Importance of intellectual and political diversity in science

by Judith Curry

“He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.”  – John Stuart Mill

Well, my recent post Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions has stirred up a bit of a hornets nest.  That post was motivated by reading a paper send to me by Joe Duarte, which referenced the Tetlock paper. I figured the Tetlock paper would be a good introduction to the Duarte et al. paper, which drives the topic for this post:

Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science, by José L. Duarte, Jarret T. Crawford, Charlotta Stern, Jonathan Haidt, Lee Jussim, Philip E. Tetlock.[link] to preprint.  Excerpts (JC bold):

The lack of diversity causes problems for the scientific process primarily in areas related to the political concerns of the leftareas such as race, gender, stereotyping, environmentalism, power, and inequalityas well as in areas where conservatives themselves are studied, such as in moral and political psychology. And even in those areas, we are not suggesting that most of the studies are flawed or erroneous. Rather, we argue that the collective efforts of researchers in politically charged areas may fail to converge upon the truth when there are few or no non-liberal researchers to raise questions and frame hypotheses in alternative ways.

If left unchecked, an academic field can become a cohesive moral community, creating a shared reality that subsequently blinds its members to morally or ideologically undesirable hypotheses and unanswered but important scientific questions.

Political values can become embedded into research questions in ways that make some constructs unobservable and unmeasurable, thereby invalidating attempts at hypothesis testing. The embedding of values occurs when value statements or ideological claims are wrongly treated as objective truth, and observed deviation from that truth is treated as error.

It is not just that people have different environmental attitudes; the problem is the presumption that one set of attitudes is right and those who disagree are in denial. This conversion of a widely shared political ideology into “reality,” and its concomitant treatment of dissent as denial, testifies to the power of embedded values to distort science within a cohesive moral community.

Since the enlightenment, scientists have thought of themselves as spreading light and pushing back the darkness. The metaphor is apt, but in a politically homogeneous field, a larger-than-optimal number of scientists shine their flashlights on ideologically important regions of the terrain. Doing so leaves many areas unexplored. Even worse, some areas become walled off, and inquisitive researchers risk ostracism if they venture in.

Political diversity is likely to have a variety of positive effects by reducing the impact of confirmation bias and groupthink/majority consensus. Even research communities of highly intelligent and well-meaning individuals can fall prey to confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias can become even stronger when people confront questions that trigger moral emotions and concerns about group identity. Further, group polarization often exacerbates extremism in echo chambers. Indeed, people are far better at identifying the flaws in other people’s evidence-gathering than in their own, especially if those other people have dissimilar beliefs. Although such processes may be beneficial for communities whose goal is social cohesion (e.g., a religious or activist movement), they can be devastating for scientific communities by leading to widely-accepted claims that reflect the scientific community’s blind spots more than they reflect justified scientific conclusions.

The peer review process likely offers much less protection against error when the community of peers is politically homogeneous. Confirmation biases would lead reviewers to work extra hard to find flaws with papers whose conclusions they dislike, and to be more permissive about methodological issues when they endorse the conclusions. In this way, certain assumptions, theories, and findings can become the entrenched wisdom in a field, not because they are correct but because they have consistently undergone less critical scrutiny. When most people in a field share the same confirmation bias, that field is at a higher risk of reaching unjustified conclusions. The most obvious cure for this problem is to increase the viewpoint diversity of the field. Nobody has found a way to eradicate confirmation bias in individuals, but we can diversify the field to the point where individual viewpoint biases begin to cancel each other out.

Minority influence research has focused on the processes by which minorities influence majority members’ (and thus the groups’) reasoning. Majorities influence decision-making by producing conformity pressure that creates cohesion and community, but they do little to enhance judgmental depth or quality. They also risk creating the type of groupthink that has long been a target of criticism by social psychologists.

In contrast, a dissenting minority can undermine group-cohesion norms. Such norms can become dysfunctional for scientific communities, especially when they lead those communities to sacrifice scientific skepticism for the sake of advancing a political agenda. For a scientific community, discord may be beneficial as it motivates majority members to think more deeply about the issues at stake.

Interview with Benny Peiser

So how is all this playing out with regards to climate science, and the public debate on climate change?  Some insights into the public pressure on those that are skeptical of consensus climate change science or the UNFCCC policies are provided by a recent  iaiTV interview of Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).  The title of the interview is Climate Change: a Rhetoric of Risk, with subtitle Are climate change sceptics unfairly ignored by mainstream media?  Excerpts:

So do you think that, when it comes to the media, it is a one-sided kind of alarmist perception of risk that comes into question?

Of course, because they are well-known for pointing out everything that is alarming and being silent on reports that show it is not as alarming. So you have a bias in favour of alarm, and a kind of ignoring any evidence that suggests that it might not be that alarming.

In the press, the argument has been put forward quite regularly that sceptics or critics are already over-represented in media coverage, which is said to be misleading the public. Is that a fact? Or do you think the BBC should give more air time to climate change critics/ sceptics?

Well they haven’t in the past. Take Lord Lawson. That was the first time ever that he’s been interviewed on climate change. And if you think about the hundreds of reports over the years by the BBC, climate sceptics are a very and increasingly rare species.

Climate sceptics are definitely not under-represented, but simply absent when it comes to the number of media outlets. However, because there is that bias in the BBC and other news organisations, they are finding their own outlets. The climate-sceptical bloggers are increasingly popular and have huge readerships, and a number of newspapers can see that there is a real market for more balanced views.

Why do you think that climate change discussion generally has divided largely along political lines? For example, some might associate scepticism about climate change with right wing politics etc.

Well in Europe this is not the case. That is the case in the U.S. and perhaps in Australia. In Europe, it is really that almost all parties have signed up to the climate agenda. There is no political divide on the climate agenda. I mean, it’s beginning to look as if more and more governments, both left and right, are becoming concerned because the costs are piling up and because Europe is becoming uncompetitive as a result. So there is a growing concern that Europe, through its climate policies, is damaging the economy and making energy costs ever more expensive, and that therefore European industries are becoming increasingly uncompetitive. But that is a general concern, not a left or right issue, though in the US it is, yes.

JC reflections

Benny Peiser reminds us that many of the relevant politicized issues – notably climate change – don’t break down neatly in terms of left-right, liberal-conservative outside of the U.S.  Nevertheless, these issues are politicized and ignite strong passions, including among scientists (see my previous post on AGW ideology).  IMO, the Duarte et al. article makes some powerful points that have serious implications for climate science.

We certainly see Duarte et al’s concerns playing out in social psychology research about climate denial, the Republican brain etc; see these previous posts for reference:

Having partisans analyze their opponents is a recipe for bias.

How do Duarte et al’s concerns play out in the context of actual climate science? Driven by the IPCC’s mandate to provide scientific support for UNFCCC policies, climate scientists have been encouraged by the IPCC and national funding agencies to shine their research light on anthropogenically forced climate change.  This has resulted in a very substantial neglect of solar influences on climate and natural internal variability.  The last year or so, driven by the unexplained hiatus in warming, we have seen substantially more attention being given to research on natural climate variability.  The immature state of our understanding of these topics is illustrated by the publication in Nature of the relatively naive paper linking Atlantic temperatures to Pacific trade winds (discussed yesterday here). We also see endemic problems with the peer review process, I have a forthcoming post on that topic.

So, how can we overcome such bias?  There is no obvious way to diversify the field of climate research.  Environmental and climate scientists in the U.S. are overwhelmingly liberal; Kerry Emanuel has been identified as one of the very few consensus climate scientists that is Republican (and one of the few that will interact with skeptics, see the EconTalk interview).  Attempts to get scientists with different perspectives to talk to each other have met with limited success; Climate Dialogue has made some efforts in this direction, but it has been a big challenge to get scientists from the ‘warm’ side to participate.

As an example, I have recently been invited to participate in an event that brings together climate scholars from across the spectrum.  The organizers have had difficulty recruiting scientists from the ‘warm’ side.  The assistant of one of the invitees responded to the invitation in this way:

” As a rule, Dr. XXX  has no interest in taking part in any event that continues to perpetuate the myth that scientists don’t agree that human induced climate change is a real and serious problem. Multiple studies have shown over 97% consensus.”

So, collaboration/interaction among the different sides of the scientific debate doesn’t work.  What does that leave?   Well the thing that popped into my head is: balance is NOT bias.   The media highlighting minority skeptical perspectives can provide much needed balance to the public debate and also provokes scientists to think outside their little box.  You may recall my post The Curry factor: 30 to 1, where Victor Venema argued that  For balance, for every @curryja you would need 30 from mainstream, reflecting the so-called 97% consensus.  Maybe the journalistic mandate/instincts for balance is exactly what climate science needs.

And finally, I am very pleased to have made the online acquaintance of Joe Duarte and coauthor Lee Jussim, I look forward to further interactions with them.

 groupthink 1

590 responses to “Importance of intellectual and political diversity in science

  1. Politics should be irrelevant. What protects the public from the abuse of tenure. There’s no accountability in academia.

    • Well, I am grateful for tenure. I feel pretty safe at Georgia Tech, but if I were at some other institutions without tenure I would be fearful for my job.

      • “Global climate alarmism has been costly to society, and it has the potential to be vastly more costly… [and] damaging to science, as scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions.” ~Richard Lindzen

      • Science advances from a diversity of opinions. Tenure was intended to protect that diversity of opinions in the academic community – not for the benefit of the faculty members – but to advance knowledge for the benefit of society.

        Lock-step, politically-correct, consensus science is an unfortunate by-product of the system of anonymous reviews of research proposals that NSF adopted in 1951:

        http://www.nuclearplanet.com/American%20Science%20Decline.html.

      • That’s amusing and of course scary Dr. Curry. It’s not like you didn’t vote and even donate money to the fearless one and you are arguably well inside the imagined consensus absurdly framed as it is. Dr. Lindzen was a lifetime Democrat and has undergrads interrupt him with pejoratives when he does speaking engagements on the campus he’s been associated with for over 50 years. He has family members who died in the actual Holocaust and is continually labeled a “DENIER” which is well understood in the liberal lexicon, this should require no explanation. You have liberal credentials but imagine what its like having none and going through the usual politically correct climate establishment treatment?

        There were those who were afraid to be the first ones to stop applauding at Stalin’s speeches. They had regrets but somehow they could have done much more. You’re getting close Dr. Curry, you should just cross the Rubicon already and fess up to what 45 years of green activism really was all about regarding AGW belief systems. Unvarnished as they say.

      • But Professor Curry, where would you be if you had held your current views before you had tenure? Getting tenure is great filter for heterodoxy, but I have never seen any data indicating that the granting of tenure results in a flowering of intellectual diversity. Tenure is all about making sure you belong to the group (and can bring in enough grants to keep the deans happy) and that the first filter, the hiring process, wasn’t faulty.

      • I honestly don’t know, but if I would have a chance at any institution it might be Georgia Tech. Next week is new faculty orientation. I’ve been invited to participate in the orientation in the research session, on a panel with the Associate Deans for Research of the College of Engineering and Ivan Allen College (liberal arts/social sciences). So why the heck was I invited to this? I have to admit I was a bit surprised, since I know of one person in the upper administration who really does not like what I am doing. Presumably I was invited because I am doing something really different with my tenure (and also my experience as School Chair in mentoring young faculty). I am working on my remarks right now, I will probably do a post on this next week.

      • Professor Curry I admire your courage and personal integrity, but I doubt if Georgia Tech can protect you from the wrath of the consensus community.

      • TenureTactics

        Omanuel is right. This can happen to you too.

        http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/uvm-antidarwinian.html

      • Theo Goodwin

        curryja | August 6, 2014 at 11:29 pm |

        Very interesting situation. Looking forward to your comments.

      • ” As a rule, Dr. XXX has no interest in taking part in any event that continues to perpetuate the myth that scientists don’t agree that human induced climate change is a real and serious problem. Multiple studies have shown over 97% consensus.”

        As a rule, Dr. XXX has no interest in taking part in any event where Dr. XXX would be expected to present actual real data to support the alarmist consensus that a fraction of a trace gas can regulate the temperature of earth. Dr. XXX knows that Dr. XXX has no data. Dr. XXX only has Alarmist Theory and Model Output that does not match real data. We have all seen the Model Output diverge, more and more, away from real data. The 97% consensus clique is getting smaller and smaller and not even their greatest champions want to debate, with no clothes on, in front of a group who admit they can see more than one view. It is easy to see that CO2 has diverged and exceeded the bounds of the past ten thousand years by a large amount. It is easy to see that Temperature is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years. It is easy to see that Temperature is doing just what it has done and CO2 influence on temperature is in the noise and error and is not something that can be measured.

        As to the “the wrath of the consensus community”, they have no data. Their days are numbered.
        I believe that it will not take many more years to prove that CO2 emission reduction is totally unnecessary and totally undesirable.

        Better Crop growth and better utilization of precious water will win out over flawed climate science and lack of Model output matching real data.

        The economic sense of not doing stupid stuff is also going to help.

    • on the opposite I support tenure as unlike in business, the retroaction in academic system is enforcing groupthink (See benabou) and “functional stupidity” (see Alvesson for explanation).

      the alternative to tenure is business venture.

      today most forbidden science is done by tenure, by retired scientists, by scientist in hidden military or governments labs, in private corps hidden labs, or in startups.

  2. Thank you, Professor Curry, for this post.

    We know so little and pretend to know so much.

    • David L. Hagen

      “John Stuart Mill (1859/1947) declared in On Liberty” (1863 p 71):

      The greatest orator, save one, of antiquity, has left it on record that he always studied his adversary’s case with as great, if not still greater intensity than even his own. What Cicero practiced as the means of forensic success, requires to be imitated by all who study any subject in order to arrive at the truth. He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion. (p. 36)

      Cited by Robert James Branham, Debate and Critical Analysis: The Harmony of Conflict p 98

  3. stevefitzpatrick

    Joe Duarte has correctly pointed out the potential for bias when almost everyone in a field shares a common set of ‘core values'; that is the case in climate science for certain. Entrance is self-selective towards green/left/liberal. There is, IMO, no possibility of broadening the political views in the field, since there are few conservatively inclined people who would be interest in the field, and even if they were interested, there are few professors in the field who would countenance a grad student with conservative views. The field is unwell. The cure is starvation. Defunding the most politically motivated has a wonderful way of focusing minds.

    • I think Duarte is making a mistake in lumping all Liberals into the same boat. Prejudice rears its ugly head again. Poor poor conservatives, none of them are interested in entering the climate science field, yet you complain that few professors would have them. It is not a political job and applicants should know better than to bring their political views into a scientific discipline.

      As for Peiser, I find “not that alarming” to be still alarming, it’s like saying not that pregnant.

      /rant off

      • “Not that pregnant”….
        What a strange comparison. As if there are no gradations of alarm. A little alarming is when your car sometimes exhausts some black fumes and makes a funny sound now and then.
        Very alarming is when you are driving down the highway and all of a sudden one of the cilinder heads explodes through the bonnet and the flames from the burning engine actually roast you windshield wipers to a crisp.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        The professors are the ones who should check their green/left baggage at the door. A young person interested in climate science who does not share the dominant political POV would have to be more than a little nuts to go into climate science.

      • “applicants should know better than to bring their political views into a scientific discipline”
        Never crossed a picket line have you.

      • Wijnand you might find that ignoring the little black smoke and funny noises could result in disconnects between connecting rods and pistons.
        It is not that alarming doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it is not a logical point of view.

        Steve, your bias is showing when you state that the professors should “check their green/left baggage at the door”

        Doc, ask me to pronounce unionized. I could go on a diatribe about the benefits those who have never paid union dues have received due to the efforts of those that have.

        A company I used to work for wasn’t properly paying for overtime hours until I informed them that they were not in compliance with the law. They changed their tune, non union shop in a right to work state. I think I could have lost my job but I got a big check for back pay.

        But no, I have never crossed a picket line, but then only had one opportunity to do that.

      • Bob,

        read duarte’s critique of the Moon Hoax paper and tell us what he has wrong.

        Anyone not yelling from the roof tops for the paper and Lewandowski to be thrown to the curb as complete trash is a biased, dishonest participant in the discussion.

      • “sometimes exhausts some black fumes”

        You mean like Rolling Coal???

    • 1+

      Yes Steve, they can’t be reformed. Defunding is the correct course.

    • steve,

      Maybe science affirmative action for conservatives?
      We really need to politicise the science better.

      Though I have this nagging inner sceptic that keeps on about how, until today , the ‘skeptics’ have been aghast at the ‘politicization’ of science.

      • Not quite right – it was the psychopathology of ‘climate science’ rather than the politicization.

      • Michael

        I do sometimes wonder if Judith might actually move into politics although I don’t know on what tier

        tonyb

      • I do sometimes wonder if Judith might actually move into politics although I don’t know on what tier

        “politics” derives from the Greek word for the art of living in cities (poleis, singular polis). With the internet, the whole world is one city. Some of us have realized that already, some haven’t.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Michael,
        No, no need for affirmative action to get different people entering the field. There is a need for much more selective public funding, which will protect the public’s interests better that ‘climate affirmative action’. There should be support for things that will better define climate response to forcing, like better quality aerosol data and better cloud data, but much less for duplicative modeling efforts, studies that use wildly uncertain models to make wildly uncertain predictions, and silly chicken-little scare-story studies of utter doom. The billions being wasted on modeling alone, and all the associated studies which use uncertain models to predict certain doom, could be much better spent elsewhere. The focus of publicly funded research needs to be on narrowing the uncertainty and better defining the extent of future warming, not on all the rest. If that is ‘too hard’ to do, then the public has no good reason to support climate research. Yes, GHG driven warming us real, even if poorly defined: but that is no excuse for wasting the public’s money.

    • David L. Hagen

      Better 50% funding to “Red Teams” with the opposite mandate – Study Nature and “kick tires”!

  4.  
    When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. ~Michael Crichton

    • I agree, Hopes and Dreams have little to do with judgement.

      It occurred to me today, the probability of geomagnetic storms increases with Stratospheric heating. Is the entire “Climate Change” concern based on the realization that we have created a global static solution to energy distribution? Geoengineered aerosols which act as a catalyst for an increased probability of storm events which would blind any control of military systems?

      Scary thought…

      • If the concerns have validity, why aren’t we supporting the numerous solutions to a decentralized energy solution?

        Perhaps because every Scientist who has tried has been either killed or discredited?

  5. Kerry Emmanuel claims he is a republican, but I recall him saying he voted for O. No sane republican would dare do that.

    • It was the anti-Sarah Palin effect, plus he was intrigued by O. I’ve discussed this with KE

      • I am sorry Judith. It is rather juvenile to have voted for O just because you didn’t like a certain VP candidate. If he didn’t know what O stood for by election time, than that is his problem. Once and for all, we need to stop trotting him out as the sole republican that promotes CAGW. By his actions he is NO republican.

      • Republican does not equate to conservative. Lots of Republicans voted for Obama. Lots of Republicans also favor decarbonization, socialized medicine and central planning of the economy in general.

        Paul Ryan, considered an arch conservative by anyone except actual ideological conservatives, favors a massive, activist federal government.

        I doubt most of the commenters here could actually name three prominent US conservative politicians who do not support at least one (and usually more) of these current progressive political policies – Obamacare (in some form); “global warming”/decarbonization; immigration amnesty; or abortion.

      • Gary M. – bollocks.

      • jim2,

        The logic of your counter-argument is irrefutable.

      • Gary: Lots of Republicans were not thrilled with McCain.

      • rls,

        The list of Republican “leaders” with whom conservatives are not thrilled is long and distinguished.

      • Gary: Agree:)

      • I actually liked Palin. She’s smarter and more moderate than she was made out to be. The persona she’s taken on since then though…

        I saw McCain as just another congressmen. Could have flipped a coin between him and Obama. Legislators have no business in the executive chair. President’s primary function should be to guide and keep congress in check.

        At least Palin was an executive.

      • Paul Ryan, considered an arch conservative by anyone except actual ideological conservatives, favors a massive, activist federal government.

        Think that’s bad? Take a look at his primary challenger, also named Ryan!

      • Aaron, she was also far more experienced in governing than our current President.

        Talk about ones bias affecting their judgment, people who criticized Palin’s lack of experience were able to turn a blind eye to Obama having less.

    • David Brooks claims to be a Republican while shoveling who knows what to whom on PBS and the NYTimes. Just one example of a failed party ID.

    • We had essentially 8 years of a progressive GOP President who pandered to liberal domestic interests; expanded medicare (free drugs), No-Child, higher spending and deficits and was flat out wiling to make a co2 compromise at certain points. That would have institutionalized it forever right there, a disaster averted.

      In the end “Bush = Hitler = Right Wing Fanatic” becomes the mantra of the mob in power. That Hitler was a leftist or Bush a moderate on domestic policy makes no matter. The GOP label requires a nuanced view. 125 million voted last go around and it’s impossible if not even undesirable they would all ideologically filter into two exact groups either voting or running for office.

      Perhaps KE is a sock puppet Republican, it really doesn’t matter. Lindsey Graham and John McCain shouldn’t matter going forward either at the national level. The make “nice” phase is over, just look at the total balance sheet and what has been printed. It’s called “unsustainablity”. Crony greenfraud and authority grasping is going on the block, an easy correction other then the reaction of fringe.

      • cwon: This might be relevant to the “degradations of alarm” discussion:
        My jaw dropped when I first heard the claim that waterboarding is torture. Pulling out fingernails and eyeballs is torture. But how does sleep deprivation and waterboarding make it into the same list? And when McCain and (Lindsey Graham?) sided with the waterboarding-is-torture crowd I decided that they are looney.

      • cwon14 Re: Tetlock’s book.
        I like what Louis Menand of The New Yorker had to say “But the best lesson of Tetlock’s book may be the one that he seems most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself.”

        Tetlock’s book was published 8 yrs ago…has there been any kind of examination of ‘experts’ with his book in mind, any lessening of the use of experts in the media to push partisan points?

        The Zeitgeist of our culture is Left Wing Progressivism, an anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-liberty political ideology that runs on fear and envy with heaping amounts of nihilism and misanthropy. If you wonder why the ‘green’ movement can propose solutions to ‘might be problems’ that require large swaths of humanity be relegated to subsistence living, don’t agonize over why, just understand what under-girds their political philosophy of life.

        This rise of Progressivism has been like a plague in thought, sweeping across Western Civilization that seems to coincide with the declaration by Nietzsche of the death of God. While one can wave adieu to religious babble and find enough historical barbarism in Judaism and Christianity and enough barbarism in today’s Islam to wish them to disappear forever, it is the height of hubris of the modern day New Atheist (I myself am a lifelong atheist but an epistemological one) to think that all that is attached to religion is negative and that science can replace the role religion played/plays in people’s lives. (Which isn’t to ignore the problems religion creates when it has power.)

        One of the things that religion has provided is an entity, God, which people could give their hearts, love and loyalty to, that was walled off from the STATE. Tear down that wall and you breach one of the impediments to the STATE having complete and total control over the population. Richard Dawkins, whatever the value of his work in biology, would love nothing better than to be one of the High Priests of Science dictating how people should live their lives with Sam Harris the High Priest of Neurology feeding the system with ‘science’ to rationalize the control. Progressivism has risen to take it’s place, with ‘science’ as the rationale for all sorts of plans to enact the basic impulses of the fearful and envious. Everything must come to a stop. (For the little people, the great despised unwashed, whose only value lies in their vote and isn’t that tedious having to persuade people to vote?) Notice that it is mostly Left Wing groups that want to freeze everything in place by using the STATE as the boot to stomp on anyone that gets out of line.

        The Left is genetically in love with stasis. In love with top down, command and control economies, with people being ranked by status which Progressives define on a whim. Where is the rally for women’s rights by Left Wing feminists for the women of Afghanistan? As has been said, “All evil needs to get a purchase is for good men to do nothing.” The ‘good men’ who did nothing here were the good men who professed a belief in Liberty yet sat by and did nothing while Marxists (just another name for Progressives) stole the Universities and Media and went unchallenged as they brought in their misanthropic, nihilistic, anti-freedom ideas and sloganeering to all walks of life. They have been in the trenches and fighting dirty for over a 100 years and who has been their opponent other than the lethargy of resistance to change. (And the constitution which they attack daily). Where are the intellectual champions of Liberty, of economics infused with liberty otherwise known as free enterprise? Where have been the academics and the scientists to speak out vociferously on behalf of Liberty. The scientists took the government grants, worked to increase the size and scope of the Federal Leviathan and looked the other way. Short term self-interest rules not only many businesses but many academics as well. Who has stood up to say our whole educational establishment with it’s built in socialism is rotten to the core? Who will challenge a system that is rotten to the core when there is still so much largesse to be had for the taking and it’s so easy to get more?

        The wealthiest nation in the history of man provides many many years of theft for those who can stomach being thieves. And Progressives are nothing if they are not thieves who steal language and corrupt it to their foul ends, and think nothing of stealing people’s right to determine their own lives, set their own goals, live with the consequences of their actions.

    • Richard Alley also claims to be a republican. Does anyone actually believe him?

  6. It’s always interesting to watch conservatives arguing in favor of multi-culturalism, diversity, and political correctness.

    A question for Joe: I have seen evidence of your political ideology but I don’t know that of your co-author.

    Can you tell me something about Lee’s politics?: Without that information it is difficult for me to prejudge your work.

    • John Carpenter

      “Without that information it is difficult for me to prejudge your work.”

      Heh, that’s not how to account for your bias Joshua. Sarcasm always carries an element of truth.

      • The over/under for Joshua on this topic is 35 posts.

      • Joshua’s over/under…

        Never has so much been written about so little, to such tedious effect.

      • Sarcasm – one more thing Josh doesn’t do well.

        As for the over / under, I will go with the under, as in underwhelming.

      • I was thinking the same thing. Joshua has a rare moment of honesty.

      • Actually, this is about the third or forth political finger-point in the past few weeks. It didn’t take Joshua long to question Lee’s political orientation and he would have a fit if the Vestals of Climate Science were inspected in such a fashion. The usual MO, next the projection of himself as “objective” and reason based.

        The bullets are exhausted.

    • Apparently y’all don’t understand. I need to know Lee’s politics so I can judge their work not based on the merits of their work, but on their political orientation as a group.

      I already know that Joe is a “conservative” or “libertarian,” or something along that line.

      So if Lee has the same political orientation – their work lacks a diverse perspective. Obviously, their work would be a matter of groupthink – and so I can just dismiss it.

      We don’t need to evaluate their methodology or their control for bias. No need. All we need to do is look at their orientation as a team.

      Now if Lee’s politics are different than Joe’s, I’ll know that I can trust their work. Again – no need to take the time to examine their methodology. Alls I have to do is assess their political orientation.

      Even more so if I arbitrarily decide that they are “activists” pushing a particular point of view.

      No sarcasm at all. I am just following Joe’s line of thinking because of its brilliance.

      • Tetlock, another middling academic liberal if you do the research, sort of triggered a minor mental and board breakdown Joshua. His basic thesis, requiring about 28000 samples was that experts are no more effective in making predictions then throwing darts or asking your barber;

        One good synopsis of 20th century history and he could have saves the costs of the samples.

        You’re post is the usual muddle, that the IPCC is a creature of state interests. That climate academics are largely ideologically uniform to expanding state controls and activism is reduced to pointless comparison on a blog post?

      • cwon –

        Did you read his findings with respect to the correlation between political orientation and the veracity of experts’ predictions?

      • Coauthor Jonathan Haidt says:
        “I am not a conservative”. He says he’s a centrist and he dislikes the Republican party
        (Go to his web page and follow the link to ‘partisanship in the social sciences’)

      • Joshua, OK I’ll bite. You claim to need to know someone’s politics to judge their work on the basis of their politics?
        Or as you put it on their group orientation?
        So you will take 2 people out of 6 and that let’s you decide on the politics of the whole group?
        It is a group of 6 listed authors.
        Perhaps you had better start your argument again, slowly, with a little bit of sense.
        And perhaps you could play the argument and not the people.
        Politics does not have to have anything to do with a good scientific argument but it sure has a lot to do with a bad one.
        I wonder if you would enlighten us on the type of political view someone who put up your argument would be likely to have for instance?
        And I am sure it would not be your political view, would it.

      • cwon14 Re: Tetlock’s book.
        I like what Louis Menand of The New Yorker had to say “But the best lesson of Tetlock’s book may be the one that he seems most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself.”

        Tetlock’s book was published 8 yrs ago…has there been any kind of examination of ‘experts’ with his book in mind, any lessening of the use of experts in the media to push partisan points?

