Has science lost its way?

by Judith Curry

“The journals want the papers that make the sexiest claims. And scientists believe that the way you succeed is having splashy papers in Science or Nature — it’s not bad for them if a paper turns out to be wrong, if it’s gotten a lot of attention.” – Michael Eisen

Last October, LaTimes had an interesting article in the business section titled Science has lost its way, at a big cost to humanity, subtitle Researchers are rewarded for splashy findings, not for double-checking accuracy. So many scientists looking for cures to diseases have been building on ideas that aren’t even true.  Excerpts:

A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid.

“The thing that should scare people is that so many of these important published studies turn out to be wrong when they’re investigated further,” says Michael Eisen, a biologist at UC Berkeley and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Eisen says the more important flaw in the publication model is that the drive to land a paper in a top journal — Nature and Science lead the list — encourages researchers to hype their results, especially in the life sciences. Peer review, in which a paper is checked out by eminent scientists before publication, isn’t a safeguard. Eisen says the unpaid reviewers seldom have the time or inclination to examine a study enough to unearth errors or flaws.

Eisen is a pioneer in open-access scientific publishing, which aims to overturn the traditional model in which leading journals pay nothing for papers often based on publicly funded research, then charge enormous subscription fees to universities and researchers to read them.

But concern about what is emerging as a crisis in science extends beyond the open-access movement. It’s reached the National Institutes of Health, which last week launched a project to remake its researchers’ approach to publication. Its new PubMed Commons system allows qualified scientists to post ongoing comments about published papers. The goal is to wean scientists from the idea that a cursory, one-time peer review is enough to validate a research study, and substitute a process of continuing scrutiny, so that poor research can be identified quickly and good research can be picked out of the crowd and find a wider audience.

PubMed Commons is an effort to counteract the “perverse incentives” in scientific research and publishing, says David J. Lipman, director of NIH’s National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is sponsoring the venture.

Earlier this month, Science published a piece by journalist John Bohannon about what happened when he sent a spoof paper with flaws that could have been noticed by a high school chemistry student to 304 open-access chemistry journals (those that charge researchers to publish their papers, but make them available for free). It was accepted by more than half of them.

One that didn’t bite was PloS One, an online open-access journal sponsored by the Public Library of Science, which Eisen co-founded. In fact, PloS One was among the few journals that identified the fake paper’s methodological and ethical flaws.

It was the traditionalist Science that published the most dubious recent academic paper of all.

This was a 2010 paper by then-NASA biochemist Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues claiming that they had found bacteria growing in Mono Lake that were uniquely able to subsist on arsenic and even used arsenic to build the backbone of their DNA.

The publication in Science was accompanied by a breathless press release and press conference sponsored by NASA, which had an institutional interest in promoting the idea of alternative life forms. But almost immediately it was debunked by other scientists for spectacularly poor methodology and an invalid conclusion.

To Eisen, the Wolfe-Simon affair represents the “perfect storm of scientists obsessed with making a big splash and issuing press releases” — the natural outcome of a system in which there’s no career gain in trying to replicate and validate previous work, as important as that process is for the advancement of science.

The demand for sexy results, combined with indifferent follow-up, means that billions of dollars in worldwide resources devoted to finding and developing remedies for the diseases that afflict us all is being thrown down a rathole. NIH and the rest of the scientific community are just now waking up to the realization that science has lost its way, and it may take years to get back on the right path.

JC comments:  This article raises some important issues, convolutes several of them and then concludes that science has lost its way.  Has it?

In thinking about this issue, I find it useful to return to the previous CE post on Pasteur’s quadrant, and the distinction between pure discovery research, use-inspired research, and applied/regulatory research.  The arsenic study is arguably pure discovery research, whereas most of the rest of the research (including the deliberately fake paper discussed in this Science article) is use inspired research.  It doesn’t really matter outside the scientific community if pure discovery research is incorrect, i.e. it is not immediately obvious what kind of adverse societal impacts might be associated with arsenic and the bacteria in Mono Lake.  On the other hand, with cancer research, there are substantial societal and financial impacts involved.  The other distinction is between mechanistic research, whereby physical/chemical/biological processes are postulated, in contrast to epidemiological research which is fundamentally statistical.  Mechanistic flaws are more easily identified, whereas flaws in epidemiological research is much more difficult to identify and to replicate.

There should be different reward structures for scientists working in the different quadrants – novelty and pushing knowledge frontiers is key for Bohr’s quadrant.  However, in use-inspired research there is tremendous potential to provide a misleading foundation for applied/regulatory research, and this is where I see the biggest problem.  Replication/auditing and robustness should be key goals for use-inspired research (and part of the reward system for scientists working on these problems).  Unfortunately, scientists are rewarded in a way that makes sense for Bohr’s quadrant, and not so much for Pasteur’s quadrant.

Where does climate research lie in all this?  Elements of climate research and mechanistic – focused on processes, whereas other elements are statistical in nature.  In terms of money being thrown down a rathole for climate research, I argued in the Pasteur’s Quadrant post that taxonomical studies of model-based regional impacts rests on the premise that climate models provide useful information for regional impact studies, and they do not.

And finally, I am a big fan Eisen’s models for open access publishing and extended peer review, and I am not a fan of the Nature/Science model with its press releases and press embargoes.   Eisen’s model provides the right incentive structure for scientists, whereas the Nature/Science model IMO does not.

So, has science lost it’s way?  I don’t think so, but the Science/Nature publishing model and the way that universities reward scientists are providing perverse incentives that do not serve well the societally-relevant applications of science.

409 responses to “Has science lost its way?

  1. Yes. I think science has lost its way. Climate scientists are advocating strongly for climate policies. They are advocating strongly for carbon taxes, renewable energy policies and they like. But they know nothing about these subjects and show it with all many of their statements. they are advocates for an ideological beliefs. When scientists turn to advocacy for ideological causes they are no longer acting as impartial objective scientists, IMO.

    • Let’s consider separately the technical and political issues involved in implementing and maintaining global policies for half a century to cut the global GHG emissions rate substantially by say 2060. To keep it simple let’s consider a minimum number of technical options:

      1. Global carbon price
      2. subsidise renewable energy
      3. remove impediments to nuclear so it can become cheaper than fossil fuels

      Political

      1. Carbon price – I cannot conceive how the world’s government could agree to implement and maintain an optimum carbon price for as long as is needed (e.g. a century). Unless it is global it would cost the participants too much and would not survive. And since it will be very difficult for people to believe that the carbon price is actually going to give them a benefit, I just can’t imagine how other than the rich elites in the rich countries would support it, let alone for a century.

      2. Politically renewable energy is very popular. But some people are beginning to recognise the costs and feel energy poverty because of the costs – and that is with a very small contribution from renewable energy. The costs will get much higher as more renewables are rolled out. I suspect the political support will fade. It’s already starting to in Europe and Australia.

      3. Nuclear power is unpopular and people are scared of it. But it is an irrational fear. If it replaced coal fired electricity generation world wide now it would avoid over 1 million fatalities per year now and over 2 million a year by 2050. There are many other major benefits and no substantial disadvantages. If it really is important to reduce global emissions, then the greenies will eventually change their mind. Once they lead, the nuclear paranoia can be largely reduced. Then the impediments can be removed and the price will come down. There will be many competing designs. Safety will improve. We’ll be over the hump. There will be accidents, no doubt, but probably small with smaller reactors and the community will come to accept them just as they accept aircraft accidents and the fatalities from the other types of power stations. The politics of nuclear are fixable when the elites are ready to be genuinely more concerned about CAGW than their irrational ideological anti-nuke propaganda.

      Technical

      1. Carbon price cannot cut emissions by much unless the technologies are available to substitute for fossil fuels. Raising the price of the competitors is not the right way to get the alternatives – either renewables or nuclear – to be cheaper than fossil fuels.

      2. Renewable energy has technically and financially insurmountable technical constraints: intermittency, energy storage, transmission, material requirements, land area required.

      3. Nuclear is proven. It can do the job now. But small reactors are needed. The existing impediments to their development are prohibitively expensive. They need to be removed. The impediments are not technical. They are regulatory and financial risks because the politics is poisonous. Fix the politics and we fix nuclear. Nuclear has effectively unlimited fuel available and its efficiency in using the fuels can be improved nearly 100 fold compared with the current generation of reactors. There is no technical constraint over the time we are talking about. The only constraint is politics, and that can be changed sufficiently to get started in a decade or so.

    • But they know nothing about these subjects and show it with all many of their statements.

      Bull. They know that atmospheric carbon warms the planet — quickly, at the rates we are emitting it.

      Would you rather have your policies set by ignoramuses?

      • No warming in 17 years while CO2 went up and up and up.

        There is not quick warming that shows up in actual data.

        If it does not show up in DATA, then it is not really happening.

      • I really do not want ignoramuses to tax me for something that has no data to support that it even might be occurring.

      • Would you rather have your policies set by alarmist consensus ignoramuses?

        OF COURSE NOT!!!!!!!

      • “They know that atmospheric carbon warms the planet”
        Here’s me thinking that particulate carbon caused cooling; what a fool.

      • k scott denison

        Bull. They know that atmospheric carbon warms the planet — quickly, at the rates we are emitting it.
        ============
        Really? And the observational evidence of this is where. Last time I looked we were still emitting carbon yet temperatures weren’t rising.

        I would amend your comment as follows:

        “They believe that atmospheric carbon warms the planet and have risked their careers and future earnings on continuing to receive funding from governments to prove that they are right.”

        Given this, it is no wonder they are advocating for policies that would address carbon.

      • Say, doc –

        Where’d you go, brother? It was great to see you bring up Gauchat – and then you just disappeared. What’s up with that, Doc?

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/25/reflection-on-reliability-of-climate-models/#comment-418287

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/25/reflection-on-reliability-of-climate-models/#comment-418296

      • David Appell. Are you a scientist? If so, you have just revealed vary starkly, the problem. You revealed you do not understand the difference between the outputs from science and what are the inputs needed foe policy analysis.

        I said [edited]:

        Climate scientists are advocating strongly for climate policies. They are advocating strongly for carbon taxes, renewable energy policies and the like. But they know nothing about these subjects and show it with many of their statements.

        And you responded with a comment that demonstrates my point perfectly.

      • Yes, no warming since that time explainable by all the peer-reviewed papers. And so we can add these factors to the CSALT model since it is all peer-reviewed:
        1. Scafetta thinks that his set of complex Moon-Sun-Earth-Jupiter orbital forces is the main contribution to warming. It can also cause temporary cooling.
        2. Curry thinks that her Stadium Wave theory is a contributor, and it can cause transient warming as well as cooling.
        3. Bob Carter was one of the first to note that the ENSO SOI value followed the temperature excursions. These can give large spikes that then appear as a cooling a few years hence as they occur rather sporadically.
        4. The “It’s the Sun” researchers think that sunspots are the key. These can go up and down causing warming and cooling.

        So, are all these peer-reviewed papers wrong? No. They all go into the mix and combined with the relentless warming potential of the control knob of CO2 to compensate and generate this curve.

        Isn’t peer-reviewed science wonderful?

      • Peter Lang: No, I’m not a scientist, but I do have a PhD in theoretical physics, and 16+ years as a science journalist, so I do know a little about the subject.

        The outputs of science are only the beginnings of policy. They must inform policy, but they don’t prescribe policy. And I don’t know of many scientists who would think otherwise.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Wait, what? Peter Lang referred to “carbon taxes, renewable energy policies and they like.” David Appell disagreed strongly, saying, “Bull.” Appell then said they know carbon dioxide warms the planet, quickly.

        How does knowing things about the greenhouse effect mean they know things about “carbon taxes” or “renewable energy policies”? Is Appell claiming complicated political decisions are somehow tied directly to radiative physics?

      • no warming since that time

        False — the planet continues to warm immensely. Especailly the ocean. (The thin surface layer is subject to a lot of variability from, mostly, oceanic cycles.)

      • And the observational evidence of this is where.

        You are confusing planetary warming with surface warming. (Not very smart.)

        Have a look at:

        “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997,” J.E. Harries et al, Nature 410, 355-357 (15 March 2001).

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

        “Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present,” J.A. Griggs et al, Proc SPIE 164, 5543 (2004). http://spiedigitallibrary.org/proceedings/resource/2/psisdg/5543/1/164_1
        “Spectral signatures of climate change in the Earth’s infrared spectrum between 1970 and 2006,” Chen et al, (2007) http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

        “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Phillipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

        “Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate,” W.F.J. Evans, Jan 2006

        https://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

        “A method for continuous estimation of clear-sky downwelling longwave radiative flux developed using ARM surface measurements,” C. N. Long and D. D. Turner, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol 113, D18206, doi:10.1029/2008JD009936, 2008

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD009936/abstract

      • Bull to you [Bad] Appell! The planet warms, then Co2 rises…

        The wrong assumptions by cult like “scientists” that follow their “beliefs” as opposed to the science can be [and has been] more catastrophic.

      • David Appell

        Would you rather have your policies set by ignoramuses?

        It looks like they will be, unless the taxpayers (who are footing the bill) ensure that their representatives avoid any silly policies.

        That’s what democracy in a representative republic is all about, David.

        Max

      • David Appell

        Since you have discussed the topic of “policies being set by ignoramuses” with Peter Lang, who happens to be Australian, he can relate to you the first-hand experience how the democratic process avoids “policies being set by ignoramuses” (i.e. vote ‘em out).

        Max

      • David Appell,

        The outputs of science are only the beginnings of policy. They must inform policy, but they don’t prescribe policy. And I don’t know of many scientists who would think otherwise.

        Well where have you been for the past 20 years? What have you being writing science articles on – your ideological beliefs?

        Have you ever heard of James Hansen. Have you heard about him locking himself to the entrance gate to fired power stations and calling coal trains “death trains”?

        Have you not heard of most of the leading climate scientists and the IPCC continually advocating renewable energy and carbon taxes.

        Wow, the fact you deny knowing of any of this shows who the real deniers are, right?

      • If people are interested to see how the behavior known as “the Pause” or “the Hiatus” comes about, you can read this post of mine:

        http://contextearth.com/2013/12/02/orbital-forcings-in-the-csalt-model-explain-the-pause/

        Hard to deny this behavior when all the skeptics contributed to its understanding. Yes, it does sound very “convoluted”. But that is the hole that they are digging for themselves.

    • Science has not LOST ITS WAY!!!!

      Science has always been hit and miss, success and failure, advance and retreat.

      Somehow, it got a reputation of being almost perfect and it has never been anywhere near almost perfect.

      When you are pushing at the boundaries of ultimate knowledge, you will get more things wrong than right and you will chase the wrong things much further than you should and over look the right things much longer than you should and the right solutions will come from unexpected sources and from long dismissed sources and progress is a very rocky road.

      Science has not LOST ITS WAY, but it is not the easy perfect way that most want it to be. It will always be very very difficult.

      • All true. But climate research has also been hijacked by ideological beliefs – like the pro renewables, anti-nuke and pro world control and taxation ideologues. And this has led to massive government funding for policy driven climate science – to give politicians the answers they want to hear, which is what the public wants to hear as a result of decades of scaremongering propaganda. The massive funding being directed to policy driven climate science is at the expense of all other areas of science that could probably provide far greater benefit to humanity.

      • The dishonest stuff that happens with hockey sticks and climate gate have nothing to do with science. They say it does, but that does not make it so.

      • But climate research has also been hijacked by ideological beliefs – like the pro renewables, anti-nuke and pro world control and taxation ideologues.

        Funny. I read the IPCC 4AR in some detail, and read almost all the 3AR, after someone sent the three heavy volumes to my house that I never asked for — and I don’t see any calls there for renewables, or talk for or against nuclear power, or anything at all about taxes.

        Where did I miss these?

      • Hey Peter –

        That’s an interesting scenario. Have you considered running it by Lew? I think he’d find it interesting also.

      • What hockey stick “dishonesty?”

        Are you even aware of how many independent studies have by now confirmed the hockey stick? Crowley and Lowry? Caspar Amman’s study? Tingley and Huybers? PAGES 2k?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I don’t know what all you missed, but Google has no trouble finding discussion of taxes in the IPCC TAR and AR4. Apparently you didn’t bother taking 30 seconds to use it before asking other people to tell you about what you missed.

        Funny, no?

      • Peter Lang

        What you write is true, but this is not about science.
        Science has not lost its way.

        This other stuff is normal human bad behavior and it is really bad stuff.
        There is no such thing as policy driven science.
        There is such a thing as policy driven stuff, it is not science.

        Climate, so called, research can be science or not.

        What you are talking about is NOT science. It is brainwashing, clear and simple, and it is directed at our young people and students.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Can someone tell me if I’m greatly misunderstanding David Appell’s remark:

        Are you even aware of how many independent studies have by now confirmed the hockey stick? Crowley and Lowry? Caspar Amman’s study? Tingley and Huybers? PAGES 2k?

        The only Caspar Ammann studies I can think of regarding Mann’s hockey stick are those which attempted to refute McIntyre and McKitrick’s analysis of Mann’s hockey stick. They all worked from the same set of data and relied on the same class of methodologies.

        I find it hard to believe Appell would claim that’s an independent confirmation of Mann’s hockey stick. Is there some other study I’m forgetting about?

      • The IPCC quit using the Hockey Stick. If it had any credibility, they would have kept it.

        THE HOCKEY STICK IS TOAST!

      • What taxes are discussed in the 3AR and 4AR?
        In what sections?
        On which page numbers?
        Be specific. Provide links.

      • Are you even aware of how many independent studies have by now confirmed the hockey stick?

        ARE YOU AWARE OF HOW MANY INDEPENDENT STUDIES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED TO BE TOAST?

      • The IPCC quit using the Hockey Stick.

        False. They certainly did not, and you can’t prove that they did.

      • They all worked from the same set of data and relied on the same class of methodologies.

        False. Tingley and Huybers used a completely different mathematical formalism.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

      • For those who don’t think the hockey stick was updated, you only have to check AR4 to find about a dozen post-hockey-stick studies of the same kind. They even plot them all for you there, and that was up to 2007. It has grown more and been extended back since, and perhaps AR5 has another updated HS for you to check in its paleo chapter.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Appell, do you even bother to read what people say before responding to it? You just said:

        What taxes are discussed in the 3AR and 4AR?
        In what sections?
        On which page numbers?
        Be specific. Provide links.

        Look at my comment. You’ll see two words in it are underlined indicating the presence of a hyperlink. Click on either underlined word. You will be directed to a section of the named IPCC report discussing taxes.

        That is, I provided links to exact references which proved my point. Your response was to insistently tell me to provide links and references. That is, you told me to do what I had done in my comment.

