiness, since the audience can reason that she/he would not undertake such risks unless she/he was confident in what she/he was saying.

    Two people on a date?

  62. I thought compile a simple list of categories of beliefs regarding humans being responsible for changing the global climate.

    So there people who believe human may have changed the climate many thousands of year ago, perhaps millions of years ago.
    So a common belief that humans may have had something to do with affecting the beginning of Holocene interglacial period.

    Another belief is humans altered global climate in pre-industrial times- it’s a vague time period.
    So one guess with some confidence they mean prior to 1850.
    So industrial times isn’t a term used outside climate beliefs as compared to the term Industrial Revolution.
    So before Industrial Period could be meant before Industrial Revolution:
    “The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.” -wiki
    “A period of major industrialization that took place during the late 1700s and early 1800s. The Industrial Revolution, beginning in Great Britain, quickly spread throughout the world. “- http://www.investopedia.com/terms
    So one could imagine what is meant is even before beginning of 1700.
    Or related to Luddites:
    “The Luddites were 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817″- wiki

    Another category is the belief that humans affected global climate after 1850, so a result following the Industrial Revolution period.
    Other put the date at beginning of 20th century- so fifty year later.
    And others place to point after 1950- another fifty years later.
    Other think the effect of humans was only significant after about 1980.
    The “current consensus” being mostly about the more recent affect humans have had on global temperature.

    And climate records indicate that starting around 1850 the Little Ice Age ended, meaning globally, temperate Zone glaciers instead of advancing as they had been doing, had starting at 1850 began retreating.

  63. This looks like seemingly contradictory information. If there is an explanation for this I’d like to hear it. Maybe i just don’t understand the RealClimate info?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/global-warming-since-1997-underestimated-by-half/

    But WUWT says it uses the satellite info:

    The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.

    1998 forward doesn’t appear to trend up at all like RealClimate is showing is it just the way the charts are set up? Super confusing! McIntyre?

    • HackIntyre is in a pickle here, as Cowtan & Way employ kriging, the favorite of mining professionals. So he can’t attack the approach.

      Neither can Spencer, because the UAH shows a significant warming since 1980.

      This is an example of combining the best observational evidence together and making the result more robust.

      HadCrut are going to have to adjust their procedures so it does as well as the NASA folks at GISS.

      Science marches on.

      • Web,

        I didn’t read that whole article yet in detail. What I’m trying to figure out is very basic. Cowtan and Way’s chart shows the entire trend at about a 35 degree angle. Spencer’s chart shows the entire trend at about a 15 degree angle. Why the difference? They are both for nearly the same period 79/80 and on. It looks like a tilting thing.

      • This result seems pretty unlikely to be right. The reconstructed series apears to be well way of the error bounds permitted by other data. At the least it would suggest a heterogeneity in the missing samples that is not observed in the surface data we actually have.

        I also love the confirmation bias over at RC: “A new study by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated”.

        It “shows” this? It may “claim” this. That I would buy. If it found the trend to be 1/2, do you suppose Stefan would say “it shows” and do you suppose WHUT would still say:

        This is an example of combining the best observational evidence together and making the result more robust?

        Actually it’s more of an example of how people’s confirmation bias plays into their willingness to credulously accept results without due diligence or anything remotely similar to critical thinking.

    • See the methods Mcintyre and Odonnell use for antarctica.

      Robert Way does solid work.

      Essentially you can use Sat data to infill to mitigate a coverage bias.

      Expect more satillite data to be used in improving the surface record during the satillite era as we are now getting monthly predictors of surface temp from 1981 on ( NVDI and Albedo ) forthcoming.

      • So Is UAH accurate? and why is the trend at about a 15 degree angle as compared to Way being about 35 degrees? I’m not doubting Way I’m just trying to figure out the why of the way these charts are presented.

      • Steven, “Essentially you can use Sat data to infill to mitigate a coverage bias.”