        The Zeitgeist of our culture is Left Wing Progressivism, an anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-liberty political ideology that runs on fear and envy with heaping amounts of nihilism and misanthropy. If you wonder why the ‘green’ movement can propose solutions to ‘might be problems’ that require large swaths of humanity be relegated to subsistence living, don’t agonize over why, just understand what under-girds their political philosophy of life.

        This rise of Progressivism has been like a plague in thought, sweeping across Western Civilization that seems to coincide with the declaration by Nietzsche of the death of God. While one can wave adieu to religious babble and find enough historical barbarism in Judaism and Christianity and enough barbarism in today’s Islam to wish them to disappear forever, it is the height of hubris of the modern day New Atheist (I myself am a lifelong atheist but an epistemological one) to think that all that is attached to religion is negative and that science can replace the role religion played/plays in people’s lives. (Which isn’t to ignore the problems religion creates when it has power.)

        One of the things that religion has provided is an entity, God, which people could give their hearts, love and loyalty to, that was walled off from the STATE. Tear down that wall and you breach one of the impediments to the STATE having complete and total control over the population. Richard Dawkins, whatever the value of his work in biology, would love nothing better than to be one of the High Priests of Science dictating how people should live their lives with Sam Harris the High Priest of Neurology feeding the system with ‘science’ to rationalize the control. Progressivism has risen to take it’s place, with ‘science’ as the rationale for all sorts of plans to enact the basic impulses of the fearful and envious. Everything must come to a stop. (For the little people, the great despised unwashed, whose only value lies in their vote and isn’t that tedious having to persuade people to vote?) Notice that it is mostly Left Wing groups that want to freeze everything in place by using the STATE as the boot to stomp on anyone that gets out of line.

        The Left is genetically in love with stasis. In love with top down, command and control economies, with people being ranked by status which Progressives define on a whim. Where is the rally for women’s rights by Left Wing feminists for the women of Afghanistan?

        As someone said, “All evil needs to get a purchase is for good men to do nothing.” The ‘good men’ who did nothing here were the good men who professed a belief in Liberty yet sat by and did nothing while Marxists (just another name for Progressives) stole the Universities and Media and went unchallenged as they brought in their misanthropic, nihilistic, anti-freedom ideas and sloganeering to all walks of life. They have been in the trenches and fighting dirty for over a 100 years and who has been their opponent other than the lethargy of resistance to change. (And the constitution which they attack daily).

        Where are the intellectual champions of Liberty, of economics infused with liberty otherwise known as free enterprise? Where have been the academics and the scientists to speak out vociferously on behalf of Liberty. The scientists took the government grants, worked to increase the size and scope of the Federal Leviathan and looked the other way. Short term self-interest rules not only many businesses but many academics as well. Who has stood up to say our whole educational establishment with it’s built in socialism is rotten to the core? Who will challenge a system that is rotten to the core when there is still so much largess to be had for the taking and it’s so easy to get more?

        The wealthiest nation in the history of man provides many, many years of theft for those who can stomach being thieves. And Progressives are nothing if they are not thieves who steal language and corrupt it to their foul ends, and think nothing of stealing people’s right to determine their own lives, set their own goals, live with the consequences of their actions.

        Marxists gave us a choice in the 50’s…’Better Red than Dead.’ The implication being that the only alternative was ‘Better Dead than Red.’ Then a Russian who was also a champion of Liberty redefined the field and said ‘Better the Reds Dead.’ We have choices to make but the battle isn’t on the field of science.

    • Joe –
      Angech below has been kind enough to point out that there were 6 authors, not 2.

      So I need to up my request. Could you please supply me with information about the political orientation for all 6 authors. Otherwise, I won’t know if your research is biased by groupthink. I have recently learned that we don’t need to examine researchers’ methodology to determine if their work is flawed, what we need to do is examine their political beliefs.

      So I figure it like this: I know that you’re a “conservative” or “libertarian” or something along those lines. So if 4 of your co-authors have similar political beliefs (on some unspecified group of issues), I can just go ahead and dismiss your work. Afterall, a lack of diversity as seen in 5 of the 6 authors having similar politics would invalidate your research. By the same token, if all of the other authors share a different political orientation than you (as defined by some vague impression on your part without detailed and validated metrics for how you’re making that determination), then I can just dismiss your work for that reason also.

      I figure that if 4 of the 6 authors share a political orientation it might put your work into question, but not so much as to just dismiss it out of hand. In that case, I might have to look at your methodology to make a determination.

      Of course, the ideal would be if 3 out of the 6 share political beliefs. If that’s the case, then I can just accept your work w/o reviewing the methodology.

      And please let me know if any of your co-authors are “activists” as defined in some vague and unqualified way – because subjectively determining who is and isn’t an activist is also key information for assessing the veracity of scientific research.

      Thanks in advance.

      • I know that you’re a “conservative” or “libertarian” or something along those lines.

        Funny how “smart and knowledgeable people” sometimes fail to use their higher-order analytical skills to confirm their biases, isn’t it? Oh wait! You’re always playing “dumb”. If you really are color-blind to that part of the spectrum, perhaps you should get a spectroscope.

      • AK –

        Have you read Joe’s website where he talks about his political orientation?

      • Joshua | August 7, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        “And please let me know if any of your co-authors are “activists” as defined in some vague and unqualified way – because subjectively determining who is and isn’t an activist is also key information for assessing the veracity of scientific research.”

        It seems fairly obvious that they all are – they want to politicise an area of scientific research (such as it is), what’s that but activism??

        Activists writing a paper calling for more activism.

        I’m going to write a long-winded ranty email to the journal, demanding, DEMANDING they retract.

      • Michael –

        I agree with your suggestion for how to solve the problem. Affirmative action.

      • @Joshua…

        See here.

        I don’t usually dig into the “political” leanings of people whose science (or “science”) I read, but in response to your comment I looked:

        Relatedly, my debunkings of invalid and leftist-biased social science and rigged climate consensus studies should not imply that I’m a conservative (or an AGW skeptic.) I just happened to be born during a bad time for academia, especially the humanities, and by proximity, the social sciences (which are quite young, as sciences go – I tend to think in terms of centuries and millenia, not years or decades.) Since there’s almost no intellectual diversity, and no bias-correction procedures, one ideology has become embedded in ostensibly scientific research – sometimes invalidating that research in surprising ways. I don’t want to be the retraction guy or the validity cop – I’d much rather have been born into an advanced civilization, where it would be impossible to do “science” with such crude biases and invalid methods, where I’d never have to deal with such obvious malpractice (if original position preference reasoning has any meaning.) I like to do things that are hard, not things that are easy or obvious. A lot of the scam research is obvious, and civilization shouldn’t need random Mexicans to come along and point it out.

        I think it’s obscene to even need to talk about my politics, but the first thing a lot of modern academics do in the face of dissent is to question “motives”, or highlight the dissenter’s heterodox political leanings, as though politics is the alpha and the omega. I am not a conservative or a Republican (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) I’m a secular libertarian, mostly, but I’m going through a slow inventory process, and offer no guarantees about the libertarian purity of my views circa 2018. I think conservatives have good intuitions in some areas, but conservatism seems more a horrified reaction to the left than an integrated political philosophy. I’m arrogrant, but ultimately I favor a baseline epistemic modesty – a real consideration that we might be wrong, about a lot. I don’t think you can be a good scholar if you never consider that your basic framework – your deepest assumptions – might simply be wrong. Academic and scientific monocultures worry me.

        Notice the distinction he makes between “conservative” and “secular libertarian”! I’ll reiterate my suggestion that you’re color-blind to that part of the spectrum, which demonstrates your own political bias. Get a clue!

      • AK –

        Gotta limit my comments. For now, I’ll just say that I’ll leave it to you and Joe and GaryM to hash out your presctiptivist, binary, and definitive pronouncements about political taxonomy. I’m more of a descriptivist, and I happen to believe that overly-presciptive assertions about political taxonomy are invariably self-serving and unscientifically subjective (perhaps you might read Kahan about “liberal” vs “conservative” w/r/t his world view matrix).

        You will note that what I said was:

        I know that you’re a “conservative” or “libertarian” or something along those lines.

        I was deliberately broad in my reference.

        One of my points is that Joe’s thesis is based on subjective determinations in how he defines political orientation (and “activism”).

        The only problem is that I need to know the political orientation of his fellow authors whether that is really a problem. I can’t judge his work merely on a subjectivity of his analysis until I know the aggregate political beliefs of his cohort.

        But thanks for the advice. I’ll go out and purchase a clue later today.

      • Steven Mosher

        I love this

        “We could not get this published. It was rejected at two separate journals. Finally, we decided to bag every mention of liberals being more biased than conservatives, and resubmitted it to another journal. This time, it was accepted. Now, even though the text does not mention finding that liberals were more biased than conservatives, the pattern is right there, in the data reported in tables and figures, for anyone to see. The paper shows that liberals are more biased than conservatives, at least when and how we studied it. Neither I nor Jarret would or did claim that such a pattern is always necessarily true. But it was true in our data. We were just not permitted to say so.”

  7. Curious George

    A man with a clock knows what time it is. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  8. Palo Alto Ken

    The intrusions of values into research has been a problem for economics for a very long time. In the late 1970’s when price inflation was a major economic and political topic of concern, the San Francisco Chronicle published extensive interviews with four Nobel Laureate economists, who were asked to explain their policy solutions to reduce inflation.

    Each article ran many columns of news print and I read each completely. At the end I realized I had wasted my time since the preferred policy choices of those four economists were predicted exactly by their known political affiliations: 3 Democrats for “incomes policy”, a euphemism for price controls, and 1 libertarian for reducing the growth rate of the money supply.

  9. Danley Wolfe

    Admittedly not having studied this post carefully, my reaction is diversity in scientific opinion should be welcomed and not denied, and once welcomed, science itself will determine worthiness of individual ideas and opinions. Unfortunately that’s not how climate science works. Denying diversity is the same as the prosecutor judging his own case.

    • “my reaction is diversity in scientific opinion should be welcomed and not denied”

      About 15% of grant applications are funded; you think trying to challenge a dogma is going to get funded?
      Seriously, a single panel member deducting one point is enough not to get funded and you think making waves works?

      • How about more diversity in funding? In economics, there are think tanks, such as the Reason Foundation, that do studies challenging the Keynesian orthodoxy.

      • You can’t rely on the government, or other bureaucratic institutions, to fund revolutionary science. But it’s not impossible, not even implausible, that a few people with a lot of money might use some of it that way.

        But once they set up a “foundation”, and pass on leaving its management to heirs and/or some bureaucratic management structure, it will quickly evolve into one more pillar of the consensus.

        IMO of course. Think of it as an hypothesis in socio-economics.

  10. Theo Goodwin

    I am very pleased to see the Duarte paper. I hope to see many more like it.

    The very idea of “consensus on the climate” was a marketing ploy from the very beginning. One advantage of using it is that those who disagree with you are marginalized by definition.

    By the way, the name is John Stuart Mill. No ‘s’.

  11. Jose Duarte has also stepped into the John Cook et al. 97% Consensus foolishness:

    http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/ignore-climate-consensus-studies-based-on-random-people-rating-journal-article-abstracts

    “Jesus. This is a joke. A sad, ridiculous joke. And it’s exactly what you’d expect from raters who are political activists on the subject they’re rating.”

    And the Lewandowsky Moon-landing (etc) horsesh-t:

    http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/more-fraud

    –also worth reading. Courageous fellow.

    • I’m a PhD candidate in Social Psychology at Arizona State University. I research envy, and I also work on issues of methodological validity in social science. Beyond that, I’m deeply interested in philosophy of science, the misuse of statistics, and how to be a good scientific consumer.

      Young enough to be Naively idealistic about science.

  12. Craig Loehle

    People think of values only in terms of human society, but it can infect the scientist’s view of nature as well. For example, in ecology there has long been a bias that nature develops toward an “optimal” (ie, “good”) state in some sense, but this led to all sorts of humanizing of biological processes. The process of evolution in fact makes it almost impossible for whole ecosystems to be co-evolved because the spatial scales don’t match up, the interests of the species conflict, etc. The idea of coevolution of the whole ecosystem leads to silly ideas like that mice are evolved to sacrifice themselves to feed carnivores. This same bias leads to the ascribing of “goodness” to old ecosystems (ie old-growth forests) whereas they are merely what we humans prefer. This preference led scientists to assume that all ecosystem attributes are highest in old-growth, but this is not true and many threatened birds in US, for example, require open habitat. Many species, even trees, require fire to persist. This message has gradually gotten through in some degree but the idea that nature somehow “prefers” to be untouched persists.
    The science of animal behavior has had to struggle with first the tendency to anthropomorphize animals, and then to deny that animals have any emotions at all, each group-think position causing many topics to be off-limits for many years.
    The dogma of gene-protein-function caused a 50 year delay in the ability to study and understand epigenetics, in which genes are turned on or off. Examples are variegated leaves in garden plants which may revert to uniform color and in which the morph is heritable. But this obvious example was simply ignored because it threatened to upset the apple cart of genetics.
    Thus there are many cases in which an agreed view of the world impairs progress. Uniformitarianism in geology is another example. I could go on.

    • I think humanizing is all to the good when discussing how the rest of the world bears on humans. It’s anthropomorphizing nature that gets us into trouble. ‘Gaia’ isn’t ‘angry’ with us for our past misdeeds. The ‘planet’ doesn’t have a ‘fever.’

    • “The idea of coevolution of the whole ecosystem leads to silly ideas like that mice are evolved to sacrifice themselves to feed carnivores”

      No, Toxoplasma gondii has evolved to make mice sacrifice themselves to feed cats.

      • It’s true in a sense mice evolving to sacrifice themselves to feed predators. Not willfully of course but rather the reproductive strategy of the species. Females reach sexual maturity at 4-8 weeks and have about 35 offspring per year. Wild mice live up to five years in captivity but only about 6 months in the wild mostly due to predation.

        So the species did evolve to reproduce with such rapidity and in such large number that a few survive predation long enough to reproduce. This can be viewed, not unreasonably, as a cooperative arrangment between species. The female mouse produces 35 offspring in a year sacrificing 34 so she may keep one. So rather than viewing the predator/prey relationship as survival of the fittest one might view it as collective bargaining instead.

      • Mice are evolved to feed their less-successful relatives to carnivores. Survival of the fittest.

    • +100 Craig.

      I’ve heard the term The Disney Effect.

    • If it’s all a grand noncooperative game between replicators, there’s virtually zero chance the collected behavior optimizes anything at all.

    • Craig, I suspect that this moral intuition, e.g. “It is natural and therefore good” isn’t teleological at all, but rather deontic. In that case, “optimal” and “good” (really “right”) are not ethical synonyms. I’m with you but just sayin.

    • Perhaps I know too many foresters, but they never seem to think an ‘over-mature’ tree is a good thing. I don’t think anyone who had to clear virgin forest to raise a crop was much of a tree-hugger either, but a mature forest can be a quite restful ‘cathedral’ for someone who needs respite from the city. Also, mature forests are quite rare now, and people value rarity.

      So, I suppose I agree with you that human cultural biases invade scientific thought, but to bring the discussion back on topic: would a department of Clementians have ever hired a raving, climax-denying Gleasonian? How common is the ability to tolerate different belief systems in academic science? Is Climate Science the exception or the rule?

      If diversity is difficult to maintain within a group, then more groups is a possible solution: more and smaller departments instead of fewer and larger departments as has been the trend over recent decades.

  13. We have a more diverse society than ever and it continues to send people to political office who continue to lie to us. Accordingly, we’ve got plenty of political diversity that is reflected in a politicized academia.

    I don’t think much can happen at the federal level. George Bush stood on the neck of liberal fascism for eight years but couldn’t stop it. I do not believe there will be any real change until it occurs at the local level –e.g., as occurred in Wisconsin.

    The entire government-education complex needs a thorough airing out and it’s going to be a fight. Look for the state fall down and roll over, bloated belly-up, efore such changes occur in, for example, in California.

    If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course.” ~Ayn Rand

    • Wag,
      It is already a fight. But the climage CAGW meme continues to dominate. Given the hiatus the measurements shifted to deep ocean heat, then extreme events and some other aspect. It will take years of the hiatus, no temp increases in the ocean and to increases in ice and polar bears.
      California has $.5/gal higher gas prices than the rest of the country because the prop 32 controls on green house emissions and block fracking in the monterey shale. Eventually the sheeple will notice other parts of the country but for now they are blind to cause and effect in areas outside of climate science CO2 to increased temperatures. CA still blames the water shortage on CO2 but ignores the centuries long dry spells in 900 to 1300 AD.
      Scott

      • It is the people who are dragging Western civilization down. Global warming mania is just a symptom to that. So, we’ll see how it goes.

        Still, life can be comfortable in a declining society. So, these things take time. As it is now, PhDs are using their sheepskins like law degrees and doing nothing more than using their education to represent their clients, for money.

        The fall of Eurocommunism might help to serve as a wake-up call. But, we’ve already seen the failure of secular-socialism.

        And then, there are always the big events that are beyond our control that serve to focus our attentions in unexpected ways and sometimes shape the course of history.

        Unfortunately, so far it is the Left that seems to have mastered the use of such events to its advantage (e.g., Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste).

  14. Dr. Curry — I believe it was last year(?) or very early this year(?) that you wrote a CE blog defining 3 principle hypotheses of what’s going on with Global Warming. Maybe it was 4 hypotheses (with one being an offshoot of the three).

    Could you provide the link to this blog entry?

    I remember in the blog comments a discussion that “poking holes in Theory X, doesn’t prove Theory Y”.

    Thx

  15. Geoff Sherrington

    There is far too much grading of global warming science with criteria related to acceptance by others.
    Science should be graded by its results, in terms of how well the initial hypothesis was satisfied.
    To clarify by analogy using my career research field in mineral exploration. Your success is not tied to how well your colleagues and bystanders write about your work, in terms like ‘Lovely modelling algorithm used here.’
    Correctly, your success is tied to the value of your new mineral disoveries. That is the bottom line.
    It matters little what the chattering class spruiks about how you got to the bottom line.
    The bottom line for GHG global warming is ‘What is the quantitative relation between GHG levels in the air and its temperature in the complete natural system?’
    Years into the topic, we have no answer. We d not even know which of T or GHG is the dependent variable
    Discusion of the merits, skills, politics, methods etc of global warming investigators is a waste of time. The bottom line has not been satisfied.
    Surely it is time for GHG researchers to admit failure and to withdraw from the public gaze, instead of creating more and more excuses for non-performance in the testing of the prime hypothesis.

    • >We do not even know which of T or GHG is the dependent variable

      Yep

      Or even if either is totally dependent on the other

  16. “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” – John Stuart Mills

    Or if you know only one side, one does not need to know much.

    And it follows that the cheapest and least effort is to teach or learn is by focusing on one side- assuming one wants the shallow appearance of knowing something.
    And therefore a system of education will “naturally” tend towards teaching one side- if the purpose of education is confined within economical restraints. Which, is the case with all modern public educational systems- if proof of the obvious is needed, it’s evidenced by it being consistently modeled upon a factory/industrial paradigm.

    An easy solution is for public education to focus things which have one side
    of the case- reading, writing and arithmetic.
    Anything regarded as political is obviously not one sided. .

  17. Hurrah for the reason of Duarte!

    ‘Although such processes may be beneficial for communities whose goal is social cohesion (e.g., a religious or activist movement), they can be devastating for scientific communities’

    The evolved tendancy for consensus is indeed to glue larger and larger communities together, and the social mechanisms underlying this enabled the birth of civilisations. But those same mechanisms, potent by virtue of their past immense value, can be massively arresting to the domain of science, and need constantly to be resisted. Diversity is good medicine.

  18. Jose Duarte writes on twitter, that he has already contacted the editor of Psychological Science, stating the Nasa faked the Moon landing, therefore (climate) Science is a hoax – Lewandowsky et al – should be retracted

    Barry Woods ‏@BarryJWoods 3h
    @ValidScience drop an email to Prof Erich Eich. Chief Ed of Psychological Science, see what response you get. @etzpcm

    Joe Duarte (José) ‏@ValidScience 2h
    @BarryJWoods @etzpcm I’ve already called for retraction, contacted editor, await decision, and expect retraction. We can’t lie in papers.

    I wish him very good luck with that, the response, if any should be interesting..

    with reference to his blog, and he does not exactly hold back with his criticism of Prof Lewandowsky’s work!

    http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/more-fraud

    http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/lewandowsky-fraud

  19. Speaking of intellectual and political diversity, or rather, the lack of it, I read some AGW related garbage in the “Common Core” requirements for schools. It was truly horrifying and pure propaganda, a nasty bit of venality that I am saddened to hear is already adopted pretty much everywhere…

  20. Todays generally accepted left-right paradigm, with modern Democrats labeling themselves as “liberal” (on the left) and modern Republicans being known as “conservative” (on the right) is an inaccurate (and I submit purposefully deceitful) description of the range of potential governance designs.

    In truth, Governance/government design is a scale with “total government” on the left ranging to “no government” on the right.

    On the left: Total government as exemplified by a strong centralized government, (command and control) exemplified historically by monarchies and their nobles which in modern times have been replaced with one of Marx’s designs (fascism, communism, or socialism (total democracy)).

    On the right: No government and total anarchy.

    In the middle: CONSTITUTIONAL MODERATES: True liberalism (the original “radical”) is exemplified by Thomas Jefferson’s design, Individual liberty protected by a “limited government” of enumerated powers, protecting and preserving nearly all other “powers” in “the People” (individuals) and their “local” governments.

    Today’s Democrats and Republicans political parties are not left and right, but up and down, and are in fact both LEFT wing parties with modern “classical liberals” being in the middle; to the right of all left wing radicals (fascists, communists, and socialists) and to the left of the right wing anarchists. With this purposeful mis-labeling, the left wing radicals removed from the majority’s conceptual horizon, the very ideals of Constitutionally, limited, power and governance.

    I urge all to consider Donald Kagan’s 2013 remarks describing the historically “liberal education” and how true liberal thought is no longer tolerated in higher education in “Ave atque vale” hosted at the New Criterion. Please consider and contrast with today’s modern education.

    http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Ave-atque-vale-7653

    • “In truth, Governance/government design is a scale with “total government” on the left ranging to “no government” on the right”

      One of the great lies in the conventional wisdom regarding politics in America.

      The right is all for government as long as it is small, efficient, honest and fair-minded, the exact opposite of what lefties want (huge, dishonest and biased).

      Disagree? Example one is Barry Obama.

    • “On the right: No government and total anarchy.”

      I believe it’s pretty obvious that the right doesn’t want the government to go bankrupt and therefore have government cease to exist.
      In comparison the collapse of US government is the main topic of the wet dreams of all Marxists. Even the idea that such a collapse could increase the chance global nuclear war, appaarently does not seem to dampen their enthusiasm.

      Though the rampant US government spending is seen as something which could cause the US government to collapse, and one could say right winger tend to be overly concerned about this possibility- and doing stuff to prepare themselves for what they see as possible future.
      Though it’s not just crazy right wingers that think this is possibility.

      I think think the main problem with this idea of US collapsing is that US is saved by a world in which other countries are not doing much better.
      So, the rest of the world still tends to see the dollar as safe haven- meaning they see other currencies at are more of risk of collapse.

      So if example the US government was spending less than 30% of GDP, it seems less people would worried about US government ending. And a government which only spends say 3 trillion dollars a year, is not a “no government”.

      Wiki:
      “Government spending in the United States of America occurs at several levels of government, including primarily federal, state, and local governments. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that total federal, state and local spending in the United States was $6.134 trillion in 2010.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending#As_a_percentage_of_GDP

      So a government which didn’t tax more than 20% and spent less than 30% of nation’s GDP, it would not be nonexistent.
      Though would be a rare government.
      From above:
      Hong Kong tax burden: 14.2 and % of GDP: 18.5
      Mexico tax burden:10.6 and % of GDP: 26.6
      United States tax burden: 25.1 and % of GDP: 41.6
      China 19.0 23.9
      Cuba 24.4 66.7
      Denmark 48.1 57.6

      I would guess the right wingers would be quite happier if US government’s budget and taxes was more similar to Hong Kong or China, rather attempting to be than be more like, Cuba or Denmark.
      If instead of over 6 trillion dollars, the governments of the US only spend 3 trillion dollars, it would still spend far more money than any other government in the world [excluding EU].
      And you imagines the total amount of money spent on governments indicated how great and wonderful the government is, then again there is no comparison: US is very great and wonderful government.

      Or rather than reduce government spending, an alternative solution [which is very alien concept these days] is to not to pass laws which will knowingly result in a decrease in the nation’s economic growth.

  21. The problem with “intellectual and political diversity in [climate] science” is not an insufficiency or balance in opinions, viewpoints, schools of thought, or beliefs. The problem is that it is infected with any.

  22. But…..but….it isn’t a “conspiracy” right?;

    http://mediatrackers.org/national/2014/08/05/cnn-huffpo-reuters-contributors-reporters-part-leftwing-network

    Are we seriously saying there isn’t similar affiliations in the climate science community? The academic community? We should talk about how it actual is before making incomplete reforms based on incomplete assessments of what goes on. Duarte touches on it well but why even quote the fictitious “97%” propaganda talking point as having any rational foundation at all as rebuttal? Warmists don’t have a rational argument, with the assistance of a thug media complex that shares their voting record they had power and have exercised it for the past 50 years in particular.Once again Dr. Curry, you give them cover while pointing out their abuses. Come clean and really light up twitter. What’s another 500k in hate tweets after all?

    There comes a point any number of intellectual abuses that are standard form in the AGW advocate community should identified and simply condemned in public statements by people claiming to take leadership roles in the public debate. It shouldn’t take ten thousand words and equivocations either. “There are no valid surveys of 97% of alleged climate scientists endorsing IPCC conclusions” and “the claims reflect partisan activist bias in the framing of the clearly distorted 97% propaganda media talking point” and “only the uninformed and partisan inclined would attempt to invoke debunked 97% consensus claims”.

    Warmists don’t debate because they lose, they cast their lot on a partisan alliance with government planners and tools such as the rotting MSM system. Report it as it is Dr. Curry then condemn it.

    • cwon,

      It’s just post modern jounolism.

    • You would make a good Pharisee cwon.

      A valuable concept I learned in the service was that perfect is the enemy of good enough. You seem to expect perfection from Dr Curry and miss how she is being good enough on the discussion.

      • The broader point timg56, she preserves much of the farce even as she exposes it. Don’t you wonder why?

      • No cwon, I don’t wonder. There are better thongs to ponder than that.

        I’d wager I could find a 75% level of agreement with you if we were to sit down to a wide ranging conversation. But it is my opinion that you reduce your credibility by your continuing critical insistence that Judith act as you think she should.

      • Pondering thongs, eh tim?

        Now that’s a typo I would be very proud of.

        BTW – which thongs do you think it would be better to ponder?

      • It seems Dr. Curry’s purpose to negotiate the surrender of climate extremism in some face saving way. This isn’t going to happen of course, she’s been catching up on that point for sometime.

      • Thongs – what typing on a phone gets you.

        Still, when it comes to pondering, thongs are probably a better topic than Dr Curry’s supposed short comings.

    • cwon14 Re: Tetlock’s book.
      I like what Louis Menand of The New Yorker had to say “But the best lesson of Tetlock’s book may be the one that he seems most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself.”

      Tetlock’s book was published 8 yrs ago…has there been any kind of examination of ‘experts’ with his book in mind, any lessening of the use of experts in the media to push partisan points?

      • Adendum 1
        The Zeitgeist of our culture is Left Wing Progressivism, an anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-liberty political ideology that runs on fear and envy with heaping amounts of nihilism and misanthropy. If you wonder why the ‘green’ movement can propose solutions to ‘might be problems’ that require large swaths of humanity be relegated to subsistence living, don’t agonize over why, just understand what under-girds their political philosophy of life.

    • cwon14 Re: Tetlock’s book.
      I like what Louis Menand of The New Yorker had to say “But the best lesson of Tetlock’s book may be the one that he seems most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself.”

      Tetlock’s book was published 8 yrs ago…has there been any kind of examination of ‘experts’ with his book in mind, any lessening of the use of experts in the media to push partisan points?

      The Zeitgeist of our culture is Left Wing Progressivism, an anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-liberty political ideology that runs on fear and envy with heaping amounts of nihilism and misanthropy. If you wonder why the ‘green’ movement can propose solutions to ‘might be problems’ that require large swaths of humanity be relegated to subsistence living, don’t agonize over why, just understand what under-girds their political philosophy of life.

