Consensus angst

by Judith Curry

The public seems to have gotten the memo that climate scientists believe that humans are warming the planet, and the warming is dangerous.  They also don’t seem to care.

For some context, see the numerous CE posts on the subject of ‘consensus‘, particularly my paper No Consensus on Consensus.

Climate scientists and others that are alarmed about AGW seem very concerned by consensus denialism that attacks the expert consensus on climate change, that has allegedly resulted in a gap between the scientific consensus and the public consensus about climate change.

During the past few weeks, there have been some interesting articles that shed light on the topic of consensus.

Cultural cognition

Dan Kahan has a series of excellent posts on the public perception of consensus, see particularly They’ve already gotten the memo! What the public think ‘climate scientists believe.’  Excerpts:

I’ve explained in a couple of posts why I think experimental evidence in support of “messaging” scientific consensus is externally invalid and why real-world instances of this “messaging” strategy can be expected to reinforce polarization.

But here is some new evidence that critically examines the premise of the “message 97%” strategy: namely, that political polarization over climate change is caused by a misapprehension of the weight of opinion among climate scientists.

It isn’t.

Overwhelming majorities of both Republicans and Democrats are convinced that “climate scientists believe” that CO2 emissions cause the temperature of the atmosphere to go up—probably the most basic fact scientific proposition about climate change.

In addition, overwhelming majorities of both Republicans and think that “climate scientists believe” that human-caused climate change poses all manner of danger to people and the environment.

Thus, they correctly think that “climate scientists believe” that “human-caused global warming will result in flooding of many coastal regions.”

Again, these are the responses of the same nationally representative sample of respondents who were highly polarized on the question whether human-caused climate change is happening.

“Belief in human-caused global warming” items measure “who one is, what side one is on” in an ugly and highly illiberal form of cultural status competition, one being fueled by the idioms of contempt that the most conspicuous spokespeople on both sides use.

As I’ve explained, the responses that individuals give to such items in surveys are as strong an indicator of their political identity as items that solicit self-reported liberal-conservative ideology and political-party self-identification.

What individuals know—or think they know—about climate science is a different matter. To measure it, one has to figure out how to ask a question that is not understood by survey respondents as “who are you, whose side are you on.”

Same here: ask “what do climate scientists believe,” and the parties who polarize on the identity-expressive question “do you believe in global warming? do you? do you?” and you can see that there is in fact bipartisan agreement about what climate scientists think!

Climate change consensus:  who cares?

The Guardian has an article by Adam Corner Who cares about climate change consensus?  Excerpts:

This doesn’t mean that it is impossible to communicate about the consensus effectively – simply that the scientific consensus alone cannot overcome deep-rooted political divides. Messages about the consensus must be provided by communicators whose cultural credentials are congruent with the audience they are speaking to. Like every other aspect of the climate change debate (from newspaper articles to perceptions of extreme weather), communicating the consensus is an unavoidably politicised challenge.

In fact, this idea gets to the heart of why debating the precise proportion of scientists who endorse the mainstream position on climate change is ultimately a distraction. The more pressing challenge is creating a massively expanded social reality for climate change – one in which the things that people love and wish to protect are clearly linked in their minds to policies for confronting climate change.

Until the issue resonates with the hopes and aspirations of more than just a narrow band of campaigners and sceptics, pointing to a row of nodding scientists and expecting this to catalyse public concern is not going to get us far – no matter what the ‘magic number’ attached to the consensus is.

What consensus means to climate scientists 

Roz Piddock has a post at the Carbon Brief entitled Dispelling myths and silently shaping progress: What consensus means to climate scientists.  Excerpts:

Consensus is complicated. And reducing a complex question to a simple number is going to be fraught. So why do it? We asked climate scientists what consensus means to them, if it can be measured and how they use consensus in their own work.

Another point worth noting is that in pursuit of a single number to capture consensus, the answer you get depends on the question you ask, explains Professor Kevin Trenberth, climate variability expert at the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research:

“Very small changes can change the perceived consensus easily. 97% of scientists may agree that global warming from humans is happening but add any qualification like its timing or magnitude and it would change.”

Nuances aside, the scientists we spoke to generally tended to see the value of emphasising the broad strength of consensus for communication purposes. Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, explains:

“After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree about the course of treatment, you can be justly confident that that’s the best advice that medicine can give you”.

In fact, consensus isn’t a word you’re likely to hear being discussed in scientific circles, Dessler tells us.

“The only time I hear about “consensus” is in the public debate over climate. Scientists never ever talk about consensus – by going to meetings and reading the peer-reviewed literature, you can figure out what your colleagues think”.

Though it may not be much of a conversation topic among scientists, consensus as a concept has a fundamental place in driving scientific progress. Dessler continues:

“For each question that arises (e.g., is the earth warming?), there comes a time when the evidence is so overwhelming that the experts independently realize that the problem is essentially solved … At that point consensus exists on the answer and the question is no longer interesting – and scientists move on to the next interesting question”.

Arriving at a consensus – even if it’s an an unspoken one – drives scientific progress by taking research in new directions, Dessler adds:

“Consensus determines what we know, and it also determines what we don’t know. [It] also determines what the interesting questions are, which in turn determines what people work on …

A good example of a new and still very speculative field is whether diminishing Arctic sea ice is linked to Northern Hemisphere extreme weather. Professor Jennifer Francis, whose work proposing a connection prompted most of the research in this field, explains:

“Consensus comes in wherever there isn’t absolute proof of a theory, which is most of the time. In my work regarding links between rapid Arctic warming and changes in weather patterns, I would not say we have a consensus yet. When you do achieve consensus, it’s when a hypothesis transitions to a theory … This is a key distinction in science.”

There’s no doubt that consensus as applied in the scientific world is a complicated concept. Each time consensus pops up in the media, it raises interesting questions about how to measure it and what expressions of consensus mean in different scientific, social and political contexts.

However we choose to talk about consensus, all we’re really doing is exploring how to present scientific facts to different audiences. The facts themselves don’t change. That an overwhelming consensus exists among scientists about human-caused climate change isn’t in doubt. But then again, it never was.

Victor Venema

Victor Venema has a  post 5 reasons scientists do not like the consensus on climate change. The post is trying to understand dissent from the consenus, and the negative reaction to The Consensus Project (Cook and Lewandowsky).  Excerpts:

1. Fuzzy definition. One reason is that the consensus is hard to define.

2. Scientific culture. By defining a consensus and by quantifying its support, you create two groups of scientists, mainstream and fringe. This does not fit to the culture in the scientific community to keep communication channels open to all scientists and not to exclude anyone.

3. Evidence. Many people, and maybe also some scientists, may confuse consensus with evidence. For a scientist, referring to a consensus is not an option in his own area of expertise. Saying “everyone believes this” is not a scientific argument.

4. Contrarians.  The concept “consensus” is in itself uncomfortable to many scientists. Most of us are natural contrarians and our job is to make the next consensus, not to defend the old one. Even if our studies end up validating a theory, the hope and aim of a validation study is to find an interesting deviation, that may be he beginning of a new understanding.

JC reflections

So . . .  as per Dan Kahan, the public has gotten the message that there is a consensus among climate scientists about dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

As per Adam Corner,  debating the precise proportion of scientists who endorse the mainstream position on climate change is ultimately a distraction from the public acceptance for policies to confront climate change.

As per Roz Pittock, climate scientists don’t pay much attention to the idea of consensus in context of their research.

As per Victor Venema, scientists don’t like the consensus on climate change, but presumably have been sold a bill of goods that consensus is needed for ‘action’?

So . . .  why all the angst about ‘consensus’?   We have Sir John Houghton and Steve Schneider to thank for this, the idea being one of ‘speaking consensus to power.’  Most of the so-called climate change consensus is a second-order consensus; relatively few scientists actively work on problems of climate change detection and attribution.

From my paper No Consensus on Consensus:

The climate community has worked for more than 20 years to establish a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.  The IPCC consensus building process arguably played a useful role in the early synthesis of the scientific knowledge and in building political will to act. We have presented perspectives from multiple disciplines that support the inference that the scientific consensus seeking process used by the IPCC has had the unintended consequence of introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by some consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC.

The growing implications of the messy wickedness of the climate change problem are becoming increasingly apparent, highlighting the inadequacies of the ‘consensus to power’ approach for decision making on the complex issues associated with climate change. Arguments are increasingly being made to abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate of the arguments themselves and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulatelocal and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues of climate change, land use, resource management, cost effective clean energy solutions, and developing technologies to expand energy access efficiently.

 

641 responses to “Consensus angst

  1. “So . . . why all the angst about ‘consensus’?” – Jc

    Don’t see much ‘angst’…. well apart from you who seems to be very regularly very worked up about it.

    • Michael -

      How many electrons do you suppose may have been spent by “skeptics” at WUWT, JoNova, Bishop Hill, etc., and “denizens” here, writing comment after comment in response to post after post, expressing “angst” about the “consensus?”

      • I thought mocking the “consensus” and laughing at “scientists” was fun.

      • I used to laugh off global warming because of the obvious dishonesty of the alarmist commenters and blogs and of some climate scientists.

        It took me a long time to separate out the actual issues from the dishonest noise of “scientists” with blogs promoting mathematical persiflage like WHT and Tamino.

        I have finally settled on the position that we don’t know, the scientists know less than the noisiest of them claim and far less than the alarmist commenters like FOMD claim, but it is a real risk that should be addressed by real policies.

        I am not ready to throw out capitalism and economic growth, especially in the poorer parts of the world and don’t think it is needed to cut carbon pollution.

      • “It took me a long time to separate out the actual issues from the dishonest noise of “scientists” with blogs promoting mathematical persiflage like WHT and Tamino.”

        Thank you for placing me on the same plane as someone as smart as Tamino !

      • And once again you proved how smart you are. I accept it despite your inability to comprehend that your model is nothing more than an exercise in curve fitting and that something can’t be “explanatory” without being somewhat “predictive” as well. There are an infinite number of equations that result in the number 3, after all, even if you base the terms on physical observations that are limited in scope. Your persiflage is at one end of the scale, you don’t even know you are doing it, Tamino is more of a mathematical rhetorician. He actually understands what he is doing and thinks it is necessary.

        But I promise not to let nitwits get in the way of my thinking in the future.

      • Rob Starkey

        TJA seems to make reasonable observations

      • I had to look up what “persiflage” meant.

        Which model of mine are you referring to?

        Is it one of the two x-ray diffraction line-fitting models hosted at the xray server located at Argonne National Labs?

        Or is it some other model that proves that I don’t know what I am talking about?

        Now we can wait for TJA to regale us with his non-persiflage skill set.

      • WHT, One last time, maybe you can explain this.

        When you use Eurequa, or whatever it is that you use in your CSALT model, do you create a model by examining a training period with your inputs, then compare the result to the rest of the data to confirm it?

        If you do trials like this? how many of them do you do? Is that a secret, part of your “process” or are you open about the risk of overfitting your model in this way? You made the statement that such risks only apply to financial models, that is clearly not true. Look what happened to Mann when new tree ring data was collected, it didn’t fit his curve, it “declined” as temperatures rose. His proxy had no skill beyond his original sandbox. If your CSALT model can’t show any predictive skill outside of your “sandbox”, then its “explanatory” powers are likely limited too.

        I know your response is going to be name calling and harrumphing and flat unsupported assertions that you know what you are doing or claims to authority based on other things. I had hoped at one time for a better answer.

        I resign from this conversation.


      • When you use Eurequa, or whatever it is that you use in your CSALT model

        I don’t use Eureqa or “whatever” in my CSALT model. I use a multivariate regression algorithm from R, and include factors that are considered important to the temperature trend.

        I quit reading after that point because you obviously don’t understand this stuff. If you don’t read my blog posts where I explain this in detail, I won’t read your piddling comments.

      • Since you lied about not reading the rest of my post and yet replied to the substance of it with the same weak response you always give, that since you base it on actual observations and known mechanisms, you can’t be subject to spurious correlations, I am going to come back from retirement one more time and point out that you still doggedly refuse to answer the real question.

        I don’t care about your CSALT model, really, call me a “denier,” I just don’t care about a model that only ever gets referenced on the internet in comment threads, usually by yourself, or in your blog. I am not going to list my qualifications to ask this question, they are irrelevant. The question is not. That should be plain to you, yet it is not. I am not going to apologize for refusing to wade through your poorly organized and poorly written blog.

        What I do care about is the thinking process of people who refuse to examine their premises. I think, for example, the Michael Mann knows he is wrong, but feels that AGW is right and that he does what he does in support of that “cause,” to quote him. I tried to get AlecM to explain himself, he is clearly wrong in his arguments, to little avail. Same with you.

        That you doggedly refuse to answer the question answers the question. At least ask yourself the question. Also ask yourself why you are so sure that *all* significant climate forcings are known. Think back to your introduction to logic course and ponder the difficulties in proving a negative and know that counterexamples are all that are needed, And you can then ponder that as new counterexamples to your assertion come up. Just yesterday I read about newly discovered ocean vortices” Had the GCMs predicted their existence, I would bow down in abject amazement and campaigned for Nobel Prizes for all involved… But they didn’t

        Now I really am done with you, and probably this whole climate debate.

      • WebHubTelescope

        TJA, I am using the factors that all your skeptic colleagues use as justification for natural variation as a set of input parameters to my CSALT model. I include things like the Stadium Wave (check), the lunar/solar cycles demanded by Scafetta and others (check), the TSI forcing demanded by many skeptics (check), the ENSO variations demanded by the skeptic Bob Carter (check), even subtle tidal changes suggested by Clive Best (check), and tested a few others that show zero significance.

        What more do you want? Factors that have not been proposed yet?

        So all these factors are added to the mix and they add pretty much a zero-sum to the overall warming trend. But then you think about it and realize that how could it be anything but this result?

        So all TJA has got is an insistence that I am missing some extra factor that has yet to be imagined. TJA should probably collaborate with junior rocket scientist David Evans and figure out what the Force X is. I can then place that factor, be it a cycle or some complicated time series, and see if it has some significance.

        If this is not answering your question TJA, I don’t know what is. You also bellyache about me not doing out-of-band tests to the extent that I have. From the results of the CSALT model, I can tell you that the temperature record during the WWII years is badly calibrated. There is a spike in temperature during the period from 1940 to 1945 that obviously doesn’t fit in to any natural cycles.
        http://contextearth.com/2013/11/16/csalt-and-sst-corrections/

        And the significant role of volcanic forcings of VEI events of magnitude 5 or greater make the out-of-band checks very challenging. No one can predict when a volcano will erupt so let’s not pretend we can, ok? Same goes for ENSO. I included a time span 1880-2013 which has complete ENSO records and this will only improve the quality of the analysis.

        TJA, your problem is that you are an awful writer and analyst and perhaps you should start up your own blog to see if you can improve on this skill set.

      • WebHubTelescope

        BTW, TJA, I have executed projection training intervals on the time series to see how well the CSALT model works:
        http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/
        This was way back in January of this year.

        I admit in the post that this is not the most perfect example of using out-of-band information: “Note that these CSALT runs are not pure projections, as each evaluation does use monthly estimates of SOI, LOD, TSI and volcanic aerosol output for the ensuing years. “

        It is also to some degree contaminated by the natural curiosity to fit the entire interval before I went back and used training intervals. But what can I say, I am a scientifically curious guy and couldn’t help myself. That is just too bad. Perhaps you or somebody else could repeat the entire analysis with some blinders in place before you do the training runs. Nothing is stopping you. If you find a different result than I do, you can run screaming to alert the media.

      • Thank you for answering my question Web. Sincerely – TJA

      • I came across this abstract of a Naomi Oreskes paper and it sort of backs up Web’s position:

        “Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed and because model results are always nonunique. Models can be confirmed by the demonstration of agreement between observation and prediction, but confirmation is inherently partial. Complete confirmation is logically precluded by the fallacy of affirming the consequent and by incomplete access to natural phenomena. Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question. The primary value of models is heuristic.”

        Web, I think you started off thinking I am more hostile than I actually am to your position and your model.

      • One more little gem that supports WHT’s tack with CSALT from Oreskes:

        “Finally, we must admit that a model may confirm our biases and support incorrect intuitions. Therefore, models are most useful when they are used to challenge existing formulations, rather than to validate or verify them. Any scientist who is asked to use a model to verify or validate a predetermined result should be suspicious”

      • The method is a simple linear regression.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/MLR1_zps4a53618c.png.html?sort=3&o=59

        See how this works? You take a collection of parameter and scale each to fit the temperature series. Include ENSO and you get most of the variability.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/LeanandRind20102_zpsa090fb72.png.html?sort=3&o=89

        You can see also there how impossible this is to project forward.

        It also depends on choosing the right parameters to scale to temperature. Leaving out albedo is one of the dumber choices of progressive confirmation bias.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/WongFig2-1_zps405d00fa.jpg.html?sort=3&o=188

    • Why the angst..

      because the ’97% soundbite’ just doesn’t seem to be ‘working’?
      As ADn shows the public seem to believe what climate scientist believe that there is a ‘consensus’, but the public are somehow not taking to the streets demanding policy action?

      What would successful (winning) climate communication look like, what would happen?

      Hence Adam Corner’s new approach, also doomed to failure as he (and others) does not really want to look at why it has failed, rather than ask sceptics, psychologists prefer to talk about them, amongst themselves.

      Thus, worldview, motivated reasoning and ideology becomes the reason. but psychologists like Adam Stephan Lewandowsky and his protege JOhn Cook refuse to look at there own worldviews..

      does Adam’s )and Lewandowsky own worldview (and ideology and politics) colour their judgement? surely we are allowed to ask them to look in the mirror.

      As, if the researchers are perceived to be activists or opponents (or non neutral) by the research subjects or the general public? It becomes a problem? In the recent UCL report it describes alarmism in the media to be a problem and mentions James Hansen and that scientists are trusted by the public, but perceived activist scientists less so, especially if they are also psychologists?

      like Dr Adam Corner – COIN / PIRC / Cardiff University– who is policy advisor the founder (George Marshall) of COIN who created -Deniers – Halls of Shame – Rising Tide (which Gerge also founded)

      Here is Adam on a climate march.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/cardiff_friends_of_the_earth/4190476939/
      http://realclimategate.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/fairness-missing-from-copenhagen-accord-green-wales-sping-2010.png?w=823

      http://www.foecardiff.co.uk/content/cardiff-campaigners-demand-climate-action-record-breaking-protest

      Adam promoted Lewandowsky Moon hoax paper with no questions, fitted in with his motivated reasoning, If it had said environmentalists, would he have been a bit more sceptical?

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists

      I asked him once about his own motivated reasoning and ideology, and he started claiming I was smearing him with ‘my’ photos, both photos from articles he had written, in publicity material for the Green Party and FOE.

      Adam seems to believe in a more catastrophic version of climate change (if the name of his old blog is anything to go by) 100 months and counting
      http://web.archive.org/web/20140517130923/http://100monthsandcounting.blogspot.co.uk/#

    • There have been a dozen articles and papers all discussing how best to “sell” the climate alarmism message and how best to smear or marginalize those who disagree. If you read the articles, they directly express angst that alarmists have not been able to get the public to care. Michael and Joshua, you are so ridiculously partisan that you can’t honestly admit that there is angst amongst the true believers and instead become angst “deniers”.

    • John Carpenter

      “Don’t see much ‘angst’…. well apart from you who seems to be very regularly very worked up about it.”

      Vapid argument. Akin to me saying how much angst you have toward Judy. You also seem to be very regularly very worked up about anything Judy has to say. See Michael, vapid argument.

    • Generating all that consensus has to be for a purpose. Presumably there is some value to presenting the consensus, and the most plausible reason is to provide impetus for policy.

      Not only does that seem to have failed, it seems to have generated a very partisan environment. I think that’s dangerous no matter what the truth turns out to be about the consequences from increased CO2 concentrations.

  2. === > “So . . . why all the angst about ‘consensus’? ”

    Who, exactly is angsting about “consensus?

    Seems that you might consider asking yourself, Judith – seeing as how you spend so much time attacking the “consensus,” and the view that the existence of a “consensus” is meaningful.

    You might also consider asking your “skeptics” – many of whom drama queen ’till the cows come home about how horrible and unscientific it is to note that, as Richard Tol says:

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

    • Perhaps those “aghast” are the ones who like to claim that CO2 mitigation actions should be implemented because 97% of scientists agree. The claims and scope of a consensus are vastly overstated.

      • Rob -

        ==> “The claims and scope of a consensus are vastly overstated.”

        Please be more specific. Which claims by whom, as related to what consensus? Your statement, as it is, seems essentially meaningless and mostly useless.

        I, for one, don’t think that mitigation should be implemented because 97% of scientists agree, but I think that the widespread agreement among experts is instructive as to probabilities.

      • From the Opening Remarks by Barbara Boxer:

        “We should all know we must take action to reduce harmful carbon pollution, which 97% of scientists agree is leading to dangerous climate change that threatens our families. “

      • “We should all know we must take action to reduce harmful carbon pollution, which 97% of scientists agree is leading to dangerous climate change that threatens our families. “

        Angst over “begging the question”

    • Steven Mosher

      “Who, exactly is angsting about “consensus?”

      durr, anyone who thought it was important enough to write a paper on it
      would be a good candidate.
      I mean seriously, one doesnt write a paper on the sky is blue.
      One writes a paper on the consensus because one thinks that the issue is important and its important to get people to understand it because one is concerned, worried, anxious, about the planet and about people not being willing to do the right thing.

      So talk to the authors and defenders of the papers. Ask them what they were feeling.

      do some work.

      • ==> “durr, anyone who thought it was important enough to write a paper on it”

        Does writing numerous blog posts about it count?

      • wringing your hands about it over and over about would, i think, count as angst, but i don’t see how mentioning it, or noting that it exists would.

        And writing a very long, earnest in an undergraduate way, paper in the style of amatuer-hour socio-babble, amounting to nothing more than a steaming pile of horse-shite, definitely counts as angst.

        Judith is the queen of consensus angst.

      • Steven,

        noting it or talking about isn’t ‘angst’.

        Going on and on about it and writing numerous blog posts about what a terrible thing it is and how it threatens the foundations of science, and other silly things – that is angst.

      • Steven Mosher

        ” but i don’t see how mentioning it, or noting that it exists would.”

        except nobody merely noted it or merely mentioned it.

        Look, there is a consensus. the sky is blue. anybody who works in the field knows this.

        The papers were written with a motive. That’s ok. And its perfectly acceptable to contemplate what these motives might be. Angst is a candidate. There are others. Go argue for one.

      • David Springer

        If people started making the argument “the sky is blue because a consensus says so” I’d look out the window to double check. Consensus is the last refuge of scoundrels. Science only requires one researcher who is demonstrably correct.

      • Papers are written due to angst.

        Well, there you go.

      • John Carpenter

        “Judith is the queen of consensus angst.”

        Second only to all those who have endless angst and hand wringing over Judy’s positions on climate science, policy, advocacy and their various intersection, Michael. The argument you make is vapid. Why would anyone feel compelled to do research on the obvious?

      • John,

        Consider this.

        There are few published papers on consensus in AGW.

        There are very few written by an actual climate scientist (as opposed to sociologists or psychologists).

        I can think of one. Can you guess who this is?

        Tell me again, who is the queen of consensus angst?

      • Maybe somebody does need to write a paper on “Why the sky is blue” explaining that things like Rayleigh scattering are not “Junk Science”.

        http://www.livescience.com/32511-why-is-the-sky-blue.html?cmpid=514627_20140621_26413466

      • Michael | June 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        I am guessing it’s the same scientist who has been a part of over 140 other papers.
        I am wondering if the point of Dr. Curry’s post was about the consensus failing to develop traction and how is this effecting them?
        We all have angst. I worry about my kids, my finances and where our country and the world is headed.

      • Ragnaar,

        And as we’ve seen with the VV post, Judith can’t even describe them faithfully.

        Confirmation bias.

      • You are displaying a lot of angst, mikey. What’s it about? The pause killing the cause?

      • Don,

        My apologies, i should have known better than to be sceptical here, of all places.

        Please, bow and scrape as you wish.

      • Steven Mosher

        note that Micheal did not argue for one.

        Hmm.

        here is the deal. when one person makes a case and the other person doesnt. Then we are free to assume the person who didnt make a case is wrong.

        perfectly rational assumption.

    • Joshua, please be more specific. What species of cows you are talking about? Are you correcting for daylight times savings to measure the cows arrival? What if some of the cows are only visiting and don’t actually call the final location home?

      Please these assertions you make without any evidence are not very convincing to me. You must do better.

    • Angst doesn’t mean anger or being worked up.

      angst – a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

      • huxley -

        ==> “a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general.”

        Sounds very much like what I read from “skeptic” in these threads and others – when they talk of the “consensus.”

        Thanks for the definition. I was wondering what “angst” meant, and I haven’t figured out how to use those things people call dictionaries.

      • @Joshua . . the point being made is that you use the consensus to make up for a dearth of convincing science. We don’t feel angst we are just irritated by your sophistry. Let’s see evidence man.

      • Angst is the feeling an AGW denier gets when he realizes the hopelessness of having even tried to complete a science degree. Then anger as we see them lash out at climate scientists as they project their inadequacies.

      • Joshua, what you ignored (or misunderstand) about the definition of angst is that it is not a behavior or event that someone else can observe and point to and then declare to be “evidence”…it’s a FEELING, a personal, internal sense of something that no one can see or observe at all.

        Rather than doing a very scientific thing-establishing what Judith Curry actually feels or thinks by asking her, or providing evidence of times in which she has spoken or written what she thinks or feels about this issue, you instead argue from personal assumptions and inferences. Your conclusions about Judith may or may not be correct. We may never know for sure. But when comparing your statements to critical thinking skills, all the evidence here shows your arguments to be flawed and your foundations to be weak.

    • YOU,
      and Michael and Gates and FOMD et al, regularly pine on about it every time Judith mentions it. Relax, get a grip or find a new way to complain about what she says.

      • ordvic -

        ==> “and Michael and Gates and FOMD et al, regularly pine on about it every time Judith mentions it. ”

        I don’t speak for michael or anyone else. As for your statement about what I “pine on about”… could you provide an example of what I’ve written that fits what you’re describing?

      • Josh,
        I have no doubt that you can make a constructive argument and sometimes I agree with you views. Typically, though, you engage in rhetorical bombastic demagoguery. You are a little like Rush Limbaugh in that one knows what you will say in response to some subject (in your case Judy’s position on just about anything). A typical post I picked out of the consensus file knowing it would have raised your ire:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/03/the-hard-won-consensus/#comment-235649

        Look at the very first word. I hope that relieved your anxiety (angst). From there you want to display how flawed and contradictory her reasoning is. Then you pride yourself in constucting a criteria for proper reasoning. Ah you’ll show her! Of course her way of doing things is just confirmation bias, ridiculous! Then you proceed to demonstrate how fantastc your method works and what do you know it demonstrates how flawed the whole premise is. Feeling better? NO! You must reiterate: “But to use these criteria to prove an already established conclusion, as Judith wants to do here, seems like little other than confirmation bias”. I guess I showed her!
        What do you know “ditto head Michael” confirms your confirmation bias analysis of Judy’s (Waynes) world and the denizens that live in it.
        Seriously!

      • ordvic -

        I’m not getting it. I don’t see how criticizing the contradictory nature of Judith’s reasoning about the “consensus” fits your description.

        I mean yes, the criticism I offered is not “new” in that I frequently criticize contradictions in her reasoning- but I seemed perfectly relaxed in making my point and I don’t see where I didn’t have a grip, and I certainly don’t understand what you mean about “pin[ing] on].

        ==> “Typically, though, you engage in rhetorical bombastic demagoguery.”

        Really? You think I’m appealing to ignorance? Fear? Prejudices? You think I’m making false claims and/or promises? Making arguments based on emotion rather than reason?

        ==> ” Then you pride yourself in constucting a criteria for proper reasoning. Ah you’ll show her! Of course her way of doing things is just confirmation bias, ridiculous! ”

        Here’s what I think. I think that I’m offering a view that is critical of Judith’s reasoning about the “consensus.” I’m not trying to “show her.” I’m disagreeing with her, and giving an explanation of my disagreement. I think that you are reacting emotionally to my disagreement and the fact that I regularly disagree with her. I’m not sure why. It seems to me that this whole blog thing is about expressing opinions on various topics. Judith posts here opinions, and people respond with their opinions. Mine are generally critical – not infrequently with some degree of snark. Where or how that turns into “pining on about’ or “bombastic demagoguery,” I don’t understand.

      • If you can’t see your own tone and the regularity and predictability of it, I guess you never will understand. As for prejudice, you only need to look at your regular characterization of the denizens that you think characterize you in kind.

      • What you see as constructive criticism (and I do agree you do do some of that) I see as stereotyping and characterization or better character assination. I’m just demonstrating to you what you do on a regular basis in an attempt to deconstruct arguments.

      • Perhaps the word you meant to use was “opine” rather than pine?

      • Sollen pining of discontent is what I meant.

      • Sullen

    • Joshua, attacks typically engender a response. Judith is regularly attacked for opposing the consensus. It is normal for her to respond.

      As one of those who attack her on a daily basis, you should already have internalized this–perhaps your comment is made for a political purpose and your question may perhaps be rhetorical.

      But that’s me trying to be charitable. My best guess would be more sharply critical of the role you play in climate conversations, both here and elsewhere.

      • I tell you, Joshua
        Somebody, somewhere
        Is making Judy
        Do It

        Oh, and to be charitable
        You’re very like
        That somebody

        Get it?

      • John Carpenter

        Tom, one could say it is evidence of a certain level of angst a few display here regularly. Mind you, it’s just evidence.

      • willard, her responses are well-thought out and reasoned, for the most part. Far more so than the attacks on her. Far more than they deserve.

        I admire her restraint, actually. I wish in another life I could emulate it. But then, that other life wouldn’t include some people commenting on this thread.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard playing dumb

        Tom: its natural for Judith to respond
        Willard: Tom claims they are making Judith do it.

        Charity is hard to practice when you play dumb.

      • “I admire her restraint.”

        Absolutely. I admire the woman immensely. Not only doesn’t she shut people like Josh down, she engages with them. And politely so. If I had a small fraction of her patience and general good will, I’d be a far better person.

      • Tom Fuller | July 1, 2014 at 8:09 am |
        “willard, her responses are well-thought out and reasoned, for the most part. Far more so than the attacks on her. Far more than they deserve.”

        For the sake of Integrity, perhaps she might update the head post to note that her comment on VV, turns VV’s post on its’ head.

      • > Tom: its natural for Judith to respond

        Moshpit minimizes for the win:

        Joshua, attacks typically engender a response. [...] As one of those who attack her on a daily basis, you should already have internalized this

        Joshua should have internalized that his attacks engender a response. Joshua Made Judy Do It.

        It’s not that complicated.

    • Time For An Ob

      Which part of the scientific method is go take an opinion poll, anyway?