        If you are using satellite data to infill, which is not a problem, then since satellite data is best between 70S and 70N you can use satellite data to replace surface station data. If you combine a hybrid set and settle on the worst possible case, folks might start questioning things.

        Since BEST global land and oceans is ready, how about a sneak peak?

      • Since BEST global land and oceans is ready, how about a sneak peak?

        Yeah, I’m looking forward to that myself and have been wondering for a while when it was going to get updated.

      • “So Is UAH accurate? and why is the trend at about a 15 degree angle as compared to Way being about 35 degrees? I’m not doubting Way I’m just trying to figure out the why of the way these charts are presented.”

        I’ll ask robert about that, but first I owe him our land ocean product.

        is UAH accurate? There may be better sources ( discussing with Way now) but from where I sit its a good start. Also discussing some options with Spencer..

      • “Since BEST global land and oceans is ready, how about a sneak peak?”

        Rohde is working on the write up, plus fixing a couple of nits in the data postings.

        Also have some out of sample data to use to check the validity of the error bars.

        too busy.

      • Which work of Robert’s were you thinking of, that would be related to this type of analysis?

      • Rohde is working on the write up, plus fixing a couple of nits in the data postings.

        Also have some out of sample data to use to check the validity of the error bars.

        Your comment shows that the BEST data is nowhere near to engineering level of QA. How can any science be trusted for use in policy decisions that would cost the world trillions of dollars?

    • ordvic, It looks like a sub-optimal attempt to save the world from being saved.

      Since they are using kriging with satellite data to create a hybrid surface temperature data set you should be able to just create a hybrid SST and Satellite “Global” mst or a SST Best which is kriged to begin with, and get about the same results. UAH plus Reynolds Oiv2 hybrid looks pretty much like GISTEMP. BEST with SST has a little more warming but about the same pause. Then the BEST I have is only updated through March. Where is Mosher when you need him.

      They were very good at hitting exactly the target they where shooting for though and it is nice to know the joy they share eking out hundredths of a degree of warming in the surface temperature data set :)

      • Yeah I did realize it was a hybrid. If they put it up they must have some confidence in it? I don’t know if this will ‘unpause’ the ‘pause’ but it looks like that is the objective.

      • haha.

        working on a minor bug in the last release. too many frying pans going at once. That said, I’m happy to see somebody apply sat data to the surface data problem. you’ll be glad to hear that i’m working with two albedo datasets.. 1981 to present, monthly… hmm still struggling with QC bits and sampling issues.. but could refine estimates for areas that are sparsely sampled.

      • Mosher, after building a quick hybrid with ERSST and UAH, it looks like Hadcrut confidence intervals may have been a tad optimistic.

  64. Dont search for ET, they might kill us.

    http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=29487

  65. Our Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has just printed a report from the WMO on CAGW’

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/2013-is-7th-hottest-year-so-far-1.2425181

    I wont try and list any of the inaccuracies. I just wonder if they really think they are building trust by printing this sort of nonsense. Yes I know that it is support of the UNFCCC meeting in Warsaw, but, really, it is over the top.

    • Jim Cripwell

      The WMO said it was likely to end among the top 10 warmest years since records began in 1850.

      Yep. As it looks now, it will be the “9th warmest” (using HadCRUT4).

      And, if the current observed cooling trend of 0.036C per decade continues, 2014 will be the 10th warmest, 2015 the 11th warmest, continuing to 2017 the 13th warmest, 2018 the 15h warmest, etc. to 2033 the 33rd warmest.

      But, hey, after the “bronze medal”, no one really cares anymore, despite the hype machine.

      Max

  66. “Moshpit puts down his cigar and geek, should win Science”

    from what-would-I-say. com

  67. How to earn trust in general:

    The Conservatives have removed a decade of speeches from their website and from the main internet library – including one in which David Cameron claimed that being able to search the web would democratise politics by making “more information available to more people”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/13/conservative-party-archive-speeches-internet

  68. > In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself vulnerable in ways her audience can enforce.