      This rise of Progressivism has been like a plague in thought, sweeping across Western Civilization that seems to coincide with the declaration by Nietzsche of the death of God. While one can wave adieu to religious babble and find enough historical barbarism in Judaism and Christianity and enough barbarism in today’s Islam to wish them to disappear forever, it is the height of hubris of the modern day New Atheist (I myself am a lifelong atheist but an epistemological one) to think that all that is attached to religion is negative and that science can replace the role religion played/plays in people’s lives. (Which isn’t to ignore the problems religion creates when it has power.)

      One of the things that religion has provided is an entity, God, which people could give their hearts, love and loyalty to, that was walled off from the STATE. Tear down that wall and you breach one of the impediments to the STATE having complete and total control over the population. Richard Dawkins, whatever the value of his work in biology, would love nothing better than to be one of the High Priests of Science dictating how people should live their lives with Sam Harris the High Priest of Neurology feeding the system with ‘science’ to rationalize the control. Progressivism has risen to take it’s place, with ‘science’ as the rationale for all sorts of plans to enact the basic impulses of the fearful and envious. Everything must come to a stop. (For the little people, the great despised unwashed, whose only value lies in their vote and isn’t that tedious having to persuade people to vote?) Notice that it is mostly Left Wing groups that want to freeze everything in place by using the STATE as the boot to stomp on anyone that gets out of line.

      The Left is genetically in love with stasis. In love with top down, command and control economies, with people being ranked by status which Progressives define on a whim. Where is the rally for women’s rights by Left Wing feminists for the women of Afghanistan? As has been said, “All evil needs to get a purchase is for good men to do nothing.” The ‘good men’ who did nothing here were the good men who professed a belief in Liberty yet sat by and did nothing while Marxists (just another name for Progressives) stole the Universities and Media and went unchallenged as they brought in their misanthropic, nihilistic, anti-freedom ideas and sloganeering to all walks of life. They have been in the trenches and fighting dirty for over a 100 years and who has been their opponent other than the lethargy of resistance to change. (And the constitution which they attack daily). Where are the intellectual champions of Liberty, of economics infused with liberty otherwise known as free enterprise? Where have been the academics and the scientists to speak out vociferously on behalf of Liberty. The scientists took the government grants, worked to increase the size and scope of the Federal Leviathan and looked the other way. Short term self-interest rules not only many businesses but many academics as well. Who has stood up to say our whole educational establishment with it’s built in socialism is rotten to the core? Who will challenge a system that is rotten to the core when there is still so much largess to be had for the taking and it’s so easy to get more?

      The wealthiest nation in the history of man provides many many years of theft for those who can stomach being thieves. And Progressives are nothing if they are not thieves who steal language and corrupt it to their foul ends, and think nothing of stealing people’s right to determine their own lives, set their own goals, live with the consequences of their actions.

  23. Should Climate scientists take more notice of nineteenth century scientist Arrhenius or 1930’s James Chadwick of Earnest Rutherford team at Cambridge. Chadwick discovered the Neutron which has a profound effect on the absorption of heat by gases?

  24. Judith, you say: “As an example, I have recently been invited to participate in an event that brings together climate scholars from across the spectrum. The organizers have had difficulty recruiting scientists from the ‘warm’ side.”.

    I can absolutely believe that. When we were trying to set up such an event, we heard of two Australian universities that had tried, and had failed for that reason. The ‘mainstream’ side were happy to give presentations, but not if anyone from the ‘sceptic’ side participated. It took a tremendous amount of work, but we succeeded, much to the credit of those who participated, in particular of course the ‘mainstream’ scientist. We did have to agree to restrictions such as no media present. Before the event, we received a letter from two of our members saying that they would not attend because of the presence of the ‘sceptic’ scientist, and I am pretty sure that a number of others stayed away for that reason.

    Apologies for not saying who ‘we’ are and for not providing a link to the event’s material – a year on, the matter is still very sensitive, and I have not sought permission of the others involved.

    • In ancient Mediterranean ports,
      Phoenician trading crafts, triremes, fishing boats,
      carrying exotic goods
      and seditious thoughts.

      • Phoenician trading crafts, triremes, fishing boats,
        carrying exotic goods
        and seditious thoughts.

        Actually, IMO, one of the biggest sources of “seditious thoughts” is contact with other cultures. Each culture (IMO) has its own set of unquestioned assumptions, which (almost) anybody growing up in that culture will accept without question. Unless they come into regular contact with people from other cultures who can see the potential fallacies in their cultural assumptions.

        Whatever sort of cultural turbulence the Phoenicians experienced, it seems likely (to me) that they brought their questions, counter-assumptions, and open minds to the trading sands along with their goods.

        They also may well have had a vested interest in successful cultural revolution in their trading partners. The Classical Greek culture appears to have evolved during the breakdown of the earlier “chariot-archer aristocratic” predecessor during a period of regular contact with the Phoenicians and perhaps other Mediterranean cultures.

      • Yes AK ports a forum where yr god given certainties collide.

      • ports a forum where yr god given certainties collide.

        Same for universities, national armies (during the early nation-building process), and major imperial draft-labor projects (e.g. pyramids).

      • And then the poor Phoenician…

        “… saw the merry Grecian coaster come,
        Freighted with amber grapes, and Chian wine,
        Green, bursting figs, and tunnies steep’d in brine—
        And knew the intruders on his ancient home,
        The young light-hearted masters of the waves.”

        Don’t know who’ll blow away my old ways and ideas. Someone will.

      • o mosomos-o …’ Merry Grecian coaster come …
        green bursting figs and tunnies steep’d in brine,
        young light-hearted mastery of the waves,’ …
        this is worthy of commitment ter memery fer a serf
        and I will. )
        bts

      • … saw the merry Grecian coaster come

        Those Philistines!

  25. Many thanks for this post. This new Duartes paper is rich in many senses. The 3.2 example 1 “stereotype accuracy” was an eye opener. Had been following psych only via behavioral economics, which showed that a lot of the underlying assumptions about human ‘rational choice’ from when I studied Econ are just wrong.
    This paper takes that insight to a new level in a bery different context. Much food for thought, not the least including stereotypes like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ (irony intended).

  26. “Benny Peiser reminds us that many of the relevant politicized issues – notably climate change – don’t break down neatly in terms of left-right, liberal-conservative outside of the U.S.”

    I disagree entirely. The issue of “climate change” more properly defined as CAGW, breaks down overwhelmingly in terms of left-right because it is at its core a debate between progressive and conservative principals of governance.. It is true that virtually all parties in Europe share common ground on decarbonization. But they also share common ground on socialized medicine as well. And they share common ground on central planning of the economy in general rather than their own parliaments, increasingly in Brussels no less.

    The reason is not that any of those ISSUES “don’t break down neatly in terms of left-right.” It is that European POLITICAL PARTIES no longer “break down neatly in terms of left-right.” Most “conservative” European political parties are already where the leadership of the US Republican Party would like to be. They have joined as full members of the progressive movement toward ever greater centralization of control over the economy in a central government. Their only disputes with this political “consensus” are on tactics and timing. And of course they disagree over who gets to actually wield the increasingly massive power of government.

    Those who have finally come to see the harms of “consensus” as it has been used in the climate debate, would be wise to expand their view a bit, take off the blinders, and see that the same tribalism and group think is real genesis of the dominant political “consensus” in the west. And they use the same tactics on every issue.

    • Is it the case that the whole “left-right” idea is broken? “Liberals” (the “left”) call themselves progressive. “Progressive” means repressive (central authority). “Conservative” (the right) means liberal (personal choice). And the whole US political scene appears to be so caustic that reasonable dialogue seems impossible.

      • Ideas can’t be broken. But they can be obscured,

        What is happening is nothing new. In modern democracies, those who want power do not want the people over whom they will exercise that power to know their intent. If you tell people – we want to make oil, gas and coal so expensive that you stop using them, they can vote you or your political patrons out of office. If you tell people, we want to destroy the private health insurance industry to pave the way for socialized medicine, ditto.

        So you dress everything up as about “fairness” and “for the children.”

        But what are you going to do about those who recognize what you are doing and why? How do you keep the stupid voters from listening to those who accurately explain your goals and your tactics?

        You first claim that “ideology” is bad. Then you label your opponents ideologues. Label them stupid, evil, crazy or all three. Label them racist, sexist, homophobic. Call them deniers. Train your drone followers to never even listen to the other side. And do everything you can to silence your opponents while you are at it. You can’t debate your opponents on the facts, so you have to isolate them.

        So what do you do about the inconvenient fact that there is a long demonstrable history of your movement, dating back to Woodrow Wilson in modern times, that shows just what your goals and tactics are? First, you change your name from progressive to liberal. Then when the public starts to sour on your same old same old elitist policies, the real obscurantism starts when you start to deny any name at all.

        Which is where we are now. Progressives don’t want to be called progressives anymore. And they don’t want the baggage that comes with their last nom de plume “liberal.” So now they don’t want any name at all.

        We aren’t ideologues, we are realists. We aren’t socialists, we just care about children. We don’t have opinions, we have science. There is no left and right, there is only fairness.

        Obscurantism at its finest.

      • ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in a rather
        scornful tone, ‘It means just what I choose it to mean –
        neither more nor less.’

        ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘ whether you can make
        words mean so many different things.’

        ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be
        master – that’s all.’

      • MJ,

        Caustic because we never had so radicalized and partisan a left-wing operating so many levels of society. We’ve reached a level of political correctness found in Soviet vassal states at this point.

      • The only reason the debate in the US seems more caustic than the debate in Europe, is that there is actually a debate in the US. There is an actual conservative movement here unlike Europe. There is no need to be caustic when your opponents are singing the “Me Too Chorus.”

      • > So you dress everything up as about “fairness” and “for the children.”

        Way better to dress everything up as about “liberty” and “for our (founding) fathers”.

        INTEGRITY ™ – It’s a Dressing

      • Way better to dress everything up as about “liberty” and “for our (founding) fathers”.

        Actually, AFAIK the “founding fathers” were as politically divided as the US is today.

      • Yes, AK, and yet these fathers play an archetypical role mostly on the right side of the spectrum.

        By any standard on in-group divisiveness, it’s tough to beat the left side of the spectrum.

        Anyone who dislike climate models should dislike these political models anyway. Unless they’re merely against computers, which would portend some kind of carbon chauvinism

      • Anyone who dislike climate models should dislike these political models anyway.

        Surely that wasn’t aimed at me. And that comment (of mine) wasn’t really aimed at you, just trying to broaden the hole your wedge had opened.

      • Europe talked the talk but never cut emissions. Their energy policies were driven more by the fact that they swallowed “peak oil” hook, line and sinker. Where hydro and geo-thermal weren’t available, they picked either nukes or bought into the hype about solar/wind.
        The latter didn’t work and it turns out they’re sitting on a bunch of natural gas and can import fossil fuels from Russia and, soon, the US. Politically, Europe is going to be all about how you walk away from really bad decisions made by both parties without the populace hanging you from the streetlamps. The first steps are are underway- every nation in Europe is bagging subsidies for solar/wind, most are “exploring” gas, some are building coal (Germany), and many are signaling an interest in reconsidering the policies they pretended were about global warming. (Pretended because, again, they didn’t cut emissions).

      • By any standard on in-group divisiveness, it’s tough to beat the left side of the spectrum.

        No. It depends on your definition of “divisiveness”. In my experience, libertarians demonstrate greater divergence of opinion: ask any 10 libertarians their opinion on a subject, and you’ll get at least 11 answers. But part of the fundamental libertarian ideal (honored by most libertarians AFAIK) is that people ought to think for themselves. Quite a few leftists clearly believe that everybody ought to think the same: what they think of course. This makes for “divisiveness” of a much more hostile type.

      • > Surely that wasn’t aimed at me.

        No, AK. I just wanted to observe that the political spectrum is a very rough model. It’s basically a tool for political marketers.

      • “Actually, AFAIK the ‘founding fathers’ were as politically divided as the US is today.”

        Indeed they were. Some were elitists who wanted not to just govern, but to own those they deemed their inferiors. And then there were those who favored equality and liberty.

      • Jeffn (August 7, 2014 at 10:01 am):”import fossil fuels from [..] soon, the US”. Hmmm. The rosy future of US fossil fuel production looks to me like a short term self serving chimera. Happy to be proved wrong, as always.

      • –GaryM | August 7, 2014 at 5:01 pm |

        “Actually, AFAIK the ‘founding fathers’ were as politically divided as the US is today.”

        Indeed they were. Some were elitists who wanted not to just govern, but to own those they deemed their inferiors. And then there were those who favored equality and liberty.–

        I think most were trying to avoid the possibility of “being hanged separately”.

      • Not only were the founding fathers politically divided, but their religious experiences were conflicted:

        http://www.wnyc.org/story/infidels-and-atheists-who-founded-america/

    • My point was not cognitive, but political, AK. The in-group fightings in the left are memorable, while libertarians seldom forget about their own interests. Most libertarian hand-fights are intellectualized jousts, at least that’s how I read them.

      Cognitively-speaking, you do have a point. Liberals themselves may entertain some kind of illusion of uniqueness:

      http://m.pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/11/18/0956797613500796.abstract

      Note, though, that libertarians share many traits. Openness, for instance. Haidt had a nice presentation on this at CATO.

      My main beef with all this is the cultural bias. In my corner of the university, our liberals are conservative.

      • My tablet believes that the Universe is an university.

        I smell a leftist bias as Foxconn.

      • Here?

        I know Ayn Rand does not speak for all libertarians, but she sure does speak a lot [transcribed]

      • As the Arab proverb says: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” [transcribed, 17:07]

        WRT the shared hatred of the “welfare state”. Actually, the enemy of my enemy is a temporary ally, for this battle.

        IMO.

      • Let’s try it again:

        Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party by David Kirby and Emily Ekins (2012):

        Executive Summary

        Many people on the left still dismiss the tea party as the same old religious right, but the evidence says they are wrong. The tea party has strong libertarian roots and is a functionally libertarian influence on the Republican Party.

        Compiling data from local and national polls, as well as dozens of original interviews with tea party members and leaders, we find that the tea party is united on economic issues, but split on the social issues it tends to avoid. Roughly half the tea party is socially conservative, half libertarian—or, fiscally conservative, but socially moderate to liberal.

        Libertarians led the way for the tea party. Starting in early 2008 through early 2009, we find that libertarians were more than twice as “angry” with the Republican Party, more pessimistic about the economy and deficit since 2001, and more frustrated that people like them cannot affect government than were conservatives. Libertarians, including young people who supported Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, provided much of the early energy for the tea party and spread the word through social media.

        Understanding the tea party’s strong libertarian roots helps explain how the tea party movement has become a functionally libertarian influence on the Republican Party. Most tea partiers have focused on fiscal, not social, issues—cutting spending, ending bailouts, reducing debt, and reforming taxes and entitlements—rather than discussing abortion or gay marriage. Even social conservatives and evangelicals within the tea party act like libertarians.

        The tea party is upending the conventional wisdom that Republican candidates must placate socially conservative voters to win primaries. Increasingly, Republican candidates must win over tea party voters on libertarian economic issues.

        To the extent the Republican Party becomes functionally libertarian, focusing on fiscal over social issues, the tea party deserves much credit—credit that political strategists, scholars, and journalists have yet to fully give.

        David Kirby is vice president at FreedomWorks and an associate policy analyst for the Cato Institute. Emily Ekins is the director of polling at Reason Foundation and a research fellow at the Cato Institute.

      • Have you noticed what Haidt said about reactance, AK?

        Finding contradicting others stimulating, being angry when another person is held as a model to follow, wanting to do things that are prohibited, …

        A bit before 13:00.

      • Finding contradicting others stimulating, being angry when another person is held as a model to follow, wanting to do things that are prohibited,

        Yeah. It sounded like he was reading from my dossier.

      • No wonder you own the Internet.

  27. The axe social scientist Jose Duarte takes to Lewandowsky and Cook’s disgraceful work, makes for compelling reading. A welcome breath of something bordering on outrag . My only question is what took so long?

    An excerpt
    “But we would never use human raters who have an obvious bias with respect to the subject of their ratings, who desire a specific outcome for the study, and who would be able to deliver that outcome via their ratings. That’s completely nuts. It’s so egregious that I don’t think it even occurs to us as something to look out for. It never happens. At least I’ve never heard of it happening. There would be no point in running such a study, since it would be dismissed out of hand and lead to serious questions about your ethics.

    But it’s happening in climate science. Sort of. These junk studies are being published in climate science journals, which are probably not well-equipped to evaluate what are ultimately social science studies (in method). And I assume the journals weren’t aware that these studies used political activists as raters.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/06/somebody-in-psychology-finally-gets-it-about-stephan-lewandowsky-and-john-cook-and-their-smear-science/#more-114151

    • I don’t know Pokerguy, I’m almost optimistic about Dr. Curry’s progress. I figure she is to get flamed for even mentioning Jose Duarte’s name let alone posting his paper and links.

      This sets a record for on point topic headings, they might play dead but several board conniptions might appear.

      Perhaps this is the tipping point. Aslan dropping the stars from the sky.

    • They conducted a survey of the authors and got essentially the same results. Did Duarte even read the paper?

      • They got “essentially the same results” by using an extremely weak statistical test. If they used a stronger test like Cohen’s kappa, they would have found that the authors ranking of 1200 papers fails to validate the nearly 12,000 papers ranked by their group.

      • * the nearly 12,000 abstracts

      • If Joseph likes his motivate reasoning, he can keep it.

        I guarantee he’ll completely ignore/reject what he’s just been told and go merrily on his deniaiist way.

      • Joseph,

        you must have masochistic tendencies. That is the only explanation for a rational, intelligent person trying to defend either Lewandowski or Cook.

      • I’ll reiterate my suggestion that the crew (or part of them) at “Skeptical Science” are a “false-flag” operation by real anti-CAGW types trying to discredit their supposed allies. And they seem to be doing a good job of it. Mostly.

      • Timg56 sadistic tendencies, perhaps? Or married into the family and trying to be protective?
        You did say rational and intelligent, did you not?
        Perhaps one of you may have had a misprint.
        Thongs for trying to explain.

      • > If they used a stronger test like Cohen’s kappa

        They would have to compare two raters only. Other flavors of the test (of another statistic) would still have compare the rating of different kinds of objects (abstracts vs papers) by treating the raters as a one rater. Most of these tests would penalize the abstract raters for being conservative in their ratings.

      • > by treating the raters as a one rater.

        The abstract-raters, that is.

        These tests work are more informative with lots of classification tasks by the same raters and a plausible model of agreement, e.g. with precision and recall.

        Just like for compass makers, not all tradeoffs are bad.

  28. This Duarte et al paper seems a bit anti-consensus. Rather than trying to prove there is one it suggests reasons why it is harmful to Science. This is good: “…Although such processes may be beneficial for communities whose goal is social cohesion (e.g., a religious or activist movement)…” When Roy Spencer was speaking before some committee, I think it was Senator Whitehouse who asked him about his ‘religion’. The Senator’s goals may include an ‘activist’ CO2 movement. So ham-handedly the Senator may have being trying to make the point that Spencer was like himself. Social cohesion has its merits but I don’t think it should feedback too strongly into the Science.

  29. catweazle666

    Meanwhile, out here in the real world there has been no warming for nearly 18 years (according to RSS no stat sig warming for 26 years in fact) and as far as I can count the number of papers desperately making contradictory excuses for that now exceeds 30, and the “climate scientists” are still trying to work out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin – which is becoming increasingly obvious to all and sundry, except the aforesaid “climate scientists” of course.

    Such is life…

  30. This has resulted in a very substantial neglect of solar influences on climate and natural internal variability.

    Has there really been a substantial neglect of solar influences on climate and natural internal variability? Based on what measure?

  31. The Duarte article unfortunately had no examples where a leftist scientific view was wrong until some rightist came along with the correct thought process. The article is pure wishful thinking with no foundation. Maybe they would conclude that the majority of scientists are left, so the majority of science must be wrong because it lacked a “diverse” view. Very odd hypothesis. No evidence for it. When it comes to the physical sciences where precisely do the left and right views differ? No examples were given of this either, probably because they don’t exist. Science is science. It works by hypotheses, evidence and theories. The hypothesis of this paper is just that. A proclamation waiting for any evidence to make it even a theory.

    • JImD, The majority of science is wrong so there is risk in climbing on any “scientific” bandwagon. What is telling is those that tend to overlook potential problems with the assumptions that have to be made in just about every field of science. A lot of skeptics use examples of where science went wrong hoping to get the “believers” to try thinking a bit more for themselves.

      • That was my question. Where did “leftist” science provably go wrong in the past? What, in fact, even is a leftist scientific idea? Is all of science considered leftist just because it is academic? We know the word “academic” is almost a swear word, and definitely a negative label, among some segments of the right. It goes along with other words like “government” and “scientist” in provoking an immediate almost inbuilt prejudice. You won’t find these people doing science.

      • State run science in the former Soviet Union and Maoist China have a few “leftist science” examples, but it is really more an issue of “state run” than the political leanings of the state running it.

      • How did “state run” flourish during the Bush era? He had AR4 done by his scientists. OK, there was some muzzling because he didn’t like the message, but the “state” was not that powerful against actual facts, and failed to suppress them on that occasion. Science has the benefit of being global, so no one government has control over it, much as they may wish they did (see Russia, Canada and Australia).

      • Bush is a poor example of state run science. Obama’s manipulation of the EPA is a better example,but to really screw up science seems to take a communist, fascist or fundamental religious state.

      • Governments can oppose the scientists just as much as they can support them. It works both ways. Obama is taking the scientists at their word rather than covering his ears, or their mouths.

      • “Obama is taking the scientists at their word rather than covering his ears, or their mouths.”

        Right JimD. Pure as the driven snow he is.

      • We’ve really never had a situation where middling government workers such as Jim Hansen or Gavin Schmidt and the many more stealth activists have turned their jobs into full time political operations where they assumed “untouchable” as they dress their politics as “science”.

        It’s untenable for the democracy and a broad decline of science in the process.

    • Of course, Jim, you must know high CO2 sensitivity is merely a left wing construct. Come on man..

    • “Science is science” to you when it conforms to your political correctness.

      That isn’t science at all of course.

      • The science that explains why the climate is as it is globally, is devoid of any decisions made on political grounds. It is just physics including that CO2 plays a well quantified role even in current climate.

      • “we believe” isn’t quantification, it’s a hairspray commercial.

      • It is just physics including that CO2 plays a well quantified role even in current climate.

        “[J]ust physics’ indeed. Not including the last few decades of Chaos Theory. Except for a few hand-waving rationalizations-away.

      • “The science that explains why the climate is as it is globally, is devoid of any decisions made on political grounds.”

        This would carry a lot more weight if those explaining why the climate is as it is, actually knew what the climate is with any accuracy.

        They don’t even “know” clouds and water vapor, let alone “the climate as it is globally.”

      • GaryM, you need to catch up. Your view is something from the 1960’s. Read some books on the subject.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: It is just physics including that CO2 plays a well quantified role even in current climate.

        The roles played by CO2 are poorly quantified. Examples have been provided, such as the Climate Dialogue discussions on the climate sensitivity and the poorly justified uniform priors with positive probability up to 8 – 12 C per doubling.

    • Jim D, I must use this blog’s characteristic admonition to read harder. The Duarte et al article specifically gave the example of studies of stereotype accuracy, where only a rare self-described conservative political psychology researcher thought to test whether nasty stereotypes about various groups were true. (Apparently, they largely were.),

  32. I’m glad to see this post. I was surprised when Joe Duarte contacted me a while back. It’s nice to see someone outside the usual suspects talking about problems that should be obvious to everyone. I had started to assume nobody would.

    I’m obviously more interested in his views on the Cook et al consensus paper and the Stephan Lewandowsky conspiracy papers, but his commentary in this paper is insightful too.

  33. It is very clear why leftist people tend to go into academics, arts and science because they see value in teaching, service, advancement of arts and knowledge for the greater good, a greater cause than themselves. Rightists are more individualistic in their goals, and not attracted by service jobs or the greater good. They look at scientific results and think “What can I get out of that?”

    • JimD,

      I’d probably be called conservative politically and have 25 years worth of volunteer educational background.

      ones politics has zero predictably on their willingness to be involved in education or to volunteer. Nice fail there.

      • Some think by giving to selected charities at their Church they have done their duty, but don’t like paying tax out of their wages to help the poor and sick. It’s a left-right thing. Select who you donate to, or safety net for all. It is a fundamentally different mindset especially with regards to charity and taxes.

      • Careful JimD, you just admitted they think.

      • Jim,

        you continue to slide the slope into full blown bs.

        I said nothing about donating to my church. And I pay taxes. I also am not so shallow as to ascribe beliefs and behavior to a left right political scaling.

      • We know what typical conservatives are, and it is not 100%. How do I know where you stand on tax rates for the wealthy as an individual, but there is a pattern among rightists where it is a predictable trait. If I say conservatives are this, and one says he isn’t, does that prove it wrong?

      • The left have unbelievable ability to read the intentions of the right.

      • “Some think by giving to selected charities at their Church they have done their duty, but don’t like paying tax out of their wages to help the poor and sick. It’s a left-right thing.’

        From the opposite perspective, we can say:

        Some think by voting to give other people’s money to selected charities (and incidentally their own salaries, grants and benefits) they have done their duty, but don’t like paying charity out of their own pocket when there is no benefit for themselves. It’s a left-right thing.

      • GaryM, the leftists pay to charities in addition to taxes that would help people, infrastructure, etc.
        rls, we don’t have to guess the rightist way of thinking. It is telegraphed quite loudly by their leaders looking for their votes. They have done the polls and know what to say to the base. You only need ears to know their mindset.

      • JimD: Conservatives disagree with liberals on tax policy but not for the reason you think. Conservatives want a policy that will support economic growth, reduce government corruption, and reduce crony capitalism. Your mind reading ability is seriously lacking. Or maybe you’ve been subjected to too much propaganda.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D
        How could you possibly know being against big government has anything to do with being against doing something for the poor. There are a multitude of reasons for being against big government. You need to get out of the mentality of the 1960s. Some of us fought the good fights in the 1960s and
        now our thinking has become more sophisticated and nuanced. Culture matters. Volumes could be written about its role in the sustainability of a civilization. Get with program.

      • Jimd

        Unfortunately there are a lot of poor and sick who turn out not to be poor and sick at all. We have had a welfare state in the uk for some 60 years and unfortunately it is thoroughly abused. That is not to say that we shouldn’t protect and help the genuinely needy but the system can make people too reliant on the state.

        Tonyb

    • What pathetic stereotyping and dogma. Is a lifetime of sucking debt and tax revenue an instant ticket to caring about the “common good”??

      Leftist go where life promises to be more secure and formula driven. They’re negativity toward markets and envy of those who excel are also part of the cultural dynamic. It isn’t uniform but the force is there as well.

      • Cwon,

        good example of the 75% I referred to. Jim D’s characterization is indeed pathetic.

      • Even many of those people who excel want to give more back to the country than they have to under the current system. Many pay lower rates than the middle class. They know it is not right.

      • News flash Jim,

        Nothing prevents people in the US from paying funds to the government beyond what they are required by tax law. No one has to claim tax deductions that are available to them. And people are free to give money to whatever interest or good cause they want to.

        You are well past the boots stage. One now needs a full immersion suit when reading your comments.

  34. Really, it’s over. What should have been a pursuit like botany or dentistry has been elevated to a quasi-religion with much politics intertwined. The sexiness attracted all the wrong people, not interested in the field itself and not willing to face the drudgery and contradictions of studying a stupendously difficult subject.

    It’s like Romania in the late 1980’s. Mr and Mrs Climate Science, watching from the upper balcony, think there will be more happy Maydays to come, if only their scientific certainties can be “communicated” to the plebs and if all the rabble-rousers are dealt with sternly.

    But it’s over. Nothing to communicate. Disperse.

  35. Really????

    After arguing endlessly about the evils of politicization of science, Judith now suggests that we need to politicize science more!

  36. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    When will left-and-right rationally unite?

    Jim D observes “Leftist people tend to go into academics, arts and science because they see value in teaching, service, advancement of arts and knowledge for the greater good, a greater cause than themselves. Rightists are more individualistic in their goals”

    BREAKING NEWS
    RIGHT-and-LEFT UNITE on CARBON NEUTRALITY
    Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting
       That Tesla Will [Whomp] Your Power Company

    Is This the End of Big Carbon? (PDF here)

    • Photovoltaic panels on your roof run the air-conditioner and charge your all day long.

