Partisanship and silencing science

by Judith Curry

 The implications of dogmatic groupthink and intimidation for the pursuit of sound science — and sound policy — are chilling. – Christopher Snowden

A collection of articles from the health science community on the fate of papers and scientists that challenge the consensus.

The Australian

Christopher Snowden has an article Groupthink attacks on science has a long history (behind paywall; google the title and you can get in).  Excerpts:

Take Katherine Flegal, a statistician at the US Centres for Disease Control. Last year, she and her colleagues published a systematic review of 97 studies in The Journal of the American Medical Association and concluded that mild obesity produced no extra mortality risk and being merely overweight resulted in a small reduction in mortality risk.

Despite being supported with a ream of data, the study was savaged by the public health lobby. Walter Willett, one of the world’s most prominent anti-obesity campaigners, said: “This study is really a pile of rubbish and no one should waste their time reading it.”

A spokesman for the National Obesity Forum said, “It’s a horrific message to put out at this particular time”, and absurdly suggested that Flegal’s “message” was that we can “eat ourselves to death with black forest gateaux”. Willett later organised a symposium in which speaker after speaker denounced ­Flegal and her work.

Or take James Enstrom, a vastly experienced and respected epidemiologist who had been working at the University of California at Los Angeles since 1976. In 2003, he and a colleague published a study in the British medical journal BMJ that found no association between second-hand smoke and lung cancer. Many other studies had come to the same conclusion and Enstrom’s research had no substantive flaws. Nevertheless, when anti-smoking campaigners heard about the findings, they breached the journal’s embargo and organised a press conference in which they slated the study (which they not yet read) and described it as “crap” and Enstrom as “a damn fool”.

In 2005, Enstrom further blotted his copy book by conducting research on fine particulate matter that cast doubt on the scientific basis of new air pollution laws proposed by the Californian Environmental Protection Agency. Although Enstrom’s findings have since been replicated in other studies, he was later sacked by UCLA because his research was “not aligned with the department’s mission”.

Or take the 2011 study by Jennie Brand Miller and Alan Barclay that claimed sugar consumption had been falling in Australia while obesity had been rising. They and their study, The Australian Paradox, have been viciously attacked by anti-sugar campaigners, with the usual accusations of being in the pay of industry. The researchers eventually were charged with scientific misconduct and only recently have been exonerated.

All of these examples involve scientists of good standing whose studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals. It is hard to believe that any of them would have been attacked with such vigour had they not been dealing with red-button issues that are of great importance to public health pressure groups.

To put it bluntly, the policies had already been decided. The campaigners want to send a clear, unambiguous message to the public while persuading politicians to act. Any research suggesting that a policy is misplaced or directed at the wrong target brings down a firestorm on the heretical scientist, regardless of the quality of the research or the credentials of the researcher. In each case, the response from the establishment is visceral rather than rational. The implications of dogmatic groupthink and intimidation for the pursuit of sound science — and sound policy — are chilling.

Saturated fats

From the Independent: The science of saturated fats: a big fat surprise about nutrition?  Excerpts:

When Ronald M Krauss decided, in 2000, to review all the evidence purporting to show that saturated fats cause heart disease, he knew that he was putting his professional career at risk.

Challenging any of the conventional wisdom on dietary fat has long been a form of professional suicide for nutrition experts. And saturated fats, especially, are the third rail. But Krauss persevered and concluded in 2010, after reviewing all the scientific literature, that saturated fats could not be said to cause heart disease. In March, another group of scientists, including faculty from Cambridge and Harvard, came to the same conclusion after conducting a similar “meta-analysis”. These were stunning results. It seemed that saturated fat, our principal dietary culprit for decades, had been unfairly convicted.

Yet the truth is there never has been solid evidence that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be true because nutrition policy was derailed over the past half-century by personal ambition, bad science, politics, and bias.

Silencing science and the role of partisanship

This paper digs into the second hand smoke issue, and does a sociological analysis of the broader issues.

Silencing science: partisanship and the career of a publication disputing the dangers of secondhand smoke

Sheldon Ungar and Dennis Bray

Abstract. This paper examines the silencing of science, that is, efforts to prevent the making of specific scientific claims in any or all of the arenas in which these claims are typically reported or circulated. Those trying to mute the reporting or circulation of scientific claims are termed “partisans.” The paper examines silencing through a systematic examination of the “rapid responses” to a smoking study published in the British Medical Journal claiming that secondhand smoke is not as dangerous as conventionally believed. Media coverage of the smoking study is also examined, as is the question of whether there is self-silencing by the media regarding doubts about the negative effects of passive smoke. The results suggest that the public consensus about the negative effects of passive smoke is so strong that it has become part of a regime of truth that cannot be intelligibly questioned.

Published in Public Understanding of Science, [link] to full manuscript.

Unger and Bray lay out the problem in the Introduction:

Thanks for turning back the clock on public health decades or more. We don’t need this kind of negligence from what used to be a professional medical publication. I seriously wonder who got paid off at BMJ to publish this utter garbage.

Dale Jackman, Seriously Annoyed

I won’t dignify this rag with my credentials

This quotation is from the “rapid responses” to a paper on secondhand smoke (hereafter the smoking article) by Enstrom and Kabat (2003) published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Other rapid responses castigate the BMJ for its “tabloid style journalism” and suggest that it is seeking publicity and controversy in publishing this paper that presents results suggesting that passive smoking is far less dangerous than often believed. The editor of the BMJ speaks of going “From hero to pariah in one easy jump,” as others seek a retraction or an apology. This does not sound like standard scientific discourse to us. Something is different—and seemingly awry. Editors are not ordinarily whipping boys, subject to harassment by “outsiders” who are not scientific specialists in the domain of interest and are acting on extra-scientific agendas. But our concern is not to judge this discourse so much as to identify, define, and develop its characteristics and implications for scientific publication, reporting, and policy usage. We refer to these activities as silencing science; those who engage in the silencing efforts are termed partisans.

As a result of these recent developments, and abetted by new technology such as the Internet, there has been an amplification of scientific controversy that fosters an increasingly intense and acrimonious scrutiny of methods, results and even personal integrity by competing scientists, the media and various interest groups. In place of what were once jousts in obscurity over arcane matters, many scientific disputes now overflow into different public arenas and involve uncivil efforts to silence researchers for political, ideological, social or even economic reasons. Accusations of junk science, cherry picking and stacked committees have become strikingly commonplace.

Partisan is a felicitous metaphor, as it encompasses two levels—ideas and actions. At the first level, a partisan is a firm adherent to a belief or cause; the partisan tends to have an unreasoned allegiance to this, and not to truth. This contravenes, of course, the normative complex surrounding openness in science. At the second level, a partisan is a member of a military unit or guerrilla band harassing an enemy. For our purposes then, partisanship involves not only a dogmatic adherence to a belief, but also the use of a wide range of tactics to silence opponents of that belief in any arena in which it is presented, reported or used. Partisans seek not only to authoritatively lay down their (scientific) position, but to shield it by engaging in silencing skirmishes that can include, among other things, intimidation, slander and discredit, gagging, budget cuts, and the removal of opponents. As can be gleaned from the discussion throughout this paper, partisans are not a unitary group but can be composed of state officials, large firms or sponsorship organizations, scientists, interest groups, and/or members of the public.

“Political partisanship” is widely used and fully understandable (and almost redundant). But “scientific partisanship” borders on the oxymoronic. If fully realized, scientific partisanship entails, as noted above, closure, intimidation, and silencing, rendering science impossible.

Beyond the general tendency to avoid extreme methods, silencing tactics further depend on the kinds of partisans involved. Scientists themselves, especially those who are experts in the area of research under question, are likely to use the least extreme tactics. Not only will experts in the field have the knowledge and tools to mount a conventional scientific attack on the offending ideas, but they will have sufficiently imbibed the norms of openness that they will tend to recognize or tolerate deviant ideas. Those with some knowledge of the field, whether holders of some scientific knowledge (e.g., physicians), or practitioners applying knowledge in that realm, have less expertise to formulate criticisms and are likely to be less restrained by norms of openness and the informal controls extant in the specific research domain. Outsiders, or the lay public, are expected to be the least restrained of all partisans. Not only do they lack training in the area, but they have the least to lose and are involved in the domain as a result of personal beliefs or choice. Hence they are most likely to engage in personal abuse, intimidation, and open calls for silencing.

According to Ziman, “A sure symptom of non-science is personal abuse and intolerance of the views of one scholar by another.”

JC reflections

The situation in health/nutrition science has some unfortunate parallels with climate science.

I like the terms ‘campaigners’ and in particular ‘partisans’.  I find the Unger and Bray paper to be very insightful (note Dennis Bray is frequent collaborator of Hans von Storch).  Re partisans, I was struck by this:

Scientists themselves, especially those who are experts in the area of research under question, are likely to use the least extreme tactics. Not only will experts in the field have the knowledge and tools to mount a conventional scientific attack on the offending ideas, but they will have sufficiently imbibed the norms of openness that they will tend to recognize or tolerate deviant ideas.

According to Ziman, “A sure symptom of non-science is personal abuse and intolerance of the views of one scholar by another.”

Partisans who are not climate science experts can and do sling mud, it is particularly egregious and pathological when science experts do the mud slinging.

JC message to climate scientist partisans:  leave the mud slinging to bloggers, advocacy groups, politicians.    Attack the arguments, not the person.  Some recent examples:  Gavin Schmidt is behaving like a scientist (with his response to my 50-50 argument); Michael Mann is becoming a poster boy for non-science with his personal abuse and intolerance of the views of other scientists.

In summary, these articles provide a stark picture of the dangers to science of groupthink and intimidation of science with non-consensus views.  In my opinion, climate science is suffering badly from these.

Slide1

“People are open-minded about new things as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.” Charles Kettering

 

461 responses to “Partisanship and silencing science

  1. Heh, mild obesity, a classic sign of health or prosperity, or both.
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    • Heh, a warmer world classically is healthy and prosperous.
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      • Fortunately, unless it has fled to outer space, we are storing a nice layer of warmth in the ocean for the long hibernation ahead.
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      • The last time the world was warmer than recent there was no electrical grid or indoor plumbing. Why do you want people to go without modern conveniences such as these kim?

      • A warmer world? Bah, Eric, go read up on your Hockey Stick. MBH ’98 & ’99.
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      • Didn’t they show you ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in school? You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
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    • Heh, mild pregnancy, the sign of being impregnated by Mr. T.

    • History shows us many great leadership examples but I think that all of them can be boiled down to just two options:

      (1) a benevolent dictatorship ruled over by a short, skinny black woman with an unimaginably high IQ who can only communicate using sign language; and,

      (2) responsible individuals who are free to look to their own self-interest.

      With Warmingism from Marx to Gore we are again presented with ample evidence about what does and does not work–e.g.,

      (

      If a society believes that developing the earth’s resources is morally right and in fact is approved by God (as evidenced by Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:6-9; 24:1), then people will think of the world as a place of opportunity, where hard work and inventiveness will lead to further discoveries of beneficial uses of the earth’s resources.

      Throw out all the learning that have been passed to us from the smartest people facing the toughest problems throughout history — as embodied the principles of individual liberty and Judeo-Christian ethics — and, you are left with Leftists and nihilists who are expert only at creating poverty:

      By contrast, in some primitive societies, the world is viewed primarily as a place of danger. People are unwilling to take risks because something bad might happen. In these places, economic development is viewed with fear and even moral condemnation, because change is more likely to bring harmful results than helpful ones. ~Grudem and Asmus

      See–e.g., 78 specific ways to bring about a sustainable solution to poverty)

      • Wagathon, you seem to have gone a bit off the rails. Leftists have about the same record of success on specific policy issues, including poverty, as rightists. Which is to say, far more failures than successes. Institutions matter much more than political leanings. Leftists did well in Northern Europe because institutions existed to dampen our tendencies to excess. In Central and South America, without those institutions, the Left has contributed mightily to the region’s misery.

        The same is true of the Right. For every Castro there is a Peron. Few presidents have been more immiserating than American conservatives. But America has had the institutional infrastructure to recover quickly from the Hoovers and the Bushes.

      • The Left you defend is a man-made disaster. Who do you prefer George Washington or Mao Tse-Tung? Do you think the answer is simple?

        ■ If you are a Tibetan Buddhist monk, you prefer a God-fearing protector of personal and religious freedom like George Washington

        ■ If you are a tenured professor in liberal fascist academia, then Ward Churchill is more inspiring than Winston Churchill, the mass murderer Mao is your philosopher, and Bush-haters Castro and Chavez are your comrades.

      • Wagathon, to risk belaboring the point, government is a man-made disaster, whether Left or Right. However, it seems we cannot do without it. We can trade horror stories for as long as you like about the mistakes on either side of the political spectrum.

        I am on the Left, not because I like most Leftists. Really, I don’t. I don’t like Jerry Brown, governor of California. Do you like Newt Gingrich?

        I am on the Left, not because I like most Leftist administrations in any country. I abhor what communist governments have done wherever they have been in power, perhaps even more than you. Do you support or just ignore the horrors of what the extreme right has done in power?

        I am really a progressive liberal–I use Left just to tick you off. I am where I am on the political spectrum for the same reasons as people like Bertrand Russell–because government and politics without compassion is a means without an end. Because a State that does not exercise itself on behalf of the poor, old and disabled has not advanced from the morality of hunter gatherers. If a State is to be more than lines on a map the people must share more than a language and a common enemy is a poor substitute for what liberal and progressive values offer.

        Individual conservatives are just as compassionate as individual leftists. But in terms of generating policy they either throw it out the window or label as traitors those who exercise it. Richard Nixon created the EPA. George Bush worked hard on the Millenium Goals. They are not treated kindly by conservatives.

      • AGW has long since ceased being about scientific discovery. It’s all about politics. That’’s why we now see global warming playing itself out as a Democrat v. Republican issue.

        Global warming alarmism showcases the self-defeating and anti-American intolerance that is symbolic of the tyranny of the Left. Americans have many rights: some are specifically enumerated and some are acknowledged to have been granted to all of humanity by God, a Judeo/Christian God—i.e., human rights that are personal to free individuals that cannot be diminished by contractual fiat.

        Additionally, Americans have many other rights — penumbral rights emanating from the Constitution – rights that are not specifically enumerated but are nonetheless fundamental to the American experience. These rights are what the Leftist-libs would destroy from within and from without.

        The Leftist-libs would use their democratic freedom to deprive others of theirs: using the democratic process to prevent others from employing their own mental, physical and psychic vitality as their own personal and individual interest shall dictate. The Leftist-libs’ undermining of personal and individual freedom is Liberal Fascism.

      • Well, Wagathon, as a lukewarmer, an agnostic, someone who has left the US (probably permanently) and a huge admirer of the US Constitution, I can only say you’re one of the reasons my absence is probably permanent.

        You’re an ideologue whose idee are firmly fixe. You’re actually pretty scary. And I recognize nothing in what you right as based on the very hard and very good work of the founding fathers of the U.S.

      • See–e.g., just a sample of the 78 specific ways to bring about a sustainable solution to poverty — the link is in the post you have been responding to.

      • @Tom Fuller “But America has had the institutional infrastructure to recover quickly from the Hoovers and the Bushes.”
        How about from the Roosevelts (either one) the Clintons (either one) or Obama?

  2. It’s a little funny. Back in the dark ages, I learned that if the hypertension and diabetes often concomitant with obesity were controlled for, then mild obesity did not effect mortality. I still believe that. Has the world lost that belief?
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    • Note ‘controlled for’ in the studies, not ‘controlled’ as in control of sugar and blood pressure.
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    • This from insurance company actuarial tables. Big data.
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    • My Dad (doctor) told me in about 1980 that most of your cholesterol is manufactured from excess carbohydrate (mostly sugar), not from eating fatty food. Which is what the Independent article says further down.

      • A very early study, from Sweden I believe, showed that lowering cholesterol lowered cardiovascular mortality, but not overall mortality. The mortality difference was made up by violent deaths.

        If that is true, you follow the reasoning.

        Caveat: I believe this was refuted in subsequent studies. No doubt by the Choler Team.
        ===========================

      • It is true that most of your body’s cholesterol is made by your liver, but you can go into excess by having a high dietary intake.
        The important thing is the concentration of the various lipid carrier proteins in your blood and the total cholesterol.
        The bottom line is that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day will cut your risk of a stroke/heart attack by more than 70%.

      • The fine print on the inserts of cholesterol lowering drugs said that too. I think it’s about 80% genetic, 20% diet. So these meds seem to nibble around the edges, IIRC.

      • Pete, my father started to have high cholesterol at a decade ago, aged 68. He went on statins and they worked really well, dropping him to the normal range.
        So they work if you are in a position where you cannot manipulate diet too much and cannot increase exercise.

  3. Did scientists think they were shaping policy with their studies?

    You’d think scientists would be bright enough to understand the difference between the rider and the horse, and who’s guiding who.

  4. Groupthink is damaging in all areas, not just science. Simply put, it diminishes the number of actual agents making decisions and much useful information may be neglected in the process.

    • Marvelously illustrated by the titanic turn of the consensus about the pause. This is why I claim that skepticism is honing the cutting edge of climate science, today; more voices.
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      • Isn’t the current pause well within the error bars of AGW predictions? There was a 30 year pause back in the 40s. Is there any sign of actual cooling?

      • Within, but not well.

        Signs, signs, everywhere signs.

        The Indians are making huge piles of firewood.
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      • I’ll send you to RGates for energy balance lessons, then to Josh Willis who is not so sure the data is there for oceanic accumulation of heat.
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      • I’ve not figured out whether you are naive or clever.

        First, missing heat. Frankly I think it’s been reflected and radiated back out to space. If it’s gone in the ocean, what a relief. It’s not raising surface temperatures, so much for your metric, so some relief, and it’s being stored for future use at impending glaciation, more relief.

        Your metric, surface temperature, shows very slight cooling for 15 years or so. Absent CO2 forcing, it could be cooling more, and the amount of cooling directly, but contrarily, related to what true CO2 forcing is.

        Next we could talk about the Cheshire Cat Sunspots. Still interested?
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      • Kim

        I heard Thomas Stocker say that we did not have the technology to measure the heat in the deep ocean. IF there is any warming going on there that somehow managed to slip past the buoys it will raise the abyssal heat so fractionally it is difficult to see how it can have any practical effect.

        tonyb

      • Why, they’re going out of the visible spectrum. When this has happened in the past, the globe has cooled. This is correlation, and causation is not yet worked out, because if it is causal, it is complicated, and so far, beyond our ken.
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      • Yep, cr. Gad I hope we’re fattening up down there.
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      • Does this Argosy make me look fat? No, Honey, you look great.
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      • ” Josh Willis who is not so sure the data is there for oceanic accumulation of heat. …”

        Where do you get this horsechit?

      • –I’ve not figured out whether you are naive or clever.

        First, missing heat. Frankly I think it’s been reflected and radiated back out to space. If it’s gone in the ocean, what a relief. It’s not raising surface temperatures, so much for your metric, so some relief, and it’s being stored for future use at impending glaciation, more relief.–

        I think it’s possible that stored ocean heat starts a glacial period- but also that any stored ocean heat of say couple centuries of time is not anywhere near significant enough to start such glacial period- or it’s stored ocean heat over thousands of years which could be significant enough to do what I mean.
        Or say it this way, once oceans are warmed from the present of 3-4 C to 5 to 6 C then one gets into the ballpark of this possibility.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        When they can say “stopped warming” – even if hypothetically – like after 60 years of no warming, then it could be said that they are free to think.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        I do wonder if even Professor Curry could say “warming stopped” rather than “hiatus or “pause”, even if 60 yrs of no warming occurred.

        Q/ For Professor Curry: How many years of no warming would it take in order to say “warming stopped”?

    • The deep ocean is meaningless. It is used form 700 meters to the bottom of some freakin’ trench under some stupid ocean way off over yonder.

      What is the difference between Wunsch’s abyssal cooling and Purkey and Johnson’s abyssal warming?

  5. I predict our hostess will be abused by the usual suspects for her “second hand” support of the social heresies described Snowden article she quotes.
    We know this is just how some of the world is. Speaking truth to power has never been easy, and for that reason, never very common.

  6. The climate lobby believes that heat from gas heated by the sun’s rays can penetrate the surface of the ocean cause increased evaporation and be stored in the ocean. Try heating water through the surface.

  7. The space program went through the same idea-crushing dysfunction, leading to disasters and decline because of it. And now we see the fall of free enterprise capitalism as the application of Leftist ideology to the economy takes us down.

    • Wag: IMO, the left-vs-right comments on climate blogs get tiresome, miss the real issues, and are a waste of space. Although I might be out of norm as a mostly liberal, mostly layman AGW skeptic, I really don’t think CAGW science is driven by leftist ideology. It might be partly (or badly) driven by a whole host of problems, including advocacy/noble-cause corruption, group-think, and well-intentioned people wanting to save the world from something, but viewing it as some hoax or grand conspiracy is wrong and misses real potential problems.

      By the way, of course the economy is about as complicated as climate, but based on my observations, what you call “leftist ideology” in the US doesn’t seem to harm the economy. Time and again, at least on the surface with casual correlations, we even seem to do better under some of those “leftist” ideals. Or, if not better, no detectable harm.

  8. Well…

    The problem is there are a lot of zealots in society who believe they have a keener insight than the unwashed masses on a number of topics. They devise solutions to problems then attempt to tilt the scientific research to favor their position.

    The perceived authority of scientific studies is based on the assumption the studies are performed by careful, objective, independent researchers who are agnostic as to outcome. This would result in thoughtful well analyzed studies that collect data and draw inferences that society can use to guide their decisions.

    Hijacking the process by collusion between the researchers to predetermine study outcomes, the types of studies, the politics of scientists in the field, and the judgment of peer review panels, undermine the assumption of objectivity and convert science into a policy tool for advocates.

    The liberal side of the policy debate is more guilty:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/1/liberal-majority-on-campus-yes-were-biased/?page=all

    http://yoelinbar.net/papers/political_diversity.pdf

    http://people.stern.nyu.edu/jhaidt/postpartisan.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html?_r=1&

    About 35% of liberals have a win-at-all costs attitude that has effectively expunged conservatives from academia, journalism, psychology, and law.

    A unitary viewpoint that is hostile to opposing viewpoints distorts the science and the public debate to the detriment of society.

    • Their hubris dominates.