    Somehow related: Angelina Grimké’s Rhetoric of Exposure

    There are several key moments in Grimké’s writings and speeches where she strategically turns a threat of “injury” to her advantage. “What if the mob should now burst in upon us,” she asked her Pennsylvania Hall audience after a noisy interruption, “break up our meeting and commit violence upon our persons–would this be anything compared with what the slaves endure?”(320). Here the immediate threat of violence is both a metaphor for the institutionalized terrorism of slavery, and a figure for the sympathy with suffering that she adamantly demanded from her audiences. Abstract reason, Grimké insisted, was insufficient to comprehend the “truth” of slavery; its “horrors,” she told her listeners, “can never be described” (319). A truer understanding depended instead on the irrational faculties of sentiment and imaginative sympathy, on the capacity to put oneself in the slave’s position, to overcome one’s “callous[ness]” and “insensibility” and “feel the truth” (320, my emphasis). Thus vulnerability of heart became something to be cultivated rather than protected against–something even to be wrought, as in Grimké’s jeremiad-like image of the abolitionists “scattering ‘the living coals of truth’ upon the naked heart of this nation”

    Moreover, Grimké invoked an ideal of vulnerability to refute the persistent argument that woman’s natural defenselessness incapacitated her for public speaking. In 1837, for example, a widely circulated pastoral letter–published in the New England Spectator and read from the Massachusetts Congregationalist pulpits–made just such an argument. Woman’s “power,” declared the ministers, “is in her dependence, flowing from the consciousness of that weakness which God has given her for protection.” When a woman disregards her “weakness,” however, and “assumes the place and tone of a man as a public reformer,” she also relinquishes the “care and protection” that is due her as man’s dependent, and exposes herself to “shame and dishonor.” 3 Grimké appropriated the premise of such arguments to her own ends. She maintained that woman’s “power” is indeed “in her dependence,” for the Christian ideal of sacrifice requires her to depend wholly on Christ, exposing herself to public humiliation, without regard for worldly protection, for the sake of her belief. And not only did a woman’s vulnerability mark her for a special kind of public role, it also constituted a standard of public conduct for men. “Are [men and women] not equally defenceless, equally dependent on Him?” Grimké asked in her Letters to Catharine Beecher. “What did Jesus say to his disciples, [End Page 329] when he commissioned them to preach the gospel?–’Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves’” (191).

    http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_quarterly/v049/49.2henry.html

    Our emphasis.

    • “vulnerability of heart” – the context suggests that that means compassion. I’m all for compassion, but if you act with compassion, it’s helpful to clearly understand the circumstances and how any particular action might positively address them. If, in the CAGW context, you seek to enlist your audience’s support by seeking their compassion by exposing your vulnerability, in order to sell them a line which they would not otherwise accept, you are in snake-oil salesman territory.

      • > If, in the CAGW context, you seek to enlist your audience’s support by seeking their compassion by exposing your vulnerability, in order to sell them a line which they would not otherwise accept, you are in snake-oil salesman territory.

        This sounds more like an artifice to bring CAGW and snake-oil than a plausible counterfactual to entertain, Faustino. Unless you really wish to convey that we should all put or rhetorical big boyz pants and “tell it like it is.” Telling how things are can also be seen as snake oil. In science talk, it begs many questions, the first being how the hell you know how things are.

        Anyway, the context in which vulnerability is introduced relates to editorial practices at Judy’s, not to CAGW.

