by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye this past week.
The conversation has two articles worth reading this week:
So politics, not science, must take centre stage. As Amanda Machin shows in her recent book, asking climate scientists to forge a consensus around facts with the expectation that decisive political action will naturally follow misunderstands science and politics in equal measure. If democratic politics is to be effective we need more disagreement, not more consensus, about what climate change is really about.
The truth is out there – so how do you debunk a myth? by John Cook Provides some insights in the the SkS strategy.
Several articles on the topic of communication uncertainty:
Washington Post: How to convince your friends to believe in climate change: Its not as hard as you think. Highlights some of Lewandowsky’s research.
The Guardian: The communication of uncertainty is hindering climate change action. Highlights a new paper by Anthony Patt and Elke Weber.
Making Science Public: Global warming is dead, long live global heating? A discussion among Mike Hulme, Brigitte Nerlich, Warren Pearce about communicating the ‘pause’.
Fabius Maximus: Apocalyptic thinking on the Left about climate change risks burning their credibility. Summary: Epistemic closure has infected both Left and Right in America. Examples of this on the Right are legion. Today we look at an example on the Left, and its potentially severe consequences for this already endangered species in America.
Understanding Uncertainty: More deaths due to climate change? Maybe, or maybe not. By uncertainty ‘guru’ David Spiegelthalter.
Sea ice update
Check out this latest article from NSIDC. The summary: Arctic sea ice extent remained lower than average in January, and just within two standard deviations of the long-term average. Arctic temperatures remained above average, even as cold winter air embraced North America. The retention of more sea ice in September 2013 has increased the overall thickness and volume of the ice pack compared to recent years. Antarctic sea ice remains significantly more extensive than average.
Regarding ice thickness:
Preliminary measurements from CryoSat show that the volume of Arctic sea ice in autumn 2013 was about 50% higher than in the autumn of 2012. In October 2013, CryoSat measured approximately 9,000 cubic kilometers (approximately 2,200 cubic miles) of sea ice compared to 6,000 cubic kilometers (approximately 1,400 cubic miles) in October 2012. About 90% of the increase in volume between the two years is due to the retention of thick, multiyear ice around Northern Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. However, this apparent recovery in ice volume should be considered in a long-term context. It is estimated that in the early 1980s, October ice volume was around 20,000 cubic kilometers (approximately 4,800 cubic miles), meaning that ice volume in October 2013 still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years. CryoSat will continue to monitor sea ice through the current growth season, and the data will reveal the effect of this past autumn’s increase on ice volume at the end of winter.
Steyn vs Mann
Mark Steyn continues his free speech crusade in an article Yes we can say that. Towards the end of the article, Michael Mann and the climate debate gets a mention:
Which brings us to Michael Mann, the fake Nobel laureate currently suing NATIONAL REVIEW for mocking his global-warming “hockey stick.” Of the recent congressional hearings, Dr. Mann tweeted that it was “#Science” — i.e., the guy who agrees with him — vs. “#AntiScience” — i.e., Dr. Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. That’s to say, she is by profession a scientist, but because she has the impertinence to dissent from Dr. Mann’s view she is “#AntiScience.” Mann is the climatological equivalent of those bozo imams on al-Arabiya raging about infidel whores: He can’t refute Dr. Curry, he can only label her.
He explains his aversion to appearing with anyone other than fawning groupies thus: “Getting on a debate stage signals that, while you might disagree, you respect the position of your opponent. #WhyWeDontDebateScienceDeniers.” But the reality is that he’s too insecure and dull-witted to argue. That’s why he’s suing me over a pun (“tree-ring circus”), why he threatened legal action in Minnesota over a song parody, and why he’s in court in Vancouver objecting to a bit of wordplay. “You can’t say that!” is the refrain of those who can’t hold their own. Michael Mann is seeking massive damages from me and this magazine. Nuts to that. But I would be willing to buy him a course in debating technique — because in free societies that’s how you win. I’d also like to buy the wee thin-skinned chap a sense of humor, but I don’t think there’s a course for that.
Another article from Mark Steyn: Stick yourself up. Excerpt:
“Reluctant public figure” and shrinking Nobel violet Michael Mann writes more newspaper columns than I do these days, buthis latest in The Guardian has one delightful moment of self-sabotaging omniscience, in which he does to the early typewriters what he did to the Medieval Warm Period. That’s a good example of why he’s careful never to expose himself to genuine debate, and why his cross-examination on the witness stand will be such a hoot. Seating limited. Book now.
Way back in 2012, when Mann vs Steyn first caught my eye, I stated:
JC message to Michael Mann: Mark Steyn is formidable opponent. I suspect that this is not going to turn out well for you.
I’m not predicting how Mann’s lawsuit will turn out, but Steyn’s relentless hammering of Mann seems to be doing far more damage to Mann’s reputation that the alleged legal defamation.
JC note: Stay tuned, I have some interesting stuff to post next week.