        The comment was three sentences long. How did you not see the links I provided in it? And if you can’t see two links in a three sentence comment, why should anyone care that you don’t see things in the IPCC reports?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I’m starting to think David Appell is delusional, dishonest or simply unwilling to read what people say. He just blatantly misrepresented what I said in a comment. In that comment, I specifically said:

        The only Caspar Ammann studies I can think of regarding Mann’s hockey stick are those which attempted to refute McIntyre and McKitrick’s analysis of Mann’s hockey stick. They all worked from the same set of data and relied on the same class of methodologies.

        Appell responded:

        False. Tingley and Huybers used a completely different mathematical formalism.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

        How in the world can someone go from me referring to “Caspar Ammann studies” to thinking I’m talking about “Tingley and Huybers”? How can someone respond to people who specifically refer to one person by acting as though they referred to someone entirely different?

        And this isn’t a one-off sort of thing. Just before this, Appell demanded I provide links and references to material I had provided links to in the comment he was responding to.

        I have no explanation for this sort of behavior. What is it, trolling?

      • David Appell: “Are you even aware of how many independent studies have by now confirmed the hockey stick? Crowley and Lowry? Caspar Amman’s study? Tingley and Huybers? PAGES 2k?”

        Robert Way from SKS: “I am by no means a climate change denier. My strong impressive is that the evidence rests on much much more than the hockey stick. It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics. Misrepresenting the views of an independent scientist does little for their case either. It gives ammunition to those who wish to discredit climate change research more generally.
        [THIS IS THE EPITOME OF HOW I FEEL-Robert Way]“

      • Sometimes I think that David is a Poe.

      • WG3 isn’t WG1.

        WG3 is exactly where discussion of a carbon tax should go. it’s the best known way to fairly and equitably decrease emissions — especially combined with an equal per capita dividend.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Appell ignores the highlighting of his repeated misrepresentations, choosing to instead create a new one. He originally said:

        Funny. I read the IPCC 4AR in some detail, and read almost all the 3AR, after someone sent the three heavy volumes to my house that I never asked for — and I don’t see any calls there for renewables, or talk for or against nuclear power, or anything at all about taxes.

        Where did I miss these?

        I responded by providing links showing where both the IPCC 4AR and 3AR contained discussions of taxes. He responded to this by demanding I provide those exact links. I pointed out I had provided those, and he now says:

        WG3 isn’t WG1.

        WG3 is exactly where discussion of a carbon tax should go. it’s the best known way to fairly and equitably decrease emissions — especially combined with an equal per capita dividend.

        The implication of this statement is that the conversation had only been about Working Group 1. That’s false. Appell clearly said “the IPCC 4AR” and “the 3AR.” Each of those Assessment Reports contain three Working Groups, including WG3 and WG1.

        This is like Appell saying taxes weren’t discussed in a book then telling people he was right because they were discussed in the third chapter of the book, not the first. Utterly ridiculous.

      • David Appell

        The IPCC did not “stop using the (Mann) hockey stick”.

        They simply moved it from centerfold prominence in the Summary report for Policymakers to an obscure position inside the technical report, covered with a bunch of hastily cobbled-together spaghetti copy hockey sticks.

        And they also kept the doubtful conclusion that “the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”, which it claimed.

        Max

      • I’m starting to think David Appell is delusional, dishonest or simply unwilling to read what people say.

        I’d suspect “dishonest”. And a denier.

        I’d suggest David Appell read and digest this before writing any more of his belligerent nonsense:
        10 signes of intellectual honesty. It also describes ’10 signs of intellectual dishonesty’ which might be more appropriate in this case

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

    • David Springer

      Only one level of nesting now? We could use more levels not fewer!

      David Appell | December 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

      “Peter Lang: No, I’m not a scientist, but I do have a PhD in theoretical physics, and 16+ years as a science journalist, so I do know a little about the subject.”

      You could use a refresher course or three in both science and journalism. The fact that you’re now consigned to publishing in blog comments is a dead giveaway that something has gone wrong.

      “The outputs of science are only the beginnings of policy. They must inform policy, but they don’t prescribe policy. And I don’t know of many scientists who would think otherwise.”

      It sure seems like many think they have p-r-escriptions but that may be a matter of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Instead of prescribe try proscribe instead. I’m more certain many of them feel their outputs should proscribe policy.

    • David Appell | December 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm |

      “Bull. They know that atmospheric carbon warms the planet — quickly, at the rates we are emitting it.”

      That’s their hypothesis, which they base solely on the IR spectrum of Co2(all other evident at best just shows some warming, but not the source), what they have failed to account for is that the Earth has it’s own temperature regulation. Which makes them the ignoramuses, and they claim the system has a positive feedback with water, but if that were really true, the Earth would be much more like Venus, and we wouldn’t be here to even worry about it.

    • “That’s their hypothesis, which they base solely on the IR spectrum of Co2″

      Which they have nailed down and shows as CO2 rises the greenhouse effect increases. How does the world not warm then?

      “what they have failed to account for is that the Earth has it’s own temperature regulation.”

      They’ve checked for that and the evidence is lacking. What sort of temperature regulation system could negate the warming from the greenhouse effect? Science does not engage in such fantasies. It work on evidence, not wishful thinking.

      Deniers believe the Sun has mysterious hidden influences on Earth’s climate, evidence-less mechanism, even as they deny the strong and substantial evidence for the dominant CO2 driver in the modern era.

      “and they claim the system has a positive feedback with water, but if that were really true, the Earth would be much more like Venus”

      You need to think through your arguments better. If positive feedback led to Venus and the models have positive feedback, why don’t the models lead to Venus? And while you are stuck on that one wonder why you didn’t think of that.

      • “Which they have nailed down and shows as CO2 rises the greenhouse effect increases.”
        I know of no evidence that shows that, other than the models, which aren’t evidence.

        “Deniers believe ”
        I believe when you look at the actual station data, which I have a copy of, there’s no evidence of any global warming trend, which makes this whole mess (AGW) a fantasy, and an artifact of the process of creating a global mean temp. And anyone who thinks that the “Heat” is hiding in the Oceans because the Argo sensors “show” warming doesn’t understand sampling, or is willfully being dishonest. Idiot or liar doesn’t really matter much which I guess.

        “What sort of temperature regulation system could negate the warming from the greenhouse effect? ”
        “If positive feedback led to Venus and the models have positive feedback, why don’t the models lead to Venus? ”

        The same one that keeps us from boiling away? But let me also note that Venus gets about 30% more isolation than Earth does.

    • Peter Lang December 1, 2013 at 8:48 says:

      “Climate scientists are advocating strongly for climate policies. They are advocating strongly for carbon taxes, renewable energy policies and the like. But they know nothing about these subjects and show it with all many of their statements. they are advocates for an ideological beliefs.”

      You are of course right. They are practitioners of pseudoscience that appears enough like science to politicians who hold the purse strings. That the science content behind these arguments is zero remains hidden and is well protected by their propaganda machine and a compliant press. And it does not help if the participants in this blog are unwilling or uninterested in exposing this scam. It is costing us money as taxpayers and prevents real science from being published because they control legitimate scientific publications that censor any criticism of their work. Here is an example of the effectiveness of their censorship; Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway wrote a book called “Merchants of Doubt” attacking opponents of warming. The journal Nature gave it a two-page, totally uncritical promotion that was nothing more than advertising worth thousands of dollars. I objected to it and submitted a comment to Nature which they refused to publish because they don’t allow comments to this type of publication.

    • Walter Carlson

      Peter, I agree that nuclear power should be pursued as quickly and e

    • Walter Carlson

      Peter, I agree that nuclear power should be pursued as quickly and expeditiously as safely possible. IMHO, it will be the technology that has the best chance to save humanity!!

  2. Being a scientist means never having to apologize for just pulling it out of your arse

    • Unless your someone like David Appell who has pulled a defense of his cult like belief in CAGW out of his arse so many times that the smell can not be washed from his hands that he uses for pulling…

    • Clean it up, Wagathon and Teddi. If you don”t agree with a comment, then say so, but civilly. You demean yourself and undermine your own credibility by name-calling.

      The Blog Rules are clear.

      The following will not be tolerated here:

      ****
      2. No ad hominem attacks, slurs or personal insults. Do not attribute motives to another participant.
      3. Snarkiness is not appreciated here; nastiness and excessive rudeness are not allowed.
      ****

    • David Springer

      mkantor

      It seems to me you just accused two people of being intolerably uncivil. That’s a personal insult and breaks the very rules you accuse them of breaking. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    • @ mkantor | December 2, 2013 at 7:56 am |

      “Clean it up”

      mkantor – I guess you’re not familiar (or have not been exposed) to David Appell’s years of ad hom attacks on numerous blogs. I used to have several links to his most famous rants, but the point is tolerance goes both ways. My tolerance has run out… I’m sorry if your offended.

  3. In my book, any scientist who has to ask “has science lost its way?” has just admitted that their ideas can’t compete in the arena of ideas. They are looking to win by other (unscientific) means.

    There is a simple way to win the scientific debate: produce better science. That has never, ever failed to win the day.

    Ever.

    • I would have thought that any discipline should engage in thoughtful self questioning. At the moment young scientists have a very difficult time of it moving from one short term contract to another, women in science struggle enormously trying to juggle spouses job, children and the long hours. How we measure success for things like tenure or promotion has not kept step with funding levels. The position of women in science is a disgrace and I am fed up with colleagues having to chose between motherhood and science.

      The journals and grant awarding bodies really should take a long hard look at what is bubbling underneath;
      “Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid”
      Some journals have lost sight of what science is and go for pretty graphics and bold claims instead.

      I used to meet the Ph.D. students and Post-Doc’s of ‘Very Famous Scientist’ regularly. This lab was hugely funded and very productive, money when in one end and papers came out the other. The people at the bench were very frightened of the ‘Very Famous Scientist’ and worked long hours to satisfy his directives. Last year one of his papers was retracted, due to a Post-Doc’s making up gels to get the ‘right result'; more will follow from the same young scientist. The youngsters, working in a climate of fear, would do experiments until they got the ‘right result’, one way or another. The youngsters need jobs, they cannot get their own funding, as the system rewards people who already have money and large groups.
      The system is creating perverse incentives and creaming a scientific ‘class’ system with specialist networker overlords and wetwoker drones; the former who get grants and the latter who do the actual work. The bigger the gap between the bench and PI, the worse the science.

      • I would have thought that any discipline should engage in thoughtful self questioning.

        All sciences engate in “thoughtful self questioning (sic)”: every minute of every day. Continuously.

        That they haven’t come to your point of view most likely means you are wrong, not them.

      • That claim is about papers in medical science, not the physical sciences. They are very different things:

        http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/12/no-climate-science-isnt-medical-science.html

      • David, did you not note that I only spoke about science in general, and biomedical science in particular, and didn’t reference climate science at all?
        My views are my own, but are not at all isolated, many people in the biomedicals think journals like Science, Nature, Cell and The Lancet have too much prestige attached to them, that the NIH has lost its way and that the way young scientist are treated like crap.
        The position of young women in science and the way the career structure makes maternity increasingly difficult should be of concern to everyone.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Say what? Better science has never failed to win the day? I think I could come up with about a thousand examples where it has.

      • I think I could come up with about a thousand examples where it has.

        Really? Provide 3.

      • > I think I could come up with about a thousand examples where it has.

        And that’s before breakfast.

      • Dan Shechtman, for quasiperiodic crystals, fired twice and ridiculed.
        Barry Marshall and Robin Warren for Helicobacter pylori and gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, ridiculed.
        Ignaz Semmelweis was placed in a mental hospital for suggesting that doctors were giving their patients puerperal fever.
        Alfred Wegener ridiculed for continental drift
        Fernando Nottebohm who showed that neurons divide in the adult brain was ignored by the ‘proper’ neurobiologists as he was a birdbrain man.
        Warren Warren came up with long distance spin spin interaction in MRI had his funding cut and very nearly lost his job.

      • DocMartyn for linking Gauchat to try to prove that there is no linkage between the Christian right and a drop in “trust” in scientists among conservatives, ridiculed.

        Oh. Wait. That did deserve ridicule.

        Nevermind.

      • David Appell,

        Here’s a lot more than three (roughly 600):
        “A (Not Quite) Complete List Of Things Supposedly Caused By Global Warming”

        http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/globalwarming2.html

      • Joshua, read my post, then look at Gauchat’s actual data. For instance Figure 1 shows that historically moderates have been more critical of science than Republicans, and are not of that position due to religious motivations.
        He also explicitly states on page 180 that discontent with science is highest in the most educated, which is similar to moderates, and opposite to liberals.
        Republicans have become more church attending and less impressed with science, but Gauchat finds that it is education, not religious devotion, that negatively correlates with faith in science.

        http://www.asanet.org/images/journals/docs/pdf/asr/Apr12ASRFeature.pdf

        Indeed, loss of faith in science could be linked to knowledge, because as we all know, Republicans, on average, know more, than Democrats, on average;

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html

      • historically moderates have been more critical of science than Republicans

        One would certainly hope so, or all sorts of rubbish would get published. Science only comes to the attention of politicians when it happens to gore their ox. Asking a politician to criticize science would be like asking Sarah Palin to criticize D-Wave Systems’ latest quantum computer.

    • “A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid.”

      What part of this don’t people understand. Yes the system is broken. As stated the system of incentives is backwards, and it is not confined to climate science.

      • What part of this don’t people understand.

        1) Medical researchers have incentives not found in other sciences.
        2) You are assuming that the papers that found all these errors are correct. Why aren’t they equally prone to errors?

      • “1) Medical researchers have incentives not found in other sciences.”

        Right. So other researchers are not human? You know that personal bias is the root of most problems and biomedicals researchers are a least aware of potential bias in their experimental design. You talked about Mann’s Hockey-Stick and other conformation studies earlier; are you aware of the number of combinations and permutations one can get by picking different proxy-series based on gut feeling?

    • David Appell

      I am an optimist.

      So I believe you are right that “better science” will eventually “win the day”.

      It will probably require the abandonment of the IPCC and its corrupted “consensus” process, but I am confident that this will eventually occur, so that “better science” can again “win the day”.

      Max

    • Heh, Vaughn, the same Sarah Palin, who over five years ago, said words to the effect that she wasn’t one to blame all of climate change on man.
      ===============

    • David Springer

      David Appell | December 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply

      “There is a simple way to win the scientific debate: produce better science.”

      Fair enough. Let me expand on that. There is a simple way to judge what is the better science. The better science is that which makes predictions that come closer to reality. In this case the better science is that which predicted temperature would not follow CO2 upward and hence predicted the pause we now observe.

      If you disagree and please describe the methodology of judging the better science that you believe is superior to correspondence with reality.

    • ” David Springer | December 2, 2013 at 8:38 am |

      In this case the better science is that which predicted temperature would not follow CO2 upward and hence predicted the pause we now observe. ”

      The energy retained is following CO2 upward. Via free energy covariants such as pressure, velocity, etc, the model tracks the data to great detail.

      http://contextearth.com/2013/12/02/orbital-forcings-in-the-csalt-model-explain-the-pause/

      Thanks to all the skeptics such as Scafetta for improving the understanding of GHG-based AGW.

    • Doc Martin:

      That’s the best post on this subject so far and is spot on topic. If the basic problem is lack of security and external pressure re: control of outcomes, then you have the classic worst case of responsibility with little or no power to influence events. Science may not be broken, but it looks like the process driving it is. Perhaps it reflects one of the main problems of modern civilisation, where the bottom line is often the only metric. How is science to remain impartial, with so much external pressure ?.

      Makes me glad to be an engineer, where a design either works as intended or it doesn’t and poor design is immediately obvious when the product fails to meet spec. In effect, you are really only as good as your last project, which is the best encouragement to get it right and keep up with your subject…

      David Appell

      “That they haven’t come to your point of view most likely means you are wrong, not them”.

      You are sure about that, in every case ?. Really David, can’t you do better than that ?. Try playing the ball instead of the man…

      Chris

    • And that better science is showing that the crisis of global warming isn’t exactly the crisis it was touted to be.

    • @kim: Heh, Vaughn, the same Sarah Palin, who over five years ago, said words to the effect that she wasn’t one to blame all of climate change on man.

      She and the bulk of the attendees at the annual Fall Meeting of the AGU. I’d hazard a guess that more than 90% of the presentations will be about natural phenomena in geophysics.

      Interesting to speculate on the impact on the Tea Party if she suddenly turned around and blamed it all on man. Would they follow suit, eject her, or simply point to her lack of credentials in the area?

      • What would happen if Mann suddenly decided to come clean on the hockey stick and admitted it was bad science? Would you follow suit, reject him, or merely point to his lack of credentials?

    • So she was right, eh? Who else ‘popular’ was saying that in ’08?
      ===============

    • Vaughan, reverse the sequence and replace Gore with Palin and the TP with the left. Just as boring to me but you find it interesting so there you go. You are now in the drivers seat to figure out how you would react and you could expect a similar reaction from the other end of the political spectrum should the roles be reversed.

    • Good point. If Gore had been clairvoyant he’d have CYA’d by saying something about natural variability being a big part of recent climate change.

    • All he had to do was look at the thermometer then, no clairvoyance needed, rather a little honesty. Period.

      I suspect Palin did a little more than look at a thermometer to make that seemingly clairvoyant statement.
      =========

    • You bomb, Vaughn; she was a highly effective administrator. Your’s is da Bomb.
      =====

    • No disagreement there, very effective administrator. She was a great plane salesperson, sold the governor’s jet for a cool $2.1M (what was it new?). She also slashed property taxes 40% while raising sales taxes to pay for the Wasilla Sports Complex, and hired Robertson Monagle to lobby for $27M in congressional earmarks for Wasilla. She topped that off by rescinding 35 appointments made by the previous governor, increased taxes on oil companies, promoted the shooting of wolves from helicopters, then abruptly resigned.

      Tough act for Minnesota’s Jesse Ventura to follow.

    • Hmm, slashed property taxes and raised taxes on oil companies? Downright clairvoyant, or sumpin’.
      ==========

    • “David Appell | December 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply
      In my book, any scientist who has to ask “has science lost its way?” has just admitted that their ideas can’t compete in the arena of ideas. They are looking to win by other (unscientific) means.”

      Hmmmm…. Michael Eisen seems to be an unusually accomplished evolutionary biologist with 100+ scientific papers in a career of two decades or less thus far. The fact that he takes an interest in the overall condition of “science” and science publishing hardly implies that he is not an active force in his scientific field, as David Appell tries to suggest:

      http://www.hhmi.org/research/regulatory-sequence-function-and-evolution

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=Eisen+MB

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

  4. A bit ago, I saw where about 1.5 million papers per year get published. (….don’t remember now the source)

    ….what are the chances they are all correct

    …..what are the chances 50% are in conflict

    ….just sayin….

    • We know the answer to that: most research is dead wrong.