  69. How vulnerability earned Louis C.K. a million:

    Richard Marback has argued that rhetorical theory might benefit from a different consideration of vulnerability, one that moves beyond understanding it in terms of weakness. Instead, he argues for a more sustained consideration of how vulnerability lays the groundwork for rhetorical action:

    What we gain in acknowledging and accepting our vulnerability to the appeals of others is an awareness of ourselves in our responsiveness to others. If we are aware of our responsiveness to others, we are aware of ourselves as being affected by them; we are aware at some level and in some sense of the irresistible power of their persuasiveness. Such awareness cannot but sensitize us to the subtleties and gradations of our vulnerabilities. (10–11)

    Marback goes on to argue that recognizing vulnerability would mean to “acknowledge our openness to the conditions of living” (12). Both Davis and Marback show us that vulnerability is an unavoidable condition, one with which rhetoricians must continually grapple, particularly in our networked encounters. For this reason, a networked rhetoric needs to be attuned to kairos, the opportune and unpredictable moments of persuasion, moments that call on the rhetor to respond. The vulnerable rhetor may be called to respond at any moment by a wide variety of interlocutors and audiences. This predicament calls for something more than scripted responses.

    http://www.presenttensejournal.org/volume-3/louie-c-k-s-weird-ethic-kairos-and-rhetoric-in-the-network/

    TL; DR — from production to seduction.

  70. Let’s apply this strategy of vulnerability by citing an article by Furedi:

    The aim of this article is to explore the cultural influences that shape the reaction of communities to a disaster. Through comparing how the floods of the 1950s and of the year 2000 were represented and understood in Britain, the article focuses on how the cultural narrative of adversity has evolved. I will contrast the influence of the ‘cultural script’ of the 1950s, centred around senses of community and collective resilience, with that of the present day, centred around individual vulnerability and distress, on (English) people’s experiences of coping with adversity.

    http://cus.sagepub.com/content/1/2/235.full.pdf

    • Willard, I don’t know if you read past the abstract, an interesting article – I’ve read a few pages and downloaded it. Interestingly, the response to the 2011 Brisbane flood was on the lines of the 1950′s UK floods rather than the “inidviudal vulnerability” framework which Furedi says now prevails in the UK. Better not use “vulnerability” to sell CAGW to Brisbaneites.

  71. This issue in some sense permeates our modern life. Russell and others have argued that in a post modern world, truth and honesty become secondary to selling and “communication”. Russell argues that he prefers St. Thomas with whom he disagrees about virtually everything to Rousseau and the romantics because Thomas at least acknowledges the supremacy of reason.

    If you tell the truth and all the truth, the good parts for you and the bad parts for you, you can increase your credibility with the best decision makers. That’s why the whole emphasis on communication seems to me to be not very helpful. Modern advertising and particularly political advertising has raised the noise level and makes it difficult for those who are more mild mannered. It’s a tough issue. There are still a few of us left who actually read Russell and understood him.

    As Morrison says of Rep. Norris from Nebraska. He was quickly voted out of office but had the consolition of sitting on his front porch satisfied that the TVA was his lasting legacy. :-)

    • > Russell and others have argued that in a post modern world, truth and honesty become secondary to selling and “communication”

      Invoking an eugenicist might offer too much vulnerability to Denizens.

      Just go with the others.

      • This fault was a common feature of the political left at the time and was backed up by “settled science.” In any case, it’s a very minor part of Russell’s work in philosophy and mathematics

      • Where in Russell’s philosophy of mathematics can I find a statement showing his preference for St. Thomas, David?

      • Willard, if you are really serious about this, you can look at his History of Western Philosophy. This statement is I recall in the Rousseau chapter, which you might find particularly enlightening on what some of the problems in modern science are. The section on Dewey is another one. By the way there is nothing in this work about eugenics and I don’t understand why you bring up such an irrelevancy except to distract people. Why is that in any way more important than Margret Sanger adherence to the same doctrine. For Russell it was a throw away line written early in his development. Russell was an opponent of excessive government power and a big fan of civil liberties. That’s by far a better characterization.

        And yes Russell was very sarcastic and ironic with those who deserved it. Willard, do you believe modern science has any issues like 19th century science did at the intersection of policy such as social Darwinism and racism. All were based on “settled science.”

      • I’m glad we clarified that bit about Russell’s philosophy of mathematics, David Young. But then, why did mention it?

        Please ask Doc why I mention eugenicism. I rather like Russell myself:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/RussellForBloggers

      • Willard, I ask again. Are there any problems at the intersetion of modern science and policy like social darwinism and racism? All based on settled science.