      • Heh, nemesis if franchised, and recently registered, to vote.
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      • And the opposition, apparently, has no backbone, no intellectual stamina to oppose these shills on moral and practical grounds. They seemingly just give way, confused and muttering.

    • I honestly think it’s a type 1 error to conflate liberals with Democrats, just as it is to conflate conservatives with Republicans. This is a bigger world than U.S. party politics–fight your campaigns on a different blog, please.

    • I disagree that the liberal side is generally more guilty. The two “sides” tend to distort science in different ways, so that there are not exact parallels between instances. I think it is driven by human nature, not political ideology.

      In climate science right now, the “liberal” side is doing most of the silencing, but it is by no means guaranteed to stay that way.

  9. “Some recent examples: Gavin Schmidt is behaving like a scientist (with his response to my 50-50 argument); Michael Mann is becoming a poster boy for non-science with his personal abuse and intolerance of the views of other scientists.”

    Non-abuse can become cargo cult science pretty quickly. It’s another mark of science to adopt.

    Abusing bloggers is not a good sign, by the way. “JC message to climate scientist partisans: leave the mud slinging to bloggers”

    Actually, when arguing this or that, abuse is an invitation and opportunity to restate your position on the merits. But that’s not about science, just curiosity and interest in something you’re wanting to convey.

    As to marks of science, I don’t think non-abuse is an actual one. There’s pettiness and jealousy all over, as well as good character, distributed as it always is, among people.

    Poor old Mann is taking a beating now. Sociologically he’s become a scapegoat for climate science to purify itself with.

    But it won’t be any more science after he’s tossed out than it was before.

    The pieces may or may not be science, but the field is not.

  10. Judith -

    ==> “it is particularly egregious and pathological when science experts do the mud slinging.”

    1. What # of your “denizens” do you consider to be “science experts?” (Based on your previous statements, I would think you’d peg that number to be pretty high).

    2. What % of those “denizens” you consider to be “science experts” sling mud?

    3. When they do so, do you find it “particularly egregious?”

    • Joshua

      Silly question(s). Denizens are self appointed. The point is the behavior to not be open to the possibility of being wrong on a topic when there is much unknown is unproductive at best.

      Is there any blog site where people do not think they fully understand an issue, when in reality they do not???

      The bottom line in climate science in regards to CO2 is there is a potential that harmful things could occur as a result of more atmospheric CO2, but there is no reliable evidence regarding if, when, or where these harmful things will occur.

    • the main issue that I have is with government employed scientists at universities and government research labs, when discussing their credentialed research area.

      • It has struck me over the last few years as to how many (climate) scientists know a great deal about their credentialed research area but relatively little about the wider climate picture.

        Surely the only true ‘Climate scientist’ is therefore the IPCC, as they are the only one to see all the 10000 pieces of the jigsaw which they then try to fit together without the benefit of having a picture on the box of the finished item.
        tonyb

      • Oh, don’t worry, the outline of attribution was already etched onto the box.
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      • Ok -

        So we’ll put Roy (“Nazis”) Spencer on your list of those you have an issue with.

        Likewise, Ross (“groveling coward”) McKitrick.

        Roger (“climate chickens”) Pielke Jr.

        (I guess that Richard [Eugenicists] Lindzen gets a break because he’s retired?)

        What about Judith (“Climate McCarthyism”) Curry?

      • Ok –

        So we’ll put Roy (“Naz*s”) Spencer on your list of those you have an issue with.

        Likewise, Ross (“groveling coward”) McKitrick.

        Roger (“climate chickens”) Pielke Jr.

        (I guess that Richard [Eugenicists] Lindzen gets a break because he’s retired?)

        What about Judith (“Climate McCarthyism”) Curry?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Likewise, Ross (“groveling coward”) McKitrick.”

        Ross personally attacked an editor for his editorial actions.

        If you want to play the mommy game, there are better example.

        You need to find a climate expert personally attacking another climate expert..

        the evidence exists. go find it. then link with quotes.
        you know make an argument.

      • His rudder is fouled and he’s circling helplessly.
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      • I see Joshua’s back with his normal trick of attacking the flea on the elephant’s back whilst ignoring the pachyderm.

      • Joshua has no interest in making an argument. He’s made his mess–that is the point.

      • This below is a VERY important point:

        climatereason on August 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        It has struck me over the last few years as to how many (climate) scientists know a great deal about their credentialed research area but relatively little about the wider climate picture.

        Surely the only true ‘Climate scientist’ is therefore the IPCC, as they are the only one to see all the 10000 pieces of the jigsaw which they then try to fit together without the benefit of having a picture on the box of the finished item.
        tonyb

      • ” These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process”
        “Not only has this brought some relatively unknown, inexperienced and possibly dubious people into positions of influence, but these people become vested in protecting the IPCC, which has become central to their own career and legitimizes playing power politics with their expertise.”
        ‘this cadre of scientists; they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.”

        Hmm, who was slinging this mud??

        I guess we can argue that Michael Mann was wrong to label Judith “anti-sceince”, it’s more like “non-science”.

      • Fail. I am blaming institutions here. I have named no individual scientists. BIG DIFFERENCE

      • curryja | August 30, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        “Fail. I am blaming institutions here. I have named no individual scientists. BIG DIFFERENCE”

        Umm…..
        “These scientists”, “this cadre of scientists; they will tolerate no dissent”, “Who are these priests of the IPCC? Some are mid to late career middle ranking scientists…”

        Fail, indeed.

        Keep slinging Judith, the interwebs don’t forget.

      • Somone please point poor Michael to the government-funded consensus and IPCC, how it is all funded, what the funders vested interests are, how its members cheat and lie as in Climategate, and how they ran coverups to hide the cheating and lying that Climategate revealed. And how they never distance themselves from the systemic bias and corruption that underpins the CAGW consensus, let alone discipline anyone for dishonesty.
        OK, in their defence they’d lose their grants and prospects if they did honest science instead of what benefits their paymaster most, ie preach alarm. The system stinks, but may be unfixable if only political money drives it as now.

      • See Judith, Monty got the message.

        “…how its members cheat and lie as in Climategate, and how they ran coverups to hide the cheating and lying that Climategate revealed….OK, in their defence they’d lose their grants and prospects if they did honest science instead of what benefits their paymaster most, ie preach alarm.”

        Mission accomplished!

      • Michael – From Dr Christy’s 11 congressional testimony:

        “In the IPCC 2007 report, Dr. Ross McKitrick presented evidence that indicated warming processes other than greenhouse gas warming affected the popular surface temperature data sets. The IPCC authors were themselves producers of these data sets, yet as “final-say” authors they sat in judgment over this controversy, eventually denying McKitrick’s evidence with what turned out be (apparently) their own fabricated claim.”

        https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/ChristyJR_written_110331_all.pdf

      • thanks for that limp lettuce.

      • ” I have named no individual scientists.” – Judy Curry

        “These scientists”, “this cadre of scientists; they will tolerate no dissent”, “Who are these priests of the IPCC? Some are mid to late career middle ranking scientists…”

        Michael, still looking for the names of individual scientists here. Is this a reading comprehension fail?

        Oh wait…. But Michael Mann

    • I think a better first question in the context of this article would be how many of the “denizens” are part of the 97% followed by #2 question how many “denizens” can force a scientist to conform to a university “mission” or have a scientist removed from a research department or government agency? Based on the examples given by JC I think she is pointing out that only those that argue against scientific establishment are vulnerable to damage/abuse by mud slingers for not conforming.

      • Sundance -

        ==> “Based on the examples given by JC I think she is pointing out that only those that argue against scientific establishment are vulnerable to damage/abuse by mud slingers for not conforming.”

        I think that is a subjective determination. But if you have some kind of evidence-based that members of the science establishment can’t be damaged by mud slinging, I’d like to see it.

        But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say that the mud-slinging towards the “scientific establishment” that we see here and places like WUWT on a daily basis does no damage. Then why do you think that it goes on as much as it does? Why so some “skeptics” do so much mud-slinging if it has no impact? Does it have some kind of cathartic effect? Does it help them to justify their sense of victimhood? Or, are they just that illogical that they do something so much and so often even thought it has no impact?

      • It’s a shovel ready job, honey.
        ================

      • @Joshua Skeptics don’t do mudslinging. You fail to make a distinction. An important one.
        If I say that we should have Israel’s back and I am then called a Zionist and a lot worse, that is mudslinging. If I then say of the mudslingers they are acting like authoritarian, petty tyrants, that is not mudslinging. If I say the arguments of the CAGW proponents are not compelling and am called a denier and worse, that is mudslinging. If I say of the mudslingers the are lying rat bastards that is not mudslinging. It would be if I said the same thing about a scientific statement that was an attempt to prove a point of a CAGW proponent.
        When Lindzen refers to Eugenics he is merely pointing out an example of consensus by the elite. And making parallels to how nasty the elite in climate warming behave. No mudslinging there. To describe the tactics of CAGW proponents that smear, degrade, attempt to silence an opposing view, lie, dummy data as being ‘Nazi’ like is not mudslinging either. Those tactics, for all to see, are disgusting and nefarious. Likewise, using McCarthyism to describe the tactics of CAGW proponents is truthful in the sense that anyone who doesn’t toe the line is seen as an enemy. (though I think it disrespectful toward McCarthy). No skeptic attacks a CAGW proponent for his scientific opinion but they should use shaming, shunning, sarcasm, humor and other means that are not strictly scientific to criticise the incredibly bad behavior of many CAGW proponents. In other words, there are some behaviors that should receive automatic condemnation from the scientific community like when scientists advocate lying about data in order to achieve policy goals. The institutions that were employing those people should have fired them immediately. They should never be allowed near another tax payer funded position for the rest of their lives. The moral turpitude shown by those institutions and by journal editors and by academic and scientific institutions has been deplorable. Castigating those people is not mudslinging.

    • phatboy | August 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm |

      Anything to avoid the obvious point being made. If it takes two hundred more post to kill the thread it’s the price to be paid.

  11. Gavin Schmidt is behaving like a scientist (with his response to my 50-50 argument)
    GS was educated at two British universities, where bad-mannered dialog is not a norm of the day.

    • Schmidt is just as dismissive of Dr. Curry and skeptics/lukewarmers in general as Mann. He just is more oblique about it. He has become quite adept as calling people stupid without actually using the word stupid.

      • It works both ways, the sceptics are equally dismissive of the Gavin Schmidt’s 100% hypothesis, supported only by the sorry band of his cataclysmates

      • vukcevic,

        I disagree. I find that Schmidt is treated with grudging respect by most well informed skeptics. He is taken seriously, not dismissed out of hand.

        When I first started following the climate debate, I was astounded by the reaction that so many had to being moderated/censored at Real Climate. The moderation policy there used to take over whole, unrelated threads at skeptic blogs. Even prominent skeptics and lukewarmers, to this day, seem eager for a chance to engage with him. The comments of Dr. Curry and Roger Pielke, Sr. here being just two examples.

        Schmidt on the other hand is a progressive. He sees the only justifiable goal of science communication as convincing the public/policy makers, to follow the advice of their intellectual betters, himself included.

        It is always easy to say “a pox on both their houses.” But there really is no similarity between the methods of debate between the two sides in this case.

      • I wrote:
        the sceptics are equally dismissive of the Gavin Schmidt’s 100% hypothesis.
        No true sceptic would be inclined to consider 100% hypothesis as realistic, but many lukewarmers as Dr. Curry, Roger Pielke, Sr. and many others may or may not do.

      • Bingo GaryM, phony equivocation with the word “Partisan” should be on the top of your list. Main post below; still holding my breath, getting dizzy….help.

      • Maybe because they’re stupid.

  12. None of this is new. Progressives are progressives first and everything else, including scientists, second.

    Progressives consider themselves part of an elite, who should have the power to plan and control their inferiors, through government. And the ends justify almost any means.

    Progressive scientists try to silence those who oppose them on policy.
    (Michael Mann and libel suits)

    Progressive politicians try to silence those who oppose them on policy.
    (Democrats and “campaign finance reform,” “net neutrality,” etc.)

    Progressive journolists try to silence those who oppose them on policy
    (The BBC and exclusion of skeptics; any consensus climate journal)

    Progressive teachers try to silence those who oppose them on policy.
    (Tenure decisions, college speech codes)

    Progressive union leaders try to silence those who oppose them on policy.
    (SEIU’s famous election day thug tactics)

    Maybe one can eventually see a pattern here.

    • Gary writes:
      “Progressives are progressives first and everything else, including scientists, second.”

      Over generalize much?

      • no. He nailed it. “The personal is political.” It’s why we get the constant slander and abuse of power from progressive politicians, progressive scientists, progressive government employees, progressive activists, progressive clergy, progressive faculty …..

        See IRS abuse of power, Dept of Justice abuses, EPA lawlessness, etc.

        See Clinton administration’s series of abuses. See rampant vote fraud in the US by progressives. And the beat goes on …..

    • Dunno. I mean it seems to be just how Americans work these days. No one uses their noodle (on either side), compassion and inclusion are met with disdain, and everyone try to power grab. Bush era was the same way, reverse polarity.
      Not sure how far back this goes. Sixties, my guess. I read something about it once, but I am not a historian and forgot.

      • Bush? How? When? I remember the left calling him Hitler, blaming him for Abu Ghraib, and other BS and advocating his assassination. But that’s just more lying and slander by progressives.

      • @stan
        I’m pretty sure it goes both ways. Our entire political arena is nothing more than a first grade recess. Both sides.
        Our culture has never much valued intellect. We are frontier people and action is far more important than brains! (yes this is a pet theory)

      • ^^^ by ‘our culture’ I mean American culture (forgot not everyone here is US persons)

      • There is a gang forming over in the corner of the playground.
        ================

      • Nickels: The noodle is not always straight, sometimes a macaroni.

    • “There is a gang forming over in the corner of the playground.”

      I can run pretty fast. I think.

    • Gary M: I think if you dig deeper you’ll find that the common glue of all progressives, regardless of vocation, is their moral philosophy; there is some evidence that they tend to be relativistic.

      • rls,

        Some evidence? Everything about progressivism is relativistic. The only coherent underlying philosophy is marxism, and they won;t admit to it.

        Multi-culturalism, legal realism and “social justice” are just a few of the more obvious examples. I don’t need to dig any deeper. I have been dealing with, and observing, progressives for a long time. They aren’t that complicated.

      • “Progressive” is not descriptive, rather it’s camouflage for the Left, who once hid under the label of liberal. Both liberal and progressive are the opposite of the Left- hence their political usefulness.
        The Left will obviously eventually pollute the term Progressive as they did with Liberal.
        The Left is fundamentally statist or more accurately totalitarian.
        Their moral philosophy is relativistic- and to avoid random or “wrong” morality, one needs a State which imposes the correct morality.

        For the Left, murder, slavery, genocide are not inherently immoral- because it depends circumstance- or more precisely it depends upon the regime in which one lives under.
        So morality flows from the top down- and of course nothing could be less liberal or progressive than this view.
        The Left wants to make a good king [or king's council- or whatever kind of elite leadership/supreme committee or whatever] and such a leadership which powerful enough that can’t be threatened or challenged by other kings or whatever forces. And does not depend upon having the rule of law, one has the good king that makes a bunch fantastically great laws that everyone must follow- except course the good king [and/or whatever elites].
        So for Left, salvation on Earth is in good leadership which molds the mindless mass of people. [Why it bothers or cares about lowly clay- could be question one might ponder, but the easy answer is the good king has to make the effort pretend to give a rat's ass via elaborate State Propaganda- or good acting is essential part of being a good king.]

        Or quite simply, the Left is in it’s entirety, is a Cargo Cult of the French Sun King, Louis XIV:
        “The “Grand Century” of Louis XIV was marked by the image of an absolute Monarch and a powerful State. Installed in his royal functions at a very young age, and educated by Cardinal Mazarin, the Sun King built the foundations of absolutism around his own person.”

        http://en.chateauversailles.fr/history/court-people/louis-xiv-time/louis-xiv-

        Obviously something went wrong, but point is, it was generally in the “right direction” which just needed a bit of luck and tweaking to get it perfect. As Soviet Union was also broadly going in right direction, but it also make some errors [and/or it was the fault of hated evil capitalist enemies which ruined the chance of the promised paradise].

    • How about cutting me a break GaryM? Dr. Curry used the term “partisan” to avoid implicating her peers directly who are in fact fellow liberals. That’s the sort of social degeneration of language you seem to want to take me to task about all the time of late. We have to speak in liberal “tongues” and you slam me for criticizing?

      Dr. Curry thinks “partisan” is a problem but doesn’t think twice about observing the most ancient of politically correct protocols which is using an abstraction to console the very people she means to criticize. In fact, she is backing up and supporting the partisanship of her peers in the method. You can’t name three climate scientists who could be construed as “conservative” but we get the weaseling term “partisan” like there is some great pox of all different types of “partisans” troubling climate science. Generally, I don’t know about you GaryM, I only see about one kind of partisan of many varying degrees in climate consensus groups but all members of same ideological and cultural ID. For about 40+ years or basically from the inception of the entire lack luster field. Certainly that’s true for the leadership aspirants.

      Climate science is left-wing in design, organization, culture and history. If there isn’t a consensus on that the truth really can’t be referenced. A simple statement acknowledging the left-wing fingerprint of climate science and AGW advocacy, send it to Climate Depot for the banner, is all Dr. Curry has to do renounce academic barbarism.

      I’ll hold my breath while I wait for your supporting reply. In your heart GaryM you know I’m right. Hurry, the CO2 is building in my lungs.

    • More like an allergy. Instant, repetitive sneezes substituting for reason.

    • ” Maybe one can eventually see a pattern here ”
      only if one wants to look.

  13. Poor Science. Mutilated by lock-stepping Warmers.

    Andrew

  14. Great find!
    My grandma who lived to 99 on a diet of meat, potates and coffee would definitely agree.
    Our need to be social is our direct weakness when it comes to using the brain.

  15. “It is hard to believe that any of them would have been attacked with such vigour had they not been dealing with red-button issues that are of great importance to public health pressure groups.”

    Knowing that “pressure groups” have this affect on science, isn’t it interesting that the first impulse of climate science was to create a global, official, pressure group through which climate science flows- the IPCC?

    • I wouldn’t blame the IPCC on climate scientists. It was created by the United Nations. Whether its initial motivation was to expand the UN bureaucracy or not, it has had that effect.

      Climate scientists were perhaps a little naive that political or bureaucratic goals would not dominate. [I rather doubt most of us would have been otherwise.] It’s hard to get off the tiger.

      • Harold,

        You can certainly blame them for helping sustain it (the IPCC).

        Andrew

      • I’ve long wondered if Maurice Strong is in China rightly advising them or being advised of his rights.
        ===================

      • “Nice Climate you got there, Mo, would be a shame if it got too Warm…”

        Andrew

      • I wouldn’t blame the IPCC on climate scientists. It was created by the United Nations. Whether its initial motivation was to expand the UN bureaucracy or not, it has had that effect. [emphasis added -hro]

        Harold, IMHO – apart from the fact that many dedicated long-term IPCC-niks have done little to earn the designation of “scientist” (climate or otherwise) – I would nominate the above for “understatement of the year” ;-)

        I wonder how many people even realize that when the UN was founded, the UNEP (and its subsequent many-tentacled arms) was not even dreamed of (well, at least not openly)!

        In fact, as I discovered (much to my surprise), early last month:

        The UN Charter does not specifically mention the environment or sustainable development. However, there has been increased activity in the area over the years.

        Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has the UN Charter ever been amended to incorporate these, well, “illegitimate” children and their multi-faceted offspring.

      • kim, I’m here–haven’t noticed him wandering around, but I’ll let you know. I actually think he’s back in Canada.

      • HaroldW, this is the argument people are innocent and well intentioned.

        I have to go now, there is a unicorn in my backyard and he wants to be my friend. Anyone accepting that would believe what you just posted.

      • Hilary,
        I appreciate the nomination for UOTY. I’d like to thank all those possible, especially the members of the Academy…oops, sorry, wrong script…Actually your writing has been instrumental in showing the proliferation of alphabet soup. Parkinson’s Law rules.

        cwon14,
        Please be careful in your backyard. You don’t want to step in the unicorn chips.

  16. Substitution of statistics for science has made the politicization of science not only easier, but probably inevitable.

    You want to have an “impact?” You want to have the power to make others conform their behavior to your directions? You don’t need to do any actual research. Just take some data, start with the right priors, and BINGO! National health scandal! Thermageddon! Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

    • Indeed.

      Observation? Who needs it? Computers can make what we want to see so easy.

      Like a squiggly line trending upwards.

      Andrew

    • See climateaudit.org for Jean S. and the latest illustration of f r a u d u l e n t statistics by the Piltdown Mann.
      ==============

    • I have always been suspicious of how statistics is used in climate science as well. But unable to put my finger exactly on why….
      Perhaps because statistical analysis usually assumes linearity?
      And also the fact that in this world there is only a single realization??
      Dunno. Maybe just my ignorance about statistics…. or not?

  17. David L. Hagen

    Coconut Oil – Dangerous? – or super Healthy!
    Another such anti-scientific crusade was documented Nutritionist and trans-fat specialist Dr. Mary G. Enig detailing the anti-saturated fat crusade to demonize “saturated” coconut oil led by the Soybean industry to increase their market share. See:
    The Oiling of America Mary Enig & Sally Fallon, originally Nexus Magazine, Dec ’98-Jan ’99 and Feb ’99-Mar ’99. 41 pp. Or copy at The Oiling of America, by Mary Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon

    For further details see Mary Enig’s papers on Coconut Oil & health.
    Mary Enig coconut publications

    Recently Mary Newport has shown that coconut oil provides a remarkable improvement in early Alzheimer’s disease.

  18. It looks like the Younger Dryas has been taken off the table as an example of a chaotic climate system event. It appears to have been due to an impact – hardly an example of crossing a bifurcation in state space.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/29/younger-dryas-climate-event-solved-via-nanodiamonds-it-was-a-planetary-impact-event/

  19. This article highlights the pitfalls of the current push to have scientists advise governments on policy. One rule should be that the science has to meet a certain level of certainty – say 90% – before policy can be based on it.

  20. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,
    “The situation in health/nutrition science has some unfortunate parallels with climate science.”

    That may be the understatement of the decade. There are so many parallels that it resembles a diffraction grating.

  21. Christopher Snowden is right, “The implications of dogmatic groupthink and intimidation for the pursuit of sound science — and sound policy — are chilling.”

    Fortunately, ancient teachings and scriptures of almost all religions are also right: “Truth is victorious, never untruth” [Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85: etc.]