      • Clearly, ideological driven research is inherently suspect.

        I no longer trust the peer review process because of what has occurred in (“pal reviewed”) climate science. There is no way to turn that clock back.

    • Why would you ever think a single published paper is correct?

      THat is simply not what “peer review” means, and it is not how science is done.

      • Someone’s been taking obscurantism lessons from Mosher.

      • If you think a peer reviewed, published paper is guaranteed to be right, your understanding of science is seriously deficient. So don’t blame that on others — it’s your bad.

      • “guaranteed right?” Oh please.

        Pal review doesn’t even try to get it right. They worry more about whether the result is politically correct, than factually correct.

      • I have no idea where you did your PhD. You have been taught very poorly in your grad school. Yes it is true, that most papers arent often right. But that is an artifact rather than an intended effect. You act as if it is a feature, rather than a bug. You are expected to get everything you write to be right without question, when you write a paper. A good professor (granted, most dont have the time and dont do this most of the time) should make sure even the grad student’s run of the mill papers are checked thoroughly before it is sent to publication. My professor used to have other students and other professors within and without the research group review it for errors before he would let me send it to publications. There is of course no guarantee that there are no errors. But the objective of the authors should be, not to have errors, particularly serious errors of the kind that the posting above talks about. if you cant reproduce the basic result from your paper, that should NEVER be published in any journal. Period. This is how science is supposed to make progress. Not the horse puckey you advocate as science.

        Color me unimpressed with your PhD. I have one. PhDs these days are dime a dozen. Doesnt correlate directly to quality or quantify of understanding. The crap you propogate about science proves that amply.

        Your M.O here is too straightforward to miss:

        1. Harangue everyone on where the evidence or reference is
        2. But you provide NONE. absolutely nothing for your own claims such as the garbage you spewed above about science and publications. Pls provide us some authoritative reference showing your idea of science, scientific process, publication process and intent, journal objectives etc is the correct one to exclusion of all others who you have been haranguing.
        3. repeat your claims over and over again without any evidence, while repeatedly demanding evidence from others for even trivial things, just so they get tired and go away. No one (particuarly if they do science for a living) has the time to go up and down the thread and address every one of your posts and call you on it.
        4. And of couse if anyone does respond to you with substantive evidence and links and arguments, you skip them conveniently and move onto someone else who makes general arguments.

        It is obvious you were a terrible scientist for the length of time you were, assuming you really were. It is good that you got out of it. But then again it is obvious you are horrendous journalist as well. A good journalist (let alone a half decent scientiest) should be skeptical, enquiring and neutral, be ready to examine all sides, even the ones that might not be eventually right. You are way too much in one camp to be a worthy journalist. Spare us the sermons and go away.

        dont bother haranguing me with your constant asks for this or that. I can see thru your crap and have way way better things to do in life than to respond to you. I must be insane to waste even this much time on you. But then again, I have had enough of your distraction. I would rather hear other folks arguments, right or wrong. Hence the response to your diatribe.

      • @ Shiv | December 2, 2013 at 12:11 am |

        “Doesn’t correlate directly to quality or quantify of understanding. The crap you propagate about science proves that amply.”

        One who flings his/her credentials about usually do so because the crap they propagate is not sticking to the common sense wall. Appell [much like Mosher IMO] use their afforded learning to obscure the failings of CAGW – often with circular logic posts that are meant to make them look smarter…

        ..but, in actuality, how smart could you be if you fell for the CAGW theory in the first place ?

      • David Appell

        “Why would you ever think a single published paper is correct? ”

        captdallas has commented why this should be the goal of the authors.

        But let me expand this.

        I would expect a 1000 page summary of all recent studies related to the human influence on our climate and the projections of future warming resulting from them to be “correct”.

        So when I see that it has essentially ignored several independent observation-based studies, which all conclude that 2xCO2 ECS is around 1.8C on average – and stubbornly stick with their previous mean model-based predictions of 3C, I conclude that even the 1000+ page summary report is not “correct”.

        And I am appalled

        Max

      • @max: So when I see that it has essentially ignored several independent observation-based studies, which all conclude that 2xCO2 ECS is around 1.8C on average

        Max, while your links never pan out, some of us never tire of challenging you on them anyway. Show us such a study.

        1.8C is the right number for naively observed climate sensitivity. No one who understands the difference claims this is therefore equilibrium climate sensitivity. ECS can’t be observed in the space of a century.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        You ask for recent observation-based studies showing that the 2xCO2 ECS is likely to be substantially lower than the model-derived 3C cited by IPCC.

        Here goes:

        Recent studies on 2xCO2 ECS
        Lewis (2013) 1.0C to 3.0C
        Berntsen (2012) 1.2C to 2.9C
        Lindzen (2011) 0.6C to 1.0C
        Schmittner (2011) 1.4C to 2.8C
        van Hateren (2012) 1.5C to 2.5C
        Schlesinger (2012) 1.45C to 2.01C
        Masters (2013)* 1.5C to 2.9C
        * not yet published

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Just a couple of quotes from the papers on ECS, which I cited:

        Lewis 2013:

        Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2–2.2 K for ECS are then derived (mode and median 1.6 K).

        Schlesinger 2012:

        It is also found that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is on the low side of the range given in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

        Ranges found for ECS = 1.45°C to 2.01°C

        Max

      • Shiv and Teddi,

        Excellent comments. Thank you for taking the time to write them. They were much needed.

    • David Appell, “Why would you ever think a single published paper is correct? ”

      Because the individuals that wrote the paper are supposed to be professionals. Do you think we need some system to determine the degree of professionalism? Since most “professionals” seem to favor regulation, perhaps a bit of professional regulation is in order?

      • Because the individuals that wrote the paper are supposed to be professionals.

        And where did you ever learn that what any “professional” writes is holy writ, carved in stone, guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate?

        You seriously misunderstand the enterprise of science. Seriously.

      • David, I think I understand it quite well. 90% plus of all ground breaking papers are crap. There is no reason to expect tables to actually add up. There is no reason to expect confidence intervals to be correct. “Science” needs to past the test of time and when it doesn’t you can it. So the average Joe on the street has absolutely no faith in professional scientists because they aren’t all that professional.

        Your defense of science is, “well you can’t expect them to actually be right!” and I agree with you. Science it turning into a bit of a joke wouldn’t you think?

      • Clearly you don’t understand science at all; worse, you seem to think medical sciences and the physical sciences work on equivalent criteria. They do not:

        http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/12/no-climate-science-isnt-medical-science.html

      • So the average Joe on the street has absolutely no faith in professional scientists because they aren’t all that professional.

        Evidence, please….

        When did you get elected as spokesperson for the average Joe?

        The evidence I’ve seen shows quite a bit of respect for scientists, even though there isn’t much blind faith (as there shouldn’t be).

        In fact, I’d say that trust in scientists is much higher than trust in HVAC engineers. And after being in so many building with such crappy ventilation systems, I’d say with good reason.

      • David, Climate science has quite a few issues with overstated certainties and scientist pressing policy because they are “certain” they are right. I don’t have a problem with there being uncertainty in the science as long as that uncertainty makes it to the press. Generally I take the attitude, “That’s nice. Let’s wait and see how that pans out.” But noooo. Climate science has this something has to be done now and this is “exactly” what needs to be done attitude. If you don’t know you done know so don’t get your panties in a wad when someone blows off your grand scheme, with “let’s wait and see.”

        That is now labeled as a “deniers” attitude when it is actually just common sense. So how do you want it? Clean up your act or STFU?

      • Climate science has quite a few issues with overstated certainties and scientist pressing policy because they are “certain” they are right.

        What overstated certainties?
        Which scientists are pressing policies?
        What policies?

      • Overstated certainties don’t get past peer review. Certainty is a red flag in a science paper (unless you are proving mathematical theories perhaps).

      • David Appell: “What overstated certainties?”

        (climateaudit) ‘Tom Curtis then advanced the Real Climate party line that our criticisms didn’t matter and were merely “minor points”. Way firmly rebutted them, asserting that we had got “major points correct”, making as forceful defence of our position as can be imagined:’
        Robert Way, SKS: “I don’t think these are minor points. I think they get major points correct. MBH98 was not an example of someone using a technique with flaws and then as he learned better techniques he moved on… He fought like a dog to discredit and argue with those on the other side that his method was not flawed. And in the end he never admitted that the entire method was a mistake. Saying “I was wrong but when done right it gives close to the same answer” is no excuse. He never even said that but I’m just making a point. What happened was they used a brand new statistical technique that they made up and that there was no rationalization in the literature for using it. They got results which were against the traditional scientific communities view on the matters and instead of re-evaluating and checking whether the traditional statistics were valid (which they weren’t), they went on and produced another one a year later. They then let this HS be used in every way possible (including during the Kyoto protocol lead-up that resulted in canadian parliament signing the deal with many people ascribing their final belief in climate change being assured by the HS) despite knowing the stats behind it weren’t rock solid. Of course someone was going to come along and slam it. In the defense of the HS method they published things on RC like what I showed above where they clearly misrepresented the views of the foremost expert on PCA in atmospheric sciences who basically says that Mann’s stats were dubious.”

      • mikew613: As I asked, what uncertainties?
        Show you understanding, not your ability to cut-and-paste.

      • Jim D

        Overstated certainties don’t get past peer review.

        Errr…

        How about the IPCC claim that most of the warming since 1950 was caused by an increase in anthropogenic GH gases, with 95% certainty?

        That one seemed to slip by, Jim.

        Max

    • David Appell, if you don’t see how Way’s quotes disprove every comment you’ve made here, then you are being willfully obtuse. What, it doesn’t count if Way doesn’t use the word “uncertainties”? How about the word “wrong” instead? How about the word “fought like a dog to discredit and argue with those on the other side that his method was not flawed”? Aren’t you arguing that climate science, being a “physical science”, hasn’t lost its way like medicine and biology? Every comment you’ve made here is, in one form or another, a demand for proof that climate science isn’t strong, secure, and reliable. You explicitly included the Hockey Stick. Robert Way says that it’s dangerous garbage (“That’s why I don’t like to talk the HS stuff”), and that the powers to be in the field fought furiously to keep the truth from coming out. They did so with some success: People like Way would never say so in public and still won’t, and the fans who root for their side keep right on quoting Hockey Sticks, not knowing that the real scientists behind the scenes grit their teeth when it’s mentioned.
      Note that I’m not convinced because Robert Way said so. I was convinced because Steve McIntyre proved his points beyond a shadow of a doubt to anyway who cared about the truth – as Robert Way said. I quoted Way because _you_ can’t stick their fingers in your ears when someone from Skeptical Science says something.
      [By the way, in the most recent climateaudit post, Way had suggested that McIntyre comment on the _bright new_ Hockey Stick paper Shi 2013. McIntyre cut it to pieces, and now Way has a number of comments on the post trying to explain why he was pushing a paper that just repeats the bad science of the earlier papers. Not his fault, as he says and I agree with him: McIntyre is the expert and not he; he just took their word for it.]
      What do you want exactly, if it isn’t to win some battle that exists only in your mind? Do you expect to convince those of us who know as well as you? Do you think we can’t recognize a cheerleader when we see one? I don’t understand why, if you care about climate, if you ever want climate science to be taken seriously as a “physical science”, you aren’t posting your sarcastic comments at Real Climate demanding that they publicly get rid of the bad apples instead of covering for them.

    • David, “What overstated certainties?”

      Without a doubt. Just check out any paper with Trenberth’s name on it. The man can’t add. He missed 18Wm-2 in his energy budgets for Christ’s sake.

      “Which scientists are pressing policies?”
      Every one – It is human nature. The problem is that the folks with a brain know that and the brain dead minion which happen to be in the majority don’t. Every scientist has a “professional” and a private opinion. They need to be smart enough to let on which is which to the more susceptible. Check out Penn and Teller’s Dihydrogen Monoxide skit again.

      “What policies?”
      Everything from demonizing energy to over cooking poultry.

    • We should be able to agree on Nic Lewis as someone capable of a reasonably neutral estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity, right, Max? ;)

      @manacker: Lewis 2013: Employing the improved methodology, preferred 90% bounds of 1.2–2.2 K for ECS are then derived (mode and median 1.6 K).

      That’s a suspiciously narrow range. One would only expect such certainty following a much better understanding of how the oceans regulate global warming, along with other impacts.

      Or is that what Nic means by “Incorporating nonaerosol forcing and observational surface temperature uncertainties, unlike in the original study, widens the 90% range to 1.0-3.0 K.”?

      (That was a question to you, not a rhetorical question. Or Nic if he’d like to answer it.)

      I’d add that any estimate of climate sensitivity that depends at all strongly on “observational surface temperature” may be estimating some other notion of climate sensitivity than the equilibrium kind. If I had the copious spare time it would take to read the other papers I might be able to tell what flavor of climate sensitivity they were estimating.

      In any event I’m dubious that the equilibrium kind has much bearing on likely temperatures in 2100. Transient climate response and related variants seem much more relevant.

    • David Springer

      Vaughn Pratt is evidently a believer in the mythical “water vapor amplification”.

      Let’s not lose sight of the fact that ECS for a CO2 doubling without feedbacks is 1C.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity#Radiative_forcing_due_to_doubled_CO2

      “Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      To take a tangent – has Science taken down the arsenic-based life forms in Mono lake “paper”, even yet?

      Has Nature made Mann cough up ALL the proxy data requested yet?

  5. I think it takes a long time to change business models and that the journals that have profited greatly from the Gold Rush syndrome will take their own sweet time before getting their act together. Absent regulation, perhaps litigation from those suffering from scientific misstatements may push them a bit faster.

    The articles you cite, coupled with similar stories in the Economist and the publication by Ioannides a year or so ago, may awake the ‘caveat lector’ mode of approaching journals that seems badly needed and perhaps should always have been more prevalent.

    But universities could change this in a hot heartbeat, by abandoning the ‘publish or perish’ mentality that is one of the real drivers of all this mischief.

    • Universities, especially research universities, are increasingly funded by government. Government makes clear to those who would be funded what results it wants, particularly when it comes to climate “science”.

      The universities won’t change a thing any time soon. He who pays the piper calls the tune. And the people who run the universities won’t risk that for anything.

      Not to mention virtually all of hem share the political perspective of the government patrons.

      • Universities, especially research universities, are increasingly funded by government. Government makes clear to those who would be funded what results it wants, particularly when it comes to climate “science”.

        Exactly. And very important. Plenty of example sin Australia.

      • Really? How do governments make it “clear” what results they want?

        Please, tell us. Be specific. Present evidence. Prove your claim.
        (I suspect you can’t.)

      • The Bush administration made it clear what they wanted, but the scientists ignored them and came up with AR4, so there goes the theory that the government has any say in the results.

      • David Appell,

        I will take your requests for evidence seriously when you show any inclination to back up your rantings with anything. Evidence, links, cogent thought.

        But just this once, and just for you – The IPCC’s mission statement:

        “The role of the IPCC is to assess, on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

        Now I don’t expect any of you default progressives to see what is wrong with that statement, or how it makes it clear that the whole point of the IPCC and government funded climate “science” is political.

        But everyone else does.

      • I’m asking again, since everyone is avoiding this question:

        How do governments make it “clear” what results they want?

      • David –

        How do governments make it “clear” what results they want?

        If you put on a tin foil hat, as do many of our much beloved “skeptics,” it’s actually quite easy to tell how they do it.

      • +100 Right on target.

        Ideological driven grants have created this mess.

      • Jim D

        The Bush administration made it clear what they wanted, but the scientists ignored them and came up with AR4

        Do you have any evidence to back this up?

        Max

    • The system is headed over a cliff, anyway.

      Between the rapid growth of MOOCs and the extreme levels of competition for academic research funding, the current system is unsustainable.

    • David,

      How do they make it clear?

      Follow the money.

    • “+100 Right on target.

      Ideological driven grants have created this mess.”

      a grant to study drought in Nebraska springs to mind

  6. “NIH and the rest of the scientific community are just now waking up to the realization that science has lost its way, and it may take years to get back on the right path.”

    Science hasn’t lost anything. It isn’t alive and it has no pockets.

    Scientists, being people, have the same flaws everyone else does. Vanity being first and foremost among them.

    We live in a society where vanity is treated as a virtue. Where lying is considered no practically different from telling the truth, Where those who believe in and adhere to a consistent moral ethos are ridiculed and demonized.

    When every man is his own god, every man creates his own morality.

    Moral relativism is a cancer. Scientists are just as infected with it as the rest of the population. You want to change “science”? Change the people who engage in it.

    • Maybe YOU think “lying is considered no practically different from telling the truth,” but some of us do not.

      Stop projecting your (obviosuly weak) values onto every else.

      • No, that would be your fellow warmist, Mosher, not to mention Schneider, Gleick, and your political patrons in the Democrat Party for whom Saul Alinsky is the source of all reason and light.

      • Steven Mosher

        Gleick wont like being paired with me

      • Gleick wont like being paired with me.

        I am the last one to excuse Peter Gleick (and have proven it).

      • Gimmie a royal break – like your cult movement hasn’t projected its CAGW belief system onto the citizenry for two decades. Get real and stop gaming everyone with your pretentious posts.

    • Moral relativism is a cancer.

      If only everyone could have your non-elitist moral clarity, Gary. Too bad that there are so few who reach your standard.

  7. Science is an iterative process, and papers are a major part of that. Work is presented together with enough about the methods to allow them to be repeatable or checked, and will be accepted if it looks OK, and that the conclusions follow from the work. Some “skeptics” fail on this last part by trying to draw conclusions that are beyond what they showed, such as turning a regional study into a global conclusion, or trying to put doubt on other methods by using even weaker methods. Papers are rarely the final word on a subject and call for independent confirmation by other methods or refutation if other methods don’t support them. This happens in both directions, and finally science looks back at how well the studies have stood up over time. It is only many years later that pioneering works are separated from dead ends, and that is via other related interim studies that check them. Science moves forwards only on the work that does stand up over time.

  8. This might come as a bit of a shock but the one thing that NIH Cancer hates funding is novel drugs. The NIH loves to fund cancer pathways, most of their money goes on funding growth pathway analysis, they are not keen on funding work which they think should be funded by pharmacology companies. Lets say you have a drug that works in tissue culture and ask for money to do animal xenograft models, it will generally be rejected because you don’t have animal model preliminary data and your work will be said to be too speculative. If you manage to then scrape together funding a do a successful animal model, your grant will be rejected because it now represents transnational research and you should go elsewhere.
    NIH is what happens when a ‘you scratch my back I will scratch yours’ fan club is in charge. NIH like to fund success and so people who look at growth pathways are always successful, whereas people who work in novel therapeutics normally fail.
    This year 17% of NIH grants were funded, next year it will be close to 13%.
    Getting a paper in Science or Nature probably doubles your chances. My institute will give you $5,000 for each Cell, Science or Nature paper. So it is no wonder that the majority of papers in these journals are of a type; very tight error bars, linear, unimaginative, bland and pretty.
    The natural variation in tumor volumes has gone down by about 50% in the last 30 years. People get much tighter distributions in science with small n’s than I have been able to get with large ones.
    There will be a couple of huge scandals before things change and the youngsters throw out the old guard.