  3. Pingback: Judith Curry: Consensus Angst | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  4. It’s obvious to any thinking person that climate consensus is a fabricated rhetorical story line built by the thought leaders of IPCC and other climate elite. In this re: Kahan, Dan M., Hank M. Jenkins-Smith and Donald Braman. Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus. Journal of Risk Research 14: pp. 147-74, 2011 (Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 205)
    Abstract
    Why do members of the public disagree – sharply and persistently – about facts on which expert scientists largely agree? We designed a study to test a distinctive explanation: the cultural cognition of scientific consensus. The “cultural cognition of risk” refers to the tendency of individuals to form risk perceptions that are congenial to their values. The study presents correlational and experimental evidence confirming that cultural cognition shapes individuals’ beliefs about the existence of scientific consensus, and the process by which they form such beliefs, relating to climate change, the disposal of nuclear wastes, and the effect of permitting concealed possession of handguns. The implications of this dynamic for science communication and public policy-making are discussed.
    Translation: The most scientifically literate and numerate subjects are less likely, not more, to see climate change (or nuclear wastes, concealed carry…) as a serious threat then the least scientifically and numerate ones. Strongly held opinions are more likely to be based less on fact and logic than on ideology, indeterminable moral grounds and herd thinking. If you suggest this to someone they will vehemently reject it along with suggestions of biases they do not know might be affecting their interpretations and opinions.

    Along these lines, an NBER working paper (sent to you > a year ago) by Ed Glaeser and Cass Sunstein, “Why Does Balanced News Produce Unbalanced Views?” speaks to group polarization:
    “In light of group polarization and its underlying mechanisms, it might be thought that consistent with widespread faith in the potential power of “more speech,” the provision of balanced, objective information would be a valuable corrective, helping to produce a consensus, and perhaps even a rational one, where it did not exist before. If people begin with highly disparate beliefs about climate change, the provision of balanced information might be expected to lead them to converge, with the degree of the effect depending on the trustworthiness of the source. But numerous studies cast serious doubt on this reasonable speculation. On the contrary, balanced information has been found to increase polarization. No less than discussion by like-minded people, such information can led people to have greater confidence and conviction about their antecedent beliefs – and thus to make antecedently divided opinion even more divided than it was before. In short, balanced news can unbalance views.
    “This finding is puzzling as well as disturbing, and it raises empirical doubts about the effects of more speech in counteracting falsehoods and fallacies. It also raises immediate questions: Why would a presentation of competing views increase polarization? When does it do so? We offer two explanations. The first involves the relationship between the informational signal and people’s antecedent beliefs, which can lead to what we call asymmetric Bayesianism. We show that if antecedent beliefs are sharply divided, the same signal (whether it is balanced information about a familiar topic, balanced information about an unfamiliar topic, or some kind of purported factual correction) may produce highly disparate responses, leading to even sharper divisions.
    “The second explanation involves memory and salience. An informational signal will focus people’s attention on a problem and a range of associated memories and convictions, when they might otherwise be neglected or in the background. Once the problem becomes salient, it may activate a set of memories and fit with an assortment of associated beliefs, whose content depends again on antecedent convictions; the result is to produce polarized reactions. We refer to settings when new information brings back more powerful memories that go in the opposing direction as involving a memory boomerang. Of course asymmetric Bayesianism and memory boomerang may be simultaneously at work, with different proportions in different contexts. The two explanations shed light on a pervasive difficulty. Influential intermediaries, such as general interest newspapers and magazines, often attempt to present both sides of an issue, with the honorable goal of informing, and not merely reinforcing, people’s opinions. If the consequence of such efforts is merely to increase people’s commitment to what they thought before, and thus to increase polarization, there is a natural question: What’s the point?”

    • ==> “It’s obvious to any thinking person that climate consensus is a fabricated rhetorical story line built by the thought leaders of IPCC and other climate elite.”

      Tell that to Richard Tol:

      “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

      • Danley Wolfe

        Joshua, you (typically) don’t give any link or reference – a usual tactic of blog whiners / screamers. Kindly read the June 6, 2014 editorial by Richard Tol – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2014/jun/06/97-consensus-global-warming , title: “The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up – Consensus is irrelevant in science. There are plenty of examples in history where everyone agreed and everyone was wrong.”

        Richard Tol is addressing my point precisely. Uncompromised climate scientists believe in the Tyndall Arrhenius effect of greenhouse gas trapping long wave IR energy; however, they believe there are many other things going on and many opine that the effect of humans is less than half or so of the observed response in global mean temperature. The story line I am talking about goes back to the 1993 Rio Convention in which climate scientists were given carte blanche to focus on manmade causes which it said were the main cause … and to take a precautionary approach so that lack of complete understanding does not hold up policy making. The story line has not wavered up to this time even though now it is very apparent that a lot of other things are going on and we refuse to acknowledge our lack of understanding.

      • Danley -

        I find that a rather simple copy and paste-and-go into the address bar of either Chrome or Firefox does the trick – but happy to oblige. No insults and tribalism necessary next time. Just ask.

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/richard-tol-and-the-97-consensus-again/#comment-21162

        Oh, and notice also:

        The consensus is of course in the high nineties. No one ever said it was not.

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/richard-tols-fourth-draft/#comment-822

        Interesting, the juxtaposition between the quotes that you find:

        “The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up –

        And those that you don’t.

        Eh?

      • well the american meteorological society surveyed its professional members and came up with a 52% ‘consensus’
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/10/the-52-consensus/

        this takes us back to the ‘fuzzy’ issue – consensus about what, exactly?

      • Danley Wolfe

        And to add to Curry’s comment, an irony of the 97% consensus is that the 97% themselves were not involved at all in their being defined as part of the consensus but the advocacy /slash/ movement leaders at IPCC etc. who go to great orchestrated lengths to justify their position by defining and referring to said consensus. It is one of the basic tactics of propaganda dating back centuries. Ref. Oxford historian Norman Davis’ five basic rules of propaganda in “Europe – a History,” Oxford Press, 1996, pp 500-501) – we are talking in fact his tactic #3:
        • Simplification – reducing all information to a simple confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foes’, ‘Virtue vs. Evil’
        • Disfiguration – discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies
        • Transfusion – manipulating consensus values of the audience for one’s own end and point of view, to achieve one’s own objective
        • Unanimity – presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people; appealing to “star- performers,” use of social pressure and ‘psychological contagion’
        • Orchestration- endlessly repeating the same message in different variations

      • Actually von Storch in 2010 found a more credible estimate of the ‘consensus’ at about 81%, if I recall correctly. That’s the stat I find most believable.

      • curryja | June 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        “well the american meteorological society surveyed its professional members and came up with a 52% ‘consensus’
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/10/the-52-consensus/

        Let me be polite – that’s a rather interesting take on it.

        Not polite – what a load of BS.

        Judith compares apples with oranges and declares they are different.

        The 97% study looks at publishing climate scientists. The AMS study includes very large numbers of respondents who are not publishing in the field. And there is a strong trend for those not researching the field to be less likely to see a human impact.

        If we do a like for like comparison; publishing climate scientist who think that half or more warming is anthropogenic, the ‘consensus’ is suddenly close to 90%.

      • ‘climate scientists’ – you mean like ecologists and people that study climate change impacts? If you want scientists that study detection and attribution, and actually understand it, meteorologists are your best bet.

      • She wants to be a doctor and talks with farmers about the weather.

        http://sciencenordic.com/swedish-farmers-have-doubts-about-climatologists

        And still thinks they like a mandate?

      • “The 97% study looks at publishing climate scientists.”

        So much for interdisciplinary.

        Try doing your climate science with out math, computers, ecology, geology, etc…

        I actually wonder, what is a climate scientist, anyway?

        For my part (as a math guy) I’m starting to think one should have to have a license to practice math; at least numerical modelling, anyways….

      • It seems like a tautology. Climate scientists are those in the 97%. 3% were to busy to respond or something….

      • Or at least the tautology seems to result if I follow the comments above to their conclusion…. (Im not proposing 97%=climate science).

      • I see, this was sort of the subject of the 52% post. I will read and catch up….

      • You should ask Richard Lindzen who to poll. Lindzen claims that people that take on the profession are not the best of the breed. I assume that includes him, LOL.

        Google “Richard Lindzen’s Paradox”

      • Joshua- in order for your response to be a solid rebuttal-

        First, you must establish that Richard Tol qualifies as a “thinking person” to the person you are responding to.

        Second, you must establish that none of the published papers mentioned in the quote contain any fabricated rhetoric, and none of the arguments used in the papers are based upon any.

        Third, you must establish that the findings “that humans played a dominant role” are based on empirical evidence that categorically eliminates every other possible source of influence on our climate.

      • curryja | July 1, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        “‘climate scientists’ – you mean like ecologists and people that study climate change impacts? If you want scientists that study detection and attribution, and actually understand it, meteorologists are your best bet.”

        …..except when they self-identify as not doing research in the feild, let alone on climate.

        Ho hum.

    • Very interesting. This provides insight to a long standing question I’ve had. How is it that very intelligent people can hold to irrational beliefs?

      • With transparency, we would be able to count the ways

      • Your question requires more clarity.

        How do you define “very intelligent”? By personal opinion? By measured I.Q.? What metric are you using to measure intelligence?

        What belief(s) specifically are you referring to as “irrational”? Just because you view something as being unfounded or illogical doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. It has to meet the criteria of “irrationality” to be declared such.

        High intelligence or I.Q. does not automatically ensure that someone is highly logical or reasonable. High intelligence and/or IQ are not mandatory in order for someone to become a highly critical thinker either. People also find ways to rationalize their beliefs, and you’d have to examine their thought processes in order to know whether or not their conclusions are based on solid reasoning or not.

  5. As per Victor Venema, scientists don’t like the consensus on climate change,

    My post explains why these five arguments may be an initial intuitive response for some scientists, but the post also why these arguments do not hold water if you think about it a bit longer. Thus the quote above does not accurately represent my opinion.

    I would expect that the main reason why scientists communicate that there is a consensus is the simple fact that there is a consensus on the basics. Scientists are supposed to tell the truth even if that were a bad communication strategy according to Dan Kahan.

    • Ah, thanks. Consensus on the basics. Now, is it possible to get beyond that without the artificial distraction of alarmist activists? Please, it’s important.
      ===================

    • Steven Mosher

      “I would expect that the main reason why scientists communicate that there is a consensus is the simple fact that there is a consensus on the basics.”

      Victor, do you go around publishing papers that the sky is blue.
      you do not communicate something because it is a simple fact.

      durr.

      • You mix up matters somewhat. Scientists can communicate that there is a consensus without any consensus study. We already know from our experience reading the scientific literature, from talking and mailing with colleagues and from visiting workshops and conferences. Scientists also do not have one number for everything, they have estimates on which questions there is a consensus and where not.

        Whether the various consensus studies, whether by SkS or by the “honest brokers” of the Klimazwiebel, are important for social science is not something I can judge.

        I do know that most studies turn up to confirm that the sky is blue. Preferably with an unprecedented accurate or a new method. You hope that you will find a deviation, but mostly you do not.

      • If you have a really good explanation of why the sky is blue, along with some nifty mathematical physics, it can go in the American Journal of Physics.

        And that becomes a source reference for how to teach physics to the next generation.

      • Steven Mosher

        Victor I mix nothing up.

        Name the last time you went to a conference and just in passing noted
        “hey, theres a consensus”

        We are talking about the papers.

        dont play dumb. thats willards game

      • Steven,

        All those consensus conferences and meetings must just be my imagination.

      • Hmmm, is the sky blue? That would of course be an anthropogenic view. To animals without stereoscopic vision is not their sky grey?

      • Steven Mosher: “Name the last time you went to a conference and just in passing noted “hey, theres a consensus””

        You probably do not think of it in those terms. Andy Skuce described it well in his last post on the topic:

        Researchers in any field are about as aware of the prevailing consensus as fish are of water: they are so immersed in it that they no longer notice it. Consensus is the reliable knowledge that goes into the undergraduate textbooks, whereas researchers, naturally, tend to focus on the areas that are not generally deemed settled.

        You sure notice during a conference about which questions people agree and about which ones there is still discussion. You talk with the others to try to understand where differences of opinion come from and if you are not able to resolve the matter, you know you have found something interesting, something that needs to be studied.

        If you are lucky maybe even a problem that when understood changes the view of something everyone already agreed upon. There is nothing more beautiful, but also more hard, than to show that something on which there was a clear consensus to be wrong. The longer the consensus holds, the more people have thought about it, the more beautiful it is to show it wrong. But that is because it also becomes harder and harder, because all those other people are far from stupid.

      • Steven Mosher

        thank you victor for making my argument.

        VV I would expect that the main reason why scientists communicate that there is a consensus is the simple fact that there is a consensus on the basics.

        SM you do not communicate something because it is a simple fact.

        VV Scientists can communicate that there is a consensus without any consensus study

        SM “Name the last time you went to a conference and just in passing noted
        “hey, theres a consensus”

        VV You sure notice during a conference about which questions people agree and about which ones there is still discussion.

        VV quotes “Researchers in any field are about as aware of the prevailing consensus as fish are of water: they are so immersed in it that they no longer notice it. ”

        in short, as I argued, one doesnt publish a paper, or go around saying at conferences, “hey fish, look we are in water, hey look the sky is blue”

        of course you may “notice” it. But its not a topic of conversation and one wouldnt expect to see papers written by fish that they are in water.

        In short, the notion that commenting on, writing papers on, commenting on “the consensus” is some innocent motiveless objective mere detailing of a fact is not defensible. Or rather no one has offered a credible argument that it is just a mere cataloging of some random fact.

        It has become an issue.

    • “there is a consensus on the basics” sounds like the lukewarmer position on the subject.

  6. “As per Victor Venema, scientists don’t like the consensus on climate change, but presumably have been sold a bill of goods that consensus is needed for ‘action’?” – JC

    BS.

    This is VV said about concensus;
    “While any mainstream scientist will be able to confirm the existence of this consensus from experience, explicitly communicating this is uncomfortable to some of them”.

    VV also pointed out the relevance of the issue of consensus;
    “An important political strategy to delay action on climate is to claim that the science is not settled, that there is no consensus yet. The infamous Luntz memo from 2002 to the US Republican president stated:

    ‘ Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate’ ”

    And one more;
    “Thus for me as a scientist this is not reason to lie about the existence of a clear consensus about and strong evidence for the basics of climate change.

    • VV himself, above, beat me to it.

    • Regarding the Luntz quote, their plan A certainly failed, but they do have a plan B, which is to discredit as many climate scientists as possible, preferably all of them, on blogs and in the press. Turn it into a food fight. The blogs have some cheerleaders for this tactic.

    • Steven Mosher

      the honest response to the claim that we should delay because the science isnt settled is this

      1. That’s true the science is not settled, no science is settled. anyone who demands a settled science should be ignored.
      2. The best science says there is a problem, of course some scientists disagree, but science is not a democracy we dont vote and take polls to
      determine whether 50% of us agree or 97% of us agree.
      3. The best science, from the best scientists, with the most experience, tells us there is a problem. you can listen to them or you can listen to a small minority who disagree. counting heads wont help you decide.
      4. deciding who to listen to isnt a question that science can answer. There is no science of expertology. sorry mr policy maker you will have to decide for yourself. Thats your job.

      • Your “best” science is so ridiculously incompetent and so lacking in quality control that no serious person could possibly rely on it for public policy.

      • Mann’s hockey stick was embraced by all your “best” people. It was a total piece of crap. End of discussion. If the “best” people can’t be bothered to check work before they endorse it and cite it to the world, they aren’t worth listening to. Period.

      • Rob Starkey

        Steve

        You wrote- “The best science, from the best scientists, with the most experience, tells us there is a problem.”

        Can you describe or at least better define what you consider to be the “problem”? Is a slightly warmer planet necessarily worse for humans overall, over the long term in your view? How do you reach that conclusion?

      • Don Monfort

        We don’t trust Team Climategate. The science needs a do-over.

      • “no science is settled”

        …except for Evolution, Gravity and Doctors.

        Andrew

      • k scott denison

        100% absurd Mosher. Yes, one should follow science that has shown, in some way, to have some sort of predictive or other real value. That is simply not the case here.

        Following the “best climate science” is like following those who proclaimed bloodletting to be the “best science”.

  7. “Victor Venema has a post …”

    “Climatology is a mature field and new finding will more likely change the complete picture only little.”
    V.V.

    This is what comes of all that “consensus” thinking.

    • Dear PokerGuy, thank you for reminding people of that post in response to Judith Curry’s surprised reaction to the word “mature”. This made me think that it would be interesting to explain what I wanted to express with that word. I am looking forward to hearing some arguments why you feel that climatology is not mature.

      • Climatology is mature enough that the majority of the natural variability can be quantified and the secular GHG trend can be isolated.

        To try to contradict that finding, the denialists turn to wildly implausible models such as rocket scientist David Evans notch filter model, where he invokes an unknown Force X to fill in any gaps.

        That is the best that the deniers have to offer. Immature science fiction vs mature science.

      • Which parts of the field would you consider to be immature?

        I think I would have to place “climate prediction” in this category, possibly you do not. And really, this is what all the angst is about.

        The field may be mature in many areas (such as many types of measurements), but the one that really matters as far as policy goes is not “mature” in my opinion. This is a rather large distinction.

      • Tom Scharf: Which parts of the field would you consider to be immature?

        It is not a black and white thing, but in the field I work in, I would personally see changes in extremes computed from daily station data (temperature and precipitation) as still not mature. At the moment we know very little about how important non-climatic changes are (changes in the measurement conditions). The trends and variability seen in the raw measurements may thus be too strong or too weak.

      • Victor, how can you consider climate science a mature field when something as basic and as important as ocean heat transport isn’t understood? If it were understood the AMO would be explained instead of speculated about. I guess that doesn’t match up to the very excellent argument that scientists have been wrong before, however.

      • Heh, it’s maturing, but it got too big for its britches.
        =====

      • The AMO is down in the noise when it comes to comparing against the GHG signal.

        Besides that, the phenomena known as ENSO continues to be better understood with each day. Look at the correlation between ENSO measurements and the sensitive measurements of the earth’s angular momentum and you can sense the skill and expertise of the earth sciences community. It is just a matter of time before all the pieces will fall into place.

        You must just hate that prospect, eh?

      • Web, it’s nice that you have an opinion on the AMO that runs counter to mine. It boosts my confidence that my opinion is the correct one.

      • Victor,
        The claim that you guys have this thing just about wrapped up with pretty ribbons is delusional on its face. You can’t even explain the pause…which virtually none of your highly mature models predicted. It’s truly a staggering assertion. More staggering still that you seem to be sticking with it.

      • PokerGuy, we cannot predict the weather one month in advance, we can predict that next winter it will be colder than this month. That a model cannot predict natural variability (weather) does not mean that it cannot predict the long term climate (winter).

        I know that in some circles the apparent pause has been sold as something of enormous importance, but actually it is just a deviation of less than one in a thousand. Sorry, when that does not worry me much, there are more important problems.

      • Victor,

        “Sorry, when that does not worry me much, there are more important problems.”

        One of the problems I have with regards to model evaluations is what I perceive as the continuous moving of the goalposts. An argument can always be made post-hoc that the models are working “good enough” for some purpose, or that the models running hot is an anomaly, statistically insignificant, or just unlucky natural variation.

        Would you be willing to commit to under what circumstances you would consider the model’s performance to be something worth “worrying about”?

        I think we can say with near certainty that if the models were running cold, the stories would be reversed on both sides of the debate. The way to get around this is to state some performance metrics that can be used to judge performance, and to state these metrics at the time of the model release.

        For the record, I think the validity of model predictions is of utmost importance, and should not be downplayed. If climate sensitivity is low, everything changes. It’s unclear what are the more important problems here.

      • Nice try, Victor. For something so inconsequential, Kevin sure has his briefs in a twist. Most of you guys were still denying the pause up until very recently. That’s not longer possible, so of course you have to find ways to dismiss its importance. You guys are a lot easier to predict that the climate…

        For any objective observer, at the very least the so-called pause argues for a lower sensitivity to Co2…especially during a time when more than 25 percent of all the anthro Co2 since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution has been added to the atmosphere. Another few years and we hit 2 decades. (You can forget about the super el nino you guys are so hot for)…

        As Don M is fond of saying, “the pause is wrecking the cause.” You just look foolish trying to pretend it’s not a crucial issue

      • pokerguy writes “you guys” 3 times in one comment.

        I wonder what the record is.

      • Don Monfort

        Gone past mature to senile. Past ripe to overripe. Maturity without wisdom. Old dogs chewing on nature tricks. Get me out of this, kim!

      • Don Monfort

        You misquoted me, poker: The pause is killing the cause.

      • For any objective observer, at the very least the so-called pause argues for a lower sensitivity to Co2

        We had a temperature increase over 100 years of about 1°C. The temperature increase over the last decade was 0.1 or 0.2° less than expected. A tenth of the length and 1 or 2 tenth of the size together make 2%. That would be a first estimate for the reduction in sensitivity. We would be very happy if the estimates were so accurate that that matters.

        The pause sure is interesting for working on natural variability. If the temperature were never close to the confidence limits, those limits would be much too large. (And these confidence intervals are larger than the model spread, because models have common problems.)

        Tom Scharf, I only work on the quality of station measurements, thus I cannot give you any numbers where the limit is. Clearly if there were an unexplained sustained drop in temperatures down to levels we had in 1900, the AGW theory would be refuted. Well before that we would have made a serious error.

      • Don Monfort

        VV says that climate science can predict that winter will be colder than summer. And they get paid.

      • Yes we all believe in natural variability. This is energy conservation at work. We can see this with the measurements that geoscientists perform estimating the rate of rotation of the earth. Every slow down and speed up of the earth is associated with definite energy and momentum changes in the lithosphere. Much the same as with temperature changes due to AMO and ENSO. Slosh the ocean and atmosphere around some and the angular momentum will change and temperatures will change as well.

        Yet that is different than the secular change in temperature that we have seen in the last 100 year’s.

        The cause of the pause is due to thermodynamic laws.
        If you don’t understand physics you are doomed to repent it

      • “misquoted”
        I knew something didn’t quite sound right.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Maturing, the gonads more than the brain.

      • WebHubTelescope:

        Understanding physics by itself isn’t enough. Otherwise we would understand cloud formation and its impact on climate change.

        There are many areas where we still need to improve our understanding of physics.

        Don’t act as if science has reduced our understanding of climate to a set of equations – because we are not there yet.

      • Web, the first law of thermodynamics is the conservation of energy. That law is applicable to closed systems. Is the Earth a closed system? Which law would you like to talk about next?

      • “Which parts of the field would you consider to be immature?”

        GCMs
        Paleoclimate
        Clouds
        Water vapor
        Measuring surface temps with any accuracy or precision
        Measuring ocean heat content

      • steven, unforced long-term warming is a violation of the 1st law. You may not suggest that, but surprisingly many skeptics believe this is possible. There is enough forcing to explain the warming, but these particular skeptics will have none of it because it is CO2 that dominates the forcing. It is a debate about the 1st law with those types.

      • Victor Venema: “I am looking forward to hearing some arguments why you feel that climatology is not mature.” –> I am surprised more people did not mention predictions. In physics, a field is mature when it makes falsifiable predictions: subatomic physics comes to mind. As nearly as I can tell, every possible outcome is predicted by climatology. This looks very much like the social science to me. It has descriptive power, but not predictive power.

        I agree the broad outlines of AGW theory are mature. I disagree that our understanding of feedback is mature.

        “We had a temperature increase over 100 years of about 1°C. The temperature increase over the last decade was 0.1 or 0.2° less than expected. A tenth of the length and 1 or 2 tenth of the size together make 2%.” –> I cannot follow this reasoning. I read 0.2° less in a decade as 2°C less in a century.

      • GCMs
        Paleoclimate
        Clouds
        Water vapor
        Measuring surface temps with any accuracy or precision
        Measuring ocean heat content
        ***

        Unimportant Gary. Victor and his friends are nonetheless virtually certain WRT to the impending way-too hot–pocalypse. That’s where the science is “mature.” Given how much we obviously don’t understand, their certainty is a mystery, but I guess that’s our problem.

      • Steven. You never show any math. Whenever I see your name, I just assume it is Steven S. Goddard. Then I chuckle.

      • Jim D, you’d have to define long term. If you look at the Lund reconstruction of Gulf Stream transport and assume it is anywhere close to correct, you are looking at a time period where acceleration occurred over a 250 year time span. Clearly if the AMO can affect global temperatures so could have this. The real question is by how much.

      • Web, when I see you I see someone doing the math with no understanding of the concepts. I guess we all have our opinions.

      • steven, long-term is 60 years, or since 1950, which is the usual context, being a period in which we know the main forcing change quite well. Internal ocean dynamics cannot at the same time cause the ocean to warm at all levels and in all places (energy conservation again), so you will have to rethink your idea. It is not just a redistribution of warm ocean water, and nor can it be. It’s the forcing, which you wish to neglect for some reason. That supplies the energy to explain the warming. It is not rocket science, but there is a lot of resistance.

      • Jim D, take your pick: the reconstruction is wrong, it is internal variaibility, solar forcing has a different efficacy than co2 forcing, or you can explain the reconstruction without any of the above being true.

      • Since 1950, the CO2 forcing has changed by 1.3 W/m2. Other factors add up to not so much in comparison. The temperature went up 0.7 C in the meantime. Unfortunately for the skeptics, AGW can quantify this observation-based connection with known physics, including energy conservation by the way, that paleoclimate helps to confirm.

      • RobertInAz, I am sorry, but I do not agree with you about predictions. First of all climatology does make predictions. They are the best known curves of the IPCC reports. I admit that they are hard to validate given that climatology is about the long-term properties of the climate system and given that the changes are still small. Thus it takes a long time until the power of the predictions can be estimated.

        Secondly, also without making predictions you can be a natural science. The clearest example would be evolutionary theory. Given that we cannot study the climate in the lab and that we are performing a unique experiment, I agree that climatology will never by as solid as physics. It is somewhere on the axis between physics and economics. Having studied physics, I feel climatology is relatively close to physics, we know most fundamental equations, but we can legitimately disagree about such a subjective estimate.

        RobertInAz: “I agree the broad outlines of AGW theory are mature. I disagree that our understanding of feedback is mature.”

        I agree that the feedbacks are the weak spot. Especially as this the part where we cannot validate how good the predictions are. We are performing a unique experiment with the Earth. There is some hold in the paleo record, but that is it. In that respect, I also do not expect the confidence levels for the projections to become much smaller soon.

        The feedbacks are the main reason for the broad confidence intervals of the climate projections.

        VV: “We had a temperature increase over 100 years of about 1°C. The temperature increase over the last decade was 0.1 or 0.2° less than expected. A tenth of the length and 1 or 2 tenth of the size together make 2%.”

        Robert: “–> I cannot follow this reasoning.”

        Probably I was not clear. I was thinking of the roughly triangular area below the curve of temperature versus time. This area is proportional to the additional energy in atmosphere. The climate change we had is about 0.5 * 100years * 1°C. The apparent pause is 0.5 * 10years * 0.2°C. The deviation is thus in the order of 2% of the additional energy we already put into the atmosphere. (This is just a rough back of the envelope computation, an accurate one should take more than just air temperature into account and the full curve.)

        It would be great to understand such a deviation. There were some interesting scientific papers on it that see as possible causes: El Nino, smaller volcanoes and estimation errors of the temperature increase. Let’s wait until the dust settles and see what the next few rounds of papers bring. However, I do not see 2% as a big deal and I am even surprised that it seems to be possible to understand such a small deviation. That shows the enormous improvements climatology has made, especially in the global monitoring of the climate.

        pokerguy: “Victor and his friends are nonetheless virtually certain WRT to the impending way-too hot–pocalypse.”

        I already thought you were not talking to me, but to some imaginary enemy. Actually, I even wrote in the comments below:

        Mike, it is possible that we are lucky and the climate sensitivity will turn out low.

      • Poker and Don M

        The pause could also be indicative of higher sensitivity if natural downturn variations are coinciding with transient and temporary negative feedbacks. Regression to the mean can be humiliating (just ask the SF Giants).

        We don’t know. The science is not at a mature enough stage to even make a WAG on this issue.

        Victor: Even if temperatures fell to 1900-levels, the GHG theory would not necessarily be dis-proven. Perhaps an updated natural variation hypothesis and/or transient negative feedback theory could explain it. This is another example of a lack of maturity and overselling consensus. It creates artificial boundaries that impedes objective problem solving.

      • Jim D, I’m assuming that comment was to someone else since you are familiar with the reconstruction and it starts about 1000 years ago..

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubtelescope: Climatology is mature enough that the majority of the natural variability can be quantified and the secular GHG trend can be isolated.

        If that were true, you could predict the trend of global mean temperature and precipitation for each region of Earth for the next 20 years. Past predictions have failed so far, but maybe a prediction will be made soon that proves accurate for the future. This year, even the predictions of the peak (and time of the peak) of ENSO are all over the place.

        Your words “quantified” and “isolated” should be modified by “to some degree of approximation [e.g. mse 25%]“.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Climatology is mature enough that the majority of the natural variability can be quantified and the secular GHG trend can be isolated.

        For example, you might say “75% of the spatio-temporal variance in mean temperature and rainfall can be explained via quantitative natural laws, and the error in the estimate of the GHG trend in spatio-temporally averaged temp is less than 0.2C/decade”. The error to date of the IPCC
        AR4 prediction is in fact close to +0.2C/decade, but perhaps a prediction made now would have, in the next 20 years, an error substantially less than that.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: steven, unforced long-term warming is a violation of the 1st law. You may not suggest that, but surprisingly many skeptics believe this is possible. There is enough forcing to explain the warming, but these particular skeptics will have none of it because it is CO2 that dominates the forcing. It is a debate about the 1st law with those types.

        I think that’s total nonsense, but perhaps you could quote someone in particular. Cloud cover changes make insolation changes on the Earth surface, so energy flows change where they can be measured, and where they can’t be measured. There is no violation of any law of thermodynamics to say that human measurement of the heat flows is incomplete; and that internal dynamics can change the forcing by changing the cloud cover (and in other ways.)

        Nothing has been measured accurately enough, completely enough, and without bias for a long enough period of time for the post WWII CO2 effects to be accurately estimated.

      • Mattstat, “Nothing has been measured accurately enough, completely enough, and without bias for a long enough period of time for the post WWII CO2 effects to be accurately estimated.”

        I disagree with that. The actual CO2 related impact is barely discernible, it is the lack of water vapor feedback that is at issue. That feedback over-estimate is the major screw up.

      • Matthew Marler, the CO2 forcing change by itself easily explains the temperature change. You don’t have to invoke some non-forcing change to explain anything. As I mentioned, the forcing change since 1950, just from CO2 is 1.3 W/m2. That is very large and rising. You can compare that with the integrated effect of volcanoes and the sun also seen in the temperature, and it overwhelms them quantitatively from the forcing perspective and proportionally in their relative impacts on temperature. That the temperature visibly responds to these other weaker forcing changes is evidence that these forcing effects are seen in the record. What would be odd is if we didn’t see the CO2 effect the way we do, given its relative size.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Jim D said

        “steven, unforced long-term warming is a violation of the 1st law. ”

        Yes, Jim D…Tell us then… exactly “how long” is long term?

      • thisisnot, yep, 60 years. Read the thread. I am not repeating it all again.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Matthew Marler, the CO2 forcing change by itself easily explains the temperature change. You don’t have to invoke some non-forcing change to explain anything.

        Your claim that I objected to was that anything other than CO2 violated the first law of thermodynamics. That isn’t true, as I explained. I do not deny that CO2 might have raised the temperature, I have asserted that an accurate estimate of the hypothetical effect is not possible, and it could in fact be 0.