      • Your web site is pretty superficial and neglects the importance of Russell. It’s just superficial and intended I think to distract.

      • Thank you for your kind words, David Young. Paraphrasing Russell’s History of Western Philosophy in a way to insert an anachronic scapegoat while giving yourself the side of truth and honesty might not be very deep either. Here’s where the “But Russell’s an eugenicist” started:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/31/open-thread-weekend-30/#comment-372736

        Considering your latest act at Wotts’, where you ignored my comments, your actual stance is somewhat intriguing. Do you really think you “own” Russell enough to continue this conversation?

      • Getting a little testy are we?

        What about my original question about science in the 19th century?

        I understand Russell’s mathematical work and have actually read his work. I would suggest you do the same. It might be a surprise.

      • Try Russell’s **Inquiry into Meaning and Truth** for a conception of truth that be more relevant your reactionary opinion on our modern life, David Young.

        Russell’s take on Rousseau was suboptimal, BTW:

        http://www.countercurrents.org/riggins300607.htm

        Even the greatest can commit blunders by not paying due diligence to their subject matters.

      • Which wewinds we, when will willard wonder well?
        ===============

      • You sure know how to throw around terms like “reactionary.” You have a lot of hutzpa to reference a Marxist critique of Russell on Rousseau. Do you have a substantive critique? Marxism is so 19th century. Does anyone still take it seriously?

        I would actually argue that Russell is at his best in History of Western Philosophy and at his weakest in say Principia Mathematica and in the work you reference. The theory of types is an artificial construct that hides a fundamental problem in the foundations of logic. Russell’s best work was in skepticism of others. I am surprised we willy that you find Russell’s rampant skepticism and iconoclastic work so congenial while toeing the party line on modern science and in particularly “concensus science.” Russell would have hated that bit I would guess.

  72. How to lose confidence in state run/crony capitalism.

    “‘I can only say: I’m sorry, America,’ he wrote. ‘The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.’

    ‘By virtue of reflating the markets, we’ve potentially taken the emphasis out of breaking up what is ultimately a banking cartel in the United States,’ he said, adding that ’0.2 percent of banks control 70 percent of assets in this country.’”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101192690

    For the children my a**.

  73. Brandon Shollenberger

    I have a lesson on how not to gain people’s trust. John Cook of Skeptical Science wrote an article which I happened to read. There were two short quotes in the first paragraph, and I wanted to see the context for them. Naturally, I clicked on the link given for them. I was shocked to find out the quotes weren’t actually in the reference.

    I made a comment on Twitter about it, and that led to a person asking about those quotes at Skeptical Science’s reposting of the article. Some details were figured out, eventually resulting in me making a comment on the original piece’s page which concluded:

    This piece has two quotes and two paraphrases/summaries from individuals. One quote was fabricated. One quote was misreferenced and incorrectly described. One paraphrase/summary was a misrepresentation. The other was a fabrication.

    John Cook responded to this comment, disputing only one of the four things I said. Otherwise, his argument was:

    In all four cases, my characterisation of the words of Howard and Abbott is accurate. Your nitpicking of reference etiquette is distracting you from the major point of my article

    He didn’t dispute he had misrepresented the references he provided. Instead, he argued other references show what he had falsely claimed his references show so it doesn’t matter he misrepresented them – his misrepresentations were merely a breach of “reference etiquette.”

    Not caring about little things like, accurately describing evidence, seems like a great way to lose trust.

    • Yes. SkepticalScience is an alarmist advocacy site. You can tell that by a scan of the titles of their articles. They commonly misrepresent and spin to promote their point of view. They also frequently delete comments that do not support their agenda.

      • Remember the Maine point, John.
        =================

      • “SkepticalScience”

        Of course the name is brilliant. The word “Orwellian” comes to mind.