    • Please define “pressure to conform.”

      Also, please define on what basis you assign the label of “apologist.”

      And which of those “apologists” “claim” as you state below:

      Apologists who claim there is no pressure to conform… .

      Evidence would be nice – although given your track record, it won’t be expected.

    • Please define “pressure to conform.”

      I have never used the phrase nor “apologists”

      ‘Evidence would be nice – although given your track record, it won’t be expected’

      My track record?

      What have I done to deserve this treatment Josh?

  9. When science corrects, it’s claimed orders came from on high for the scientists to get back in line or lose their pay. See Josh Willis’ correction of his obviously incorrect finding of ocean cooling in 2003.

    • When science corrects, it’s claimed orders came from on high for the scientists to get back in line or lose their pay.

      Really?
      Who said that?
      Be specific. Prove your case.
      I don’t think you can. This is just more B.S.

      • David –

        “Skeptics” regularly claim that scientists are told or forced to retract their findings if they reflect any uncertainty about AGW. It’s an argument that you find throughout these threads on a regular basis. In specific, it has been made about Willis and his research on ocean temps.

        That was just one example of the oft’ found conspiratorial thinking among “skeptics” that lead to arguments about how the “cabal”: suppresses any scientific diversity of opinion.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Joshua, you shouldn’t be so hard on people who like to make bold claims without providing any evidence if you’re going to do the same.

        Your comment here is as loony as any I’ve seen you criticize.

      • Brandon –

        Yeah. It’s just “loony.”

        From someone Judith considers worthy of a guest post. Enjoy.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/#comment-419514

      • It was claimed here just recently. David Springer claims Josh Willis pencil whipped the ARGO data to switch ocean cooling to ocean warming. For as long as I can remember here at CE Max has implied the Willis correction was somehow nefarious. And there are numerous supporters of that nonsense.

        From your comments, you’re obviously not paying attention.

      • Say…
        What’s this?:

        It’s nothing.
        If you have a point to make, then make it. Learn how to write — random hyperlinks will get you nowhere.

      • David –

        It’s nothing.
        If you have a point to make, then make it. Learn how to write — random hyperlinks will get you nowhere.

        (1) the links weren’t random
        (2) to anyone following the thread, they got somewhere, as they showed evidence of “skeptics” with conspiratorial ideation about how Josh Willis was “told” to correct his earlier findings.

        It is somewhat unfortunate that you make arguments as poorly an sloppily as you do. It doesn’t really have much impact in the world, but it does show that “skepticism” is not limited to those who are certain that ACO2 doesn’t affect the climate. Some of your arguments are just about as “skeptical” as they get.

      • It’s nothing? WTF do you want? Lol. Quotes from the Journal of Climate?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Joshua, you’re making yourself seem more and more loony. I clicked on two of those links. This is what I found:

        It’s a matter of record that ARGO first unexpectedly showed ocean cooling (Willis) then the data was pencil whipped into showing the expected warming.

        But you have to admit, if any measurement goes against the warming story, scientists dig deep to find out why. If a measurement is consistent, it is “expected” and not much effort is expended to verify.

        Neither of those comes close to fitting what you said:

        “Skeptics” regularly claim that scientists are told or forced to retract their findings if they reflect any uncertainty about AGW.

        You specifically said the argument deals with findings “if they reflect any uncertainty about AGW.” Those two comments didn’t even deal with uncertainty. They dealt with results contrary to expectations. Even ignoring that major difference, neither says anything about all such results generating commands to retract findings. One doesn’t even refer to retractions at all.

        I don’t know why you’d make multiple comments to provide links to material which obviously doesn’t say what you portray it as saying. It’s loony.

      • Now I see why you guys so seldom provide any links to support your nonsense. Lying works much better when no one scan see what you are talking about.

        ““Skeptics” regularly claim that scientists are told or forced to retract their findings if they reflect any uncertainty about AGW.”

        Two links, and neither has anything to do with anyone being “told or forced” to do anything.

      • Joshua: If you have a point to make, them make it with succinct, clear writing.

        That does not mean a mere link or two, or referring to something else somewhere else, or whatever. Just make your damn point.

      • I think that NiV sums it up quite nicely, actually:

        I think the general view was that Latif *had* to protest as he did, since he was no doubt coming under pressure from the community for having “given the sceptics ammunition”, and because being seen as a sceptic is professional suicide, but that given the glaring hypocrisy of the stance that this wasn’t something to take seriously. .

        http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/11/26/who-needs-to-know-what-from-whom-about-climate-science.html#comments

        But yeah – we don’t regularly see “skeptics” claiming that climate scientists are “told” to stay in line if they have any findings that appear “politically incorrect,” or “give ammunition,” etc.

        Nope. Rarely happens. If ever.

        Thanks for the laughs, boyz.

      • JCH

        “From your comments, you’re obviously not paying attention.”

        Appell has a schtick that does not depend on the information content of whatever it is to which he is (putatively) responding. As such, he doesn’t need to understand a comment. He just needs to identify what political viewpoint it is intended to support, so he can decide whether or not to wiggle his little schtick at it. This leads to a certain laziness on his part, and imprecision in the wiggling decision. It is very much analogous to the topic of the post, WRT the effect of perverse incentives on the output of people pretending to be scientists.

        Help the man out. Next time you make a post like that, be a little more obvious about the direction of your jingoism. Subtlety confuses hacks.

    • Three default progressive drones all agree that skeptics regularly claim “that scientists are told or forced to retract their findings if they reflect any uncertainty about AGW.”

      Yet nary a quote or cite from one of them.

      Well, just more proof that lying is not practically different to them than telling the truth.

      • > Three default progressive drones [...]

        You say “tomato”, I say “tomacco”:

        If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Despite Paul’s good intentions, his proposal’s central emphasis on tax cuts and deregulation risks strengthening, instead of refuting, the popularly-held belief that Republicans don’t understand cities’ needs.

        http://thefederalist.com/2013/11/26/rand-pauls-urban-agenda/

      • I think you’ve possibly just lied about me.

      • Careful there, willard.

        Judith may get upset with you and delete your comment in response to Gary’s on-topic and meaningful rant about “three progressive drones.”

        I mean she said that she was going to delete comments that had no purpose other than to attack. And clearly Gary’s comment was meant to…

        uh….

        er……

        analyze the validity of using Baysean analysis to estimate climate sensitivity.

        Yeah. That’s the ticket!

      • willard,

        You have some type of weirdly political Tourettes?

      • Thank you for your concerns, GaryM:

        The carbon map demonstrates the inequitable distribution of proven fossil fuel reserves and, also, the likely diplomatic problems associated with deciding which two-thirds of the remaining reserves will need to be left in the ground to achieve a stable climate. Mapping like this allows us to see visually the pressures that specific countries will face domestically from their constituents to exploit fossil fuel resources.

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/29/science-environment/carbon-mapping-and-why-only-climate-policy-can-stop-boats

      • Somebody else, on a dfferent blog said something that suggested he might share my opinion.

        And this is evidence of skeptics on Climate Etc. willard,

        OK, now I get it. You are playing an online game of pin the non sequitur on the skeptic.

        Glad I can help fill your free time.

      • OK, that was weird, half of two comments got spliced. Not sure how I managed that.

      • > Not sure how I managed that.

        Damn progressives!

        You know, GaryM, that the evidence you asked for was provided to you.

        Yet you continue to epilogue.

        Speaking of which:

        Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine’s exceptional concerns about their legacies should not surprise us. They were right to assume that their names and their words, if not their mortal remains, would not be left to rest but would continue to play key roles in the great debate they had helped launch. Assorted radical leaders the world over laid claim to the legacy of Thomas Paine, as did the mainstream labor and progressive movements in the Anglo-American world. Conservative cultural and political movements have laid claim to Edmund Burke’s name and ideas.

        Ironically, our understanding of the Burke-Paine debate has actually suffered some from such persistent political attention to both men. The revolutionaries who adopted Paine as their own would too often infuse his historical memory with socialist sensibilities that would have been largely foreign to Paine himself. And a great deal of the commentary (and even the scholarship) regarding Burke, particularly over the past century, has seemed to want to make him (even) more temperamentally conservative than he was.

        http://www.salon.com/2013/11/24/the_history_of_the_left_right_divide_a_centuries_old_argument_defines_our_politics_and_offers_a_way_forward/

        Now, please retract your accusation.

      • willard,

        You actually addressed what was in my comment? Are you OK?

        But of course, you did get it wrong. Still no evidence that any skeptics said “that scientists are told or forced to retract their findings if they reflect any uncertainty about AGW.”

        The supposed evidence was to a comment on another blog, by claiming “I think the general view was that Latif *had* to protest as he did, since he was no doubt coming under pressure from the community for having ‘given the sceptics ammunition'”?

        Where did Letif make any change to his work that was he was supposedly “told or forced” to?

        Joshua links to a discussion in which he raised his view of the reactions of skeptics’ to Latif’s work, and another commenter. The other commenter says “I’m not sure what reaction to Latif you are talking about. I don’t doubt you have seen such, but it’s not something I’ve noticed.”

        Where is the work that Latif supposedly retracted due to being “told or forced” to do so? Where is any accusation by anyone that he did so?

        Just as Joshua shouldn’t post the links that he thinks supports his conspiracist delusion, you should go back to pretending to being cryptic. When you come right out and say something affirmative, you just end up embarrassing yourself.

    • Joshua’s links in part support what I said.

      DA asked me to provide proof of what I said. I would not have bothered with tracking it all down. Joshua did. The conversation took place in more than one thread, and involved several commenters, so there’s more.

      But it’s pointless. DA does his thing. I can see no point to it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Really? You think Joshua’s links support what you said? Let’s review what you said:

        When science corrects, it’s claimed orders came from on high for the scientists to get back in line or lose their pay. See Josh Willis’ correction of his obviously incorrect finding of ocean cooling in 2003.

        You didn’t just claim people say some “corrections” are made because “orders came from on high.” You said people say that’s always the case. That is, nobody corrects anything except on “orders from on high.” That’s loony, and nothing Joshua provided supports it.

        On a less blanketed issue, most people don’t claim anything comes “from on high,” or even that it comes from orders. It’s easy for people to be pressured without an order, and it’s generally easier for people who are not “on high” to apply such pressure than those who are.

        So to be clear, do you really think Joshua’s links support what you say?

      • This is a blog. Comments are short. If you think I meant in each and every case, have fun with that.

        I referred to one case: Josh Willis. In the comments at CE he has been accused of changing his results to tow the line. It’s an old accusation here at CE. Goes back a very long time.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I think you said what you said, and I think you claimed Joshua’s links provided support for what you said. If you meant something other than what you said, and if you meant Joshua’s links didn’t actually support what you said but something else…

        I’m not going to have fun with that. I don’t believe in mind-reading, and I don’t think it’s hard to avoid intentionally exaggerating people’s positions to make them seem more unreasonable.

      • As I have said before, I am a person of average intelligence. You’re really smart. I mean, that is obvious. I would say you’re easily well into the upper 5%. We’re in the upper 5% of income earners. It’s a funny world. I’ll take being a moron.

      • > You said people say that’s always the case.

        Citation needed.

      • We’ll never know the real reason why Josh Willis changed the first ARGO findings of slight cooling to a revised finding of slight warming.

        But, in view of all the other things that have been exposed by Climategate and subsequent revelations, it smells fishy.

      • Willard

        “Always” is a mighty BIG word.

        But “some people” may have used it.

        Max

    • The way that David is all worked up tonight sounds like he may be a Bama’ fan. Gotta take it out on someone

    • > “Always” is a mighty BIG word. But “some people” may have used it.

      We can even say that people did use it.

      Problem is that JCH did not say it in the instance under discussion here.

      Insert your favorite one-liner here.

      ***

      > The supposed evidence was to a comment on another blog [...]

      Actually, here are the three links Joshua provided:

      Josh Willis first detected cooling in ocean surface in 2006.

      He was told to get with the program and then retracted his conclusions.

      What is a young researcher to do?

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/#comment-419514

      No, you’d have to be clinically insane to think they are not selected, funded and rewarded according to how well they further their paymaster’s vested interests.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/#comment-419580

      But you have to admit, if any measurement goes against the warming story, scientists dig deep to find out why. If a measurement is consistent, it is “expected” and not much effort is expended to verify.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/#comment-419610

      Before you ask for better evidence, please tell us how these three examples relate to Latif story, GaryM.

      ***

      And since you ask for better evidence, here is what you just said:

      In the case of climate science, the customer is getting exactly what it paid for. Progressive governments wanted PR to support their already established desire to control the energy economy.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/01/has-science-lost-its-way/#comment-420374

      I think this qualifies as a contrarian theory about black helicopters.

    • Steven Mosher

      The question’s are

      1. is there any evidence of scientists being told or ordered to get their results “in line” with the consensus view
      2. is there evidence that the views of scientists are free from pressure
      to have their results confirm the consensus

      The lack of evidence on #1 does not count as evidence on #2

      Skeptics overstate their certainty that the results are driven by the forces
      of consensus. Apologists who claim there is no pressure to conform suffer from another form of gullibility.

    • We know the real reason Josh Willis corrected his finding of cooling.

      Wong thought Willis was wrong. Before contacting WIliis, Wong reassessed Wong’s work, and again Wong thought Willis was wrong. Wong contacted Willis about Wong’s concerns of Willis being wrong. Willis reassessed his data, and he discovered Wong was right.

    • Mosh

      You have nailed the pertinent questions.

      Max

    • David Springer

      I didn’t claim Josh Willis pencil-whipped ARGO data from cooling to warming. I stated it as a fact and provided a link to the corroboration at NASA.

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    • > Apologists who claim there is no pressure to conform suffer from another form of gullibility.

      To conform is a human predicament, at least until the opposite stance gets rewarded:

      Warren Buffett is a famous contrarian, who believes that best time to invest in a stock is when shortsightedness of the market has beaten down the price.

      Jim Rogers is an investor and author who is bullish on contrarian investing in Asian markets.

      Marc Faber is a contrarian investor who publishes the Gloom Boom & Doom Report.

      David Dreman is a money manager often associated with contrarian investing. He has authored several books on the topic and writes the “Contrarian” column in Forbes magazine.

      John Neff, who managed the Vanguard Windsor fund for many years, is also considered a contrarian, though he has described himself as a value investor (and questioned the distinction).

      Mark Ripple is a money manager often described as a contrarian. He has authored a book covering the topic in detail.

      Paul Tudor Jones is a contrarian investor who attempts to buy and sell turning points.

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

    • BS 2 Josh: Your comment here is as loony as any I’ve seen you criticize.

      Not to worry, Josh. Brandon keeps his loony detector on max, it’ll burn out soon.

  10. Has science lost its way? To me the question is answered by noting whether the scientist has lost their way and with it, the science they represent. The scientist who lacks integrity has lost his/her way.

    We as outsiders can judge a scientist’s integrity; hence judge whether the work is worth ascribing significance. And how do I decide if someone displays integrity? by their body of behaviors. That’s right, integrity is judged by people’s behaviors. Now there are some people whose behaviors I do not like, yet by what they choose to say, what they choose to do within the body of their work I am willing to look for other aspects; i.e., sharing information, acknowledging mistakes, errors or uncertainties that over time I begin to trust what is said and I am willing to acknowledge that the person is doing their work with integrity. It makes their work “believable” at least for the short run.

    Science is relatively inert with regards to whether it is loosing its way I think. Science is the process of inquiry and that process is use for better or not by the scientists doing such science.

    It is the scientists that lose their way, and that is highly individual.

  11. Our instinctive emotions over-ruled our rational ability to accept reality:

    1. Five hundred and seventy (570) years ago in 1543 when Copernicus reported Earth is not the center of the universe and moves in orbit about the Sun.

    2. Sixty-eight (68) years ago in 1945 when the human race had “at its command powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction”, as promised in the last paragraph of Aston’s Nobel Prize lecture on 12 December 1922:

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1922/aston-lecture.pdf

    Humans received many benefits from the scientific revolution after finally accepting reality #1.

    I am convinced mankind will make another quantum leap forward if able to accept reality #2: Neutron repulsion is the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms, some planets, stars and galaxies.

    • Fred Hoyle [1] quietly “blew the cover” on the postmodern science of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, climatology, geology, nuclear, particle, planetary and solar science on pages 153-154 of his autobiography :

      After WWII ended, science textbooks were changed to:
      _ 1. Proclaim the Sun and other stars are made of hydrogen and generate luminosity by burning hydrogen, and
      _ 2. Replace Aston’s valid nuclear “packing fraction” curve with von Weisacker’s deceptive “nuclear binding energy” curve.

      1. Fred Hoyle, Home Is Where The Wind Blows: Chapters from a Cosmologist’s Life, (Published on 1 April 1994)

    • Just read carefully two pages of Hoyle’s autobiography, pages 153-154, and you will understand how “science lost its way” in 1945-46.

  12. All global warming alarmist science is a hoax and a scare tactic. It is nothing more than a way to tax people as if they’re doing something wrong — like smoking cigarettes or getting boozed. When it comes to the use of energy, in the eyes of ever bigger secular, socialist government, all of us folks are engaging in the evil business of living; and, more government scientists and planners are necessary to make us do the right thing, live the right way and have the right things.

  13. other science is brilliant, climatology is crap.

    if medical science operated like climatology – would have being full jails

  14. Isn’t the central theme of this article validation of D. Eisenhower’s warnings or should I have said prediction — or perhaps projection?.

  15. From the IPCC (link provided below):

    “Conceptual framework, methodology and scope
    Assessment objectives
    The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.”

    http://ipbes.unepwcmc-004.vm.brightbox.net/assessments/88

    The key words are “…human -induced climate change,…”

    Does the IPCC presume that non human-induced climate change poses no risk and has no need for “…adaptation and mitigation.”? Or even study???

    If the IPCC is looking for humans, they likely will find them. When politicians tell people what they want to see, the Emperor WILL be provided with a haberdasher. And therein lies the origin of the expression “The Naked Truth.”

    • tomwys

      +100

    • The key words are “…human -induced climate change,…”

      Does the IPCC presume that non human-induced climate change poses no risk and has no need for “…adaptation and mitigation.”? Or even study???

      The timing of this is beautiful. This comment comes just after a thread where Judith (and many of our much beloved “denizens) is “mystified” that scientists wouldn’t want to get research money that is to go for studying natural variations in climate exclusively.