      • Howard, for some reason addresses the following to pokerguy and myself:

        “The pause could also be indicative of higher sensitivity if natural downturn variations are coinciding with transient and temporary negative feedbacks. Regression to the mean can be humiliating (just ask the SF Giants).”

        And if pigs had wings and you put enough lipstick on them, they could play golf and tennis.

      • I think it was just last year that it was ‘discovered’ (rediscovered perhaps would be more accurate) that black soot was the second largest driver of climate change, IIRC. (Perhaps they only said it was the second largest cause of ice melt or albedo change…)

        Not a sign of a mature science to be revealing the second largest cause of anything big…

      • Matthew Marler, some ascribe only a hypothetical and uncertain effect to CO2 forcing while not doing that for volcanoes or the sun, which are also seen in the observational record despite being weaker in forcing. I don’t know why that is. It just looks inconsistent on its face.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Matthew Marler, some ascribe only a hypothetical and uncertain effect to CO2 forcing while not doing that for volcanoes or the sun, which are also seen in the observational record despite being weaker in forcing. I don’t know why that is.

        What I called nonsense was nonsense.

      • Matthew Marler, be specific, which of the IPCC forcings are nonsense and which do you believe? How about methane, black carbon, the sun, aerosols (natural or manmade)? This will be a useful exercise for you to think about, because so far your logic has some rather large holes in it.

      • It’s all effectively CO2. All the natural variations are on an an oscillating cycle and cancel out in the end, contributing a zero-sum factor.

        Quit acting so dumb about it.

      • David Springer

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-spm-2.html

        Methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons, ozone…

      • V.V.,

        Umm, .1 to .2 C with and expectation .15 is 100% off. Of course, we could use a confidence interval. It’s not quite as bad as that. Of course, there are other implication. GHG concentration increased and temperature did not, suggesting a smaller sensitivity. Also, high temps persisted during this time. We should have seen climate responses that would indicate the positive feedbacks that we’re supposed to worry about.

      • aaron, I am happy to use smaller numbers. Then the importance of the apparent pause becomes even smaller. I chose large number so that no one would claim the numbers were larger, I wanted to make a conservative estimate of how small the deviation in the energy accumulation is.

        I do not share your view that we should have seen a temperature response on such a short time scale. I agree with Judith Curry that one should not ignore natural variability, especially for such climatologically short periods, which your argumentation does. (You do see the warming in the ocean heat content and you do see the warming in atmospheric temperatures if you take El Nino into account, the main source of natural variability.)

      • Don Monfort

        Denial of natural variability has come back to bite them in their little buttocks. The pause is killing the cause.

      • V.V., “I do not share your view that we should have seen a temperature response on such a short time scale. ”

        Good point, but 15 years of high temps is pretty long. It is unlikely that we wouldn’t see some responses though, but it is only half of a PDO phase. But do we even see them in the past 60 years? Perhaps if we compare the corresponding part of the previous cool PDO phase we might see some difference in humidity, storminess…

        The point is that the extent of the variability makes temp sensitivity very unlikely to be even moderately high.

        And, remember the anthro-ghg forcing is offeset by only about .3C temp increase at current CO2 levels. The temp increase over the past 50yr is more than enough to offset the CO2 forcing (we’re likely above equalibrium temp). What has the trend been in outgoing LW radiation been before and after 1998?

      • aaron, why do you expect that we are above equilibrium temperature? The heat capacity of the oceans is enormous, the temperature of the Earth thus responds very slowly to changes in the forcing. Slowly means that it takes decades to centuries until equilibrium is reached. The forcing is, furthermore, still increasing. This means that the only way to be above equilibrium would be to have very strong natural variability that pushed the temperatures up. The post I just linked about El Nino suggests the opposite.

        Apart from such more theoretical arguments, we see that the ocean temperatures are increasing. I would see that as a clear sign that the temperature is above equilibrium.

      • Sorry, I’ve been replying too quickly.

        Equilibrium temp is the wrong term. I’ll need to read your link and think things through more.

        My thinking was that the surface temp (particularly the atmosphere) is above the temp needed to offset the gh effect of a-CO2 (the recent temps are high enough to emit more outgoing LW than the CO2 inhibits). Of course, the oceans will continue to accumulate heat (CO2 changing the distribution of heat). The heat capacity of the oceans is great and will affect climate for a long time, but slowly (maybe in spurts).

      • This post suggests that we were losing energy for a good part of the past decade: http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: There is enough forcing to explain the warming, but these particular skeptics will have none of it because it is CO2 that dominates the forcing. It is a debate about the 1st law with those types.

        Sunlight “dominates” the forcings, not CO2. It is not a debate about the 1st law with any “types”.

        Your subsequent posts suggest that you meant to write something different from what you wrote.

      • aaron: “This post suggests that we were losing energy for a good part of the past decade: http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/

        Interesting. Has Steve McGee published this in a scientific journal by now? I am skeptical whether the energy balance can be studied that way.

        He studied the radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere in a reanalysis dataset. Such a dataset is produced by continually nudging a weather prediction or climate model towards the measured values. Nowadays this is done in horribly complicated ways, but it is sufficient to think of such datasets as being a model that is forced to have similar weather as observed.

        The sea surface temperature in this reanalysis is prescribed. The energy imbalance due to the warming of the ocean can thus not be seen. The ocean becomes warmer due to the nudging and not because more radiation goes down as up. This is the largest part of the energy imbalance that is completely missing. More than 90% of the warming of the climate system is the warming of the oceans. The same goes for snow cover.

        I could probably already stop here, but a similar thing happens goes for the atmosphere (2% of the warming). The changes in the atmosphere in the reanalysis data are not prescribed, but they are determined by the nudging towards measurements where we have measurements.

        I have two guesses, which I added below, they are probably too technical for many. Even if these guesses are wrong, I would say that if you want to compute the energy imbalance of a reanalysis dataset, you should probably simply compute how the temperature (and humidity) has changed. With all the prescribed variables and all the nudging going on, looking at the energy imbalance in a reanalysis dataset does not seem possible to me.

        My two guesses are:

        If I were a reviewer of this paper, I would like to know the temperature of this model in a free run, without the nudging towards the atmospheric measurements, but with the right forcings (CO2 concentrations, sun, vulcanoes, etc.) and with the sea surface temperature because otherwise too many runs would be needed. Given these results, I would expect that the intrinsic temperature of this model (as seen in such a free run) is a little bit cooler than the mean temperature of the reanalysis, at least towards the end, where we see the “losing of energy”. As a consequence the measurements tend to push the temperature up and where there are no measurements the model tries to cool to get to its intrinsic temperature again. This may be the cooling you see at the top of the atmosphere of this reanalysis dataset.

        A small bias between the prescribed sea surface temperature and the nudged (assimilated) temperature measurements could also be the reason. If the ocean is too warm compared to the atmosphere, the model wants to get rid of this energy. This reason is suggested by the fact that in 2002 one source of sea surface temperature was changed to another one. The timing fits well to the date at with the positive imbalance shifts to a negative imbalance. Those would be my guesses.

      • V.V., I largely agree.

        But, I think our understanding of volcanic, aerosol, etc. forcings are also very uncertain. Re-analysis isn’t particularly good, but may help people ask the right questions, gain insights, and look for more useful data.

        I think that temp sensitivity is likely variable on many time scales (e.g. deep ocean heat uptake may change and that may have caused temp sensitivity to be coincidentally high during our observation period and now low–maybe somehow related to PDO phase.)

        Anyway, this thread has become too long to respond to well. I’ll check it again, and perhaps we can start a new thead. But with a recent job change, upcoming holiday, etc. I’m not sure I can contribute much. Perhaps we can discuss more in the future.

    • WHT, Steven is a dentist. If Goddard were a dentist we would all be gummers. There is an ocean of transported heat between the two. When I go to my dentist I wonder now “is this guy smart like steven?” To me anyway, he’s the only skeptic on the web who is interesting.

      • Thanks JCH, I like to think my arguments are logical regardless of if they turn out to be right or wrong.


      • To me anyway, he’s the only skeptic on the web who is interesting.

        They are all interesting … in their ability to score own goals.

        There is also a side benefit of hanging around the net. Steven helped me isolate a two-month oscillation in SLR by getting a little sloppy in his manic howling over some injustice that was being perpetrated. Anyway, it is documented here:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/04/filtering-sea-level-rise.html

      • Web, you told me you were going to remove my name after I showed you the problem was your reading comprehension. I see you are as good to your word as I expected.

      • Little Steven,I made you famous, what’s the problem?

      • How famous will I be, Web? As famous as you when you did months of calculations and never realized eddy diffusion was actually mixing until Judith finally put you straight? I can only aspire to such pinnacles of granduer.


      • steven | July 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm |

        How famous will I be, Web? As famous as you when you did months of calculations and never realized eddy diffusion was actually mixing until Judith finally put you straight?

        Don’t play stump the chump with me. Eddy diffusion has the units of a diffusion coefficient which is length^2/time. James Hansen applied eddy diffusion to predict how SST would lag land warming back in the 1980 time frame when he wrote his classic paper incorporating OHC.
        [1]J. Hansen, D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, “Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Science, vol. 213 (4511), pp. 957–966, 1981.

      • Web, and that somehow explains why you were working on something for months without even knowing what it was? Tell me that story, Web. Is this typical behavior for you geniuses or are you a rare breed?


      • steven | July 2, 2014 at 6:46 am |

        Web, and that somehow explains why you were working on something for months without even knowing what it was?

        Fortunately I keep track of all my work on the blog so that I can tell you when some great statement of fact that I made occurred.

        Ocean Heat Content Model
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

        We will assume a diffusive flow of heat as described in James Hansen’s 1981 paper [2]. In general the diffusion of heat is qualitatively playing out according to the way Fick’s law would apply to a heat sink. Hansen also volunteered an effective diffusion that should apply, set to the nice round number of 1 cm^2/second.

        In the following we provide a mathematical explanation which works its way from first principles to come up with an uncertainty-quantified formulation. After that we present a first-order sanity check to the approximation.


        The first level of uncertainty is a maximum entropy prior (MaxEnt) that we apply to the diffusion coefficient to approximate the various pathways that heat can follow downward. For example, some of the flow will be by eddy diffusion and other paths by conventional vertical mixing diffusion.

        That’s what you call a root canal treatment on steven the dentist. Raise your hand when you start feeling pain.

      • Steven, “Webeddy, that still doesn’t explain why after months you still had no idea what you were doing calculations on.”

        Steven, there are no explanations for some things in life. The Diffusionator will never understand that the mixing efficiency of the ocean/atmosphere boundary varies.

      • Judith, censoring me when I’m arguing with Webeddy the Deceiver? That’s sort of like jailing the jaywalker and letting the arsonist go free.

      • The issue is that people don’t want to read this kind of bickering, so I delete where I spot it

      • Dallas, he doesn’t understand more than that. Or at least when he was working on it so hard he didn’t. He didn’t understand that Fick’s laws of diffusion don’t work very well for mixing in a substance with a boyancy gradient either. I’m not sure why someone would even bother bringing up Fick’s laws if he knew he was talking about mixing. Can you think of a reason?

      • Judith, I understand. I will put him on ignore again.

      • WebHubTelescope


        captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | July 2, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        Steven, “Webeddy, that still doesn’t explain why after months you still had no idea what you were doing calculations on.”

        Steven, there are no explanations for some things in life. The Diffusionator will never understand that the mixing efficiency of the ocean/atmosphere boundary varies.

        And that is why I placed a MaxEnt prior on the diffusion coefficient. The diffusion coefficient can vary and a MaxEnt distro has the widest variation that still maintains a mean.

        Reading is fundamental. Try it.

      • WebHubTelescope


        . I’m not sure why someone would even bother bringing up Fick’s laws if he knew he was talking about mixing. Can you think of a reason?

        Diffusion is a model of a random walk. The way something mixes can be described by a random walk. Something mixes in one direction, and then reverses and mixes in the other direction, all based on a crazy eddy (Crazy Eddie, get it ? :) ) That is how heat will diffuse away from a point source –and it gradually increases its distance away from that point source according to Fick’s law, i.e. ~ sqrt(time).

        Mathematically this gets expressed as a continuity equation for flux, where the flux can be heat or particles.

    • V.V.’s mature science is like his concensus science- appeal to authority rather than to science. Some day, perhaps, it will be possible to untangle the many variables, known and presently unknown, that are forcings. We’ll perhaps understand the dymamics of H2O water vapor and H2O clouds as feedbacks and even the carbon cycle feedbacks and the relationship of solar photons at different energy levels and all the other particles in the solar wind and their effect on climate. Some day we’ll perhaps be able to quantify much of the above. Some day climate science will be a mature science and research will not be mainly to show greenhouse global warming, and researchers will not have to appeal to the authority of some concensus in order to publish and get funded. Someday VV.

    • Web said

      ‘Its all effectively Co2.’

      You’ve effectively killed the sceptical case. If you could just cite the reliable citations and observational evidence to back that up we could all go home and do something more useful with our time.

      tonyb

  8. In 1962 Thomas Kuhn published “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, which — along with the subsequent research — gave deep insights into the role of consensus in professional science. These answers are not politically useful to those seeking to wield the “consensus” as a tool, so they’ve been put down the memory hole.

    Down the memory hole with the “little ice age” and other problematic knowledge of the past.

  9. Judith – what was the purpose of the ‘?’ at the end of your sentence on VV, vs. your summations of the other authors which end in a ‘.’, or is that just a typo?

  10. Technically I am in the consensus because I am persuaded that human emissions are warming the planet by the greenhouse effect.

    However, the devil is in the details of how much the planet is warming because of human emissions, how serious are the consequences, how much we can realistically do to mitigate or adapt to climate change, and how much we can reliably predict the risks.

    Again and again, I see the climate change orthodox using consensus as a bait-and-switch from the basic anthropogenic warming position to the catastrophic anthropogenic warming scenario in which we are required to support all manner of carbon taxes, renewable energy subsidies, increased regulation of industry, wealth redistribution, and the reduction of national sovereignty in favor of increased control by international bodies.

    • For example, Trenbeth “After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree about the course of treatment, you can be justly confident that that’s the best advice that medicine can give you”. That certainly implies to me that his consensus position is that mitigation is the course of treatment.

      • I was struck by the same thing. One goes from 97% accepting the basic greenhouse effect to lone wolf Trenberth asserting, by analogy, that the same percentage “of the specialists agree about the course of treatment”. But, unlike the medical situation, where it is fair to assume that the specialists have seen the same symptoms disappear many times under the recommended treatment, the evidence that we can avert climate disaster, even if it is at risk of happening, is of course completely lacking. There are no specialists in averting climate disaster. And the 97% of specialists in other things produced in various papers do not remotely agree about the necessity, cost and efficacy of proposed remedies. The trick Trenberth pulls here is what I call The Great Misdirection. Despite the efforts of Dr Curry and others I don’t think we’ve yet remotely done justice to it.

  11. So the first three comments are from the two people who attack JC for not writing agreeable posts about the climate consensus. Just saying…

  12. Replace theology with science….

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus theology. I regard consensus theology as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear that the consensus of theologians agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of theology has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Theology, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable (by reference to the real world.) In theology consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest theologians in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus theology. If it’s consensus, it isn’t theology. If it’s theology, it isn’t consensus. Period.2″

    http://www.faithalone.org/magazine/y2009/cts.html

    “nine rings were gifted to the Race of Men, who above all else desire power”

  13. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    It is true that denialism’s unholy ‘rough beast’ coalition is angst-ing about consensus … meanwhile, thoughtful citizens, and top-rank scientists, alike are concerned with consequences.

    The sharp distinction between ‘rough beast denialism’ and rational climate-science is evident to *EVERYONE* — especially young scientists and independent voters — eh Climate Etc readers?

    \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}

    • Time For An Ob

      Seems to me that it’s the hysterics that are in denial.

      • Fan

        As Max would have pointed out there is not enough fossil fuel left to put its remainders into the atmosphere at increasing rates for the next 200 years.

        Whilst renewables are not yet ready to take up the energy load they will be in 50 years. So eli’s fears areunrest ranted as is your concern

        Tonyb

    • Fan: How are you a fan of more discourse? Or a smiley, loving person as in your signature?

      Most of your comments, like this one, are nothing more than hard polemical sneers directed at your opponents with a few links to talking point stories.

    • Who is Max? Max Headroom?

      Read what Raymond Pierrehumbert says. The concern is about exploiting the huge amounts of low-grade fossil.fuel left in the ground. If the oil shale gets extracted on any kind of scale, we are cooked. That is oil shale, not shale oil.

    • 97% of scientists agree (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, angst, ((think of the children!)) ) http://joncomulada.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/colgate-finally-convinces-10th-dentist-to-recommend-their-toothpaste/

      Listen fan …. Can your that great sucking sound ?
      It’s called “begging the question”

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: It is true that denialism’s unholy ‘rough beast’ coalition is angst-ing about consensus … meanwhile, thoughtful citizens, and top-rank scientists, alike are concerned with consequences.

      That is complete nonsense. There are substantial scientific reasons to claim that the consequences of reducing human CO2 emissions would be so slight as to be undetectable. Thus, anyone concerned with “consequences” is alert to the possibility, highlighted by skeptics, that human CO2 plays no important role in climate in the first place.

      At this point, advocates of trillions of dollars of investments to reduce CO2, who will not debate all the points of the science in complete detail, sound more and more like religious zealots with appeals to faith in the elders and ancient texts.

  14. Concerned Citizen

    I’d guess that many people think that the consensus folks are a little too sure of all the catastrophic implications of their fine consensus. For all the self-aggrandizing talk about “proper” expertise, they appear to me to feel they are more expert on crop implications than farmers, more expert on animal populations than biologists, more expert on weather than meteorologists, more expert on disease than doctors, etc.

  15. I read the memo too, around the late 1970s, and didn’t much care either-until I realised that people in positions of power and influence were actually taking them seriously. That is the real cause for alarm.

  16. I don’t think there is angst about “the consensus”. But I think there is a great deal of exasperation about:

    1) Using science to deceive. As Cook’s clownish 97% paper. And so many “scientists” supporting the nonsense paper because it is “convenient”.

    2) Using a consensus – scientists believe … – as having any relevance. It is not the same thing “scientists believe” as “scientists have shown to know”. Believe is not knowledge and mixing them is cheating. A scientist’s “believe” is not less believe than a non expert believe. Nor is it more “knowledge”.

    Adding 1 + 2 you have a very simple consequence: Scientist’s support Cook’s nonsense (and Mann’s exaggerations, etc) ⇒ you don’t care about scientist’s believes. Bring me a knowledge. Yes, people think “scientists believe in Terrorific Global Warming”. So what? They don’t care, as in 1 + 2 = 3.

  17. Minor error – Lewandowsky is not involved in the SkS Consensus Project, though he has very much influenced it.

    should be Cook et al

      • This point requires a bit of further clarification. Stepahn Lewandowsky was not involved with The Consensus Project when the paper was originally written, but he did become involved at a later stage. He’s a co-author on Cook et al’s peer-reviewed paper responding to Richard Tol’s peer-reviewed paper criticizing the original Cook et al paper (which had a slightly different roster of authors). He’s also a co-author on a ~20 page document responding to the same Tol paper in more detail.

        So Lewandowsky was not involved with The Consensus Project’s paper claiming to find a consensus, but he is involved with the project itself.

  18. Maybe the public got a little tired of the continuous stream of climate consensus by press release. Each climate scientist had to come up with a worse doomsday scenario. Tipping points that were just short periods of time away and we had to do something NOW. Dire prediction on dire prediction. Also, it none of the predictions ever seem to happen and climate scientists went along merrily from one disaster prediction to the next. The world was going to end by ice in the 70′s and then by fire after that (sorry, Mr. Sandburg) and it never seemed to happen.

    Climate science doesn’t seem to test theories against real data often enough but relies on agreement with other models that agree with other models. I remember the number of pet chemistry theories that the consensus followed until data seemed to suggest otherwise. They got dropped. Climate science doesn’t appear, from the outside anyway, to do that.
    Maybe the public is getting a bit worn from all the doom and gloom that never seems to happen.

  19. None of this seems to address the central point for anyone who is not a climate scientist: the consensus on attribution is only one small part of a structure in which there is no consensus. There is no consensus on climate sensitivity, unless you are willing to accept a range of 1-4 C or such. There is no consensus on what the impacts will be, There is no consensus on what those impacts will cost, even to the extent of deciding whether it will be positive or negative (for a while). There is absolutely no consensus on the economics of mitigation vs. adaptation, especially on the simple decision of whether mitigation is the best use of our money. There is absolutely no consensus on how to handle the international politics.
    For these latter issues it doesn’t matter what climate scientists think; you’d need to survey biologists, or economists, or political scientists, and it has not been done AFAIK.
    Spare me the 97%. There is no consensus on most of what matters, and I have never seen an attempt to claim that there is. I have seen many

  20. I am starting to think the whole AGW thing is just a stalking horse while other things are being enacted out of view. AGW is obviously not worth the science.

    • Naq

      I can think of 10 things I am far more concerned about than CAGW. In fact I can think of 20 things. Make that 30….in fact to be honest it doesn’t appear on my bogey man list at all until we get down to some really trivial things that aren’t worth bothering about in the first place

      tonyb

    • True, crude oil depletion is probably a bigger near term issue than climate change.

      Fortunately they have the same obvious mitigation and adaptation strategies :

      Get off fossil fuels and seek out renewable and alternative energy sources!

      Yet this still makes the denialists very angry.

      • Web

        As I have said to you many times we need renewable horses for courses. In the UK Solar power- although heavily promoted-is a climatic cul de sac.

        Ocean power should be our main focus but very little research is being done on it let alone actual generation. until then-a few decades-we will need to rely on fossil fuels (or nuclear)

        tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: True, crude oil depletion is probably a bigger near term issue than climate change.

        Fortunately they have the same obvious mitigation and adaptation strategies :

        Get off fossil fuels and seek out renewable and alternative energy sources!

        Yet this still makes the denialists very angry.

        What they have in common is the promotion of new technology. They differ a lot in discussions about mechanisms, markets, mandates, urgency, nuclear power, and such.

        I doubt you could quote an angry denial of the common strategies, but have a go at it!


      • I doubt you could quote an angry denial of the common strategies, but have a go at it!

        The very existence of this blog is sufficient evidence.

      • Evidence-based policy made simple!

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: The very existence of this blog is sufficient evidence.

        So far, you have confirmed my doubt that you could quote an angry denial.

  21. lawrence Cornell

    Joshua, perhaps reading something beyond Richard Tol might be helpful for you. There ARE other opinions. Give it a try.
    Barack H. Obama says “The debate is over”. Perhaps if you quote him over and over again that will also magically turn into a fact.
    The other day Hillary Clinton said there was a 98% consensus on AGW. ( not just the measly 97%) Let’s also all keep repeating THAT while we call names at those who don’t accept the new, improved consensus from “the top”.
    WOW, think about it Joshua. Just keep repeating those two mantras and you’ll have “deniers”, “racists” AND “sexists” to hold up as examples of those EVIL fossil fuel lovers paid by the evil Koch brothers.

    • lawrence -

      ==> ” Perhaps if you quote him over and over again that will also magically turn into a fact.”

      ?????

      Are you under the impression that I’ve argued that because Richard has a belief, it is therefore a fact? Far from it. I disagree with quite a number of Richard’s opinions. In fact, I think he is prone to weak argumentation.

      ===> “Just keep repeating those two mantras and you’ll have “deniers”, “racists” AND “sexists” to hold up as examples of those EVIL fossil fuel lovers paid by the evil Koch brothers.”

      ????

      Are you, perhaps, engaging in guilt-by-association? “Repeating those mantras?” What are you talking about?

      ‘Cause I certainly have not made any arguments that resemble those which you seem to be associating with me.

      Personally, I consider such vacuous assignation of guilt-by-association to be a form of tribalism. I hope that Judith is reading your comment, because she seems think that because “skeptics” have some diversity of technical orientation, therefore they aren’t prone to tribalism. I don’t know why she would hold such a belief since she reads these threads and no doubt sees tribalism from “skeptics” in comment after comment in thread after thread, but perhaps she’ll read your comment and the light will go on – that even though you might have somewhat different views than other people who identify as “skeptics,” you nonetheless engage in tribalism.

      • lawrence Cornell

        I was making FUN of you because of the number of times that you mentioned Tol. That’s all. No need to over think it Joshua. I’ve seen your work and I don’t like what you do. It is what it is. And life goes on.

      • So, you agree that just because Richard Tol says something doesn’t make it a fact, you disagree with him on a number of things, and you think he is prone to weak argumentation….yet you used him and one of his quotes as your sole rebuttal to someone else earlier?

        Maybe you don’t understand the fundamentals of debate, but the object of good/efficient rebuttal is to offer up the most logical, factual, hard hitting evidence you have to counter something claimed by someone else.

        If your first (and only?) response to the previous statement was to quote someone that even you yourself believes has questionable opinions and weak arguments, people logically conclude that Tol is the best example you had to offer, and find your own argument/rebuttal to be weak too.

        Oh, and your last paragraph/argument starts with an admitted “personal consideration” followed by the statement ” I hope that Judith is reading your comment, because she seems think that because “skeptics” have some diversity of technical orientation, therefore they aren’t prone to tribalism. I don’t know why she would hold such a belief since…”

        You presume to know (again) what Judith “seems to think” about something, and then claim that you don’t know why she would hold such an irrational belief. You then toss in the word “tribalism” as if the notion of tribalism is, in itself, irrational, and claim that Lawrence is engaged in it.

        Tribalism in the traditional sense is both rational and instinctual. Loyalty to a group of trusted and valued family, friends, community members is a perfectly normal and expected behavior. Of course YOU are using the word in a derogatory, sense that has loaded racial and cultural overtones that many today find offensive.

  22. (Sorry, cut off and misleading.) I have seen many attempts to pretend that the consensus includes all these other issues, but never an attempt to justify that with any kind of data.

  23. For me, this passage says it all:

    “…97% of scientists may agree that global warming from humans is happening but add any qualification like its timing or magnitude and it would change.”

    The so-called consensus is irrelevant to the public debate, which is focused on, “Is the warming serious and certain enough in the future to merit X, Y, or Z response?”

    I agree with the consensus as stated above, yet I have grown to have very little confidence in the projections of the GCMs for a host of reasons. Thus I am a “warmist” and a “denier” at once!

  24. The real issue is that ‘climate scientists’ appear to be particularly inept at policy formation. Its not their job to create policy and if they want to articulate policy choices then they shouldn’t use their status as ‘climate scientists’ because a) it isn’t really relevant and b) it undermines their scientific credentials because policy is complicated and difficult. Its actually more difficult than climate science.

    • If they want to guide policy, they should run for office on this platform just like anyone else and earn the right to do so. The authority of science only gives one the authority to state what the science says, not what it means to policy.

      These same science advocates routinely trample over the “authority of politics” stated by experts in this arena they know very little of but pretend to be experts in. Ironically at the same time they get quite upset when politicians have the nerve to venture into the science arena.

      The best scientists often make the worst politicians. Round hole, square peg.

  25. The definition of a myth ought to be that it is something most everyone believes to be true, which is why the scientific method is one of the greatest human discoveries of all time — at least among those who have an interest in separating fact from fiction and who invest value in truth versus living in superstitious ignorance.

  26. is Adam Corner the right person to be doing this research..

    there are hundreds of qualified psychologists in the UK, can we be spared another climate activist (like Lewandowsky/Cook)

    Whilst at Copenhagen, where he had also been waving Stop Climate Chaos banners. Dr Adam Corner (Green Party candidate) tweeted

    @AJCorner
    loving Brown calling people ‘deniers’ and ‘luddites’ on Cif. Tell it like it is Gordy! http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green
    12:59 PM Dec 7th, 2009 from web

    He was also a climate activist blogger, here: (100 months and counting)
    http://web.archive.org/web/20140517130923/http://100monthsandcounting.blogspot.co.uk/#

    And also at the Climate Safety Blog attacking sceptics and minimising ‘climategate’

    Climate change: the merchants of doubt will soon run out of steam – Dr Adam Corner
    http://publicinterest.org.uk/climate-change-the-merchants-of-doubt-will-soon-run-out-of-steam/

    Yet just a few months later, Adam is publicly on a panel debate with his academic hat on, responding to Fred Pearce, in front of UK scientists and the media, explaining why data should only be shared amongst the experts… thinking FOI is not a good idea and attacking McIntyre

    Event: The Climate Files; The battle for the truth about global warming
    https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20100614_ri

    “I think you’re absolutely right. It feels like a real clash of cultures, and in some senses I’m sympathetic to both sides, in different ways – the legitimacy of Freedom of Information requests, but also the ability of something like science to be able to continue to
    function without the constant threat of being held to ransom by McIntyre and his army of Freedom of Information requesters. And I think that’s a really important point.” – Adam Corner

    “But I don’t think – it’s not true that no-one sees this data. It’s not as if you publish on your own advice. It’s peer-reviewed, and it’s peer-reviewed by people who could legitimately be considered competitors to you. You know, they don’t want – there’s no desire, I don’t think, to build a consensus. Would you -” Adam Corner

    Adam seems unaware that Phil Jones said, no one has ever asked me for my data in his ‘peer- reviewed’ research

    Give me Dan’s work over Lewandowsky’s/ Corner every time, I welcome research into climate comms, but spare us climate activists like this doing it

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cardiff_friends_of_the_earth/4190476939/
    http://realclimategate.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/fairness-missing-from-copenhagen-accord-green-wales-sping-2010.png?w=823

  27. “the idioms of contempt that the most conspicuous spokespeople on both sides use”
    Spot on, and applicable in a wider realm than climate issues.

  28. From my own career contacts with elements of climate science I know that the scientists don’t know what they claim to know.

    A concensus isn’t impressive. I’ve seen model builders at work. It’s not physics. It’s bits of physics from all over patched together into a huge ball of nonsense.

    So I wouldn’t care if the message got out that there was 100% consensus. it’s an idiot science.

    There’s the impression to counter.

    Act like science for a change, throw the model builders out.

  29. I think it is fair to say that the majority of Americans who are mentioned in climate polls are not qualified to hold opinions on climate science and especially on our understanding of attribution and ability to forecast decades or millennia into the future. Having said that I agree with Judith completely in re to the content of this post that even the climate scientists that are qualified to hold an opinion are for the most part compromised and caught up in a choreographed groupthink led by the thought leaders who have vested interests including careers, funding, publication, and in some cases financial. I believe that greenhouse gases capture long wave infrared energy and that this accounts for part of the net positive forcing of global mean temperatures seen in the last 50 years of the 20th century. However, favor those who are open minded and believe there are also a bunch of other things going on – things that the climate elite would rather not talk about and wish did not exist because their essence and raison d’etre is to blame it on human causes. This was a grand failure of the United Nations in giving unquestionable power to the climate elite on unsubstantiated propositions rather than facts and this hinders not helps scientific progress.

  30. Consensus is not evidence of anything, but it implies evidence is present.

    There may be evidence that the consensus on some global warming, and a human contribution to this warming, is correct over the past 50 years.

    However where things go off the rails is where the media and advocates routinely extend this consensus to whether global warming will be dangerous. This is repeated ad naseum, and the more insidious of the science advocates willfully imply this connection without explicitly stating it so they may have plausible deniability later.

    I give credit to Trenberth for volunteering this distinction.