    • The car-batteries run your house at night.

    • Say goodbye to Big Carbon earth-degrading mountain-topping, planet-degrading global warming, and prosperity-diminishing fascist/fanatic “oil”igarchs!

    Aye Climate Etc lassies and laddies … the “RIGHTIST” power of the market is unstoppable … when it joins with the “LEFTIST” power of iconoclastic rationality and transformative science … and the “AMBIDEXTROUS” power of foresight and morality.

    The politically ambidextrous engineers on SlashDot aren’t fooled by Big Carbon astroturfing … Climate Etc readers shouldn’t be fooled either!

    \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}

    • If it gets cheap enough, I’ll move to solar – mainly to keep the dam* government out of my house/home device usage. Smart grid – dumb idea.

    • fan

      this falls into the ‘horses for energy courses’ category.

      those who live in apartments or cant afford it are likely to find it if little use. those who need heating rather than aircon will find the winter sun highly ineffective.

      battery technology for storage is important and lets hope it improves so it can store power.

      however, this isn’t going to replace fossil fuels except in a few cases.

      tonyb

    • We believe there is not sufficient appreciation of the magnitude of energy storage cost reduction that Tesla has already achieved, nor of the further cost reduction magnitude that Tesla might be able to achieve once the company has constructed its “Gigafactory,” targeted for completion later in the decade. While “off-grid” applications are the most disruptive use of energy storage, we note that there are also less disruptive applications such as strengthening the grid to compensate for the variability of solar output.

      PV on the roof might help compete with greedy socialized utilities (government protected monopolies). But smart utilities will simply switch to solar themselves.

    • Electric cars may turn out to be practical some day. so far, despite all kinds of subsidies, they have not. But if they do, they are going to require a larger pool of electricity to charge. If they are going to be made available for grid storage, that means one more hurdle to being reliably ready to use for driving.

      • Their argument is that a little old solar panel on the roof, in every weather condition, will run the AC, refrigerator, computer, television, dish washer, washing machine and drier all day while charging the battery on your car.
        The battery in your car will then run the AC, refrigerator and television late into the night every night and be ready and able to whisk you to work in the morning at almost any distance at highway speeds.
        And they just… don’t… understand…. why you don’t believe them.

  37. Instead of arguing about the evils of the politicization of science, let’s consider some data instead, shall we?

    UAH Lower Trop, hottest Julys past …

    1. 1998 0.44
    2. 2009 0.37
    2. 2011 0.37
    3. 2010 0.36
    4. (and FINALLY) 2014 0.31

    Yep, that warming’s scarier than Captain Kangaroo in a snow storm.

  38. I read Joe’s post on the Lewandowski Moon Hoax paper. Outstanding takedown of what may eventually become a classic case study for conformal group think producing garbage of extreme odor that still managed to get through peer review and be published.

  39. As a general rule the right-wing governments attempt to suppress the AGW message, either by defunding or muzzling, which is essentially forcing their scientists to go through “government channels” before speaking about their results. This was pioneered by Bush and now has traces in Canada’s right-wing system. Censorship of science is not an acceptable behavior. This is a real-world case of suppression of diversity. Oddly, the rightists have an attitude that supports limited government interference, apparently except in the case of inconvenient science.

    • Right, Jim D. Only a very small percentage of people have ever heard of global warming – and the NSA keeps close tabs on those people.

      • If the left doesn’t have exclusive control over what people see and hear, it is not enough.

      • The vast majority of people in the world know that gasoline costs keep going up.

        Whatcha gonna do bout it?

        Defund climate science?

        Ha ha.

      • Most people understand that prices equilibriate depending on supply and demand and that at a high enough price – strong demand and weak supply – alternative sources will be substituted.

        It is 2 of the fundamental principles of economics that are seemingly lost on the loony left. Their idea is to add to costs now sufficiently to drive a transition to a fuel that doesn’t yet exist. Told you it was bonkers.

      • WebHubTelescope

        You are “bonkers” for attacking the field of climate science based on general cluelessness about the nature of finite and non-renewable energy sources.

      • The exceedingly odd non sequiturs of the logically challenged.

        Climate is a multiply coupled nonlinear system that shifts every few decades as a result of an internal and emergent reorganization of sub-components. Nothing is certain – although staying in a cool mode for decades at least seems a good bet.

        e.g. http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

        Now which bit of supply and demand – or economic substitution – didn’t he get? Rhetorical question. Neither.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Mine was a reply to jim2 who said that “Only a very small percentage of people have ever heard of global warming“. And I responded that people are aware of signals that impact their pocketbook, such as the spiralling upward cost of energy.

        Studying climate science is important as we start to rely more on renewable sources of energy to replace the non-renewable fossil fuels.

        You really have to be wearing a dunce-hat (or from Oz) not to be aware of this transition.

      • And mine was a reply to webby suggesting we pretty much know as much about climate – in a big picture sort of way – as we can know for the foreseeable future. It is a multiply coupled nonlinear system and prediction is impossible.

        In markets there is supply and demand – which sets prices. Adding to prices to effect transition to fuels that don’t yet exist is total bonkers. They will exist at the right price with the available technology at the time. Accelerated energy innovation is the adult strategy ‘sceptics’ endorse.

        How is that not obvious even to the most logically challenged space cadet?

      • WebHubTelescope

        Better watch this video by Roger Boyd.

        Given that this is an earth sciences blog, perhaps people should be aware of the breach of the largest tailing pond in the world:

        http://thetyee.ca/News/2014/08/06/Mount-Polley-Tailings-Claims/

        That’s the future — “innovation” is getting us to the point of exploiting the lowest-grade fossil fuel resources available, with huge amounts of debts financing the projects.

      • Yes isn’t energy innovation terrible.

        http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/12/06/bad-news-for-bald-eagles-but-good-news-for-wind-farms/

        We understand that economic systems are deterministically chaotic.

        Avoiding risk is probably the point – an in economics it is about managing the feedbacks. Managing asset bubbles through rational interest rate policy a la Hayek.

        The future is high growth and high energy – http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/our-high-energy-planet .

    • Government interference in what scientists paid by the government are allowed to use their position as a soapbox to preach?

      • I don’t think that the government should be allowed to censor scientific results. Thankfully their reach doesn’t extend to universities except to defund the science that they don’t like, another form of censorship (see Australia).

      • “I don’t think that the government should be allowed to censor scientific results.”

        Never, ever, ever?

      • I don’t think that the government should be allowed to censor scientific results.

        I wonder if it’s even possible to draw a firm, black-and-white line between “censoring scientific results” and “suppressing use of a government position as a political soapbox”? And if it is, I suspect a lot of people on both sides of the “climate” issue here wouldn’t be very happy with such a line.

    • Jim D’s concept of defunding is to spend a few billion dollars a year.

      Show us the numbers Jim. Otherwise you are spewing manure.

      • 95% is a good starting point, like Australia.

      • You can Google Australia defunding climate science as well as I can. The point is that defunding science doesn’t give a good feeling that the right-wingers want to get at the truth. It looks more like they want to suppress it. The US Republicans have also been attempting to defund climate science rather than support research, thankfully without success. Leave it to the right, and they will find a way of shutting that whole thing down, AGW, that is.

      • The truth is AGW is a sham to promote left-wing values and political rewards. That’s the “truth” of the situation.

      • Warming is the truth. We’ve seen it, and we can explain it with science without invoking large 60-year internal variations to be named later.

      • Still no numbers from Jim D.

      • Jim D,

        “The funding for all government programs related to climate change is set to shrink at an alarming rate, going from $5.75 billion this year to a scant $500 million in the next four years.”

        That’s not apparently climate research, but “all government programs” related to CAGW.

        And by the way, why should a government that does not agree with the “consensus” political agenda, continue funding post modern “science,” the express purpose of which is to provide PR support for that agenda?

      • Like most lefties, Jim D does not like democracy.

      • There’s democracy and there’s idiocy. Suppressing science is just plain censoring and government overreach. They didn’t like the results and possible political consequences, so that is what they did.

      • And this government’ still doing it, according to one of my colleagues who worked with some (still secret) randomized controlled trials on some social program or other, and they (the current administration’s folks) didn’t like the results, so they are sitting on them. He is sworn to secrecy of course.

      • So by Jim D’s definition, an elected government, voted in on a platform to roll back climate change based programs which were seen as failing, is supressing science.

        Reminds me of Wile E Coyote. He’s run off the cliff, just hasn’t looked down yet.

    • So Jim D, what do we do with science fields that become highly charged left-wing enclaves like climate science? What did we do in the 1950’s when there were substantial communist enclaves in nuclear physics? Not enough of course but we tried to apply common sense.

      • Another possible false-flag operation commentor. I’ve read speculations that Joe McCarthy himself was actually a deep-cover Communist agent. Not very likely, IMO, but plausible, considering the end result of his activities.

      • Lefty academics helped build the bomb too. No sure what you are getting at.

      • Lefty academics helped build the bomb too.

        Against an enemy who had treacherously attacked their idolized Soviet Union after pretending to be allies with them. A tactic their own (Soviet Union’s) puppet revolutionaries in France used against more moderate Resistance groups when they could.

      • We didn’t let political idiots dictate policy simply because of technical skills or even fantastic results. Those lefty’s actually had something on their resume instead of the climate goons who sound like hack economists about “I think”, “Maybe”….”Probably”. Regardless, they didn’t dictate policy although some of them should have taken outside and shot.

        It’s an apple and orange difference but it still comes down to lifetimes of government funding, cultural institutionalization (politicization) that need management reforms. We have a partisan EPA for example fully funded and in part used to target political enemies of this corrupt administration. Just one example.

      • We have a partisan EPA for example fully funded and in part used to target political enemies of this corrupt administration. Just one example.

        We have a partisan EPA IRS for example fully funded and in part used to target political enemies of this corrupt administration. Just one another example.

    • JimD, It works both ways. As a general rule left wing governments attempt to suppress skeptical points of view. Re: the United States, the UN, and the tool known as the IPPC. The bogus 97% paper is ample evidence of that. This forces scientists to go through government channels least they be chastised, marginalized, and ostrisized. See Bengtsson, Christy, Spencer, Pielke, Curry et al. This is also a real world case of suppression of diversity.

    • Jim, please explain how anyone was censored. Note that having control over what official government position papers say despite the disagreement of your boss is not being censored. That is called having a boss. Hansen complained about the Clinton adminstration censoring him also. He apparently believes his word should be the official government position. Perhaps he needs meds to control his delusions? The next thing you know all the people working at the State Department will start thinking they should have the final say on foreign policy and start doing direct negotiations with other governments on behalf of the US but without permission. Perhaps the janitor at the White House will start giving the daily press briefings for the President. He shouldn’t be suppressed now should he?

  40. I have no problem with other words in the post, but calling other people’s work ‘naively’ does not sound good. And, no, I have no relation with the authors of that paper whatsoever. It just appears a bit arrogant to use this kind of word without really substantiating the claim.

  41. Probably +90% of bloggers on CE confuse me with your “liberal” arguments of GW science. I went back to a CE Blog of May 26, 2014 where Dr. Curry defined the 3 principle hypotheses of what’s going on: http://judithcurry.com/2014/05/26/the-heart-of-the-climate-dynamics-debate/

    1. IPCC AGW hypothesis
    2. Multi-decadal oscillations plus trend hypothesis
    3. Climate shifts hypothesis

    Now, I don’t want to change even one science equation in any of these 3 hypotheses. However, I do want to change two external items:

    First, the IPCC says that there is so much uncertainty with GW/CC but that the risk to do nothing is just too high. They recommend the World commits immediately to reducing methane, carbon black, ground level ozone, and HFCs. The IPCC says this is a prudent action to gain time in trying to resolve the complexities of GW.

    Second, Jon Huntsman is elected President in 2012 and pushes through the following policies: The U.S. signs new trade agreements with developing countries where (1) Bans on exporting U.S. natural gas is lifted to developing economies; (2) Developing countries are given “favored” status into U.S. Markets; (3) In exchange for these 2 benefits, Developing Countries agree to develop their economies to “low carbon standards” by purchasing U.S. high energy efficiency technology products.

    OK — my “Moneyball question” to the +90% of Bloggers on CE: If these two things happened, would you still classify Hypothesis 1 as “LIBERAL SCIENCE”?

  42. Just because the topic is intellectual and political diversity is not cause to post political rants. How about talking about intellectual diversity?

    As an example, the constant drumbeat of “you have to be a climate scientist to participate in the discussion” or “peer reviewed” as if that is some sort of guarantee for being correct or that no other means are available for communicating science.

  43. Judith –

    Benny Peiser reminds us that many of the relevant politicized issues – notably climate change – don’t break down neatly in terms of left-right, liberal-conservative outside of the U.S.

    Just out of curiosity – why do you suppose that is? Why the difference here?

    And in what ways do you think that is meaningful in terms of evaluating the science, reconciling different views to develop policy, etc.?

    • Maybe because the quote is largely incorrect. That large sections of the conservative population see little reason to invest in a debate driven largely from concentrated special interests (leftist interests) the focus only becomes clear when the debate escalates. As it reaches a larger scale with broad implications, say cap and tax, it breaks down to pro-state expansion vs. anti-state expansion. Left vs. right.

      You build on a false premise, again.

    • Steven Mosher

      My good old marxist friends and socialist friends in europe were stunned to find out that skepticism was a right wing movement.

      They thought that right wingers would support the “establishment” and that
      climate science was the establishment. they were puzzled that more us left wingers were not anti establishment.

      Thats how they saw it.

      other europeans that were critical of climate science came from another leftist perspective.. guess what that was?

      • Thanks, Steven. I’m a scientist and think of myself as politically somewhere to the left of any of the mainstream parliamentary parties in Britain (where I come from), France (where I have studied), Germany (where I live) or in the EU parliament. I like to be able to make up my own mind about political issues, irrespective of what the MSM or politicians of any party tell me. That’s easier when one knows something about a subject. A few years ago (in 2006, to be precise) I decided that I ought to learn something about this global warming business, about which I had at that time next to no knowledge and of course no opinion at all. I started off with IPCC WG1 of AR3 2001; I got the impression that although immensely long and repetitive it wasn’t telling the whole story. I then looked at Real Climate and at John Daly’s blog, each of which had its own agenda. Both Gavin Schmidt and John Daly (by then deceased, but his blog was and is still preserved) seemed to be intelligent and well-informed about the subject of climate change. The difference was that while Gavin and, even more so, his colleagues, seemed to want to limit debate and squash dissent, Daly seemed to want his readers to look at the data and make up their own minds. Of course I have read a lot of other stuff (at least 1.5 metres on my crowded bookshelf), but as much as anyone it was Gavin who gave me the initial push towards climate scepticism or denialism or lukewarmism or what-have-you. Thanks, Gavin!

      • This gets to the paradox of leftism as an orthodox supporting ever greater state intervention and is in fact in their view “the establishment”. Hence we have a left babbling doctrine from a 100 years ago, like senile aristocrats littering the 18th century country side completely hanging on to all things of the old order. More worried about their gardens and declining authority then anything else. Look at the demographics of green groups for example; old, male and white. Look at Old Media, Old and rotted educational structures. All the same people all saying the same things about well……anything. All tied to a tax and debt formation system we’re their opinions are reinforced.

        In the U.S. it’s linked to Keynesian economic worship, WW2 and New Deal social institutionalization and the Ponzi driven social program system. AGW descended from Populism of the later 19th century, the dislike of large oil, industrial interests and follows a Marxist narrative. There are cultural greens that cross over political lines perhaps unwittingly. I don’t think many leftist appreciate it being correctly compared to completely static aristocracy of a declining system but there you have it.

        The key contribution of the Reagan Revolution was cast aside rotting relic of New Deal hegemony. The Greenshirt movement is simply a reactionary event in many ways. Clearly the situation in the EU is even more declined, their birthrate is below replacement and they will be minorities in their own countries within this century. The self-destructive, anti-growth and static subculture of AGW needs to be understood and overturned. AGW belief is effectively the face of social decline.

      • they were puzzled that more us left wingers were not anti establishment.

        I was always skeptical when you called yourself a “libertarian”.

      • The key contribution of the Reagan Revolution was cast aside rotting relic of New Deal hegemony.

        And how long did the “Reagan Coalition” last? Bush the elder gave it its death wound, and Bush the younger stomped its corpse into the mud.

      • ==> “I was always skeptical when you called yourself a “libertarian”.”

        Funny.

        Perhaps if I edit a bit, AK?

        “…they were puzzled that more us U.S. left wingers were not anti establishment.”

        Funny how smart and knowledgeable people sometimes fail to use their higher-order analytical skills to confirm their biases, isn’t it?

      • @Joshua…

        Touché!

      • Realistically, though, it’s his own fault. People who are saying things worth hearing/reading to a large audience will gain a lot by spending a little time making their statements understandable. If he can do code, he can do HTML, much less caps and periods.

      • ‘in Europe’ – wtf? USA and China are about as similar as Sweden and Portugal. Also, dumb Marxists know no borders.

      • Coldish:

        … but as much as anyone it was Gavin who gave me the initial push towards climate scepticism or denialism or lukewarmism or what-have-you.

        That’s thee Gavin Schmidt, winner of the Climate Communications Prize of the American Geophysical Union.

        http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/a-deserved-award-for-gavin-schmidt-of-real-climate-and-nasa/

      • “My good old marxist friends and socialist friends in europe were stunned to find out that skepticism was a right wing movement.

        They thought that right wingers would support the “establishment” and that
        climate science was the establishment. they were puzzled that more us left wingers were not anti establishment.”
        Now color me purple. I was under the impression that you were a libertarian. Nice to know that you have old marxist and socialist friends Steve. Nice to know that BEST is in the hands of a laissez faire specialist -sarc.

      • @Bob…

        See here. I made the same mistake.

      • In the US, leftists tend to be personally and politically quite conservative while righties are more classically liberal who believe in the wild-west free-wheeling endless growth of corporate consumerism.

        This is why I called Joshua a functioning reactionary conservative in the Path to Hell thread.

        NB Mosher is a Bay Area dude. You can’t live here in Gods Country hanging with exciting, interesting people and NOT have Marxist/Leninist/feminist friends with whom you disagree with. The people who have motivated reasoning problems are those who believe the us versus them “Jane you ignorant Sl _t” hatred of different opinions.

        “You people” (yes, I’m placing you in a box) with this affliction (both left and right) can only handle the world if you can place things into a handful of boxes. I like the way South Park channeling Alan Watts outlines the kind of attitude required for understanding the Universe.

      • AK: The Reagan Revolution is not the same as the Reagan Coalition. On the economic side, the revolution involved the growth of businesses and the resultant growth of employment and business investment. Following the small recession under Bush Sr business profits soared, resulting in greater business investments. The economic advances of the 90s can largely be attributed to Reagan’s pro-business policies.

      • rls: The Reagan ultra-liberal deficit spending (isn’t that what you really mean by tax policy?) in the 80’s may have contributed to growth in the 90’s along with the explosion of computer-productivity increases, boomers in their prime spending window, NAFTA, GATT, Clinton’s conservative deficit elimination and welfare reform, etc.

        Are you like those CO2 control knob nutters who latches on to one idea that answers all questions?

        Would you agree that Reagan’s terrorist appeasement policies of the 1980’s led directly to 911? I bet not. When one’s ox is being gored, we motivated reasoners automatically switch from the one big thing to nuanced shades of gray multi-factorial smoke-screening.

        I am Become Deaf, Destroyer of Words.

      • –other europeans that were critical of climate science came from another leftist perspective.. guess what that was?–
        Anti-nuke?
        Strictly a guess, based upon Thatcher’s view that nuclear power would be
        used to lower CO2, and that climate change doom steps on toes of the nuclear threat doom.

        On to other parts of thread:
        Howard | August 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        –Would you agree that Reagan’s terrorist appeasement policies of the 1980’s led directly to 911? I bet not.–
        I would imagine Reagan did not understand Lebanon politics very well- but then again, no one does.
        If one goes along with idea that Reagan had a significant part in ending
        the Soviet Union, then one could further argue that into that vacuum there arose more middle east terrorism, and it was given more significance in terms of media coverage.
        But I think the propaganda which associated these murderers with something resembling “freedom fighters” [though perhaps a bit confused or alien “freedom fighters”] was most significant factor. Or it was Castro all over again. Or I suppose, if the middle east resembled present day Cuba, some would think that was an improvement.

      • I like your style, Howard.

        Thanks.

      • Howard: There was nothing in my comment about tax policy and your belief that deficits led to business growth comes from where? This link says otherwise:

        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-our-national-debt-hurts-our-economy/

        I hope, for you, there will be a road out of your anguish. My limited knowledge of psychology says the source is closer to you than Reagan.

      • Steven Mosher

        you’d be surprised how many of my friends consider me a leftist.
        and you’d be amazed at the things they say until they find out otherwise.

      • and you’d be amazed at the things they say until they find out otherwise.

        Why don’t you write a book?

        Seriously, I’ve been mistaken for everything from a Commie to a fanatic Fundamentalist (Christian), depending on the context, and which “god given certainties” I was trying to deconstruct.

    • First you have to let Judith know if Benny is a liberal or a conservative, Joshua, as you have stated this is is the only way you could consider approaching a question.
      And if we knew his political persuasion this would change the question to something relevant like ” what colour is his car” which at least would give her some understanding of what question you actually want an answer to, if you want an answer,of course.

    • Cwon14 — How do you explain President Reagan’s support of Federal legislation on ozone depletion (from that “liberal” scientist, Dr. Molina)?

      • You’re focusing on details and not considering the scope of the event. The world remains very different despite the rise of reactionaries and schism results. Look at it globally, the Soviet system is refuted, they are dead men walking in the Chinese leadership.

        It isn’t Utopia but it is progress. If you want to compare a crony farm bill or junk science fundings alone you’re missing the bigger picture. In fact, it’s that bigger picture that explains the nostalgia success of the current dead-from-the-neck-up revival as embodied by Obama.

      • Cwon14 (and others) — The problem is you have this ubiquitous blanket of “LIBERAL” that you throw on anything that you don’t agree with.

        If you have a problem with someone’s science opinion, state what your specific science objection is. To constantly rely on this “liberal” stuff is just plain lazy and brings nothing of value.

        I’ve disagreed with scientists like Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton (who is clearly liberal) all the time on this blog — not because he’s liberal, but because of (IMO) a misapplication of something science based he said.

      • Stephan Segrest: In the US, in the 1970s, liberals (both Republican and Democrat) complained that conservatives were wrong about communism. Americans must be more open to other cultures and other forms of government, and communism was just another form of government. Allan Bloom, himself a noted professor and liberal, described in Closing of the American Mind how university students and professors were guided by the notion of being open (accepting) to all cultures. He then describes
        that the notion is rarely questioned. When he did raise questions, they could not be answered; his questions often resulting in blank stares. The point of his book was that the universities were producing graduates with narrow knowledge, the result of narrow sources and too Iittle questioning (skepticism?). Bloom’s book was published in the late 1980s.

  44. Duarte is progress, maybe we can James Delingpole or Marc Marano next?

  45. It easy to overestimate liberal numbers – even in an America where in a resurgence of extreme left ideation proponents have had a strategy of strategic infiltration for a generation.

    They remain fringe extremists within the general population, in engineering, in business with strongholds in the humanities and social sciences and a presence in Marxist versions of economics.
    None of the latter is particularly interesting or useful.

    The new discussion in Australia is for grants to be based on patents rather than papers. That should shake things up.

    ‘Climate science’ rather than empiric science seems an odd sort of throwback to millennialist cults that emerge occasionally in human history. Amplified by modern communications.

    In climate – nothing is certain but that the system is multiply coupled and nonlinear. This leaves a lot of wiggle room to make up cr@p. Where there is wiggle room – there is worms. QED.

    There is a catechism and it culminates ‘putting a price on carbon – Gaia be blessed’. There are practical and pragmatic alternatives. It is more than time to stop taking them seriously and move on with actual grown up strategy.

    • Rob — Could you provide us your brief critique of a statement by Nic Lewis:

      “The soundest observational evidence points to a ‘likely’ range for TCR of about 1.0–2.0°C, with a best
      estimate of circa 1.35°C.”

      This comes from his article: http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Nic-Lewis-guest-blog-def1.pdf

      • My blog – to which I am slowly adding – is about rational and pragmatic policy responses framed around the post 2015 MDG.

        http://watertechbyrie.com/

        It is not about responses to inane demands from persistent pests who don’t seem to understand the simple concept of vulnerable science – which the post is about – as opposed to the bulk of science.

    • Rob, I’ve read your article and re-read Nic Lewis’ article. What I read are disagreements in science based applications like statistics, measurements, etc. I fail to see how these disagreements are grounded in “liberal” versus “conservative” ideologies. Give us the clear link to “liberalism” that you are saying. Tx.

      • Rob — In Nic Lewis’ article he “criticized” certain hypotheses by citing errors in science (such as misapplications of statistical analysis).

        But you are saying that if one doesn’t agree with you, that they have cognitive dissonance problems caused by having a liberal mind.

        Under your thinking, mankind will never find things like a cure for cancer or unlock the mystery of nuclear power until they give up their “liberal thought process”.

        I have a degree in micro-biology, and for the life of me I can’t relate that any science I was taught was either “liberal” or “conservative”.

        You sure need to explain this a whole lot better than you have. Could you write a detailed blog (on your site) explaining this?

      • WebHubTelescope

        Steven Segrest — you are seeing the same thing I am. This guy claims that he has ” a number of credits in other right wing rags.”, and this is where he directs us to read about his scientific achievements.

        That is surprising, as I have yet to see a scientific research journal that has an overt political ideology attached to it. Perhaps he is some sort of larrakin trroll that is just trying to bait everyone here.

        They talk about this behavior in this recent article http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.1667

      • ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…

        Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

        We are talking here about perturbed physics ensembles. Very different to ensembles of opportunity and the critical difference is glossed over and rationalised with what is objectively nonsense about boundary conditions. Another example of cognitive dissonance within the field – an inability to process quite evident dissonant information in the service of a collective narrative. It leads to a narrowing of focus and a distortion of science. .

        We are talking vulnerable science and not all science – and all not all science within the field. I am talking about the wider social movement that has grown up around the collective narrative as well. This is overwhelmingly liberal as they argue themselves.

        Your argument that not all science is distorted is trivial and irrational. There is no argument that all science is distorted. Your comments otherwise are tedious pop psychology of no importance whatsoever.

      • Rob — I hope you will write an article on your blog explaining what liberal chemistry, liberal physics, liberal statistics means.

        In Nic Lewis’ article, he criticized work based on his view of errors in specific applications (e.g., statistics).

      • Misthreaded – a sign that it time to stop pandering to the deliberately or perversely disingenuous musings.
        .
        My blog – to which I am slowly adding to – is about rational and pragmatic policy responses framed around the post 2015 MDG.

        http://watertechbyrie.com/

        It is not about responses to inane demands from persistent pests who don’t seem to understand the simple concept of vulnerable science – which the post is about – as opposed to the bulk of science.

    • Climate sensitivity is a nonsense concept – not applicable to a multiply coupled system that shifts because of an internal reorganisation of components every few decades. This is what science says – and I quote enough of it to demonstrate that. .

      Failure to comprehend is merely one of the examples of cognitive dissonance in a movement that is overwhelmingly extreme fringe liberal. It goes well beyond science into a social movement with narratives and gatekeepers.

      It leads to distorted science – and the inability to process effectively dissonant ideas in science.

  46. Joseph,

    You recently asked me on another thread what I have against Common Core and the federalization of primary and secondary curriculum. But not sure where the question is.

    Anyway, here ya go. One example. The history curriculum is worse.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/06/Berkeley-Math-Professor-Ratner-Common-Core-Will-Move-U-S-Closer-To-Bottom-In-International-Ranking

    I have seen the nationwide imposition of new teaching “methods” that are implemented without the slightest testing. And it wasn’t pretty.

    Two words – whole language.

    Let’s trash a teaching method that has been successful since the 19th century, and replace it with some post modern, new age, idiotic method that proved to simply be a catastrophe. The only thing worse was whole math.

  47. I agree with Victor Venema, when debating Judy Curry, the consensus side needs all the forces it can muster.

  48. In 2009 only 6% of scientists identified as Republican according2 a Pew research poll.

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/229382/

    And now it is getting worse as the conservative vessel National Review has declared war on nerds such as Neil Degrasse Tyson.