        WUWT ought to change its name to:
        “Scared Sh**less CAGW Believers

  74. Sounds like its par for the course, Brandon.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I don’t know. I don’t recall seeing Skeptical Science flat-out make things up about what its sources say very often. I certainly don’t recall them acknowledging they made things up then saying they won’t change it because it doesn’t matter. And I’m sure I’ve never seen them claim it is just “nitpicking of reference etiquette” to complain when someone makes things up about what a source says.

      Think about it. John Cook has openly acknowledged he knows he misrepresented multiple sources. He is refusing to correct most of those misrepresentations. Knowingly promoting blatant misrepresentations is lying. That means John Cook is not only openly lying, but saying it’s okay for him to.

      John Cook is, quite literally, saying lying is okay, and people who take issue with it are just “nitpicking.”

  75. This isn’t about how to gain trust. It’s about tools to get people to agree with you. How about sticking to the facts, or have facts been so completely destroyed, they are no longer relevant.

  76. George Hoggarth

    I wonder if the falling support for the AGW theories is really an issue of trust or more, some form of reaction against being treated as a moron. When it becomes clear that there is a clear attempt to suppress debate its always a good indicator of problems. When important sources of information (like the BBC in the UK) decide to present only one side of the argument, so that people don’t get “confused”. Then there is the increasing association between politics with their increasing need for social control with the funding of such science, I think an individual attempting to gain trust with these millstones hanging around their necks is in for a hard time..

    • George Hoggarth,

      You may be right. On the other maybe the AGW theories are as nonsensical as the caloric theory of heat, or the theory that a luminiferous ether was necessary for the transmission of light.

      Nature seems to be indicating that the Warmists are mistaken.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  77. > In the second communicative strategy, the communicator earns trust by undertaking burdens and commitments and making herself vulnerable in ways her audience can enforce.

    The first part of that strategy might deserve due diligence.

    • simple. test it. we know what happens when communicators

      1. refuse data
      2. lie in response to FOIA
      3. challenge folks to do their own damn science.

      So, test it.

  78. ……. committing themselves to engaging with doubtful and dismissive audiences, undertaking burdens of proof to argue with them, empowering audiences to assess the science themselves, admitting error …..

    Hens’ teeth spring to mind.

  79. Another elephant in the climate room as regards trust, is funding and vested interest – government funds CAGW thinking, and government stands to massively gain from belief in it. Well explains things like Climategate and all the official coverups of it.

  80. George Hoggarth

    There is nothing inherently wrong with attempts to influence people, we all do it all of the time and the review does address some important points. The main problems is that in reality the great majority of people accept that some human actions, damage the environment and AGW is a message that was consistent with the majority belief systems. In this case, people outside of the sciences are unlikely to take on the task of critical appraisal, which is effortfull. The message should be seen as confirming a majority world view. Indeed originally there was widespread support for action based on these theories, this support now seems to be evaporating. I still think this is more about how the message has been presented and not the message itself. A highly respected figure in the study of human nature, W.C.Fields when asked who he was voting for, said, “I never vote for anyone, I always vote against.” The review presumes a neutral starting point in beliefs and so misses the point,, the actual debate is a classic example of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” and demonstrates the power of inducing negative emotional evaluations of the people involved.

  81. “How to earn trust…”

    I (used to) do technical support in the IT industry. The area I (used to) work in is extremely competitive and is regulated by an external (to me) body. The company I work(ed) for is not the cheapest, yet we still manage(d) to maintain a large customer base, including large volume customers who are extremely price sensitive. We do(did) this with good customer service and by generating trust – trust in our (technical) abilities, but more importantly, trust in our PEOPLE.

    If I am unsure, I say “I’m not sure, but I believe…”
    If I don’t know, I say “I don’t know”
    If I make a mistake, I say “Sorry, I made a mistake and I think i can [can't] fix it”

    While the customer is not always happy with these answers, they ARE always happy with:
    1) the fact that if I see a mistake, I acknowledge it and take the time to fix it (if possible);
    2) the fact that if I find the mistake before the customer, I tell them what has happened and that it’s already fixed (if possible);
    3) the fact that I admit my ignorance and will do my best to find an answer, and keep them up to date on progress.