    That is why I am absolutely confident world tyrant cannot hide the truth.

  22. It’s bullying plain and simple, but the dissident is well-served to remember that if you attack the king, you should be confident that you can kill the king…or be prepared to run fast and far.

  23. lemiere jacques

    what is really scaring is it can be never falsified.
    the signal is so weak that only statisticians can se anything…
    as we can find new “causes” of having cancer everyday…if the policy fails to have any result…it is not a problem, but only a good reason to lead a new crusade.
    See passive smoker even if it causes cancer the risk for one person is meaningless…

    So why do we accept silly advices because for each one of us ..it changes nothing… god i am playing with a dice with 999 faces instead of 1000…

    • And Mannian statistics can find ghosts in the machine.

      • Speaking of Mannian stats, this is an older paper. I think it may have been mentioned here on CE, but not sure if there was discussion.
        From the article:

        In this paper, we assess the reliability of such reconstructions and their statistical significance against various null models. We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.

        We propose our own reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere average annual land temperature over the last millennium, assess its reliability, and compare it to those from the climate science literature. Our model provides a similar reconstruction but has much wider standard errors, reflecting the weak signal and large uncertainty encountered in this setting.

        http://projecteuclid.org/euclid.aoas/1300715170

    • That’s the problem with effects which only show up in statistics – changing people’s behaviour may save a handful of lives out of the population, but the life you save by changing your behaviour will probably not be your own.

  24. Of course salt intake, if no one’s mentioned it, is yet another example of “settled science” turning out to be not so settled after all. And we’re supposed to believe they’ve got this climate deal all sewn up.

    Guys like the human telescope…who probably goes to sleep at night counting his IQ points…don’t realize how utterly transparent they are in the angry insistence that “the debate is over.” when it manifestly is not.

    • The war on salt is particularly pernicious, when you consider that there’s no evidence to suggest that high salt intake is in any way harmful to an otherwise healthy person, yet it’s indisputable fact that too little salt intake is life-threatening.

      • “no evidence to suggest that high salt intake is in any way harmful to an otherwise healthy person”

        There is the rub, what if the population you are worried about is sedate, overweight and exists on a high fat/high carbohydrate diet; then through in risk factors in African-American populations and you can see why the message is sent.

      • And then?

      • What evidence do you have that salt actually causes hypertension, or anything else for that matter?
        What evidence do you have that excess salt isn’t simply p***ed out?

      • Salt intake does cause high blood pressure in some and dropping intake does drop blood pressure in most.

        http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1325

        A problem is that unhealthy people have multiple unhealthy habits and healthy people tend to have healthy habits.

      • It’s not nearly as clear-cut as all that.
        See, for example, http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/25/6/1144.long
        Individuals have widely varying salt requirements, depending on, for example, how much they sweat, and the relationship, or lack of, between salt levels and hypertension also varies widely between individuals, and depends on many factors, including hereditary ones.
        Studies which look at averages can be dangerously misleading.

  25. Craig Loehle

    One problem with science studies is that often the money available (or researcher’s time) are way inadequate to getting a definite result. In a study on education methods, you might have 1 classroom in each method, or in a psychology or medical study 40 participants whereas you really need 100 times that many. Inadequate samples lead to spurious results. Then, the ones that “don’t turn out” as expected (ie, don’t match the narrative or consensus) get filed away as unpublishable. The net result is low reliability and perpetuation of fads and preconceptions.
    Some other examples:
    Studies that show that self-directed learning is superior are ignored because the narrative demands a teacher-delivered learning framework.
    The US FDA is putting pressure on companies to reduce salt in foods in spite of research showing that the average person has no issues with salt (and you can buy salt free canned foods).
    Clear engineering analyses showing that battery storage can never accommodate a full switch to wind and solar are simply ignored.

  26. And now the WHO are calling for a ban on the indoor use of e-cigarettes, without a shred of evidence that it’s in any way harmful to anyone.
    I once knew someone whose uncle once smoked – does that make me a bad person?

  27. The same kind of group think is still going on over using mammography to screen for breast cancer, especially in women 40-50. The claim is that if you screen for breast cancer using mammography then you find tumours early and have a better chance of survival. It is simply untrue because of astonishingly high false negative rates, yet in the USA women are still being pressed to go in for their yearly mammogram even though there is no benefit and there is well documented harm of false positives, treatments of cancers that might not have needed treatment, and a host of other issues. In countries where there is one payer for mammography, like Canada and Ireland, the age of mammography screening has been raised to 50 and the most recent results will likely be stopped altogether as soon as the bureaucracy behind the mammography screening (a great charging elephant) can be stopped and turned. In the USA, if you speak out against routine screening mammograms, or even informed choice for women, you’re a heretic responsible for women dying, especially to the people are making tons of money off routine screening. And the authors, like Dr. Cornelia Baines who published the latest of several very large multi centre studies that show the lack of benefit to mammography in women 45-59, wow the names they get called. Meanwhile research into other methods gets stalled.

  28. In the blogosphere, an indirect tactic often used even by Real Climate at least in the past is to let the trolls (often anonymous) do the intimidation and name calling. That’s a problem on a lot of blogs unless proprietors are careful and there are some well known people who have a long track record of this kind of thing. The latest one to come to my attention is Steve Bloom, who seems to not be a nice person. He is clearly not a scientist and also a political partisan with a lot of prejudices about his opponents.

    In fairness, it seems Real Climate has cleaned up its act recently. However, Mann is a very sad case and I still don’t understand why other scientists don’t speak out and oppose his bullying tactics. Its a stain on the profession. And then there is SkS, defining perhaps partisanship in its modern pseudo-scientific form.

    • –…tactic often used even by Real Climate at least in the past is to let the trolls (often anonymous) do the intimidation and name calling. –

      One also has the use of sock puppets.

    • WUWT is like that too. It is like a zoo over there when you read the comments.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        jim D,
        There are lots of blogs where many, if not most, comments are not worth reading. WUWT is but one of many that fall in that category. Blogs short of informative comments are by no means all ‘skeptical’; the only common threads I see in valueless comments (and for that matter, in valueless blogs) are a lack of critical thinking and a strong desire for specific public policies.

    • The best part of Real Climate is the Bore Hole. More intelligent and fact filled comments are there than in the normal threads.

  29. Has anyone (other than cwon14 or Gary) noticed the obvious:

    In EVERY case cited the attackers, bullyers, reputation trasher, career destroyers, whatever are highly partisan PROGRESSIVES.

    For them, whether or not a particular paper is supported by valid data is of LESS THAN academic interest. The ONLY important ‘feature’ of a scientific study is whether or not it supports the advancement of the progressive agenda. The absolute deadliness of second hand smoke, obesity, saturated fats, airborne particles, salt, environmental radiation, EVERY example provided by Dr. Curry challenged previous dogma that had been used by progressives to grow government regulatory power and constrict personal autonomy.

    As does the mother lode of progressive regulatory justification: Climate Tragedy as an unavoidable consequence of fossil fuel use. After all, when every activity that produces energy and every activity that consumes energy are subject to government regulation, and can only be engaged in at the pleasure of the government (or non-pleasure for political opponents) the progressives (and it is ALWAYS the progressives in government who wind up at the pleasure/non-pleasure switch) will have successfully relegated individual freedom to a theoretical concept for textbooks, with little or no real world applicability.

    When progressives can control your travel options, what you can eat and drink, the power switch to your house and individual appliances (smart meters/appliances, anyone?), the power consumption of individual appliances (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11061538/EU-to-ban-high-energy-hair-dryers-smartphones-and-kettles.html), your employment, your purchase of specific items (had to provide my SSN and wait for govt. approval for my last two car purchases), the curriculum of your child’s school, what your kids can eat in school cafeterias or lunches packed at home, can do a thumbs up/thumbs down on your medical treatment, have access to your credit card purchases and bank accounts (with withdrawal capability for bank accounts), your electronic correspondence in all formats, among other powers they NOW have, it doesn’t pay to become a conspicuous thorn in the butt of progressives of ANY stripe, scientific specifically included.

    • Bob Ludwick,

      If you look at the 2005 paper that Dr. Curry uses to frame this post, you will see that the authors used the Bush administration as their prime example of “silencing science.” When what Bush in fact did is stall for a time the complete politicization of the output from the EPA.

      Yes, almost all of the attempts to silence come form progressives, because that is consistent with their world view. The great unwashed need to be led, taught, fed, clothed, employed and generally herded by their “meritocratic” betters.

      - Progressives believe policy decisions should be made by themselves, and the real function of any communication is to facilitate the people’s acceptance of their leadership.

      - Conservatives believe the voters should make the decisions, and the function of communication is to provide those voters with the maximum information possible to facilitate their decision.

      (If anyone wants to do a thread on communicating science for the umpteenth time, may I propose that dichotomy as a starting point.)

      There is a reason progressives claim to decry ideology. Once people understand theirs, it is harder to con them.

    • Not, exactly true. Conservatives have their own bugbears and have acted just as distastefully. Error does not recognize party affiliation.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Tom Fuller,
        True on a number of levels. It is always people with extreme policy views, left or right, who can do terrible harm, and the more extreme the views, the greater the potential harm. History is replete with examples.

      • Error does not recognize party affiliation.

        Perhaps, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t some sort of correlation between what type of error, and which party/ideology.

        For instance, consider the way Creationists want to interfere with the teaching of “evolution”. It’s not really the same sort of suppression of science we see from the “Left”, although filling up time supposed to be dedicated to teaching real science with a bunch of unscientific garbage (as in GIGO) is arguably just as much of an attack on science.

      • Tom Fuller, One very obvious example of that is the tobacco science scam. That was to PREVENT government though. Can you tnink of any others?

  30. I noticed that all of the relevant examples given were of actual scientific papers that were attacked unfairly. Where are the examples of “skeptical” papers related to climate change being attacked unfairly?

    • “I noticed that all of the relevant examples given were of actual scientific papers that were attacked unfairly. Where are the examples of “skeptical” papers related to climate change being attacked unfairly?”

      A skeptic would regard these papers as “skeptical papers”- there are after all papers which refute the orthodox and not merely the politically correct and/or product of Groupthink.
      But the effort of suppression of skeptical climate related papers is generally prior to publishing. See climategate.
      [Though this is a battle being lost due to openness of the internet]

      Or things preventing public discourse are such things as BBC news policy [quite recent effort] of wanting to exclude news articles which suggest that the climatic science is not settled.

    • “The McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud. I think you’ll find this reinforced by just about any legitimate scientist in our field you discuss this with. To recap, I hope you don’t mention MM [McIntyre and McKitrick] at all. It really doesn’t deserve any additional publicity”

      Mann to NYT Journalist Andy Revkin

      http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/endangerment/Petition_for_Reconsideration_Peabody_Energy_Company.pdf

      VIII – 14

      • All of the examples cited above were made to the public to influence opinion. Was this statement made public?

  31. Hi Judy You wrote

    “Gavin Schmidt is behaving like a scientist (with his response to my 50-50 argument).”

    This may be the case for this example, but my experiences to get him to engage in constructive discussions in the past have been mixed. He has been candid at times, but also has ignored fundamental issues.

    For my examples, see

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/remarkable-admission-by-gavin-schmidt-in-response-to-the-mckittrick-and-tole-2012-paper/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/an-interesting-admission-and-an-error-by-gavin-schmidt/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/request-to-gavin-schmidt-to-update-jim-hansens-value-of-upper-ocean-heat-storage/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/comment-on-gavin-schmidts-post-on-his-weblog-real-climate-regarding-the-dominate-role-of-anthropogenic-greenhouse-gas-concentrations-on-the-global-average-temperature-trends/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/my-recent-discussion-with-gavin-schmidt-on-real-climate/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/response-to-gavin-schmidts-post-of-october-3-2011-global-warming-and-ocean-heat-content/

    He does make some interesting statements in these posts; e. g. He wrote in the October 7 2011 post

    “For me (and almost anyone else you care to ask) global warming refers to the increase in global surface temperature anomaly”

    He also writes in that post

    “”Climate sensitivity” is classically defined as the change in surface temperature as a response to radiative forcing. It is an equilibrium concept that is almost completely divorced from the flux of heat into the deep ocean.”

    In the post http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/candid-discussion-of-the-grant-review-process-by-gavin-schmidt-at-real-climate/, he writes

    “[The] [r]eputation of the proposers as people capable of good science goes a long way to judging the feasibility of a proposal.”

    I commented in response that

    “’good science’ as Gavin presents, means climate science that he agrees with.” :-)

    There are more examples on my weblog, if one searches under Gavin’s name. Now that he has a senior position at a major government institute, it is even more of a requirement that constructively interact with colleagues, even those he disagrees with.

    Roger Sr.

    • I don’t disagree, but as far as I can tell Gavin isn’t calling any scientists a denier. He’s rather snarky on his blog and on twitter (less so recently) and not terribly open minded but overall this is definitely in acceptable bounds by my book

      • Drs Curry and Pielke – are your own comments and posts sark free? Not from where I’m sitting. If you want to claim the moral high ground, you have to deserve it.

      • Dear Me. I didn’t know snark was immoral. Interesting. Do you have any more moral rules you would like to promote?

      • “I don’t disagree, but as far as I can tell Gavin isn’t calling any scientists a denier.”

        Wow, that is a pretty low bar to be set. In tongues that means “holocaust denier” right?

        He is a partisan activist, liberal, on the common government balance sheet as an expense. Then again, Lois Lehner is on paid administrative leave rather than handcuffs. That’s how low the bar actually goes today.

        If people are working for the government in non-political roles they should idealize even handed bi-partisanship. This has all vastly declined in academia and government both of which are overwhelming left-of- center enclaves relative to the greater society. I don’t know which is worse, all acting quietly in the background among themselves or letting it all hang out and exposing the public to just how ideological rank and file members really are.

        The hypocrisy factor is stunning given how the Bush administration was subjected to numerous purges and smear campaigns, people were fired who stood up to the AGW meme being funneled hard during that time;

        http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08climate.html?pagewanted=1

        One aide I recall kept adding the word “theory” to most references to AGW. They finally nailed him on an unrelated resume problem, career over. Slowly but surely NASA, NOAA, EPA all are on the same uniform political agenda. No dissent allowed. Jim Hansen arrested how many times? No problem.

      • Actually, Gavin isn’t required to interact with anyone, he chooses to. The consequence is that he has to deal with a lot of crackpots, serious people, confused people, etc and some selectivity is required. He has already given considerable time to clearing up JC’s misunderstandings, and now Roger decided to tweet perhaps the most irrelevant comment ever along the lines of “Gavin confesses!!!”, which actually just ended up being a strawman that didn’t follow in any way. So it’s a little late for Roger to play his “curious scientist” card.

        Judith calls Gavin not open-minded. This is mainly a consequence of Gavin being almost always right when the two disagree, not a reflection on his personal self.

    • “For me (and almost anyone else you care to ask) global warming refers to the increase in global surface temperature anomaly”

      And skeptics were willing for years to accept that as the standard for discussion. It was the “pause” in reported temperatures that caused the consensus advocates to begin claiming that surface temperatures were not a good metric for assessing globalclimatewarmingchange. It was deemed politically more acceptable to talk about a pause/hiatus in the rise of surface temperatures, rather than of “global warming.”

      See “petard – hoist on their own….”

    • “For me ( and almost anyone else you care to ask) global warming refers to the increase in global surface temperature anamoly.” Gavin Schmidt
      It’s my understanding that Judy agrees with that statement.
      OTOH, and now in the vain search to find missing heat in the ocean there seems to be a lot of consensus folks playing detective. If they found some heat there wouldn’t they declare that global warming? So if someone were to care to ask those (it seems most) if the oceans are part of global warming, I wonder what the answer would be? Perhaps that is just fetal warming waiting to be born.
      The examples you give here look to me like constructive scientific criticism as opposed to name calling. I didn’t go look at the others. Isn’t that what Judy was pointing out? I guess since Schmidt has Mann he can afford to play ‘good cop’.

  32. He is snarky, for sure :-)

    That is okay when one is not in a senior position which oversees large funding as well as the federal priorities of funding in climate science.

    However, now that he is a Director of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, he should be more of an honest broker of the diverse scientific views, even those he disagree with, and less an advocate of his particular worldview. I have not seen that change.

    • Dr Pielke,
      Very right you are. Snarky is an unfortunate behavier for a senior scientists who has power of funds and grants over a wide range of applicants. The natural inclination will be to follow the hints from the leader to obtain the desired goals.. He should be objective and welcoming towards diverse viewpoints and scientific staff. Sarcasm and snarky from power positions are fun but not what should be expected of leadership.
      Scott

      • “Sarcasm and snarky from power positions are fun but not what should be expected of leadership.”

        For example, it is inappropriate for President Obama to refer to people with different viewpoints than his as members of the flat earth society.

      • //”For example, it is inappropriate for President Obama to refer to people with different viewpoints than his as members of the flat earth society.”//

        Why?

      • Heh, he’s falling off the edge of it.
        =====

      • Chris Colose, //”For example, it is inappropriate for President Obama to refer to people with different viewpoints than his as members of the flat earth society.”//

        Why?”
        It is a shame to see a young “scientist” like you so easily corrupted. You must be aware that the tide is turning on the CAGWmers and you will find yourself one day with your head peering from Piltdown Mann’s anal sphincter yelling – where did everyone go?

      • Why Chris, dontcha know, that ‘Flat Earth’ bit is Obama’s strategy. I’m proud of him for coming up with a strategy.

        Now, don’t tell me it’s not his. Surely he has a strategy.
        ================

      • Heh, we only think the Earth is flat because of social media.
        ===========

      • on Flat Earthers and Climate Change

        “Strangely, Wilmore and the [flat earth] society’s president, a 35-year-old Virginia-born Londoner named Daniel Shenton, both think the evidence for global warming is strong, despite much of this evidence coming from satellite data gathered by NASA, the kingpin of the “round Earth conspiracy.” They also accept evolution and most other mainstream tenets of science.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/flat-earth-society-psychology_n_2038198.html

        :)

      • Hahaha, Chris Colose actually tweeted yesterday to Bart Verheggen that we need to get observations closer to reality.

        There’s got to be a flat earth joke in there somewhere.
        ===============

  33. thisisnotgoodtogo

    “For me (and almost anyone else you care to ask) global warming refers to the increase in global surface temperature anomaly”

    He also writes in that post

    “”Climate sensitivity” is classically defined as the change in surface temperature as a response to radiative forcing. It is an equilibrium concept that is almost completely divorced from the flux of heat into the deep ocean.”

    honest statements

  34. “A sure symptom of non-science is personal abuse and intolerance of the views of one scholar by another.”

    Yep!

  35. thisisnotgoodtogo – Gavin’s statements #1 and # 2 are not correct, as even Jim Hansen his predecessor said. Jim wrote in 2005 [http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1116592hansen.pdf]

    “The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. “Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2 , includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.”

    “We take the (anthropogenic) indirect aerosol forcing as –1 W/m2 , with an uncertainty of a factor of two, based on empirical and modeling evidence (Hansen et al., 2005). The value –0.77 W/m2 for the interval 1880-2003 follows from the non-linearity of the phenomenon. We note that a larger (smaller) value, combined with smaller (larger) climate sensitivity, could also yield global temperature change consistent with observations, but the agreement that we find with observed ocean heat storage favors a climate sensitivity not too different than that of our model (2.7°C for doubled CO2).”

    Clearly, Jim Hansen, contrary to what Gavin wrote, recognizes that global warming is dominated by the oceans, and that one requires an assessment of ocean heat changes (and thus ocean heat fluxes) in order to determine a climate sensitivity defined in terms of a surface temperature trend.

    Finally. Gavin has been remarkably silent on updating what Jim wrote

    “0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade. ”

    This end of the decade was for 2000! In the 14 years since than, clearly, the imbalance is much less [even if it has gone deeper into the ocean, this is not what Jim Hansen wrote and the GISS models predicted]. As Director of GISS, if Gavin really does now more openly discuss, as Judy has experienced, he will comment on Judy’s weblog in response to my comments and those of others,

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Dr. Pielke wrote:

      “thisisnotgoodtogo – Gavin’s statements #1 and # 2 are not correct, as even Jim Hansen his predecessor said. Jim wrote in 2005 [http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1116592hansen.pdf]

      “The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. “Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2 , includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.”

      Dr. Pielke, Gavin’s statement #1 concerned “global warming”, and the main metric used to portray that has definitely been surface temperatures.

      As you can see in Hansen’s reply:
      “We take the (anthropogenic) indirect aerosol forcing as –1 W/m2 , with an uncertainty of a factor of two, based on empirical and modeling evidence (Hansen et al., 2005). …

      … climate sensitivity, could also yield global temperature change consistent with observations, but the agreement that we find with observed ocean heat storage favors a climate sensitivity not too different than that of our model (2.7°C for doubled CO
      2 ). This inference can be sharpened if ocean heat storage and aerosol
      changes are both measured accurately in coming years”

      He’s not saying aerosol changes are global warming, is he? Similarly goes the rest.

      Dr. Pielke wrote:
      “Clearly, Jim Hansen, contrary to what Gavin wrote, recognizes that global warming is dominated by the oceans” Absolutely. As you say, global warming is dominated by the oceans, therefore that is not the same as global warming.

      “and that one requires an assessment of ocean heat changes (and thus ocean heat fluxes) in order to determine a climate sensitivity defined in terms of a surface temperature trend.”

      Climate sensitivity is not global warming, either.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Dr. Pielke,

        All the Hansen yammering about 2 degrees of warming.

        “NEW YORK — Famed climate scientist and activist James Hansen has said it before, and he’ll say it again: Two degrees of warming is too much.”

        That is not about oceans. It’s about surface temps.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Surface temps rising = global warming.
        It was all fine and dandy until it stopped.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        And that’s why I call Gavin’s two statements “honest” and anything else “dishonest”.
        It’s what was used to convince.
        Now it’s just awkward.

  36. Also thisisnotgoodtogo, in the paper

    Barnett, T.P., D.W. Pierce, and R. Schnur, 2001: Detection of anthropogenic climate change in the world’s oceans. Science, 292, 270-274

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/barnett.pdf

    the authors concluded that

    “…a climate model that reproduces the observed change in global air temperature over the last 50 years, but fails to quantitatively reproduce the observed changed in ocean heat content, cannot be correct.”

    This must include an accumulation of heat in the deeper ocean [if it is really there]. Do any of the climate models in 2014 satisfy this requirement?