    • Most are politically moderate or conservative – as are most of the population. The real contrast is with extreme green neo-socialist agendas. Politics matters little as long as parties are committed to classic liberal values of western enlightenment – most especially the rule of law and the commitment to democracy.

      But then – we may as well pursue grown up strategies rather than the policy trash from the far left. .

      • WebHubTelescope

        The National Review declared a war on nerds

        http://www.salon.com/2014/07/30/national_review_declares_war_against_the_nerds/

        This is the 94% opinion:


        But you know what? It’s not the fault of liberal nerds that Ken Hamm’s Creation Museum, which claims that dinosaurs were wiped out in a flood 4300 years ago, is in the South. And for better or worse, it’s not the fault of liberal nerds that large swathes of Republican politicians in the South have lined up behind the breath-taking rejection of the scientific method that is symbolized by the Creation Museum.

        That’s why we like Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Because we believe that civilization is going somewhere, and that if the future isn’t better than the past, then we’re just wasting our time on this planet.

      • But then again – 87% of Americans think Elvis was abducted by aliens. What can you do?

        ‘My great fear,” Neil deGrasse Tyson told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in early June, “is that we’ve in fact been visited by intelligent aliens but they chose not to make contact, on the conclusion that there’s no sign of intelligent life on Earth.” In response to this rather standard little saw, Hayes laughed as if he had been trying marijuana for the first time.

        All told, one suspects that Tyson was not including either himself or a fellow traveler such as Hayes as inhabitants of Earth, but was instead referring to everybody who is not in their coterie. That, alas, is his way. An astrophysicist and evangelist for science, Tyson currently plays three roles in our society: He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the New York Science Museum; the presenter of the hip new show Cosmos; and, most important of all perhaps — albeit through no distinct fault of his own — he is the fetish and totem of the extraordinarily puffed-up “nerd” culture that has of late started to bloom across the United States.

        One part insecure hipsterism, one part unwarranted condescension, the two defining characteristics of self-professed nerds are (a) the belief that one can discover all of the secrets of human experience through differential equations and (b) the unlovely tendency to presume themselves to be smarter than everybody else in the world. Prominent examples include MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachel Maddow, Steve Kornacki, and Chris Hayes; Vox’s Ezra Klein, Dylan Matthews, and Matt Yglesias; the sabermetrician Nate Silver; the economist Paul Krugman; the atheist Richard Dawkins; former vice president Al Gore; celebrity scientist Bill Nye; and, really, anybody who conforms to the Left’s social and moral precepts while wearing glasses and babbling about statistics. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3186875/posts

        They are just not all that bright, literate, witty or cool. Is webby an example? QED.

      • WebHubTelescope

        “Cooke never mentions Silicon Valley, which is odd, because the fact that the world’s greatest preponderance of nerds also happens to be the United States’ most formidable bastion of left-wing progressive politics would seem to support his thesis that nerds are pinkos. (And yes, I know, there are a lot of libertarian nerds — but guess what, those guys believe in science too!) There’s a reason for Cooke’s omission. Acknowledging that nerds — you know, the guys and gals who invented the microchip and the PC and the smartphone — actually do have a grasp of scientific fact, which leads them to take seriously the problem of historically unprecedented carbon dioxide emissions and the idiocy of rewriting school science textbooks to include dogma about creationism and intelligent design, is a disastrous dead end for conservatives.”

        Yup. Guess who did all the fundamental scientific materials research on Gallium Arsenide so you can have your cell phones and DVD players and did all the fundamental materials research on Silicon so you can have your computer infrastructure?

      • However, as SFGate’s Seung Lee points out, Smart car toppling goes all the way back to Canada in 2005. Lee offers several examples, and even includes a video showing a group of guys — they’re wearing hoodies so they must be scary hoodlums, right? — tipping over a Smart car. Lee’s done a great job, but it doesn’t look like an epidemic. It would, however, suck to live in Holland and have your adorable little pregnant roller skate tipped into a canal.

        Revenge against the nerds: Definitely the sexiest idea, this feeds into class warfare and the too-much-money culture. The thinking is that the techies are such irredeemable wonks that even though they have made buckets of money, their idea of a cool ride is a little loaf of bread on wheels.

        The theory gets credence from the first episode of the HBO show “Silicon Valley,” where an eccentric venture capitalist makes a few counter-intuitive pronouncements and then drives away in a car so freakishly small it makes a Smart car look like a Cadillac Escalade. Laughs ensue.

        So maybe it’s a goof on the techies, the street version of a wedgie. They think they are so smart with their teeny, tiny cars, so let’s see them design an app to get their car back upright.

        Possible, I guess. But a lot of the guys — and they seem to be mostly guys — I see driving Smart cars don’t look like 20-something techies. If anything they seem like older dudes. So how do you know your clever class warfare statement is reaching the right audience? If you want to make a statement, isn’t it simpler to blockade a Google bus?

        Rage against the machine: This theory has it that people just don’t like the silly shoe boxes. We get the concept — small runabout for the city — but they took the idea too far.

        Not that long ago the vehicle to hate was the Humvee. The big land yachts were gaudy, ostentatious and obnoxious. (They were also gas guzzlers, but the complaint was more about style.) There is a school of thought that says a Smart car is every bit as in your face as a Humvee. The driver is just flaunting his sense of cool. That’s right, he’s saying, I am so incredibly hip that I can drive this odd little smart phone on wheels and think it is trendy.

        There may be some truth to that. Anyone who drives a Smart car must know that he’s going to be the center of attention at the stop light. Everybody looks in to see who that driver is. And, I have to say — and this is a total generalization, which is probably unfair — they generally look pretty smug.

        So how smug are you now that your little rolling telephone booth is upside down? Still it is a lot of effort. Why not just look the guy in the eye and shake your head? Or ask where the windup key is? Tipping the car over seems a little over the top — literally. http://blog.sfgate.com/cwnevius/2014/04/09/smart-car-tipping-isnt-a-thing-unless-it-is/

        I though Springer invented computers and the internet – but seems webby did all the fundamental research. But what have you done for us lately webby? Oh I forgot – he is too shy to say but he invented this one too – http://sexpressed.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/b4p35kmw.jpg

      • Prototypical idiocy of “Salon” and in fact the AGW left. Paul Krugman defined as “science”? There you have our argument in a sentence, how preposterous can it get?

      • Here you go Web; today’s “smartest guy in the room” spin piece;

        http://washingtonexaminer.com/intellectual-hubris-hampers-presidential-geniuses/article/2551712

        Of course his educational resume is sealed, by the establishment.

        Left-wing media, chooses left-wing wonks and praises them as being the most “expert and intellectual”. Wash and repeat.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Must really suck to be you, eh? Nothing to show for your life’s work except for articles in the right-wing American Thinker, a non-stop Obama-bashing vessel.

      • nottawa rafter

        And Web with 1553 citations in Eastern Lithuania Medieval Literature kicking it back in the Caribbean purring “Ain’t life grand” :)

      • WebHubTelescope

        Well, I probably know more Baltic languages than nottawa rafter.

      • I started off with a quite unremarkable statement – most people are moderate to conservative. They want quite unremarkable things for their lives and their children. The extreme far left fringe has nothing to offer.

        Having a bit of fun at webby’s expense is far too easy – but far from mean spirited fun webby brings it backs to insults and abuse every time.

        I have been married for decades – just about to become a grandfather for the first time – have a nice little house in a very nice neck of the woods.

        Professionally – I have degrees in both Civil Engineering and Environmental Science. I am the oldest Environmental Engineer in the country. And webby singles out a single article which I referred to because it predicted the pause – and the source – publicly nearly a decade ago. Although I was discussing it with leading hydrologist before that. It sure sucks to be right. Webby should try it sometime.

      • Having a bit of fun at webby’s expense is far too easy – but (it was) far from mean spirited fun. Webby brings it backs to insults and abuse every time.

        Clumsy syntax – I sounded about as illiterate as webby.

      • WebHubTelescope

        I can’t believe this guy. He bases his entire research output on a single article published in “American Thinker”, a right-wing political magazine devoted to Obama bashing.

        So much for not taking overt political advocacy.

      • Who’s an extremist?

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11020356/Toddlers-at-risk-of-extremism-warns-Education-Secretary.html

        Social scientists were unable to see a problem, are going to try to fix one for all the kids now. Know problem.

      • Repeat a lie often enough and he will come to believe it himself.

        As I have said before – I have a number of credits in other right wing rags.

        The article in question – http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/enso_variation_and_global_warm.html – arose only because the AR4 missed the freakin’ obvious. Something that was all too apparent from studying hydrology for decades before that.

        The science is more in evidence as time goes by – and what is important at this stage is communicating the state of the science to a wide public.

        http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

        At this stage we have come to the understanding – many of us at least – that the climate is a multiply coupled nonlinear system and the future is unpredictable.

        I am not sure why webby thinks a background in electrical engineering is especially relevant – it isn’t and that much is apparent to someone with an Earth sciences background. Especially someone with such a long interest in ENSO and both the training and passion to delve deeply into the literature.

        And – more importantly – my article was and is right and was out there publicly. Webby’s attitudes and aggressions are quite incomprehensible.

        After all – I am right and he is wrong – the world is not warming for decades at least – most change has been quite natural – but there remains some small risk of catastrophic change.

        What to do about it?

        http://online.wsj.com/articles/smart-aid-for-the-worlds-poor-1406326677?mc_cid=d4faaca110&mc_eid=b51ec965d8

        Adult policies and not knee jerk left wing twaddle from the perpetually confounded fringe neo-socialist left like the webster.

      • Get this — the Oz guy claims he has “a number of credits in other right-wing mags”.

        What are these right-wing mags that publish scientific articles?

        Science has no political bias so that is very strange to need a right-wing outlet to publish your research in.

        Unless of course the right-wing mags are the only ones that were willing to publish the stuff. That’s the way they roll — if the science is structured to support a political agenda, they would probably publish it.

      • It was of course a joke – as seems clear to me. Webby’s cognitive bias combined with the readiness to say anything that advances his strange little agenda makes it impossible to distinguish sincere belief from deliberate dissimulation.

        He says very little of any consequence – a litany of whines about sceptics and prattling and preening about mad math and freaky physics on a lonely blogospheric outpost. Contrived simplistic ‘solutions’ to immensely complex problems.

        I read and quote actual science – and attempt to communicate that to a wider public. In the wider field we have people like Wally Broecker who are concerned with abrupt climate change – emergent bahaviour as a result of internal changes in the system – and the implications of dynamic complexity for prediction. Webby insists that Wally Broecker knows that the planet is warming despite the evidence of his words. Webby opines that someone like Anastasios Tsonis is secretly a laughing stock in the science community.

        The reality is that climate shifts unpredictably on multi-decadal scales. This emerges from the most modern science.

        e.g. http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

        This is not ‘sceptical’ in any sense – except where scepticism is defined as falling outside the memes of the groupthink collective.

        It suggests that the planet is not warming for decades at least – but at a risk of a certain instability. The adult response is broad social and development policy that incorporates environmental objectives – along with energy innovation. A high growth and high energy future – which is probably the real heresy in their eyes.

  49. One of my colleagues used to say “If two academics agree then one is redundant.” In Hull’s Science as a Process he shows how researchers create a facade of consensus to advance their “school” against rival “schools” but in many cases members of the same “school” violently disagree about fundamental issues. In one example, two important long-time allies on one side of a debate never finished a planned co-authored textbook because they couldn’t find an acceptable compromise on its contents.

  50. An example of why I sympathise but can’t fully identify with libertarians and economic dries of the right.

    I was caught late walking across the Spanish meseta a few winters back. It got to the point where I needed to look about for trees to give a little shelter if I did not make it to the next village. There were countless wind turbines – but no trees. I thought with dread of how this trash was on its way to Australia, and how in our case there will be massive deforestation to install and maintain the impotent monsters. (In Spain, at least, the trees were already long gone.) And after the trash has been dismantled and carted away those concrete bases will just have to stay, in their thousands, forever.

    The next day I walked into a very wide region of bare hills which had been painstakingly terraced and planted perfectly with tough seedlings. They had already survived a few years and looked on their way to forming a new forest where forests have been stripped away centuries ago. In a few more years it will team will birds, animals and quite a few humans.It was a massive and inspiring project, and it shows what big government and public initiatives can achieve. It was likely done with the same kind of borrowing and euro-subsidies as the Spanish wind farce. No modest organisation or funding could have achieved what I saw.

    Conservation will need to get big, just like the anti-conservation neurosis called Environmentalism. For me, the problem is not big government, welfare or spending generously from the common purse. It’s about the quality and discipline of the government and the spending.

    And it’s about advancing conservation over fetishism.

    • You should investigate before jumping to the conclusion that only large government interventions could have produced what you saw. Large landowners, cooperatives of small owners, or other forms of Ostrom- y governance can and do produce elaborate and complex structures with lots of public good and externality features. Even the Manhattan skyline and subways started out without subsidies or much in the way of planning or regulation. Of course, in a country with an overbearing government, those kinds of market and cooperative governance may be driven out so only Leviathan is left to do anything substantial.

      • Steve, do you really think anything small is going to take such a huge area of marginal land and turn it to such a massive and ultra long-term conservation project? If not a big government then a big something.

        Or do you think that a breakaway Republic of Eastern Leon or Northern Castile (not both together!) would have refused to be knee-deep in EU money and subsidy after an heroic separation from Madrid? And still undertake such a project?

        I don’t like anything of a corporate nature, but that’s just my liking. My general sympathies may lie with libertarians, but I don’t want to be like the preachy locavore who reaches for the imported Scotch or the pious enviro who drives his Prius back along a freeway to his metropolis after a weekend at his fussily organic country farm. I don’t want to pretend I don’t derive many benefits from government and planning and regulation – then point only to their (many) shortcomings.

        And remember: your small and boutiquey is someone else’s Leviathan. You quaint and local is someone else’s serfdom.

      • I’m not interested in quaint or local at all. I’m simply pointing out that many massive and intricate human creations, such as Manhattan, came about not because of central government planning. Very few “massive and ultra-long-term” things I can think of were actually created via government fiat planned from the beginning. (Often private parties have started something and political officials have moved to try to facilitate it if it looks good to them [so-called market-conforming intervention], possibly making it grow faster or to a larger ultimate size. But democratic governments, at least, usually need a pretty quick payback to some constituency to move on these things, so I doubt that they are more prone to generate ultra-long-term projects and carry them out than are the investors in immortal corporations [which plant trees for harvest decades later] or families with intergenerational concerns.)

      • Steve, where private can go government should not. But there are times when only government can do the biz. When Messmer imposed his will on a France empty of energy resources he did not contemplate waiting for the Invisible Hand of the Market to do what needed doing by the French government in a big hurry.

        We need to ask where Spain would be now if it could not source France’s nuclear energy. (I know about that one triumphant day when the wind was perfect and a trickle of wind power went north over the Pyrenees, but really…) Nukes may have all kinds of shortcomings, but a France without nukes now would be one big shortcoming.

        Government stupidity on multiple levels inflicted wind power, solar, feed ins etc on Europe. But it was good government judgement and decisive government action forty years ago back which is still yielding benefits to Western Europe and which has made France the world’s biggest export retailer of electricity.

        Private is the ideal, but private can become like government very easily. Some corporations are like Mother Russia these days, and many of those chisel-featured heroic capitalists of the finance pages can get rich just through getting hired and some can get even richer through getting fired. I’m not knocking the value or efforts of modern corporate bureaucracies, but who’s going to risk millions when a good CV can walk you into millions? Such execs may be very capable and worthy of much praise – but they are not Kingdom Brunels or Soichiro Hondas.

        When guys do brave things and they turn out to be also good things, does it matter if the guy is Messmer or Honda? You can’t be right just by being the government or by being private. You just have to be right.
        And clearly, especially if you are the government, you need to know your place.

      • Remember this caveat? “Of course, in a country with an overbearing government, those kinds of market and cooperative governance may be driven out so only Leviathan is left to do anything substantial.” That’s France, a place where as far back as Colbert businesspeople waited on the intentions of the king and refused to invest or innovate without the sanction and support of same. (One byproduct of that tradition is that the public sector in France attracts the best rather than the worst managers, so that their public sector runs relatively efficiently, but at the expense of considerable economic dynamism.)

        The natural monopoly aspects of grid electricity have certainly stimulated a public economic regulatory role everywhere where electricity isn’t produced publicly to begin with (as I believe it was in France even before nukes came along). Additionally, nuclear power certainly requires regulatory coordination for public safety, even if the investment were all or mostly private, as it is in the U.S. and Japan. But there is no necessity for the French style of public technocratic commitment in order to get mass deployment of nuclear power.

      • “But there is no necessity for the French style of public technocratic commitment in order to get mass deployment of nuclear power.”

        You’re right there, Steve. But in a nuclear-poor world where billions are still burning the twigs and dung, I’d even settle for a French-style solution. Desperate, I know.

  51. I don’t know if Jose Duartes realizes but this by him:

    That AGW is true has no inherent implications for policy. For one thing, severity or magnitude will matter. If the warming is only 1° C, that’s a very different scenario than a 6° C change. Global warming is not a dichotomous or binary thing – it’s a matter of degree, in every sense. You need to do some serious work to get from 1) AGW is true, to 2) Do something! We might value economic prosperity more than some increment of climate stasis. We’d also have to establish whether we owe the people of 2100 a very specific band of temperatures, and a very specific range of sea levels — that’s not obvious. We’d have to decide whether government should be an open-ended, unconstrained, intergenerational welfare-maximization engine, or a protector of individual rights on human lifespan timescales. There is a substantial body of evidence detailing the harms of giving government a coercive role in economic life — see public choice theory, rent-seeking, regulatory capture, the knowledge problem, general economics, Hayek, Buchanan, Easterly, Cowen, Mankiw, Caplan, Epstein, the history of the 20th century, etc. (and many economists disagree with them — I’m puzzled why economics isn’t more unified.) There will be deep philosophical and ethical differences on whether we have the right to coerce billions of people for an unclear likelihood of preventing a 2-4 C increase in global mean surface temperatures by 2100. None of this is self-evident — people will disagree. – See more at: http://www.joseduarte.com/#sthash.RQrDM6Cg.dpuf

    is enough to get him labelled a climate denier, by the usual suspects. Additionally his position there is near identical to mine..

  52. Tomas Milanovic

    When the issue is a generally valid theory or statement it is extremely irritating to see that 95% of the posts confuse USA and the World.
    This is patently obvious when read by a European (or a Chinese).
    Of course the demography of CE is what it is and the fact that 90% or more of the posters are US is not bad in itself. It can’t be changed anyway.

    But I find it surprising how uncritically people transfer statements which have only validity for the US to other parts of the World where they are not valid at all.
    .
    This gives us f.ex a statement that I found the most idiotic in the whole thread and strong competition for the most idiotic statement of the year :
    .
    Some think by giving to selected charities at their Church they have done their duty, but don’t like paying tax out of their wages to help the poor and sick. It’s a left-right thing.
    .
    The person writing that apparently doesn’t even realize that what might be a left-right thing in US (I am not expert so won’t comment) is absolutely not a right-left thing elsewhere.
    Most of Czechia is basically right wing or center (not surprising after getting out of communism) but it is the most atheistic country of the world.
    Poland on the other hand is very religious and that includes left-wing people too.
    The taxes are low in Russia but extremely high in Denmark. The right wing in Russia has little if anything in common with the right wing in Denmark.
    .
    So the problem is that when somebody already gets the notion of right and left wrong or at best only partially valid (?) for the US, how high is the probability that he can say something meaningless about the relation between science and the political orientation that would have a general validity ?
    Right, exactly zero.
    .
    The fact is that the notions right/left are very ill defined and change radically with countries and continents. This precludes any interesting analysis that would still stay significant beyond some national boundaries (e.g US here).
    If one wanted to say something more generally valid then the operating parameter is the power of the state to orient scientists (not science !) in a desired direction.
    I have experienced it in a left wing government (marxist eastern europe).
    The government indeed cannot change the science and doesn’t even try.
    However it can change the scientists and this quite easily – the scientist is allowed to work if and only if he publicly supports and celebrates the government policy.
    Now in softer sciences (history, biology, economy, sociology etc) this leads directly to change the science itself. This happens via a friendly advice “You know, the party wouldn’t like your result. In your interest you better drop it.”
    In hard sciences like mathematics the control of the mathematicians by the state didn’t really extend to their work unless their work lead to promote measures that interferred with the state’s ideology.
    F.ex optimisation research was frowned upon because it could have shown that things were not optimal so that the mathematicians doing that were looked at like potential anti-social elements etc.
    .
    So all that has nothing to do with right or left. It has to do with the state’s ability and willigness to control/influence the scientists to only work in directions that the states wishes and punish them if they don’t.
    And this can happen both with right wing and left wing states even if marxist/communist states are ideologically more inclined to such control.

    • Tomas, you are correct – there are many comments on this thread from people who show no understanding at all of politics on the eastern side of the Atlantic.

    • Tomas: Interesting points. You might enjoy reading Francis Spofford’s Red Plenty, which is a historian’s very slightly fictionalized account of Kruschev’s drive to reform the Soviet economy and the role of Kantarovich and his fellow optimizers in that effort. The research is scrupulous (he has elaborate endnotes detailing every departure from fact that he made for dramatic effect) and the writing is superb and even gripping.

    • It helps to go back to the very beginning. “Left wing” and “Right wing” referred to the assembly in revolutionary France. The “Right wing” were the royalists. The “Left wing” were the revolutionaries. The terms meant nothing more than that. “Left wing” didn’t imply anything about what would replace the monarchy, just that it would be replaced. By the standards of the time, the American revolutionaries were “Left wing”.

      Then Marx came along, and now words don’t mean anything anymore.

    • “In hard sciences like mathematics the control of the mathematicians by the state didn’t really extend to their work unless their work lead to promote measures that interfered with the state’s ideology.”

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

  53. Schrodinger's Cat

    The obsession with the IR absorbance of carbon dioxide and its subsequent impact on climate has dominated mainstream climate science for decades.

    The politicisation of this aspect has made it a condition for funding and has provided a deterrent for contrary thinking. All of this explains why climate science appears to have stalled in recent years with little progress. The consensus obligations have created a very well trodden path leading to nowhere.

    The science is crying out for novel thinking. The field is rich with tempting observations, unexplained phenomena and anecdotal evidence. This is fertile ground for those blessed with objectivity, the ability to ask searching questions and a desire for truth.

    Instead, we have the millstone of confirmation bias, the endless search for factors that explain the pause and the determination to ignore and even ridicule fresh thinking.

    I am confident that we are not far away from a radical, new understanding of our climate. I see the ideas begin to flow. The mainstream experts at the top of their profession will be the last to realise that they are promoting the theories of last century.

  54. The idea of “balance” is a media-created fallacy in the sense of two opponents arguing from two “sides” is an appropriate way to discuss issues. It is designed to generate more heat than light. The reality is that a spectrum of positions exists. Balance, therefore, needs to be multi-dimensional rather than dual.

  55. If that unnamed organization were the Heartland Institute, there’s no surprise as to why they’d have a hard time getting someone from the ‘warm side’ to participate. After you run a billboard equating all such people to mass murders, part of a planned series that would also include terrorists, you can’t be surprised that the people you’re attacking don’t want to visit you.

    Though the billboard did come down, Bast made clear in his not-pology that he does think that’s an accurate equation. It was a tactical matter to take it down, not a change of belief.

  56. When the left calls for ‘diversity’, they never get around to defining it, though it seems to mean anyone except straight white men. It’d be nice if the ‘right’ here, JC especially, would define what they mean by the term. So far it seems to mean nothing in particular except ‘more people who think like me’, which is rather similar to the left’s usage.

    For political diversity, how would that be arranged? Since voting for Republican presidents (Emmanual) through both terms of W Bush is not really a ‘conservative’ to at least one commenter, there must be quite a few underrepresented minorities, politically speaking. So, what, purge half of all scientists who identify as Democrats (the 55% in the PEW poll, vs. the upper 20s in the general population), give a little affirmative action for the independents and whopping great amounts for that 6% who identify as Republican. And something truly spectacular for the even smaller percentage who would not get labelled as not ‘true’ conservatives?

    Once there’s an idea of how to arrange political diversity among scientists, you still have to figure out what it would look like. Should it match political positions of the general population? The House? The Senate? Do parties just nominate which scientists should be considered, as is done for testimony to the Congress, but extend this to who gets grants as well?

    Intellectual diversity is perhaps even more elaborate and challenging. Should 10% of the climate scientists who remain after the purge believe the moon landing was a hoax, as in the US population? Do you rotate between one person who believes there is no greenhouse effect, one who believes there is but CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, one who believes CO2 is a greenhouse gas but its concentration hasn’t changed, one believes it’s a greenhouse gas and its concentration has changed but humans had nothing to do with it, and, finally, one who thinks that CO2 is a greenhouse gas whose concentration has changed over the past 200 years and the main reason is human activity (one of five)?

    • Do you rotate between one person who believes there is no greenhouse effect,

      You read their argument till you see it’s one you’ve seen and judged silly before, or decide it makes no sense on its merits. If it does (make no sense).

      one who believes there is but CO2 is not a greenhouse gas,

      You read their argument till you see it’s one you’ve seen and judged silly before, or decide it makes no sense on its merits. If it does (make no sense). Note that there’s a difference between “greenhouse gas”, and “well-mixed greenhouse gas”.

      one who believes CO2 is a greenhouse gas but its concentration hasn’t changed,

      What do you mean by “concentration hasn’t changed”? Salby suggested that variation in pCO2 over the last few centuries may well have gone higher than it is today, more so for the last few millennia. Salby was sabotaged in ways that had nothing to do with science: e.g. being stranded by cancellation of an airline ticket that was non-refundable anyway. We really don’t know about his science, because he’s been unable to publish what he has, or perform further research. He says.

      one believes it’s a greenhouse gas and its concentration has changed but humans had nothing to do with it,

      What do you mean by “humans had nothing to do with it”? Are you assuming that to be identical with “fossil fuel burning by humans had nothing to do with it”? What if most of the reason for increasing pCO2 was whaling? How would that fit your questions?

      and, finally, one who thinks that CO2 is a greenhouse gas whose concentration has changed over the past 200 years and the main reason is human activity (one of five)?

      This still leaves quite a bit of scope for disagreement WRT how, and how much, the “greenhouse effect” from a well-mixed greenhouse gas actually affects the climate. If it does.

      • Who is it that decides what views are ‘silly’? JC and commenters here are unsatisfied with the current methods. How do you select your czar of approving views?

        If you’re eliminating views because you’ve judged them ‘silly’, you’re limiting the intellectual diversity.

      • How do you select your czar of approving views?

        For me, it’s me. Science doesn’t need a “czar”.

        Oh, you’re asking about how to “do science”? Well, views opposing the current paradigm should be given a hearing. If science is to actually progress, rather than (a paradigm) steeping in its own juices until all the flavor’s boiled out of it, challenges to the paradigm need to be recognized for what they are, and judged on different merits than articles working within the paradigm.

        AFAIK challenges to the paradigm can have either or both of the following attributes:

        •   They question one or more of the fundamental semantic assumptions of the current paradigm. Such as Einsteinian Relativity that defined two different types of “mass” with different definitions, to replace the Newtonian “mass” where it was assumed the two were always identical.

        •   They report repeatable experimental results that aren’t consistent with the current paradigm. Such as Michelson/Morley.

        The problem with “climate science” is that it’s built a lot of politically-motivated assumptions into the paradigm, which requires politically-motivated defenders of that paradigm to resort to the most extreme forms of paradigm defense against what should be “in-paradigm” questions.

        For instance the assumption that because the supposed rate of growth of pCO2 is very roughly correlated to the growth of the “Industrial Revolution” and the dumping of fossil carbon into the atmosphere, the latter is the cause of the former. Whaling in the 19th-20th century is a perfectly plausible alternative, to anybody who understands the complexity of eco-systems. AFAIK the effect on global whale populations is also very roughly correlated to the growth of pCO2.

        But anybody wanting to pursue that research would run into the same sort of thing Salby did.

      • For instance the assumption that because the supposed rate of growth of pCO2 is very roughly correlated to the growth of the “Industrial Revolution” and the dumping of fossil carbon into the atmosphere

        Why do you say this is a politically motivated assumption?. I think this “assumption” is pretty widely accepted even by most “skeptics.”