    I have more respect for a consensus on what has happened in past, then what will happen in the future from such a chaotic non-linear system. We are much better at measuring the weather than predicting it.

    Connecting the dots from consensus on an uncertain science to an “obvious” policy preference is misguided. There is an overwhelming consensus that driving cars leads to 35,000 deaths a year in the US, and we absolutely know how to make roads and cars safer. However road and car safety policy changes only slowly. Why? Because there is a an economic trade-off in these changes. Regulating $200,000 super safe cars might be effective, but results in a large segment of the population unable to drive.

    AGW policy advocates are blind to these trade-offs. If “solving” global warming only costs us a $1 a month on our power bills, we would all (well, most of us anyway) do it.

    Many understand the science consensus, but find the policy prescriptions both ineffective on a global scale and lacking in the economic costs versus benefits trade off.

  31. “The Guardian has an article by Adam Corner Who cares about climate change consensus?”

    Who cares about climate change consensus? The Guardian got it all wrong. The climate community destroyed its credibility. No one believes.

    Just look at all of the dishonesty and deceit in the climatology business. From the get-go government scientists changed the rules and played fast and loose with the language to better sell their message of doom. Nature did not agree either and answered with the long global warming hiatus we can no longer ignore.

    Do you want to be a part of the climate change ‘consensus,’ which was never more than a made-up idea to make government experts look impressive? Who could disagree? No one disagrees who wishes to align themselves with crooked marketers and Leftist politicians. All scientists rightly ought to be more skeptical than credulous by now.

  32. Ways to win an argument/debate
    1.If you appear to be loosing an argument just complicate it, introduce as many spurious facts as possible.
    2.If you appear to be wining and argument just simplify it cut it down to the bear bones. Simple one livers are very good.
    I think it was Goring or Goebbels who said something along the lines of if you are going to lie make it very large, so large that no one will challenge it on the grounds that no one would be so dumb as to assert it.

  33. In most countries, particularly third world countries, environmental concerns are not very high as documented here: What matters the most to people around the world . Gallup polls in India or or China for that matter are however in contrast to the OECD data. Globally, the U.S. stands apart from the rest of the world, so perhaps consensus angst may be considered a particularly significant issue here.

  34. “The public seems to have gotten the memo that climate scientists believe that humans are warming the planet, and the warming is dangerous. They also don’t seem to care.”
    —-
    Weird metric for gauging the importance of something. There is certainly a very strong consensus that smoking is harmful, yet despite years of education, research studies, and millions of smoking related deaths, some 42 million Americans don’t seem to care that smoking is very bad for them. How much more abstract and removed from the individual is something like “global warming” or “climate change”? The lesson here is that the public reaction to a threat, even one accepted by a consensus of experts, is a poor gauge for anything other than how fickle and even willfully ignorant of risk the public can be.

    • I had a comment above (pasted below with no links) which seems to have gone into moderation because of too many links, but whether the public cares or not is up for debate depending on where one looks.


      In most countries, particularly third world countries, environmental concerns are not very high as documented in the OECD better life index: What matters the most to people around the world . Gallup polls in India or or China for that matter are however in contrast to the OECD data where public rates the environmental concerns higher than the economy. Globally, the U.S. stands apart from the rest of the world, so perhaps consensus angst may be considered a particularly significant issue here.

      • People will generally better perceive a threat as a threat the more immediate they perceive the impact on their life. Pollution and its immediate impacts are large in China and India. In regions of the U.S. where climate change is perceived as already affecting daily lives, the concern for the issue is higher. This gets back to the attribution question, and the difficulty in associating any given extreme event with AGW. The whole psychology and debate following hurricane Sandy is a perfect example.

  35. Hey Jude
    You are being denigrated again by Mann. Sorry I’m not sure how to copy and paste from Twitter Accounts sou you will have to scroll down.
    https://twitter.com/VariabilityBlog.
    I always thought that Scientists and members of scientific associations were supposed to act professionally.
    Sorry its off topic.

    • Hi Stacey, thanks for the heads up. At this point, I tend to return the favor; if someone tweets something negative about Mann that makes sense to me, I will retweet it. Such fun and games . . .

      • Wish it weren’t so. I try to find common ground and direct my liberal and conservative friends to articles and blogs where evidence and thoughtful inferences are made. Climate, Etc. represents such a blog. Fun and games is a distraction and will immediately put off both my liberal and conservative friends who are unaware that ad hominem and snarky comments occur and sometimes dominate the climate war discussions.

    • I was a fan of sticking to the high road no matter what until I read the game theory on the Prisoner’s Dilemma in which “tit for tat” was the best strategy.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      huxley avers “‘tit for tat’ is the best strategy.”

      The ‘rough beast’ cabal definitely agrees with your moral reasoning, huxley!

      On the other hand:

      “‘An eye for an eye’ will make the whole world blind.”
         — Mohandas Gandhi? Martin Luther King?

      Who’s right? The world wonders!

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

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      huxley avers “‘tit for tat’ is the best strategy.”

      The ‘rough beast’ cabal definitely agrees with your moral reasoning, huxley!

      On the other hand:

      “‘An eye for an eye’ will make the whole world blind.”
         — Mohandas Gandhi? Martin Luther King?

      Who’s right? The world wonders!

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

  36. Why we should believe in scientists and why red wine is good for us and now it’s not and why diet causes ulcers and now it doesn’t and why breakfast is the most important meal of the day but only if you sell Kellogg’s cereal or Florida orange juice and why you should avoid eggs because they’ll cause high cholesterol and why that is no longer true and how the food pyramid is real science and all of the old food pyramids were bad science and carrots are good for your eyes and since cows live exclusively on a vegetarian diet, so can you–eat more hay!

  37. The quest for consensus is a red herring and a distraction.

    1. The “consensus” as measured by categorizing abstracts of papers which fall within certain key words searches is not measuring a true consensus.

    2. The definition of what the consensus agrees on is vague and indefinite. Is it agreed that humans have contributed to warming over the last couple centuries or that humans have caused ALL of the warming over the last couple centuries, or something in-between.

    3. Even ignoring the issues with “consensus” – we still don’t know what percentage of warming is human caused versus natural variability. It matters hugely to cost/benefit analysis if humans are causing 90% of the problem or 25% of the problem – and we just don’t know yet how much of the warming humans are causing.

    4. Finally – having a consensus still doesn’t help with what to do about human caused warming. What is more important – electricity for all third world people or lowering the carbon footprint of 1st world countries? What is more important – food for all third world people or renewable power for third world people.

    There are a million difficult decisions which require data we do not have yet – and which the consensus doesn’t provide.

    If I were King (which I am not) – I would mandate all new power plants be nuclear (worldwide), which would switch us over from carbon to non-carbon power generation over the next 40-50 years. I would recycle the nuclear waste and store it locally, by each plant. I would fund research with the goal of generating non-carbon power cheaper than coal, oil and natural gas, and if that were ever invented, we could phase out nuclear at that point (if we wanted to).

    Bottom line – we don’t have enough information to make good decisions yet and that is the problem with the Consensus – it doesn’t help with making any decisions.

    • At most ‘consensus’ helps develop political will to act, but that clearly has not worked

      • You know better than most that consensus is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient to develop a political will to act. Economics, vested interests, and the long-term nature of anthropogenic climate change are complicating factors.

      • At most ‘consensus’ helps develop political will to act, but that clearly has not worked

        It has not worked in the sense of leading to global agreement that will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Nor do I think it will ever work in that sense. But the 97% consensus, as perceived and proclaimed by unenlightened, possibly corrupt policy makers, in the UK and elsewhere, has worked to provoke them to implement a ragbag of measures, meddling with energy markets, which, as a general rule, benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. It’s sure working for them.

  38. Eli Rabbett posted the following at Venema: “There is a very simple consensus statement that 99+% of climate scientists would agree to: Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at current rates will increasingly cause bad things to happen. In the next one to two hundred years this will lead to VERY BAD things happening. The rest is detail.”
    I’ve seen him post this elsewhere, and to me it’s a very powerful claim. Is it true? I would have guessed 85% from Bray and von Storch’s 2008 survey.
    I asked him there if the second statement means that CO2 increases at current rates for one to two hundred years, or just the impacts. I’d guess the former to be spectacularly unlikely, due to the maturing of alternative energy technologies.

    • The part about ‘something bad happening’ is not science, it is values, and it is highly uncertain as to what the impacts would actually be. definitely no consensus on this one (not even in AR5 WG2 Report)

      • I fully agree with Judith Curry on this one, this is a normative statement and scientifically as undefined as CAGW.

      • Yes, but I think Rabbett’s claim is clear nonetheless. Will it be a disaster or not? He is saying that everyone knows it will be a disaster within a couple of centuries, even if they quibble on the details. I’m just not at all sure he’s right that all climate scientists know that. If he is right, John Cook should be anxious to show evidence for that, instead of the thin watery gruel he actually serves up.

      • Mike, it is possible that we are lucky and the climate sensitivity will turn out low. And we cannot predict the technological, scientific and sociological and geopolitical changes over the next centuries. They all determine the consequences and how easy we can adapt. It may be good to think of global warming as an additional stressor, not as a “disaster” in itself.

      • More or less sounds as though neither Dr. Curry nor Dr. Venema are part of Rabbett’s 99+%.

      • Whatever the remnant is, ‘Bad Things’ look very likely to happen this century from what I have read.

      • Doug Badgero

        VV,
        The one thing that seems certain is that sensitivity will not turn out to be constant. It is as temporally and spatially chaotic as the system itself.

      • I’m glad Victor is part of and has returned to this discussion and shows us a thoughtful approach that some of his earlier comments did not imply.

      • VV:

        I fully agree with Judith Curry on this one, this is a normative statement and scientifically as undefined as CAGW.

        That is very good to hear.

      • Berényi Péter

        @naq June 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm
        Whatever the remnant is, ‘Bad Things’ look very likely to happen this century from what I have read.

        Do you know any century since we have written history with no ‘Bad Things’ at all? I don’t. Therefore it is likely indeed we can expect some more nastiness coming.

        While we are at it, ‘Bad Things’ already happened in this century. For example there was an attack on mainland US right at the beginning, the first one since the War of 1812, with more casualties than Pearl Harbor. Bad enough?

        If not, consider this. The man held responsible for it was killed 10 years later by US special forces in Operation Neptune Spear on executive order of the President, the body disposed of at sea, instead of bringing him alive to justice and give him a capital sentence in a public trial, as civilized people do.

        If you are still not satisfied, the centuries old US Constitution was all but abolished in the process, a far worse development in the long run, than any other option.

    • Time For An Ob

      Not that consensus is any part of science, but if there is one, I should think it would pertain to more CO2 leads to warming.

      Presumably, the imagined ‘bad things’ are part of climate change.

      But it would appear that global average temperature has very little to do with weather or climate.

      Here are the ‘Primitive Equations’ which are the basis of atmospheric motion in models: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_equations
      At one time I could derive them in my sleep – now scarcely able to recall.

      But look for temperature in these equations ( capital T ). With the exception of the equation of state, it is derivatives of T, not T which appear. It is spatial and temporal variation of temperature, not temperature that is important to weather and climate.

      There appears to be a good basis for CO2 -> warming.
      There does not appear to be a good basis for warming -> ‘bad things’.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      miker613 quotes Eli Rabbett …

      “There is a very simple consensus statement that 99+% of climate scientists would agree to: Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at current rates will increasingly cause bad things to happen. In the next one to two hundred years this will lead to VERY BAD things happening. The rest is detail.”

      This is well-posted, miker613 and Eli Rabbett … Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

      This is the point not grasped by the quibblers, the inchoately “concerned” and the infamous rough-beast coalition.”

      Your outstanding post is greatly appreciated, miker613!

      \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}

    • By the way, I’m not sure why my monicker changed in the middle from MikeR to miker613. Both are me, though.

  39. How about this?
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0020124
    Does consensus matter if it mostly wrong?

  40. David L. Hagen

    Declining oil growth.
    Where are the polls asking:
    Do you know the rise in global production as fallen 10X from 7.8%/year (from 1964-1975)
    down to 0.7%/year since 2005?

    Why has growth of global crude oil production dropped from 7.8%/year to 0.7%/year?
    What impact does that have on global climate models?
    What impact has that had on global and national economies?
    Tverberg argues that loss of oil exports may be the key factor behind teh unrest in Egypt and Syria.
    See Slide 6 of Gail Tverberg Impact of Oil Limits on the Economy and Insurers, Nov. 2013
    How important is that?

    “Climate consensus” ?
    That has been detrimental to science and society, promoting poorly validated models, and coercing politicians and the public.

    Poor Pollsters
    Most poll questions equivocate or are so vague as to be useless.
    eg “is anthropogenic warming occurring?”
    Does that mean “it is detectable” or is it an equivocation for “majority global warming”?
    The time period is essential.
    e.g. Since 2006? Climate may be cooling
    Since 1997? Climate appears flat
    Since 1950? Likely both anthropogenic and natural warming – But what proportions?
    Since the Little Ice Age? dominated by long term natural warming.
    Since the Holocene Optimum? Dominated by long term natural cooling.

  41. To the denialist consensus is always arguable.

    For example, the majority of the denialists believe that fossil fuel supply is essentially infinite. One can use all sorts of scientific arguments to show that fossil fuels are finite in extent, but they will always pull in some contrarian view such as abiotic oil to support their position.
    The consensus just does not matter to these folks, just as science does not matter. What matters is to keep on with the status quo and not be concerned about future generations. That explains why they are agitated over climate science and not some other challenging hard science where there is some conflict about the unknown — the self-serving agenda does not exist there.

    • One wonders whom you are speaking to. Most people on this blog can readily see that you are out of touch with reality, just by examining our own real motives. Why would you try to tell me about myself when I know better than you? Don’t you think that would make me think less of you? Just seems irrational.

    • Once again Webby fails to understand that depletion of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions are only indirectly related.

    • Web has established a pattern as a name caller and a mind reader. I’m surprised Judith tolerates it.

    • Cognitive dissonance: In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort[1] experienced by an individual who (1) holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time or (2) is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction.

      It seems it should be more the other way around, in order for warming to be great and large we need an infinite supply of fossil fuels.

      • Aaron, Have you not read the piece in Slate by Raymond Pierrehumbert, called the Myth of Saudi America?

        In his analysis he warns that if we try to extract the fossil fuel carbon from the Green River shale that we are committing a huge amount of CO2 to the atmosphere.

        And the problem with that hydrocarbon is that it is so tightly bound that it will require energy and water beyond what is currently imaginable. If not a death spiral of resource exhaustion, it is close.

        I thought this was the Georgia Tech Earth Sciences department where these kinds of topics are discussed.

      • WebHubTelescope:

        Maybe instead of fighting the depletion of carbon based fuel (coal, oil and natural gas), you should embrace it!

        The sooner it is gone, the faster we will have to switch to something else (my bet is nuclear).

        You should be in favor of drilling not against it.

        Because it is very clear the world will use all hydrocarbons up, because they are cheaper than the alternative (presently).

      • Rick, did you not read the followup. There are probably more hydrocarbons locked up in the Green River shale than we have extracted and burned already. It is madness to try to extract that given the enormous amount of wasted energy and resources that it will require.

        That was the thesis of Pierrehumbert who is a professor of geosciences at U of Chicago.

        and he is not the only one. James Hansen has famously had research articles on fossil fuel depletion rejected.

        Many climate scientists see the connection of increasing CO2 against the backdrop of burning increasingly low-grade forms of fossil fuel. This is the multiplier effect that they are warning us to avoid. Is this really that hard to comprehend?

        This is a topic found in any earth sciences textbook. Do you not crack open these texts? You would think there would be some curiosity considering this blog comes from an earth sciences department head.

      • WebHubTelescope:

        If it is madness (i.e. will cost more than an alternative fuel) then it will not be done.

        My thought is that as long as oil, natural gas and coal are cheaper to obtain than wind and/or solar (for example), they will be pursued.

        As soon as oil, natural gas and coal are more expensive to obtain than wind and/or solar (or other fuel) – we will switch.

        Since it seems inevitable that the coal, natural gas and oil will be extracted (until it really is more expensive than the alternative), they quicker we reach that point the quicker we will switch to the alternative.

        Just trying to think outside the box!

      • Rick, we already reached that point.
        Extraction from the Bakken is only occurring based on massive amounts of investment debt that will likely not be recovered. But we still have to feed the industrial base and the reality as we know it, so the Red Queen continues to spin her magic.

      • “And the problem with that hydrocarbon is that it is so tightly bound that it will require energy and water beyond what is currently imaginable. If not a death spiral of resource exhaustion, it is close”

        So we have a problem with both rising sea levels and also with lack of water to stick into holes in the ground to force natural gas out of pockets; too much water and too little water?

      • Green River shale is located in the midst of the Rockies. Not a lot of water there unless you want to divert a river that feeds the ranchers and farmers downstream.

    • Economists believe the supply of oil is infinite, in the sense that it can’t run out.

      As it gets harder to get, the price goes up. That reduces the demand for oil exactly enough so that you can always get all you want. You just want less.

      That also brings out the most efficient substitutes fo oil.

      All this assumes that the government doesn’t intervene, say by price controls. Then you get a shortage.

      • How about this idea? Governments put a cap on what they are willing to pay for oil, or what can be charged for it. The oil producers are then forced to only provide resources that are easily extractable, and the public benefits from a stable price, and it controls the expansion to dirtier more expensive forms. It also limits profit-making at the end-users’ expense, or passing taxes to end-users which would normally happen if there was a carbon tax for example. The producers can then only increase their profit by having more efficiency. They will be competing with each other for efficiency. Crazy?

      • Jim D | June 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        They will compete, but some of them will exit the supply market. Give up. Take a change on doing something else.

      • Chance no change.

      • If the price is initially fixed at today’s price, and only allowed to rise with inflation, this in the long term disincentivizes dirty oil, while allowing clean oil to flow without profit-making from its depletion. OPEC may fall apart as its members compete with each other to supply the majority of the oil. It is still a crude idea, needs refining, so to speak.

      • I keep forgetting how unintuitive ordinary economics is.

        This podcast with Mike Munger is entertaining enough to be worthwhile, and maybe make a little of the economics intuitive.

      • It would just cause shortages.

      • You can’t have a shortage unless you control the price.

      • Right, sorry, I was responding to Jim D. After you pointed out price controls cause shortages, he immediately suggested fixing the price.

    • nottawa rafter

      Web
      Document where 51% of denialists say fossil fuel supplies are essentially infinite. Produce it. You destroy your credibility and your wannabe scientific credibility with these absurd statements. Why are you so anti-science?

  42. The public knows about climate change only from what it sees and hears; It is seeing and hearing the climate change message, but attaches no priority to the message. The reason, I believe, is because it doesn’t trust the messengers. Public trust in major institutions is at an all time low. It doesn’t trust government, the media, corporations, and self-professed experts.

    • Time For An Ob

      Right.

      Many people, such as myself, rely on their direct point observations of weather and climate.

      My wife and I enjoy coffee in the morning and beer at beer thirty in the back yard the majority of the year. There was a rare very hard freeze a few years back, but otherwise, the trees, birds, bees, dragonflies, foxes, racoons, and skunks all seem to carry on as usual.

      There is certainly more disaster in overactive imaginations than there is in my back yard.

    • rls,
      Yes, and can a democracy prosper when there is so little trust and both sides promote fear (fear of government and fear of climate change)?
      Both fears obviously have some basis in human history and even contemporary events, but is the fear mongering on both sides condusive to thoughtful discussion and helpful policy decisions?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        While weather has killed lots and lots of people, and governments have killed lots and lots of people, we’re still waiting for the first climate change refugees … I’ll leave you to decide which is a real threat and a reasonable concern, and which is alarmist hype, danger from governments or danger from climate change.

        w.

      • Actually Willis, both climate and governments have killed lots of people in the past. Some governments are doing so now. So far as I know, neither our government nor climate change has killed people during my lifetime with the exception of capital punishment (which I oppose) and, indirectly, wars (which I usually oppose). Two groups of fear-mongers are setting their party’s agenda- Republican tea party promulgated fear of government and the Democratic greens promulgated fear of climate change. The issue Judith brought up was trust, and fear-mongering makes trust unlikely even when it is deserved. There’s a long history of both parties using fear to manipulate the electorate- eg., fear of communism, fear of drugs, fear of sexuality, fear of terrorism, fear of government, fear of climate change during my life time. Machiavelli wrote about it. Divert attention from solving real problems of injustice, inequality, freedom, corruption, unjust war, etc. by creating fear and scapegoats you can blame and hate.
        It’s working Willis. Don’t you think.

  43. The consensus and respect for scientists are supposed to be the magic key to solving CO2 emissions. The scientists say ‘we think CO2 will cause warming’. The public say ‘ok’. A silence ensues. Scientist ‘no, we really mean it, you have to reduce CO2.’ The public shrug and think ‘what do you expect me to do about it?’ and get on with their lives.

    The consensus expects the solution to CO2 to pop into existence once enough people believe in the problem. That’s why there have to be evil sceptics, working against the consensus and preventing the public solving thing. Getting enough ticks in the right box becomes more important than asking what are the barriers to action. There are no measurements of how much ‘belief’ is needed for each possible action. If there was they might conclude that there was enough proof to get every home insulated but not enough to reduce how much people drive. What they’ll never get is a blank cheque to spend on stuff that largely doesn’t work. The idea that throwing unlimited money at renewables will spawn a solution where we all carry on as before is equally naïve but seems to be a cherished hope.

    I doubt those who fret about consensus even know what they expect to happen between the press conference announcing climate doom and the congratulations party when CO2 ppm reaches 350.

  44. What was the consensus of opinion among the German people about the opening of an eastern front with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 — all good up to now but this… I don’t know… maybe this is a big mistate?

  45. Willis Eschenbach

    “The public seems to have gotten the memo that climate scientists believe that humans are warming the planet, and the warming is dangerous. They also don’t seem to care.”

    And this is a mystery??? I’ve been saying for years that it’s not a communications problem, it’s a problem of trust.

    The leading lights of the climate alarmism industry lied, cheated, and stole from us for years. People are not fools, so as a result, by and large the public doesn’t trust climate scientists in the slightest.

    NOR SHOULD THEY, as the alarmism, the exaggerations, the lies, and the cheating have by no means ended. People are 100% correct not to trust the climate scientists, for a simple reason.

    Far too many of them, particularly the leaders, have shown that they can’t be trusted.

    w.

  46. Schrodinger's Cat

    Members of the public are not stupid. They recognise a bandwagon when they see one. They remember all the failed alarmist forecasts, the warnings of everything from plagues to crop failures, billions of displaced climate refugees, massive extinction of wildlife. They see the political consequences, the useless energy policies, the thousands of useless wind turbines, their money being squandered at an incredible rate and the moneymen who milk the system.

    They don’t see much evidence of global warming. If they are old enough, they remember that it was a little bit warmer a couple of decades ago.

    So, it is not a pretty picture. Still, the climate scientists talk up the alarmism, the escalating temperatures, the dangerously extreme weather,… except the temperatures are not escalating, the weather is neither extreme or worse than the past, in fact… there is probably less extreme weather worldwide today, compared with the past.

    The members of the public know all about the consensus. They are tired of climate change. The science has lost all credibility.

    Sometimes members of the public decide to investigate the science for themselves. Usually, such people are professional scientists in other fields or interested laypersons. At that point, their opinion of climate science starts to degenerate at a rapid pace. Consider a world spending billions per week on fighting global warming when the scientists cannot be trusted to measure the temperature and record it properly.

    • Consider the state of California going broke and the voters continuing to vote the same people into office that are destroying the state. It happens. The public is the problem. The global warming hoax is a knowing deception: the government scientists of academia knows and have nothing but contempt for its audience/employers.

    • Concerned Citizen

      +1

  47. Victor Venema | June 30, 2014 at 11:27 am | Reply
    . I am looking forward to hearing some arguments why you feel that climatology is not mature.

    #1 The Consensus marketing is the most obvious deep-rooted psychological expression of the sophomoric confidence in this particular sub-field of physics and geology.
    #2 Ocean dynamics and biochemistry not adequately field characterized and not understood conceptually or numerically.
    #3 Aerosol, particulate, vapor gas oxidation dynamics, phase changes, biochemistry and albedo not adequately field characterized and not understood conceptually or numerically.
    #4 Paleoclimate explanations for Pleistocene and Holocene intra-glacial and inter-glacial rapid, moderate and gradual climate shifts, including uncertainties associated with ocean/glacial effects, albedo, water vapor, GHGs, dust, volcanos/geothermal and M-Cycle contributions.
    #5 No solid underpinning of the mechanics of regional, local and global temporal and equilibrium feedbacks and natural variability.

    The greatest harm the consensus/mature science meme has done to Climate Science is turning away of the best, most curious young minds who will only work on immature problems to open new ground.

    Instead, more bureaucratic, rule-focused, “team players” are preferentially attracted/recruited/promoted whom are willing to not challenge/question the 97% Mature monolith.

    • Didn’t Close the Italics… Sorry

    • I would almost be tempted to ask you: how do you know all this? That sounds like an enormous progress over the understanding of Arrhenius around 1900. Then there were still many unknown unknown. These are the problems that are the reasons for the large uncertainty in the climate projections. That was one of the reason to write my post on mature science, to explain that it naturally does not mean that everything is perfectly understood and uncertainties are no longer relevant.

      The most beautiful challenge I can think of is to show that a consensus is wrong. Like Einstein in 1904. That you are smarter than all those smart people before you (and probably also a little lucky). Thus I am not sure whether your curious young mind makes the right decision, if this mind would really think this way.

    • Howard -

      ==> “#1 The Consensus marketing is the most obvious deep-rooted psychological expression of the sophomoric confidence in this particular sub-field of physics and geology.”

      Would you respond to a medical researcher, who points out that only a tiny % of medical researchers disagree with the consensus opinion about on the cause of AIDS, with the same comment? If not, what would be the reason for the difference?

      ==> “The greatest harm the consensus/mature science meme has done to Climate Science is turning away of the best, most curious young minds who will only work on immature problems to open new ground.”

      Do you have some actual evidence of these great, curious minds being turned away? Or is this pure speculation misstated as fact?

      • Joshua:

        #1 The few degrees of freedom and the high degree of experimental control control of AIDS versus the unwieldy enormous and super-slow moving climate is not an appropriate comparison. It is a debate trick, nice try.

        You caught me. I am clearly speculating regarding the passive quality of young climate scientists. It is NOT a Fact, it is a swag. Joshua is correct on this one.

        Have you seen A Perverts Guide to Ideology yet? I think you will like it.

      • Josh, I can inject you with HIV and you will be infected. Whereas my daughter, who is about to go to university, has lived all her life with human beings injecting huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and yet she has never lived in a warming world.
        Now you can either accept the temperature data and the Keeling curve, or you can continue rejecting reality.

      • “Would you respond to a medical researcher, who points out that only a tiny % of medical researchers disagree with the consensus opinion about on the cause of AIDS, with the same comment? If not, what would be the reason for the difference?”

        Fabulous red-herring and propaganda technique.

        Funny thing is, I personally would most likely respond to that medical researcher with the following- “How well read are you on the research done by all other medical researchers?” “Is it just your personal opinion that only a tiny % of medical researchers disagree, or have you checked all the research and facts for yourself and found it to be true?” “Share your proof with me because I’d love to know what makes the “tiny %” disagree, and whether or not their disagreement is based on solid, rational, arguments or not.”

      • Joshua, The “cause” of aids is promiscuous unprotected Should we mitigate or adapt?

      • That should be unprotected sex

  48. Etaoin Shrdlu

    Daily Caller 6-26-14: “According to a Pew Research Center Poll, 35% of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence to suggest mankind is warming the earth while another 18% says the world has warmed due to natural patterns and not human activity. ” Looks like 53% of Americans didn’t get the Consensus Memo!

    • The memo the public got was climate scientists believe there is a consensus. Apparently the public doesn’t believe the climate scientists

      • Polls are essentially meaningless for a highly politicized topic. People are smart enough to read between the lines. Today, the question “do you believe man is warming the earth” is quickly translated by anyone familiar with the issue into the real question: “If you answer yes to this question, we will use your answer to mislead the public by claiming you support policy you disagree with (like carbon taxes) and will use your yes answer to attack politicians you agree with. So, yes or no?”
        The funny part about it is that when it becomes obvious that the question means nuclear power is the answer, and we can use it to turn seawater into fuel for cars and jets, the neo-Malthusians will be the ones answering “no.”
        seawater into jet fuel? Buh-bye peak oil, global warming and ocean acidification.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/13/newser-navy-seawater-fuel/7668665/

    • It’s just as plausible that 53% of Americans got the consensus memo and applied logic and reason to it. “There’s not enough solid evidence to back up this supposed consensus, and since I believe in “innocent until proven guilty”, I’m going to withhold my decision until they’ve either ruled out or quantified every other possible influence on our climate before I go blaming humanity to any degree.”

  49. Pielke, Jr’s iron law prevails; no developing country is going to restrict economic growth for the purpose of maybe affecting the global temperature at some distant point in the future.

    “India’s intelligence agency has targeted an adviser to Prince Charles and British activists in a campaign against Greenpeace and other foreign groups it claims are a threat to its economy.

    The Indian government last week banned direct foreign funding of local campaign groups, after a report by its Intelligence Bureau warned that organisations funded by Greenpeace and other international institutions were growing throughout the country and “spawning” mass movements which now pose a “significant threat to national economic security.”

    The decision was revealed after the Indian government indicated it was ready to further exploit its large coal reserves and asserted its right to increase carbon emissions for economic development. Prakash Javadekar, the environment minister, said India had a “right to grow” and that it could not address climate change until it had eradicated poverty.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/10917731/India-targets-Prince-Charles-aide-in-war-on-Greenpeace.html

  50. The scientific underpinnings of anthropogenic global warming are not correct. It comes down to a failure, originating with Carl Sagan, to understand basic radiative and IR physics. The consensus is false.

    1. The black body surface IR emission assumption confuses Irradiance, a potential energy flux, with a real flux. in reality the surface emits at 0.16 mean operational emissivity, mostly in the ‘atmospheric window’.

    2. There can be no thermalisation of GHG-absorbed IR in the gas phase because that would breach Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation.

    3. There is no back radiation, see (1) and (2).

    4. He got the aerosol optical physics wrong, misinterpreting work by van der Hulst: the sign of the AIE is reversed.

    Otherwise the models are OK and in 20 years or so may be able to forecast weather a week ahead. Climate never, at least without bringing in paramaterisation of a lot of astrophysics, irreversible thermodynamics and the biofeedback which, controlling cloud area and albedo, give the GHE! I suppose that makes me a constructive sceptic. As for the Public appreciation of this, the descent into early 18th C weather by 2020 will focus many minds.

    • Time For An Ob

      Earth only balances incoming solar radiance by emitting infrared outward.
      What happens when a given state of the atmosphere is less emissive?

      • The other mistake made in Climate Alchemy is to believe that the atmosphere can only respond to change of TSI and albedo by raising surface temperature. A water planet minimises diurnal and long term surface temperature range.

        It has a number of pathways by which it adapts, including change of flora and fauna. The real science is the minimisation of radiation entropy production rate at ToA, the mathematical physics of Gaia.

        To imagine it’s all down to CO2 is the inverse of the real physics; pCO2 is always maximised.

      • There is also the deep ocean.

      • “What happens when a given state of the atmosphere is less emissive?”