    • Roger A. Pielke Sr. asked, “This must include an accumulation of heat in the deeper ocean [if it is really there]. Do any of the climate models in 2014 satisfy this requirement?”

      It is my understanding that, of the climate models stored in the CMIP5 archive, the outputs of subsurface ocean metrics are not in a standard format. It is therefore difficult to create model means for specific metrics at specific depths.

      But we know that climate models cannot simulate sea surface temperatures during the satellite era, the past 32 years.

      http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/maybe-the-ipccs-modelers-should-try-to-simulate-earths-oceans/

      Because they can’t simulate temperatures at the surface, should we expect them to do any better below the surface?

      • “Because they can’t simulate temperatures at the surface, should we expect them to do any better below the surface?”

        I think I would view things opposite. If you got the 3d sub surface ocean values right but the surface temperature was not so great, I would say your simulation is at least on the right track. Much more so than if you had the opposite…

        Generally speaking point values or lower dimension values such as average surface temps are going to be a much nastier thing to solve for accuractely in a simulation than averages over large 3d regions…

        An argument using adjoint analysis can be made to support this reasoning….

    • “…a climate model that reproduces the observed change in global air temperature over the last 50 years, but fails to quantitatively reproduce the observed changed in ocean heat content, cannot be correct.”

      Yes. Mathematically this is ridiculously obvious. I didn’t know climate models failed in that regard. Wierd.
      However important surface temperature is (drives ecology) it is a set of measure zero and can hence take any momentary value and not affect the simulation after a single timestep. I.e. mathematically it is irrelevant to the climate simulation.

      • oops… Surface temperature anyways.
        I guess something like average tropospheric temperature would be a somewhat different story…..

      • And, of course, smoothness of the air temperature field would imply some set of measure > 0 having a similar temperature…
        But the point being the same as in the paper, I think, that surface temperature is an effect not a cause in the course of simulation and hence not very important to the course of the simulation.
        Not sure if my point makes sense, but it does to me…

      • This reminds of the IPCC statements about how climate sims aren’t very good for short term results but are good at long term results.

        Sorry, but simulation doesnt work that way. In general, over time things fall apart as one integrates forward. You dont just go to whack out of the gate and then miraculously arrive back at the true solution later. Wacked.

        Similiarly, you dont get bad results for your main energy stores (ocean) and then miraculously get surface temperature right.

        The naivete in such thinking about solving numerical models is what made me abandon confidence in the climate guys.

      • … trying again to avoid moderation….

        This reminds of the IPCC statements about how climate sims aren’t very good for short term results but are good at long term results.

        Sorry, but simulation doesnt work that way. In general, over time things fall apart as one integrates forward. You dont just go to wrong out of the gate and then miraculously arrive back at the true solution later. Wrong.

        Similiarly, you dont get bad results for your main energy stores (ocean) and then miraculously get surface temperature right.

        The naivete in such thinking about solving numerical models is what made me abandon confidence in the climate guys.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Dr. Pielke,
      I did not say that it’s correct to use surface temps as the metric.

      I said Gavin’s description of the term “global warming” was honest – to say it like it is – as it was – and as used to convince the world.

      Until it stopped.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Dr. Pielke,

      “Rising surface temps=global warming “, doesn’t have to be correct
      for Gavin’s statement to be an honest reflection.

      It’s climate science.

  37. Unfortunately, few scientists of global warming alarmism will admit, as does Richard Betts below, to how little they know about CO2 and global warming –e.g.,

    Everyone agrees we can’t predict the long-term response of the climate to ongoing CO2 rise with great accuracy. It could be large, it could be small. We don’t know. The old-style energy balance models got us this far. We can’t be certain of large changes in future, but can’t rule them out either. So climate mitigation policy is a political judgment based on what policymakers think carries the greater risk in the future – decarbonizing or not decarbonizing.

  38. Judith writes: “I like the terms ‘campaigners’ and in particular ‘partisans’. ”

    I like them, too. Thanks.

  39. The examples in the post all have the theme of being linked to a clear public policy agenda backed by supposed science. That is why the science policy interface and related themes like science advocacy are so interesting and knotty.
    For me the question, since we know how people behave, can we design a better system? As said on a previous thread, I doubt science courts are the answer. Look at the billions in damages, the corporate bankruptcies, caused by the silicone breast implant junk science. Look at all the problems caused by the MMR/autism outright science fraud, which took over 10 years to expose and is still a problem in childhood vaccination.
    Problem is, I don’t know of very good answers to my question. Which have to incorporate very new phenomena like social media which are evolving rapidly. When the pseudo president (it was his fund raising site, not him) gets 23 million tweets proclaiming the god awful Cook 97% consensus paper, things really have changed.

    • “For me the question, since we know how people behave, can we design a better system?”

      Any system that makes the policy decision process less democratic than it already is, would be a recipe for disaster. “Science courts?” The EPA is already judge, jury and execution in the US. What difference would assigning this anti-democratic process to another bureaucracy make?

      Consider this possibility – the current system is working just fine. Raucous debate is not a flaw of the system, it is a feature. Various western countries have adopted the more ridiculous decarbonization schemes of the CAGWers, to almost uniformly disastrous effect. Many are already retrenching, the Aussies somewhat more quickly, and the Germans somewhat more slowly. Only the US under Obama is really still trying to accelerate towards economic ruin on energy.

      The imperial overreach of the Obama administration and the EU bureaucracy will ultimately be dealt with within this political system, as they should be. So keep fighting the good fight. And have faith in the democratic system, and the ultimate ability of the voters to learn from their mistakes. They are the best hope we have.

    • Since we know how government behaves, will input from science prevent it from pandering to the political base of the party in power? No, it won’t matter one whit.

    • Rud wrote:
      “As said on a previous thread, I doubt science courts are the answer. Look at the billions in damages, the corporate bankruptcies, caused by the silicone breast implant junk science. Look at all the problems caused by the MMR/autism outright science fraud, . . . .”

      Science Courts, as proposed, are extra-legal institutions. They would not have rendered the wrong judgment about breast implants that the legal system did, and they would have cleared up the vaccine issue sooner.

      Henry Bauer, who believes that the currently embedded practices of modern, bureaucratic science have corrupted it (the CAWG consensus being a prime example IMO), has suggested that there should be “science courts” where both sides can argue their case in matters where established science has shut out or shouted down outsiders. You can find more here:

      “Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels”
      Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 643–660, 2004

      http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/21stCenturyScience.pdf

      See also the thread devoted to Bauer’s recent book, Dogmatism in Science and Medicine, at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/05/dogmatism-in-science-and-medicine-how-dominant-theories-monopolize/

  40. I’ve heard is said that, global warming is the new cholesterol!, and just recently, the new saturated fat, but, likening it to yfet another fake autism treatment takes it to a new level –e.g., inferring global warming alarmists are taking advantage of not just the ignorance but also the desperation of others — mostly Leftists (AGW is a Left vs. right issue). Are Leftists really desperate to take down modernity in general and America in particular? Probably.

  41. Beginning in the 1960s, the idea of “postmodern science” arose which proposed that truth is relative and therefore scientific conclusions should serve society, and in particular should further the cause of social justice. Even though belief in postmodern science was rarely admitted to outright, its assumptions seemed to take hold everywhere.

    I suspect that the increasing politicization of science is in part a result of this perverse philosophy.

    • The moral question is, how highly do people regard honesty and integrity. The answer, unfortunately, is in most cases, and from my perspective, not enough. If you consider truth to be relative, then honesty and integrity can go by the board.

      • If truth is a socially constructed illusion, then I guess “honesty” and “integrity” become adherence to an orthodoxy, preferably one that serves some political goal.

    • rabbit, I agree. I find it hard to understand the behavior discussed here without reference to the notion that, in the end, everything boils down to subjective interests, so why bother with quaint notions like The Good and Truth? Ideas have consequences. Including bad ideas.

  42. That is what Christian Schlüchter is trying to tell us (Mann’s hockey stick is a perfect example of it): Our society is fundamentally dishonest.

  43. I see Gavin has changed his view. In 2011 he wrote

    ““For me (and almost anyone else you care to ask) global warming refers to the increase in global surface temperature anomaly”

    In a Response to a Comment on his most recent weblog post [http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=17409], he wrote

    “would be great if we could have satellites that measured the top of atmosphere energy budget directly, but currently they are not accurate enough and so we have to rely on the ocean heat content changes instead.”

    He must have finally read my paper :-)

    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-247.pdf

    • R Pielke Snr

      Gavin said this in his screed to Judith

      “Further, by global warming I refer explicitly to the historical record of global average surface temperatures. Other data sets such as ocean heat content, sea ice extent, whatever, are not sufficiently mature or long-range (see Climate data records: maturity matrix). Further, the surface temperature is most relevant to climate change impacts, since humans and land ecosystems live on the surface. I acknowledge that temperature variations can vary over the earth’s surface, and that heat can be stored/released by vertical processes in the atmosphere and ocean. But the key issue of societal relevance (not to mention the focus of IPCC detection and attribution arguments) is the realization of this heat on the Earth’s surface.”

      so he seems rather inconsistent-perhaps he didn’t like your paper :)
      tonyb

      • The definition of GW is the surface air temperature, and he is entirely consistent on that. To suggest he does not think OHCA and other metrics are important is disingenuous. He does not think changing the definition at this time is a good idea.

      • That is truly sad if Pielke really believes that Gavin got the idea from him. LOL

        The biggest name in climate, James Hansen, wrote extensively about the ocean as a heat sink, most memorably in his seminal 1981 Science paper.

        [1]J. Hansen, D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, “Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Science, vol. 213 (4511), pp. 957–966, 1981.

      • webster, “The biggest name in climate, James Hansen, wrote extensively about the ocean as a heat sink,”

        Which is wrong. The ocean is a heat reservoir. Heat flows from the ocean to the atmosphere and modeling it in the reverse direction can lead to misconceptions.

      • The warming would be a lot faster if we didn’t have the ocean acting as a heat sink. As it is the land warming rate has been twice that of the ocean since 1980. The ocean is the main reason that the TCR is less than the ECS, and is no doubt holding back the global-mean temperature rise.

      • JimD, “The warming would be a lot faster if we didn’t have the ocean acting as a heat sink.”

        Actually, the warming would be faster if the oceans were a heat sink. One of the biggest differences between a heat sink and a heat reservoir is latent heat involvement. Since the oceans are releasing sensible(including radiant) plus latent heat energy and latent tends to produces those confusing clouds that produce around 80% of the albedo you have a more interesting puzzle.

      • captd, LOL

      • JimD “LOL” That is what I have been doing for the longest time while the “believers” try to simplify fluid dynamics :)

      • If the earth was a desert, under a positive forcing scenario, would it warm faster than if it was an ocean? Maybe the ocean is a more effective heat sink is all I am saying. Rising heat content = heat sink, in effect.

      • JimD, Sink implies direction of heat flow. So it would really be more accurate to model the atmosphere as the heat sink. As a reservoir, providing energy, you need to consider how much energy it can provide to figure out how much you can use. Adding CO2 reduces the rate of heat loss, so there is more heat that can be used for example increasing latent flux. You can never use all of the heat as in 100% efficiency, but you can increase the efficiency.

        Kimoto very politely pointed this out some time ago but his explanation fell on deaf ears. .http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/8r0352171238x3v4/

        Since the Trenberth paper he used as an example had errors, his results are a little bit off, but close enough for a simple explanation.

        So do you normally model everything bassakwards?

      • Jim D | August 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        If the earth was a desert, under a positive forcing scenario, would it warm faster than if it was an ocean?

        Urban heat island effect is more or less instantaneous- or one could get largish regional warming of say, 10 C within say, 50 years [or a fast as one can grow an urban area].
        Mars which is desert, “appears” to be able to have very rapid rises in global temperature.
        So generally, it seems the answer is, yes.

      • gbaikie, correct, tell captd that. Heat sinks have a characteristic of keeping things cooler than they would otherwise be. The ocean does that for the earth by storage and evaporation.

      • JimD, How fast does that desert cool once you turn the heat off? Follow the direction of heat flow.

      • captd, is that because it is a heat sink, or because it loses its heat more easily? There is a difference.

      • gbaikie, correct, tell captd that.
        Captd, remember frozen Lake Superior? It’s still has cold water temps at the surface:

        http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2014/06/great_lakes_water_temperatures_1.html

      • JimD, “captd, is that because it is a heat sink, or because it loses its heat more easily? There is a difference.”

        Mainly because the dry desert atmosphere is a more effective heat sink, i.e. less latent and the desert is a less effective heat reservoir, it can’t store as much heat, lower specific heat capacity. Follow the direction of heat flow. For UHI, there are a lot of additional heat sources, cars, heaters air conditioners etc.plus higher radiant energy conversion to heat, concrete, asphalt etc.which do have a higher specific heat capacity than plain sandy soil. Adding green spaces and ponds make cities more efficient heat reservoirs buffing temperature change even though they add to the specific heat capacity.

        Based on the “heat sink” model, green spaces and ponds should increase temperatures right? In urban areas in China they are actually installing porous pavers to reduce temperatures, lower albedo, higher specific heat capacity and increased latent cooling.

        Now a thermal reservoir is often used as a heat sink, higher temperatures cause energy to flow into the reservoir with little increase in temperature of the reservoir and they can be use as geothermal heat sources. A regular sink though is just a sink, different model.

      • captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | August 29, 2014 at 8:32 pm |

        Which is wrong. The ocean is a heat reservoir. Heat flows from the ocean to the atmosphere and modeling it in the reverse direction can lead to misconceptions.

        LOL

      • gbaikie, “Captd, remember frozen Lake Superior? It’s still has cold water temps at the surface:”

        Well, sinking all that GHG warming it should be hotter :) A thermal reservoir buffers energy transfer with its higher heat capacity. Superior lost more energy than normal over this winter and will take longer to regain that energy. The oceans lost more energy than normal during the LIA and will take longer to recover.

  44. “All of these examples involve scientists of good standing whose studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals. It is hard to believe that any of them would have been attacked with such vigour had they not been dealing with red-button issues that are of great importance to public health pressure groups.”

    It seems to me most of the attacks on peer reviewed climate science are coming from skeptics with their accusation of fraud, lack of integrity, bias, etc with little to back it up.

    • Spot on!

      Why can’t our blinkered hostess see this obvious truth?

      • I mean attacks on actual peer reviewed science, not statements.

      • oops wrong thread..

      • Steven Mosher

        Because she is talking about the sociology of science and one published scientist personally attacking another. Silencing Within the community.

        Durr

      • There’s no way that blinkers are preventing Judith from seeing that reality. She tries to read most of the comments at this site. Each thread is filled with attacks on peer-reviewed climate science (and climate scientists who publish peer-reviewed articles). There’s no way she could miss it.

        So what she says instead, is that she dismisses what she sees here as being unimportant. Now personally, I don’t particularly think that playing the moral equivalency card as she does holds water. I think that personalized attacks and attacks on science = personalized attacks and attacks on science. What’s important, IMO, is the existence of the partisanship (a word I’ve been using here for years, btw, although apparently Judith has a sudden realization about its appropriateness), not from whom it originates.

        But what’s most interesting to me about Judith’s selective…um…er…uh…concern about the partisanship is that while at the same time she dismisses the overt and blatant partisanship that we see here from non-government employed, non-academic types doesn’t register on her radar even though she frequently talks about how important the input is of those very same folks to the scientific discussion.

        Suddenly, Judith’s expert “extended peer review” can be dismissed because…um…er…ah…???????

        Why would the input of her “denizens” suddenly become so unimportant?

        ???????????

    • you mean like serial climate denier?
      Scott

    • Dear Me. You seem to have issues with moral equivalence. Apples and Oranges, if you know what I mean.

  45. Regardless of the scientific gabble that was used to promote margarine, you only ever had to feel and taste the lamentable yellow goo to know it was barely fit for consumption, let alone health.

    And so it is with those “solutions” and “alternatives” offered by the klimatariat. When the offered remedy is so obviously bad, one can only wonder what else they’re getting wrong.

  46. tonyb – Gavin certainly is not consistent! Thank you for pointing this out. He makes a further error where he wrote

    “But the key issue of societal relevance (not to mention the focus of IPCC detection and attribution arguments) is the realization of this heat on the Earth’s surface.”

    It is, for most situations, more societally relevant how heat changes alter such major weather features such as drought, floods, tropical cyclones, etc, which involve much more than heat changes at the surface. They are controlled by tropospheric and upper ocean regional circulation patterns. I do agree with Gavin on how sea level is affected by adding heat, but that still involves heat changes in the ocean, not just at the surface.

    Roger Sr.

    • Roger

      Heat change in the ocean is somewhat unquantifiable. I heard Thomas stocker say that we did not have the technology to measure ocean heat at depth, that is to say beyond 2000 metres. Seems like the uncertainty monster is alve and well at Gavins and Stockers place.
      Tonyb

      • While such a “missing heat” explanation for a lack of recent warming [i.e., Trenberth’s argument that despite the lack of global warming we just cannot find the heat yet] is theoretically possible, I find it rather unsatisfying basing an unwavering belief in eventual catastrophic global warming on a deep-ocean mechanism so weak we can’t even measure it [i.e., keeping the AGW hoax alive depends solely now on the speculation that in the coldest deep oceans on the planet the waters there must actually be warmer than they should be by an unmeasurable thousandths of a degree]… ~Dr. Roy Spencer

    • PSA: the “blockquote” is a device designed to segregate the words that someone is quoting from the words that they are saying themselves.

      (Both the highlighted quotes you say are wrong are actually Judith’s). ;-)

  47. Michael Larkin

    The cartoon at the end of Judith’s piece says it all. It’s a bit of a hobby-horse of mine, but FWIW, I think we can put down the regrettable trend of science to stoop to advocacy to the demise of conventional religion and its transmogrification into something ostensibly its opposite–but actually, its close parallel.

    People need belief in something, and acting on belief regardless of any intrinsic worth of contrary evidence is the signature of religious behaviour. It’s appropriate to be religious, I suppose, when we are explictly thinking about God: but when we are talking about so-called science? I think not.

    We used to have the great theologians and philosophers like Aquinas and Plato, whom few could understand but who greatly influenced religion. Now we have the new theologians and philosophers who know nothing about theology and philosophy, in fact often denigrate these disciplines; yet still, they have become regarded as the new sacerdotal class, a role some of them actually relish. In these cases, they’ve accepted and projected their own infallibility, becoming self-deluded (or perhaps even worse, cynically manipulative).

    And lo! these greats have spoken and declared that the world is burning up and Armageddon cometh unless we repenteth of our sins and make due restitution. This appeals to the Puritan lurking beneath the surface, and we may secretly be rather glad that, sans religion qua religion, we can still enjoy the self-penitence, but even more, the castigation of the non-penitent.

    Plus ça change. Religion is as alive and well as ever and nestles like a viper in the bosom of its purportedly implacable enemy, science. The popes and archbishops are ensconced in the hallowed halls of academe and continue to prosecute their inquisitorial powers. Those with candles for heads eagerly lead those with light bulbs for heads to the scaffold, convinced they have the consensual approval, the moral rectitude and the authority.

    The laity, as was ever the case, can still have its religious leaders upon whose every word it can hang. Words used to justify the invective hurled at infidels, and to shore up the desire to demonstrate unimpeachable sincerity and moral superiority, backed up by the sacred texts of the prophets.

    It ain’t about the politics of left or right so much as a war between believers and heretics. In a world where there’s been a loss of faith in God, and the conviction that this life is all we have, the new religious imperative is to live as long as possible, and to admit of no risk-taking. The new puritans want to crow that they’ll live till ninety or a hundred, overlooking the fact that they’ll have squeezed every last drop of pleasure out of their own lives, and done their damnedest to make sure it’s the same for everyone else. What an impoverished vision; how utterly depressing.

    Fortunately, we don’t all think that way, be we conventionally religious or otherwise. Some of us, thankfully including those scientists brave enough to protest, can see what’s going on and are fighting back. In every religion, perhaps particularly of the Abrahamic variety, there are the seeds of its own demise. Eventually, too big for its own boots, it will cause the revolution it so fears.

    ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

    • “I think we can put down the regrettable trend of science to stoop to advocacy to the demise of conventional religion and its transmogrification into something ostensibly its opposite–but actually, its close parallel.”

      Amen to that.

    • As Chesterton pointed out, when people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything. The collapse of Christian belief in the mid-20th century gave rise to an unfocused, unacknowledged, but real yearning for penitence. This winter of the western soul was followed by the silent spring of environmentalism. Salvation beckoned, and has beckoned ever since.

  48. Tonyb – I am not clear why you write

    “Heat change in the ocean is somewhat unquantifiable.”

    It is correct that at depth the data is sparse, but with Argo, it is quite good in the upper ocean [http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/About_Argo.html]. Together with satellite analyses, we have a quite good estimate of heat changes since about 2003. See, for example, the uncertainty that Josh Willis provided to me in my article

    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-334.pdf

    Roger Sr,

    • There is a need to minimize the human disturbance of the climate by limiting the amount of CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere by human activities…

      What if the expertise of global warming alarmists is undeniable but the injury they seek to prevent can be compared to a trip and fall hazard faced by all of humanity caused by a difference of one-quarter inch in elevation between a parking lot and a sidewalk in front of a Mississippi Walmart?

  49. roger
    sorry, I had meant to write ‘heat change in the deep ocean is somewhat unquantifiable.’

    the average depth of the ocean is around 4000metres so we do not have a good handle on the heat of most of the ocean.

    tonyb

    • Why, tonyb, if the klimatariat don’t have a good handle on the heat of most of the ocean, then, very clearly, they don’t have a good handle on the climate.

      So all this time they’ve just had a good handle on…?

      • mosomoso

        they have a good handle on lots of things. Lots of things. Lots of things beyond your understanding. Really clever things. Its all in the latest IPCC report. Read every word and marvel at its length

        tonyb

      • Their right hand hath not forgot its cunning.

  50. ‘However, although the evaluation of global steric height in Fig. 3 is more or less based on the same data base, differences are clearly visible. These differences lead to a large spread of the estimation of global steric trends ranging from nearly 0mm/yr to about 1mm/yr.
    This simple exercise already shows that a sensitivity study due to data handling is vital.’

    http://www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/8/999/2011/osd-8-999-2011.pdf

    From first principles the 1st differential global energy equation can be as precise as you like.

    d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

    W&H is work and heat – and is mostly ocean heat.