      • @Joseph — if AK had read the scientific literature, he’d know that the CO2 rise being due to human activity was a conclusion, not an assumption — political or otherwise. The assumption was that mass is conserved. Then look to what all the sources were and what all the sinks were and see if the numbers could balance.

        Is the law of conservation of mass a political assumption? Was it political to observe that burning fossil fuels releases carbon? Apparently so, since JC and AK want ‘more diversity’. I just wonder how they want to achieve that diversity and how far it reaches.

      • Why do you say this is a politically motivated assumption? I think this “assumption” is pretty widely accepted even by most “skeptics.”

        That’s true of most fundamental assumptions of a paradigm. I say it’s politically motivated because it comes in handy for the political goal of shutting down the Industrial Revolution. Suggestions of alternative and/or contributing “causes” are suppressed. As you just did tried to.

      • @plutarchnet…

        @Joseph — if AK had read the scientific literature, he’d know that the CO2 rise being due to human activity was a conclusion, not an assumption — political or otherwise. The assumption was that mass is conserved. Then look to what all the sources were and what all the sinks were and see if the numbers could balance.

        I have read the scientific literature. It was an assumption. There was no effort to understand why the various sinks didn’t just start absorbing more.

        Oh wait! They did! Around half the human contribution. Why any? Why not all? Whaling is a plausible reason, certainly as plausible in looking at a hyper-complex non-linear system as the simple linear assumption that the sinks somehow simply absorbed some constant fraction of the extra.

      • AK –
        There was no effort to understand why the various sinks didn’t just start absorbing more.

        I’m surprised that you say this. There are books written on the subject. You are surely familiar with the seminal paper of Revelle and Suess. The list of citations of this paper listed by Google Scholar provides a starting point for anyone wishing to pursue the subject in depth.

  57. Can anybody on the CE Blog provide a succinct argument how either “liberal or conservative ideology” is driving Nic Lewis’ statement:

    “The soundest observational evidence points to a ‘likely’ range for TCR of about 1.0–2.0°C, with a best
    estimate of circa 1.35°C.”

    This comes from his article: http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Nic-Lewis-guest-blog-def1.pdf

    • You make a statement seem like a fact, a key fallacy running through AGW advocacy.

      Define “soundest” for example? It’s an opinion like a dentist describing the best toothpaste on television. This is old schtick.

      • Matthew R Marler

        cwon14: Define “soundest” for example?

        It’s defined by Nic Lewis in the article, as least undermined by dubious assumptions and most closely related to data.

      • Cwon14 — You must not have read Nic Lewis’ article. He cited his scientific sources and explained “why” he used the word “soundess”.

      • Is “soundest” a reproducible result from a controlled experiment?

        No, it’s not. The point is made, it’s a appeal to imagined elite authority.

  58. We’ve reached the point, past it in fact, where the lazy and partisan based academic community has surrendered the word “science” as a new politically correct pejorative;

    http://www.salon.com/2014/07/30/national_review_declares_war_against_the_nerds/

    “Science” now means in the schism debate “you must be a denier” and “you’re not listening to the facts (political opinions) being described” when invoked by the usual media and now “science” operatives.

    Politically correct wonks need only apply. Everyone else? You’re “old”, “stupid”, “biased”, “backward”, “regressive” and of course if all else fails “right wing”.

    • cwon14 | August 7, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
      ………………
      Everyone else? You’re “old”, “stupid”, “biased”, “backward”, “regressive” and of course if all else fails “right wing”.

      The shoe fits, Cwon, and you are wearing it… Loud and Proud.

      • Howard: Why did you make that reply? It was in no way an intelligible response to what cwon said.

      • rls: Cwon has a consistant track record of making over and over and over and over the alarmist (and Lewandowsky’s) case that skeptics (septics!) are paranoid, delusional, mentally ill, etc, etc, etc

      • There’s a long proud history of the left’s word destruction; “fairness”, “denier”, “compassion”, “forward”, “progress”, “the rich”, “undocumented”, “underclass” and now “science”. All with simple internally coded symbolic meanings and political ques filtering through the hack media.

      • Thanks rls but the “dwarfs are for the dwarfs”, you can’t help the Howard’s of this board or this world in fact. Just ignore them.

      • Howard: You lay in wait and pounce at the wrong time. Cwon, in comparison, is more measured.

  59. As an author of the paper calling for greater political diversity, my view is that the solution is NOT to defund fields where political bias is a problem. To me, this is like refusing to buy a car, because one bought a lemon. There might even be a lot of lemons out there, in which case, the solution might be a full recall. But it is not to stop buying cars. Political bias is fundamentally a scientific problem. It can cause science to go bad. But the solution to bad science, is, imo, not to kill science. The solution to bad science is to promote, enhance, and fund good science, and to advance practices and policies that support good science. This especially includes supporting those who are doing their damnedest to elevate the scientific conduct of scientists, and the quality of the scientific research itself. This point is just as true of climate science, as it is of psychology, political science, or any field that has potential to be distorted by political bias.

    For those of you so interested, my blog:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser

    identifies essentially a similar set of issues in psychology, generally focused around the psychological research on stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination, and on the psychological characteristics of liberals and conservatives.

    The problem is sometimes quite severe. And I cannot blame the intelligent public, especially the nonliberal intelligent public, for being angry and critical of science funded by public money, and which is distorted by politics.

    But the solution to bad science is not no science. It is not ignorance. It is good science.

    • They probably wouldn’t get defunded if they weren’t so political themselves. If you want to play hardball and call people (politicians) that disagree with you deniers and flat earthers then don’t be suprised when they cut your funding. It sort of makes you wonder about their judgement.

    • Lee –

      Could you describe your political orientation for me? I’m trying to evaluate the validity of your work.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Good one, Joshua. That will make steam come out of the anti-science crowd’s ears.

      • –Lee –

        Could you describe your political orientation for me? I’m trying to evaluate the validity of your work.–

        My guess is Lee is not a democrat, nor an ex-dem, because he doesn’t appear to hate the Dems enough. Nor is he Republican.
        And I hope he is not a libertarian, because he thinks government money equals science.
        So a Moderate- or in other words, confused.

      • WHT –

        Problem is, I suspect, that the point I’m making is going to fly over their heads.

      • Seeing how it is obvious Josh that you can’t evaluate his work based on the subject matter.

      • This was worth one line from Joshua – not 80 comments. The tendentious triviality was ‘got’ on the first iteration and I’d suggest that Joshua move on in the interest of not overwhelming threads telling the same ‘joke’ over and over. It is not particularly clever – although you can never go wrong underestimating the cleverness of Joshua.

        The point is of course distortion resulting from common world views in vulnerable fields – with climate science it takes on more of a psychopathology of groupthink. First judge the vulnerability of the field.

    • It’s good to see Lee Jussim commenting here – I was going to mention his blog. He describes some very interesting experiments:

      In “Personal Experience I” he describes how a research proposal on liberal bias was rejected. But when the same proposal was resubmitted, with just the first paragraph changed to tick a few liberal boxes (eg saying that conservatives sacrifice science for their political ends) – it was funded!

      “Personal Experience II” reports research that they did that found – horror! – that liberals were more biased than conservatives. The paper was rejected by two different journals. Then they took out all the explicit statements of this finding (though it was still clearly there in the presented data) and the paper was accepted.

    • The point is you can’t compensate for bad science simply by funding more science. Since so much climate science comes out a complex ideologically academic/government/political systems dating back decades and so over blown and politically intolerant of dissent it couldn’t even accept better science.

      There is little productivity based about the field at all, other then political policies that benefit special interests (cronies) there is no return on real investment to expect. “Science” very close to a humanities discipline. If there is nothing tangible, provable or demonstrable and more research leads to only more vague opinions based on political identifications the best solution is to defund it. Climate science is really more close to funding the “arts” or “political science” at some level and clearly we are way over the top based on current events.

      All weather is clearly in historic ranges, clearly it improved from the Little Ice Age. There is little but speculation regarding global human impacts. So most climate funding is now deeply politicized and crony intrenched.

      Take a meat ax to it.

      • cwon14 Re: Tetlock’s book.
        I like what Louis Menand of The New Yorker had to say “But the best lesson of Tetlock’s book may be the one that he seems most reluctant to draw: Think for yourself.”

        Tetlock’s book was published 8 yrs ago…has there been any kind of examination of ‘experts’ with his book in mind, any lessening of the use of experts in the media to push partisan points?

        The Zeitgeist of our culture is Left Wing Progressivism, an anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-liberty political ideology that runs on fear and envy with heaping amounts of nihilism and misanthropy. If you wonder why the ‘green’ movement can propose solutions to ‘might be problems’ that require large swaths of humanity be relegated to subsistence living, don’t agonize over why, just understand what under-girds their political philosophy of life.

        This rise of Progressivism has been like a plague in thought, sweeping across Western Civilization that seems to coincide with the declaration by Nietzsche of the death of God. While one can wave adieu to religious babble and find enough historical barbarism in Judaism and Christianity and enough barbarism in today’s Islam to wish them to disappear forever, it is the height of hubris of the modern day New Atheist (I myself am a lifelong atheist but an epistemological one) to think that all that is attached to religion is negative and that science can replace the role religion played/plays in people’s lives. (Which isn’t to ignore the problems religion creates when it has power.)

        One of the things that religion has provided is an entity, God, which people could give their hearts, love and loyalty to, that was walled off from the STATE. Tear down that wall and you breach one of the impediments to the STATE having complete and total control over the population. Richard Dawkins, whatever the value of his work in biology, would love nothing better than to be one of the High Priests of Science dictating how people should live their lives with Sam Harris the High Priest of Neurology feeding the system with ‘science’ to rationalize the control. Progressivism has risen to take it’s place, with ‘science’ as the rationale for all sorts of plans to enact the basic impulses of the fearful and envious. Everything must come to a stop. (For the little people, the great despised unwashed, whose only value lies in their vote and isn’t that tedious having to persuade people to vote?) Notice that it is mostly Left Wing groups that want to freeze everything in place by using the STATE as the boot to stomp on anyone that gets out of line.

        The Left is genetically in love with stasis. In love with top down, command and control economies, with people being ranked by status which Progressives define on a whim. Where is the rally for women’s rights by Left Wing feminists for the women of Afghanistan? As someone said, “All evil needs to get a purchase is for good men to do nothing.” The ‘good men’ who did nothing here were the good men who professed a belief in Liberty yet sat by and did nothing while Marxists (just another name for Progressives) stole the Universities and Media and went unchallenged as they brought in their misanthropic, nihilistic, anti-freedom ideas and sloganeering to all walks of life. They have been in the trenches and fighting dirty for over a 100 years and who has been their opponent other than the lethargy of resistance to change. (And the constitution which they attack daily). Where are the intellectual champions of Liberty, of economics infused with liberty otherwise known as free enterprise? Where have been the academics and the scientists to speak out vociferously on behalf of Liberty. The scientists took the government grants, worked to increase the size and scope of the Federal Leviathan and looked the other way. Short term self-interest rules not only many businesses but many academics as well. Who has stood up to say our whole educational establishment with it’s built in socialism is rotten to the core? Who will challenge a system that is rotten to the core when there is still so much largesse to be had for the taking and it’s so easy to get more?

        The wealthiest nation in the history of man provides many many years of theft for those who can stomach being thieves. And Progressives are nothing if they are not thieves who steal language and corrupt it to their foul ends, and think nothing of stealing people’s right to determine their own lives, set their own goals, live with the consequences of their actions.

  60. “Take Lord Lawson. That was the first time ever that he’s been interviewed on climate change. ”

    What precisely does Lord Lawson have to add to any discussion of climate change?

    • Have you read his book on the subject?

    • C’mon Eli. Get with the program, anyone who’s everyone wants to lap up the dulcet tones uddered by the Baron of Blaby as he keenly reveals how the whatnot and thingamabob transforms the whatchamacallit into a doohickey.

  61. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The far-righties here on Climate Etc just don’t appreciate that markets+democracy+science are more powerful than any one of them separately:

    FOMD posted:

    BREAKING NEWS
    RIGHT-and-LEFT UNITE on CARBON NEUTRALITY
    Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting
       That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

    Is This The End Of Big Carbon?

    • All day long, photovoltaic panels on your roof run the air-conditioner and charge your car, then

    • The car-batteries run your house at night (and feed energy back into the grid)

    Say goodbye to Big Carbon earth-degrading mountain-topping, planet-destroying global warming, and prosperity-destroying fascist/fanatic “oil”igarchs!

    The reason is simple:

    • As soon as one householder in your neighborhood received a tax-deduction for mortgage interest payments, every householder voted to extend those benefits to all households.

    • As soon as one householder in your neighborhood received a tax-deduction for carbon-neutral roof-arrays, every householder will vote to extend those benefits to all households.

    Because the externalities of land-destruction, climate-destruction, and loss-of-autonomy to OPEC have an enormous value to thoughtful citizens … and at the household level, those photovoltaic externalities have become a politically contagious ebola-virus of exceeding virulence.

    *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT*, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Conclusion  The Morgan Stanley analysts are right: the confluence of science, markets, and democracy is acting to doom Big Carbon.

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

    • FOMD:

      …photovoltaic panels…this…photovoltaic panels…that…

      *EVERYONE* appreciates *THAT*, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Not everyone:

      http://reason.com/archives/2014/08/07/effect-of-solar-policy-on-american-poor

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Today’s citizen-technologists possess a concrete common-sense appreciation of the interlocking economic, scientific, and moral reasons why Big Carbon is doomed.

      Juvenile true-believing ideologues not so much.

      *EVERYONE* on Climate Etc appreciates *THAT* reality!

      That’s why Morgan-Stanley’s hard-nosed economic analysts foresee a Big Carbon oblivion-spiral.

      \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}

      • We all know that cheap, long life, high energy density, electrical storage will pretty much change everything. The thing is that we do not have, high energy density, long life, electrical storage devices.

      • Doc

        But if we wish hard enough won’t one materalize??? If you know where one is being developed that is deployable in the next 5 years invest now

      • I encourage people to read the Morgan Stanley report (rather than the rosy report on it by an advocacy group that FAN links to. There is a link to the actual report at the very bottom of FAN’s link).
        There are several assumptions they make- first is that California energy prices will almost double. Second is that the obviously unsustainable 30% tax credit for solar installation will continue and eat up billions of dollars. Third is the acknowledgement that the government will kill net metering – the ridiculous setup under which the three hours/day your solar panel produces more power than you use means you don’t have to pay for the 21 hours/day you’re sucking juice off the grid. But they assume the moment net metering dies is the moment you can run out and buy a battery bank big enough to run your house (through rainy and sunny days).
        But the report isn’t entirely daft- it predicts this in California based on that state’s generally sunny weather and awful government. Everywhere else, they expect natural gas to be the big winner.

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: Today’s citizen-technologists possess a concrete common-sense appreciation of the interlocking economic, scientific, and moral reasons why Big Carbon is doomed.

        Here in California where citizen-antitechnologists got a “renewable portfolio standard” through the state Assembly (AB32), most citizens do not in fact install roof-mounted solar. That is because, for most of us, roof-mounted solar is not economical ($10,000+ for a 2000 max watt system), even with the tax credits (you have to be rich to benefit from the tax credits), even with plentiful sunny weather.

      • “That’s why Morgan-Stanley’s hard-nosed economic analysts foresee a Big Carbon oblivion-spiral.”
        It’s possible the well off are being subsidized and will eventually leave the electrical grid in pursuit of a better situation for themselves. The less well off will now buy their electricity from a company that has lost customers but not reduced their fixed costs by an equal amount. Once again market manipulation with good intentions will hurt the poor.
        I doubt Morgan Stanley has demonstrated investment picking savvy in the long run. As a full cost broker they’ve apparently convinced themselves it’s in their clients interest to charge them about 8 times what Vanguard charges in annual fees for an S&P 500 index fund.

      • Morgan Stanley is pushing a company and technology that it’s in bed with. It’s pretty clear lithium-ion technology is a keeper (so far). But stay tuned: according to this article in Nature News:

        Five years ago, Wilcke, who heads IBM’s nanoscience and technology division in San Jose, California, launched a project to develop a car battery with an 800-kilometre range. At the start, he focused on the theoretical ultimate in energy-dense electrochemical storage: the oxidation of lithium with oxygen drawn from the air. Such ‘breathing’ batteries have a huge weight advantage over other types, because they do not have to carry around one of their main ingredients. A lithium–oxygen (Li–O) battery can, in theory, store energy as densely as a petrol engine — more than ten times better than today’s car battery packs.

        But after driving more than 22,000 kilometres in his electric roadster, Wilcke is happy with the 400-kilometre range that its battery already provides. The real problem, he says, is money: battery packs for electric cars cost more than $500 kWh^−1. “What’s holding back the mass acceptance of electric cars is really the price rather than the energy density,” he says. So Wilcke now favours a cheaper breathing battery based on sodium. Theory predicts that sodium–oxygen (Na–O) batteries could provide only half the energy density of Li–O, but that is still five times better than Li-ion batteries. And sodium is cheaper than lithium, so Na–O might, Wilcke hopes, get closer to the $100-kWh^−1 goal that the JCESR and others have set for affordability.

        IMO Wilcke is five years too late.

        But it’s important to remember the different economics of storage for cars vs. fixed storage for the grid. The latter has fewer limitations, just wants cheap. But there’s also a potential synergy: sodium-air batteries/fuel cells (there’s not a sharp dividing line, except in the minds of researchers) could easily “breath” air in but essentially pure O2 out. And as I’ve mentioned, that oxygen could (potentially) be used in fossil carbon-burning power plants to make CO2 capture from the flue much cheaper.

    • “Our existing rates don’t recognize new technology like solar and distributed generation,” OG&E spokesperson Kathleen O’Shea said. “They’re kind of based on old, historic models.”

      She does not believe that many rooftop solar customers want to sever their connection to the grid and OG&E wants to keep them as customers.

      “We just want to make sure they’re paying their fair amount of that maintenance cost.” http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/26/oklahoma-law-allows-utilities-apply-higher-rooftop-solar-rates/

      No economic rationalist is opposed to cheap energy – or indeed to expensive energy if individuals want to pay for it. What is objected to is distortions in the energy market. This applies equally to subsidies for fossil fuels – as is being pursued at the G20 meeting coming up and in the MDG. .

      One of the objectives is to ensure that grid connected systems pay their share of grid costs and proceed without public subsidies.

      A viable stand alone system costs some $30,000. But is there enough lithium for batteries for everyone?

      http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-12/issue-4/features/the-lithium-battery-recycling-challenge.html

      In no sense is this competitive with grid supply – but feel free.

      That makes sense to everyone – doesn’t it laddies and lasses? Unfortunately not.

      • Why would one of the most conservative Governors in the U.S., in probably the most conservative State enact this solar energy legislation?

        Explain what Gov. Haley must clearly doesn’t understand about being a Conservative:

        http://www.wjbf.com/story/26216610/governor-nikki-haley-signs-landmark-solar-energy-bill

      • Stephen Segrest, “Why would SC pass a solar energy bill?”

        https://www.sceg.com/docs/librariesprovider5/electric-gas-rates/ratepr1

        Most of the new solar installations or leases will probably be net metering. The buy back rates pretty much match the sell rates with on peak and off peak. That differs from many states where the buy back rate were higher than cost. SC seems to have some business sense.

      • The first point is that ethanol does not improve air pollution; it makes it worse in many respects. The second point is that there would be no need for mandates or subsidies if ethanol could compete with other fuel components on cost and quality. It can’t. The third point is that the Congress then stipulated blending of cellulosic product even though no such product was available or could be economically produced. The fourth point is that manufacturers didn’t design most cars to run with these ethanol blends and have timorously (in the face of government power) suggested that there might be problems with the long-term functioning of their engines under these blends. The fifth point is that no coherent justification has ever been given for ethanol subsidies or mandates once its pollution and CO2-emission reduction claims were exploded.

        Otherwise, the policy is just fine.

      • If they want grid connection – they need to pay for grid costs pro-rata and not on the basis of energy purchased. Otherwise costs are unfairly imposed on a smaller pool of people without solar power. Which was the point of the first link. If they don’t want grid connection – so be it.

      • It absolutely makes sense for all grid denizens to pay their share.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a Fan of *More* Discourse: Is This The End Of Big Carbon?

      Not in my lifetime — carbon fuel consumption increases annually. Maybe later. Maybe after the energy for manufacturing PV panels comes entirely from PV panels. Yesterday in California, PV generated 36,000 megawatt-hours of electricity out of 743,000 megawatt-hours used, 4.9% (http://content.caiso.com/green/renewrpt/DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf.) That’s something, but it is a long way from the end of big carbon, and it isn’t very economical.

      The PV farms are ugly. I don’t know whether they are uglier than flattened mountain tops in Appalachia, but they produce a lot less energy.

      • For those invoking the “denier as conspiracy theorist” pejorative need only consider the gems left here by Fanboy and now Naq;

        “They know there is plenty of oil around the world and they want the highest price they can squeeze out of the end users now. It is all secret stuff you know.”

        Throw a few “Koch Brothers”, “Big Carbon/Oil”, “capitalism” and we reach the ultimate state of mind of the deeply “scientific” AGW advocate supporters.

    • Is This The End Of Big Carbon?

      What do you mean by “Big Carbon?” Right now there’s a huge agglomeration of companies involved in digging up, processing, transporting, and burning fossil fuels for energy. Much of the infrastructure and other investment could be (fairly) easily switched to “carbon-neutral” products: biowaste (e.g. azolla) for coal, bio-methane for natural gas, and cyanobacterial oil for petroleum. Other parts are dedicated to digging stuff up, and would have to be retired.

      But given a 20-30 year transition period, all the major players would be able to retire their digging operations without significant losses, replacing them with bio-sources of various types. So the question is this:

      Are you looking to fix the problem, or just destroy “Big Carbon?”

      • CO2 to Fuels via Photosynthesis

        The heart of Joule’s system are prokaryotic cyanobacteria that use photosynthesis to grow. The scientists at Joule have modified the bacteria to produce hydrocarbons instead of cellular growth. Cyanobacteria are one of the oldest and most successful forms of life on Earth and are thought to be responsible for oxygenating the early atmosphere and helping to create the conditions for diverse life to flourish. Cyanobacteria are found in nearly every habitat and can flourish in a wide variety of conditions, a trait that has been harnessed by Joule and enables them to use brackish or salt water as a growth medium.

        Joule Receives EPA Clearance For Commercial Use of Modified Cyanobacteria For Fuel Production

        The catalysts are derived from an environmentally benign cyanobacterium that exists naturally in the wild, and Joule has redirected the metabolism of multiple strains for the production of specific products, including ethanol and diesel-range alkanes – an industry first.

        This feat enables the continuous, single-step conversion of CO2 to fuels, negating the need for biomass feedstocks and complex downstream processing.

      • Will Big Oil Become Big Algae? ExxonMobil and Chevron Invest in Synthetic Biology

        On August 11, the Financial Times reported on the promise of “synthetic biology,” including the development of algae that generates biofuels. In July, ExxonMobil entered into a $600 million venture with Synthetic Genomics, a firm founded by biotech pioneer Dr. Craig Venter. “Synthetic Genomics has already engineered strains of algae that secrete oil from their cells,” writes the FT’s Clive Cookson.

        A Promising Oil Alternative: Algae Energy

        Another bonus: Because algae can be grown just about anywhere in an enclosed space, it’s being tested at several power plants across the nation as a carbon absorber. Smokestack emissions can be diverted directly into the ponds, feeding the algae while keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

      • Big Carbon, has been searching and drilling for the stuff for more than one hundred years and even with all they have learned and told us, about the scarcity they are more than excited about drilling even more holes. They know there is plenty of oil around the world and they want the highest price they can squeeze out of the end users now. It is all secret stuff you know.

      • What should this suggest to us about future space progress?

        http://www.law360.com/employment/articles/564591/spacex-slapped-with-wage-class-action-over-mass-layoff

        Now they need, more space.

  62. FOMD believes the hype that fits his fantasies. which is how they pull in the rubes. But the political pull of solar operators is nowhere near that of farmers, so don’t expect solar to be the new ethanol. Except maybe here in California.

    • stevepostrel — and what’s wrong with a 10% blending rate of ethanol for octane and oxygenate requirements? Should CAA regs just be optional?

      • Stephen Segrest — and if you think that’s why they have those requirements and continue to have them, why does the Fed work so very hard to keep much cheaper Brazilian ethanol out of the country?

      • You’ve got to be kidding. It’s practically an entry-level badge for wonkhood on left and right to understand that ethanol mandates are environmentally damaging and economically inefficient and a textbook example of misguided environmental policy captured by special interests. I’m not even going to Google up the vast amount of research and commentary over the years on this–if you have any actual curiosity about it you can verify it for yourself.

      • NW — I don’t know what you are talking about. There were restrictions when the U.S. had the corn ethanol tax credit (meant only for U.S. ethanol), but this was eliminated when the tax credit was eliminated. Is this what you are referring to? Educate me!

        Here is a recent article on what’s going on:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-28/brazil-ethanol-exports-to-drop-to-11-year-low-dreyfus-unit-says.html

      • stevepostrel — No, if you had any natural curiosity you would learn about octane and oxygenates.

      • Stephen Segrest, you keep missing the point about US ethanol. There is nothing wrong with requiring x% ethanol for vehicles or equipment designed for x% ethanol. The problem with forcing “all” vehicles to use x% ethanol and “mandating” cellulose ethanol before a single plant was built. The people most harmed by the mandate ripple are the same people that warm and fuzzy liberals keep promising to help.

      • Accidentally posted in the wrong subthread above:

        The first point is that ethanol does not improve air pollution; it makes it worse in many respects. The second point is that there would be no need for mandates or subsidies if ethanol could compete with other fuel components on cost and quality. It can’t. The third point is that the Congress then stipulated blending of cellulosic product even though no such product was available or could be economically produced. The fourth point is that manufacturers didn’t design most cars to run with these ethanol blends and have timorously (in the face of government power) suggested that there might be problems with the long-term functioning of their engines under these blends. The fifth point is that no coherent justification has ever been given for ethanol subsidies or mandates once its pollution and CO2-emission reduction claims were exploded.

        Otherwise, the policy is just fine.

      • Stephen, over the last 15 months there has been monkey business over the portion of the fuel mandate that must be “advanced biofuel.” Corn ethanol does not fit under this rubric, while cane ethanol does. The domestic industry has successfully lobbied for the advanced biofuel portion of the mandate to be reduced, I believe, which reduces Brazilian market share and so makes them a less effective price influence. At least, this is what I think has happened. If you search around with Google you will find discussions of this monkey biz from 2013.

      • SS – livin’ the fantasy.

      • Hi Captdallas — But you can buy ethanol free gas:

        http://pure-gas.org/

        Your argument is that if the Renewable Fuel Standard was eliminated (which would require the EPA to re-institute a gazillion specific oxygenate regs which the RFS eliminated to give national refiners greater flexibility) that more ethanol free (E-0) would be made.

        Its this logic I’m balking at.

        Let’s eliminate ethanol from the face of the planet, and for discussion purposes lets even forget about the oxygenate (cleaner air) aspect. Refiners need to get from 84 octane to 87 octane with “something”.

        This “something” are alkylates, aromatics and reformates — which have been trading on commodity markets about $1.20 more per gallon than ethanol (last time I checked N.Y. Harbor prices).

        Why would a gasoline Refiner “switch” to a higher cost octane source to get from 84 (unblended gas) to the needed 87 octane requirements?

        Educate me! I’m open to listening to you.

      • stevepostrel — How does one have a conversation with someone who refuses to even “try” and understand some basic engineering of gasoline formulation (octane and oxygenates). The answer is, you can’t.

      • If ethanol were cheaper and people were voluntarily putting it in their gas (though why the mandate on the gas is there isn’t 100% clear), great. But the oil companies hate having to do this, which makes me doubt that it is really cheaper for them.

        In the past, ethanol has been cheaper than alternatives because it is subsidized. It wasn’t actually cheaper in terms of the value of the resources that go into it. Now some of the tax credits and subsidies have just expired, but the Obama administration is trying to put them back. And of course chemical competitors would have shut down some capacity due to the government’s pro-ethanol mania, driving up the price of their additives.

        Most importantly, ethanol has no environmental benefit to justify its subsidized, favored position. Even the IPCC finally figured out that it makes matters worse. E-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y knows this stuff. Knowledge has diffused out to wonks far and wide. It’s only corn-state politicians and lobbyists who even try to defend it now.