        It simply takes longer to emit. It does not stop emitting. The process slows down, but it still emits, and quite effectively too. Or the Earth would have been ash a long time ago.

    • To be precise, the control system is PID: Proportional in the atmosphere by non-convective clouds, Integral in the oceans and Differential by convective clouds.

  51. Schrodinger's Cat

    A big part of the problem is that climate scientists believe their climate models. Nobody else does.

  52. Judith, Jim Bouldin has a recent post on Cook et al 97% paper that is hilArious and worth adding to your post

  53. In a nutshell-the vast majority of respondents agree that the vast majority of scientists believe something. The problem is..that the public doesnt believe the same thing.

    The idiots who came up with, and today support the marketing ploy of “97% Concensus” simply do not understand how rational humans think. They live in a world of “Groupthink”. Where all it takes to agree with a position or statement, is to hear it from the lips of someone the group looks to as an expert or authority. If someone like that says it, and others agree, then it MUST be true!

    But ask those same people to consider, say, Catholicism. A person of authority speaks-the Pope-and his Cardinals agree, and millions of people accept what he said as true. The supposed “scientists” would mock and criticise faithful Catholics as unthinking sheep-and the scientific community HAS mocked them for centuries, and yet when they engage in the exact same behavior, they cannot fathom why the public doesn’t fall in line!

    They literally cannot step out of their own groupthink/worldview long enough, or far enough, to see their own position with objective eyes. The eyes scientists are supposed to have. Rational people don’t trust others who cannot walk in their shoes…or even refuse to try to. Rational people don’t join groups that mock and ridicule them, or others. Rational people don’t except blanket statements like “all scientists” or “all conservatives” or “all….any group” because they KNOW BETTER. They’ve been taught all their lives that people are unique and individual and different from one another. It flies in the face of human integrity to even THINK that “all” of any group COULD be unanimous about anything. And they find it even more puzzling and outrageous when someone pretends to represent such a group. That such a group is supposedly made up of the most free thinking, objective, rational, unbiased, methodical individuals on the planet-scientists- creates such internal dissonance in rational people….that they just stop listening at all.

  54. Sorry…delete first one? Had to edit and didnt see that it already posted. Thanks.

  55. “After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.”. -Megan Mcardle

  56. They “don’t seem to care” because, after watching dozens of hours of commercials every week, they know a sales pitch when they see one.

  57. Willis Eschenbach

    Victor Venema | June 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Dear PokerGuy, thank you for reminding people of that post in response to Judith Curry’s surprised reaction to the word “mature”. This made me think that it would be interesting to explain what I wanted to express with that word. I am looking forward to hearing some arguments why you feel that climatology is not mature.

    Mature? Surely you jest. Over the last 30 years, despite huge improvements in computing power, despite hundreds of thousands of man-hours invested, in spite of a stunning growth in the complexity and size of the models, the error bounds on the estimate of climate sensitivity have not narrowed in the slightest. In fact, they’ve gotten worse, the IPCC no longer is even willing to give a central value, just the bounds. It’s possibly the most colossal waste of computer power and money and time in history, no change at all in thirty years.

    That’s not a sign of maturity. That’s a sign that one or more of the fundamental assumptions of climate science are wrong. I think the error is in the far-fetched claim that global temperature is a linear function of the forcing, a kind of linearity that doesn’t exist in any other complex natural flow system that I’m aware of. Of course, YMMV, but something in fundamentally very, very wrong when we expend that amount of energy on a problem and make no progress at all.

    So no, Victor, not only is climate science not “mature”, it’s still in grade school.

    w.

    • “Maturity” is when Climate Scientist M. Mann tweets about his crush, Dr. Curry. ;)

      Andrew

      • nottawa rafter

        Climate science will become mature when climate scientists become mature. Never have I witnessed such sophomoric behavior as that by Mann, et al.

    • Nasa Transit Authority, is a similar example a waste of ideas moving toward long term retirement. Today these are the simple facts of our current national situation. Look around. It is everywhere.

  58. Walt Allensworth

    I am “the public,” but I’m a physicist and a good bit more scientifically inclined than your average bear.

    Consensus? Ha! This is the hand-maiden of “the science is settled.” Both are no more than political constructs used to brow-beat balky opponents of the current administration. Citing consensus or settled science is the slightly more polite version of just saying “STFU.” (but only slightly).

    My experience with many researchers working in the area of climate science brings the phrase “tribally evangelistic” to mind. There is no room for any other opinion than “the one.” When you point out real issues with the science and use peer reviewed references several tacks are taken. If you’ve lumped multiple arguments together they ignore the ones of most merit and go to the more controversial ones. If they have no technical argument they generally resort to character assassination. Another strategy is to “minimize.” I actually had a NOAA senior scientist wave his hand and say there was little difference between a TCR of 1C and 4-5C. Good Lord! That’s what the whole argument is about!!! At 1C we can forget about CAGW, and at 5C we could very well be doomed! This guy was more than smart enough to know this… he was simply dismissing and evading.

    It’s should be obvious to a 5th grader that 1) when we’ve been through ten reasons for “the pause” but don’t have a good one yet, and 2) because none of the models predicted the pause, that the science is nowhere close to being settled. However, no tribal minion would ever acknowledge this fact. It’s not part of the script they’ve been given. Any scientist who hears our dear leader say “the science is settled” and who doesn’t say something about it is immediately can be safely categorized as a tribal minion. They are either 1) unable to think with the brain they’ve been given, or 2) simply on the take with a cushy government job they don’t want to jeopardize.

    Disingenuous and evasive are the terms I’ve come to use when dealing with the hardcore ClimEvangelists. No matter how strong an argument you have they will never, ever concede the point. They will simply evade. This is why I immediately discount the opinions of those who use these tactics. They are beyond convincing. They are unreasoning and unreasonable. It’s impossible to have a rational conversation with them. When you point out that the proposed new EPA regulations will not reduce global temperatures more than 2/100th of a degree by 2030, and probably much less, and that China will undo anything we do in a matter of months they go silent or rant about the Kosh brothers and big-coal. They NEVER say, “well, you’re right.”

    When I hit a post by “A fan of more discourse” I simply pass by it now. The posts are always, always arrogantly Climevangelist is nature, and never will he/her concede a single reasonable point.

    OTOH, I have an extremely skeptical but open mind. Show me real measured data that proves the TCR is 5C and I’ll be convinced of CAGW. Come on you Climevangelists – post up a link to the peer reviewed paper. It’s that easy! Jo Nova has said as much. Nobody can, and that’s why I, “the public” is still a skeptic.

    • Walt:

      I agree.

      I also skip FOMD’s posts.

      Really shortens up the comments.

    • Walt, you are rationalizing and minimizing and projecting, not arguing the science.

      Rationalization is a characteristic of denial. See the Wikipedia entry for Denial.

      You will see how you fit in.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Show me the way Webby!

        All you have to do is point me to that magical paper that proves the measured TCR is about 5C and I will sing halleluiah along with the other Climevangelists.

        It’s sooooooo easy, and yet you can’t! Why is that, exactly?

        Bueller? Bueller?

      • John Carpenter

        Walt, just ask him how his CSALT model predicts TCR or ECR.

      • John Carpenter | June 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

        Walt, just ask him how his CSALT model predicts TCR or ECR.

        It does very well, thank you!

        All you guys have is junior rocket scientist David Evans notch filter model and his mysterious Force X.

        May the force be with you.

    • The question is more starkly put if you have to choose between 500 ppm or 1000 ppm CO2 . The latter is what you get by not leaving any of the available carbon in the ground, and the former is what you get from a phase-out that leaves 80% (mostly coal) in the ground. There are clues to the answer in paleoclimate about which of these atmospheric states is more comfortable for humankind, especially with so many coastal population centers.
      If we look for consensus, it should be around target ppms, not sensitivities. This also translates more directly into policy. In fact there are many that agree that 450 ppm is a good target to set, given that we are already past the optimal.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        How exactly do you know what level of CO2 is optimal. Please provide a few references supporting what that optimal level is and why.

        Such statements, absent solid supporting data, only reveal your personal values and policy inclinations. Nobody cares about those.

      • Fitz says:

        “Nobody cares about those.”

        Actually what we care about is that the consensus is that ECS is 3C per doubling of CO2. The rest is policy implications, which apparently scientists are not good at and not supposed to engage in.
        I assume this includes you!

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby writes yet another error when he claims-

        “what we care about is that the consensus is that ECS is 3C per doubling of CO2.”

        Wrong webby. There is no consensus that ECS is 3C per doubling of CO2 and the true ECS may not be very important over timescales important to humans.

      • Ringo, if you live on land, which most beetles do, then you are experiencing the trend of 3C per doubling of CO2.

        You can look it up! It is right there in the observational data!

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby

        So it seems that you agreeing that you were WRONG once again in that there is no consensus that a doubling of CO2 will result in a 3C temp change. Keep trying to change the subject to avoid accepting that you made yet another inaccurate comment

      • Why is it that WHT felt the need to answer on behalf of Jim D? Is Jim D not capable of answering questions posed to him? I’d like him to try. Himself.

        Who and what designated an “optimal” ppm of C02? What makes 450 ppm a “good target”? For what purpose?

        The affect of CO2 in the atmosphere is logarithmic. That means that it has less and less effect as it increases. In fact, to get the same increase in temperatures that we’ve had in the last 100 years, all else remaining the same, we’d have to put twice as much Co2 into the atmosphere as we’ve put there so far.

        That mankind chose to build population centers on it’s coasts is mankind’s stupidity. Even before AGW became a theory, thousands of people were displaced every year when the oceans did what oceans do, and those same people would then (and now) REBUILD on the exact same sites over and over again. That’s not nature’s fault. That’s not the fault of human CO2 emissions. That is just a complete failure to learn and adapt.

    • Neal Stephenson’s Anathem is a good sci-fic book. “Rhetors” and “Incatontors” are interesting concepts.

    • Shorter Walt = “I am impressed with myself for coming up with the term ClimEvangelist.”

      Seems to me that a common sign of tribalism is name-calling. What do you think, Judith?

      • Walt Allensworth

        Show me the way and the light Joshua! You even have a biblical name!

        All you have to do is point me to that magical paper that proves the measured TCR is about 5C and I will prostrate myself in front of Al Gore’s image!

        Webby couldn’t provide it, but maybe you can?

      • The Joshua of today blows his horn and whining about Dr. Curry comes out.

        Andrew

      • A common sign of delicious irony is using derogatory words like “tribalism” while calling other people name callers.

        Asking “Judith” what she thinks could be a sign of arrogant assumption or mental illness, among other things.

    • Walt,
      If you’re still hanging around, that’s a nicely executed rant. I couldn’t agree more. You’ve hit a key word- “disingenuous. ” These are not stupid people, and the ability to self-delude only goes so far in a world filled with hard edges and inconvenient facts. They absolutely understand how full of crap they are. The most generous take is that they’ve convinced themselves of the nobility of the cause, and that while they may be wrong about the coming way-too-hot-pocalypse, the precautionary principle is there to bail them out..

      Hell, there’s safety in numbers. We can’t fire all of them if it turns out they’re wrong, And besides, it’s not something we’re going to know with anything close to certainty for years to come…Meanwhile, they can continue to be eco-rock stars while guzzling at the government teat. Nice work if you can get it.

  59. Some say Coke Zero, is the Deadliest Beverage. What say the consensus?

  60. “[create a] social reality for climate change – one in which the things that people love and wish to protect …”

    Well … at
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/flood-insurance-sea-level-rise.html
    there is a map that has been making the rounds of liberal sites, which claims to show numbers of houses “less than 3 feet above current mean high tide” – not even 3 feet above mean higher high water!

    It shows >500,000 for Florida. Even if it exaggerates, the stupid is overwhelming, since the place is easily subject to storm surges of 20-25 feet without any sea-level rise, subsidence of the notorious swampland, or change in storm intensity. The stupidity is overwhelming in the other places too, most being subject to surges in a range of 10-20 feet.

    There is nothing in this that I “love and wish to protect”, nor that I think deserves even a plug nickel of public spending (or regulation-driven quasi-public spending.)

    There exists what insurers call “moral hazard”. Some people well and truly deserve the consequences of their own boundless greed (“water sells”) and utter fecklessness. And they need to suffer the consequences for the higher social good – “pour encourager les autres”.

  61. “[create a] social reality for climate change – one in which the things that people love and wish to protect …”

    Well … at
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/flood-insurance-sea-level-rise.html
    there is a map that has been making the rounds of liberal sites, which claims to show numbers of houses “less than 3 feet above current mean high tide” – not even 3 feet above mean higher high water!

    It shows >500,000 for Florida. Even if it exaggerates, the stupid is overwhelming, since the place is easily subject to storm surges of 20-25 feet without any sea-level rise, subsidence of the notorious swampland, or change in storm intensity. The stupidity is overwhelming in the other places too, most being subject to surges in a range of 10-20 feet.

    There is nothing in this that I “love and wish to protect”, nor that I think deserves even a plug nickel of public spending (or regulation-driven quasi-public spending.)

    There exists what insurers call “moral hazard”. Some people well and truly deserve the consequences of their own boundless greed (“water sells”) and utter fecklessness. And they need to suffer the consequences for the higher social good – “pour encourager les autres”.

    [double post, I don't know where that came from]

  62. The researchers used a climate model, a so-called coupled ocean-atmosphere model, which they forced with the observed wind data of the last decades. For the abrupt changes during the 1970s and 1990s they calculated predictions which began a few months prior to the beginning of the observed climate shifts. The average of all predictions for both abrupt changes shows good agreement with the observed climate development in the Pacific. “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold”. Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin”. http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

    Predicting winter is trivial – predicting the climate of successive winters far less so. While the atmospheric physics of greenhouse gases suggest warming of the atmosphere – this has taken place against a backdrop of abrupt climate shifts in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001. The amount of surface warming from the ocean and atmospheric circulation state between these shifts is unknowable.

    The available satellite data – the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf) and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html) – are consistent and say that most of it was cloud changes in the period. Moreover – it creates the expectation of several climate shifts this century with even an approximate timing and scope for change that is unknowable with present day science.

    The theory of abrupt climate change bypasses consensus climate science entirely – the old science is superseded, obsolete, outmoded, outdated. This is the new idea in climate science that is destined to be the new consensus. The only question is how long people can hold out against the certainty of climate surprises – including the current lack of warming.

  63. When I was a kid, I was really taken by Paul Ehrlich’s books, Club of Rome, etc. – it made so much sense! (I also remember going to the first Earth Day activities in 1970 and seeing Paul Commoner, etc.)

    As time goes by, though, the list of potential catastrophe’s kept accumulating; things that all kids should think about and help prevent:

    Acid rain
    Population bomb
    Nuclear energy (esp. after Three-Mile Island)
    Coming ice age
    Pesticides (e.g. DDT)
    Saccharin
    Fats in the diet

    These are all things the consensus told us were imminent dangers to world health or the environment. What’s more, with many of things, it was critically important that we ACT NOW.

    After a while, it begins to sound the same; and while climate change could turn out to be different, the fact is that “experts” get it wrong about the future far more than they get it right. And the “consensus” of scientists has very often been completely wrong, and we see examples every year.

    The only true consensus is on a few basic pieces of physics – the “C” in CAGW, though, comes from guesses (some more educated than others, but none of them nearly proved). I am a skeptic, but I’m more than happy to be proven wrong; but I’m not inclined to believe the latest fad science until the significant unknowns are dealt with (most important, feedbacks).

    How any scientist can claim to confidently predict the future of climate based on a single variable just boggles my mind. It fails the test of history; it fails the “smell” test.

    Why don’t we look at predictions of the future from 86 years ago from scientists, and see how often they worked out? And try to understand WHY they didn’t work out (hint: extrapolation isn’t a winning approach, or we’d be driving at 800 miles per hour now).

    • Marc: Good list and summation.

      I too was impressed by Paul Ehrlich, the Club of Rome, etc. I’d loved science since I was a child and Ehrlich et al. had the right pedigrees and sounded like they had the goods on the doom awaiting us. I took their pronouncements very much to heart — you could say I was angsty.

      I was relieved that humanity sailed through the rest of the 20th century and have done well so far in the 21st. I was annoyed that the scientists who had spoken with such certainty had blown their predictions and were unashamed and unaccountable

      The climate change orthodox are basically the same sort of people a generation later and in some cases the very same people.

      Maybe they are right this time, though their results so far aren’t inspiring. I’m willing to keep an eye on anthro emissions and climate change.

      But otherwise — Won’t Get Fooled Again.

  64. Instead of public “dread, anxiety, or anguish” over hypothetical anthropological global warming (AGW), the public expresses “dread, anxiety, or anguish” over George Orwell correct prediction in 1946 that a new form of totalitarian control of humans was coming that would be based on official misinformation disguised as factually correct information:

    Nineteen Eighty-Four” aka “AGW”

    http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

  65. Consensus is a political term, not a scientific one. That is why it is so popular among the politicized CAGW consensus advocates/scientists, and virtually nowhere else in the scientific community.

    The universe didn’t care how many, or what proportion, of scientists thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. Similarly, Earth’s climate is oblivious to the preenings of Al Gore, Michael Mann,James Hansen, Rajendra Pachauri or any other climate progressive.

  66. I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the damage Al Gore did to the climate cause, with his hysterical predictions. Remember the fate of polar bears?

    • Al Gore did help wake up the Skeptics.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Indeed. He woke me up when he failed to point out that CO2 LAGS temperature by about 800 years in his famous graph.

    • My favorite (to date) when asked about the viability of geothermal energy-

      “It definitely is, and it’s a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy — when they think about it at all — in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, ’cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …”

      Al Gore

  67. Everyone knows, the consensus today is not the consensus of yesterday nor — it is safe to assume– will it be the consensus of tomorrow. This is especially so when talking about something like global warming which is more social than scientific.

    For example, not long ago the consensus was not be as legally and socially accepted to terminate the life of a fetus; and, the consensus will have changed again if the views of people like Paul and Anne Ehrlich are accepted –i.e., a human’s right to life should not attach until a year or two after their birthday, .

    The rules society lives by are changing much faster today than any time in history. The consensus on many subjects may change several times in a single lifetime.

    Socialism (and atheism) for example, requires a belief that human beings are programmed to think that they know how they should exist and that they are the end result of human evolution resulting in mulchable populations of malleable conformists. Someone like Ayn Rand — although an atheist — is unacceptable because she refuses to share the socialists’ belief that individual liberty and free will are mythical notions.

  68. “The public seems to have gotten the memo that climate scientists believe that humans are warming the planet, and the warming is dangerous. They also don’t seem to care.”

    As a card carrying member of the public, I have several reactions:

    a. Climate scientists believe…… Of course they do. BOTH beliefs are mandatory for climate scientists. Any scientist who does not, or any scientist who does, and then expresses the mildest of doubts as to the warming AND its catastrophic nature, is prima facie not a ‘climate scientist’. I’m surprised that the 97% is not actually 100%. See your own evolution from respected ‘climate scientist’ to ‘barely-qualified-to-pour-pee-out-of-a-boot-with-instructions-on-the-heel shill for Republicans and big oil’ over the past few years and the regular commentary on your qualifications by Michael (for example) et al since a modicum of doubt has crept into your work.

    b. Define ‘warming the planet’. If I grill hamburgers on my grill this afternoon I have indisputably ‘warmed the planet’. Anthropogenically. Will anyone notice or care? If humans have warmed the planet over the last century when we have been using fossil fuels, would anyone know, or care, absent the multi-billion dollar torturing (and adjusting) of the sensor data to tease out a century long (possible) anomaly of less than a degree, world wide and the ubiquitous drumbeat of disaster that assails us helpless publics at every turn?

    c. I am presented with a laundry list of tragedies that have and will be inflicted on me by ‘global warming’. A few years ago the list observed, peer reviewed ill effects of global warming was over 800. And rising steadily. If there were any headlines extolling some positive fallout of a warmer planet, I must have missed them. And don’t try to change the subject to ‘climate change’. The evidence of ‘climate change’ is ALWAYS presented as dangerously rising Temperature of the Earth. I haven’t noticed the ones that have already happened. Neither has any other non-climate scientist. The Arctic ice may melt enough to allow transit of the Northwest Passage for a couple of weeks in summer? This should be fought why? It has happened before, with no noticeable ill effects. Part of Greenland’s ice cap is going to melt in a few hundred years? And drown everyone who has been standing in the surf up to their chins, waiting for the experience? Go down the list of putative catastrophes and ask which are actual, noticeable catastrophes and which, absent the hoopla, will occur in the future and happen at such a rate that it will be adapted to seamlessly as the ‘catastrophe’ is unfolding, without anyone paying much attention.

    d. Us publics are told that the only solution is to tax and regulate every public activity that produces a carbon signature, with the aim of reducing ACO2 by 90+%. There is never a hint that the reduction of ACO2 by 90+% will have any ‘down side’. Neither are we told how much measurable impact that our curtailment of ACO2 will have on the temperature of the Earth, or why the unspecified benefit is so desirable that it justifies the effective elimination of our food, transportation and energy infrastructures. And make no mistake: reducing our planetary CO2 signature by anything close to 90% WOULD for all intents and purposes eliminate our food, energy and transportation infrastructure. Except for the nomenklatura, of course. They will always have power in their homes (see the spread of ‘smart meters’ and ‘smart appliances, controlled by a central computer–those who program the computer would be ‘smart’ to ensure that the inevitable brownouts that are coming do not inconvenience anyone on the ‘nomenclature’ file) and be able to travel about the world freely. After all, they shouldn’t have to undergo the stress of having their power go out at random times and for random intervals while they are deciding how manage us publics and unlike us publics, they NEED to move around freely to manage us.

    e. I don’t know about the generic public, but this specific public absolutely cares. Not about any future, nebulous, postulated with no evidence effects of ACO2 on the temperature of my surroundings or the level of the sea, but the obvious and immediate effects of the political actions being taken to save me from ACO2, whether I want to be saved or not. Those I DO worry about.

    • The 97% is not 100% because they cannot kick out the 3% who become skeptic, fast enough. Their numbers are getting smaller and it will become easier to kick out those who become skeptic, a little faster, and their stats may become closer to 100%,

  69. Nuances aside, the scientists we spoke to generally tended to see the value of emphasising the broad strength of consensus for communication purposes. Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, explains:
    “After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree about the course of treatment, you can be justly confident that that’s the best advice that medicine can give you”.
    If 97 percent of the specialists use Model Output that has been wrong for decades, I can be justly confident that that’s the worst advice that anyone can give me.

    • But, in what world are people like Al Gore specialists?

    • Doesn’t matter if they DO become 100%. Every scientist on the planet could agree and still be wrong. The planet doesn’t care how many people agree on anything.

    • Interesting….the Andrew Dessler comment-I always find what they DO NOT say to be almost as interesting, if not more, than what they actually DO say-

      He does not say “After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical DIAGNOSIS, and you find out that 97 per cent of specialists agree on what you have and how you got it….”

      100% of medical experts might agree on the course of treatment for acne…but what if I have an ulcer?

      Clearly Andrew Dessler cannot even communicate an example of effective communication….effectively.

      • “After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree about the course of treatment, you can be justly confident that that’s the best advice that medicine can give you”.

        Just another totally spurious comment from an ideologist of climate science activism and a quote / comment that is regularly seen from climate activists.
        . Dessler seems incapable of differentiating between something, personally medical in this case that applies to the individual and an all embracing ideologically based prescription that he advocates and applies to all of global society without allowing any alternatives for individual choice of the need for action or no action as the individual sees it.

        Desslers medical example above is completely invalid and totally misleading when placed alongside of the infliction of the climate consensus science programs to force ALL of society to conform to some nefarious and very expensive and as already proven, totally ineffectual climate goal, a goal of total climate control to suposedly prevent a climate catastrophe, an ideologically based goal that is the sole product of a arrogant climate scientific elite’s making which does nothing more than reflect their own personal beliefs, dogmas and ideologies.

        I really wonder what Dessler and those who think and believe as he does, what their reaction would be if the medical profession declared that 97% of medical practitioners were in agreement that there was a world wide obesity epidemic and they were going to ensure legislation would be passed that would restrict the world’s peoples to a limited and more expensive diet that they, the medical practitioners in their wisdom were prescribing as the only way of controlling the obesity epidemic across the world.

        I’m sure that Dessler and his consensus ilk, all 97% of them, would lean over backwards to conform completely with and support and advocate for that 97% consensus of the medical practitioners and their advocated solution of a mandatory and completely regulated and limited diet to control and mitigate their perceptions of a global obesity epidemic in the 7.2 billions of the earth’s peoples [ /sarc ]

  70. Pingback: Climate “Consensus” | Transterrestrial Musings

  71. Some of the public, especially in the US, have their whole view of this subject strained through the right-wing media and one-sided blogs for them until it is digestible to their sensibilities. It’s like a baby-food mush by the time they see it.

    • Give us some more of your huffpo links, jimmy. We want to broaden our horizons.

    • “strained through the right-wing media”. Are you serious? Are you not aware of the marketing effort, through the mainstream media, trying to convince the public of catastrophic climate change? It’s being directed by John Podesta, Obama’s Climate Czar, a notorious and lavishly wealthy Washington lobbyist. He can be credited for assuring that the apocalyptic National Climate Assessment got the widest possible possible media coverage.

      • The focus on what politicians say is wrong. Focus on the scientists themselves, unfiltered by the media or politicians. There are ways to find out more of relevance to the science questions.

      • David Springer

        Yes! Focus on what the scientists themselves say. I do. Senior scientists like Curry, Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Pielke, Dyson, Baliunas, Ball, Carter, Salby, Happer, Easterbrook, Gray, Scafetta, Singer, Soon, Svensmark, Balling, Idso, and Michaels. To name a few.

        Great point, Jim D!

      • Jim D-ok, let’s focus on the scientists who put together the National Climate Assessment. Or John Holdren?

    • So why is it that the left are the ones with a “center for climate change communication” every other block?

      Naturally these places are without an agenda in your view.

  72. Let me start by quoting Dr Dressler (Texas A&M):

    ““After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree about the course of treatment, you can be justly confident that that’s the best advice that medicine can give you”.

    The analogy is wrong. Climatologists aren’t really qualified to prescribe a course of treatment. At best they can point out it looks like patient has x disease, and try to make a prediction about what may happen to the patient.

    The hubris built into attitudes I see in some “climate science experts” as individuals and as a community is so built in and profound I do wonder if they realize at all that they are way, way out of their scope of work?

    • “if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree”

      Yes because we all know if you go to a bunch of hypothetical doctors, 97% of them will agree that you need to take something.

      97% of mechanics will agree they should work on your car

      97% of art dealers agree people should buy art

      97% of landlords agree you need to pay rent

      97% of stupid people don’t do as well as others on tests

      97% of Warmers believe in Global Warming

      Do you feel the vibe yet?

      Andrew

    • Medical science makes reliable predictions. Equating climate science with medical science is fraud.

  73. “Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, explains:

    “After all, if you’re looking for an expert medical opinion, and you find out that 97 per cent of the specialists agree about the course of treatment, you can be justly confident that that’s the best advice that medicine can give you”.

    I am continually amazed at how dumb people can be making statements like this. Totally clueless as to the paradigm shifts that make “consensus” equivalent to “falsehood.”

    I’ve lived through the childhood cancer (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) revolution that took place in the early 1970′s. The consensus treatment yielded a life expectancy of 6 weeks. “Go gently with chemotherapy, kids can’t take big doses.” The world was in consensus. St. Judes Hospital in Memphis said: Kids are tough. Hit the leukemia hard with chemotherapy and then rescue the child.” 9 months survival. Thus born the St. Judes protocol. By two years most kids with ALL treated and survived >1 year. Then came the protocols where ALL was “cured”, or so said the consensus speakers until….vulnerability to other cancers in the survivors became evident.

    Consensus and hype seem to be bedfellows, and, over the years, various sciences proclaiming consensus have become incestuous with generation after generation of consensus claimers to be no better than snake oil carnival types.

    If you want to get the best medical advice, look at outcomes, not what the consensus says. When St Judes had 9 month survival and all others had 1.5 months, it was clear. A child’s death is a clear endpoint. In the climate game, this is also easy: who predicted what and when. When Mann, Trenberth, Schmitz and others predict as the consensus, you know straight off, they are wrong. It doesn’t matter why they are wrong. They are part and parcel of the carnival show. Purely entertainment.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      RiHo08 explains “If you want to get the best medical advice, look at outcomes, not what the consensus says … In the climate game, this is also easy: who predicted what and when.

      So if ‘the pause’ ends, then denialism perishes!

      Thank you for explaining this, RiHo08!

      \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: who predicted what and when.“

        ALL predictions, accurately quoted and dated. NOBODY has a record of reliable accurate predictions.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler requests “ALL predictions, accurately quoted and dated.”

        It is a pleasure to assist you, Matthew R Marler:

        Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
        J. Hansen et al, 28 August 1981

        Anthropogenic carbon dioxide warming should emerge from the noise level of natural climate variability by the end of the century, and there is a high probability of warming in the 1980′s.

        Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.

        Your scientific curiosity is a model for students of all ages, Matthew R Marler!

        \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
        J. Hansen et al, 28 August 1981

        Let me try again: ALL of the predictions: snow-free winters in GB; incresed hurricane activity following Katrina; 0.2C/decade warming since IPCC AR4. And MANY more.

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
        J. Hansen et al, 28 August 1981

        Figure 7, p 965 has three projections for temperature increase from 2000 to 2010, the lowest of which was 0.2C. That has not happened.

        Quote ALL the predictions accurately. Hansen’s quantitative predictions have almost all been wrong, most by serious amounts.

      • FOMD

        “So if ‘the pause’ ends, then denialism perishes!”

        I am not sure how your logic got from: if the pause ends and denialism perishes.

        The pause will end sometime. What comes after the pause ends: rising, declining, more of the same temperatures is presently a conjecture. We have to await the outcome and then allocate the marbles to those partially right, mostly right, really really right. The losers go home empty handed. As to those “all in” for the subsequent warming scenario, precaution is thrown to the wind. All or nothing. I am afraid though, that the likes of Mann, Trenberth, Schmidt, etc. they will say they were misunderstood. What they really meant was…… The consensus participants can never say….I was wrong. Admissions of colossal failure only come after some armed struggle where the looser is vanquished and forced to such public utterances. Peasants, pitchforks, and night seem to be in the current script.

        What is keeping the consensus from admissions of failure? peasants, pitchforks, and night. Angst. furtive glances over one’s shoulder.

    • Plus it’s the exact opposite. The consensus was that man could not change the climate. That’s the 1970′s. Man cannot change the planet. Let’s count the seconds until Fan is proven right. There, done.

      • Paul in Sweden

        JCH, If all actions recommended by the Big Green Industries were adopted, what fraction of a degree C difference would mankind (over the next 100 years) be able to make according to the computer models that have failed for more than two decades?

      • Bob Ludwick

        @ Paul in Sweden

        I have asked essentially the same question several times:

        a. If every mitigation policy recommended by the experts is adopted and rigorously enforced, world wide, what will the Temperature of the Earth (TOE) be in 10 years, 50 years, and 100 years?

        b. If we ignore the whole ACO2 problem and simply obtain our energy supplies from whatever sources are the cheapest and/or most expedient, what will the TOE be in 10 years, 50 years, and 100 years?

        c. Why is temperature a. enough ‘better’ than temperature b. to justify the implementation of ACO2 mitigation policies and their associated ‘baggage’?