    The problem with ocean heat is that the changes being sought are as yet no greater than errors and uncertainties and much less than natural variation.

    The same goes for Jason data – shown by inconsistency with Argo salinity.

    • Energy in is:

      The absolute value is less than reliable – the calibration problem – and the change at the surface is some 1/4th of the toa flux. Some 0.25W/m2 over a solar cycle.

      The energy out is:

      The absolute value is not even guessed at – but the changes are accurate to less than 0.25W/m2.

      There is zilch trend in energy out in the net CERES record – and seemingly little trend in energy in. It suggests that the planet is neither warming or cooling – which has the virtue of being consistent with both the surface record and the Leuliette (2011) steric sea level result shown earlier.

  51. tonyb – Most of the heat changes do not occur at those deeper depth. In any case, we should see heat being transferred through the upper 700m but we do not see this at the needed magnitudes.

    Roger Sr.

  52. I knew a cople who both smoked until 1961. He had been in the Air Force where smoking was encouraged by cheap fags and was supposed to s=ettle the nerves, according to countless Hollywood movies. He gave up smoking in 1961, following the US surgeon- general report, but was unable to persuade his wife to do the same. So he lived with a smoker for 38 years when she died, not of lung cancer but emphysema. He is now 92 and has no lung problems. All of which makes you wonder whether second-hand smoke is such an evil.

    • That is the problem with calling it a cause instead of just noting the correlation. There are a few other interesting misconceptions like if you stop smoking your risk of lung cancer decreases. Actually, it still increases just more slowly age, and all the other stuff you are exposed to are major factors. According to one of the insurance company risk models, if you are male, the best thing you can do to increase your life expectancy is have a sex change :)

  53. This is rather interesting

    Public statement by William Thompson, Ph. D.
    The Autism Action Network received the following document today and we believe it to be a genuine statement from William Thompson, Ph. D.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—AUGUST 27, 2014

    STATEMENT OF WILLIAM W. THOMPSON, Ph. D., REGARDING THE 2004 ARTICLE EXAMINING THE POSSIBILITY OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MMR VACCINE AND AUTISM

    My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I have worked since 1998.

    I regret my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data was collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

    I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

    My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub-group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with the receipt of those vaccines.

    I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.

    I am grateful for the many supportive emails that I have received over the last several days. I will not be answering questions at this time. I am providing information to Congressman William Posey, and of course will continue to cooperate with Congress. I have also offered to assist with reanalysis of the study data of development of further studies. For the time being, however, I am focused on my job and my family.

    Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists outside of the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.

    My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted out of the building as some have stated.

    Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan, Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    http://capwiz.com/a-champ/issues/alert/?alertid=63304926​

    • I get an error message when I try your link.
      ==============

    • Doc -

      Yes, that is interesting:

      My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted out of the building as some have stated.

      Pretty much blows up the arguments that Judith and other “skeptics” have been making up and down this thread, doesn’t it?

      • So? The link worked for you?
        =======

      • (1) I’ve already read about it
        (2) the excerpt I quoted is self-explanatory
        (3) motivated reasoning will prevent “skeptics” such as yourself from assimilating the information.

        That’s why I use the quotation marks, baby.

      • So why do you think the information was suppressed?
        =============

      • ==> “So why do you think the information was suppressed?”

        Vast conspiracy among “progressive” academics and government apparatchiks o starve children, impose Sharia, establish a Muslim Caliphate, line their pockets with research money, and destroy capitalism. What else could it be?

        Just read Climate Etc. and you’ll see the evidence presented in every thread.

      • Hyperbole doth not become thee. Me, however.
        ===========

      • It’s a dot the dot game. You’ve got to connect them to get the picture.

        You used to link to a thread discussing Michelle Obama interfering with an ethical vaccine trial in Chicago. Do it again.
        =======================

      • kim -

        Whatever you do, don’t read this link.

        http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2014/08/26/autism-atlanta-mmr-serious-questions-and-also-how-brian-hooker-and-andrew-wakefield-are-causing-damage-to-the-autism-communties/

        Just don’t do it.

        Keep connecting your dots.

        Here, I’m happy to oblige (complete with some editorial comments):

        I do believe we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg about Rezko and Obama’s Muslim sympathies and associates. There are a lot of dots to connect there, and you know with dot to dot you don’t need to connect them all to have a revelatory picture.
        ==================================

        Posted by: kim | June 19, 2008 at 09:08 AM

        So many dots, so many dots. We don’t need to connect all the dots. But there are just so many dots.

        Oh, my sides.

      • Steven Mosher

        blows up?
        hardly.
        thats like saying the “pause” blows up AGW

        You know a case is made from an entire collection of supposed facts.
        blowing it up requires attention to every detail.

        More and more you adopt the skeptics tactics. sad really.

      • Heh, didn’t dare link to the thread, eh. Hey, it’s topical. Had Michelle been in charge, the vaccine trial Doc Martyn points to wouldn’t have included black children at all.
        ===============

      • ==> “Heh, didn’t dare link to the thread, eh. H”

        Yeah, kim – I’m scared.

        Here’s the thing. I have a good friend who researches ethics related to clinical trials, race, and class. If you’d like, I’d be happy to connect you via email, since you seem so interested about the topic. It is a very interesting topic – not one what should be exploited by Muslim-fantasizing dot-connecting.

        My point of interest is your “skepticism.” But if someone wants to follow you down your dot-connecting rabbit hole, let them have at it:

        http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/06/michell-obama-.html

        Kind of blows up your whole scared thingy, doesn’t it?

      • Thanks for the link to the nice takedown of Michelle Obama’s work at the Chicago hospital.

        Shame overcame your fear. I was hoping it would work.
        ==================

      • Joshua, in no way does an example where there appears to be no partisanship blow up the examples of where there is partisanship. The argument doesn’t go away because there are examples where it does not apply. That is an entirely ‘skeptical’ way of commenting. Was that on purpose or did you slip?

      • That is an entirely ‘skeptical’ way of commenting. Was that on purpose or did you slip?

        It’s typical of leftists that they don’t really recognize any rules of debate, or any other sort of discourse intended to get at the truth. Any mechanism is OK if it supports their own agenda, subject to criticism in detail and obfuscation if it doesn’t.

        Of course, the trait isn’t limited to “leftists”

    • kim -

      I’t’s all over the Interwebs. Just highlight a string from the letter, right click and use “Google search for …”

      Here’s my personal favorite:

      http://www.infowars.com/the-big-one-cdc-whistleblower-goes-public-now/

      Infowars and Climate Etc. = same, same but different.

      • Joshua. You are full of cr*p. There is no comparison between Inforwars and CE, you disingenuous ijiot.

  54. The “Big Fat Surprise” was liberating. Eating real butter and bacon with my eggs in the morning is wonderful.

  55. I was “thinking” of taking exception with a couple of things Kim said, but then I remembered 4 fundamental laws of the Universe: (1) Don’t pull on Superman’s cape; (2) Don’t spit into the wind; (3) Don’t try to pull off the mask of the Ol’ Lone Ranger; (4) and Don’t mess around with Kim!

  56. The “skeptics” have so far failed in their mission to silence the science with accusations of fraud or overconfidence in various lines of evidence. They need to take a tip from the health science examples and get people together to write papers that can attack the evidence directly. This would be a welcome change from vague blog accusations ranging from groupthink to left-wing world government conspiracies. Scientists don’t tend to notice this blog stuff, only scientific evidence well presented and argued.

    • The boy scout vapidity is beyond nauseating.

    • Let me try to explain this some graphs.

      This is from Louliette 2011 – showing steric rise from Argo, sea level from Jason and mass from GRACE.

      This is ocean heat content and ocean freshwater content from von Schuckmann and Le Troan 2011. It shows heat content increases and freshwater content decrease – i.e increased salinity.

      Over a longer period using the Scripps Argo climatology – Louliette is showing no heat content increase – i.e. 0.2mm +/- 0.8mm/yr.

      Jason and GRACE are showing sea level and mass increase. Argo is showing a mass decrease.

      Now you may believe whatever you like on a basis of entrenched memes – but I challenge any rational observer to come to any other conclusion than we are at limits of observational precision.

      I strongly doubt that AGW space cadets like Jimbo understands the science – learning all of their memes in blogospheric echo chambers presided over by advocate groupthink gatekeepers.

    • Jim D: I think that’s been done already, and the results are slowly being seen.

  57. JimD, I am not a skeptic but I must say I have seen no indication at all that skeptics want to silence science or scientists. Anywhere. Ever.

    There are cogent arguments against the consensus position all over the internet. If you haven’t seen them it is because you haven’t looked. Or perhaps you suffer from the syndrome I first described in Michael Tobis, the need not to know. He refused to even read arguments against his position, which allowed him to continue to attack the motives of those making the arguments.

    Judging all skeptics by the writings of the worst of them is foolhardy. It would be easy to dismiss the consensus if all we did was highlight the comments of the worst of the blog commenters.

    But it’s easy to quote the fools and hard to address the better arguments. So which do you choose?

    • Well, it hasn’t been very effective except in the rare cases of skeptical governments, who can censor or filter government scientists (muzzling), as was the case in the US and is in Canada, or tighten the purse strings for academic research as is the case in Australia. Maybe silencing is the wrong word for this. Partisan would be correct, however, because of the close correlation of this behavior to political leanings. The title of this page made me think of these things first, but it wasn’t surprising we didn’t get an article on it.

    • Do you consider the NIPCC cogent?

      • Hi Jim D,

        No. Coherent when they’re at their best. Not cogent. See Freeman Dyson for cogent.

      • kim, just because I’m one of your biggest fans doesn’t mean I agree with you on everything. But I am one of your biggest fans…

      • Tom Fuller, ” No. Coherent when they’re at their best. Not cogent. See Freeman Dyson for cogent.”
        cogent=clear, understandable etc. I find it intersting that you find Dyson cogent, but not Spencer, Michaels, Singer, Pielke, Sr., etc.

    • Tom, I got a horselaugh out of ‘I am not a skeptic’. There are so many varieties of skeptics in the climate wars and you’re one of us.
      ==============

  58. String Theory anyone? Voting in extra dimensions, while arbitrary, seems quite the same group-think thing.

    The essential problem started many years ago, IMO. Descended from Monks, the institutions of learning have been destroyed by feel gooders.

    I want cold, hard physics and facts.

  59. What I’m afraid of, Judith, is that, after 271 coments and counting, you have ‘absorbed’ a certain commentary and forgotten, in the meantime, your own purpose. A ‘Reithian’ purpose (a British reference) ‘to educate, to inform and to entertain’ (the BBC’s ‘purpose’, as it self-defines itself or did). That ‘Reithian’ standpoint is an objective one. It isn’t a speific, detailed critiscm more an argument against my own ideal. That you could bend and sway like the willow tree outside my house and still stay straight would have been a human and a superhuman expectation. Still, I wanted you to be ‘above judgement’ and, partly, yes, because you are a women. One needs, I suppose, something absolutely straight that one can measure oneself by. Never Mind.

    • … wanker alert…

      • Grow up

      • ‘In a world of limited resources, we can’t do everything, so which goals should we prioritize? The Copenhagen Consensus Center provides information on which targets will do the most social good (measured in dollars, but also incorporating e.g. welfare, health and environmental protection), relative to their costs.’ Copenhagen Consensus

      • Based on the fallacy of ‘recources’ on the one hand and their limits on the other. Of course, human being invented ‘recourses’ and their ‘limits’. What is beautiful about human beings is that they invent their ‘resources’ and their ‘limits’.

      • Beautiful last sentence, LD.
        ==========

      • Limited resources refers to dollars available to supplement nutrition, provide vaccines and mosquito nets, etc. The very practical nuts and bolts of development.

        Not some notion about resources that Julian Simon – inter alia – discusses in a far less rambling, incoherent language and with far fewer eccentric embellishments. Yours is a travesty of English in the service of a derivative style you fondly imagine makes you sound clever.

        No science – no policy – no hint of the topic. Long winded self aggrandizement with a scant justification of some incoherent whine about Judy not standing straight like your willow. Bizarre and purposeless – and offensive – oddities all round.

      • Thank you! You’re probably right. What was offensive?

      • Rob, I meant, I want to know what I said that was offensive? In this country (UK) that is a criminal offence.

      • What I want, Rob, and what policies I have? Let it rip! Don’t interfere in the market, not because I ‘believe’ in the ‘market but because I know, and history has proved this, that any interference in the ‘market’, ie the ‘autonomous’ interaction of human beings has always proved ‘worse’ and worse than disastrous. Your worried about ‘climate change’! Lucky you! I’m worried about mankind.

      • … the twittery mistakes presumption and the overblown declarative for substance…

  60. You see, I’m so bored, to the back, aching teath, of ‘climate change’, because I know it is always a proxy for something else. But I love science and the ‘pure’ discussion of it. I am seduced by this endless ‘discussion’ because, by definition, it is, perhaps, the precise place where the fracture and fissure of our world is articulated, is spoken about, by ‘proxy’. It was a lovely happenstance that I came across Climate Audit in 2005 (is that right? Was it in existence then? I think 2007?) when Steve was this machine of intellectual fire. He’s grown old and so have I and our questions about life have become much deeper! Not that they weren’t always! But I enjoyed dissapearing in ‘Climate Audit’ when it was merely our secret.

    • … oh for God’s sake… say something that’s not long winded drivel…

    • I am unforgiving. Partly because I am incapacitated.

      Partly because embellishment is to poetry as analogy is to science.

      ‘To paint the speed of light!
      Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
      burn to mix with air
      and change our bones, skin, clothes
      to gases. Doctor,
      if only you could see
      how heaven pulls earth into its arms
      and how infinitely the heart expands
      to claim this world, blue vapor without end.’

      Lisel Mueller

      • I used to think the Norman/Evert foot massage was Queensland’s nadir. But now…

        The horror…the horror…

      • Moso

        I have actually read some of your fiction – and I am not talking here about your CE commentary. (Remind me did you write the one about the architect designed glass and concrete house in tropical Aus?) I like it. A little introspective and domestic for my taste – which admittedly tends towards space opera and magic realism – but the scenery is familiar. Woy Woy and Darlinghurst.

        You should be more solicitous of incapacitated Queensland fans.

      • What happened, Rob?

  61. Pew Study, 6% of “scientists” self identify with GOP;

    http://ricochet.com/archives/where-are-the-republican-scientists/

    Joshua is having a board conniption over the false equivocal use of “partisan” when it should be directly “left-wing advocacy” in climate science.

    • And there is no green-socialist conspiracy to undermine capitalism, displace democracy and kills billions of people.

      ‘My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.’
      David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First

      ‘A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.’ Ted Turner, Founder of CNN and major UN donor

      ‘The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.’
      Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

      ‘Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.’ Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies, Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ‘The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.’ Sir James Lovelock, BBC Interview

      We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
      Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, Lead author of many IPCC reports

      ‘Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.’ Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC

      ‘It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.’ Paul Watson,
      Co-founder of Greenpeace

      ‘Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.’ David Brower, First Executive Director of the Sierra Club

      ‘We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.’
      Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

      ‘No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.’ Christine Stewart,
      former Canadian Minister of the Environment

      ‘The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

      ‘Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      Maurice Strong, Founder of the UN Environmental Program

      ‘A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
      Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies, Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ‘If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.’ Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
      Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation

      ‘The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the US. We have to stop these third World countries right where they are.’ Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund

      ‘Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.’ Professor Maurice King

      ‘Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.’ Maurice Strong,
      Rio Earth Summit

      ‘Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.’ Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

      ‘I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.’ John Davis,
      Editor of Earth First! Journal

      A reminder o the nature of the threat if one was needed.

      H/T tim56.

      • Great strawman Rob, bias which is real isn’t a “conspiracy theory”. this has been addressed a thousand times before at Climate Etc.

      • ‘Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.’ Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

        I would define “Socialism” as ideology that insists whose ideal is that the only thing that determines social status is the ability to manipulate “society”. Rejecting their own self-serving self-definitions about “society controlling the ‘means of production’”. After all, how ideologues present themselves to their victims/enemies can hardly be relied on to be correct.

        The Industrial Revolution gave rise to the modern “Socialiist” movements, because of the inherent need for judging workers in terms of their individual competence. These movements were rightly (IMO) labeled (by Ayn Rand) as the “Industrial Counter-Revolution”.

        Modern “Complex technology” is even “worse” in that regard than 19th century factories. And thus, the natural alliance between modern socialists and other enemies of the free-thinking individual such as Islamic terrorists.

      • Well there IS a general green ‘conspiracy’ to sabotage civilisation, to the extent that they don’t readily publicise it. They keep it pretty quiet.

      • THANKS! for that. I’ve read some of these in other place but it’s of great value to have them gathered in one place.

    • Thanks again Rob, just to clarify my post. If only “6%” of all scientists self-identify as GOP members, about the same as “journalists” by the way, what could the number be in “climate science”?? 2%? I doubt it, lower.

      Keep in mind David Brooks, Lindsey Graham, John McCain tell you they are GOP members as well.

    • I don’t think it’s a ‘conspiracy’ as much as a cultural confluence of like minded people. How does that make it any less an evil? The basis for what these people say is an absolute totalitarian state. Why are these people not living in N Korea?

  62. But don’t you think it has become a pretty parse when we must ask the question our host asks – ‘partniship’ or ‘silencing’? Not that I imagine it is exactly like that – what I rather imagine is a vast and ever spawning nomeclature of Swiftian nonesense. A pradigm set by stupidity and unwound by it.

  63. It is conservative groupthink, such as from the Harper government in Canada, which has put silencing of scientists into law. Conservatives often turn to the coercive power of government to attack those with whom they disagree.

  64. And, yes, what drives me to bed and wakes me up again is this: not whether twelve monkeys will be able, given sufficient time, to write a sonnet but whether we can write one. What drives me to despair, everyday, is that we may not be capable, again, of producing a Shakespeare! What we do will not last an hour glass of a turn in the depths of nothing – this is our stage, therefore, we must perform. No one can clap and no one can hear that clap. Here. Now. Gone.

    • Lewis: Allen Bloom (Closing of the American Mind, 1987) shared your despair. He despaired that students entering universities had “lost the practice of and the taste for reading” and that universities had turned away from the “great books”.

  65. What we have to understand is that this is a ‘paradigm’ shift, something quite profound has happened and is happening. It is neither a ‘conspiracy’ nor a ‘confederacy of dunces’ – – it is a very fundamental shift away from what was, perhaps, expected. Very fundamental. It’s useless to attempt to explain it by anything as superficial as, this is ‘political convenience’ or ‘the West has lost confidence in itself’ or ‘In a democratic society politicians have nothing left but to grab any meaning, rather than no meaning’ – no, this is more profound than that. Nor is the ‘bankruptcy of the West’ compensated by a so called ‘East’ – on the contrary, by ‘mirroring’, and ‘standing’ upon, this ‘West’, it itself has become bankrupt. It is a mutual bankruptcy. There is no ‘other side’ and ‘escape’. It is something that is happening – whether we like it or not – and because ‘it’s happening’ we cannot understand it. Only that which is historical is understandable, is ‘true’. Only now have we become conscious of what is happening and only very tentatively. Fascinating!

    • But what do you think is happening? I look out and see a kind of cultural insanity starting in the intelligentsia. But I have no idea if I have an understanding of the fundamental cause of the problem. I remember some explaining the decline of Rome in terms of lead in the brain from lead utensils. Maybe, but all great civilizations seem to reach a pinnacle and decline. That decline, seen through the eyes of one human life span in the midst of it would seem pretty bizarre. Rand’s description of it in Atlas Shrugged is chilling. Many scientists that I know who are skeptics think that the only way to change the game is for the CAGW proponents to die off. That may be the only way to change a failing paradigm on a civilization wide scale as well. Welcome to the Monkey House.

  66. Geoff Sherrington

    There are many examples where Establishment science has bullied dissent and caused social engineering that came at a high cost.
    Some examples have already been given above. Trouble is, you need to be a polymath to cover the bases in disciplines that are distant from your own work. What is more, sometimes you have to become expert in that discipline before you can comment. This is because Establishment methods are persistent in self-justification after the event, seeming sometimes to spend more on beefing up their message than was spent on the original research.
    Here are some more examples. The removal of lead from petrol and the now-common demonization of Pb as a poison to all humans is quite suspect. My old friend Allen Christophers wrote this paper may years ago, based on his 40 years of observations as a medico and public health employee.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9069038

    His work has not been refuted so far as I know, but there has been enormous expenditure on the bluster of self-justification.
    The Montreal Protocol and the ozone hole is another example. As a Chemist, I had serious reservations that the Treaty was not warranted because of uncertainties in the Chemistry. I maintain that position because I have not read a single paper that settles the matter. Bluster, yes, observational science, no.
    Another example is the manufactured scare in the USA in the 60s to 80s that man-made chemicals would cause a cancer epidemic. It’s all covered beautifully in by Edith Efron. This is a good example because we now know that the huge Establishment expenditure was largely needless. There has been no epidemic. The case largely rested on an untested scientific assumption, namely, that rodent tests for mutagens/carcinogens could predict for humans. They cannot, we now know. The situation is eerily similar to the climate change story, with its pushing of GHG as dominant. Bullying abounded.
    The latter example also informs, because Efron notes that the work was done in the wrong sequence, namely that testing of man-made chemicals proceeded well in advance of testing natural chemicals, as in foodstuffs. She makes a good case to understand the natural mechanisms before getting completely romantic with man-made mechanisms. She is right.
    …………………..
    These Establishment turkeys, whatever their motivation, seem to be contaminated by a refusal to learn from mistakes, those of others before them or their own. They also seem to have tiny views about the costs of their remediation, be they direct costs, like the cost to world energy of making inefficient petrol without lead; or indirect, like the sucking up of too much of the scarce dollar available for research into other problems or topics. Thus, we get landed with windmills and solar, when papers on topics like EROI formalise information that has been common knowledge for decades, that renewables are a bad investment for impossibly low returns in other than minor niche applications.
    ……………………..
    OTOH, these negative examples stick out from the much larger population of social engineering that has been successful, like eradication of smallpox. The fact that so many readers here would tend to separate the problem cases from the success cases in much the same way, means that the problem cases can sometimes be identified. Surely it is up to their proponents, the partisans eventually – and not to a – to recognise failure and curtail useless further expenditure, before it is too expensively late.