      • Also of interest is the political reason why the ethanol mandate is so hard to get rid of: Rural Republican districts benefit hugely from the market distortion and some alt-fuel fanatics in D.C, such as Obama, love to stick it to the oil companies regardless of environmental impact. For some great examples of special interests overcoming a legislator’s professed ideology (in this case “conservative” pro-market ideology),see

        http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/01/ethanol_debate_puts_conservati_1.html

        Note that the reporter and everybody else quoted just takes for granted the badness of the ethanol mandate for everyone but corn farmers. The politicians propping it up won’t even respond for the record.

      • steve –

        ==> ” and a textbook example of misguided environmental policy ”

        Try Googling up the Bush administration’s stated rational for implementing the mandate.

        Was it misguided environmental policy?

      • Why not just ask BP what they think?

      • Captdallas — I am a Conservative (albeit a RINO per the Tea Party). A major difference between RINOs and folks like Jim2 is that we don’t believe everything is a simple black/white “big government” conspiracy and ideology fight.

        As such, I don’t have any problem in modifying the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) or even eliminating it — as long as there is an “objective” dialogue and outcome consistency applied to other national energy policy issues.

        IMO, the current ~10% national blending level is a good deal to U.S. consumers. I absolutely do know that ethanol can beat the pants off options of alkylates, aromatics and reformates. I know this through commodity market prices (and you can see this every time you fill your tank by looking at the price of premium and ultra premium gas where the additional octane comes from these other options).

        When people like Jim2 or stevepostrel say that Refineries could “easily” start producing these other octane and oxgenates if the RFS is eliminated is pure BS. These other options involve complex engineering and would require significant capital investment — something Refineries clearly don’t want to do (and as Jim2 and stevepostrel also don’t understand, oil companies don’t own many U.S. refineries any more — they got out of that business).

        The big issue is going above the current ~10% blending level (called the blend wall). I personally don’t know of any engineering/environmental arguments that going above the 10% blend wall accomplishes. Obama’s EPA is obviously balking at this also — where for the first time in RFS history, the so called ethanol “mandates” were not implemented. Obama’s EPA argues that RFS blending are “targets” not “mandates”.

        The RFS eliminated massive amount of specific EPA blending regs — taking basically a national macro rather than a micro approach in achieving CAA requirements. The Refinery Industry wanted this. If the RFS is eliminated, the EPA will be forced to rewrite and re-implement specific blending regs (i.e., oxygenates).

        Eliminating the RFS could very well have the very opposite impact you want — especially in urban areas with air pollution problems. It could “reduce” the availability of non ethanol (E-O) gasoline by tying Refiners’ hands on blending regs. It also sets up increasing conflict as the U.S. becomes more urban and air quality requirements begin to kick in to these new urban areas.

        IMO, the issue of going above the 10% blend wall is an objective national discussion on the topic of “U.S. oil dependence” — is it important or not?

        Within the GOP, energy independence is HUGE when discussing the Keystone pipeline. But with increased U.S. oil production, oil dependence is not important to the GOP in efforts to eliminate the 40 year old ban on U.S. oil exports.

        Per EIA projections, the U.S. will import ~35% of its oil requirements from foreign sources during the foreseeable future. This is because U.S. oil refiners “guessed wrong” on the U.S. oil boom (in light oils) and invested billions to configure their plants for heavy oils. Refiners are not simply going to walk away from this capital investment.

        Contrary to what most people “perceive”, OPEC (not Canada) is the largest supplier of foreign oil to the U.S. This means (because U.S. refiners guessed wrong) that every time you, I, or anyone fills up our cars — we are MANDATED to send about 36 cents per gallon to OPEC. We have no choice. I wrote about this on my blog: http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/2014/01/where-does-us-gasoline-come-from.html

        This bothers me.

      • Stephen Segrest, the biggest issue I have with the renewable fuels standards is that they are written like the legislators KNOW the best renewable fuels. They don’t. It can be a lot more productive to produce mixed fuels like Acetone, Butanol and Ethanol in a process than trying to produce a single highly pure fuel. So the legislation should not specify ETHANOL only renewable fuels that meet the intent of the renewable fuels standard.

        A lot of the cost of the “other” fuel additives is the required purity of the additives,

      • @ Stephen Segrest | August 8, 2014 at 10:01 am |

        When people like Jim2 or stevepostrel say that Refineries could “easily” start producing these other octane and oxgenates if the RFS is eliminated is pure BS. These other options involve complex engineering and would require significant capital investment — something Refineries clearly don’t want to do (and as Jim2 and stevepostrel also don’t understand, oil companies don’t own many U.S. refineries any more — they got out of that business).

        Taking only one small part of your extensive bloviation, in bold above …

        Logically, taking your assumption that the refineries don’t want to change oxygenates, then we definitely don’t need any Federal regs to mandate ethanol.

        QED

      • People just don’t know farming. The only reason there is enough corn to do both food and ethanol is government influence in the market place.

        It could be eliminated now, but there is no reason to do it.

      • Jim2 — There are two options in meeting legislated CAA requirements (unless you can come up with something else):

        (1) Rescind the RFS, and have the EPA re-install page after page of specific blending requirements (which the Industry hated).

        (2) Address in a RFS macro approach needed oxygenate requirements giving refiners flexibility in how they do this.

        What policy would you put in place to address oxygenate needs? (or do you just flat not want clean air regs)

      • SS – set the standard, what we have now would be OK. The air is pretty darn clean here in the US. Then let the companies meet the standard. It’s simple really. If they wanted to keep EtOH, then let them. If not, see what they can come up with.

      • Captdallas — With ethanol, your central concern is the “authority” of Government. OK, I get this.

        But from a real world environment, I’ve just never heard Refiners howling about how Government is impeding their ability to achieve lower cost options for octane and oxygenates.

        Can you link me to sources where a major refiner is making your argument? I’m sure willing to learn.

      • SS–You can’t have it both ways. Either ethanol is the cheapest/best way in profit terms for refiners to meet the emissions standards–in which case no mandate would be necessary–or ethanol would suffer without the mandate. Never believe “we have to force you to do this to make you profitable” arguments unless you can identify a remediable collective action problem. But there isn’t any here and each refiner could make its own decision free of the mandate. So: bogus claim.

      • Stephen Segrest, Here is one

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/us-oil-ethanol-lobby-idUSBREA4B01O20140512

        Refiners are caught in the middle between big oil and big corn. There is also renewed interested in ABE bacterial fermentation for Acetone, Butanol and Ethanol production,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetone%E2%80%93butanol%E2%80%93ethanol_fermentation which normally isn’t cost effective, but with little monopolies springing up can be.

      • Jim2 and stevepostrel — How many times do I have to state that the EPA eliminated the specific blending standards with the RFS (eliminating page after page of specific regs). They did this to give Refiners flexibility through a macro approach to address oxygenates and octane. What about this am I not communicating well?

      • Captdallas — The Reuters article is about the blend wall — not the choice of octane & oxygenate options which is your concern.

      • Segrest, “Captdallas — The Reuters article is about the blend wall — not the choice of octane & oxygenate options which is your concern.”

        It is about unfair competition which was highlighted by the blend wall. In anticipation of increased ethanol requirements the RIN cost skyrocketed because there is limited production capacity due to the wording of the mandate which is the RFS. The intent of the RFS should be to increase the use of renewable fuels, not line well connected pockets.

        Those small refiners btw are the primary sources of the high quality marine fuels that need a longer than average shelf life.

      • Captdallas — Well, its time to wind down this thread. But I do want to thank you for your insight and comments.

        My 1st boss out of grad school told me “If you can’t explain something succinctly, you don’t know the material well enough”.

        Clearly, there are things I will work to improve on for the next time ethanol comes up on CE.

      • SS wants to talk about the diversionary question of the ins and outs of recent regulatory changes rather than the overall policy of favoring, subsidizing, and mandating ethanol for years. He also neatly avoids mentioning that the EPA’s shift in calling these “targets” rather than “mandates” is not really an attempt to make things nicer for refiners. It is an attempt to save an asinine law from its rightful crash into reality by illegally rewriting it, much as the Obama administration has lawlessly rewritten vast parts of the ACA, labor law, and now possibly immigration law.

        What should have happened is that the idiot mandate passed by Congress be enforced strictly, whereupon either a) companies would have gone to court to get it struck down on one of several grounds or b) the Congress would have had to repeal or reform it before the crunch hit. Instead, the ethanol boys get to keep the mandate on the books for the future, deterring capacity investment in non-ethanol additive production and keeping the whole racket going forever.

    • The oil companies do not hate ethanol; they hate the mandate for E-15 and up.

      Big oil has to have ethanol. Whether or not it would be E-10, or slightly lower blend is about all that would be left to be settled. All other choices would raise the price of gasoline. That means the current situation with corn would remain relatively unchanged by an outright repeal of the RFS.

      SS makes perfect sense. Everybody else is foaming at the mouth. Well, except Capt D and his little 2-cycle putt putt.

  63. The left does not just fail to embrace ideological diversity, they do everything they can to stamp it out. Their favorite tactic being labeling all and sundry who disagree with them racist. Now this has been going on since I was a teenager, back in the stone age. But it’s seriously getting ridiculous.

    A British gardening show that discusses “invasive plant species” is racist because they are really talking about immigrants.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2716106/Gardeners-Question-Time-caught-race-row.html

    Thomas the Tank Engine is a racist cartoon (imperial racism no less) because the good engines puff out white smoke, and the bad ones black smoke. (Somebody didn’t get the black carbon memo.)

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2011/07/thomas_the_imperialist_tank_engine.html

    And believe it or not, shampoo provided free by hotels is also racist.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/384864/hotel-shampoo-racist-guy-thinks-so-katherine-timpf

    Remember, the only ones who hear dog whistles are the dogs.

    • Better not tell these precious flowers that one of the most noxious invasive species in the PNW is the Himalayan Blackberry. That’s doubleplus racist.

  64. Study after survey has confirmed that academics working in many fields of science are disproportionately on the left wing of the simple political conservative-liberal continuum. Republican-Democrat in US terms.
    Here is one from the only female among the diverse authors of the paper on which this thread is based.-

    http://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/ratioi/0053.html

    Another examining the preponderance of liberal over conservative among scientists.

    http://www.people-press.org/2009/07/09/section-4-scientists-politics-and-religion/

    It is interesting that the least political diversity in the sciences is in the hard sciences. The most diverse in economics and political science where the left outnumbered the right a mere 4 to 1.
    Perhaps this supports the idea that while human constructs like politics and money have many diverse aspects, physical reality has a liberal bias.

    • “Perhaps this supports the idea that while human constructs like politics and money have many diverse aspects, physical reality has a liberal bias.”

      Yeah, it must be that liberal “reality.” It couldn’t be the progressive department chairs and tenure committees.

      And “climate science” in its current form is every bit as much a “human construct” as economics and political science.

      • @-GaryM
        “Yeah, it must be that liberal “reality.” It couldn’t be the progressive department chairs and tenure committees.”

        Most of the Nobels’ and major advances in science from James Clark Maxwell, to Einstein, quantum mechanics, computing etc came from ‘progressive’ institutions and from people predominantly at the liberal end of any political spectrum.
        It is interesting to speculate whether a greater proportion of conservative institutions and scientists would have made these discoveries any faster.

        I suspect that the hard science actually work by an evolutionary survival of the fittest process, with the stuff that is of actual utility winning out. Perhaps the cognitive ability to consider variations that might be more successful has some correlation with the liberal political bias because the authoritarian preference for fixed forms among conservatives is less adaptive.

        @-“And “climate science” in its current form is every bit as much a “human construct” as economics and political science.”

        The core science, the radiative transfer equations that determine the way increasing CO2 increases the temperatures gradient between the emission altitude and the surface, derived from military research on heat seeking missile and detection systems.
        That is the sort of stuff that has to work, it MUST be utile.
        Beyond that, any discussion of AGW is only arguing about the price.

      • James Clark Maxwell was an evangelical Christian who studied physics to know God better.
        Albert Einstein was an ardent Zionist.

      • Izen sez:

        “because the authoritarian preference for fixed forms among conservatives is less adaptive.”

        Right, from a community that uses appeal to authority (the 97%) to routinely make its point.

        And its odd to me how anyone can think that modern day progressives are not authoritarian. That’s all they do, tell you how to live, what you can say, and what you can think.

        In any event, I suspect the forces of “Conservatism”, and “Liberalism” have many more dimensions than most consider. PRIMITIVISM (see Barzun) is a liberal construction. It’s at the heart of the greens: let’s go back to a previous time: we are destroying the planet. It’s also potentially deadly. What could be more conservative than that?

      • izen,

        Funny, I didn’t know Einstein did his work at a “progressive institution.” I thought he worked at a patent office when he first published.

        And the CAGW debate is not about radiative physics. It’s about decarbonizing the global economy.

        “Perhaps the cognitive ability to consider variations that might be more successful has some correlation with the liberal political bias because the authoritarian preference for fixed forms among conservatives is less adaptive.”

        “Liberal political bias” is about an elite claiming they are entitled to centrally plan the economy. It has nothing to do with “cognitive ability,” let alone science.

      • izen:

        the radiative transfer equations that determine the way increasing CO2 increases the temperatures gradient between the emission altitude

        should read: “the radiative transfer equations that affect the emission altitude”
        That’s about the only thing that’s cast in stone.

    • “Trust” in science has declined for logical reasons, just as trust in old media cultures and “government” rank near the bottom of many social groups;

      http://myfox8.com/2012/11/04/study-trust-in-federal-government-and-news-media-hitting-historic-lows/

      We’re (the general public) still mindlessly discussing “if” there are enormous biases in academia and science. This is a straw debate made by those politically in charge and in vast majorities. It’s beyond laughable.
      Do people have any idea how hate driven the emerging campus science culture (Obama inspired left) is becoming?

      At UPenn, Christian groups can’t place posters around campus regarding meetings. They are systematically defaced and torn down. Fall outside the political orthodox? Web stalking and whisper campaigns. Do you think you could exist in the new generation of “science” departments under these conditions?

      The ironic report from the front regards the situation in Gaza, there is a high Jewish population of extreme liberals and yet now some are being targeted and blacklisted by Pro-Palestinian activists, other liberals in many cases. It’s a mess.

      The disaster of science politicization that is climate science is only going to spread while the idiot rebuttals that it isn’t a problem from the likes of the Joshua crowd obfuscate reality.

  65. Distinguishing intellectual diversity from the good old divide and conquer might be nice:

  66. The following quote was found here:

    https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2012/11/19/sciences-looming-tipping-point/

    “What is it going to take to tip out the old beliefs? Change can occur slowly from the bottom up or rapidly from the top down. Unfortunately, forces from the top tend to favour stasis over change. Modern science has become a monolithic structure funded by governments and tied to political outcomes. Radical change is arguably more difficult to achieve in such a situation than at any time in the past. Funding of dissident scientists is not available, their publication in leading science journals disallowed by the anonymous peer review system and their careers jeopardized. Meanwhile the media lazily accept what they are fed by ‘experts.’’

    Sound familiar? The article was talking about astrophysics and cosmology, but apparently the phenomenon is ubiquitous through out the sciences and pseudo sciences, with Climate Science being the most prominent ongoing example. The only commonality is that progressives are invariably in charge of the funding, the peer review systems, and the journals. And use Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ as their playbook.

    • TheDenialistOstrichParadeTowardsExtinction

      The claim by poster: Funding of dissident scientists is not available

      The reality:

      “The verdict is in: Global warming is real and greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity are the main cause.

      This, according to Richard A. Muller, professor of physics at the University of California, Berkely, a MacArthur fellow and co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.

      “Muller is a long-standing, colorful critic of prevailing climate science, and the Berkeley project was heavily funded by the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, which, along with its libertarian petrochemical billionaire founder Charles G. Koch, has a considerable history of backing groups that deny climate change.”

  67. Let’s get away from current problems and take a wider view. This groupthink business is at the bottom of it all and it may be an evolutionary development to make society cohesive. It is not hard to see that it takes only a small group of activists to set it up. This is what happened after WW I and this is how Mussolini and Hitler came to power. And this is how the global warming movement got going. Problem is that once you are in the group you lose track of reality. This is also what makes religions possible and it is easy to see it in action in the Middle East. It has historic roots too. You can get a whole population to like watching a fight to death between gladiators at the Colosseum as the Romans did. I once read a science fiction story where a space ship returned after a voyage in which relativistic time dilution had put them out of sync with what had happened at home while they were gone. Society had changed, human flesh was on sale in butcher shops, and human cattle were grown specifically as food animals. This was not the type of science fiction I liked and it made me give up reading that stuff entirely. But how far fetched is this? If you consider that extermination camps were very real in WW II and various post-war atrocities were almost as bad, there has to be something in human nature that makes it possible. The exterminators themselves in each of these cases had to be a cohesive group convinced of the rightness of what they did. The question is, can human nature be changed? We are quite certain we do not want cannibalism but how can we prevent the next generation from doing what they want when we are gone? Is it worth a try? I don’t know but someone with more expertise in group psychology should give it some thought.

    • Arno,
      I remember that story. Upset me as well but I still like science fiction. I keep rooting for fusion and desalination. Plus tear down silted up dams and let the rivers run free to the oceans. Science progresses engineering follows slowly behind. Big problems in the world dwarf the greenhouse temp increase of 1-2 degrees. What about Africa starving people, ebola on planes, no clean water for two thirds of the world, primative sewage handling, no electricity for many parts of the world and jihad in Iraq, Afganistan and soon USA and EU. Not counting the Iranian nuclear missiles. But I still like science fiction.
      Scott

  68. TheDenialistOstricheParadeTowardsExtinction

    “Wildfires have been particularly large and destructive in recent years. The three-year period between 2011 and 2013 alone saw:
    •The largest fire in Arizona’s history (2011’s Wallow Fire)
    •Both the largest and most destructive fires in New Mexico’s history (2012’s Whitewater-Baldy Complex and Little Bear Fires, respectively)
    •The most destructive fire in Texas’ history (2011’s Bastrop County Complex Fire)
    •The first and second most destructive fires in Colorado’s history (2013’s Black Forest and 2012’s Waldo Canyon Fires, respectively)
    •The third largest fire in California’s history (2013’s Rim Fire)”

    “Since the start of this year, and as of August 6, about 2,850,000 hectares (11,000 square miles) have burned in the Arctic Northwest Territory (NWT) alone. This burn area so far for this one territory is almost twice that for the whole of Canada during an average year through early August. For the NWT, it represents an epic burning more than 15 times that of the 15 year average (which is usually 185,000 hectares by this time of year).”

    “As Siberia frazzles in the summer heat, states of emergency were introduced in areas of Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions, the Republic of Buryatia, and three districts of Trans-Baikal region, plus one of the Tyva Republic”

    “… Sweden’s largest forest fire in more than 40 years, as a heat wave across several regions of northern Europe ”

    ETC. ETC. ETC.

    All of this predicted years ago.

    • But …

      The models don’t work.

      Atmospheric total water vapor has been falling instead of increasing.

      Tornado frequency isn’t getting any worse.

      Global temperature has stabilized.

      Your regional data isn’t all that impressive.

    • John Carpenter

      “All of this predicted years ago”

      Yes, as far back as biblical times they predicted the world would end with inferno. Much to be alarmed about.

      • Note how they don’t mention all the failed predictions – all of which were predicted years ago.

    • nottawa rafter

      Tie in the explosion of development which increases probability that human will be the cause of fires from irresponsible behavior. As usual fallacious logic and incomplete rationale. Look at the totality of situation rather than using inductive reasoning

      • TheDenialistOstrichParadeTowardsExtinction

        NWT and Tundra fires are due to an explosion of development?

        Go back 2 sleep.

      • Does that explain why the fire season is getting longer too?


      • 2013 was one of the quietest wildfire years in U.S. history, according to objective data from the federal government’s National Interagency Fire Center. The 47,000 wildfires last year may seem like a very large number – and it certainly gives global warming alarmists like Brown plenty of fodder for misleading global warming claims – but the 47,000 wildfires was less than half the average number of wildfires that occurred each year in the 1960s and 1970s. Importantly, the Earth was in a cooling phase during the 1960s and 1970s when so many more wildfires occurred.

        The unusually quiet 2013 fire season continued a long-term trend in declining wildfires. From 1962 through 1982, for example, at least 100,000 wildfires occurred in the United States every year. Since 1982, however, not a single year has registered 100,000 wildfires. During the past decade, an average of 73,000 wildfires occurred each year. During the 1970s, by contrast, an average of 155,000 wildfires occurred each year.

        The 2014 wildfire season, moreover, has been relatively quiet so far. The total number of wildfires is well below the 1962-2013 average, and is even below the average for the past decade. Even so, the below-average 22,000 wildfires so far this year give global warming alarmists plenty of opportunities to mislead the public about the scientific facts.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2014/05/21/sorry-jerry-brown-global-warming-is-reducing-wildfires/

      • The number of acres burned and the length of the season have both increased.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/04/climate-change-america-wildfire-season

      • It’s an accepted point of view that more acres burned might be helping the ecosystem as compared to suppressing fire. So what the graphs may show is less interference with nature by man in the recent past meaning more acres burned recently. Fire may be positively correlated with a healthy ecosystem.

      • nottawa rafter

        Ostrich
        Check out actual facts of human activity in NWT & tundra. I did. This is not 19th century. Keep up.

      • The fires are part of a natural cycle. There is no if, there is a when. Build in the woods or the grass without a sufficient fire break and just wait for it. Some of the Green movements and some property owners have prevented proper management that could allow controlled burns that could reduce some disasters. The natural climate cycles will happen. The fire cycles will happen. You can pretend that man-kind has taken over, but you are fooling yourself and whoever does believe you. We can control some areas, sometimes, but the earth is still bigger than us.

  69. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Test Your Energy Acuity
    Take FOMD’s Energy Appreciation Quiz

    Citizen Smith’s family home sits atop a 1-meter thick seam of coal.

    Question  How long does it take citizen Smith to generate as much electric energy from a 1-meter^2 solar panel as she could generate by strip-mining one square meter of her coal-seam?

    Answer (pick the most reasonable) 

    0000.5 years  A mere wink of time!!!
    0005.0 years  Kids still in kindergarden!!
    0050.0 years  Grandma’s solar panels still work!
    0500.0 years  Family tree-farm now old-growth?!
    5000.0 years  Older than the pyramids???

    Should Grandma strip-mine the family homestead?

    Answer tomorrow. No fair posting spoilers!

    Is Big Carbon doomed? Or merely insane?

    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}

    • From the article:
      LOS ANGELES — The solar panels covering a vast warehouse roof in the sun-soaked Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they began to fail.

      Coatings that protect the panels disintegrated while other defects caused two fires that took the system offline for two years, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/business/energy-environment/solar-powers-dark-side.html?pagewanted=all

      • In one case, an entire batch of modules from one brand-name manufacturer listed on the New York Stock Exchange proved defective, Mr. Lemoine said. He declined to identify the manufacturer, citing confidentiality agreements.

        Well, there’s a pretty simple solution: financing agreements have to include a prohibition on “confidentiality agreements” in cases of fraud, or other things like “substituting cheaper, untested materials.” Same for subsidies. The key buzzword is “transparency”.

      • I have a comment in moderation, and no idea why. But when it shows up, it’ll be right above here.

      • I live in hippie country where many, including me, have lived with solar. One of my friends still has solar – he can’t access the grid – all others have moved on to the grid. Nobody has gone the other way – and you could let off a bomb at one of our local BBQs and the only non-green conservative you would wound would be me.

        The guy who still has solar has a good set up and I find his arrangement very interesting. But I’m a bit of an alternative type, commuting under my own steam through the bush, fermenting, using Linux etc.

        I’m accustomed to solar and like it for what it is. I was at my solar friend’s house to watch footy a while ago and, because it was an important Origin game, we hooked up a computer and projector and were able to get a good view. It was fun.

        Why would I not contemplate leaving the grid?

        Initial cost, even with subsidy.
        Maintenance and replacement costs.
        Batteries.
        Batteries again.
        Need for expensive, specialised appliances.
        Dependence on wood and gas (What, you thought after all the manufacturing and lugging that was the end of the carbon?)
        Above all, the need to burn diesel and petrol so one can bash vehicles and trailers along dirt roads, especially to get gas and wood…

        And did I mention batteries?

        Love the grid. I live lightest with the grid. Love my home’s freedom from smoke and flame and all the overrated glamour of serfdom. Love that Permian black coal from the Sydney-Gunnedah Basin. Feel sorry for anybody who gets by with less.

      • Gotta say momo, that was one of the better testimonial comments we get around here. Hadn’t thought about the running-around-through-the-forest aspects of off-grid life.

        Living off the grid is often an intensely glamorous idea to the suburbanite. As are solar panels, with their magical lack of moving parts and high-tech sheen. It doesn’t surprise me too much that many of our commenters of an independent disposition have tried them.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      AK and Jim2, yah gotta keep in mind that folks who source their information exclusively from Big Carbon’s disinformation trough sure miss-out on some fantastic science-and-engineering … and some amazing business opportunities.

      \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, from the fantastic science-and-engineering link you provided: Ossenbrink predicts that solar will hit grid-parity across Europe within a decade.

        that’s a nice testable prediction. It does apply to Europe where electricity prices are higher than in the US. So within the US “within two decades” is a safer bet. Price reductions happen in spurts, so they are hard to extrapolate: at a 5% sustained rate of cost reduction, PV power will cost 35% of what it is now in 20 years. No end of BigCarbon in the EU, by the way, as Germany is building coal-fired power plants to replace the nuclear power plants that have been voted out of service, so to speak.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Question How long does it take citizen Smith to generate as much electric energy from a 1-meter^2 solar panel as she could generate by strip-mining one square meter of her coal-seam?

      Question 2: what are the costs of the two energy totals? (2a: Why does solar power cost so much more than power from fossil fuels?)

      Question 3: where did the energy to make the solar panel come from?

      Question 4: what would be the atmospheric CO2 consequences of an Apollo-like project to replace 25% of America’s fossil fuel powered electric generating capacity by PV power in 10 years?

      PV power is good for niche applications now, and may be good on a large scale some time in the future, but overselling the product now is laughable.

      Where I live, a good alternative to air conditioning is to blow nighttime air into the house from about midnight to 6 am; this is way less expensive, but as you guessed from the time frame, not an ideal application for solar power, and electricity from the grid is cheaper at night anyway.

      I do these calculations regularly, and PV power (and concentrated PV power) just are not there yet for the non-rich among us. You can buy standard units and installation at Lowe’s and Home Depot, which is a mark of progress of a sort (better than ecat and other fusion devices, for example), but they are mostly just gadgets for the rich.

  70. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    LOL … why Dave and Charlie Koch … is that you?

    Hey, ain’t you fellers got sum bidness to clear-up in Kansas?

    Seriously Jim2 how do you add up the numbers?

    \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}

    • You make really nice Cherry Pie, FOMBS. You and (probably not new to CE) TheDenialistOstricheParadeTowardsExtinction.


    • Durability, which Fraunhofer focuses on instead of bankability, depends on a lifetime assessment of a panel’s performance, Meakin said, and the data on that is inadequate. “The best we could do is a probability because we don’t have enough technical information — nobody does — to make lifetime predictions yet.”

      http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Focusing-on-Solar-Panel-Durability-not-Bankability


    • Not all companies disclose or reveal fully the extent they have had to spend on honoring warranties and replacing faulty panels. At least one company has replaced faulty solar panels, but not without securing non-disclosure agreements from its customers. So the extent of the warranty problem wasn’t made public. First Solar’s acknowledgement of large warranty payments this year therefore surprised many in the industry.

      What does all this mean to developer and bankers? At the conference, Matthay talked about negotiating stringent warranties because investors are counting on a power project to produce a steady stream of electricity for over 20 years.

      Meydbray said some investors don’t put much stock in warranties these days given dozens of companies have filed for bankruptcies and a few hundred more are expected to go out of business or get bought in the next few years. Manufacturers are aware that they may have more to prove these days, so they are seeking more reliability verifications from PV Evolution Labs and other similar service providers.

      http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/11/solar-struggle-a-rise-of-poorly-made-pv-modules


    • That said, it is not just Chinese solar arrays that are failing—the defective panels installed on the Los Angeles area warehouse were made by an American manufacturer. Furthermore, all solar panels degrade and gradually generate less electricity over time.