        So far, I have had zero luck. Maybe you will do better.

      • “If we are in a global warming crisis today,” says Harold Faulkner (Global Warming? All Lies and More Lies…), “even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions and all other government proposals and taxes would have a negligible effect on global climate! The government is lying, trying to use global warming to limit, and tax its citizens through cap and trade and other tax schemes for the government’s benefit. We, the people cannot allow this to happen.”

      • Paul in Sweden

        Bob Ludwick | July 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Reply
        “So far, I have had zero luck. Maybe you will do better.”

        :) Bob, I’m tempted to say that my chances of doing better are about the same as a snowball’s chance in hell… But Heck, snowball futures are looking more and more promising.

      • Consensus or not…it all seems to be smoke and mirrors towards the public in my opinion. It seems more emphasis is focused on haggling back and forth instead of focusing on the positive elements of discovery and making changes in our carbon footprints.

      • Bob, the cheapest and most expedient energy might also save us the emissions of a hot war. In averting the worst, it always pays to be rich, strong and prudent.

        As I’ve just commented elsewhere, here in coal and uranium-rich Australia, we are zombies sleepwalking toward increased dependence on oil (aka “transitioning to sustainables”), funding our zombiedom by selling mountains of coal, the very substance which is supposed to be so naughty when used domestically. Our Green Betters and the Guardian-perusing classes seem utterly unaware of the wider world, of Nigeria, Middle East, Gazprom and the gas spats, China’s far-fetched claims on the south seas etc. The interested role of Big Oil/Gas in Big Green seems to miss the attention of the most educated in Oz. Of course, England has wood chips to Drax, Europe has solar panels where the sun don’t shine, and the US has, well, it has Obama.

        The West seems like a driver who sees a dangerous traffic situation ahead – and drives right into it because he thinks he owns the road.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        mosomoso proclaims “The West seems like a driver who sees a dangerous traffic situation ahead – and drives right into it because he thinks he owns the road.”

        Yes. The USA’s west coast is baking under record-setting heat driven by a huge pool of hot Pacific water. All consistent with the ‘pause over’ that Hansen (and many) climate-scientists have long predicted.

        What we need is 1-2-3: (1) sustainable ecological sanity, (2) no more trillion-dollar wars, and (3) jobs for young folks. Precisely *NONE* of which are attained by an insane carbon-energy economy based upon the year-on-year export of borrowed petro-dollars to Big Carbon oligarchs. And a world where everyone’s land gets strip-mined and fracked, for the economic benefit of 1%-ers, is pretty dang stupid too.

        \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}

      • maksimovich

        Meanwhile the antarctic sea ice anomaly is as large as Greenland,and the antarctic SAT anomaly is around -3.7c or a 5 sigma excursion

      • Imagine that? That Antarctic is such a devil.

      • The theory of abrupt climate change is the most modern – and powerful – in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate this century and beyond. A mechanical analogy might set the scene. The finger pushing the balance below can be likened to changes in greenhouse gases, solar intensity or orbital eccentricity. The climate response is internally generated – with changes in cloud, ice, dust and biology – and proceeds at a pace determined by the system itself. Thus the balance below is pushed past a point at which stage a new equilibrium spontaneously emerges.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/mechanalogy.jpg.html?sort=3&o=214

        Many simple systems exhibit abrupt change. The balance above consists of a curved track on a fulcrum. The arms are curved so that there are two stable states where a ball may rest. ‘A ball is placed on the track and is free to roll until it reaches its point of rest. This system has three equilibria denoted (a), (b) and (c) in the top row of the figure. The middle equilibrium (b) is unstable: if the ball is displaced ever so slightly to one side or another, the displacement will accelerate until the system is in a state far from its original position. In contrast, if the ball in state (a) or (c) is displaced, the balance will merely rock a bit back and forth, and the ball will roll slightly within its cup until friction restores it to its original equilibrium.’ US NAS

        Unlike the simple system above – climate has many equilibria. The old theory of climate suggests that warming is inevitable. The new theory suggests that global warming is not guaranteed and that climate surprises are inevitable.

        The question is then – what do we do about it? The complexity of climate may be a problem that is far more intractable than many imagine – but the essential solutions to social needs and to human changes to the atmosphere and the environment may be reduced to a human scale.

        To that end my new project is based on the UN Millenium Development Goals in the context of rigorous cost benefit analysis such as is undertaken by the Copenhagen Consensus as well as analysis of our technological capacity to produce objectives suitable for implementation by either top down aid provision or bottom up polycentric development strategies.

        The new theory of climate change suggests that the system is unlikely to shift again for decades – although the timing and scope of change is unknowable with current science. It comes with a certain instability – but what we really need to get ahead of is uncritical anti-business rants.

        The short term solutions are simple enough in principle.

        e.g. http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/26/food-for-people-conserving-and-restoring-soils/

        and, http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/30/black-carbon-a-health-and-environment-issue/

        I think I will do a post on how to address population issues through development, health, education and resilience. The CO2 question is best addressed through population pressure reduction and technological innovation.

        This problem has gone so far off the tracks of rational discourse – that I am thinking that attributing rational motives to progressives was the first mistake.

      • Bob Ludwick

        @ Rob Ellison

        “I am thinking that attributing rational motives to progressives was the first mistake.”

        No, your mistake was in assuming that progressives are irrational because their policies are patently insane when they are tested against their stated objectives.

        Progressives are VERY rational however; they simply lie about their true objectives. When their policies are tested against the objective of advancing the cause of progressivism and the power of organizations, government and non-government, controlled by progressives, you will find that their policies are not only rational, they have been and continue to be wildly successful.

      • Dr Ellison may be right. First we must accept the assumption that group-think can override logic; I accept that assumption based on many things; such as reading the biographies of the 9/11 terrorists and “The True Believes” by Eric Hoffer.
        Next there is strong evidence, ref. “Coming Apart” by Charles Murray, that the progressive community may be the most closed and group-think in the country.

      • Once again Fan brings the Hansen science. At the link, figures 15 & 17 seems to be showing the upper 300 meters of the equatorial Pacific Region have not yet got the message that the oceans are still warming.

      • Ok. Now you’re just being completely hysterical. Some facts-

        *92 degrees is not “baking”.
        *The Pacific ocean has no “hot water” in it.
        *Hansen and many other climate scientists have not “long predicted” a ‘pause over’…whatever the heck a pause over is.
        *Only TWO of Seattle’s 4 airport weather stations recorded 90+ temps today. The other two recorded high temps of 89 F and 82F today. And the vast majority of the reporting stations recorded temps in the 80′s, perfectly normal for Seattle at this time of year. See for yourselves:
        http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/US/WA/Seattle.html

        Hansen’s paper in 2006 compares his famous “Three Scenarios” predictions with actual measurements and assures us that his predictions in Scenario C were pretty much right on the mark. Except that (from his own paper) ” Scenario C was described as “a more drastic curtailment of emissions than has generally been imagined,” specifically GHGs were assumed to stop increasing after 2000.”

        http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full

        Not only did Hansen NOT predict a pause, but his “best case scenario” predictions (Scenario C) were based on something that did not even come close to actually happening-a drastic curtailment of emissions, specifically that GHG’s were assumed to STOP increasing after 2000.

        Tell me also, about how the higher standard of living and economic benefits for all , as evidenced all over the world since the industrial revolution, did not happen. I need another laugh.

        Thanks for helping me broaden my experience with illogical and hysterical arguments. You are appreciated!

      • You mean those red blobs indicate anomalies, not hot water? Aw, I was just going to say how we could use it to run some refrigeration or air-con. Or how we might scare up some much needed heating for Eastern Australia.

      • There may be a partial answer to the angst, based on two things:
        1, A recent study shows a link between creative minds and disturbed minds.
        2. Newton was creative and disturbed. He had an incredibly expressive ego; agressively going after people with opposing ideas. Sort of yesteryear’s Mann. Point is, today’s angst may not be something new in the travails of science and may be somewhat linked to the brain,

    • David Springer

      If 97% of doctors said I was going to die unless I underwent a treatment that I could never in my wildest dreams afford I’d pay very close attention to what what the 3% who disagreed were recommending. Dr. Andrew “Duh” Dessler couldn’t argue his way out of a paper bag.

  74. When the answer is a global government authority with vast powers to control all aspects of commerce and life, to assign winners and losers, to transfer wealth from one nation to another, the question is HIGHLY suspect.

  75. stevefitzpatrick

    Do most people believe that climate scientists are concerned about ‘dangerous climate change’? Without doubt they do. But those people are smart enough to consider what those climate scientists say with a healthy dose of skepticism. Has something do do with most climate scientists (especially the outspoken ones) being a lot more ‘green’, a lot more ‘left’, and a lot less concerned about practicality, costs, effectiveness, and unintended consequences of public action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than are most people. There is a huge credibility gap which stems from the political advocacy of many in the field. Experience has taught people to base credibility on a host of factors; advocacy is a strong negative indicator for credibility.

  76. Consensus or any clear majority opinion is a disturbing concept to the minority, hence their angst. Rather than accept that a majority of experts think something because of the evidence and science that explains it, they have to think something is wrong with there even being a majority opinion, and come up with ideas of why that may be that has nothing to do with science or evidence and more to do with politics and conniving. This is known as projection. Someone should write a paper on angst-ridden minorities like this.

    • Sit down Jimmy.
      Consensus, or majority opinions aren’t disturbing. Pretending that a consensus or a majority opinion establishes something as a fact, or that it is some kind of substitute for “truth”, is very disturbing, annoying, frustrating, illogical. That you are perfectly fine with “scientific experts” engaging in such behavior says far more about you than it does about anyone else.

      But speaking of projection, you did a fine job yourself. Let’s see, you projected imaginary angst unto a totally vague group of people you call “the minority”. Then you project what a majority of a vague group of “experts” (who have never been accurately polled or surveyed as individuals) “thinks something” because of “the evidence and science that explains it”. You project that it’s perfectly fine and intelligent to believe in this imaginary group and their imaginary thoughts with all your heart. And you project that no matter how reasonably or logically a counter argument might be presented to you, it simply cannot be true.

      Yes. Someone should write a paper on people like that. Oh wait…someone did…his name is Irving Janis, and he wrote it in 1972.

      http://psychology.about.com/od/gindex/g/groupthink.htm

  77. There isn’t any “consensus” in science. There are only theories and how they stand up to experimental test. The “consensus” in physics in the late 19th century was that there was nothing more to discover when Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics were just around the corner. The opinions of 97% of scientists are irrelevant. If actual data continues to disagree with the climate models then at some point the “consensus” has to be acknowledged as wrong.

    • ‘The Consensus’ isn’t going to be wrong because it is an imaginary concoction. Victor Venema admits above that there is only ‘consensus’ on the basics. Try to pin down just exactly what the ‘consensus’ is about and you have sand slipping through your fingers.

      I suspect climate science won’t mature until some branch of it starts over with the ‘basics’ and plays the game all over again. And that won’t happen until there is need for it, which won’t be soon.
      ===================

      • Given the entrenched belief within ‘consensus’ climate science in man’s outsized contribution, and the extreme dependence on inadequate models and shonky statistics, the branch of climate science that will be capable of re-working from the basics is likely to be the skeptical branch, unfunded, amateur, and increasingly on the money.
        ==================

      • I expect that the fall of the consensus will be like the fall of the Berlin Wall, a revolution. This is the nature of man; when logic aligns with emotions spontaneous events happen.

  78. Political Junkie

    To Victor Venema it appears that people are irrational by obsessing about the “hiatus.” After all, to him it’s a mere one thousandth of the heating going on – what is wrong with these people? Well, there’s a simple explanation that he probably doesn’t like.

    Some time ago, there was a huge and effective communication effort aimed at the general public by ‘climate scientists,’ politicians and the press to convince us that the ‘science was settled’ and that we must act immediately because the highly specific predictions in IPCC AR4 and those by the British MET were conservative, if anything. You were so absolutely certain at the time. Hell’s bells, a Nobel Prize and Academy Award winner told us that he was speaking on behalf of ‘climate scientists’ – none of you disagreed. None of you disagreed with the Mann Hockey Stick either.

    When these predictions failed to materialize, the reaction of the community was to deny reality – it wasn’t happening. When the years mounted up you came up with totally unconvincing and unpredicted ‘the ocean ate the warming’ theories without any convincing explanation of the mechanism for the sun suddenly deciding to stop warming the earth’s surface in lieu of driving the heat into the only place on the globe where it can’t be measured.

    That’s why this lurker doesn’t buy the consensus.

  79. The thing is, consensus gets the experts nothing.

    Consider a wholly different discipline: economics. There is probably no stronger consensus in any science than the consensus among economists regarding the theory of “rent control.” Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winning economist and very liberal columnist for the NY Times, hates rent control.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/07/opinion/reckonings-a-rent-affair.html

    Milton Friedman Nobel prize winning economist and PBS documentarian on the conservative virtues “Free to Choose”, hates rent control (as do others on the right, cited here; http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/RentControl.html

    Libertarians hate rent control.
    http://libertarianjew.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-not-so-complex-argument-against.htmlf

    And yet the consensus does NOT translate into either municipal or national or transnational action to abolish this destructive policy.

    If we can’t even “fix” the problem of getting a roof over the heads of the general population by taking the long-standing advice of a broad spectrum of experts and simply STOP governments from interfering — how do we expect to solve a more complex, newer, less-well-understood problem that requires ALL levels of ALL governments to cooperate on ACTING, rather than stopping a mistaken action?

    • Excellent point. An other example is free trade. The vast majority of countries and people gain from free trade. Yet it is extremely difficult to remove or reduce the barriers to free trade.

      • The double tax on dividends — drives out capital — even Great Britain understands that!

      • Peter Lang

        Wagathon.

        Good point. That’s one thing Australia leads on. Australian tax payers get the company tax refunded, so it is only paid once. The refund adds about 1.5% p.a. to the return on shares (for Australian and NZ taxpayers only).

      • Immigration too.

    • The same applies to raising the minimum wage. It does not help those it is supposed to help — just the reverse: that’s basic econ, taught even in public school first two year prerequisite college courses along with biology and sex education, going back to the 60s.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

      A survey of professional academic economists finds that a large percentage are quite willing to cheat or fake data to get the results they want.

      These behaviors are widespread. Ninety-four percent [of economists] report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice.

      In other words, almost none of these academic economists can be trusted in the slightest: these behaviors are widespread.

      Well, this certainly explains the history of the Koch-controlled Cato Institute!

      The Koch power-grabs make fascinating reading, eh Climate Etc far-righties?

      \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}

      • How funny! The actual title of the research paper was “Scientific Misbehavior in Economics”, and here’s a link to the abstract-
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733314000900

        Anyone who reads the abstract will note that FOMD pretty much lied about the percentage “willing to cheat or fake data” because the study showed 96% rejected that practice. And the last sentence of the abstract states-
        “…they are consistent with the notion that the “publish or perish” culture motivates researchers to violate research norms.”

        Published in a NON “Koch-controlled” Scientific Journal, under “Research Policy” showing that one more field of “scientists” (and academics no less) will violate research norms in order to get published.

        Thank you FOMD for providing me with one more link that shines doubt on the scientific research community!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Which elements of Sarah Necker’s abstract are mysterious to you, Aphan?

        Scientific misbehavior in economics
        by Sarah Necker, Research Policy, 18 June 2014

        “These [unethical] behaviors are widespread. Ninety-four percent report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice.”

        Climate Etc readers can find further information at (outstanding!) web site Mathematicians Against Fraudulent Financial and Investment Advice (MAFFIA).

        Historically scientists have led the way in exposing those who utilize pseudoscience to extract a commercial benefit. Even in the 18th century, physicists exposed the nonsense of astrologers.

        Yet mathematicians in the 21st century have remained disappointingly silent with the regards to those in the investment community who, knowingly or not, misuse mathematical techniques such as probability theory, statistics and stochastic calculus..

        Our silence is consent, making us accomplices in these abuses.

        It is a pleasure to help broaden your appreciation of these matters, Aphan!

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      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Which elements of Sarah Necker’s abstract are mysterious to you, Aphan?

        Scientific misbehavior in economics
        by Sarah Necker, Research Policy, 18 June 2014

        “These [unethical] behaviors are widespread. Ninety-four percent report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice.”

        Climate Etc readers can find further information at (outstanding!) web site Financial Mathematics:

        Historically scientists have led the way in exposing those who utilize pseudoscience to extract a commercial benefit. Even in the 18th century, physicists exposed the nonsense of astrologers.

        Yet mathematicians in the 21st century have remained disappointingly silent with the regards to those in the investment community who, knowingly or not, misuse mathematical techniques such as probability theory, statistics and stochastic calculus.

        Our silence is consent, making us accomplices in these abuses.

        It is a pleasure to help broaden your informed and reasoned appreciation of these matters, Aphan!

        \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}

  80. The public seems to have gotten the memo that climate scientists believe that humans are warming the planet, and the warming is dangerous. They also don’t seem to care.

    I think they don’t care for many reasons, part of which is they are not convinced it is dangerous.. I’m one who is not convinced it is dangerous. I’m not even convinced that GHG emissions do more harm that good. Certainly when we weigh up the risks (consequence x probability) of GHG emissions being damaging versus the risk (consequence x probability) of raising the cost of energy, the risk of severe damage by raising the sot of energy is much, much higher.

    Therefore, for those who want to limit GHG emissions, they need to allow ‘no regrets’ policies, not keep pushing for their irrational, command and control policies such as carbon pricing and mandatory renewable energy targets.

  81. “For each question that arises (e.g., is the earth warming?), there comes a time when the evidence is so overwhelming that the experts independently realize that the problem is essentially solved … At that point consensus exists on the answer and the question is no longer interesting – and scientists move on to the next interesting question”. – Dessler

    So, consensus answers the question, Are we there yet?
    The earth is warming on average – consensus.
    Direct effect of CO2 – consensus.
    Beyond this, we aren’t there yet. Using Dessler’s definition, the consensus doesn’t cover a lot of area. It is a consensus of a limited number of conclusions. The way to identify a consensus is when everyone has left for greener pastures. But the ‘consensus’ scientists are still here. Trying to figure out OHC, ice sheet collapses, droughts, wildfires and will the PDO reverse itself soon? I think Dessler’s definition is an appealing one.

    • Even when the mean change is settled, the climate scientists would be first to admit regional changes are far from settled. They only have some generalities like certain areas will be wetter, and others will be drier, coastlines will be higher, etc. This is where the most ongoing research is being done, because policymakers need to know what will happen to their water and food resources in a changing climate, and these are very regional in nature. This is where the uncertainty is, and minimizing the global change helps to reduce this uncertainty.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        It’s funny as the alarmists take it upon themselves to tell what climate scientists “would be first to admit.”

      • …or you can check the level of uncertainty in the IPCC reports, or any papers, on regional change. Don’t just take my word for it.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Jim D said
        “you can check the level of uncertainty in the IPCC reports, or any papers, on regional change. Don’t just take my word for it.”
        Sure Jim :)
        Forever we’ve heard that wet will be wetter and dry will be drier. That is quite certain and quite specific.

      • Seriously. You just suggested that were it not for GHGs, we’d better understand regional changes.

  82. As I commented on Victor Venema’s site, there is a further reason why scientists don’t like consensus statements and that is that there things often turn out to be wrong either wholly or in part. One example is the role of fat consumption in heart disease, the value of annal mammograms, the value of vitamin supplements, etc. etc. Medicine is a fertile field for these false con censuses because a lot of the findings have small statistical significance and also people have a lot of cultural prejudices about matter such as diet and health.

  83. Except for that brief time and mood called Enlightenment, there has always been a scholarly/priestly craft which has been willing to predict and even dial climate. Call it consensus, or call it Nile Priesthood.

    But one can only pretend for so long that a drought, a heatwave or a storm is a new phenomenon. Extrapolate as hysterically as you like from recent conditions, but people get older, observe all things turning, realise that the Guardian’s main use if for wrapping prawn heads.

    How expensive and silly this has all been.

  84. Willis Eschenbach

    Steven Mosher | June 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm |

    Look, there is a consensus. the sky is blue. anybody who works in the field knows this.

    Everyone knows there is a consensus, including you … but nobody seems to know what the consensus agrees on. Is the consensus that the planet is warming? If so, from when to when? Is the consensus that humans affect the climate? If so, how do they affect it, and how much? Is the consensus that we need to DO SOMETHING NOW? If so, what does the consensus say we should do?

    Steven, until you can identify exactly what the consensus agrees on, your claim that it exists is a meaningless, frail reed to prop up your personal views. What is the consensus position on black carbon? Heck, many climate scientists claim that airborne black carbon warms the world, while others say it cools the world … which is the consensus position?

    Until you can provide the official consensus’s clear, bright-line definition of what the “consensus” actually consenses on, I will continue to hold that it’s just a shabby attempt to give the alarmist position a false weight …

    Look, climate science is the only science where we find these bogus “consensus” claims. Nobody claims a “consensus” regarding the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Even in fields that are well and truly split, like say quantum physics and the Copenhagen interpretation versus the rest, nobody says “there’s a 97% consensus for the Copenhagen interpretation, so that settles it”. Naomi Oreskes isn’t analyzing chemistry papers. “Consensus” is a pathological conception that has no place in science, and is not found anywhere outside of climate science.

    In any case, until there is an official consensus view on what the consensus believes … I’ll pass on thinking it is a useful concept.

    w.

    • Willis: Very clear. Thanks for this comment.

      I too would like to know what Mosher et al. mean by “the consensus.” The term seems to be kept intentionally vague for maximum rhetorical effect, however fallacious.

      There is a huge excluded middle to “Either you believe humans contribute to climate change, in which case you must support the entire climate change agenda, or you don’t believe humans contribute to climate change, in which case you deny science.”

    • Steven Mosher

      Easy. Consensus is that co2 warms the planet.
      Next

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | July 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Reply

        Easy. Consensus is that co2 warms the planet.
        Next

        Thanks, Mosh, but I fear that’s far too vague to pass as science. Do you mean:

        • The equilibrium temperature is higher than it would be in the absence of CO2, or

        • An increase in CO2 leads to an increase in GHG forcing, or

        • An increase in CO2 leads to an increase in overall forcing, or

        • An increase in the current value of CO2 will increase the equilibrium temperature compared to its current value, or

        • There is a logarithmic relationship between log(∆CO2) and ∆T, or

        • CO2 warms in the lab, and therefore more CO2 will increase the current equilibrium temperature, or

        • CO2 warms in the lab, and therefore the equilibrium temperature is higher than it would be in the absence of CO2, but variations in the amount of CO2 have little effect on that equilibrium temperature, or

        • We have observational evidence that small changes in CO2 values have changed the equilibrium temperature, or

        • …

        I’m sure, for example, that there is a wide consensus that “The equilibrium temperature is higher than it would be in the absence of CO2″. Heck, even I believe that one, although because of the presence of water vapor, we have no idea how much higher it might be.

        But there is little consensus for the statement that we have “observational evidence that small changes in CO2 values have changed the equilibrium temperature”.

        Generally, the statement that you’ve made is expressed mathematically as a combination of the following two equations:

        ∆F = 3.7 log(CO2/CO2_orig) [Equation 1]

        and

        ∆T = lambda ∆F [Equation 2]

        where ∆ means “change in”, CO2 is current CO2 concentration, CO2_orig is CO2 concentration at the start of the time period, F is average forcing in W/m2, and T is global average surface temperature.

        Combined, right or wrong, those say that an increase in CO2 will warm the planet from the current equilibrium.

        Unfortunately, we have reasonably good theory and evidence for the first equation … but we have no theory or evidence at all for the second equation.

        The reason we don’t have evidence is that the second equation assumes that everything else is equal, and that nothing else changes … but it isn’t equal, and everything changes. For example, I’ve shown several lines of evidence that as tropical temperatures increase, the amount of sunlight entering the planet decreases, because of the thermal dependence of cloud emergence. And as tropical temperatures increase further, numbers of thunderstorms increase, which cools the surface temperature.

        And as a result, despite the fact that we can clearly establish that Equation 1 is true, both on theoretical and laboratory grounds, we have no evidence that Equation 2 is correct, nor do we even have any theoretical basis on which to conjecture that it is correct.

        In short, your claim that the consensus is that “CO2 warms the planet” might pass as a Readers Digest aphorism, or a warm and fuzzy headline for the Sierra Club Magazine … but as a serious scientific statement, it is meaningless without lots of other assumptions, constraints, and conditions.

        Finally, in any case, your personal opinion means little. Unless you’ve been elected by the consensus to speak for the consensus, we have no consensus on what the consensus is, even among the consensed …

        w.

      • I’ve shown several lines of evidence that as tropical temperatures increase, the amount of sunlight entering the planet decreases, because of the thermal dependence of cloud emergence. And as tropical temperatures increase further, numbers of thunderstorms increase, which cools the surface temperature.

        Does anyone in the field take your work seriously?

      • David Springer

        When I fart it warms the planet.

        Can I get a consensus on that?

      • David Springer

        When I rub two sticks together it warms the planet.

      • Steven Mosher: Thanks. But what then is all the fuss about?

        How is it that Dr. Curry, who surely accepts this “consensus,” is labeled a “heretic” by SciAm or slandered by Michael Mann as “anti-science”?

        Why the need for all the subterfuge like Climategate and Gleickgate, the rampant censoring and banning of skeptic speech in consensus forums, the refusal to comply with FOIA requests, the consigning of almost all skeptic voices to “deniers” dustbin?

        There are people who reject the greenhouse effect, but not that many. Yet all skeptics are treated as though they were “deniers” of the consensus.

        There is truth to your answer but it does not address the way “consensus” is used as a bait-and-switch for a larger agenda. Or as Willis put it, “a shabby attempt to give the alarmist position a false weight.”

      • Bengtsson and Schwartz (2013, Tellus) have put a lower bound at 2 C per doubling. These are lukewarmers who remain skeptical of models. They say in their abstract
        “Transient and equilibrium sensitivity of Earth’s climate has been calculated using global temperature, forcing and heating rate data for the period 1970–2010. We have assumed increased long-wave radiative forcing in the period due to the increase of the long-lived greenhouse gases. By assuming the change in aerosol forcing in the period to be zero, we calculate what we consider to be lower bounds to these sensitivities, as the magnitude of the negative aerosol forcing is unlikely to have diminished in this period. ”
        Bottom line
        “With these data, we obtain best estimates for transient climate sensitivity 0.39±0.07K (W m−2)−1 and equilibrium climate sensitivity 0.54±0.14K (W m−2)−1, equivalent to 1.5±0.3 and 2.0±0.5K (3.7W m−2)−1, respectively.”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Willis Eschenbach claims [utterly wrongly] “Look, climate science is the only science where we find these bogus “consensus” claims.”

      PUBMED provides no less than 1,963 articles stating “consensus guidelines”.

      It is a pleasure to help alleviate your mistaken — in this case, grossly mistaken — opinions, Willis Eschenbach!

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  85. thisisnotgoodtogo

    “Look, there is a consensus. the sky is blue. anybody who works in the field knows this.”

    There is no hullaballoo about it. No need to parade about. Climate science is “different”.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      There is no Kevih Nitler to for journal editors to crawl to apologize to, no nenchmen plotting how to disparage those, how to sic investigators on those who might disagree on some issues…

  86. >2/3s of America’s youth — 17 to 24 — would not qualify for military service (perhaps they have a future in a PhD program and employment in the government bureaucracy as a government scientist or some other cash-for-clunkers government project).

  87. The consensus among scientists about climate change is a distraction. The real question is:
    Is there a consensus in the general public that climate change is the most important issue? Don’t simply ask the public if climate change is important, ask them how much they would pay to solve it, and ask them whether the money would be better spent on other problems.
    Otherwise it’s like a beauty contestant being for “world peace” — consensus, but meaningless.

  88. thisisnotgoodtogo

    “After endorsements from many hundreds of other European climate-related
    > scientists are collected (and we hope that you agree to be one of these), the
    > Statement will be brought to the attention of key decision-makers (e.g. EU
    > Kyoto negotiaters and Environment Ministers) and other opinion-makers in
    > Europe (e.g. editorial boards of newspapers) during the week beginning 24th
    > November. The UK and other European WWF offices have agreed to assist in
    > this activity, although the preparation of the Statement itself has in no
    > way been initiated or influenced by WWF or any other body. This is an
    > initiative taken by us alone and supported by our 11 Statement sponsors.
    >
    > WHAT WE ASK FROM YOU
    >
    > We would very much like you to endorse this Statement. Unfortunately, at
    > this time we can no longer take into account any suggested modifications.
    > Nevertheless, we hope that it reflects your views closely enough so that
    > you can support it. If you agree with the Statement, then:
    >
    > 1. PLEASE IMMEDIATELY FILL OUT the form below and either reply via email
    > (preferably) or telefax (only if necessary) to the indicated fax number.
    > Replies received after Wednesday 19th November will not be included. If
    > replying by email please do not use the ‘reply all’ option. If this

    > invitation has been forwarded from a colleague, please make sure your reply
    > is directed to the originators of this invitation, namely:
    > t.mitchell@uea.ac.uk (on behalf of Mike Hulme and Joe Alcamo).
    >
    > 2. We have identified about 700 climate-related scientists in Europe who
    > are receiving this email directly from us. If you feel it is appropriate,
    > PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to up to three colleagues in your country …”

  89. Will you mortgage your home and devote the cash to scientific research on climate. No, so how deep is the belief? Not that deep, yet the implications of government decisions run deep indeed. All of which shows that consensus has not achieved its goal. It is natural to say, oh well. let’s wait and see, despite the warning that action is necessary now. But the beltevers said that years ago and the dangerous predictions have not happened. Every year that passes without calamity diminishes the risk.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Alexander Biggs claims [bizarrely] “Every year that passes without calamity diminishes the risk.”

      Alexander Biggs, please consider:

      •  That’s what Big Tobacco wants smokers to think.

      •  That’s a main rationale that alcoholics use.

      •  That’s a message that Big Carbon aggressively astroturfs.

      Conclusion  Addiction warps cognition … no matter whether it’s a nicotine buzz, an alcohol haze, or cheap carbon energy … and special interests ruthlessly exploit addictive cognition.

      *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • Berényi Péter

        fan, do you support nuclear energy? One ton of granite (the default construction material of continents) has as much useful energy content as 50 tons of coal (+ 130 tons of atmospheric oxygen). And we have way better ores than that, enough for millennia. With no carbon dioxide emission whatsoever, eh, fan?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Does nuclear beat fossil carbon?&nbps; Very plausibly yes.

        Does solar/wind beat nuclear?&nbps; Very plausibly yes

        Nuclear’s problematic track record&nbps; Many decades of work have (so far) not yielded safe reactors; neither has any nation in the world (so far) disposed of radioactive waste safely and permanently; each decade the public is promised that these nuclear problems will be solved “soon”; each decade (so far) those hopes are not fulfilled.

        Conclusion  Solar and wind are getting cheaper relentlessly; hence nuclear is chasing a moving target.

        As for fossil carbon, it’s doomed to be always the worst option.

        Thank you for encouraging Climate Etc readers to take an interest in these matters, Berényi Péter!

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      • Rob Starkey

        “As for fossil carbon, it’s doomed to be always the worst option.”

        Based upon the above conclusion, no aditional taxes or regulations to discourage the use of fossil carbon is required. Per Fan’s analysis any reasonable decision maker will not choose to build a facility that uses hydrocarbons to produce electricity.