      The iron-o-sphere rides again!

    • Yes, there is irony in the Nebraska researchers’ answer to tomwys’s question.
      ======

    • The real irony here is that you can’t even PAY climate scientists to study the natural causes of climate change. That’s a a measure of how scared they are to publish something against the main stream.

    • Joshua

      In your search for missing irony, you forget to consider that IPCC, the self anointed “gold standard” source of scientific information related to human-induced climate change, had already provided the Nebraska legislators the information that there was no evidence that anthropogenic warming would cause an increase in either the severity or the frequency of droughts in their region.

      Good news!

      But the legislators apparently were also aware that, while there was no underlying trend (which could have bee attributed to AGW), there were major cyclical swings in climate, which could be problematic, if they were to repeat.

      So they asked for specific expert advice on the likelihood that these cyclical swings could cause increased droughts in the future.

      Got it?

      It’s really not that complex.

      (And there’s no need to try to hunt for any “irony” there, Josh – it’s just plain old “common sense”.)

      Max

    • @jim2: The real irony here is that you can’t even PAY climate scientists to study the natural causes of climate change. That’s a a measure of how scared they are to publish something against the main stream.

      How would you know? Have you ever come within ten miles of a climate scientist?

      If you simply want to keep blathering nonsense like this, no one will stop you, it’s a free country.

      But just in case you’re interested in making some connection with reality, you could do worse than take a trip to San Francisco next week.

      This will put you within ten miles of 23,000 scientists studying the planet.

      You can then test your theory that they’re all terrified to work on natural phenomena in geophysics.

      A word of warning: be prepared to be surprised.

  16. Judith Curry

    You conclude

    So, has science lost it’s way? I don’t think so, but the Science/Nature publishing model and the way that universities reward scientists are providing perverse incentives that do not serve well the societally-relevant applications of science.

    As it relates specifically to climate science, one could conclude that the Climategate tapes and subsequent revelations did reveal that “science had lost its way”.

    But one could also argue that this was just a small insider group of scientists who were bending (or overtly breaking) the rules, in order to stop any views or scientific findings, which dissented from their own personal beliefs and who did not hesitate from fudging, skewing or hiding data to get their message across, i.e. the “consensus” CAGW message being promoted by IPCC.

    This is bad enough, but not a case of (climate) “science losing its way”.

    Yet one could argue that there is more to it than just a corrupted IPCC “consensus” process, editors of scientific journals that selectively pick the articles they will publish based on whether or not they support the “consensus” message and a handful of overzealous climatologists who broke the rules and became advocates instead of scientists.

    It is the system, itself, and the root cause is the IPCC.

    As Michael Eisen wrote:

    “The journals want the papers that make the sexiest claims. And scientists believe that the way you succeed is having splashy papers in Science or Nature — it’s not bad for them if a paper turns out to be wrong, if it’s gotten a lot of attention.”

    Searching for the scientific “truth” has been replaced with searching for scientific “proof” that the IPCC “consensus” premise is correct and the more alarmist the article, the better the mainstream journals like it. Whether or not a paper “turns out to be wrong” is much less important than how well it meets the needs of the journals.

    What makes this particularly egregious is that the taxpayers, who are funding this whole charade, are being misled and cheated by the very system they are financing. They are being sold exaggerated or patently untrue scare stories in order to feed the system.

    When a US post-Climategate poll finds that almost 70% of the respondents believed that climate scientists fudged their data, this is a strong indication that climate science has, indeed, “lost its way”.

    Honest climate scientists, like you or Roger Pielke, Sr. (or many others one could list), suffer because of this problem. Not only are you branded a “heretic” by some science journalists or members of the “consensus” crowd, but your field of science, itself, gets tarnished by the actions of this bunch.

    It is sad.

    And IMO as long as the IPCC exists in its present form, this problem will not get resolved.

    Max

  17. Dr. Curry mentions a few of the perverse selection mechanisms young scientists now face. She didn’t mention one of the worst: increase the line count on your vita. Sometimes I start a talk by saying “I apologize for writing this paper. There are too many papers.” I jest but only just. We have a tenure and promotion system that naturally selects for line count. Lots of people above the decisions of a department need to be impressed in some way, and evaluating the quality of publications, much less journals, is very hard for them. So what can be measured easily wins by default–in the absence of strong institutional rules and traditions for rewarding impact and influence rather than line counts.

    It does not matter whether the assistant profs are virtuous or not. If they have more lines, they stand a higher chance of clearing the P&T hurdle, while lower line counts survive less frequently. The non-survivors will be replaced with new hires, and the departments will fill with people who do the kind of research that produces lotsa lines.

    It sucks.

    • Sort of parallel in some company HR departments, where there are too many applicants for a post. The pile of received cv’s is shuffled, then split, with 50% put in the round file. That process is then repeated until there are say a dozen applicants left, who are then invited for interview. In cs terms, a binary search with added random addressing.

      HR depts are possibly the worst people of all to evaluate technical candidates, because they only look at record and whether the candidate has the correct personality. Much better if you can bypass HR and talk to the project engineer, where you both speak the same language…

      Chris

  18. When we produce an item for the customer, it must meet the quality control criteria. If we ship items that do not meet the quality criteria, we won’t have our customers very long…

    Creating papers for the sake of creating papers (i.e., to further one’s career, gain exposure or underwrite a cause), and processing them through a quality control system (peer review) that is fundamentally broken will ultimately result in the loss of customers.

    The Govt may delay this reality by its ideological driven support of this perverted system, but eventually the customer rejects items of poor quality.

    The assumptions behind CAGW are in the process of being rejected by people (i.e., the “customer”) because they see the poor quality of work by those involved and sense the desperation of those involved to sell their poor quality offerings via any method.

    Much like what id occurring with Obamacare…

    • Teddi

      Yes.

      And the final “customer” of climate science is the taxpaying public, who is financing the whole show, NOT the politicians, who are simply shuffling around the taxpayer funds.

      As was seen in Australia, the politicians are expendable – if and when they no longer represent the needs of the voting public.

      I personally believe that the current US administration is politically astute enough to realize that it would have very little popular support for any drastic actions to mitigate against global warming by forcing a reduction of fossil fuel consumption through a direct or indirect carbon tax. And, as a result, I believe it will restrict its actions to flowery oratory and beautiful rhetoric (and try to sneak in some non-legislated changes through EPA).

      I cannot judge whether or not the US administration is astute enough to concede that Obamacare is in the same boat as climate mitigation as far as public support is concerned – since this is the signature legislation of the President, himself, it may take too much loss of pride to make this concession.

      Max

      • CAGW was always an abstract concept to the average person (“customer”) in the sense that their view might be “if the scientists say its occurring – maybe it is, maybe it isn’t – but its not affecting me today”.

        However Obamacare is direct. Right now policies are being cancelled, healthcare lost, rates increased, your doctor access removed, restructuring of the economy (jobs), etc. It is being discussed around kitchen tables by tens of millions of Americans and the impact is in real time.

        The connection is that both of these were woven from the same fabric of large scale govt intervention. While one (global warming) was designed intelligently to thrive in the abstract, the other (ACA) was poorly designed to survive reality.

        The later will excite pushback against govt intervention and that may further assist in the demise of the CAGW agenda. I think what’s occurring in Australia and some other areas is in sync with this thinking of the citizenry being pushed too far…

    • In the case of climate science, the customer is getting exactly what it paid for. Progressive governments wanted PR to support their already established desire to control the energy economy. The IPCC was formed for the express purpose of providing a scientific gloss for their political objectives.

      The IPCC has done exactly that. And all the researchers who keep finding that it’s worse than we thought, are giving the same customer exactly what it wants. Quality control for progressives has nothing to do with accuracy or precision, and everything to do with advancing the agenda.

      If you want to change how climate “science” is done, change the customer. The only way to change the customer is to vote out the progressives who now dominate western governments.

    • David Springer

      GaryM +1

    • Perhaps “progressives dominate western governments” because the electorate prefer them to the alternative?

    • Gary –

      In the case of climate science, the customer is getting exactly what it paid for. Progressive governments wanted PR to support their already established desire to control the energy economy. The IPCC was formed for the express purpose of providing a scientific gloss for their political objectives.

      Could you forward that comment on to Lew? I think he’d find it interesting. CC Brandon also, if you wouldn’t mind.

    • me

      Perhaps “progressives dominate western governments” because the electorate prefer them to the alternative?

      An astute observation.

      Not living in the USA, my observations may be limited to Europe.

      In the developed EU nations, at least, the key problem is that the state has grown to the point that it takes care of everyone from cradle to grave. This may sound good (and “fair”) at first glance, but it has resulted in a majority of the voting public being on the government dole in one way or another.

      Wealth taxes and high income taxes at upper brackets discourage people from working hard in order to improve their standard of living.

      Generous taxpayer funded welfare programs make it easy for people to do quite well without working at all.

      So the incentive to think and provide for ones self is reduced and the incentive to vote in more big government progressives, who will increase the welfare benefits and do the thinking, is increased.

      The same is true to a lesser extent in Switzerland, where I live.

      Here, at least the population can vote on proposed government initiatives – recently turning down an initiative launched by the Socialist party to limit top executive salaries to 12x the salary of the lowest paid employee. Another initiative to have a government-guaranteed “minimum wage” of CHF 4,000 per month (around $4,400) will be voted on soon – and is expected to be turned down as well.

      But the trend here is in that direction, as well.

      It has been described as the “road to serfdom”*.

      Max

      *PS Check with Beth what that means

    • There was a harmless yet supportive comment by Max_OK to my comment that has vanished. Any ideas why?

  19. Lost its way? Taking this too literally, no, because science is too haphazard to have a ‘way’. It is a search, not a path to follow. Except that many have forgotten what science really is. There certainly are parts of the scientific tradition which were less than optimal before that are now very serious problems. Even evolution makes “mistakes”.

    • David Springer

      “Even evolution makes mistakes.”

      A mistake is something that is adverse to a given goal. Evolution has no goal so it cannot make mistakes. You confuse an intelligent agency planning for the future with a process that makes no plans. Intelligent agents are both reactive and proactive. Evolution is only reactive.

    • Evolution has no goal so it cannot make mistakes.

      Interesting. Aren’t you a big promoter of intelligent design? How does that square with your above comment. Are you saying that evolution has been designed by a supernatural being that has no intent behind his design?

    • David Springer

      I don’t know the answer to whether we are here by accident or design. I rule out neither but I lean towards design because the probabilities involved in the accidental scenario seem too far removed for serious consideration. Intelligent agency already exists in the universe (us) so the possibility is already established. If it happened once I don’t see any compelling reason why we should be either the first or the foremost intelligent agency in the universe. So if it looks like something that was engineered it probably is something that was engineered. The molecular machinery underlying all living things we know of appears to be engineered in my opinion. The idea that the universe and life is too orderly to be mere happenstance is a worldview that has been held by many since the dawn of science and philosophy. The most likely possibly true hypothesis (among many) is what’s called prescribed evolution where the trajectory was established billions of years ago and has since simply been unfolding like an origami along a planned path.

    • David Springer

      Or maybe it’s all an illusion and we’re living in “The Matrix”. I don’t know and I’m no big hurry to find out either.

    • David Springer

      Can a snowflake make a in mistake in where it comes to rest?

      Evolution is like that. It doesn’t make mistakes.

    • Well, Dave, the advantage of mobility and maintenance of the internal milieu are so great that some snowflakes fell that way.
      =========================

    • “I rule out neither but I lean towards design because the probabilities involved in the accidental scenario seem too far removed for serious consideration. “

      I’m no philosopher, but this POV has always seemed to me to contain faulty reasoning. I think it’s akin to someone winning a 100 million to one lottery. We don’t bat an eye that someone wins because someone has to win, only that a particular person does, like the guy down the street, or even us. I concede that 100 million to one doesn’t cover the nearly infinitely long odds of just this universe and just this world, but I think the analogy remains valid. Also, when we begin to open the discussion to multiverses (which seem intuitively likely to me), things change radically.

    • David Springer:

      “I don’t know the answer to whether we are here by accident or design. I rule out neither but I lean towards design because the probabilities involved in the accidental scenario seem too far removed for serious consideration”.

      Yes, I keep an open mind as well, but if it’s intelligent design, then by whom and is this little planet a great experiment for a far off civilisation ?. If so, they must be having a laugh at at our expense. Perhaps they are throwing googlies into the mix, just to make it more amusing ?. No, on balance, natural selection seems like the most likely scenerio and the reason we may tend towards intelligent design is because of the enormity of the task to understand the processes and vast timescales involved. One thing is for sure though: we are all connected in ways that we barely perceive, let alone understand…

      Chris

    • “Chris, David,
      If ID (or Creation for that matter) were to be believed:
      a) We came from Aliens.
      b) Where’d the first Alien come from.”

      A different universe?
      Perhaps the universe doesn’t have time as component of the universe..
      Perhaps in the future we travel to another universe which doesn’t have time and create ourselves.

    • David Springer

      Ah, the old “who created the creator” rebuttal. All creation accounts can be criticized with an infinite regression. Who’s the mother of your mother and who was the mother of your mother’s mother, and so on ad infinitum? If you find yourself unable to answer that question at some number of generations removed does that mean you didn’t have a mother? Of course not. Let’s figure out who the most recent creator was and then we can worry about creators further on down the line. Maybe there’s an infinite number of them.

    • “Even evolution makes ‘mistakes.'” That lemon on your left, for instance.

    • Pay attention guys. JJ said it better, without the hot buttons. Note the curly things on “mistakes”. I could have said evolution has dead-ends. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want (note the sarcasm here; this is not a statement about evolution). Or you could define a ‘mistake’ as something you regret. Whatever. I’m not going to discuss evolution here. The reason evolution was mentioned is that it is a non-intelligent agency without a goal, but which does have something that someone could call ‘progress’ (whether it is or isn’t). But it’s mostly haphazard. Sort of like science. Having activists take over the doing of science is like having creationists take over the study of evolution. Uh oh, I’ve said too much again…
      Forget I said anything. The institutions of science need reform. Period.

    • @DS: Evolution has no goal so it cannot make mistakes.

      Same reason Springer makes no mistakes.

  20. Science cannot ‘lose its way’. Science does not have a way. Science is a way. Some ‘scientists’ have lost the way that is science. Others willfully subvert it, as they travel a different way.

  21. Pamela Mosier Boss an ex of US Navy Spawar published recently

    http://www.iscmns.org/CMNS/JCMNS-Vol12.pdf#page=6

    a small article about how the peer-review process in nature & Science is flawed and emotional.

    “How the Flawed Journal Review Process Impedes Paradigm Shifting Discoveries”

    Nb: Don’t do like Nature and don’t throw the paper on the name of the author and the subject discussed (ENEA have tried to publish a paper proving something important, ruining the beliefs that nature & Science have transformed in dogmatic truth. the paper was rejected for “no room”. in fact another author had succeeded in passing peer-review long before, and Science was forced to dump it )

    Pam Mosier Boss is the author of many PR papers, patents, many in traditional domains, and some in one deeply reproduced but disputed domain (like yours), where US navy spawar, ENEA, US navy NRL, SRI are still researching, beside some industrials . anecdotically industrial application are underway. but all is delayed and the market impacted in 7 trillion$/year of saving.

    here is a description of her career
    “…In addition to more than 30 peer-reviewed papers related to XXX, she is also widely published in other fields with an additional 30+ peer-reviewed papers. If you count peer-reviewed papers, conference proceedings and book chapters, it’s over 160 in total. She holds more patents than any other woman in the history of the lab at 16 with 5 more pending.” Two of those patents are related to XXX, including one issued just this year in April .
    According to Gordon, before a recent halt on cold fusion work at the Navy lab, Boss spent only about one-quarter of her time on research related to cold fusion. Her other research includes battery systems, polymers, piezoelectric ceramics and phages.”

    Abstract
    The purpose of scientific journals is to review papers for scientific validity and to disseminate new theoretical and experimental results. This requires that the editors and reviewers be impartial. Our attempt to publish novel experimental results in a renowned physics journal shows that in some cases editors and reviewers are not impartial; they are biased and closed-minded. Although our subject matter was technical, its rejection was not: it was emotionally charged. It was an agenda-laden rejection of legitimate experiments that were conducted in US DoD and DoE laboratories. This paper describes the flawed journal review process, detailing our own case and citing others. Such behavior on the part of editors and reviewers has a stifling effect on innovation and the diffusion of knowledge.

    Successful replications of these novel XXX results have been published in several peer-reviewed journals [NdT JJAP, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Physics letter A,Il Nuovo Cimento,Naturwissenschaften]
    However, potential government sponsors have stated that these peer-reviewed publications are meaningless because the research was not published in either Nature or Science, as if these two were the only legitimate arbiters of scientific truth.

    ..

    . Replications have also been published in prestigious overseas journals such as the Japanese J. Applied Physics [NdT: Toyota recently pubished there, replicating Mitsubishi published too]. This is published by the Japanese Applied Physics Society, and it is thus roughly equivalent to Science, published by the AAAS. We, and others, have attempted to publish papers in Nature, but our submissions were returned with the admonishment, “This subject area is of no interest to our readers.” In fact, Nature has published a number of papers on experiments that failed to replicate the XXX results, such as the one written by Lewis et al. [6], as well as negative commentaries on the field [7,8]. In light of criticisms of not having published our results in higher-tiered journals, we attempted to publish a XXX-based paper in a higher-tier physics journal. In this communication, we document and discuss the outcome of our experience as a case study to illustrate the larger problem.
    Unfortunately, the problem of publishing controversial papers is hardly a new phenomenon. In their book entitled Responsible Conduct of Research, Shamoo and Resnick [9] stated:

    <>

    Campanario [10] documented instances where 24 scientists encountered resistance by scientific journal editors or referees when they tried to publish manuscripts on discoveries that later earned them the Nobel Prize. Recently, Nature published an editorial on the subject of peer rejection [11]. Nature acknowledged that they had rejected papers on Cerenkov radiation; Hideki Yukawa’s meson; the work on photosynthesis by Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber and Hartmut Michel; and the initial rejection (but eventual acceptance) of Stephen Hawking’s black-hole radiation. The editorial concluded:
    <<>>

    One immediate and long lasting effect of journals refusing to publish papers on as yet controversial observations is the elimination of a field of research and the diminution of scientists and engineers working in it. Without peer-reviewed publications, university faculty are precluded from funding as well as students, as no student will pursue an unrecognized field where jobs do not exist. Scientists are unable to find funds or management support. Entrepreneurs are limited because it is not likely that corporate angels or venture capitalists will risk funds on a technology, which is denigrated by leading scientists and subject to ridicule. In 1991, Nobel Laureate Julian Schwinger [38] aptly summarized the problem when he wrote:
    <>
    Indeed, this whole situation is a “Catch-22” [39]; a situation named for the war novel in which a pilot who claims he is crazy so he wouldn’t have to fly missions, but by refusing to fly missions he proved he was sane! Our Catch-22 is that both DoE and DoD have unequivocally stated that until “first-tier” journals, like Science and Nature, publish papers in this field, they will not fund programs. But, editors of these journals have stated they would not publish papers without DoE acceptance of the phenomena: a Catch-22.