    • On the leaded petrol issue, in the early-80s there were a couple of small areas (other than the immediate vicinity of lead smelters) identified with lead levels causing risks for child development) one, at least, in inner city Sydney. To deal with this, the whole continent had to adopt unleaded petrol. (It would almost certainly have been cheaper to have paid those with children to relocate. I notice that many people near the South Australian and Mt Isa smelters continue to live there long after there children were identified as having dangerous levels of lead in their blood. They’ve made that choice.) Not only this, but long after sensible reductions in lead content were made, governments kept putting more and more restrictions on refineries, each involving high costs to the refiners for no benefit; then complained about the price of petrol. There was a very long period from the mid-80s when the fuel companies return on assets averaged around 2%; they’d have been better putting their money in the bank, and, surprise, surprise, most have now closed (although those regs were not the only factor).

  67. It probably isn’t politically correct to suggest it but it seems well past time for these doomcasters to get their asses kicked.

  68. Another recent example is the vitriol poured on Nicholas Wade for his book “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History.” Is the scientific criticism valid? Well, there’s nothing in the first 62 pages which suggests to me that it is worthy of attack and abuse; I’ll continue reading.

    I’ve seen estimates that human population was negligible 195,000 years ago, surviving only in a small enclave in South Africa; that it fell again to about 10,000 adults 50-100,000 years ago; and to about 20,000 at the end of the last ice age, prior to the development of civilisation. Wade argues (I don’t know if this is correct or not) that there is an assumption that there are no inherent differences between people of different races, that there has been no evolution in the civilised era. Prima facie, I’d say that a species which has grown rapidly from 20,000 to 7.3 billion, has spread throughout the varied environments of our planet and has undergone huge social, cultural and technological change, would have experienced evolutionary change. Wade says that human evolution “has proceeded vigorously within the last 30,000 years, and almost certainly … up to the present day.” He finds that this has been the case, and that under “various local pressures, there developed the major races of humankind, those of Africans, East Asians and Europeans, as well as many smaller groups.”

    Wade seems to be looking at this scientifically, he doesn’t seem to be making any point about the merits of any differences he identifies, I’ve seen no hint of racism in what I’ve read. But he has been howled down for suggesting that there is in fact an evolutionary explanation of differences between the major races. Perhaps he’s wrong, perhaps his evidence and arguments can be refuted. But all I have seen in the media, including from scientists in relevant disciplines, is abuse and calls for his work to be, at best, ignored.

    • Major races? Can the different ‘major races’ have fertile offspring? Is variation within each ‘major race’ greater than that between them?

      Maybe different degrees of tan or whiter shades of pale should be used instead of ‘major races’.

      Of course evolution continues. But for 11,000 years there has been such a high level of travel and mixing of the gene pool that the benefits spread quickly across the world and are not limited to the Galapagos.

      • Race isn’t an issue for me, the people in life I most respect were Indian, Burmese and Thai, my oldest friend in Australia (we met in India in 1972) is half-Nigerian, in days past I had West Indian, Pakistani and Anglo-Indian girl-friends and friends of many origins. I see people as people, I’m commenting on the response to Wade’s work which, from what I have read of it, is disproportionate.

      • Of course evolution continues. But for 11,000 years there has been such a high level of travel and mixing of the gene pool that the benefits spread quickly across the world and are not limited to the Galapagos.

        Here’s an example of attempting to foist ideological nonsense on science. In fact, this statement simply isn’t true, as manifold science has demonstrated.

        For instance, consider the diffusionary genetics of lactose intolerance or malaria resistance. In both cases, mutations that can be highly adaptive, depending on variable cultural factors have shown up in multiple times/places (in slightly different forms), and spread with different rates among different cultural groups.

        Just looking at the history of these traits strongly suggests the occurance of significant statistical differences among different human groups. The implications may be minor for modern cultures, where social ideals mostly focus on individual performance rather than group identity for judging the individual, may be minor. Probably are (IMO).

        But the paragraph above is sheer denial.

      • AK, you’re making my point for me. For example, lactose intolerance, considered an Asian phenomenenon, actually affects up to 15% of Caucasians.

      • For example, lactose intolerance, considered an Asian phenomenenon, actually affects up to 15% of Caucasians.

        Actually, lactose intolerance is the original condition. The primary mutation, IIRC, is thought to have arisen near the Urals, ca 6000 years ago. Another independent mutation showed up in the Middle East I think.

        Both spread within, and with, societies that used raw dairy.

        Nomadic societies, using such fermented products as yogurt or kumiss, didn’t acquire the trait very strongly, because the lactobacillus that creates them also produces enzymes that break down the lactose. Thus widespread lactose intolerance in areas showing strong nomadic (e.g. mongol) ancestry.

    • Faustino, I don’t doubt your acceptance of people worldwide. But surely you know that people have used the concept of race to justify horrible behavior. Loose handling of the terminology is somewhat similar to throwing around the ‘denier’ term on a skeptic weblog. If all you want to do is start a fight, it’s okay. But if Wade wants to have a discussion, he has to talk about it without raising old ghosts.

    • F, there is more difference between me and my mother and daughter than there is between me and any man/boy on the planet.

  69. Partisans. Indeed.
    Government-funded climate science is inherently partisan, since government stands to hugely benefit from a finding of imminent CAGW.

    That is why people like Judith are much the minority. And why as time goes by, they will get rooted out entirely, leaving only precommitted believers.

    And also why outright fra udsters like Mann are not evicted or chastized.

  70. ‘The decline of the West, which at first sight may appear, like the corresponding decline of the Classical Culture, a phenomenon limited in time and space, we now perceive to be a philosophical problem. that, when comprehended in all its gravity, includes within itself every great question of Being.

    If therefore we are to discover in what form the destiny of the Western Culture will be accomplished, we must first be clear as to what culture is, what its relations are to visible history, to life, to soul, to nature, to intellect, what the forms of its manifestation are and haw far these forms – peoples, tongues and epochs, battles and ideas, states and gods, arts and craft-works, sciences, laws, economic types and world-ideas, great men and great events – may be
    accepted and pointed to as symbols.’ Oswald Spengler

    The decline of the west has been muttered darkly for a hundred years. It had a nadir of sorts in Eliot’s Wasteland. We are the hollow men – we are the stuffed men – headpiece stuffed with straw – this is the way the world ends – not with a bang but a whimper.

    There is a different – and far more optimistic – interpretation possible as the strings of global mythologies come together to diverge again in some new and universally meaningful dance of life. This may not bring us closer to the true face of God – but will serve to inform a truly global civilization.

    ‘Evidently some mythology of a broader, deeper kind than anything envisioned anywhere in the past is now required: some arcanum arcanorum far more fluid, more sophisticated, than the separate visions of the local traditions, wherein those mythologies themselves will be known to be but the masks of a larger—all their shining pantheons but the flickering modes of a “timeless schema” that is no schema.

    But that, precisely, is the great mystery pageant only waiting to be noticed as it lies before us, so to say, in sections, in the halls and museums of the various sciences, yet already living, too, in the works of our greatest men of art. To make it serve the present hour, we have only to assemble—or reassemble—it in its full dimension, scientifically, and then bring it to life as our own, in the way of art: the way of wonder—sympathetic, instructive delight; not judging morally, but participating with our own awakened humanity in the festival of the passing forms.’ Joseph Campbell

    I have an idea that it is more Stars Wars than decadent and affected despair. Popular forms rather than arcane or scholastic. Accessible for my favourite animals. Glorious and resplendent. Brave and beautiful. The only thing I haven’t figured out is why we aren’t dancing in the streets with joy in our hearts and love in our lives.

    Once – in my own dark days of the soul – I thought poetry dead and the eschatological promise would burst like new and frightening dawn of the consciousness of humanity. But I still know where poetry lives.

    With vision and imagination In the nexus between past and future ready to define experience and express it in the instant expanding to embrace eternity and infinity and humanity.

    The time of the city resplendent is on us. Shining in the colours of the day – green and gold and blue and grey. In the foreground is a flimsy black chair. Couldn’t sit on such a fragile construct. But the beauty of the dream of such a thing is made.

    • I’m not inclined to mythology, much better for all if we understand reality, as it is.

      As for The Wasteland, I once wrote a 50-word short story entitled Armageddon in which, as doom neared, the heroine ditched her quiche-eating boyfriend and took the local stud to bed. “This is the way the world ends,” she declared, “not with a wimp but with a banger.”

      • I have loved mythology my entire life. A good part of my childhood consisted of ransacking library shelves for Norse, Indian, Chinese, African, Greek and other mythologies. Mythologies are a deeper reality and I am sure you have many.

        Star Wars is a mythology of rescuing princesses, of swords and sorcery. Battles between good and evil – a Manichean struggle between light and dark across all time and space.

        ‘There is light within a man of light, and he lights the whole world. If he does not shine, there is darkness.’

        In the space/time continuum each moment exists eternally – every horror, every terror, every torture, every murder. This is the reality of the universe in which we live. It is only mitigated in the ultimate triumph of light.

    • The “West” is ending its flowering, is going to seed.

      Watch for the new hybrid growth.

  71. I guess since Schmidt has Mann he can afford to play ‘good cop’.

    Yeah, he merely tortures the data, leaving it alive if maimed.

  72. Number of commentators spoke of the deep ocean heat transfer. Those at top of the science pyramid (Curry, Schmidt, Pielke Jr, etc ) most likely know what they are talking about. For the benefit of rest of us, the less informed here is an alternative view:

    Ocean heat transfer of a major consequence is permanently active in the far North Atlantic, to the south west of Iceland (mainly in the winter months) and to the Iceland’s north (throughout the year).
    Fact:
    Cold Arctic winds remove the surface heat at rates of several hundred watts per square meter (W/m2).
    Assumed:
    There is a twofold effect of this phenomenon:

    1 – rising plum of warm air affects meandering of the polar jet stream, causing short term temperature (weather) variation across the N. Hemisphere temperate region.
    2 – wind cooled saline surface waters sink to depths of 1-2000m. This deep water convection is the engines of the oceanic thermohaline conveyor circulation. Changes here have a long term effect, affecting the strength of the north-ward horizontal flow of the Atlantic’s upper warm layer, thereby altering the oceanic poleward heat transport and the distribution of sea surface temperature (SST – AMO), the presumed source of the (climate) natural variability.

    a – Intensity of the summers’ variability is of lesser effect, mostly due to the near constant insolation (TSI) across the decades or even centuries, overwhelming any major variability in the external forcing.
    b – Extent of the winters’ variability is far greater due to the absence of the solar suppressing factor, with the external forcing having the full effect.

    This summer / winter dichotomy in the N. Hemisphere’s temperature variability is clearly shown in the CET’s 350 year long instrumental record.

    Effect of the CO2, before or since 1950’s if any, it is most likely negligible.

  73. A story on Israel related to this theme of groupthink and intimidation appears in today’s Weekend Australian. I can’t find it online, but it’s derived from a story at http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/183033/israel-insider-guide Matti Friedman, a journalist in Israel since 1995, with AP 2006-2011, explains why there is a disproportionate focus on, and against, Israel. An example: AP had more than 40 staff covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, significantly more than in China, Russia or India or the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, it had one regime-approved stringer in Syria. The story was always Israel, never Hamas.

    In 2010, I did some voluntary work with a terrific Israeli girl who’d arrived two years earlier, aged 20, and was at the end of her working-visitor visa. She said that whenever she mentioned she was Israeli, the reaction was one of shock and horror; she was very grateful when I said that I was pro-Israeli, the first to do so. This story helps to explain the attitude she met.

  74. Look – none of this is about science; it’s just that science, especially climate, has become a battleground in a war of cultures and ideologies; free thinking versus groupthink.

  75. WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) You wrote

    “… James Hansen, wrote extensively about the ocean as a heat sink, most memorably in his seminal 1981 Science paper.”

    The focus of my paper was to show urge the use of the accumulation (or loss) of total ocean heat in Joules to diagnose the global, annual TOA radiative imbalance (i.e. global warming or cooling) in Watts per meter squared.

    This idea was first (to my knowledge) presented in the paper

    Ellis et al. 1978: The annual variation in the global heat balance of the Earth. J. Geophys. Res., 83, 1958-1962. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ellis-et-al-jgr-1978.pdf

    It is just that Gavin (and, yes, even Jim Hansen) did not take this to the logical step of making this the primary metric to assess global warming.

    Roger Sr.

    • Are you kidding me? This is straightforward thermal physics that Hansen explained in the 1981 paper.
      The reason surface temperature was chosen was because that is what laymen can relate to.

    • To use a metric, there has to be a record. To have a record, there has to be a monitoring system. Human beings like to know the temperature. The fishes apparently have not evolved to the point of building a system and keeping a record. Humans had a semblance of a monitoring system for surface temperatures, so they went with it.

      Changing now, now that ARGO is online, could be confusing, and the conspiracy theorists would be madly convulsing in restaurants and sporting events. It could get ugly. I prefer to eat without the guy at the next table foaming out.

    • Why blame Gavin and Jim Hansen for not making this the “primary metric”? Why not look at yourself? Expecting others to take responsibilty for that which you will not. How conservative of you Roger A. Pielke Sr.

      • Heh, one of the first things I learned from Pielke Pere many years ago was the usefulness of ocean heat content compared to surface temperatures. Eric, you’re a joke.
        ==============

      • Hansen discusses the importance of OHC in his 1980′s papers. Pielke is just practicing his cheap shooting, and, of course, kim loves it.

        The definition of GW is established. Changing it would send the crazies into seizures.

      • JCH
        why dont you tell us what the pre 1950 OHC so we can lay a baseline to compare the numbers of today. LOL

      • Hansen didn’t make it the metric. Pielke’s been trying for years to make it so.

        Gad.
        =====

  76. RP sr., Well you do have to admit it is soo much simpler to ignore annual variability in ocean heat flux and transfer of energy from the SH to NH and ocean to land and model the ocean as a CPU heat sink. +/- 17.0 Wm-2 (per Stephens et al.) is close enough for government work right?

  77. Henry Kissinger has an interesting article on “The New World Order.”
    From the article:

    First, the nature of the state itself—the basic formal unit of international life—has been subjected to a multitude of pressures. Europe has set out to transcend the state and craft a foreign policy based primarily on the principles of soft power. But it is doubtful that claims to legitimacy separated from a concept of strategy can sustain a world order. And Europe has not yet given itself attributes of statehood, tempting a vacuum of authority internally and an imbalance of power along its borders. At the same time, parts of the Middle East have dissolved into sectarian and ethnic components in conflict with each other; religious militias and the powers backing them violate borders and sovereignty at will, producing the phenomenon of failed states not controlling their own territory.

    The clash between the international economy and the political institutions that ostensibly govern it also weakens the sense of common purpose necessary for world order. The economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world remains based on the nation-state. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. Foreign policy affirms them, even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims or ideals of world order.

    This dynamic has produced decades of sustained economic growth punctuated by periodic financial crises of seemingly escalating intensity: in Latin America in the 1980s; in Asia in 1997; in Russia in 1998; in the U.S. in 2001 and again starting in 2007; in Europe after 2010. The winners have few reservations about the system. But the losers—such as those stuck in structural misdesigns, as has been the case with the European Union’s southern tier—seek their remedies by solutions that negate, or at least obstruct, the functioning of the global economic system.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/henry-kissinger-on-the-assembly-of-a-new-world-order-1409328075?tesla=y

    • Good article (in terms of food for thought, I don’t agree with it). Really responding would take much more time than I have, hopefully somebody will come up with something similar to what I’d have said.

      But see here.

      • Europe raises the terror alert, but couldn’t defend its borders against Russia if it came to that. The US doesn’t raise the terror alert and has no plan.

        If Obama were lying about the plan, and had one, his worth would elevate in my estimation. Having the press announce our military plans – that has to stop.

      • What you don’t want to do is tell your enemy what you are going to do. Even worse, tell him that you don’t know what you are going to do.

      • That fools the enemy even more, if you say you don’t have a strategy yet. You don’t tell your strategy to the press, and some partisan politicians can’t be trusted with it either. Remember the bin Laden raid came out of nowhere, and there wasn’t any telegraphing of that shot.

  78. According to Ziman, “A sure symptom of non-science is personal abuse and intolerance of the views of one scholar by another.”

    Donald Prothero offers a good example of this attitude towards our hostess:

    http://www.skepticblog.org/2014/04/22/global-warming-has-paused-not/#comment-116109

    Anyone who cites a notorious climate denier without the relevant credentials like Judith Curry does not deserve a detailed rebuttal to this pile of drivel.

    Prothero is a paleontologist, geologist, and author who often writes about AGW for skeptical organizations such as Michael Shermer’s Skeptics Society. These skeptic groups tend to be overly left wing and often express internal resentment against libertarians (like Shermer) among their ranks.

    • “Donald Prothero offers a good example of this attitude towards our hostess:”

      No, he was making an exception of her. Reread what he said.

      • Read further in the comments.
        ===============

      • Rog, your reading may be right, excluding Tol and the other, but he further trashes Judy later on in comments.
        ===========

      • rogerknights

        Oops, I take it back. I had been mentally inserting commas in the wrong places. I should have known better. Prothero is a “wrong ‘un.”

      • Bingo, and thanks. It’s where you put the imaginary commas. Now I read it as Canman did and you do now.
        ==========

      • Further heh. I’ll bet we both got fooled because neither of us thought Prothero would actually think Judy didn’t have the relevant credentials.
        ======================

      • Skeptical Science, the primary website of climate scientists:

        Not RC? Not Held? What a bunch of yoyos

      • And how about this:

        She’s a climate denier, and very much outside the mainstream scientific community in her contrarian views.

        Skeptic? Rejecting somebody because they’re “outside the mainstream”?

    • I’ve just noticed that Donald Prothero’s latest post at Skepticblog went from 18 to 40 comments over night. It is about the 97% claim and is entitled “The Pot Calling the Kettle Black”. All of these new comments are critical of Dr Prothero and are time stamped after my comment at August 30, 2014 at 11:11 am. I suspect that they were all in moderation and released at once.

      http://www.skepticblog.org/2014/08/27/the-pot-calling-the-kettle-black/#comment-125219

      I’d be curious to know if this comment (mine here) had anything to do with this.

    • Update On Prothero’s Post

      Prothero has deleted these comments. There are two new comments:

      J W says:
      September 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm
      Okay, I’ve gotta ask: are there actual people behind the bevy of denier-ish comments since August 30th, or

      is someone resorting to bots?
      The 97%+ scientific consensus is not based on one survey, but on multiple sources.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

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

      To claim that it is based on just one survey (of which you seem to have chosen to misrepresent:

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article) is an outright lie. That at least three different

      people would repeat roughly the same lie within such a limited time-frame seems especially suspicious. Did

      something malfunction?
      Reply
      Donald Prothero says:
      September 1, 2014 at 11:39 pm
      Sorry–I was in the field for 3 days (and had no power for 24 hours before that), so I could not log in to

      my site until just now. I cleaned out all the trolls and bots.
      Reply

      • I posted a copy of the comments that were deleted, but they probably got caught by the spam filter because they contained a lot of links.

      • There were 16 deleted comments, so I’m going to try to post them in sets of 4. The first 4:

        Mark Green says:
        August 30, 2014 at 11:59 am
        The “truth” of climate change is far more complex than the hysterics on both sides take the time to grasp. First, I will deal with the rather clumsily expressed underlying views of the “deniars”, then the doom-saying true believers.
        First, no rational person should believe in a wide-spread global conspiracy (though there are clearly some pockets of the climate change community which do actively engage in exaggeration and misleading the public). What there is, more reasonably, is bit of group think based on a fundamental underlying premise which is taken for granted by climate change doom-sayers, and should not be. Raise your hand if you have heard almost the exact words out of a climate change alarmist – “We are pumping [fill in the amount] of CO2 into the atmosphere, and that can’t be a good thing”. This is based on the article of faith of the environmental extremists that man can only be bad for the environment. This is not a scientific fact, it is an article of faith which has become (probably subconsciously) an underlying assumption of many in the field. Of course their theories all suggest that whatever it is man is doing MUST be having net negative consequences for man…after all, it CAN’T be any GOOD…ergo it must be bad (of course being neither net good nor bad also falls outside their basic premise). This is not nefarious, or a conscious conspiracy, but just a failure to question their own base assumptions. Now, for similarly thoughtless “deniers” this group think (coupled with clear examples of fraud and intentional exaggeration) can LOOK very much like a conspiracy, but a bit of thinking reveals it to be simply well intentioned and sincere people pushing a view that they truly believe, and not nefarious people intentionally misleading (though some are).
        Now, for the alarmists themselves. They falsely portray this issue as simply a matter of science, nothing else. But insofar as it requires acts of public policy, it is not merely a question of scientific facts and theory, it also becomes a question of economics (which scientist are no better suited to weigh in on than your typical cab driver). Here is how the REAL issues break down vis-à-vis public policy:
        1. If mankind is having an impact on climate change (let’s first establish that climate change is a constant — it has always changed and WILL always change, even if man had never evolved) is it an appreciable or significant contribution. (this is a science question, which not a single existing climate model/theory has made accurate predictions…merely ones which have been adjusted to explain the past real-world observations and are assumed to then be accurate predictors of yet to be observed future events).
        2. What will the impact of the changes be? This is another question of science). This is really were science ceases to be particularly relevant to the public policy discussion.
        3. What are the net economic costs/benefits to mankind resulting from those changes/impacts (a question for well trained economists, not scientists)
        4. Is the impact a net cost or a net benefit to mankind (the underlying article of faith among the alarmists is it MUST be a net cost because whatever it is we are doing “can’t be good”). Bear in mind that over the last 3,000 years, mankind has tended to fair better when the global climate was warmer than cooler.
        5. IF (and it is a BIG IF)climate change’s impact will be a net cost to mankind, how much is that cost (economist’s question)
        6. What are the costs of the actions required to ameliorate the change (assuming we can) – also and economist’s question
        7. Finally, does the economic cost to mankind of trying to prevent the changes outweigh the net cost (IF there are net costs rather than benefits) of just adapting to the changes. In fact, this is more complex because we know that costs to try and prevent are frontloaded, whereas costs to adapt will be spread out, so what we really need to measure is whether the present value of the future costs of amelioration are greater than the present value of future costs of adaptation (to put it in a simple example, spending $100 billion today to prevent $200 billion in costs that will be spread out over the next century is not actually a sensible thing to do, because the net PRESENT value of the $100 billion is likely higher than the net PRESENT value of $200 billion spread out over a century…think of it as the difference between winning the lottery and accepting a lump sum payout that is far less than what you would get if you accepted the payments over 30 years)
        Reply
        D. Bradt says:
        August 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm
        Geo centric view of the solar system enjoyed 97% condenses of the learned before the solar centric view prevailed so what consensus at one particularly tine in history doesn’t mean much. We look back at history and the learned class has always been wrong. To think we got it right now flies in the face of all of experience. Water vapor has not been part of climate models and is looking to be the major greenhouse gas. It is possible that If we stop all Co2 there will be little effect on climate change.
        Reply
        Pooka says:
        August 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm
        I’m not a denier, but our side needs to stop making near term predictions that are so wrong so often. The ice free arctic by 2012 one I’d being used relentlessly by the deniers now. I can totally understand otherwise normal, intelligent people who don’t follow thus issue beyond the evening news seeing these prediction fails and thinking, “Well, I guess that’s that.” I can also understand them looking at a temperature graph and dismissing it due to the scale of the vertical axis. Who gets excited over 0.2 degrees, right?
        Too many scientists spend years training to think like scientists and then wonder why everyone doesn’t think that way.
        Reply
        KellyJ says:
        August 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm
        Unfortunately, your starting premise that “97% of scientists agree” is based on a fraudulent 2 question survey (of which the true majority refused to even participate based on the simplistic and leading questions) where the survey responses from over 3000 (out of over 11,000 sent out) returns were parsed down to 77 “acceptable” responses. Of those 77 final surveys, 75 agreed with the 2 question survey. Hence 75 out of 77…97%.
        And since the entirety of your article focuses on this magical 97% figure, you either don’t know WHERE the number comes from (which leaves you with a large credibility issue) or you do know, but choose to pass along the mantra, which makes you as much a fraud as the originators.
        Regarding the topic, you don’t have science. You have computer models. And to date not a single prediction from these models has come to pass. By now we were promised the arctic would be ice free. It is not. That Britain’s children would never see snow after 2012…yet they have had some of the coldest, snowiest, winters in history these past few years. On and on…models predicting doom and gloom. And the opposite is what’s occurring. In REAL Science, if the results to not fit the hypothesis, your hypothesis is wrong and must be thrown out or reworked. In ‘Global Warming/Climate Change/whatever you call it this week’ when the results do not fit the reality, the data is adjusted, ignored, or cherry picked to match what was predicted.
        Is that Science?
        Reply