        LOL– perhaps Fan wants to reconsider his/her conclusion?

        What is the difference between a fossil fuel carbon and non fossil fuel carbon when it is released?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey wonders “What is the difference between fossil-fuel carbon [energy] and [carbon-neutral energy]?”

        It’s simple Rob Starkey: the difference is cost accounting!

        Can the public trust economists to do that accounting?

        A climate scientist, an environmentalist, and an economist are traveling in the countryside. Weary, they stop at a small country inn. “I only have two rooms, so one of you will have to sleep in the barn,” the innkeeper says.

        The climate scientist volunteers to sleep in the barn, goes outside, and the others go to bed. In a short time they’re awakened by a knock. It’s the climate scientist, who says, “There’s a cow in that barn. I’m a Hindu, and it would offend my beliefs to sleep next to a sacred animal.”

        The environmentalist says that, OK, he’ll sleep in the barn. The others go back to bed, but soon are awakened by another knock. It’s the environmentalist who says, “There’s a pig in that barn. I’m Jewish, and cannot sleep next to an unclean animal.”

        So the economist is sent to the barn. It’s getting late; the others are very tired and soon fall asleep. But they’re awakened by an even louder knocking. They open the door and are surprised by what they see: It’s the cow and the pig!

        It’s obvious to *EVERYONE* that for-hire economist-shills can’t be trusted, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • Rob Starkey

        Fan

        You failed to read very closely or to understand what was written. I asked- “What is the difference between a fossil fuel carbon and non fossil fuel carbon when it is released?”

        You failed to respond to the actual question and answered about “carbon neutral energy”. It is completely possible for humans to release CO2 from other than fossil fuels and to not be carbon neutral.

        You also failed to address the point of why any taxes are necessary if it is so obvious that everyone will automatically choose what you BELIEVE to be the appropriate choice.

      • FOMD joins the economist in the barn. Lightning stricks and it burns to the ground. He did warn us about severe weather events caused by AGW. Pity that. Conclusion: don’t sleep with economist shill deniers.

      • “It is completely possible for humans to release CO2 from other than fossil fuels and to not be carbon neutral.”
        _____
        True. Wood burning, clearing of land, raising of livestock, etc. all release CO2, but not to the same degree that the burning of fossil fuels (aka the Human Carbon Volcano) does. Even the release of methane from hydrates eventually adds to the CO2 in the atmosphere.

        The essence of the HCV is the disruption of the Carbon cycle, which we’ve also done with the Nitrogen cycle. These natural cycles, once disrupted as they both are, are hard to get balanced again. Another sign of the Anthropocene.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey complains “You failed to read very closely or to understand what was written … “

        Rob Starkey, please reflect that obsessive insistence upon wrong/foolish/quibbling/”safe”/demagogic/astroturfed questions is among the most toxic forms of willful ignorance and denialism!

        Why not reflect upon the tougher-minded “wickedly unsafe” questions that grown-up science and historians dare to ask, Rob Starkey?

        The world wonders!

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      • @fannie

        I took the time to check your references and read the abstract of the paper you linked to under the heading ‘that alcoholics use’.

        The paper seems to have nothing at all to do with the proposition in whose support you cite it.

        Please clarify.

    • Berényi Péter

      Eh, fan, you are smarter than that. Solar &. wind both suffers from extremely low flux density, which inevitably leads to wasteful land use and intolerable environmental impact. On top of that these are inherently intermittent sources, therefore they can’t be relied upon without equivalent backup capacity or as yet non existent cheap &. efficient storage.

      On the other hand, the sad state of nuclear power is due to the same folks who are crying wolf now because of carbon dioxide, therefore it is more than inauthentic to flog cold war Plutonium factories for their inefficiency, insecurity and waste issues, when decades ago much political effort went into stopping development altogether, successfully.

      It is entirely possible to make nuclear fuel use a hundred times more efficient, with inherent safety, that is, low pressure core with passive shutdown in emergency, no long half life isotopes left in waste and built in anti-proliferation measures. In fact we already had such experimental systems 4 decades ago, which were killed for political reasons.

      It is crystal clear, that both misguided wings of the environmental movement, the antinuclear and anti-coal one are backed by Big Oil &. Natural Gas, because they serve their financial interests perfectly. They also promote solar &. wind as non solutions, the profit to be made on expensive gas fired backup generators, of course.

      Exterminating competition by political puppets as proxies is the most splendid solution imaginable for those guys. And you are playing their tunes tirelessly, fan, one wonders why?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Berényi Péter has nuclear faith “It is entirely possible to make nuclear fuel use a hundred times more efficient, with inherent safety, that is, low pressure core with passive shutdown in emergency, no long half life isotopes left in waste and built in anti-proliferation measures.”

        The trouble is, Berényi Péter, that *EVERYONE* remembers similar soothing safety-claims radiating from TEPCO/Japan’s executives and economists regarding *THEIR* nuclear bad-boys!

        Those soothing safety-claims proved to be utterly wrong, didn’t they?

        Whereas Joe Romm’s common-sense is 100% right-on-the-facts in concluding that

        It is quite safe to say that renewables will do more than “play roles” in a climate constrained world — they will play the major role.

        It would be astounding if a technology that exists only in PowerPoint presentations — magical small, cost-effective, fail-safe nuclear reactors — could possibly be researched, developed, demonstrated, and then scaled up faster than a host of carbon-free technologies that are already commercial today.

        And remember, most of those technologies, like solar and wind, have actually demonstrated a positive learning curve, unlike nuclear reactors!

        Yah gotta trust in the proven technology-improvement/cost-declines/safety that solar/wind energy are already demonstrating, Berényi Péter.

        The world applauds solar/wind’s sustained carbon-neutral enterprise and progress!

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      • Berényi Péter

        most of those technologies, like solar and wind, have actually demonstrated a positive learning curve

        Eh, fan, the fact the sun doesn’t shine at night and not much in winter must lie pretty far ahead along your learning curve. Similarly, the wind is either blowing or not, or it is too strong or there is icing on the blades. Whatever. Also, you need hundreds of square kilometers for a standard 1000 MW plant with full fossil fuel backup, cost of idle time included. Or you may deliver frequent blackouts for the poor, while making wealthy households rely on private diesel backup generators. Is that your dreamworld?

      • @fannie

        Windmills were obsoleted by steam power in the 1820s, and sailing ships in the 1840s.

        Nothing has changed since.

        Wind is still a crap way of generating power, raising water, grinding corn or navigating ships. It’s fundamental disadvantages ain’t going to go away.

      • Berényi Péter

        @latimeralder
        “Nothing has changed since.”

        In fact a lot has changed. For example we do have the economic muscle now to turn the entire countryside into an industrial zone, with unbelievably high levels of low frequency noise (below 1 Hz) and pervasive flicker, a dense network of heavy duty roads, killer ice blocks flying all over the place in winter and droplets of motor oil in all seasons. All this for nothing.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Berényi Péter plays ‘Captain Obvious’: “The sun doesn’t shine at night.”

        Latimer Alderplays ‘Captain Oblivious’: “Wind is still a cr*p way of generating power.”

        Berényi Péter and Latimer Alder, we oligarchs thank you/a> for helping to defend our carbon assets/a>!

        Climate Etc readers can learn more from the folks at Big Carbon central!

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      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Climate Etc readers can learn more from the folks at Big Carbon central!

        In response to propositions you supply innuendo.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler complains “You [FOMD] supply innuendo.”

        Innuendo? We don’t need no stinkin` innuendo!

        There are dozens of good reasons that we should be building out solar as fast as we possibly can — plummeting prices, overdependence on foreign oil, poisonous petrostate politics, clean air — and yes, global warming is one of those reasons too.

        And since global warming has now entered the conservative pantheon of conspiratorial hoaxes designed to allow liberals to quietly enslave the economy, it means that conservatives are instinctively opposed to anything even vaguely related to stopping it.

        Is *THIS* picture plain enough for yah, Matthew R Marler?

        The world wonders!

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      • It looks as if Peter has a delicate constitution and is showing his Malthusian bias against progress.

      • Berényi Péter

        @Matthew R Marler

        He can’t help it, it’s his style. He is a true fan of innuendo.

        The funny thing is, solar power may hold some promise, but it is several technological breakthroughs away. First of all one does not generate electricity, but some energy rich non flammable, non toxic chemical (like sugar) from readily available raw materials, stores it locally, then generates electricity on demand in fuel cells using said material. Unfortunately it can only be done cheaply by molecular nanotech, which is still a future tecnology, not only unproven, but unavailable. Also, as soon as technology gets there, we’d better start worrying about catastrophic carbon dioxide depletion, because that will become the default raw material for almost everything.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Berényi Péter claims [without evidence] “Solar power … is several technological breakthroughs away”

        It’s funny … we sure are hearing the claim “solar ain’t ready” a lot these days!

        What impressed FOMD was a visting friend who “logged on” to his solar-roofed house, and showed FOMD-family how much money his house was earning him … panel-by-panel … and we could clearly see which panels panels shaded by his backyard tree as the tree’s shadow moved hour-by-hour. Amazing!

        Conclusion  Having yer house earn money for your family, hour-by-hour while you’re on vacation, sure beats propping-up Big Carbon’s oligarchs to the tune of six trillion wasted dollars … and spilled heroes’ blood.

        *EVERYONE* understands *THAT*, eh Berényi Péter?

        Especially including engineers, accountants, young scientists, folks who enjoy receiving checks from public utilities … and veterans of the sandpile.

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      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: There are dozens of good reasons that we should be building out solar as fast as we possibly can — plummeting prices, overdependence on foreign oil, poisonous petrostate politics, clean air — and yes, global warming is one of those reasons too.

        And since global warming has now entered the conservative pantheon of conspiratorial hoaxes designed to allow liberals to quietly enslave the economy, it means that conservatives are instinctively opposed to anything even vaguely related to stopping it.

        First Mother Jones, and then the LATimes on the Koch brothers again.

        There is not even one good reason that we should be building out solar “as fast as we possibly can”.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler claims [without even a fig-leaf of reason] “There is not even one good reason that we should be building out solar ‘as fast as we possibly can’.”

        LOL   your discourse-style of argument-from-ignorance and truth-by-assertion is novel, Matthew R Marler!

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      • Matthew R Marler

        Berényi Péter: The funny thing is, solar power may hold some promise, but it is several technological breakthroughs away. First of all one does not generate electricity, but some energy rich non flammable, non toxic chemical (like sugar) from readily available raw materials, stores it locally, then generates electricity on demand in fuel cells using said material. Unfortunately it can only be done cheaply by molecular nanotech, which is still a future tecnology, not only unproven, but unavailable. Also, as soon as technology gets there, we’d better start worrying about catastrophic carbon dioxide depletion, because that will become the default raw material for almost everything.

        I basically agree, but I think that solar is good now for niche applications, and for places where grids and fuel deliveries are unreliable. Worries about depleting CO2 are way premature.

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: LOL your discourse-style of argument-from-ignorance and truth-by-assertion is novel, Matthew R Marler!

        I disputed your assertion that there were many good arguments for building out solar as fast as we possibly can. Would you like to write out even one good reason why we should be building out solar “as fast as we possibly can”? As opposed, for example, to “at a sustained rate approximately as fast as we are building out solar now”? The second of those is what I support, fwiw, but I would modify the financing in California if I could, which would probably slow the rate here; and I’d repeal AB32, which entails too much cost trying to do too much too soon.

  90. The theory and estimation of the role of cloud in changing Earth’s dynamic energy balance is an area of fundamental weakness in climate science.

    The consensus hangs on warming from 1976 to 1998 being mostly anthropogenic. The ISCCP-FD satellite anomalies from 1983 to the late 90′s show shortwave forcing increasing by 2.4W/m2 and infrared forcing decreasing by 0.5W/m2. This is confirmed by ERBS and in ocean heat content from Josh Willis – and is correlated with sea surface temperature.

    There is also a step change of several W/m2 in the 1998/2001 climate shift. Something that is confirmed by Project Earthshine. The 1998/2001 climate shift suggests that the planet isn’t warming for decades at least – and leads to the anticipation of several climate shifts this century with unpredictable timing and with an unknown potential for change.

    The consensus seems less scientific and more utterly insane.

    • “This is confirmed by ERBS and in ocean heat content from Josh Willis – and is correlated with sea surface temperature.”
      —–
      What the very best data show is that the oceans have been consistently warming for many decades without pause. This represents the majority of the energy being added to Earth’s climate system. The measurement of El Niño for example, which is based on sea surface anomalies, has had to be continually adjusted upward to account for the continually warming Pacific. Why you continue to ignore this or seem to not know it seems suspiciously ignorant:

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ONI_change.shtml

    • It’s Kooling, as one can easily see. Lol.

      • Kaptain Kangaroo is not kool, he is hot-headed actually.

        In climate terms, he has a very high-sensitivity to the slightest forcing.

      • Yes, if faux-skeptics could get away with it, they would look outside after sunset every day and be able to confidently say, “I have seen evidence of a cooling globe every single day this year, and every single day for the past 10 years.” They would not be incorrect, but their half-truth would be only useful for other faux-skeptics.

    • Satellites say one thing – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=122

      Anomalies from cloud radiative forcing increased to 1998 – changed in a jump thereafter and have been fairly steady since. This seems remarkably consistent with the recent surface temperature record.

      Anomalies are changes in radiative forcing – sometimes I don’t think many people actually understand that.

      e.g.

      ‘Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC 3.4.4.1

      ‘With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, 2.1, and 1.4 W/m2 respectively, which are similar to
      the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record… . Furthermore, the observed interannual variability of near-global ERBS WFOV Edition3_Rev1 net radiation is found to be remarkably consistent with the latest ocean heat storage record for the overlapping time period of 1993 to 1999. Both datasets show variations of roughly 1.5 W m2 in planetary net heat balance during the 1990s.’ http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

      There is absolutely nothing to suggest that the data is not ‘real’ – and thus is the dominant warming term in the 1976 to 1998 warming. What is unreal is the ‘consensus’.

      As examples we have Randy, Webby and JCH. Randy seems to imagine that I have ignored ocean warming – when what is at question is the cause of recent warming. And appears to willfully neglect the fact that different Argo climatologies are saying very different things. Webby aspires to wit but succeeds only in being clumsy and witless. When not obsessing about incompetent math and freaky physics. JCH has ‘discovered’ a climate shift in 2010 and appears to imagine that the world is warming again. In reality climate shifted again last Tuesday and the world is cooling again.

      It all points to the fact that the consensus is a concern of a fringe group of activists – one deeply rooted in a groupthink dynamic that is evidently not shared by the mainstream populace.

      The consensus is demonstrably wrong – climate doesn’t have control knobs. It is a system with control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks that result in discontinuous jumps in the system at scales from decades to millennia. Both the timing and the amount of change in any shift are indeterminate and this makes prediction in any sense impossible with current science. Albeit at a risk of a certain instability in the system.

      ‘The growing implications of the messy wickedness of the climate change problem are becoming increasingly apparent, highlighting the inadequacies of the ‘consensus to power’ approach for decision making on the complex issues associated with climate change. Arguments are increasingly being made to abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate of the arguments themselves and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulate local and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues of climate change, land use, resource management, cost effective clean energy solutions, and developing technologies to expand energy access efficiently.’ JC

      Somehow this translates for the space cadets as denialist, anti-consensus cognition. Looking pragmatically at multi-objective responses for social. economic and environmental progress is what it is all about. But there seems to be a whole different and remarkably adamantine agenda operating. Consensus = groupthink.

    • CERES TOA net:
      http://images.quickblogcast.com/40776-37448/CERESTOA.png?a=73110666
      How are the oceans warming? CERES isn’t perfect but it seems more straight forward than auditing the oceans. Flat TOA and GAT implies flat oceans.

  91. Pingback: The climate wars get exciting. Government conspiracy! Shattered warming records! Global cooling! | Fabius Maximus

  92. Judith your last para is of concern. First it assumes the consensus is correct in its prediction of CAGW and such an assumption is not verifiable in the empirical data. Secondly you allow reliance on the first assumption to let loose a down stream effect of policy formation to increasingly lower levels of the political systems that govern us. The lower the level in the political system the less likely we are to have people who understand the realities or get good advice before making policy decisions. In climate terms Catastrophic policy is what you will get for sure by devolving to lower levels of government. In NZ we have and ETS but we also have local government involved as well learn from our mistakes don’t do it.

    • They can go to the Green Church and get the answers from the high priest

    • @ Kevin Hearle

      “Judith your last para is of concern. First it assumes the consensus is correct in its prediction of CAGW and such an assumption is not verifiable in the empirical data.”

      Exactly!

      The problem in a nutshell: Climate Science, even Dr. Curry, treats ACO2 driven global warming, leading to catastrophe if not controlled by ‘government climate policies’ as an axiom, POSTULATED to be true, rather than a theory subject to confirmation or rejection by observation.

      Dr. Curry’s sin, which has led to her being rejected and vilified by her previous peers, is a mild expression of doubt as to the direness of our situation and the necessity of IMMEDIATE government action to take absolute control over ‘carbon signatures’.

      The Church of Climate Science has a zero tolerance policy for the slightest hint of apostasy, as Dr. Curry has learned and continues to learn.

    • Steven Mosher

      “First it assumes the consensus is correct in its prediction of CAGW and such an assumption is not verifiable in the empirical data.”

      err no prediction about tommorrow is verifiable today.

    • Fan- you deserve Paul Krugman. We all appreciate that. Eh Fan!

  93. Berényi Péter

    Overwhelming majorities of both Republicans and Democrats are convinced that “climate scientists believe” that CO2 emissions cause the temperature of the atmosphere to go up—probably the most basic fact scientific proposition about climate change.

    First of all, “the most basic fact scientific proposition about climate change” is not even a proper syntagma. The word “fact” was just thrown in for its emotive value.

    Then, being convinced the overwhelming majority of practitioners of homeopathic science firmly believe a solution diluted until not a single molecule of the agent remains in it still retains its effectiveness is entirely consistent with refusing to believe in this central paradigm of said field of science.

    Furthermore, if the general public is convinced indeed, that “climate scientists believe that CO2 emissions cause the temperature of the atmosphere to go up”, they are in error. I can’t believe there is a single scientist, climate or otherwise who believes such a thing based on her scientific understanding, because it makes no sense. It is optical depth in the thermal infrared range, or rather, its relation to short wave optical depth which can have an effect on surface temperatures. True, increasing CO2 mixing ratio does increase optical depth in a narrow band, but that’s as far as the consensus may extend. For the rest of the thermal IR range is dominated by water vapor with many absorption lines and an underlying absorption continuum, and water vapor is not a well mixed gas. Its atmospheric distribution is always fractal like with huge differences in its mixing ratio between adjacent air parcels on all scales. Which means average IR optical depth due to water vapor is not even a monotonic function of its average mixing ratio, it is only bounded from above by it, being indeterminate otherwise. Mind you, all these propositions are part of a genuine consensus so far, because they are demonstrably true propositions.

    The critical link in the chain of logic is the connection between CO2 and overall IR optical depth, of course. And there is no scientific consensus about that whatsoever, because there is neither good theoretical understanding around this point nor reliable measurements supporting either option. It can still be the case that the majority of climate scientists believe water vapor reinforces any change in optical depth due to well mixed IR absorbers, but it is just that, a personal belief, neither supported nor contradicted by science up to now.

    In other words, even if there were a consensus, it wouldn’t be a scientific one.

  94. If the consensus is that the world is warming then everyone agrees but since this warming is so miniscule who cares? The consensus that man is causing the warming is the important one and it was always merely circular reasoning that has taken a battering because mother nature has turned out to be the biggest skeptic of all. As for the consensus that the waarming is going to get worse, well that depends on model assumptions that are already disproven, so if anyone still believes it it then is nothing to do with science. The UK Met Office now expects no further warming for another 30 years – yet another complete guess of course like all the predictions that came before it!

    Of course we still need fossil fuel replacements in due course but the faux-greens don’t have to be quite so hysterical about it. We’ve seen all this before with every other anti-technology, anti-human, enviro scare that turned out to be 97% hype and 3% substance and this one is no different. When the cooling dip comes back in a few years they’d better have a plan B to avoid funding cuts. Heres’s an idea; start to look at natural climate change instead. After all 97% of climate scientists know next-to-nothing about it so there’s plenty to research.

  95. richard verney

    We all know about the ‘half life of facts’

    History may show that ‘consensus’ for what it is worth in the field of science, has peaked, and it will be interesting to revisit this issue in 10 to 20 years time.

    If in the coming decade or so, temperatures fall, whether as a consequence of solar activity, and/or natural patterns of cloudiness (see Rob Ellison July 1 at 1;39am) and/or ocean cycles, and/or by other factors of natural variation not known and/or understood, the ‘consensus’ may well look rather different.

    Time will tell.

  96. Victor Venema,

    You say ” we cannot predict the weather one month in advance, we can predict that next winter it will be colder than this month. That a model cannot predict natural variability (weather) does not mean that it cannot predict the long term climate (winter).”

    Winter is due to the earth’s orbit round the sun hence more or less predictable. The ‘pause’ is occurring around the time of an unusually inactive sun. While carbon-dioxide joins the atmosphere in creating chaotic, unpredictable weather. I don’t understand how they can be separated.

    • ann ceely | July 1, 2014 at 8:31 am | Reply
      “I don’t understand how they can be separated.”

      Sorry, I don’t understand what “they” can’t be separated?
      Weather and CO2, the pause and CO2,…..???

      • What I meant was, just as the weather systems modify the sun’s irradiance and sunspot magnetic storms, so also carbon-dioxide presence in the atmosphere will be modified to give chaotic, unpredictable results. Yet climatologists try to produce a linear relationship for carbon-dioxide and surface temperatures. It’s a Fool’s Errand.

    • “While carbon-dioxide joins the atmosphere in creating chaotic, unpredictable weather.”
      ______
      This is a direct result of the disruption of the carbon cycle via human activities. But it should always be remembered that the fundamental effect of adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is to increase the net energy of the climate system AND that this energy takes many forms. When you rapidly increase the net energy of a chaotic system, it is extremely likely you will see a disruption of weather patterns and of course, a changing climate.

  97. Consensus as in the 97% is just another example of AGW supporters manipulating data to achieve a desired result, and like the global warming meme, is used as a cudgel to force an agenda.

    • Denizens of this blog will know why this statement rings true. It is because there is no uncertainty in that 97% number. It doesn’t even matter what the question is, the answer is always exactly the same.

  98. It “has not worked” at huge social costs in part due to the social schism we exist in today;

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/30/harris-a-climate-of-fear/

    Initially, it was mainly scientifically illiterate activists who made claims to certainty about climate change. But gradually, many scientists have also come to use such absolute language, or at least remain mute about the vast uncertainties in the science. They fear alienating their intellectual fellow travelers, peers who, even if they are unfamiliar with the science, support the climate movement for political reasons. One of the greatest successes of the environmental movement has been to persuade society to identify environmentalism in general, and “stopping global warming” in particular, with liberalism, since most opinion leaders in society, including scientists and university professors, are liberals. However, this too makes no sense. Some of the most famous conservationists were conservative.

    It’s always inversely proportional that the closer a thread topic gets to the essential truth of the climate wars that the irrationals shouting science certainty favors their views make there most prolific appearances. No, the 97% can’t even be identified by name on a roster. Generally, it’s more then fair to assume anyone identifying as a “climate scientist” would already have partisan green/leftist inclinations and that is the root of contriving the other self-identifying sub-group…..the “97% consensus” members only club. That it is completely unquantified in claims or predictions relying
    on vague words like “significant” to gather the largest affirmation possible and then redefining its meaning in green advocate narratives after the fact.

    Polling the politics of the self-identified consensus is the surest method of exposing the contrivance of the entire AGW movement. The social cost has already been paid by most I don’t see why “science” demands such an exemption of scrutiny.

  99. Are you interested in giving government more power to impose devastating costs and resource restrictions on the economy, that provide little or no benefit to the wellbeing of consumers and the nation, exempting from such ever-growing government intrusion only the politically correct cash-for-clunkers schemes of the friends of the Left? Then, fear of global warming is the gift you want to give the ever-growing bureaucracy to use for their own personal and political benefit and power.

  100. How is Force X coming along?

    It must be hard for willis & watts to keep their minions in line. Kind of like trying to herd cats — so many alternative climate change theories to keep straight, and no real help to speak of.

    Fortunately the realists in the climate profession can rely on science to guide them. That’s a big advantage.

    Good luck, and may the force be with you — whatever it may turn out to be. It could be a classic larrikin hoax, who knows?

    • Evans is using your methods, webby. Overfitting inspired by confirmation bias. I will have to say that you haven’t imagined anything as goofy as force x. Have you?

      • I don’t know DonnyBoy, is the Stadium Wave a Force X type of factor?

        The angular momentum changes in the earth’s rotation as measured by precise length of day readings indicate that multidecadal variations in energy do exist. By conservation of energy arguments the atmospheric and oceanic shifts in angular momentum can invoke subtle temperature shifts. See the work of Dickey at JPL.

        The best hope of the Stadium Wave theory is to attach it to Dickey’s LOD hypothesis. That will explain a significant fraction of the natural variation in warming since 1900.

      • Don Monfort

        That’s the ticket, webby. Cobble together multiple attempts at ordering chaos that are no more than exercises in overfitting and you have a grand hypothesis that will be a grand flop. You can’t strap two sparrows together and make a hawk, webby.

        I wonder when McClellan is coming back with part 3. That should tie everything together. The price of turnips, with a 7 and a 1/2 year lag, explains everything. You just have to squint and tilt your head properly, when eyeballing the chart.

      • So donnyBoy doesn’t believe in science and gets all his cues from economists and financiers with their krank models . Who woulda thunk it?

      • Don Monfort

        I believe in medical science, webby. And rocket science. We really did reach the moon. Chemistry and agronomy have worked out pretty well for us. I learned a lot studying microeconomics and finance that helped me make a few fortunes. I ain’t complaining about most sciences. What benefit have we received from our sizable investment in the climate science, webby? Do you really harbor delusions that the Climategate Team is going to save the world?

    • Good, bad, or indifferent, I don’t know; at least Evans has offered a theory that is verifiable in my lifetime.
      Please tell me what other theories that are out there are verifiable in anyone’s lifetime.
      Most ACGW proponents hide behind theories that they know nobody can disprove. Dishonest at best.
      That includes many commenters on this blog.

      • Don Monfort

        I have a theory that the climate is manipulated by unicorns. I have plotted the unicorn’s past machinations and according to my overfitting with a force X kicker, they are going to make it get colder in a couple of years.

      • Don Monfort | July 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm |

        Unicorns? Probably as good a theory as pixie dust or of a 0.04% magic molecule; none of which are verifiable in my lifetime.

    • Steven Mosher

      Web

      as the standard theory has some growing pains skeptics cant resist throwing their hats in the ring with more crank theories.

      its fun to watch

    • Force X de jour:
      http://joannenova.com.au/2014/07/the-solar-model-finds-a-big-fall-in-tsi-data-that-few-seem-to-know-about/#more-36716

      Seems the skeptic tribe has turned its attention inward for the moment. There are a number of interesting comments.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: It must be hard for willis & watts to keep their minions in line. Kind of like trying to herd cats — so many alternative climate change theories to keep straight, and no real help to speak of.

      Willis Eschanbach: As to whether the “best science” says there is a problem, the “best scientists” have told us that by the year 2000, the problem would be undeniably visible; that by now there would be a clear increase in sea level rise; that the “Hockeystick” was clearly the “best science”; that we would see 0.4°C temperature rise from 1994 to the present; and that by 2010 there would be 50,000,000 climate refugees …

      So at this point, Steven, WE DON’T TRUST THE “BEST SCIENCE” AT ALL.

      You still don’t seem to get it. The “best science” you so revere has made faulty predictions; invoked bogus studies; unethically done their best to quash opposing views; driven my electricity bill through the roof; supported rampant alarmism far beyond the facts; made everything I buy more expensive; lied, cheated, and destroyed evidence of their misdeeds; produced some of the crappiest “scientific studies” I’ve ever seen; claimed that their opponents should be jailed for our views; wasted billions of dollars; and raised electricity costs for the poor all around the planet, causing untold death and destruction.

      I think that Willis does just fine with focused, straight, and accurate commentary.

      Is there a count of whether skeptics or alarmists have more deserting minions? It looks to me like the alarmists are suffering a higher desertion rate over the past 5 years.

      • Willis has his own wildly implausible “governator” theory of climate control.

        His own theory has to get in line with all the other wildly implausible theories that he is trying to lord over.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Willis has his own wildly implausible “governator” theory of climate control.

        It is a reasonable hypothesis consistence with what is known about cloud cover changes. Only the name “thermostat hypothesis” is misleading due to its “design” connotation whereas the climate system is dynamically a “self organizing” system.

  101. Sure, the public knows what climate scientists think. And why shouldn’t they ignore them. The alarmists don’t act like it’s a crisis. They don’t adopt quality controls for their work the way that normal people do in the real world. They don’t check anyone else’s work. Most of their studies turn out to be garbage. Their models fail.

    And anyone who has read the political rants of wingnuts like Mikey Mann realize that he and his friends are all about the politics. So why should anyone care what scientists think?

  102. Willis Eschenbach

    Victor Venema | June 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm |

    PokerGuy, we cannot predict the weather one month in advance, we can predict that next winter it will be colder than this month. That a model cannot predict natural variability (weather) does not mean that it cannot predict the long term climate (winter).

    I see. So the alteration of summer and winter is “long term climate”?

    This is far and away the weakest of alarmist arguments. We have a cyclical variation (summer and winter, day and night) in addition to a varying secular trend.

    The idea that because we can predict the cyclical variation. we can therefore predict the secular variations is so illogical that it is not even wrong.

    For example, we can predict the cyclical tidal variations, but we can’t predict secular sea level variations. In their hubris, and following your claim, the alarmists have claimed over and over that we would see an acceleration in sea level rise … but in the event, there has been no overall acceleration, and in fact the recent couple of decades have shown a slight deceleration in the rate of sea level rise.

    In short … your claim that because we can predict that winter will be colder than summer, that therefore we can predict the long-term variations of the climate is laughably and demonstrably untrue.

    Unless you can demonstrate some connection between the cyclical variations and the secular variations, the idea that because we can (obviously) predict cyclical variations, that therefore we can predict the
    secular variations, fails simple logic.

    w.

    • Steven Mosher

      “I see. So the alteration of summer and winter is “long term climate”?

      Yes, that would be climate.

      . the deterministic component of weather.
      for example, in days of old we used to talk about the dependence of
      weather on geography. So, we can decompose Temperature into
      C +W, where climate is a function of geography and season and weather is the residual.

      you can express over 80% of the varience this way.

    • First, I did not want to prove anything. I only wanted to demonstrate that just because short-term predictions of the natural variability (or the weather next month) are hard, long-term predictions of the climate (or seasons) are not possible. They are two different things, that was all I wanted to argue for.

      The analogy even has some more merits beyond that. In both cases the short-term predictions are difficult due to chaotic flows in the atmosphere (in weather prediction you need to predict where the highs, lows and fronts are) or chaotic flows in the oceans and atmosphere (for natural variability you would need to be able to predict climate modes such as El Nino).