    Prestigious journals publish fraudulent results

    Prestigious journals are not infallible. There have been many disputes in the history of science; Nature and Science have not always been on the winning side. It is not reasonable for government agencies to require publication in these journals as proof that a phenomenon is real. Nature and several other high tier journals have also accepted papers that were later retracted. The most egregious failure of the editors and reviewers to deal with fraudulent physics papers was that of then Bell Laboratory’s researcher, Jan Hendrik Schoen [40]. Schoen [41] published 36 papers, all of which were retracted, including seven from Nature, nine from Science and six from the Physical Review journal. In this case, there was a “rush to judgment” to publish the expected. As noted above, they have also failed to publish the unexpected, as they did when they rejected 24 papers that later won the Nobel prize [10].

    inside the description of the way the peer-review was biased and emotional will be funny or sad depending on your mood and bad memory.

    You won’t feel alone. this is a very common phenomenon.

    at least if you disagree with pamela mosier boss, you could find here referenced papers to make your own.

    • Having followed the really wide attention given world-wide to the observation of Fleischmann and Pons as well as further work on those ideas, I cannot see any worse case to support the introductory remarks of the paper of Mosier-Boss et al.

      The ideas Fleischmann and Pons where immediately strongly criticized but their failure for getting general acceptance was not due to lacking attention, or to no other scientists trying to reproduce the results in a way more convincing.

  22. Some fields of science seem to have been compromised due to BigMoney (Pharma, GMO, tobacco etc.) and the latest example is just about to explode:

    http://www.independentsciencenews.org/science-media/the-goodman-affair-monsanto-targets-the-heart-of-science/

    http://retractionwatch.com/2013/11/28/controversial-seralini-gmo-rats-paper-to-be-retracted/

    We should not underestimate the power of vested interested in various forms (including academic investments in a certain academic school of thought). In addition to the BigGreen and the IPCC, a potential collapse of the CO2-theory would be catastrophic also for some academics due to their questionable practices in terms of overselling their “knowledge”.

  23. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Heretical notions:

    • Alexandre Afonso’s weblog:  How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang (as do increasingly many other globalized professions).

    Inside Higher Education:  Blog post comparing academe to drug gang provokes much discussion

    Slate Magazine:  Welcome to Our Tijuana Campus: How academia sometimes behaves like a drug cartel.

    Summary  Academia responds to globalized market forces with the same ruthless efficacy as a drug cartel.

    Conclusion I  Drug cartels sometimes produce weak drugs and/or fake drugs … but mainly produces *vast* quantities of *powerful* drugs … without regard for human or environmental cost, but instead with an exclusive focus on short-term revenue and power advantage.

    Conclusion II  Globalized capitalism sometimes produce weak products and/or fake products … but mainly produces *vast* quantities of *attractive* consumer products … without regard for human or environmental cost, but instead with an exclusive focus on short-term revenue and market advantage.

    Conclusion III  Globalized science sometimes produce weak products and/or fake products … but mainly produces *vast* quantities of *correct* science … without regard for human or environmental cost, but instead with an exclusive focus on short-term publicity and reputational advantage.

    Overall Conclusion  Hansen’s climate-change worldview is likely scientifically … but too-many members of scientific community that validates that worldview are no more righteous that drug lords or capitalism-first libertarians.

    \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}

  24. David Springer

    Joshua | December 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

    “DocMartyn for linking Gauchat to try to prove that there is no linkage between the Christian right and a drop in “trust” in scientists among conservatives, ridiculed.”

    Who knew Christians don’t place their faith in things lightly and would be the first demographic to recognize the problem. Give Doc a break he isn’t even one of them but he probably should be given that what I know of his character fits the bill – the right morals without an absolute moral source – funny how that happens to so many people innit?

  25. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    David Springer reminds us [wisely]  “Christians don’t place their faith in things lightly.

    Assertion by David Springer, supporting links by FOMD.

    Observation  The Vatican’s Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility workshop will feature Naomi Oreskes speaking on Scientific Consensus and the Role and Character of Scientific Dissent

    A Reasonable Conclusion  History provides ample reason to trust the creation, but not the faithful; trust the science, but not the scientists.

    Good on `yah, Pope Francis, Naomi and Wendell!

    \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}

    • David Springer

      Seven billion souls cannot be sustained without affordable energy. They can be sustained in a warmer world. Fossil fuel consumption almost certainly can’t be sustained but in order to sustain an effort to discover and deploy an affordable replacement a panic-driven rationing must be avoided as this will stall the very economic vitality which funds the effort to find and deploy a replacement.

      In other words: Don’t kill the goose the lays the golden eggs.

      Irrational panic provided by John Sidles, level headed common sense provided by Dave Springer.

      Write that down.

    • People still listen to Naomi Oreskes? I’m so sorry.
      ===========

    • @ David Springer | December 2, 2013 at 7:15 am |

      “in order to sustain an effort to discover and deploy an affordable replacement a panic-driven rationing must be avoided as this will stall the very economic vitality which funds the effort to find and deploy a replacement.”

      Thanks for saying this, its been part of my thinking for years and its nice to see it presented. I’ll take common sense over credentials any day.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David Springer deplores [without details]  “panic-driven rationing.”

      Do this guy, or this gal, or this guy look panic’d to you, David Springer?

      Conclusion  Nowadays the panic’d folks are none other than the short-sighted, willfully ignorant, pathologically self-centered folks who comprise (in Wendell Berry’s words) “the gleeful yahoos who are destroying the world, and the mindless oafs who abet them.”.

      So that’s a mighty *good* kind of panic, eh David Springer?

      \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}

    • David Springer

      This guy looks so panicked the authorities had to restrain him.

      http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/query/scientist-hansen

    • People still arrest James Hansen? I’m so sorry.
      =========

  26. Let us look at what one of the world’s leading scientist said about the science of CAGW. I refer to Lord Rees, the current Astronomer Royal, and former President of the Royal Society.

    http://theconversation.com/astronomer-royal-on-science-environment-and-the-future-18162

    Quote
    @@@@@
    Doubling of CO2 in itself just causes 1.2 degrees warming. But the effect can be amplified by associated changes in water vapour and clouds.
    @@@@@

    Here Lord Rees is obviously referring to the no-feedback climate sensitivity. For all sorts of different reasons, we know that this quantity has no meaning in science; e.g. it is impossible to ever measure it. Yet Lord Rees deliberately lies, and I use the word advisedly, in stating that this is some sort of scientific fact.

    Has science lost it’s way? I submit that if Lord Rees can deliberately lie in public to enhance the status of CAGW, the answer, clearly, has to be

    YES!

    • Well, Jim, I take your technical point, but what ground me about his statement was the assertion ‘amplify’. He doesn’t know that. So did he lie? Well, he’s an activist publicly acting out his ignorance. He should be laughed at, but it is probably more appropriate to express our sorrow at his ridiculous figure.
      ============

  27. Regarding the status of the ‘hockey stick’ a quick glance at AR5 shows the following. The SPM does not include paleo graphs. It says something about the MWP:

    “Continental-scale surface temperature reconstructions show, with high confidence, multidecadal periods during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (year 950 to 1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th century. These regional warm periods did not occur as
    coherently across regions as the warming in the late 20th century (high confidence).”

    The full report (draft 30 Sept) shows a very nuanced discussion about problems associated with paleo reconstructions. For example,

    “Reconstructing NH, SH or global-mean temperature variations over the last 2000 years remains a challenge due to limitations of spatial sampling, uncertainties in individual proxy records and challenges associated
    with the statistical methods used to calibrate and integrate multi-proxy information (Hughes and Ammann, 2009; Jones et al., 2009; Frank et al., 2010a).”

    So in perspective it looks as if with regard to this single, and contested, issue, AR5 has come out with a clear statement of the limits of knowledge. As far as this knowledge stems from climate science one mat well conclude that it has not lost its way. Or, maybe better: that it has regained track.

    • You are funny, RG; they are still trying to disappear the Medieval Warm Period. Watch them get magical, now, and disappear the Modern Warm Period, apprentices that they be.
      =========

  28. Science has not lost it’s way, only some scientists.
    There are still thousands of scientists out there doing really good work, most of which is totally ignored by the establishment, the IPCC, Governments and the MSM.
    Bias has always existed in scientific research, but eventually the “Evidence” overcomes the bias with the truth, sometimes it takes hundreds of years, way after the original researcher has died.
    This is currently happening with Climate studies, but who knows how long it will take?

    • Even kim doesn’t know, but likely before it stops cooling. Well, one can hope.
      ==============

    • AC,

      I have no doubt that there are “thousands of scientists out there” that are good scientists. The problem is the system of incentives and the associated pressure to publish. Even if the publishable result is not reproducible…..and perhaps the reproducible result is not publishable. It is what Eisenhower warned us about. Too many of us remember only the part of that speech that fits our political biases.

      This thread has mostly degraded to the same old arguments about climate science. I am afraid climate science is merely a single symptom of a much bigger issue.

    • @ACO: There are still thousands of scientists out there doing really good work, most of which is totally ignored by the establishment, the IPCC, Governments and the MSM.

      Real easy to figure out which are the ones doing the bad work, ACO. It’s those claiming CO2 is hazardous to the health of the planet.

      What could be simpler, eh?

      As was pointed out recently, simple reasoning like that was how science in Russia was judged not so long ago. This method is alive and well today in western civilization.

    • The plant kingdom thrives, and derivatively the animal one. We stay warmer than we would be otherwise. What could be simpler?
      =============

  29. Joshua,

    Could you point out to GaryM that this:

    > In the case of climate science, the customer is getting exactly what it paid for. Progressive governments wanted PR to support their already established desire to control the energy economy.

    might very well qualify as evidence he asked above?

    Unless of course this does not entail that progressive governments “tell” anything to scientists to get what they want.

  30. David Springer

    The plain truth is that quantity has replaced quality in the university and in the peer reviewed literature forthcoming from same.

  31. Judith, keep in mind that the Eisen “author-pays” model created the problem the Science sting exposed. When the author pays the journal’s incentive is to publish all it can, while subscription journals seek to maximize value for the paying reader, which means publishing just the best stuff. Eisen’s author-pays PLoS One says specifically that it does not review for importance. This is why it has become a profitable mega-journal, publishing over 20,000 articles a year for a hefty fee of around $1500 per article.

    • David Springer

      Yes David but the subscriber pays model is equally flawed when the subscribers are ideologues who conspire to control which journals receive their submissions and pressure same into firing editors who publish articles that don’t adhere to the ideology. The subscriber pays journal has a very vested interest in publishing what the subscribers want to read. It’s market driven not quality driven in either case.

    • Well, warped though things may be, I maintain that they were peculiarly warped in climate science. We don’t have climategate type emails from more mature areas of science.
      ================

    • David Springer

      There doesn’t seem to be much if any punishment of either authors, reviewers, or journals when poor quality papers are published. The rewards for both are clear enough. On the other hand there’s no reward for replication so the repeatability requirement in the scientific method is not tested. It’s a real mess. How would you suggest restoring balance in regard to risk/reward for authors, publishers, reviewers, and those with the means to replicate what does get published?

    • How would you suggest restoring balance in regard to risk/reward for authors, publishers, reviewers, and those with the means to replicate what does get published?

      $$$$$

      Not throwing money at it, but any workable solution will require lots of money. And those with the power to supply it (note my wording) will be those who control the decision how to try “restoring balance in regard to risk/reward for [...].” That said…

      I would suggest that the glut of “PhD students and teaching assistants who provide quite a large part of the teaching and whose employment conditions are much more casual than what one can see elsewhere” and the like in other countries be provided employment in (semi-)permanent positions dedicated to replicating work already published. This would offer opportunities to publish (albeit in low-impact journals), and also help to identify unreplicable findings.

      Obviously, it wouldn’t be as simple as it sounds, but the opportunity for a journal (and authors) to publish higher-impact discoveries of unreplicable results could provide an incentive for performing and publishing lots of replication work. The first paper identifying a high-impact “discovery” that turns out to be in error would presumably end up being referenced frequently, with consequent rewards for both researchers and publisher.

    • This is where someone like Bill Gates could step in. Online Journals and have all the mechanisms and policies for running the journals taken out of the hands of scientists and placed in the hands of the truly independent; retired Judges, actuaries, Senior ex-Military, but not in the hands of the money people.
      I like the idea of paired papering; your first submission passed independent peer review and is posted up on an interactive electronic journal; then the great unwashed can attack it in blog format for eighteen months, and at the end of this 18 month window you have the opportunity to submit a second paper addressing the critics and those who have suggested useful hints and tips.

    • On the scale of science as a whole, not climate science, I do not believe there are any serious problems, other than people like Eisen getting governments to attack subscription journals. Climate science is a big problem because it has been captured by a political movement, as have the governments.

    • …it has been captured by a political movement, as have the governments.

      ??? It is a “problem” that “the governments” have been “captured by a political movement?”

      What is the alternative to “the governments” being “captured by a political movement?” Fascism?

      And when, exactly, did our country pass from a state where the government was not “captured by a political movement” to a state when it was?

      Hmmm. November of 2008?

    • We don’t have climategate type emails from more mature areas of science.

      Indeed. They learned a few centuries ago not to gore the ox of those in power.

    • Heh, the Team disemboweled themselves all over the ice, and it’s there, frozen in time.
      ============

  32. “The journals want the papers that make the sexiest claims. And scientists believe that the way you succeed is having splashy papers in Science or Nature — it’s not bad for them if a paper turns out to be wrong, if it’s gotten a lot of attention.” – Michael Eisen
    ____

    Was Michael Eisen trying to get a lot of attention? I think so.

    Will it be bad for him if he’s wrong? I don’t know.

  33. David Springer

    David Appell | December 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm |

    “I’m asking again, since everyone is avoiding this question:”

    One cannot avoid what one has not yet seen. Duh.

    “How do governments make it “clear” what results they want?”

    Here’s one way:

    • David Springer

      See, they’re a bit sneaky about it using circular reasoning. Obummer was elected so he could begin slowing the rise of the oceans and healing the planet.

      If scientists came out and said the oceans aren’t rising and the planet isn’t sick then the Obummer’s raison d’etre as well as that of his cheering throngs of followers is invalidated.

    • > In a piece entitled, “Confessions of a Right-Wing Shock Jock,” Hunter wrote that while Paul knew of his persona as the Southern Avenger, the Senator did not know of his previous statements, including toasting to John Wilkes Booth, calling for Spike Lee to be whipped, and more:

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/southern-avenger-comes-clean-former-rand-paul-aide-warns-gop-away-from-racist-rhetoric/

    • I thought the Red Scare was over, jim2:

      > The term Red Scare denotes the promotion of fear of a potential rise of communism or radical leftism, used by anti-leftist proponents. In the United States, the First Red Scare was about worker (socialist) revolution and political radicalism. The Second Red Scare was focused on national and foreign communists influencing society, infiltrating the federal government, or both.

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

      Or perhaps are you joined the bandwagon of a Third one?

    • Here is another:

      http://theenergycollective.com/guayjguay/309546/kosovo-coal-plant-fails-president-obamas-climate-plan-test

      The USA will now actively prohibit coal plant construction loans.

      • “The USA will now actively prohibit coal plant construction loans”
        And in one simple act improve the competitiveness of our competitors and make it more expensive to build things in the US.

        Does anyone wonder why we’ve had the worst recovery from a recession, I think ever?

    • and another:

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/01/obama-creates-climate-change-task-force/

      Through the stroke of a pen, President Obama on Friday used his executive powers to elevate and take control of climate change policies in an attempt to streamline sustainability initiatives – and potentially skirt legislative oversight and push a federal agenda on states.

      The executive order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of climate change. The task force includes governors of seven states — all Democrats — and the Republican governor of Guam, a U.S. territory. Fourteen mayors and two other local leaders also will serve on the task force.

      All but three of those appointed are Democrats. The task force will look at federal money spent on roads, bridges, flood control and other projects. It ultimately will recommend how structures can be made more resilient to the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and warming temperatures.

    • David Springer

      President Obama:

      “I face this challenge with profound humility (huh?)…

      If we are willing to work for it and fight for it and believe in it (and pay a carbon tax on all energy)…generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that…this was the moment that the rise of the ocean began to slow and our planet began to heal (thundering applause).”

      Great oratory. Lousy message. Not much humility.

      Max

    • So, Willard. After Mr. Paul’s aid had associated with Mr. Paul and absorbed his libertarian ideas and ideals, he become more tolerant and realized all citizens should be free, no matter what race they are.

      It would be great if a third of voters became libertarian. But failing that, if the Tea Party is the only way to dislodge the socialists, then more power to them.

    • What evah Nona wants, Nona gets.
      =========

  34. Excellent³.

  35. Why didn’t we trust reason? Why did we foresake the scientific method? Why have we placed our faith in politicians instead of ourselves? When we can answer these questions only then will we begin to understand why America lost its way.

    Mediums, tarot card readers, and global warming alarmists ply their trade by sounding credible. We are responsible for understanding what’s right and the right thing to do.

    • Mediums, tarot card readers, and global warming alarmists ply their trade by sounding credible.

      I have never read or listened to anything from a global warming alarmists that sounded credible.

      They appeal to people who swallow stuff that is not credible.

  36. A fatally serious problem in the ridiculously politically overcharged climate discussion context is corruption &/or incompetence of auditors &/or replicators.

  37. Judy, I do not understand your (seeming) disdain for taxonomy. Sensible sorting is crucial to the identification of asymptotic meso- & macro-scale multiphase laminar synchronization of micro-scale turbulence. Are we at risk of semantic misunderstanding due to cross-disciplinary variation of terminology use? I’m left doubting that I’m anywhere near clear on your definition of “taxonomy”. You seem to use the term in connection with climate models. This leaves me wondering if you do not intend to (seemingly at least) trash-talk the utility of taxonomy in sorting out the mathematical properties of basic patterns in nature, which is prerequisite to designing pattern summary metrics. In summary, I suspect a miscommunication of the type that could probably persist for years via the online medium even though it would probably be sorted out in a few sentences face to face. I’m not looking for a written response here & now but rather reflection moving forward, something I do trust and don’t doubt is ongoing.