      The German solar monitoring firm, Meteocontrol, found that 80 percent of the 30,00 solar installations it reviewed in Europe were underperforming. Enertis Solar tested solar panels from 6 manufacturers at two power plants in Spain and found rates of malfunctioning as high as 34.5 percent. An inspection of a solar plant in Britain found that 12 percent of its Chinese modules failed. In the United States, an American solar manufacturer, First Solar, budgeted $271.2 million to replace defective modules it manufactured in 2008 and 2009.

      http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/solar-panel-degradation/

    • Crank Alert!

  71. Beth, the collective noun we were looking for to describe a herd of GCMs, ‘A Malarky of Models’.
    ===============

  72. u win kim)
    JimD
    A clammering of Alarmists.

  73. Dr. Curry,

    Your post above starts out with the statement by John Stuart Mill that “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.

    But none of the rest of the post apparently, is dedicated to examining what the “other side” to the skeptic side promulgated here on this site, might be.
    Just more interesting abstraction on the – we all agree, excellent – idea of scientific diversity of thought and challenge. (Though the issue of whether it is being applied in the right context, rather than very ironically, in the wrong one, seems relevant.) Then, as an expert, you cite from an interview the head of an organization created to refute the idea that geologically radical long lived greenhouse gas concentration level alteration of our atmosphere (said more correctly than the simplistic “climate change” phrase, it’s a mouthful for our twitter age), poses a threat of significant climatic shift in response.

    In a recent post, you quoted at length from a source seeking to compare the IPCC and “NIPCC” reports as various perspectives, and wrote that it was good that the “contrarian” position was being considered.

    The NIPCC is a full creation of the Heartland Institute, the dominant American think tank solely created and designed not to study but to singularly refute the idea of a threat of an inhospitable shift in climate over time – and even openly, not necessarily for science but for otherwise science unrelated, market preconceptions (see (Joe) Bast inset about 3/5ths of the way down), and which claims (unlike most scientists ostensibly) a lack of bias because it is “not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions,” as if such a lack of predisposition means objectivity on the issue, and that thinking otherwise, means non objectivity.

    But given the basics of the greenhouse effect, the fact that with just a very small percentage of greenhouse gas molecules in the air this effect keeps the earth about 55-60 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be, and the fact that through easily recognizable if inadvertent growing patterns we have at this point probably at least doubled the total collective amount in heat absorption and re-radiation capacity of long lived atmospheric greenhouse gases (nearly doubling total that of the leading one, carbon dioxide, in the modern era), to levels not collectively seen on earth in several million years – levels that well predated the present ice age and extensive earth surface ice conditions – it goes against basic physics and basic geologic science to not be “predisposed” to the idea that this would ultimately impact climate.

    So, since it is so important for the diversity of scientific thought (as well as the cold hard scrutiny of all ostensibly scientific thought – but despite the clamor for diversity and challenge, this leading site, for laying out the myriad errors of climate change skepticism arguments, is nevertheless, among many other similar ones, decried, denigrated, and dismissed as unworthy and worse) – what, exactly, is the “contrarian” position?

    Let’s discuss it, as a viable, realistic theory for the idea that, despite geologically radical changes to our atmosphere’s long lived greenhouse gas concentrations, to levels not seen on earth in at least several million years, and still rising fast, during an otherwise highly ice-sheeted and northern permafrosted “temperature” period, the climate nevertheless won’t significantly shift as a result of this ongoing accumulation of increased atmospheric re radiation of energy in response.

    Thus, what is that theory, that upon objective examination, rigorous, scientific examination – not by climate change refuters seeking solely to fit everything into predetermined boxes while self reinforcing such notions by castigating everybody else, but by dispassionate, reasoned, analysis and objective scientific examination – says or reasonably suggests all this won’t have, or doesn’t even present a high risk of having, a major impact upon long term climate. (Major meaning several degrees or more, which would in its re-shaping of Earth’s climate and natural surfaces, ultimately be radical to us.)

    What exactly is that contrarian theory? Let’s examine it. Not with a passion for it to be right or wrong. But, just, objectively.

    But, first, Dr. Curry, tell me what it is.

    • ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

      I have to stress that we are talking here about a very different type of sensitivity.

      e.g. http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

      John Carter’s narrative is an example of science distorted in the crucible of groupthink. It is irredeemably simplistic nonsense. The science problem is not simple radiative physics but a deterministic chaotic system. The policy question is what to do about it in a rational policy framework.

    • John Carter August 8, 2014 at 12:58 am chooses to state his position on the greenhouse effect in the following 134 word sentence: “But given the [1] basics of the greenhouse effect, the fact that with just a very small percentage of greenhouse gas molecules in the air this effect keeps the earth about 55-60 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be, and the fact that through easily recognizable if [2] inadvertent growing patterns we have at this point probably at least [3] doubled the total collective amount in heat absorption and re-radiation capacity of long lived atmospheric greenhouse gases (nearly doubling total that of the [4] leading one, carbon dioxide, in the modern era), to [5] levels not collectively seen on earth in several million years – levels that well predated the present ice age and extensive earth surface ice conditions – it goes [6] against basic physics and basic geologic science to not be “predisposed” to the idea that this would ultimately impact climate.”
      The brackets are mine so I can pick out the ideas I want to discuss. Let’s start by evaluating these ideas.

      [1] The basics of the greenhouse effect are unknown to him. All he knows is what IPCC has been touting about carbon dioxide, to them the chief greenhouse gas on this planet. But this is not true – water vapor, not carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas on earth. According to IPCC, carbon dioxide creates greenhouse warming by absorbing OLR and thereby warming the air. This likewise is not true as observations of present day climate prove. There is no warming now and for the last 17 years there has been no greenhouse warming whatsoever. At the same time, carbon dioxide has been steadily increasing. The Arrhenius greenhouse theory also has been predicting warming for the last 17 years but nothing has happened. If your theory predicts warming and nothing happens for 17 years you are justified in tossing it into the waste basket of history. That is where the Arrhenius theory belongs. The only greenhouse theory that correctly describes what is happening today is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT). It predicts exactly what we see: addition of carbon dioxide to air does not warm it. According to MGT the important greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and water vapor. They jointly establish an optimal absorption window in the IR whose optical thickness in the IR is fixed at 1.87. If you now add carbon dioxide to air it will start to absorb in the IR just like Arrhenius says. But this will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as it happens, water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The added carbon dioxide will of course keep absorbing in the IR but it cannot cause the greenhouse effect that IPCC calculates for it because the reduction of water vapor I referred to cancels it out.

      [2] Talk of “inadvertent growing patterns” is plain stupidity because there is no global warming attached to it. See [1].

      [3] See [1].

      [4] Doubling carbon dioxide has no effect on global warming. The so-called “sensitivity” they associate with it is actually zero. See [1].

      [5] It is irrelevant what those GHG levels are. In geologic time they have been very much higher than they are today without causing that run-away greenhouse warming that Hansen keeps babbling about. It so happens that according to the MGT [1] the runaway greenhouse effect is entirely impossible. And so is the enhanced greenhouse effect, alleged to be the cause of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) by Hansen and the IPCC. This makes AGW nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy, created by over-eager climate scientists to prove the existence of the greenhouse effect.

      [6] There is no basic physics or geologic science in this mush.

  74. WebHubTelescope

    “Science vs Conspiracy: collective narratives in the age of (mis)information”
    Alessandro Bessi, Mauro Coletto, George Alexandru Davidescu, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, Walter Quattrociocchi

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.1667

    The troublesome aspect of this is that the deniers are convinced that the roles are reversed. They think that their conspiracy is the science while the mainstream science is the conspiracy.

    • You seem to skip the part where the “science” you appeal to is demonstrably polarized along ideological lines in the case of AGW advocacy. That there is a social political schism isn’t a “conspiracy theory” that “mainstream science” is magically immune to.

      Culture and predisposition isn’t a “conspiracy theory”. Nor is observing the obvious culture of the “science” you support and advocate. Referencing “holocaust deniers” in lexicon only demonstrates the levels of irrationality and political inclinations of your argument.

    • WebHubTelescope 8/8/14@ 4:03 am:

      He who controls the vocabulary wins the argument.

      Here’s as much as your reference says it means by conspiracy:

      Our dataset contains 271,296 post created by 73 Facebook pages. Pages are classified according to the kind of information disseminated and their self description in conspiracy news – alternative explanations of reality aiming at diffusing contents neglected by main stream information – and scientific news.

      Notice that it is not our intention claiming that conspiracist and alternative information are necessarily false. Bessi (2014) p. 2.

      “[D]iffusing contents”? Can the encompassing stream of words even be parsed?

      And by their qualification for conspiracies, these authors imply that they take whatever claims to be science as true and valid. That’s not how science works.

      By casting Bessi as support for science vs. deniers, you adopt the language of the AGW movement. Then you suggest that deniers think alike to be collectively “convinced” and to form a conspiracy. Your writing falls under the category of conspiracy theory, which features the belief that the absence of evidence that “they” are working together is proof that they did.

      A conspiracy actually exists in this debate, and it lies on the side claiming to be practicing science. The evidence is in the e-mails between Mann and Jones, et al., to control what is published, and the confession of IPCC, the 97 Percenters, and others that AGW, once a conjecture and now defunct, is supported by a consensus.

      These dialogs fall apart at the core because of rank confusion over the meaning of science.

    • WebHubTelescope

      From the article:


      Posts from alternative news have higher values than those on scientific news, and in particular they receive more likes and shares, indicating a strong attitude of users toward dissemination. Such a result is consistent with [44–46] which state that conspiracists need for cognitive closure, i.e. they are more likely to interact with conspiracy based theories and have a lower trust in other information sources.

      Describes WUWT to a T and oftentimes CE. Very much similar to the popular conspiracy radio talk shows such Coast2Coast AM.

  75. ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ IPCC TAR 14.2.2.2

    You can either accept that this is unconditionally true – or perpetually babble on about boundary conditions or – worse – a statistical mechanics of climate that doesn’t exist.

    The former is unassailable and the latter delusional cognition that leads to a narrowing of science to the memes of the social construct that has grown up around climate science – that of the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets.

    They cannot of course see past their fixed ideological limitations and insist that the memes are the whole of science. It is clearly not.

    • That summarizes it well, the incentives and extremes of the ideology involved are not well vetted. There is little effort for those in authority to open debate or accept dissent. In the end it’s the exercise of power as with the usual political trapping. The delusions of WHT above this post indicate the scale and dedication of AGW advocacy.

  76. WUWT has been highlighting some great papers lately. No wonder the CAGWers hate that site. Warm fuzzies all around.

    • nottawa rafter

      Agreed. The gift that keeps giving. Most recently glacier free Alps 4000 years ago. The challenge of finding anything unprecedented is becoming tougher all the time. If the orientation of research had been in the proper direction for the last 25 years we would have a much greater understanding of our climate.

      • A climate paper that doesn’t use “unprecedented” is, well … , unprecedented. I’m sure they will feel lost without the word.

  77. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Answers received to date: ZERO

    Test Your Energy Acuity
    Take FOMD’s Energy Appreciation Quiz

    Citizen Smith’s family home sits atop a 1-meter thick seam of coal.

    Question How long does it take citizen Smith to generate as much electric energy from a 1-meter^2 solar panel as she could generate by strip-mining one square meter of her coal-seam?

    Answer (pick the most reasonable)

    0000.5 years  A mere wink of time!!!
    0005.0 years  Kids still in kindergarden!!
    0050.0 years  Grandma’s solar panels still work!
    0500.0 years  Family tree-farm now old-growth?!
    5000.0 years  Older than the pyramids???

    Should Grandma strip-mine the family homestead?

    In practice there’s mighty little difference among

    skepticism  that doesn’t compute … too lazy!
    denialism  that refuses to compute … too afraid!
    ignorance  that can’t compute … remediable!

    Are there *NO* quantitative thinkers among Climate Etc skeptics/denialists?

    Is is any wonder that practicing mathematicians, engineers, and scientists find the slogan-shouting willfully ignorant denialist discourse here on Climate Etc to be … irrelevantly non-rational?

    \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

      When we think of each square meter of new photovoltaic array as a multimeter-thick coal-seam that will be left in the ground, then is it any wonder that Big Carbon is panicking over stranded carbon assets?

      Smithers, unleash the political operatives and astroturfers!

      \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}

      • Only in your strange biased world is there any “Big Carbon”. When solar PV is cost effective people will adopt. It isn’t yet for me (as an example) at homes in TX or AZ

      • Rather than gloating over the problem, why don’t you try to find solutions? Such as government exchange programs of otherwise unusable land for such assets, that could be used for solar PV, algae growing, or even azolla.

        Properly set up, this system might represent a viable hedge: a mix of fossil carbon in the ground, and land for “green” energy could protect asset values and corporate survival.

      • Real But Exaggerated

        Fan, I feel for you – like mine your posts are getting fewer responses.

        But if you reply to your own posts you’ll have to become a fan or more monologue, not discourse.

      • Fan

        Here is a photo of solar farms.

        http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=photo+of.+olar+farm&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

        They are not pretty either are they and the power they produce is highly variable and would barely power a kettle during the winter.

        Renewables have a place but at present that is a relatively minor one. As technogy improves and prices drop appropriate renewables for a specific country’s needs will be utilised. At present they are being used inappropriately as in the UK where heavily subsidised solar farms are inappropriate in our cloudy country

        Tonyb

      • tonyb
        To be fair,
        Here is one in CA that works well.

        http://www.californiavalleysolarranch.com/about.html

        Scott

      • Scott
        But that is precisely why I say we need ‘energy horses for courses.’

        What works in sunny California will not work in cloudy Britain especially as we need heating in winter not aircon in summer.

        These devices are being very heavily subsidised, are ineffective and really impact on our countryside.

        tonyb

      • Tonyb
        Agee with you.

        All of the Above.

        We will learn more on each as they move to pilot plant and production.

        I worked on OTEC, ocean thermal ?? about 30 years ago. Could be useful in the north atlantic but the ocean ate the heck out of steel. Corroded everything. Have not seen much recently

        With your tides and waves it could be productive. Wind kills lots of birds. We did not expect that 30 years ago.

        Scott

      • They are not pretty either are they and the power they produce is highly variable and would barely power a kettle during the winter.

        Prettier than power lines. IMO.

      • AK

        But you need to construct the ugly wind turbines-often in previously unspoilt uplands-AND the newly constructed ugly power lines to transport the energy to where it is needed.

        A do8ble visual whammy

        tonyb

      • @climatereason…

        I didn’t say anything about wind turbines. And for that matter, I wasn’t comparing paradigms WRT solar power (which also needs to be transported). Just giving an opinion WRT visual taste.

      • AK

        In the wrong place, both wind turbines and large solar farms are ugly. They become doubly so when new power lines are added to the equation.

        tonyb

    • The answer is none of the above as the solar panel will never make up the energy is cost to make the panel itself if you include the burden of energy storage.

      • You’re behind the times. That argument is no longer true, and hasn’t been for a while. Not to mention concentrating solar PV

    • Do you have to move the house before strip mining?

      • It is much more like 15 years – that seem a fairly simple calculation.

        The efficiency used for coal was 40% – and the output of solar based on a commercially available systems optimally orientated in a subtropical site.

        It really makes no difference at all – except in the fervid delusions of FOMBS. It either works or not in the market without subsidies. But we have in FOMBS a dedicated fringe extremist who is ideologically committed to centrally planned economies.

        That’s evident to all – isn’t it laddies and lasses?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      In regard to the (strictly quantitative) Energy Appreciation Quiz (above), aka “What Should Grandma Do?” …

      Quantitative Answers Received  ZERO (to date)

      Incapacity? Incuriosity? Denial?

      The world wonders.

      `Cuz the calculation ain’t *THAT* hard, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Conclusion  Skeptics and/or denialists who don’t/won’t/can’t do simple carbon-energy calculations possess *ZERO* capacity to rationally assess climate-change science.

      That’s obvious to *EVERYONE*, 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}

      • 2,460 kWh – the energy produced via electrical generators from a cubic metre of coal.

        0.5 kWh – the energy generated per day from 1m2 of solar panels.

        Long enough for the landscape to be rehabilitated progressively and the panels to be degraded to unserviceability.

        FOMBS just doesn’t seem all that bright – and certainly not worth responding to.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        BREAKING NEWS

        Rob Ellison answers the Energy Appreciation Quiz (in effect)

        0005.0 years  Kids still in kindergarden!!

        Congratulations Rob Ellison! You are the *FIRST* skeptic — and so far, the *ONLY* sceptic — to answer *AT ALL*, much less correctly.

        Science-minded Climate Etc readers may wish to verify for themselves that Rob Ellison’s calculations compare state-of-the-art carbon-burning efficiency to out-of-date photovoltaic efficiency … wouldn’t the opposite assumption have been more realistic Rob Ellison?

        Conclusion  Yep, in the long-run grannie (and her grandchildren too) are *FAR* better-off embracing photovoltaics than coal-burning … better off economically … better off scientifically … better off ecologically … better off morally!

        *THAT’S* obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

        Especially long-term energy-sector investors!

        \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}

      • Poorly threaded again – a sign to stop pandering to irredeemable pests.

        It is much more like 15 years – that seem a fairly simple calculation.

        The efficiency used for coal was 40% – and the output of solar based on a commercially available systems optimally orientated in a subtropical site.

        It really makes no difference at all – except in the fervid delusions of FOMBS. It either works or not in the market without subsidies. But we have in FOMBS a dedicated fringe extremist who is ideologically committed to centrally planned economies.

        That’s evident to all – isn’t it laddies and lasses?

    • Scott
      We are an island with nowhere further than 70 miles from the sea, it should be a no brainer to use its tides,current and thermal possibilities. Unfortunately wind power has gained the ascendancy and there is little research being carried out on the ocean
      Tonyb

    • Net Benefits

      We can rule out all answers greater than 25 years because that’s the service lifetime of solar panels.

      If Ms. Smith lives in upstate New York where I grew up she’ll freeze to death the first year because there won’t be enough electricity to keep her home warm in the winter.

      Thanks for asking. The question makes a great point.

      • Wicked Problem

        One square yard of typical coal used to generate electricity contains about 25 GJ of energy. Or about 6000 kiloWatt/hours (kWh).

        A typical 2 kW PV system is 14 square meters. In the UK it yields up to 2000 kWh per year or 143 kWh per square meter. So it would take about 40 years to produce as much energy as is contained in 1 cubic yard of coal.

        The larger problem is that the energy can be produced on-demand with the coal but with PV it is produced during peak sunlight hours which in the UK is about 6 hours per day in the summer and 2 hours per day in the winter. Given that the largest demand for residential energy in the UK is for heating in the winter this is a wicked problem.

        Make a note of it.

  78. Inside a conspiracy theory, wrapped inside a “lockbox” found deep inside Al Gore’s wooded estate you will find Fanboy exposing “big carbon”.

  79. Diversity of scientific and political opinions is well exemplified by Max Planck’s 1944 speech:

    “There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together … We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter” [1].

    1. Max Planck, “The Essence of Matter,” from a speech Dr. Planck presented in Florence, Italy in 1944, entitled “Das Wesen der Materie” (The Essence/Nature/Character of Matter) Quelle: Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797: http://www.greggbraden.com/resources

  80. Real But Exaggerated

    Humans burning fossil fuels? check
    Fossil fuels increasing CO2? check
    CO2 a radiatively active gas? check
    Increased CO2 demonstrably changes forcing in ‘what if’ models? check
    Global averaged temperatures rising consistent with forcing? check
    Sea level rise consistent with observed warming? check
    Observed forcing at high end? nope
    Observed forcing at mid-range? nope
    Observed warming at high end? nope
    Observed warming at mid-range? nope
    Continued warming inevitable? likely, but lower levels of forcing increase mean natural variabilty is likely to exceed for periods.
    Observed warming significantly increases tropical cyclone energy? nope
    Observed warming significantly increases drought? nope
    Coherent hypothesis on why global warming should increase drought? nope
    Positive correlation of temperature with human mortality? nope
    Correlation of adverse human development trends with observed warming? nope
    Temperature rise exceeds synoptic ( weather ) variability? nope
    Temperature rise exceeds Holocene Climatic Optimum? nope
    Rate of recent temperature rise significantly exceeds the early twentieth century temperature rise? nope
    Arctic sea ice decline exclusively due to temperature change? nope

    • nottawa rafter

      When you provide a compelling list like what can anyone say other than “great comment “.

      Just so you don’t feel neglected. :) Fan has a reason to feel like that. Now that he is back with us after finishing up with his summer bowling league.

    • Net Benefits

      Warming is mostly in the winter in higher latitudes over land where it extends growing season. Check

      CO2 increase fertilizes the atmosphere raising primary production in food chain. Check

      Abundant low cost energy is critical infrastructure without which the human population would decline orders of magnitude i.e. billions would die. Check

      Write that down.

  81. John Vonderlin

    quarecuss,
    As a frontline environmentalist and an expert in the marine debris research field I view Mr. Suzuki as a highly unreliable source of information. Here’s an example: Environmental advocate David Suzuki has written of a “massive, expanding island of plastic debris 30 meters [98 feet] deep and bigger than the province of Quebec.” Here’s the latest research: “But a new report released this week found that 99 percent of the litter that was once calculated to be floating in the waters is missing. The report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
    The unnerving findings were the result of open water voyages by Professor Andres Cozar and his survey team in 2010. As Forbes explains, Cozar’s team collected more than 3,000 samples from 141 sites, and eventually calculated the oceans have between 7,000 and 35,000 tons of plastic, about a million times less than what researchers expected.”
    Though I am concerned and devoted to the cause of reducing plastic pollution in the ocean I find the distortion and alarmism of advocacy groups in this arena disturbing. And sadly very similar to the tactics of CAGW proponents.

    • John,
      thanks for that knocking us back to realism about the oceans. Really serious problems exist and pretend alarminsm detracts from solutions.
      Scott

    • I remember being told that future archeologists would be able to identify the poet-60’s by the aluminum ring-pulls from beverage cans. These were immune to all the worst the environment could throw at them and would be preserved forever.
      A nearby driveway was laid down in the early 80’s and actually has some ring-pulls preserved in tarmac; I point this out to my 17 year-old son and he had never seen one before, ever.

      • Dude! I have the entire history of beverage containers that appears on the lake bottom as it goes dry during droughts. Even found some old patent medicine bottles going back to the 1920s. The entire history of aluminum cans of course. Pull tabs are actually more difficult to find than the can it came from due to the can being hundreds of times larger.

      • William Rathje did archaeology on municipal landfills and found that you could easily read newspapers buried decades earlier. It’s going to take a long time for modern human artifacts to disintegrate. Maybe this will help future researchers the way pre-historic tras pits have helped our own.

  82. You may have heard of the IMAX Under the Sea 3D movie. It comes with some “educational” materials. Here are some clips from the grades 6-8 pdf. Propaganda on the young, spying on everyone else. Welcome to the USSR .. errrr … USA.

    Global warming is also threatening reefs. Scientists have found that warming ocean waters are killing off many coral plants.

    The rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the biggest threats to the world’s oceans. Millions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere every year from burning fossil fuels, such as oil and gas. Carbon dioxide causes the atmosphere to warm—a process called global warming. This
    heats the world’s oceans. Many sea organisms can’t adapt to the changing temperatures and may die out. Carbon dioxide also dissolves into the oceans, causing the water to become acidic. The acidic water dissolves the shells many ocean creatures rely on to survive.

    What are some ways you and your family could reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you release each month from your electricity use?

    How does an increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the air affect coral reefs in the Coral Triangle?

    What do you think would happen to the populations of fish and animals like sea turtles if the reefs in the Coral Triangle disappeared?

    Conservation organizations are working with people who live in the region to try to protect the Coral Triangle. Why might it be benefi cial for local people to protect the reefs

    http://underthesea.imax.com/downloads/pdfs/UTS_Grades_6_8.pdf

  83. Einstein’s famous equation,

    E = mc^2,

    Illustrates best the advantage of being open-minded and willing to consider the possible connection between the inanimate physical mass and animate life or spiritual energy.

    The course of world history appears to have been changed in 1945 when spiritual energy (E) was released from inanimate physical mass (m) in the cores of heavy atoms:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/lenr-year-of-answers/#comment-58993

    We realize we know only a little. More is being revealed.

  84. John Vonderlin

    Doc & Pull My Tab,
    So as not to go too OT let me weave this around the general topic of Scientific skepticism and the citizen researcher. As the discoverer of a unique coastal phenomenon I’ve named “Neptune’s Vomitorium,” I’ve accumulated the world’s largest collection of non-buoyant or benthic marine debris over the last decade. In fact, my highly organized and researched collection of 50K objects is probably more than the rest of the world’s combined. I have coined the more accessible term of “sinksam” for this type of marine debris and that seems to be catching on, at least with my correspondents. Quite a few of those correspondents have been N.O.A.A. and U.S.G.S. scientists, though I seem to be most simpatico with the artists in this developing splinter of environmental art. To say this is a murky and not very deeply understood branch of Science (as is Climatology) is an understatement.
    So take heart citizen researchers; you do not need a PhD or institutional standing to significantly contribute to the growing body of knowledge about our world. In fact, free from grant-seeking and the hierarchical need to please, you may have a better chance if your passion drives you, provided you don’t need a super computer or million dollar detection devices.
    And skeptics keep doubting. When experts tell me that benthic debris basically just falls to the bottom and sits there I love to tell them I have 50K objects that tell me that’s not true and in fact many objects undoubtedly move “uphill” from their point sources miles offshore into my greedy little hands.
    That said, the erosional trajectory or taphonomy of aluminum cans is pretty straightforward on the benthos. Aluminum, while protected somewhat by an oxidation layer, is not immune to seawater, the universal solvent, particular if there is abrasion in its movement through the benthos. The top and the bottom are most durable, with the top ring being the most durable part of the top. I have a large collection of those rings which I’ve named Munimulas (aluminum spelled backwards) in honor of the 1957 Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon show (its first) starring Ruff and Reddy. Starting just months after the launch of Sputnik on my 8th birthday, I suspect it might have contributed to my lifelong obsession with Science. The Wikipedia article on the Ruff and Ready Show elucidates the significance of Munimula and its extraterrestrial connection if you’ve got room in your brain for trivial nonsense.
    For those curious what a Munimula looks like, here’s one of the hundreds of pieces of artplay I’ve created from my collections that uses some of my sub-collection of munimulas: https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnvonderlin/14675433670/in/set-72157637146829373/

  85. The very proper gander.

    Not so long ago there was a very fine gander. One day
    someone who saw him strutting up and down singing
    to his family remarked: ‘That’s a very proper gander’.
    An old hen who overheard the remark later told her
    husband about it. ”He said something about
    propaganda.’ ‘I have always suspected that.’ said
    the rooster and he went around the barnyard telling
    the other animals. He said ‘To hell with the flag too,’
    said a duck. A guinea hen said she had seen some-
    one who looked a lot like the gander throw something
    that looked a lot like a grenade. Finally every one in
    the farm yard got sticks and stones and descended
    on the gander. ‘There he is, they cried,”Hawk lover!
    Unbeliever! Flag -hater! Bomb thrower!’ So they set
    about and drove him out of the farm yard.

    H/t James Thurber, from Fables of our Times..

    • ‘Moral: Anybody who you or your wife thinks is going to overthrow the government by violence must be driven out of the country.’

      I like this one, too. ‘Moral: You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.’

      Also, ‘Moral: Don’t count your boobies until they are hatched.’
      ============

      • “Don’t come crying to me when she throws you down,” she said. “That fly-by-season hasn’t got a brain in her head. She can’t cook or sew. Her upper register sounds like a streetcar taking a curve. You can find out in any dictionary that the crow is the smartest and most capable of birds–until you became one.”

        Moral: Even the llama should stick to mamma.
        ================

  86. It’s good to know both the NYTimes editorial board and climate science around the world have proper university feeder programs established;

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/07/the-13-most-rabidly-leftist-politically-correct-colleges-for-dirty-tree-hugging-hippies/

  87. It’s common in the media to say that skepticism is associated with right-wing politics, because (some) right-wingers seek to limit state coercion of society.

    But you never hear the far more obvious converse : alarmism is associated with left-wing politics, because left-wingers seek to advance state coercion of society.

    And that the very science that supports more state coercion of society in the field of climate, is all paid for by the state itself. The state uses tax-payers’ money to beneit itself.

    • That’s about it, of course many work without pay. It’s an ideology but those getting financial rewards are disproportionately members of their own political group.

      AGW “science” is largely corruption as it is established.

  88. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  89. Pingback: Institutionalizing Dissent | Climate Etc.

  90. Pingback: Science & Institutionalising Dissent | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)