      In both cases the long term predictions (of the state of the weather over a longer time) are possible because they represent a change in the forcing. In case of the seasons because of changes in the insolation, in case of global warming changes in the concentration of greenhouse gasses.

      And may I ask, is it really necessary to use terms as “illogical”, unscientific (“not even wrong”), or “laughable”? It would be easier to understand each other, if we use more neutral terms, it does not have to be a formulation scientists would use (“this may warrant more detailed investigations”), but how about simply saying something is wrong or ask for more convincing arguments. In case your aim is not to understand each other better, I would prefer to refrain from this discussion. Life is short.

      • “And may I ask, is it really necessary to use terms as “illogical”, unscientific (“not even wrong”), or “laughable”? It would be easier to understand each other, if we use more neutral terms, it does not have to be a formulation scientists would use (“this may warrant more detailed investigations”), but how about simply saying something is wrong or ask for more convincing arguments. In case your aim is not to understand each other better, I would prefer to refrain from this discussion. Life is short.”

        Nice paragraph (just saying)

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Victor,
        The predictability of seasonal change is essentially uninformative WRT our ability to predict the response to GHG forcing. The winter/summer forcing difference is a) enormous compared to GHG driven forcing, and b) very short term (<1 year) versus decades to centuries for GHG driven forcing. Of course, all else being equal, we would expect greater GHG forcing to increase surface temperatures. But the key question is: "How much". We need quantitative, accurate, and timely projections, not a statement that is so general as to tell us nothing… saying winter will be colder than summer is similar to saying: "Add rocks to an empty box and the weight of the box increases".

        Whether or not warming is in fact predictable, the performances of climate models, climate modelers, and climate science in general, are poor when it comes to making meaningful predictions. Where is the 0.2C per decade warming over the next several decades which was so confidently predicted by AR4? Well, it seems to have… ahem…. been drastically reduced in AR5… now it seems to be somewhere between 0C per decade and 0.3C per decade. IOW, somewhere between unprecedented warming and no warming at all. I honestly wonder if you and other people involved in climate science can begin to appreciate just how ridiculous such a 'prediction' is. I rather suspect you can't. Predictions which encompass any plausible outcome are not really predictions at all; they are closer to a joke.

        Fundamental changes in how energy is produced and used will be enormously costly, both financially and socially. Any rational course of public action will require reasonable levels of credibility and accuracy in the predictions used to justify those enormous costs. Climate science seems to me a very, very long way from being able to provide the needed level of credibility and accuracy.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick: “The predictability of seasonal change is essentially uninformative WRT our ability to predict the response to GHG forcing.”

        I hope I do not have to start every reply with the reminder that I never claimed it was prove, but rather that I wanted to illustrate that such comments are wrong:

        Paul in Sweden: “If all actions recommended by the Big Green Industries were adopted, what fraction of a degree C difference would mankind (over the next 100 years) be able to make according to the computer models that have failed for more than two decades?”

        They did not fail, short term climate predictions are something else as long-term climate projections. That is all I am arguing.

        Steve Fitzpatrick: “The winter/summer forcing difference is a) enormous compared to GHG driven forcing, …”

        That the forcing is smaller would make it easier to compute what happens. One would have to fear non-linearities less.

        While the argument is wrong, I naturally agree with you that climate prediction is a lot more difficult as modelling the seasonal cycle. (And one should not underestimate how hard it is to get the seasonal cycle right over the entire globe. Ocean temperature, typical flow, humidity and clouds all need to be quite accurate.)

        The main reason I would see is that we have measurements of the seasonal cycle. If there are any deviations, we can study this and try to improve the model. For climate change we cannot. It is a unique experiment with the climate system. That adds to the uncertainty monster. Uncertainty is something that can go both ways.

      • Don Monfort

        It’s another bogus analogy along the lines of proposing a fake equivalency between climate science and medical science.

        The Climategate Team and minions say: Well, would you reject a 97% consensus among medical experts, if they agreed that you needed surgery to save your life?

        Climate science couldn’t carry the jockstrap of medical science. And you characters know it.

    • ‘The researchers used a climate model, a so-called coupled ocean-atmosphere model, which they forced with the observed wind data of the last decades. For the abrupt changes during the 1970s and 1990s they calculated predictions which began a few months prior to the beginning of the observed climate shifts. The average of all predictions for both abrupt changes shows good agreement with the observed climate development in the Pacific. “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold”. Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin”.

      The new climate theory places natural climate variability at the centre of climate science where it should always have been. While the atmospheric physics of greenhouse gases suggest warming of the atmosphere – this has taken place against a backdrop of abrupt climate shifts in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001. The amount of surface warming from the ocean and atmospheric circulation state between these shifts is unknowable. The available satellite data – the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf) and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html) – are consistent and say that most of it was cloud changes in the period.

      Moreover – it creates the expectation of several climate shifts this century with even an approximate timing and scope for change that is unknowable with present day science.

      Thee is nothing to suggest that average winter temps for seasons decades or more apart is predictable.

  103. Willis Eschenbach

    Steven Mosher | July 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Reply

    the honest response to the claim that we should delay because the science isnt settled is this

    1. That’s true the science is not settled, no science is settled. anyone who demands a settled science should be ignored.
    2. The best science says there is a problem, of course some scientists disagree, but science is not a democracy we dont vote and take polls to
    determine whether 50% of us agree or 97% of us agree.
    3. The best science, from the best scientists, with the most experience, tells us there is a problem. you can listen to them or you can listen to a small minority who disagree. counting heads wont help you decide.
    4. deciding who to listen to isnt a question that science can answer. There is no science of expertology. sorry mr policy maker you will have to decide for yourself. Thats your job.

    That’s a straw man. The reason that we should delay action is because to date there is no cost-effective solution, and in fact there isn’t even a demonstrated “problem”.

    As to whether the “best science” says there is a problem, the “best scientists” have told us that by the year 2000, the problem would be undeniably visible; that by now there would be a clear increase in sea level rise; that the “Hockeystick” was clearly the “best science”; that we would see 0.4°C temperature rise from 1994 to the present; and that by 2010 there would be 50,000,000 climate refugees …

    So at this point, Steven, WE DON’T TRUST THE “BEST SCIENCE” AT ALL.

    You still don’t seem to get it. The “best science” you so revere has made faulty predictions; invoked bogus studies; unethically done their best to quash opposing views; driven my electricity bill through the roof; supported rampant alarmism far beyond the facts; made everything I buy more expensive; lied, cheated, and destroyed evidence of their misdeeds; produced some of the crappiest “scientific studies” I’ve ever seen; claimed that their opponents should be jailed for our views; wasted billions of dollars; and raised electricity costs for the poor all around the planet, causing untold death and destruction.

    I gotta say, bro’ … if that’s your “best science”, you can stuff it up your exhaust pipe …

    w.

    • Steven Mosher

      its not a straw man. I just made the argument. Im not made of straw last I looked

      “So at this point, Steven, WE DON’T TRUST THE “BEST SCIENCE” AT ALL.”

      nobody cares what you think. nobody cares that you dont trust it.
      in fact, you dont have to trust it to use it.
      Today I have to get to berkeley by 1. I look at the best estimate I have.
      I dont trust it. It says 35 minutes.
      I will use 45 based on the best estimate (35) and a nice margin.

      You dont need to trust the best science to actually use it.
      we use information we dont trust all the time.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | July 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Reply

        Today I have to get to berkeley by 1. I look at the best estimate I have.
        I dont trust it. It says 35 minutes.
        I will use 45 based on the best estimate (35) and a nice margin.

        You dont need to trust the best science to actually use it.
        we use information we dont trust all the time.

        Unfortunately, the “best estimate” of the “best science” has proven to be wrong most of the time. In fact, a simple linear extrapolation performs better than the best estimate of your “best science”.

        Here’s the underlying problem. You are confusing a “best estimate” with a “guess by people who have always been wrong in the past”.

        For example, the “best estimate” of climate refugees by 2010 was 50,000,000 … and the actual number is none.

        So while you are wise to use a best estimate of your travel time of 35 minutes plus a “nice margin”, you are a blinkered fool to use a best estimate of climate refugees of 60,000,000, based on the best estimate of the best science plus a nice margin.

        And as a result, your “best estimate” claim is meaningless.

        w.

    • Steven Mosher

      today the best models say we might see a hurricane hit the US.

      i dont trust those models.

      They always get the details wrong.

      If I lived there, I would use models I dont trust.

      Today I got a weather report. It said the day would be cold.
      I dont trust it.
      I brought a coat.

      Knowledge and uncertainty dont determine rational action.

      • Today’s best model say I may actually see a hurricane this weekend. Seriously. So I watch it and understand it might be right and it might be wrong.
        But, if the governor tried to make me evacuate today based on this model, I’d tell him to eff off.

      • “They always get the details wrong.”

        In that case, lets stop having them provide details.

        What Mosher doesn’t say when he attempts to confuse, is that the farther these models are away from providing meaningful details, the farther away from science they are.

        Science is about providing reliable details. There’s no reason to have expensive, complicated models if they only provide generalities. Mosher bought a coat. What did he need the model for?

        Andrew

      • Knowledge is what determines whether I know the difference between Climate Models and Storm Tracking Radar.

        “Today I got a weather report. It said the day would be cold.
        I dont trust it.
        I brought a coat.”

        If you brought a coat…you trusted the weather report.

        You always get the details wrong Mosher.

      • Don Monfort

        Well, I have a friend who flies around and through those hurricanes in an instrument laden airplane. They have a pretty good idea where the thing is headed and how fast. Satellites and radar also keep track of what’s going on. People on the ground in ships and on various islands scream bloody murder when the hurricane hits them, so we get some idea of what’s going on from them. If it hits Miami, we will see some publicity hound clown like Geraldo Rivera bracing himself against the wind and rain, in a last gasp at garnering some fame.

        Why wouldn’t anyone trust the huge, redundant apparatus that tracks hurricanes in real time? Are you kidding us, Steven?

    • You have summed it up well. Bravo!

  104. Paul in Sweden

    If a group of individuals with backgrounds that stretched from medicine, sociology, public relations, astrology, clergy, community organization, pre-grads/post-grads/profs & administrators of every concealable course of study self-declared themselves ‘experts’ in a new field of medicine, demanded the wealth of the world to solve a new problem that only exists in computer simulations and the ’97% consensus’ of these self-designated medical experts endorsed lethal chemotherapy or lethal radiation therapy with an outbound result of the status quo – I would laugh at them and tell them they sound just like the nutters in Climate ‘science’.

  105. Steve McIntyre

    IPCC AR4 WG3, presumably a “consensus” document, stated that “integrated analysis” had shown that costs and benefits of mitigation were “broadly comparable in magnitude” and, as I understand their language, concluded that, thus far, no mitigation policy had been demonstrated to have benefits outweighing its costs:

    Limited and early analytical results from integrated analyses of the global costs and benefits of mitigation indicate that these are broadly comparable in magnitude, but do not as yet permit an unambiguous determination of an emissions pathway or stabilisation level where benefits exceed costs.[3.5] {WGIII SPM}

    As an IPCC finding, I presume that this states the position of the 97% consensus. It seems to me that most “skeptics” could be persuaded to agree with this IPCC conclusion and could perhaps move for unanimity with the 97% on this particular proposition.

    • Political Junkie

      Steve McIntyre, Happy Canada Day!

      On the whole we in Canada have been blessed with a federal government that has acted cautiously and in a nearly 100% consensus fashion with the latest IPCC findings – or lack thereof.

      Unfortunately our home province of Ontario put us into the ‘clean energy’ leadership race with many other global jurisdictions.

      How are we doing? Actually not that badly! It seems that everyone is destined to finish in a tie for last place and we are still in it. Go Ontario go!

  106. We’re not prepared to handle big changes of any kind given the secular-socialist gerrymandering of society that has severely weakened the economy, torched the creativity of the productive and hamstrung the ability of a free market to most effectively and efficiently respond to changes in demand. Without sufficient energy our future will always be at the whim of nature.

  107. Kuhn makes very interesting observations regarding how to properly interpret survey response data. I think it’s all really spot on and insightful. But the ongoing confusion from him, Madam Curry, etc. regarding the “failure to act” or that we’ve yet to “do something” about global warming, is rather inexcusable intellectually. There is no concrete policy constituting “act” or “something” which is not an astoundingly terrible idea. If that is not a sufficient explanation for why nothing has happened I don’t know what to say.

    • The courage to do nothing is never considered.

    • Paul in Sweden

      Ryan | July 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm
      “There is no concrete policy constituting “act” or “something” which is not an astoundingly terrible idea.”

      ^Ryan, I can endorse that. However; I go further and state that it has not been established that an actual problem exists that a unified world must act.

      • Well, sure, there’s that:)

        The thing which interests me is what I perceive as the unstated assumption that policy making is supposed to work as the following two step process:

        1. Decide whether there’s a problem requiring a solution
        2. Make a list of potential solutions and pick the least awful of them

        That’s not just an incredibly stupid way of making public policy decisions, it’s obviously not how public policy decisions are made. In reality the “solution” comes first and the “problem” is the after the fact reason justifying the policy.

        So Kahan labors on in his belief that folks just aren’t properly concerned about the problem and thus don’t support picking from the list of solutions. If he could just convince everyone of just how incredibly bad the problem is the public would finally clamor for the politicians to pick an item off the list. But what he actually needs to do is get an item on the list which is a good idea. Then the public will support the policy based on pretty much any justification (including the much debated “scientific consensus.”).

    • There are many things that are a good idea.

      I have a very new project – along those lines.

      http://watertechbyrie.com/

  108. Wow – I have a solution for ENSO.

    The Mathieu equation arises in separation of variables of the Helmholtz differential equation in elliptic cylindrical coordinates. It has a similarity to the wave equation – and has been used for the analyzing the motion of elliptical surfaces.

    (d^2V)/(dv^2)+[a-2qcos(2v)]V=0.

    The analytical solutions for an elliptical bathtub of constant depth are.

    C(a,0,z) = cos(sqrt(a)z)
    S(a,0,z) = sin(sqrt(a)z).

    And these look like this.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Mathieuplots_zps3ec1411a.png.html?sort=3&o=17

    It looks nothing like ENSO yet – so we modulate the trigonometric function against something related to ENSO – that looks like ENSO – but is equally unpredictable.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n5/fig_tab/ngeo2138_F2.html

    I call it the homeopathic solution to ENSO and will now proceed to bore everyone with it – in between whining about how sceptics just don’t get it – for the foreseeable future. It is after all consensus science and not boring.

    • Thanks Robo for the plug.

      Just to let you know, over at the Azimuth Project website we are pulling together a team to work open source models of ENSO to potentially be able to better predict El Ninos.

      The one favored right now is the delay differential equation model, but I am also offering up the sloshing model that is favored for modeling hydrodynamics on a smaller scale. There are many similarities in the math and suffice to say this will be a learning experience.

      I am sure the Chief Hydrologist will be welcomed over at Azimuth should he wish to contribute since he is the Chief hydrologist after all.

      • Don Monfort

        webby,

        Please let us know how many little models you have to try, before you find one that overfits. If you need any more motivational confirmation bias on your team, jimmy dee would be glad to join. Good luck, webby! The world is watching.

      • catweazle666

        Oooh, computer games!

        Are you going to release it on Xbox first, or Playstation?

      • This is a correlative technique that is a bit hit and miss in predicting an El Nino in the next calender year. Reproducing this seems easily done – someday it might even take a place in the suite of correlative techniques.

        It is far different to either the remarkably incompetent curve fitting of a trigonometric function to the SOI or to the delayed oscillator toy model.

        Do try to make some sense.

      • Robo, please do try to keep up or you will be left behind. These are mainly mathematical physicists that run the Azimuth Forum and we have some excellent programmers providing support for the code that gets posted.

      • Preschool level name calling aside – what was described in the link is a correlative technique published earlier this year using sea surface temp at dispersed locations in the Pacific to ‘predict’ ENSO

        Not all that difficult an idea or difficult math – and may in fact be useful with some refinement. It has nothing to do with incompetent curve fitting or toy delayed oscillator equations. Neither of which are all that difficult either.

      • Rather to predict El Nino some months in advance – which is far more predictable from the early stages than more generally.

      • What on Earth is all this about? The usual nonsense I assume.

    • ‘We study the dynamics of the El Nino phenomenon using the mathematical model of delayed-action oscillator (DAO). Topics such as the influence of the annual cycle, global warming, stochastic influences due to weather conditions and even off-equatorial heat-sinks can all be discussed using only modest analytical and numerical resources. Thus the DAO allows for a pedagogical introduction to the science of El Nino and La Nina while at the same time avoiding the need for large-scale computing resources normally associated with much more sophisticated coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. It is an approach which is ideally suited for student projects both at high school and undergraduate level. http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0603083

      Emphasis mine. Such models are known as toy models for good reason. Hope he has fun with the homework – but I will decline on joining a group that would have him as a member.

      • I would like to thank Robo for another “own goal”. That is a very practical article written for the American Journal of Physics, which is a teaching journal created to help physics instructors devise new curriculum for their classes. As I said the other day in another part of this comment thread, AJP articles can help explain why the sky is blue.
        How fortuitous of you to agree with this approach!

        What is also neat is the article has some Mathematica code that I will be able to work with.

        I will post this over at the Azimuth Project and give you credit for scoring an own goal! You are almost a member of the El Nino team! Maybe we can make you honorary.

      • Amusingly enough – I got the reference from the Azimuth site.

        The model is conceptual and approximate – and is utterly useless for real world prediction. It might be useful for learning some basics – but webby is not quite up to that stage. It seems quite a lot above his pay grade.

      • I took the link – read it – added it to my e-library. It is interesting enough as a explanation of the toy model that was developed decades ago.

        The thing little around here is webby’s grasp of ENSO dynamics. The correlative idea discussed above has some promise of marginally extending El Nino predictably. Webby’s nonsense none at all.

      • webby’s problem is that I am a hydrologist. My honours thesis was running rainfall/runoff models and comparing an analytic solution to the 1st order differential equation of storage using high order numerical approximations.

        I then went on the modelling all sorts of hydraulic systems – rivers, lakes, estuaries waves. Along with a Masters in Environmental Science – specialising in biogeochemical cycling. I have studied ENSO for decades – because it is the dominant driver of flood, drought and cyclone in my neck of the woods.

        webby’s other problem is that he is an electrical engineer and is utterly clueless about anything at all relevant – and seems quite incapable of doing other than fitting curves using incompetent math and fantasy physics.

        He is also an example of how to use bad faith in discourse at the drop of a hat.

      • I have a much broader project – http://watertechbyrie.com/ – than marginally improving on correlative techniques for El Nino. Ignoring toy models for children and incompetent curve fitting for webby’s.

        Weirdo characterisations from webby notwithstanding.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Google “blog science” wrt to this blog and find out how many times Rob (or his sokkpupet doppelgangers) has complained about doing “blog science” — and now look at him trying to support it because it is “his blog science” that is important.

        Can’t stand these hypocrites.

      • It is intended to be multi-media policy oriented – obviously.

  109. Political Junkie

    Governments have a need to be seen doing something. Occasionally this compulsion provides entertainment:

    Some time ago, the Ontario Ministry of Environment issued a press release about “protecting the environment, one sweater at a time.” The idea was that if everyone in Ontario bought a sweater and turned down the thermostat we could help save the world – a hell of a good thing, I’m all for saving the world, so I told them to count me in!

    http://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2014/02/protecting-the-environment-one-sweater-at-a-time.html

    However, before making the investment in a sweater I decided to ask the Ministry about the payback on my investment – exactly how much global warming would my financial sacrifice and personal discomfort help to avert?
    Specifically, I asked them for the current conversion factor they are using for tonnes of emissions avoided and degrees of global warming averted.

    To date, the responses have been hilariously elusive while avoiding a numerical answer.

  110. It’s much easier to internalize mythology than it is to rid oneself of it. From a civilian’s repose, one is struck by all the effort made by leftists to enforce the idea that there is a consensus on CAGW hypothetically. In other fields one doesn’t hear “consensus” being discussed much. Instead you hear about competing ideas and various research projects by scientists who are competitive, and even biting at times, but ultimately collegial. I’ve had the good fortune of operating in as a spectator in such an academic are and it’s quite different from what is going on here.

    Mark Twain said what my first sentence claimed, much better than I. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” You see, the errors are mostly being made on the left, not the right. Sure dummies like Limbaugh call it a hoax but in the real world what it looks like is yet another hysterical group of leftist grasping furiously at the latest reason they can glom on to in service of destroying free markets.

    The reason this becomes politicized is BECAUSE of the stakes involved – it’s not political because ideology is primary in such policy debates. I mean, which “side” politicized global warming? The right? Really. Nope. Sure, some of them are dopes but their BS detector is directionally correct.

    There is also a legacy bipartisan environmental protection in our history actually. This has been polarized by the left, just as they do every other issue. Listen to the Dilettante in Chief daily railing about the blind obstinated, bigoted, stupidity of the Republicans. Wake up – every issue is polticized now with hysterical, wild eyed social justice warrior types making completely baseless claims, invoking science or as Obama says it “leading experts, across the ideological spectrum” to buttress their points. Those points are often barely plausible and that has become the standard on the left now.

    Facts are facts. We are here because of hysterical, dishonest and stupid leftists.

  111. PG, you deniers hold the copyright on psychological projection.

    Go to Wikipedia and look up the entry on Denial.
    There you can read how you use projection to convince yourself that you are not in denial by laying the responsibility for your actions on others.

    And of course if you don’t like what Wikipedia says you are free to edit it to your liking.

    • Webby, but William Connelly lurks in the background.

    • “PG, you deniers hold the copyright on psychological projection.”

      If you were paying attention, it would be becoming increasingly clear to you that you Warmists are the deniers now, sunshine – and that’s according to your own definition.

    • “PG, you deniers hold the copyright on psychological projection.”

      Beyond tedious, Web. Adult version of “I know you are but what am ?”
      My working presumption…as with all you batty alarmists… is that you’re a well meaning, decent guy. However comments like the one Judith took down don’t make that easy.

      If I were you I’d be grateful. She did you a favor.

      • ” you’re a well meaning, decent guy. “

        Why would anyone believe that such a condescending statement from a professional poker player is anything but a bluff? Remember the projection tactics of the denialists.

      • Except that’s not exactly what I said. I said that’s my working presumption for all you batty alarmists…though you don’t make it easy.

  112. The Wall Street Journal describes the discontinuity between liberals and progressives; the liberals will listen to opposing views and will obey the constitution. The progressives believe in shouting down speakers they disagree with, firing CEOs because of their beliefs, and re-writing the constitution. Does this sound familiar? http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:online.wsj.com/articles/charles-murray-the-trouble-isnt-liberals-its-progressives-1404170419

  113. It is over half a century since I started to study – and subsequently apply – the art of science and scientific thought, albeit as an engineer, and before the advent of climate science, and more specifically the Hockey Team version, I had never previously come across statements such as “97% of scientists believe…”, nor had I ever heard of any scientific concept, hypothesis, theory or whatever referred to in the same breath as the term “consensus”.

    That alone is quite sufficient to cause me and a huge number of others to dismiss the prognostications of such obvious charlatans completely out of hand.

    Science has never been subject to “consensus”, nor is it conducted by committees, it is most definitely NOT a beauty contest, and anyone who bandies about such plainly ridiculous statements is going to be met at best with polite incredulity.

    Surprisingly, it appears that while the majority of the lay public is fully aware of this, so-called “climate scientists” seem to have no conception whatsoever that this is the case.

    No wonder such people have little credibility, and the more frantic they become – such as proclaiming that anyone sceptical of AGW should be insulted, accused of being the worst sort of conspiracy theorist, compared unfavourably to Holocaust deniers, locked up or even killed outright – the more apparent it becomes to the vast majority of the public at large that their emperor is stark naked.

    Of course, it would help “the Cause © M. Mann” if the climate had actually co-operated by fulfilling their prophecies – but that’s a tale for another day.

  114. A pile of 97% BS says CO2 will fry us.

  115. Judith Curry,

    There is a whole section missing from my post June 30 7:18 PM including from FOMD, WHUT, JCH, myself, M. Marler, and Aphan.

    Has the Black Hole machine in Switzerland been turned on again?

  116. Steve McIntyre

    Speaking of Canada Day, there is a famous phrase from Stephen Leacock that much climate policy and “communications” reminds me of:

    Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.

    • Sounds more like climate-skepticism.

      Much running wildy about.

      Just look at the latest silliness from Goddard, Watts, et al.

  117. Record-setting heat on the US west coast!

    Golly, here at 31 degrees latitude south not too far from the ocean you could ski the frost in my paddocks! Blizzards and huge snows in the high country to the south.

    The planet has been shot. Round up all the usual suspects.

  118. I haven’t heard a peep about the OCO-2. I would’ve thought there’d be some buzz with the prospect of being able to measure CO2 and sinks to a degree of shedding some light on the subject. It was scrubbed today due to a faulty water valve on the launch pad but rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

  119. Basic maths , to know what percentage a sub group of a whole is , you first need a good idea of the size of the whole group . For instance 10 people is 10% of group of a 100 people and so you can claim that their views represent 10% of that group , easy stuff .

    First issue no one actual knows how many climate ‘scientists’ there are
    Second issue no one ever knows how many scientists there are altogether.
    Third issue, in fact there is not even an agreed definition of what a scientist actual is.

    Therefore, the idea that any number of articles or even 72 people can give you any valid evidenced to a percentage based consensus on scientific support for AGW , is both illogical and fails basic maths. What this consensus claims actual are is the same has saying nine out of ten of all cats prefer whiskers , because that is what observed when we feed ten cats different cat foods.
    And that is before we get to issues with poor design of questioners and what do we mean by support and what level of support do they give.

  120. Adam Corner of the Grauniad blathers:

    In fact, this idea gets to the heart of why debating the precise proportion of scientists who endorse the mainstream position on climate change is ultimately a distraction.

    The next thing out of his mouth ought to be “It is a distraction because the precise proportion of scientists who endorse a position is NOT a scientifically meaningful proposition.” Let us see if he gets it right:

    The more pressing challenge is creating a massively expanded social reality for climate change – one in which the things that people love and wish to protect are clearly linked in their minds to policies for confronting climate change.

    Unsurprisingly, he does not.

    Unsurprising, because Corner is not a climate scientist. Corner is a researcher who studies “the psychology of the communication of climate change.” In more plain terminology, Corner is a professional propagandist. His field of study is not about finding truth, it is about finding ways to make people believe a particular thing, whether that thing is truthful or not.

    The proportion of scientists who “endorse climate change” is irrelevant to Corner. Not because – as it should be – it is irrelevant to the truth of the global warming position, but rather because he has found that it doesn’t work as a propaganda tool. The public has come to the scientifically correct conclusion regarding the value of the manufactured “consensus”. Corner’s conundrum is how to change that, i.e. how to get the people to behave less like scientists, and more like Climate Cultists.

    True to his propagandist methods in more ways that one is his statement of the need for “…creating a massively expanded social reality for climate change – one in which the things that people love and wish to protect are clearly linked in their minds to policies for confronting climate change”. As he well knows, there is no need to create such an “expanded social reality.” It already exists. It just doesn’t look they way his politics wants it to.

    Just as the people already understood the scientific irrelevance of the manufactured “consensus”, they already understand that the things that they love and want to protect are clearly linked to the global warming policies that Corner and his political ilk are pushing with their unscientific propaganda. The people understand that those global warming policies attack the things that they love and want to protect. They understand that, and Corner understands that they understand it. So now he will have to supplement his lies about the science with lies about the policies, hoping to find one that works…

  121. Since the primary target (green central planning lust for power) are carbon based interests why is the socially preferred word “anthropologic” in the consensus loyalty oath? Why not base the question directly on “does human co2 production warm the climate”???

    No, the goal is to capture the widest and most abstract response including land use, irrigation etc. and then morph the response in the endgame to make it all about human co2 production.

    It’s starts and ends with dishonest framing since it really isn’t about “science” at all.

  122. someone needs to tell victor venema his main consensus buddies vehemently disagree with his position.victor says the ipcc provide predictions. according to dana on skeptical science they do not,they provide projections.
    personally i think they provide nothing of worth to anyone,they are certainly wrong about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming,there will be no such thing.

  123. “I actually wonder, what is a climate scientist, anyway?”

    This question points to a commonly-misused argument in the climate change discourse. Support for dominant paradigms from “inside” the climate science community are sometimes supported by analyses seeking to define who really are “climate experts.” (e.g. Anderegg). Note however that contributions that support or extend these paradigms, such as Cowtan & Way’s Science article, are welcomed in the pages of Science, despite the authors being crystallographers, as examples of cross-disciplinarity.

    I am highly critical of the “who-is-really-a-climate-expert” arguments because they do not substantively address the critiques, but rather serve to attempt to disqualify the dissidents themselves. These arguments focus on “who to believe”, or “who has credibility” rather than the merits, or lack thereof, of the arguments. This line of argument leads to an unwinnable “pissing contest” rather than a scientific discussion.

    If crystallographer Cowtan can come up with an innovative application of kriging to support greater warming than previous estimated, who do we know other domain experts (engineers, molecular biologists – who knows ?) aren’t out there with equally compelling arguments for less warming, or lower climate sensitivity, than adopted by IPCC and other synthesis studies? Are they afraid to publish these arguments and the data supporting them because they are worried they may be labeled as “deniers”? Is there some grad student out there with no publication track record, who has the “killer argument” refuting the idea of anthropogenic warming? I doubt it, but can we really rule that out?

    On one level, the answer to the question, “who is a climate expert” or “who really is a climate scientist”, is – no one. I’m being partly facetious here, but I have a serious point.

    Mostly those of us who study climate change science in its various and diverse aspects, are physicists, chemists, mathematicians, biologist, or like myself, geologists and oceanographers. (and yes I do have a record of publications in the peer-reviewed literature, before anyone uses that argument).

    So I think we need to get away from arguments about “who” is a climate scientist, think more about “what is a valid argument”.

    Will Howard

  124. Another point about “argument by credential” is its tendency to close down the range of contributions, at a time when we need all the contributions we can get from all the disciplines we can access. “Argument by credential” has a tendency to close down scientific discourse, rather than open it. The purpose of science should be to open intellectual exploration not shut it down.

    A problem with the word “consensus” is its different meanings to different communities. The word is meaningless and irrelevant in science in my view. But when scientists use this word (in my view we should go nowhere near it) they tend to be implicitly referring to consilience of multiple lines of evidence that underlie widespread agreement among scientists, or support a prevailing paradigm.

    In public political discourse “consensus” has a connotation of “majority opinion”, and many see “consensus” as implying a negotiated outcome and that is not how science usually works.

    Scientists of course don’t “negotiate” with data. We may re-analyse, re-measure, replicate, reject outliers, but we do not negotiate. If the thermometer reads 25°C, we don’t say to it, “I’d like 30; how about we settle on 27.5 ?”

    Science claims (or seeks) primacy in policy debates like that over climate change because it is rigorously based in a strict intellectual adherence to data, testability, and strongly adversarial contestability. This last point is the antithesis of “consensus.”

    Results citing “expert judgement” or “expert elicitation” (e.g. Bamber and Aspinall, 2013, An expert judgement assessment of future sea level rise from the ice sheets, Nature Climate Change, 3(4), 424-427) and some of the confidence estimates in IPCC do arise from “negotiation” of this type, and only feed the perception of a negotiated outcome.

    Cheers,
    Will Howard

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