    • Mr. Vaughn ==> Please, read the essay by Dr. Curry at http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/15/pasteurs-quadrant/ in which she explains her usage of the phrase ‘taxonomical studies’. I’d quote it here for you, but then you wouldn’t read the essay.

      [note to new readers, students, and those passing through ===> Please, always actually read an item before commenting on it...if the item is on a different web page, go there and read it. It wastes everyone else's time to read your input based on your failure to do so. Thank you. ]

    • Paul, I have nor problem with taxonomy. I have a problem with the taxonomy of climate model output and the assessment of future regional impacts of AGW.

    • @ Kip Hansen

      I read that article just prior to commenting and it was the following which caused me to seek clarification:

      “This leaves us with the unnamed 4th quadrant, which is often characterized as ‘taxonomy’, i.e. research that is neither useful nor contributes to fundamental understanding.”

      I COMPLETELY disagreed. Frankly, I found it quite offensive. I used to work as a botanist. Where would botanists be without taxonomy?? Probably assuming various characteristics are “random” and “chaotic” since data were NOT SENSIBLY SORTED prior to analysis.

      NB: The 2D model is NOT specific to climate modeling. (Pasteur, Bohr, & Edison were NOT doing climate modeling.)

      Judy, thank you for clarifying. It was as I suspected: You meant climate modeling taxonomy — IMHO the taxonomy of useless garbage. (I sure hope this isn’t a taxpayer-funded activity.) We appear to be in very strong agreement on this.

  38. Walt Allensworth

    Science has not lost it’s way.

    However, a very powerful political force has perverted many, many scientists with the lure of easy money to do it’s bidding.

    That political force wants to control you and your money.

    • > [A] very powerful political force has perverted many, many scientists with the lure of easy money to do it’s bidding. That political force wants to control you and your money.

      Note that this political force “tells” anything to scientist about the uncertainty of their studies, mind you.

    • Walt –

      That political force wants to control you and your money.

      I don’t believe that we’ve cybermet before. It’s good to meet you. My name’s Joshua, but people often call me Josh.

      Anyway, I would like to suggest that you email your comment to Lew and Brandon. I think that they’d both find it interesting.

    • Walt, Josh is trying to paint you as a conspiracy theorist. Look up Stephan Lewandowsky. Josh seems to think that the idea that politicians want to control people’s money is a wacked-out conspiracy theory that should lead to you (ok, maybe just your comments, but who knows what the future may bring) being dissected and examined by a shrink. Or worse, an amateur wannabe shrink completely ruled by a political agenda who puts out laughably stupid studies that somehow pass peer review.

      Go figure hunh?

    • ” Josh seems to think that the idea that politicians want to control people’s money is a wacked-out conspiracy theory ”

      No the wacked-out conspiracy theory is the idea that politicians all around the world got together some time in the 80s and hatched a devious 50 year plan in which they arranged to pay physicists to invent some physics concerning human emissions just so future politicians n future government would have an excuse to raise taxes a little.

    • No the wacked-out conspiracy theory is the idea that politicians all around the world got together some time in the 80s and hatched a devious 50 year plan in which they arranged to pay physicists to invent some physics concerning human emissions just so future politicians n future government would have an excuse to raise taxes a little.

      They did not get together and do this. They looked at the same junk and did this independently on their own.

    • > Josh seems to think that the idea that politicians want to control people’s money is a wacked-out conspiracy theory that should lead to you (ok, maybe just your comments, but who knows what the future may bring) being dissected and examined by a shrink.

      The word “seems” seems to allow all kinds of mind reading.

      It’s not the idea, BTW, but the overall frame, or what Lew called ideation:

      In addition to a worldview that endorses free-market economics, another variable that has been associated with the rejection of science is conspiratorial thinking, or conspiracist ideation, defined here as the attempt to explain a significant political or social event as a secret plot by powerful individuals or organizations (Sunstein & Vermeule, 2009). The presumed conspirators are typically perceived as virtually omnipotent (Bale, 2007). Thus, internal documents of the tobacco industry referred to scientists doing medical research on the health effects of smoking as a “vertically integrated, highly concentrated, oligopolistic cartel” that—in combination with “public monopolies”—“manufactures alleged evidence, suggestive inferences linking smoking to various diseases, and publicity and dissemination and advertising of these so-called findings” (Abt, 1983, p. 126). Likewise, rejection of the link between HIV and AIDS has been associated with the conspiratorial belief that HIV was created by the U.S. government to eradicate Black people (e.g., Bogart & Thorburn, 2005; Kalichman, Eaton, & Cherry, 2010). Rejection of climate science has also long been infused with notions of a conspiracy among scientists. As early as 1996, accusations of corruption in the IPCC were aired in the Wall Street Journal (Lahsen, 1999; Oreskes & Conway, 2010). More recently, a book by a U.S. senator is called The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future (Inhofe, 2012).

      The prominence of conspiracist ideation in people who espouse science denial is not entirely surprising because if an overwhelming scientific consensus cannot be accepted as the result of researchers independently converging on the same evidence-based view, then the very existence of the consensus calls for an alternative explanation. The ideation of a complex and secretive conspiracy among researchers can provide that explanation (Diethelm & McKee, 2009; McKee & Diethelm, 2010). However, there is no empirical evidence about how widespread such ideations are among people who reject scientific evidence, in particular as it relates to climate change. Moreover, to date, analyses of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science have exclusively focused on conspiracy theories pertaining to the scientific issue under consideration: Thus, denial of HIV’s connection with AIDS has been linked to the belief that the U.S. government created HIV (Kalichman, 2009), members of the tobacco industry viewed lung-cancer researchers as an “oligopolistic cartel” (Abt, 1983, p. 127), and climate deniers believe that communists, socialists, and a “global elite” have manufactured global warming as the “biggest scam in history” (Sussman, 2010, p. 215). In all these cases, the conspiracy theory serves to explain away overwhelming scientific evidence. Thus, the conspiracist ideation may be an accoutrement of the denial of an inconvenient scientific fact, rather than an independent and potentially stable psychological variable that is associated with the rejection of science more generally.

      http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/5/622.full

      It’s not clear that Walt’s comment fits the definition. It may be seen as an overly moralistic jibe, just like the usual reactionary claptrap. In any case, here’s a link to Sunstein & Vermeule, 2009:

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9760.2008.00325.x/abstract?

      The truth is out there.

    • It’s not so much as a political force as a political movement.

      And it is hardly seen by its opponents as omnipotent. Obamacare, centralized education, national and state run pension systems. Progressives are world class successes at gaining and keeping power. They are impotent, not omnipotent, at actually accomplishing anything beyond that.

    • > It’s not so much as a political force as a political movement.

      Tomacco, tobacco:

      In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a certain change, either concerning its movement, direction, or geometrical construction. In other words, a force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (which includes to begin moving from a state of rest), i.e., to accelerate, or a flexible object to deform, or both.

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

      Since “Obamacare” was mentioned, here’s Rand:

      Of the 843 people surveyed, Christie received 24 percent of the Republican vote, according to the poll released Friday. Paul received 13 percent.

      U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan came in third with 11 percent.

      The poll showed the candidates split among economic classes. Christie wins among those who make more than $50,000 a year with 32 percent. Paul only received 9 percent of the vote from that economic class. He, however, won among voters who make less than $50,000, winning 20 percent of that vote, while Christie received 13 percent.

      The poll has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

      http://cincinnati.com/blogs/politics/2013/11/29/christie-leads-rand-paul-in-cnn-national-poll/

  39. When all is said and done, the old adage “follow the money” still applies. Climate science is merely the latest poster child for the adage. Not all of it is fraudulent. But too much of it is.

  40. There’s another subtlety in the threads here, in that those arguing against anyone questioning some theories always seem to get requests for references to papers, as if being published is the metric for accuracy and the truth. However, David Appell has already explained at length how published papers should not be expected to be accurate, so cannot be relied upon. So, where does one go to get the unvarnished truth if journal papers are full of holes ?.

    Of course the journals would defend the current system, since it is the primary justification for their existence, but it also gives them control of the direction of the agenda, by refusing to publish some papers. How can science be unbiased and correct when such a disfunctional system is in use and output is effectively filtered ?.

    Thanks heavens for the internet, the great democratiser, which is still largely unfiltered. SNR may be poor at times, but what a flux of ideas :-)…

    Chris

    • “So, where does one go to get the unvarnished truth”

      I know it’s not an option for all, but I like to do my own sanity checking.

      I started by examining the station records myself, then added a inexpensive weather station a year ago, and a IR thermometer a week ago, and then you study the data, and read the science on all of it.

    • Chris

      +100

      The Internet has opened up the climate debate to those who will eventually pick up the tab – the general public, thereby taking it away from the private domain of climate scientists and politicians.

      A very good think (for which our hostess and this site should be commended).

      Max

    • …a very good think thing

    • “Chris

      +100

      The Internet has opened up the climate debate to those who will eventually pick up the tab”

      The internet is a threat to totalitarianism- and accordingly measures are taken against it and it’s censured in the totalitarian States.

    • “The internet is a threat to totalitarianism”

      there’s potentially a new and worse ism just round the corner thanks to the internet

    • Peter Lang

      Naw. I’m still swinging from my tree, Peter. Sort of hanging in there.

      My point is that in a free society, communication is open. This is especially true today, with the Internet.

      As Chris Quayle wrote:

      Thanks heavens for the internet, the great democratiser, which is still largely unfiltered.

      In a totalitarian society, communication is not free. Messages that do not conform to the party line are censored out. The Internet is filtered. In the worst cases, the dissenter is ostracized, jailed or silenced in some other way.

      My comment was intended to point this out with a flashback to the past.

      Even though they may attempt to do so, the powers that be are not able to censor out dissenting views in our free world today. And Chris is right.

      Max

  41. Walt Allensworth

    Josh – nice to meet you too.
    Which Lew? Which Brandon?

    • “Josh – nice to meet you too.
      Which Lew? Which Brandon?”

      Walt, it is a long story. Josh is baiting you. Advice, ignore him.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I agree with Bob, but since you asked Walt Allensworth, I’m the Brandon in question. I believe Joshua mentioned me to you because of an exchange starting here. However, he’s had a weird habit of bringing me up in random threads (often on pages I haven’t posted on) for a while now so I’m not sure.

      The Lew in question is Stephan Lewandowsky. He’s an author who has published several papers claiming to prove things like skeptics are conspiracy theorists. This work has been criticized for a variety of things, including having conclusions which rely on sample sets of only a couple people. That is, he’s taken data which shows only a couple purported skeptics say they believe in a conspiracy, and he’s used it to “prove” his conclusions. In another case, he had a paper (Recursive Fury) pulled from the journal’s website (while it hasn’t been formally withdrawn, it seems to be indefinitely unavailable) for things like flagrantly misrepresenting what people say in order to paint them as fitting his conclusions.

    • Brandon, that is a misrepresentation of Lewandowsky. He only said that conspiracy theorists tend to be skeptics, not the other way round, and that is a big difference. Anyway, it is true that skeptics took his findings badly.

    • > However, he’s had a weird habit of bringing me up in random threads (often on pages I haven’t posted on) for a while now so I’m not sure.

      Perhaps, but this time it is related to this exchange that starts with a comment in which we can find this gem:

      Your comment here is as loony as any I’ve seen you criticize.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/01/has-science-lost-its-way/#comment-420253

      How Brandon jumped over Joshua’s rendering of JCH’s point without ever addressing JCH’s point at all was a thing of beauty.

      What was even more splendid was GaryM doing the same at the same time.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Jim D, I’m not sure the distinction you make is important for this discussion, but since you raised the issue, I must disagree. Here is a quote from the (semi) withdrawn paper:

      We suggest that if a person rejects an overwhelming scienti c consensus, such as the one for climate science, then that person needs to deny that the consensus emerged as the result of researchers converging independently on the same evidence-based view. Rejection of the scienti c consensus thus calls for an alternative explanation of the very existence of that consensus. The ideation of a secretive conspiracy among researchers can serve as such an explanation

      That seems to be a clear claim that skeptics are more likely to be conspiracy theorists. You’ll note it begins with a discussion of skepticism and moves on to a discussion of conspiracist ideation, not the other way around as you suggest.

      willard, I’m amused you provided a link to the same exchange I linked to while ignoring the fact I linked to it. It’s like a mild form of plagiarism.

    • Brandon, the statistics themselves made the connection in the opposite direction. The word ‘can’ in your quote indicates that this is not a strong causality. The other non-conspiracy explanation of the overwhelming consensus is just that everyone is wrong due to confirmation bias or just plain wrong because they have all not understood the various diverse counter-AGW explanations. Conspiracy theories we see here often include the ones related to getting funding, peer pressure, political pressure, rampant socialism, and anything but that the science is just objectively consistent with so many lines of evidence, which is the actual situation.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Jim D, I said Lewandowsky claims to show something. You disagreed so I gave an example by quoting his paper in which he makes the claim I said he makes (though perhaps “proves” was too strong a word). Even if the “statistics themselves” said something different, that wouldn’t change the fact Lewandowsky has said similar things to what I claimed he said on multiple occasions.

      Besides which, the “statistics themselves” don’t say anything one way or another. The “statistics themselves” show a “correlation” between skepticism and conspiratorial ideation even if one removes all purported skeptics and people who claim to believe in a conspiracy. That’s because the methodology is complete and utter nonsense (the link discusses another use of the same general methodology).

      Even if the methodology wasn’t complete nonsense, I have no idea why you think the “statistics themselves” show what you claim they show. You haven’t given any explanation or evidence to support your claim, and I couldn’t begin to guess.

    • Brandon, you can just as easily find what Lewandowsky wrote without the lens of skeptics and interpret it your own way. As predictors of denial of the scientific consensus view on global warming, free-market ideology is the best predictor followed by conspiratorial thinking. Having seen comments here, this does not surprise me at all, and could be a statement of the obvious rather than a psychology paper’s conclusions. It should also be no surprise to you, if not obvious, that those who disbelieve the moon landing, for example, also think big government is faking global warming. It goes with distrust of the government.

    • Jim D, are you seriously suggesting that the authors of a psychology paper are not going to know exactly how their words will be interpreted?
      They’re not that naive.

    • Jim D –

      As predictors of denial of the scientific consensus view on global warming, free-market ideology is the best predictor followed by conspiratorial thinking.

      Don’t forget that “skeptics” you encounter in the “skept-o-sphere” are outliers. Only a tiny fraction of people who believe ACO2 poses no threat write comments on blogs. Those who write comments on blogs are those who, for the most part, are the most fanatical on the subject – and so their associated ideological perspectives may be very strong.

      Of course, that would be true of “realists” who post blog comments as well.

      My guess is that while there is an association with “conservative” political ideology with most “skeptics” (meaning those who do not post blog comments), they are not as fanatical and extremist as those we find here.

    • Jim D, besides, why would anyone want to publish a paper about what conspiracy theorists think?

  42. If it was so easy to publish bad science why hasn’t the Watts surface station paper (the one with the huge TOBS problem) been published already!

    • It is not easy for everyone to publish especially when the peers aren’t really their peers. If Watts had been part of the “in crowd” it would have been published and had a corrigenda or two along with that. Antagonistic peer review actually seems to be good for science. That is one of the reasons that the online discussion or open review seems to be growing in popularity.

    • “That is one of the reasons that the online discussion or open review seems to be growing in popularity.”

      except when I asked that he publish his new data almost a year and a half ago, it was refused. He’s already published the findings and Christy and Mc reviewed it. Why wait for a journal to agree?

    • Watts should by all means give his data and code to warmists who can write their own papers and get them pal reviewed and published in no time while his own paper is kept in publishing purgatory.

      It’s not like anybody previously took advantage of his sharing data to rush to the microphones with a critique before he could even post his results on WUWT. Oh wait….

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I’m fine with Watts not sharing the underlying material until publication. That’s a reasonable thing to do. However, “until publication” does not mean “until he publishes a paper.” Once you start publishing results, it is reasonable for people to demand you release the underlying material.

      That reminds me, I need to figure out why Matlab won’t connect to BEST’s SVN. I’ve been told they have all their underlying material there, but I haven’t managed to check it since they put the username/password on their site.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Watts should by all means give his data and code to warmists who can write their own papers and get them pal reviewed and published in no time while his own paper is kept in publishing purgatory.”

      Except my offer was to sign a licence agreement that would prevent me from
      redistributing or publishing a paper using the data.

      you lose. again.

    • Steven Mosher

      Brandon if you have trouble with matlab, last we talked you didnt know how to use it, you can actually connect to the SVN by just using a client.

      Several folks have. or you can copy the files directly. same thing.

    • Steven Mosher

      “It’s not like anybody previously took advantage of his sharing data to rush to the microphones with a critique before he could even post his results on WUWT. Oh wait….”

      Actually, Watts gave Muller data from his First paper. in his testimony Muller confirmed the results from Watts first paper.

      we are talking about the second paper which he published on the web.

      pretty simple.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Sadly, Watt’s study tells us very little or perhaps nothing at all about Earth’s ongoing energy imbalance, and was unfortunately a vain attempt to upstage Muller on the weekend before Muller was set to release his first NY Times article. The entire affair was rather sad, and should not be confused with actual climate science.

    • Steven Mosher,

      Isn’t that what Muller did?

      “Except my offer was to sign a licence agreement that would prevent me from redistributing or publishing a paper using the data.”

      So you agreed not to redistribute or publish a paper using the data.

      Last I checked, Muller didn’t redistribute the data Watts gave him under a confidentiality agreement, or publish a paper on it. He just rushed out to announce his results based on a review of Watts’ data before Watts could publish. He got exactly the headlines he wanted.

      The agreement you just described would allow you to do the same.

      Why would Watts give any data to anyone involved with BEST given the history?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Steven Mosher, please don’t make things up about me:

      Brandon if you have trouble with matlab, last we talked you didnt know how to use it,

      I was well aware of how to use Matlab the last time we talked. I was also aware of how to use SVN with Matlab. The only thing I wasn’t aware of was how to use the SVN code packaged with the BEST code, and that was because I hadn’t looked into it.

      you can actually connect to the SVN by just using a client.

      I actually tried doing that first with TortoiseSVN. I couldn’t get it to work at the time, but I didn’t do too much troubleshooting. I’ll be looking into it tonight. I likely made a stupid mistake with configurations or something like that.

      Several folks have. or you can copy the files directly. same thing.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “copy the files directly.” If you mean I can access to the SVN directory via a browser or the like, that’s not exactly viable. The SVN page the BEST website links to has only three lines of one word each (Code, Data and Documents). All three lines have hyperlinks that are strangely identical, and none of them provide a path (even indirectly) to BEST code.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      As I said above, the BEST SVN page has three lines with three hyperlinks, all identical. I took this as some sort of intentional setup designed to limit HTTP access to the SVN contents. It wasn’t.