      • Here’s the second 4:

        Sweet Old Bill says:
        August 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm
        It might be worth some time to evaluate the raw data on global climate change. Precision, accuracy and adjustments come to mind. It would also be interesting to have a reference for a model that predicted, in 1999-2000 the halt in global temperature rise. It is inconceivable to me that anyone could be a “climate denier, it is also inconceivable to me than anyone could deny climate change. The issue is the extent of the anthropogenic contribution.
        Reply
        Matt says:
        August 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm
        How did over 99% of economists conspire to miss the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression? When they all went through university systems pushing similar ideas, then what happens if some of those ideas are wrong? Those ideas might sound true and even be true for awhile. However, the foundation of those ideas might be just plain wrong and it takes 50 to 100 years to figure that out. Welcome to modern economics.
        Take a look at this little time-bomb from economics: Their models assume no herding. Now you know why their models blow up during a crisis.
        What about climate science?
        What alarms me is the confidence climate scientists have for their models – just like economists. Well, the models do an excellent job forecasting the last 100 years, so why shouldn’t I have confidence about future projections? Developing and calibrating a complex model means that there is great danger when moving outside of the calibration range. And that is something global warming is going to do. Basically, climate scientists cannot have a high degree of confidence in their models as parameters (CO2, temperature, …) rise beyond the calibration range. Maybe the models are right, but who knows. Right now they are not looking so good.
        The next problem is what to do about global warming? What if recommended solutions don’t work? What then? Does that mean climate scientists close up shop, go home and leave us alone? No, it means they will ask for more. What if the impact of man on the climate is much smaller than believed because the scientists screwed up? Is there any penalty for that?
        What happens to a profession when there is little penalty for getting it wrong? Is anybody getting fired? To me climate science sounds a lot like economics. Does anybody trust economists?
        Reply
        amos says:
        August 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm
        I am what might be called a ‘catastrophic AGW skeptic.’ I’d say that most of us who are labelled ‘climate deniers’ fall into this category, at least those that I know or have communicated with.
        I believe the following:
        that The greenhouse effect from CO2 is real.
        that human beings have increased the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere significantly, or by 50 percent.
        that we do not have enough natural carbon sinks to safely absorb our extra emissions
        that we’re trapping more energy in our atmosphere.
        that we cannot alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere without consequences.
        We are almost always described as believing the opposite on most or all of these points, and this fallacious description is used as the basis for dismissing anything we say out of hand.
        What we actually deny, however, is that there is actual scientific evidence to support the conclusion that CO2 emissions will cause a catastrophe, or even anything close to it. Here is what has actually happened so far (this could be taken from the IPCC report itself, incidentally, I’m not just ‘making it up’):
        Human activity added 150 ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere.
        The temperature increased 0.7 deg. C
        Sea level rose 8 inches
        Now if you believe that 100% of the temperature rise was due to the CO2 increase (NOT established IMO, but let’s just assume it for the purposes of this argument) then by extrapolation we need to add an additional 300ppm to produce another 0.7 deg. C rise in temperature. 2012 CO2 emissions are about 2.2 ppm, so at the current rate, if ALL warming were due to human activity it would take 137 years to raise the temperature another 0.7 degrees.
        So where does the alarmism come from? Forcing. It’s a snowball effect, more heat creates or influences more processes that create more heat creating a vicious, ever escalating cycle of disaster.
        But here’s the problem: NONE of these ‘forcing’ events have ever been observed in nature, which means (to us, anyway) that they are PURE speculation. One example: more heat means more moisture in the air thus more greenhouse effect. (Water is 20 times stronger that CO2 for heat trapping.) Sounds pretty convincing, right? But maybe there will be more clouds. Oops, that causes cooling. Or maybe there won’t actually be more water in the atmosphere, deserts are VERY hot, no moisture there. I’d say nobody has any idea, really.
        The consequences of drastic action to reduce carbon emissions will fall, as always, disproportionately on the poor. Most alarmists (sorry, if I’m a ‘denier’ I get to use a label too) attribute the campaign against major carbon regulation as something perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry and its cronies with profit as the final motive. But the vast majority of people on this planet have limited access to things like food and clean water, much less electricity. If policies are enacted which result in a dramatic increase in the cost of energy at all levels globally (please look at the example of Germany over the last 10 years) BILLIONS of the world’s poor will suffer, and remain in poverty longer than they might have had to.
        All policy options have consequences. Drastic action to reduce carbon emissions will condemn billions who have really no say in that policy to continued poverty.
        Reply
        Mike says:
        August 30, 2014 at 8:11 pm
        Two things missing are- 1) The disparity between scientists working in private industry, who are paid only to provide useful results, and those in the world of academia, government labs, and think-tanks that ultimately have their paychecks funded based on political concerns, as politicians hold the pursestrings and have no choice but to put their own, inarguably compromised agendas first, and 2) what happens to scientists in the latter group if they challenge the orthodoxy. (Hint: they get called “climate deniers,” a clumsy attempt to liken them to Holocaust deniers. Those are the only other kind of people called “deniers.”)
        So I’m not buying. No, you didn’t become professors for the money. You did it for the pleasant working environment and the job security. But when the money is waved in front of you, it has the same hypnotic effect as it does on anyone else. As it stands now basically all the government money is “green,” and an academic scientist who wants the six-figure income knows what he has to do to get it. By the way, a scientist (not an executive) who works for a big oil company doesn’t make much more than a professor does. Six figures probably, but the most significant digit will only be a ’1′.
        Reply

      • Here’s the third 4:

        Dean s says:
        August 31, 2014 at 1:11 am
        If you really wonder why climate scientists are perceived poorly, just look at your own reaction to climate gate. There are statements by Mann that he will change what peer reviewed literature is in order to keep skeptics out. Discussions on how to “destroy” a journal that publishes skeptical articles.
        True, you are technically correct that the six panels found no evidence of wrongdoing. However, you point out that lawyers are at the bottom of trust. Why is that? Because the perception of lawyers is that they will argue anything, even against their own principles, in order to win.
        And your reaction to climate gate? Do you point out that these comments, if true, are completely against science as a discipline? No, you argue that everything was taken out of context and six panels found no wrongdoing.
        Technically, you are correct. And about as trustworthy as a lawyer.
        Reply
        Adrian Bank says:
        August 31, 2014 at 4:44 am
        When Obama defends his emissions policies with the statement “science is science” he is effectively saying the science and his resulting policy prescriptions are beyond discussion and that corrupts the entire process of science and policy making. When people say “the science is settled” it is a corruption of science but scientists don’t seem to object. Warming stopped almost 20 years ago and there are dozens of explanations why. Almost all IPCC prediction models have grossly overestimated warming. The basic AGW theory may prove basically correct but to say the science is “settled” especially on such an extraordinarily complex system is absurd and anti science.
        Reply
        John M. Cates says:
        August 31, 2014 at 8:26 am
        Your argument is irretrievably damaged by your roll-out of the debunked “97% of climate scientists agree…” trope.

        http://justbunk.net/2014/02/27/97-of-scientists-agree-with-global-warming-bunk/

        From the cited article: This piece of propaganda comes from a 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey. The AGU survey has been widely mocked and criticized by the scientific community, most notably by the respondents to the original survey.
        Here’s what you need to know:
        — The “survey” was a two-minute, two-question, online questionnaire sent to 10,257 scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois.
        — Only 3,146 earth scientists responded.
        — The researchers then cherry-picked 77 of the 3,146 who responded and labeled them “experts”.
        — Of those 77 “experts”, 75 ( 97.4%) agreed with man-made Global Warming. Surprise!
        Reply
        Shane says:
        August 31, 2014 at 10:30 am
        Science is about looking at the data. Make a hypothesis and either support it or prove it wrong. The hypothesis was as CO2 increases, the temperature increases and they are directly related. For the past 15 years, CO2 has climbed and temperature has not. So it is wrong. The data shows this. Secondly, the 97% that Prothero is speaking of is also wrong. That has been shown to be a false number. So what we have here is another politically motivated hit piece. Making a claim that he hasn’t made a six figure salary even once like that is something to be proud of, Prothero uses the fact that the oil companies make money as a bludgeon. Perhaps he isn’t aware that many of the oil companies made a great deal of money off the cult of global warming erecting windmills and getting government subsidy money? And regardless of what the over paid Prothero thinks, the oil companies make more money because of the global warming crowd as they drive the price of energy up? I am also a scientist. I for one would like to see more nuclear plants built because it is cleaner than coal by a long stretch but I am unwilling as Prothero is to look at the data and make excuses. I just want cleaner air. Prothero overlooks the temperature adjustments made to the original data by James Hansen, the emails by Mann and claims everyone else is just crazy in bed with big oil. They have spent far less than big government by a long margin. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf
        The government spends 2.5 billion a year on research as well as 6 billion a year on clean energies. Seems like they out spend the billionaires and influence the game because they have the most to gain as seen by the EPA shutting down coal fire plants without legislation. So mostly, Prothero looks like another political hack who ignores the data.
        Reply

      • Here’s the last 4:

        Randall says:
        August 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm
        Today there’s an article about the massive increase in article ice, accompanied by a reminder that Al Gore earlier predicted that Arctic Ice would be gone by now. Apparently, the recovery of the ice was unanticipated by more people than Al Gore.
        I have two questions: Was Al Gore’s prediction of the complete disappearance of Arctic ice consistent or inconsistent with the scientific data at the time? It certainly appears to be at odds with reality today.
        Second question: if Al Gore’s prediction of the disappearance of article ice was inconsistent with scientific evidence at the time, why didn’t any reputable climate scientist dispute him publicly? Perhaps some did, but I’m not aware.
        It seems to me that if politicians get themselves mixed up in someone’s scientific bailiwick like that, it is the responsibility of the scientists to come out and dial back the hysteria. If that’s not happening then perhaps the hysteria serves someone’s agenda, or at least it surely may appear that way to outsiders such as myself. Credibility lost isn’t easily regained. Predict the end of the world, and if the sun rises that day, you ought to lose credibility. The surprising thing in this world is that even those who have lost all credibility still attract believers.
        Reply
        BarryW says:
        August 31, 2014 at 9:37 pm
        And you call yourself a skeptic? All I see here is ad hominem attacks. So Dr. John Christy, Dr. Judith Curry, Fred Dyson, Dr. Plekie are all in the pay of Big Oil? The conspiracy theorists are people like you and Dr Mann who smear anyone who disagrees with you. Ever read any of the papers by actual statisticians that have shown Mann’s work to be statistically invalid? Reviews of Oreskes 97% paper and others that show they totally twisted the meaning of agreeing with CAGW? Of course not. You’ve already made up your mind. Peer Review? You mean peer review papers such as those papers that an independent group were unable to replicate? Peer reviewed papers that were reviewed by friends and co-authors of other papers the submitter wrote with? CAGW scientists who threatened editors who dared to publish papers that disagreed with them?
        Speaking of Muller, how about Dr. Judith Curry who was a believer in CAGW till the facts woke her up that the science isn’t settled? Oh, she must have been subverted by Big Oil. And by Big Oil you mean the oil companies that are giving millions to pro AGW groups?
        Reply
        Alrenous says:
        September 1, 2014 at 2:02 am
        The claim that climatology is pseudoscience has been borne out by their failure to model the climate. I quote, “The most recent climate model simulations used in the AR5 indicate that the warming stagnation since 1998 is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.” That’s the American Physical Society saying climate modelling per se has been falsified at p<0.02, or so. Given that 80-some models are now all falsified, the actual p-value is probably much lower. Apparently you don't include the APS in 'virtually every scientist,' I guess?
        A scientist who fails to predict is just a tax leech. As a matter of public record, the predictions of the 'energy companies' have been accurate and predictions of those like yourself have been inaccurate. Until this situation reverses, there is no empirical basis for crediting climatology.
        Reply
        Mason I. Bilderberg says:
        September 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm
        First off, the meme with the black background at the top of this post and the “denier” label are both extremist, straw man arguments because neither represents the true debate.
        I believe 100% of rational minds on both sides of the debate would answer “yes” to the following questions:
        • Does climate change?
        • Has the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased since the late 1950s?
        • Is Man likely to have contributed to the measured increase in CO2 concentration since the late 1950s?
        • Other things being equal, is it likely that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some global warming?
        • Is it likely that there has been some global warming since the late 1950s?
        • Is it likely that Man’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have contributed to the measured global warming since 1950?
        The debate centers around the (failed) apocalyptic projections being espoused by some in the global warming camp and the blaming of global warming for everything from the mating habits of cats (http://tinyurl.com/net66jb) to an increase in human rights violations (http://tinyurl.com/o7eft3g) to the hundreds of other ridiculous things being blamed on global warming (http://tinyurl.com/lt8qggm).
        It’s about failed apocalyptic projections: In 2007 Al Gore told us there was a 75% chance (consensus?) the arctic would be completely ice free by 2014. Approximately 97% (consensus?) of climate models failed to accurately predict the last 17 years of temperatures.
        The “science” is unable to accurately and repeatedly aftcast past, known climate conditions.
        It’s about failed “studies” like the “97% agree” Cook study (PDF: http://tinyurl.com/nqoooh8) which disproves ITSELF on page 4, table 3 (http://tinyurl.com/oxb6buw) where it says – in black and white – that only 32.6% of the papers “studied” by Cook et. al. endorsed AGW. The same paper explains they arrived at their 97% figure by ignoring 2/3 (7,930) of papers out of the 11,944 they “studied.”
        You have Michael Mann claiming in court documents that he won a Nobel Prize when, in fact, he hasn’t.
        This is just a small sample of reasons why people are skeptical. Not skeptical about the answers to the 6 questions at the top of this response – skeptical of the conclusions, assertions and distortions.
        I’ll end with a fill-in-the-blank to highlight another point: The last 150 years contain the warmest temperatures since _ _ _ _ (enter a year prior to 1860).
        Reply
        LEAVE A REPLY

      • I honestly don’t know if anyone cares about this (whether I’m a threat to bit sustainability or kicking cans and taking names), but I do feel it is a good example of low tolerance of diverse views.

      • I wonder if Prothero has any doubt at all. What is it about this issue that turns so many people into freaks?
        =========================

      • Two of these deleted comments don’t want to show up here, but they are not that much different. Prothero says he was gone for a few days. I wonder if my thread here had anything to do with all these comments appearing so close together or if he gets them all the time and is continually rejecting them. I suppose some group could have spoofed them. They mostly seem to have moderate views like mine. Are we seeing a plague of lukewarm astroturfers?

      • Thanks Canman for all that hard work.

        And the commentators put a lot into their replies too. It is a pity to see them deleted like that.

        I have put some replies in there; mainly information, with minimal opinion… I wonder how long they will last?
        But then again, I don’t think anyone much goes there to read.

        http://www.skepticblog.org/2014/08/27/the-pot-calling-the-kettle-black/#comment-126477

      • Thanks Markx.

        Skepticblog used to have a lot of spirited debates on climate. Lately, I’ve seen that the comment counts on their posts have been pretty low. I think it’s a shame (and I’ll confess a bit amusing) that skeptics can’t handle having their cherished beliefs challenged.

        I had an earlier comment rejected in that thread. It may have been a little shrill, but I don’t know of any other way to convey the point:

        2. Canman says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        August 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        I don’t trust scientists on environmental issues. They’re too emotionally invested and overly left wing.

        This is especially true with climate science. I rarely see any error owned up to or alarming warning dialed back.

        And Climategate was a scandal! If someone makes a claim that a quote was taken out of context, they ought to provide an actual context. The word “trick can mean either “a clever trick” or “tricking someone”. “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”, where discordant data is deleted and replaced falls into the latter category, although smoothing at the connecting point might arguably fall in the former. Is there a good context for “deleting all emails”? They claim they were under attack. Why did these emails have to be defended from an attack? From my reading on the subject, they involved surrepticious editing of reviewer comments related to getting papers by Wahl and Ammann into the IPCC AR4. Here’s a post about one of those papers:

        http://climateaudit.org/2008/08/08/caspar-ammann-texas-sharpshooter/

        Were the inquirys whitewashes? From this article:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/06/28/michael-mann-and-the-climategate-whitewash-part-one/

        When Phil Jones asked Mann to delete email records being sought under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act and get a colleague, Eugene Wahl, to do the same, he replied “I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP”. And while PSU investigators never chose to interview Wahl, he later testified to a federal inspector general that he did receive Mann’s message and complied.

        If scientists want to be trusted, they can’t just sweep stuff like this under the rug.

        Reply

    • These are the comments that were deleted:

      Mark Green says:
      August 30, 2014 at 11:59 am
      The “truth” of climate change is far more complex than the hysterics on both sides take the time to grasp. First, I will deal with the rather clumsily expressed underlying views of the “deniars”, then the doom-saying true believers.
      First, no rational person should believe in a wide-spread global conspiracy (though there are clearly some pockets of the climate change community which do actively engage in exaggeration and misleading the public). What there is, more reasonably, is bit of group think based on a fundamental underlying premise which is taken for granted by climate change doom-sayers, and should not be. Raise your hand if you have heard almost the exact words out of a climate change alarmist – “We are pumping [fill in the amount] of CO2 into the atmosphere, and that can’t be a good thing”. This is based on the article of faith of the environmental extremists that man can only be bad for the environment. This is not a scientific fact, it is an article of faith which has become (probably subconsciously) an underlying assumption of many in the field. Of course their theories all suggest that whatever it is man is doing MUST be having net negative consequences for man…after all, it CAN’T be any GOOD…ergo it must be bad (of course being neither net good nor bad also falls outside their basic premise). This is not nefarious, or a conscious conspiracy, but just a failure to question their own base assumptions. Now, for similarly thoughtless “deniers” this group think (coupled with clear examples of fraud and intentional exaggeration) can LOOK very much like a conspiracy, but a bit of thinking reveals it to be simply well intentioned and sincere people pushing a view that they truly believe, and not nefarious people intentionally misleading (though some are).
      Now, for the alarmists themselves. They falsely portray this issue as simply a matter of science, nothing else. But insofar as it requires acts of public policy, it is not merely a question of scientific facts and theory, it also becomes a question of economics (which scientist are no better suited to weigh in on than your typical cab driver). Here is how the REAL issues break down vis-à-vis public policy:
      1. If mankind is having an impact on climate change (let’s first establish that climate change is a constant — it has always changed and WILL always change, even if man had never evolved) is it an appreciable or significant contribution. (this is a science question, which not a single existing climate model/theory has made accurate predictions…merely ones which have been adjusted to explain the past real-world observations and are assumed to then be accurate predictors of yet to be observed future events).
      2. What will the impact of the changes be? This is another question of science). This is really were science ceases to be particularly relevant to the public policy discussion.
      3. What are the net economic costs/benefits to mankind resulting from those changes/impacts (a question for well trained economists, not scientists)
      4. Is the impact a net cost or a net benefit to mankind (the underlying article of faith among the alarmists is it MUST be a net cost because whatever it is we are doing “can’t be good”). Bear in mind that over the last 3,000 years, mankind has tended to fair better when the global climate was warmer than cooler.
      5. IF (and it is a BIG IF)climate change’s impact will be a net cost to mankind, how much is that cost (economist’s question)
      6. What are the costs of the actions required to ameliorate the change (assuming we can) – also and economist’s question
      7. Finally, does the economic cost to mankind of trying to prevent the changes outweigh the net cost (IF there are net costs rather than benefits) of just adapting to the changes. In fact, this is more complex because we know that costs to try and prevent are frontloaded, whereas costs to adapt will be spread out, so what we really need to measure is whether the present value of the future costs of amelioration are greater than the present value of future costs of adaptation (to put it in a simple example, spending $100 billion today to prevent $200 billion in costs that will be spread out over the next century is not actually a sensible thing to do, because the net PRESENT value of the $100 billion is likely higher than the net PRESENT value of $200 billion spread out over a century…think of it as the difference between winning the lottery and accepting a lump sum payout that is far less than what you would get if you accepted the payments over 30 years)
      Reply
      D. Bradt says:
      August 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm
      Geo centric view of the solar system enjoyed 97% condenses of the learned before the solar centric view prevailed so what consensus at one particularly tine in history doesn’t mean much. We look back at history and the learned class has always been wrong. To think we got it right now flies in the face of all of experience. Water vapor has not been part of climate models and is looking to be the major greenhouse gas. It is possible that If we stop all Co2 there will be little effect on climate change.
      Reply
      Pooka says:
      August 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm
      I’m not a denier, but our side needs to stop making near term predictions that are so wrong so often. The ice free arctic by 2012 one I’d being used relentlessly by the deniers now. I can totally understand otherwise normal, intelligent people who don’t follow thus issue beyond the evening news seeing these prediction fails and thinking, “Well, I guess that’s that.” I can also understand them looking at a temperature graph and dismissing it due to the scale of the vertical axis. Who gets excited over 0.2 degrees, right?
      Too many scientists spend years training to think like scientists and then wonder why everyone doesn’t think that way.
      Reply
      KellyJ says:
      August 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm
      Unfortunately, your starting premise that “97% of scientists agree” is based on a fraudulent 2 question survey (of which the true majority refused to even participate based on the simplistic and leading questions) where the survey responses from over 3000 (out of over 11,000 sent out) returns were parsed down to 77 “acceptable” responses. Of those 77 final surveys, 75 agreed with the 2 question survey. Hence 75 out of 77…97%.
      And since the entirety of your article focuses on this magical 97% figure, you either don’t know WHERE the number comes from (which leaves you with a large credibility issue) or you do know, but choose to pass along the mantra, which makes you as much a fraud as the originators.
      Regarding the topic, you don’t have science. You have computer models. And to date not a single prediction from these models has come to pass. By now we were promised the arctic would be ice free. It is not. That Britain’s children would never see snow after 2012…yet they have had some of the coldest, snowiest, winters in history these past few years. On and on…models predicting doom and gloom. And the opposite is what’s occurring. In REAL Science, if the results to not fit the hypothesis, your hypothesis is wrong and must be thrown out or reworked. In ‘Global Warming/Climate Change/whatever you call it this week’ when the results do not fit the reality, the data is adjusted, ignored, or cherry picked to match what was predicted.
      Is that Science?
      Reply
      Sweet Old Bill says:
      August 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm
      It might be worth some time to evaluate the raw data on global climate change. Precision, accuracy and adjustments come to mind. It would also be interesting to have a reference for a model that predicted, in 1999-2000 the halt in global temperature rise. It is inconceivable to me that anyone could be a “climate denier, it is also inconceivable to me than anyone could deny climate change. The issue is the extent of the anthropogenic contribution.
      Reply
      Matt says:
      August 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm
      How did over 99% of economists conspire to miss the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression? When they all went through university systems pushing similar ideas, then what happens if some of those ideas are wrong? Those ideas might sound true and even be true for awhile. However, the foundation of those ideas might be just plain wrong and it takes 50 to 100 years to figure that out. Welcome to modern economics.
      Take a look at this little time-bomb from economics: Their models assume no herding. Now you know why their models blow up during a crisis.
      What about climate science?
      What alarms me is the confidence climate scientists have for their models – just like economists. Well, the models do an excellent job forecasting the last 100 years, so why shouldn’t I have confidence about future projections? Developing and calibrating a complex model means that there is great danger when moving outside of the calibration range. And that is something global warming is going to do. Basically, climate scientists cannot have a high degree of confidence in their models as parameters (CO2, temperature, …) rise beyond the calibration range. Maybe the models are right, but who knows. Right now they are not looking so good.
      The next problem is what to do about global warming? What if recommended solutions don’t work? What then? Does that mean climate scientists close up shop, go home and leave us alone? No, it means they will ask for more. What if the impact of man on the climate is much smaller than believed because the scientists screwed up? Is there any penalty for that?
      What happens to a profession when there is little penalty for getting it wrong? Is anybody getting fired? To me climate science sounds a lot like economics. Does anybody trust economists?
      Reply
      amos says:
      August 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm
      I am what might be called a ‘catastrophic AGW skeptic.’ I’d say that most of us who are labelled ‘climate deniers’ fall into this category, at least those that I know or have communicated with.
      I believe the following:
      that The greenhouse effect from CO2 is real.
      that human beings have increased the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere significantly, or by 50 percent.
      that we do not have enough natural carbon sinks to safely absorb our extra emissions
      that we’re trapping more energy in our atmosphere.
      that we cannot alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere without consequences.
      We are almost always described as believing the opposite on most or all of these points, and this fallacious description is used as the basis for dismissing anything we say out of hand.
      What we actually deny, however, is that there is actual scientific evidence to support the conclusion that CO2 emissions will cause a catastrophe, or even anything close to it. Here is what has actually happened so far (this could be taken from the IPCC report itself, incidentally, I’m not just ‘making it up’):
      Human activity added 150 ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere.
      The temperature increased 0.7 deg. C
      Sea level rose 8 inches
      Now if you believe that 100% of the temperature rise was due to the CO2 increase (NOT established IMO, but let’s just assume it for the purposes of this argument) then by extrapolation we need to add an additional 300ppm to produce another 0.7 deg. C rise in temperature. 2012 CO2 emissions are about 2.2 ppm, so at the current rate, if ALL warming were due to human activity it would take 137 years to raise the temperature another 0.7 degrees.
      So where does the alarmism come from? Forcing. It’s a snowball effect, more heat creates or influences more processes that create more heat creating a vicious, ever escalating cycle of disaster.
      But here’s the problem: NONE of these ‘forcing’ events have ever been observed in nature, which means (to us, anyway) that they are PURE speculation. One example: more heat means more moisture in the air thus more greenhouse effect. (Water is 20 times stronger that CO2 for heat trapping.) Sounds pretty convincing, right? But maybe there will be more clouds. Oops, that causes cooling. Or maybe there won’t actually be more water in the atmosphere, deserts are VERY hot, no moisture there. I’d say nobody has any idea, really.
      The consequences of drastic action to reduce carbon emissions will fall, as always, disproportionately on the poor. Most alarmists (sorry, if I’m a ‘denier’ I get to use a label too) attribute the campaign against major carbon regulation as something perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry and its cronies with profit as the final motive. But the vast majority of people on this planet have limited access to things like food and clean water, much less electricity. If policies are enacted which result in a dramatic increase in the cost of energy at all levels globally (please look at the example of Germany over the last 10 years) BILLIONS of the world’s poor will suffer, and remain in poverty longer than they might have had to.
      All policy options have consequences. Drastic action to reduce carbon emissions will condemn billions who have really no say in that policy to continued poverty.
      Reply
      Mike says:
      August 30, 2014 at 8:11 pm
      Two things missing are- 1) The disparity between scientists working in private industry, who are paid only to provide useful results, and those in the world of academia, government labs, and think-tanks that ultimately have their paychecks funded based on political concerns, as politicians hold the pursestrings and have no choice but to put their own, inarguably compromised agendas first, and 2) what happens to scientists in the latter group if they challenge the orthodoxy. (Hint: they get called “climate deniers,” a clumsy attempt to liken them to Holocaust deniers. Those are the only other kind of people called “deniers.”)
      So I’m not buying. No, you didn’t become professors for the money. You did it for the pleasant working environment and the job security. But when the money is waved in front of you, it has the same hypnotic effect as it does on anyone else. As it stands now basically all the government money is “green,” and an academic scientist who wants the six-figure income knows what he has to do to get it. By the way, a scientist (not an executive) who works for a big oil company doesn’t make much more than a professor does. Six figures probably, but the most significant digit will only be a ’1′.
      Reply
      Dean s says:
      August 31, 2014 at 1:11 am
      If you really wonder why climate scientists are perceived poorly, just look at your own reaction to climate gate. There are statements by Mann that he will change what peer reviewed literature is in order to keep skeptics out. Discussions on how to “destroy” a journal that publishes skeptical articles.
      True, you are technically correct that the six panels found no evidence of wrongdoing. However, you point out that lawyers are at the bottom of trust. Why is that? Because the perception of lawyers is that they will argue anything, even against their own principles, in order to win.
      And your reaction to climate gate? Do you point out that these comments, if true, are completely against science as a discipline? No, you argue that everything was taken out of context and six panels found no wrongdoing.
      Technically, you are correct. And about as trustworthy as a lawyer.
      Reply
      Adrian Bank says:
      August 31, 2014 at 4:44 am
      When Obama defends his emissions policies with the statement “science is science” he is effectively saying the science and his resulting policy prescriptions are beyond discussion and that corrupts the entire process of science and policy making. When people say “the science is settled” it is a corruption of science but scientists don’t seem to object. Warming stopped almost 20 years ago and there are dozens of explanations why. Almost all IPCC prediction models have grossly overestimated warming. The basic AGW theory may prove basically correct but to say the science is “settled” especially on such an extraordinarily complex system is absurd and anti science.
      Reply
      John M. Cates says:
      August 31, 2014 at 8:26 am
      Your argument is irretrievably damaged by your roll-out of the debunked “97% of climate scientists agree…” trope.

      http://justbunk.net/2014/02/27/97-of-scientists-agree-with-global-warming-bunk/

      From the cited article: This piece of propaganda comes from a 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey. The AGU survey has been widely mocked and criticized by the scientific community, most notably by the respondents to the original survey.
      Here’s what you need to know:
      — The “survey” was a two-minute, two-question, online questionnaire sent to 10,257 scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois.
      — Only 3,146 earth scientists responded.
      — The researchers then cherry-picked 77 of the 3,146 who responded and labeled them “experts”.
      — Of those 77 “experts”, 75 ( 97.4%) agreed with man-made Global Warming. Surprise!
      Reply
      Shane says:
      August 31, 2014 at 10:30 am
      Science is about looking at the data. Make a hypothesis and either support it or prove it wrong. The hypothesis was as CO2 increases, the temperature increases and they are directly related. For the past 15 years, CO2 has climbed and temperature has not. So it is wrong. The data shows this. Secondly, the 97% that Prothero is speaking of is also wrong. That has been shown to be a false number. So what we have here is another politically motivated hit piece. Making a claim that he hasn’t made a six figure salary even once like that is something to be proud of, Prothero uses the fact that the oil companies make money as a bludgeon. Perhaps he isn’t aware that many of the oil companies made a great deal of money off the cult of global warming erecting windmills and getting government subsidy money? And regardless of what the over paid Prothero thinks, the oil companies make more money because of the global warming crowd as they drive the price of energy up? I am also a scientist. I for one would like to see more nuclear plants built because it is cleaner than coal by a long stretch but I am unwilling as Prothero is to look at the data and make excuses. I just want cleaner air. Prothero overlooks the temperature adjustments made to the original data by James Hansen, the emails by Mann and claims everyone else is just crazy in bed with big oil. They have spent far less than big government by a long margin. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf
      The government spends 2.5 billion a year on research as well as 6 billion a year on clean energies. Seems like they out spend the billionaires and influence the game because they have the most to gain as seen by the EPA shutting down coal fire plants without legislation. So mostly, Prothero looks like another political hack who ignores the data.
      Reply
      Randall says:
      August 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm
      Today there’s an article about the massive increase in article ice, accompanied by a reminder that Al Gore earlier predicted that Arctic Ice would be gone by now. Apparently, the recovery of the ice was unanticipated by more people than Al Gore.
      I have two questions: Was Al Gore’s prediction of the complete disappearance of Arctic ice consistent or inconsistent with the scientific data at the time? It certainly appears to be at odds with reality today.
      Second question: if Al Gore’s prediction of the disappearance of article ice was inconsistent with scientific evidence at the time, why didn’t any reputable climate scientist dispute him publicly? Perhaps some did, but I’m not aware.
      It seems to me that if politicians get themselves mixed up in someone’s scientific bailiwick like that, it is the responsibility of the scientists to come out and dial back the hysteria. If that’s not happening then perhaps the hysteria serves someone’s agenda, or at least it surely may appear that way to outsiders such as myself. Credibility lost isn’t easily regained. Predict the end of the world, and if the sun rises that day, you ought to lose credibility. The surprising thing in this world is that even those who have lost all credibility still attract believers.
      Reply
      BarryW says:
      August 31, 2014 at 9:37 pm
      And you call yourself a skeptic? All I see here is ad hominem attacks. So Dr. John Christy, Dr. Judith Curry, Fred Dyson, Dr. Plekie are all in the pay of Big Oil? The conspiracy theorists are people like you and Dr Mann who smear anyone who disagrees with you. Ever read any of the papers by actual statisticians that have shown Mann’s work to be statistically invalid? Reviews of Oreskes 97% paper and others that show they totally twisted the meaning of agreeing with CAGW? Of course not. You’ve already made up your mind. Peer Review? You mean peer review papers such as those papers that an independent group were unable to replicate? Peer reviewed papers that were reviewed by friends and co-authors of other papers the submitter wrote with? CAGW scientists who threatened editors who dared to publish papers that disagreed with them?
      Speaking of Muller, how about Dr. Judith Curry who was a believer in CAGW till the facts woke her up that the science isn’t settled? Oh, she must have been subverted by Big Oil. And by Big Oil you mean the oil companies that are giving millions to pro AGW groups?
      Reply
      Alrenous says:
      September 1, 2014 at 2:02 am
      The claim that climatology is pseudoscience has been borne out by their failure to model the climate. I quote, “The most recent climate model simulations used in the AR5 indicate that the warming stagnation since 1998 is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.” That’s the American Physical Society saying climate modelling per se has been falsified at p<0.02, or so. Given that 80-some models are now all falsified, the actual p-value is probably much lower. Apparently you don't include the APS in 'virtually every scientist,' I guess?
      A scientist who fails to predict is just a tax leech. As a matter of public record, the predictions of the 'energy companies' have been accurate and predictions of those like yourself have been inaccurate. Until this situation reverses, there is no empirical basis for crediting climatology.
      Reply
      Mason I. Bilderberg says:
      September 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm
      First off, the meme with the black background at the top of this post and the “denier” label are both extremist, straw man arguments because neither represents the true debate.
      I believe 100% of rational minds on both sides of the debate would answer “yes” to the following questions:
      • Does climate change?
      • Has the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased since the late 1950s?
      • Is Man likely to have contributed to the measured increase in CO2 concentration since the late 1950s?
      • Other things being equal, is it likely that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some global warming?
      • Is it likely that there has been some global warming since the late 1950s?
      • Is it likely that Man’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have contributed to the measured global warming since 1950?
      The debate centers around the (failed) apocalyptic projections being espoused by some in the global warming camp and the blaming of global warming for everything from the mating habits of cats (http://tinyurl.com/net66jb) to an increase in human rights violations (http://tinyurl.com/o7eft3g) to the hundreds of other ridiculous things being blamed on global warming (http://tinyurl.com/lt8qggm).
      It’s about failed apocalyptic projections: In 2007 Al Gore told us there was a 75% chance (consensus?) the arctic would be completely ice free by 2014. Approximately 97% (consensus?) of climate models failed to accurately predict the last 17 years of temperatures.
      The “science” is unable to accurately and repeatedly aftcast past, known climate conditions.
      It’s about failed “studies” like the “97% agree” Cook study (PDF: http://tinyurl.com/nqoooh8) which disproves ITSELF on page 4, table 3 (http://tinyurl.com/oxb6buw) where it says – in black and white – that only 32.6% of the papers “studied” by Cook et. al. endorsed AGW. The same paper explains they arrived at their 97% figure by ignoring 2/3 (7,930) of papers out of the 11,944 they “studied.”
      You have Michael Mann claiming in court documents that he won a Nobel Prize when, in fact, he hasn’t.
      This is just a small sample of reasons why people are skeptical. Not skeptical about the answers to the 6 questions at the top of this response – skeptical of the conclusions, assertions and distortions.
      I’ll end with a fill-in-the-blank to highlight another point: The last 150 years contain the warmest temperatures since _ _ _ _ (enter a year prior to 1860).
      Reply
      LEAVE A REPLY

    • The second half of the third 4:

      John M. Cates says:
      August 31, 2014 at 8:26 am
      Your argument is irretrievably damaged by your roll-out of the debunked “97% of climate scientists agree…” trope.

      http://justbunk.net/2014/02/27/97-of-scientists-agree-with-global-warming-bunk/

      From the cited article: This piece of propaganda comes from a 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey. The AGU survey has been widely mocked and criticized by the scientific community, most notably by the respondents to the original survey.
      Here’s what you need to know:
      — The “survey” was a two-minute, two-question, online questionnaire sent to 10,257 scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois.
      — Only 3,146 earth scientists responded.
      — The researchers then cherry-picked 77 of the 3,146 who responded and labeled them “experts”.
      — Of those 77 “experts”, 75 ( 97.4%) agreed with man-made Global Warming. Surprise!
      Reply
      Shane says:
      August 31, 2014 at 10:30 am
      Science is about looking at the data. Make a hypothesis and either support it or prove it wrong. The hypothesis was as CO2 increases, the temperature increases and they are directly related. For the past 15 years, CO2 has climbed and temperature has not. So it is wrong. The data shows this. Secondly, the 97% that Prothero is speaking of is also wrong. That has been shown to be a false number. So what we have here is another politically motivated hit piece. Making a claim that he hasn’t made a six figure salary even once like that is something to be proud of, Prothero uses the fact that the oil companies make money as a bludgeon. Perhaps he isn’t aware that many of the oil companies made a great deal of money off the cult of global warming erecting windmills and getting government subsidy money? And regardless of what the over paid Prothero thinks, the oil companies make more money because of the global warming crowd as they drive the price of energy up? I am also a scientist. I for one would like to see more nuclear plants built because it is cleaner than coal by a long stretch but I am unwilling as Prothero is to look at the data and make excuses. I just want cleaner air. Prothero overlooks the temperature adjustments made to the original data by James Hansen, the emails by Mann and claims everyone else is just crazy in bed with big oil. They have spent far less than big government by a long margin. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf
      The government spends 2.5 billion a year on research as well as 6 billion a year on clean energies. Seems like they out spend the billionaires and influence the game because they have the most to gain as seen by the EPA shutting down coal fire plants without legislation. So mostly, Prothero looks like another political hack who ignores the data.
      Reply

  79. Well, I’m not in the least bit surprised. For some time, now, it has been abundantly clear that science is not an end itself, but a means to an end. Scientific pronouncements are wielded like swords with which opponents are hacked and territory seized and not to cut away jungle vine to reveal treasures. We live in a plutocracy/technocracy and the sooner the average citizen takes back control of public policy the better off we will be.

  80. Looking at the methodology of the James Entrom paper, I think the criticisms of the paper are justified. He didn’t compare mortality amongst those exposed to second hand tobacco smoke to those not exposed to second hand tobacco smoke, he compared mortality amongst those married to smokers in 1959 to those married to non-smokers in 1959 over a 30 year period. (Whether or not they remained married to these smokers or non-smokers was not considered) Given the widespread prevalence of smoking in all indoor areas up until recently, all he is comparing is two groups who have most likely both been exposed to second hand smoke.

    • It isn’t a matter of “exposed” v. “not exposed.” A population of people married to smokers would be exposed MORE ON AVERAGE to second-hand smoke than a population not married to smokers. Since there is always a dose-response relationship found with poisons and carcinogens, you’d expect there to be a differential health impact. Your criticism is not reasonable in that context.

  81. I posted the following in 2008 at RC and started a vigerous debate …

    “We have all read management books and accept the impact human behaviour has on decision making in general. Groupthink for example has the potential to be very damaging and can be minimised by:

    Create constructive conflict within the group
    Break context to avoid context traps for participants
    Foster the role of devil’s advocate
    Ensure a heterogeneous group
    Limit early influence of a senior leader

    How many scientists do you think consider these techniques redundant due to their involvement in an ‘unambiguious’ persuit where ‘facts’ are most important.

    I am not on either side of the global warming debate, I don’t know, and feel comfortable in that position. I do however think that past examples of where the consensus position was overturned offer lessons. Historical Lamarckian analysis provides lessons for both sides, not against one or the other.

    The following link for example points to an enormous unfair onus placed on all actors in this specific anthropogenic debate to be the frontline warriors in a social policy fight. Is it fair that a scientist must work with the a) threat of a ruined planet for his/her children, or b) threat of carbon reduction on third world, as two simple polar examples. Any scientist claiming they are free from any influence misses the point, usually they won’t be aware.”

    http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/00se.html

    Interestingly the regular 600 or 700 comments over at RC around that 2008 time has shrunk to less than 100 and the bulk of comment has shifted to the less alarming blogs.

  82. rogerknights

    Here’s a relevant thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/05/dogmatism-in-science-and-medicine-how-dominant-theories-monopolize/

    Henry Bauer writes: WUWT readers might find some interest in my new book, Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth

    http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-6301-5

    [ also at http://www.amazon.com/Dogmatism-Science-Medicine-Dominant-Monopolize/dp/0786463015/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409479136&sr=1-1&keywords=Dogmatism+in+Science+and+Medicine
    [Here’s a synopsis from the book’s blurb:]

    Unwarranted dogmatism has taken over in many fields of science: in Big-Bang cosmology, dinosaur extinction, theory of smell, string theory, Alzheimer’s amyloid theory, specificity and efficacy of psychotropic drugs, cold fusion, second-hand smoke, continental drift . . . The list goes on and on.

    Dissenting views are dismissed without further ado, and dissenters’ careers are badly affected. Where public policy is involved — as with human-caused global warming and HIV/AIDS — the excommunication and harassment of dissenters reaches a fever pitch with charges of “denialism” and “denialists”, a deliberate ploy of association with the no-no of Holocaust denying.

    The book describes these circumstances. It claims that this is a sea change in scientific activity and in the interaction of science and society in the last half century or so, and points to likely causes of that sea change. The best remedy would seem to be the founding of a Science Court, much discussed several decades ago but never acted on.

    Reviews so far have been quite favorable, see http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/Dogmatism-Reviews.html

  83. I think the main cause of the obesity epidemic is psychological. We are overly risk adverse. Our jobs are overly specialized and value is questionable. Children are overly coddled. Incomes are low, it’s hard to get ahead financially and even modest unexpected costs can be major setback or near catastrophic. Our culture has become more oppressive/judgmental. Many people live in near constant stress/anxiety or live dull, monotonous lives with little satisfaction. This lack of effort and reward throws our endocrine system out of whack and affects how we process food.

  84. Pingback: Cometary Cornucopias | Skeptical Swedish Scientists

  85. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #143 | Watts Up With That?

  86. Dr Curry, the cartoon you posted here is very good; I’d like to know its source, as much as it’s possible to determine it. :~)

  87. Pingback: Hiding the Real Data-Sets Behind the Headlines | Religio-Political Talk (RPT)