    Not every person in this area of the company does (did) this, but I always did – it’s how I want the people I deal with to be, so that’s how I am for my customers. And those large, price sensitive customers I mentioned – well, they always ask(ed) for me when I had previously dealt with them because, from their experience, they can trust me to admit mistakes, to admit ignorance, and to communicate even when it’s bad news / not what they want to hear. No denial that there is even a problem, no trying to blame others for my mistakes, no hiding from them, no bluff and bluster in a misguided attempt to “save my reputation” – just straight-forward truth at ALL times. That’s the ONLY sustainable way to generate and keep trust – period.

    So you might imagine that when I see the prophets of doom make their predictions, and see those predictions fail to come true (eg, the “no snow” prediction); when I see them arm-waving away certain inconsistencies (“the pause”); when I see them refusing to admit their ignorance (the uncertainty monster); when I see them refusing to admit mistakes(MBH98); when I see them ad hom-ing people who appear to be pointing out errors (Steve Mac) – I see the very worst of the typical sales/marketing people. I see scammers; I see con artists; I see liars.
    Rightly or wrongly, this is the appearance.
    When I see this as rife in ANY industry, and most especially when most of those who should know the real state of affairs do not denounce such activities, EVERYONE in that industry is suspect until shown otherwise. Alas for climate science that this is exactly what I see, and therefore my trust is at the level you would expect – I trust unknown-by-experience climate scientists about as far as I can comfortably spit a rat. And I trust those who consistent show “bad” traits even less. Sad, but unfortunately true.

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

  83. I think the climate debate is interesting but like most big ideas in science, in the end, what will change opinions and beliefs is high quality, direct and increasing amounts of empirical evidence. But these things have become secondary, what debate there is is largely focused on discrediting the other side. This personalization of the issues in fact makes it even harder to reconsider your position and impacts on the credibility of the people involved. There is even the rather strange criticism that attempts to influence others is manipulative or propaganda,indeed if you believe the AGW position, influencing people is central to saving the planet. The problem is that people who call themselves scientists believe they are intelligent and generally are prepared to pontificate about a wide range of issues they clearly know nothing about. I though one of the comments about Judith’s willingness to use other experts when she didn’t feel competent to address an issue indicated some lack of commitment to the cause was very telling. If we were to use the debate as evidence, many of the scientists involved seem to have the social skills of the average wood louse and have established themselves as even less credible.
    Belief in AGW is not about accepting one theory, the whole idea depends on a number of theories, drawn from various disciplines. I am not even sure what “Climate Science” is, no one experiences climate, its not a thing at all, its a construct a way of thinking about weather on a global scale. It represents a very complex and not particularly well understood interplay between a number of elements. The whole idea of climate science is worthy of debate. But real sciences also adopt a series of conventions.
    The first is that science is skeptical and based on evidence not authority.
    There is an idea that if someone proposes a theory it is up to them to provide supporting evidence to support this theory.
    Empirical science is about public knowledge and is reproducible.
    To be pragmatic might need to rely on evidence of variable quality, this needs to be made explicit. and of course you shouldn’t go beyond the facts.
    Science sees theories subject to criticism and skepticism, how these are addressed is their proving fire. Critics don’t need to provide contrary evidence, to the theories their “job” is really about testing the quality of the evidence provided by the supporters.
    I’m genuinely puzzeled as to why supporters of AGW seem to expect no one to question their work, attempt to suppress rather than answer criticism and treat the public who’s support is needed as morons who should only be given partial information because they are stupid. Obviously the hemorrhaging of public support for AGW has given some cause for reflection but even in this list, Judith, who holds a different position to me on AGW is criticized by both sides for even engaging in discussion.
    I worked in the social sciences, a so called soft science, but I think that the behaviour of many who call themselves climate scientists, is an embarrassment to science as a whole..