      It turns out the page simply has the wrong hyperlinks. The line with the word Code should should have this link. The line with the word Documents should have this link. The line with the word Data is the only one of the three which has the correct link.

      I suppose it is somewhat my fault for not figuring this out sooner. It just didn’t occur to me that if someone made a mistake like that in such a simple HTML document, nobody involved in or using the project would notice. Regardless, this means even if I can’t get my SVN client to work with the SVN repository, I can still access it. That’s cool. I like there’s a option that’s guaranteed to work just with a bit more inconvenience.

      I’m a little unsure of the structure of it though. I’ve only found three code sets. I thought the BEST site had published at least four different versions of its temperature record on its site so far.
      That suggests some revisions either aren’t available via a browser, or they aren’t available at all.

      Well, that or I’m missing something/making a stupid mistake!

  43. Western science has lost its way and one of the big contributors has been the confusion on American campuses concerning its facilitation of fascism in America–e.g.,

    One reason that the academic world has not taken the problem of
    Communist infiltration more seriously may lie in the fact that far too
    many educators even yet fail to realize that Fascism does not change
    its character simply because it flourishes as a Soviet-directed conspiracy
    to conquer the world instead of being directed by Adolf Hitler. We
    once examined a Communist theoretician and asked him if he was in
    favor of Fascism. This, of course, drew an angry denial. He was then
    asked to define Fascism and did so with great feeling and precision… He declared that Hitler’s Nazi regime was an excellent example of a
    Fascist government ; so was Mussolini ‘s Black Shirt regime in Italy.
    Pressed for details, this witness explained how under Fascist rule the
    will of the dictator is imposed on the people by force; how he controls
    all the machinery of government — transportation, communication, education, the military…

    [See, the California legislature's Tenth Report of the Senate Fact-Finding Committee On Un-American Activities, 1959]

  44. AH: Ja. In ze Tird Reich ve het ekselent scientz – und ve het vays to kontroll to make sure only goot scientz vas published. Nicht wahr?

    JS: Da. In glorious Union of Soviet Socialist states we kontroll, too – bad scientist sent to Gulag

    Both: Ah, the good ol’ days…

    • What is this referring to? Or have you been pushed out of your tree?

      [I notice the comments are not in the order they were posted, so I suspect you are out of your tree.] :)

      • My last comment was intended to be a reply to Manacker.

      • GCMs are a form of performance art: climate alarmists thinks AGW exists therefore it is.

      • Peter Lang

        (This message ended up in the wrong spot, so am re-posting)

        Naw. I’m still swinging from my tree, Peter. Sort of hanging in there.

        My point is that in a free society, communication is open. This is especially true today, with the Internet.

        As Chris Quayle wrote:

        Thanks heavens for the internet, the great democratiser, which is still largely unfiltered.

        In a totalitarian society, communication is not free. Messages that do not conform to the party line are censored out. The Internet is filtered. In the worst cases, the dissenter is ostracized, jailed or silenced in some other way.

        My comment was intended to point this out with a flashback to the past.

        Even though they may attempt to do so, the powers that be are not able to censor out dissenting views in our free world today. And Chris is right.

        Max

      • I understand. My comment was intended to be a joke. I was trying to work out a) who you were replying to and b) why your comment, which had time stamp before mine, was posted after mine. I guessed Judith must have deleted the trunk of the tree from which your branch was swinging – so you’d been cut loose. :)

      • plus one thousand max – the – serf.

    • and it’s happening here now — the punishments are more subtle, the masters more coy

  45. lolwot wrote:

    They’ve checked for that and the evidence is lacking. What sort of temperature regulation system could negate the warming from the greenhouse effect? Science does not engage in such fantasies. It work on evidence, not wishful thinking.

    Easy, when the oceans get warm and wet it snows much more.
    Evidence supports this. Your Wishful thinking does not support anything.

  46. Bad scientists were not sent to Gulag.
    Scientists who disagreed were sent to Gulag.

    • In Stalin’s view: Scientist who disagree = bad scientist.

      • We have to take a step back to understand what’s going on with the AGW debate. Global warming is a Left vs right issue–i.e., political not scientific. The Left doesn’t care about ever actually being right; gaining and maintaining political power by whatever means is their only truth. And, Western academia is dominated by the Left. All of Europe is dominated by the Left. The mainstream media is dominated by the Left. In the process pushing propaganda that the business of America is burning up the Earth the Left is holding a match to the frayed and tattered edges the Constitutional democracy.

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry, plenty of us on the right have no issue with the science of global warming.

      • osher

        I also “have no issue with the science of global warming”.

        Just with the over-hyped, exaggerated claims of IPCC.

        Max

      • … you mean, the science of climate change?

      • “The Left doesn’t care about ever actually being right…”

        Do tell!

      • Here’s a suggestion. Let’s just set up some kind of blog macro so that whenever Wags or GaryM or Peter Lang or Beth Cooper and jim2, and a few other “denizens” want to write a comment, they can just automatically produce the following:

        Global warming is a left vs. right issue, and since the left embody everything evil and immoral, and the right embodies everything enlightened and virtuous, clearly there is not potential that ACO2 emissions might be harmful.

        Although I would miss Beth’s excellent poetry.

      • Perhaps a better one would be a blog macro that substitutes for Joshua’s contributions :

        The Gospel according to St Joshua:
        Do only as I do. Credulously as a nitwit, accept all state propaganda on CAGW, and attack anyone who doesn’t, regardless of what they say, and regardless of what empirical evidence there is.

        The political way is the only way; your state is a jealous god, and ye shall worship his dogma only, for fear of the perpetual fires of gulags anew

      • Kind of sounds like the team’s approach based upon CG I emails.

  47. Like the Soviet science theory under Stalin that genetics can be modified by proper socielist training to create the new socialist man,
    Scott

  48. Had science lost its way? Yes and No. Just because some climate science has failed, it does not mean that all science has failed. Science is still achieving and will continue to, but mistakes will be mzde as they always have. When politics get mixed with science as happened in climate, things can get bad.

  49. DayHay @

    The executive order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of climate change.

    The first thing they should determine is what are the impacts of GHG emissions. Are they net good or net bad? And will the policies the Obama administration wants to implement make any difference?

    An excellent documentary of Ireland Secrets of the Irish landscape recently screened says that the climate warmed from ice age to current temperatures in less than a decade. [The documentary is 1 hour in three parts of 20 minutes, but it is only available at this web site for three more days]: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/62761027755

    Actually, I’ve since found out, the rapid rise from ice age temperatures to current temperatures occurred twice: 14,500 years ago in 7 years and 11,600 years ago in 9 years. What is really interesting is how the flora and fauna thrived as it warmed and struggled and died out as it cooled.

    Following are some notes I took on the documentary from 5 to 13 minutes:

    “I’ve just watched the first part (20 minutes) of the first episode of “Secrets of the Irish landscape” and made some notes. The whole hour is well worth watching:

    http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/62761027755

    Robert Lloyd Kroger, field naturalist, while working as a librarian at Trinity College, walked all over Ireland on his weekends, 30-40km per day, total 7,000 km, and recorded all the plants as he went. Wrote it up 100 years ago in “The way I went“. The main question he wanted to answer was: how did plants and animals repopulate Ireland after the retreat of the ice? He conducted the Claire Island study and it is claimed in the program to be “one of the greatest biological surveys ever undertaken”

    My notes (from about 5:00 to 13:00 roughly)
    Quoted expert: Professor Peter Coxon – ice age expert:
    20,000 years ago Ireland was completely covered by ice out to the continental shelf (100 km off shore). Depth up to 1 km.
    Just like Iceland now
    11,600 years ago, in less than 10 years, the climate suddenly warmed and the ice retreated. ”

    I wrote to Professor Peter Coxon yesterday and received the following response to my question (from subsequent email it is OK for me to distribute it):

    At 24,000 years ago the whole of Ireland was covered in ice -up to 1.5km thick (the global sea level at this time was 120m lower than now due to the increased volume of polar ice) and spread out onto the western shelf. This ice had mostly disappeared by 17,500 years ago but a readvance occurred just prior to 14,500 years ago (associated with a massive outpouring of icebergs into the N.Atlantic). At 14,500 all of the ice cap was probably gone and the climate warmed very quickly to levels similar to today (figure 15.21). However, the climate once again steadily cooled into the Late–glacial Stadial (Younger Dryas) and Ireland had small mountain glaciers (very small) between 12,600 and 11,500 years ago. At 11,500 years the climate suddenly warmed and then stayed warm –see figure 15.22 (apart from 8,200 years ago when the discharge from a huge N.American glacial lake emptied into the N.Atlantic).

    (i have used calendar years here –the dates are different in radiocarbon years)

    The figures are on p 391 and 392 in:
    Cenezoic: Tertiary and Quaternary (until 11,700 years before 2000) Geology of Ireland

    http://eprints.nuim.ie/1983/1/McCarron.pdf

    I interpret all the above as providing strong evidence that warming is good, no matter how fast it happens, and I see no evidence whatsoever that warming is bad. So, I suggest the US Administration should be asking the question: What would be the benefit of their policies? And I think they should be able to give answers with high certainty that their policies will succeed and deliver benefits that exceed the costs.

  50. Science is only a methodology for acquiring data. The data then has to be integrated into the human condition via philosophical methods.
    Don’t confuse engineering or mathematics with science, I repeat science is only a methodology. cAGW has no basis in science as it does not derive it’s data from the scientific method !!

    • Climate alarmists of Western academia feel justified in their belief that modernity causes global warming despite the fact such a relationship is not directly or even indirectly evident according to the best rules of the scientific method because they do not believe in rules of reasoning.

  51. “… but the Science/Nature publishing model and the way that universities reward scientists are providing perverse incentives that do not serve well the societally-relevant applications of science”

    Agreed

    Especially the iniquitous practice of paywalling “keystone” papers. This is simply a method of keeping the concepts and data away from the general public, since most cannot afford to subscribe to these splashy journals. The press releases from these journals are propaganda, which is all that is allowed to trickle down to the populace at large

  52. Mainstream contemporary climate science, well they have no word on what drives natural variation, they have it completely back to front with polar amplification, and many don’t know whether a warming world will have more El Nino’s or more La Nina’s. It must be the worst case of expert syndrome on the planet. Best not let them fly the plane, they have no idea how it works.

  53. I don’t know about science losing its way, but has WordPress lost its funding? It’s behaving bizarrely lately.

    • As if to make my point, WordPress put my comment ten positions ahead of earlier comments. Sucks to you, WordPress.

      Judith, how about leveraging your celebrity status and putting the squeeze on this losing WordPress operation?

    • > It’s behaving bizarrely lately.

      When Judy deletes a comment, Vaughan, all its children fall off the DOM tree.

    • Interesting theory, Willard, but how does that screw up everyone else?

    • David Springer

      Judy deletes a comment. WordPress has a bug in nested comment code where it doesn’t modify the upstream comment in the linked list to indicate either end-of-list or change the link to the comment following the deleted comment. Someone replies to the comment at the head of the thread the code that traverses the linked list looking for the last comment can’t find the last comment and it then places the new comment after the end of the entire tree.

      You’d think it would have been fixed by now since the bug has been around for at least a couple years. But then again I thought an emeritus CompSci PhD at Stanford wouldn’t need how linked lists work explained to him either. Sometimes what we think should be isn’t actually the case, eh?

      • I’m thinking about getting rid of the nesting completely, since I am moderating more heavily. Thoughts?

      • I’m thinking about getting rid of the nesting completely, since I am moderating more heavily. Thoughts?

        AFAIK the nesting is still there, it’s just a little more difficult to respond to comments without explicit reply links. Either way, it just offers advantages to people who understand the system and are willing to game it.

        I suppose if you got rid of reply links entirely (by completely removing nesting), every comment would appear in chronological order. It would still offer an advantage to people willing to include blockquotes and back links in their comments, but make it harder for the uninformed to discover what responses had been made to a particular comment.

        It might encourage people to respond only to the actual post, but would also allow those prepared to game the system to insert their replies to comments while those who know the (climate) science but not WordPress would be at a disadvantage.

    • Our hostess writes “I’m thinking about getting rid of the nesting completely, since I am moderating more heavily. Thoughts?”

      This is the best blog on CAGW. Judith, you own it. So far as I am concerned, what is best for you, is best for the rest of us. Do whatever you feel is best for you.

    • David Springer

      Check your email.

    • Non-nested comments will improve your life, Judy.

      It may also help decrease showdowns between Denizens, who will have to learn to use reference mechanisms.

      Go Team!

      Cue to David Wojick’s “but humans think in tree” counter-argument.

  54. Science doesnt have a way to lose.

  55. Hmmm “Your comment is awaiting moderation?”

    Is that something new, or am I in the Climate Etc woodshed for some reason?

    • GaryM,

      If you included more than four links, it automatically goes to moderation. It used to allow five links, but now it seems to be four. (I keep forgetting)

    • It happened to me, too, for a remarkably benign comment, which was later released. I blame it on WordunimPress.

      Psssssst, if Lew’s listening, it’s the NSA.
      =======

    • Links, Peter? What are links?
      ========

  56. Has science lost its way?

    No it has not.

    However, “Climate science” has been hijacked by environmentalism.

  57. “Just with the over-hyped, exaggerated claims of IPCC.”

    Exactly

  58. “you’ll get better science once crapitalism is gone. Until then the money will always be a bad influence.”

    Really? The one thing that has raised the standard of living of more people in the entire history of the planet?
    I guess this puts you into the category of those special environmentalists who are so self loathing they wish their species gone, well except the few chosen ones, aye?

  59. Walt Allensworth

    Joshua – I could meet you in the middle with this version… ;-)

    Global warming is a left vs. right issue, and since the left embody everything evil and immoral, and since there is no empirical data to support CAGW, clearly there is not potential that ACO2 emissions might be harmful.

  60. +1 for getting rid of nesting and moderating a bit more strongly, if you have time.

    The repetitive food fights detract from the quality of threads, and also make coming back to check what has happened since the last visit very time consuming and often very tedious as well.

    Maybe you could have a weekly “Food Fights” thread, where the kiddies can play in the sandbox among themselves without messing up everyone else’s space? :)

  61. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ”So, has science lost it’s way? I don’t think so, but the Science/Nature publishing model and the way that universities reward scientists are providing perverse incentives that do not serve well the societally-relevant applications of science.”

    According to my experience, universities give us necessary tools to be used to solve new problems we will meet. Do we know to use these tools? I interpret the issue expressed by Judit Curry that there still are lacking knowhow how to apply knowledge available by university examinations and scientific publications. The knowhow you must learn to acquire pragmatically even on circumstances you have no earlier experience. Especially any complicated, multi-disciplinary problem like climate change causes a difficult challange for which experts of one-sided discipline only coincidentially can give you an appropriate idea for needed empiric testing. In general, there is needed so called cross-disciplinary approach in order to find potential, essential factors having influence on the problem, and in order to analysing them for the synthesis, according to which the final actions can be carried out.

    For instance, as far as I understand, politicians of UN have ‘ordered’ IPCC scientists to clarify the scientific background of the recent global warming believed to caused only by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. IPCC scientists have not managed to express any evidence based on empiric observations for the believed anthropogenic warming. They have been able only to state what kind of assumptions are needed that the anthropogenic warming could be probable. In my opinion, this is not acceptable even as any hypothesis. That can be regarded as one of the main examples how a narrow-disciplinary view can make scienists get lost when solving multi-disciplinary problems.

    Concerning the cause of recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere I have tried to prove it in my comment http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/25/reflection-on-reliability-of-climate-models/#comment-419613 . As a summary of that I want to express:

    1) NATURAL INCREASE OF CO2 CONTENT IN ATMOSPHERE IS DOMINATING
    2) GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT DOMINATED BY INCREASE OF CO2 CONTENT IN ATMOSPHERE
    3) INCREASE OF CO2 CONTENT IN ATMOSPHERE FOLLOWS WARMING AND NOT VICE VERSA
    4) CONCLUSION
    Anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not cause any distinguishable global warming.

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  63. me serf Underground 9th edition relate this post and
    includes a quote from RiHo08.

    http://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/9th-edition-serf-under_ground-journal/

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  65. Let’s get something straight here: If climate science has been hijacked, it has been hijacked by those who persistently put forward claims that no evidence supports. I refer to those who claim global warming is not happening, or has stopped. They keep saying they have evidence, but never seem to publish any of it. And no, don’t refer me to the NIPCC or WUWT. Those are to climate science what Bruno Leduc* is to litigation.

    The science is clear, even if the timetable of future changes it portends is not. So those future changes and how we should respond to them are what we should be arguing about. Let us stop conflating science with policy; they are completely separate.

    In medicine, if someone is diagnosed with cancer, he doesn’t claim that medicine has lost its way because the doctors are conspiring to oppress him, or to take his money (at least not generally, but Mr. Leduc might.) He looks at the evidence, accepts the diagnosis and focuses on possible treatments. That’s how it should be with climate change, because climate science hasn’t lost its way.

    With respect to the separate issue of climate-change policy, I happen to believe that improving energy efficiency, cutting CO2 emissions, deploying renewables (including nuclear) as fast as possible are the correct responses. Others may legitimately differ. But their objections should be based on what they think the outcomes would be — not on the assertion that the science is bogus.

    —-

    *Bruno Leduc: 70 small claims suits in past few years. Sued the Dominican Republic because his vacation there was rained on. Sued Costco when an employee was slow (in his opinion) loading a lawnmower into his car. Sued Air Canada when flight attendants insisted he move to the economy seat he had paid for, instead of sitting in business class. Got branded a quarrelsome litigant by a Quebec judge.

    See http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/07/man-who-sued-because-it-rained-punished-for-irrational-claims

  66. Haven’t you guys figured out there is always a “David Appell” who comment bombs these forums? All these kinds of guys need are a kernel of evidence and they can turn a subject fraught with uncertainty into an argument. The best public example of this type of person is Dana Nuccitelli who never backs down or concedes he’s wrong, he just endlessly takes part of a statement and asserts that it is false. This “David Appell” guy will endlessly push your buttons and suck the time out of you to no useful end.

  67. When science demonstrates it has the capacity to mend itself I may concede they’re ready to take on other responsibilities. Not before. Those scientists with no moral compass have no idea which way the scientific method points so it is no great surprise they have lost their way. Scientists with no moral compass can be identified by their lack of action in the face of science corruption, otherwise known as the failure to do the right thing. It would be a shorter list to identify those who have done the right thing. His name is Feynman.

  68. With science funded by politics, science is bent to serve politics. Most spectacularly in climate science, but in principle this could happen elsewhere where the state has a vested interest in the outcome.

    But whether or not this means it has lost its way, depends on your view of social priorities. True liberals (not “liberal” is the US sense) would say Yes, totalitarians would say No.

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