Blogospheric New Year’s resolution

by Judith Curry

Motivated by discussion initiated by Brandon Shollenberger, I put together a post that discusses conduct for effective rational discussion and blog netiqette.

A code of conduct for effective rational discussion

I just came across an excellent post at Evolving Thoughts, entitled “A code of conduct for effective rational discussion” (h/t Bob Grumbine), based upon Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments by Edward T. Damer.

I am doing this because of a major confusion that I have recently and over the years encountered, thinking that argument is about winning. It is not. It is about reaching the best conclusion one can from the premises one has access to. In simpler terms, it’s about approaching truth.

In The Sophist, Plato rightly attacks those who treat oratory and argument as a game in which the prize is to sway, by any means possible, one’s audience. This is something that can be achieved almost without any logic or reason at all, as politicians (and one 20th century politician in particular, but we shan’t Godwinise the post before we begin) so often demonstrate. A critical and honest population is the only guard against this evil. And for that, you need to know the rules of debate. This list is better than Plato’s dialogues.

Click on each for a discussion:

  1. The Fallibility Principle
  2. The Truth-Seeking Principle
  3. The Clarity Principle
  4. The Burden of Proof Principle
  5. The Principle of Charity
  6. The Relevance Principle
  7. The Acceptability Principle
  8. The Sufficiency Principle
  9. The Rebuttal Principle
  10. The Resolution Principle
  11. The Suspension of Judgement Principle
  12. The Reconsideration Principle
  13. Fleck’s Addendum

How NOT to do it

JT provides an interesting link on how NOT to engage in fruitful blogospheric discussion

Climate Etc. netiquette

A reminder:

Strategies for making effective posts:

  • Respond to the argument, not to the person.  What another participant stated on another blog in another context should not be used to discredit or otherwise challenge the participant.  Changing your mind in response to new evidence and arguments is valued here.
  • Only respond to comments that you feel are deserving of your attention, and ignore the rest.  By being ignored, commenters who are not deemed interesting by others will give up and go elsewhere.
  • Don’t take criticisms personally, don’t rise to “bait” or attempts at “gotchas.” Make the points YOU want to make.
  • If you make a mistake, acknowledge it.  Email me if you would like a “take back”, which is strikethrough of your comment that absolves you from any further expectation of defense or discussion of the comment.
  • Be patient with people having less technical expertise or background than yourself.

The following will not be tolerated here:

  1. Comments using offensive words will be flagged by the spam filter.
  2. No ad hominem attacks, slurs or personal insults.  Do not attribute motives to another participant.
  3. Snarkiness is not appreciated here; nastiness and excessive rudeness are not allowed.
  4. Don’t grind your personal axes by filling up the comments with extensive posts that are not deemed relevant or interesting in the context of blog objectives.

Conclusions

I have not banned anyone or put them into moderation (yet), although I have deleted some inflammatory posts that were without substance.  I would prefer not to put individuals into “detention” since this will open the blog to criticism that I am censoring view points.

The simplest solution to problems with with irrelevant, pointless or rude posts is for the other commenters to ignore the posts or send me an email; they will lose interest and go away.  I will try to keep on top of this a bit more.

And finally, i think the two types of threads (technical vs discussion) helps distill a signal and promotes more meaningful discussion on the technical threads, while the discussion threads have much more latitude and can be fun and interesting in a different way.

I am open to suggestions on how to improve things.

Happy New Year!

414 responses to “Blogospheric New Year’s resolution

  1. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. One piece of advice – keep your moderation fair and balanced. Don’t let the horde decide for you. And tell some folks to grow thicker skin.

    • David L. Hagen

      Thanks Judith for moderate regarding:
      “Respond to the argument, not to the person.” and “No ad hominem attacks, slurs or personal insults. Do not attribute motives to another participant.”

      • I would agree – don’t attribute motives – which is why I found Ludwick’s assertion that global warming is just a ruse to impose global Marxism particularly stupid.

        MODERATION NOTE: D64, I am going to add certain words to the “banned” list, so that any posts using them will go into moderation. An assertion can be unsupported, incorrect, dubious, etc. Do not call assertions “particularly stupid.” Also, I am not going to say in advance which words are on the banned list.

      • Fine.

        echo $comment | sed -e ‘s/stupid/egregiously incorrect, unsupported and dubious/g’

    • your future efforts to minimize inflammatory language and provide arguments will be greatly appreciated. the fact that you represent an underrepresented viewpoint here is why I have been more than tolerant, but please tone down the inflammatory language. Its not just about thin skins, its about trying to have a serious discussion here based on evidence and arguments and other information and opinions.

      • …. and yes, it’s a war.
        What we need is a cadre of scientists, well-versed in the nastier aspects of PR, debate, and so on, to take the denialists head-on. No more pussy-footing around. The denialists have taken their shots, time to return fire – and from now on, start lofting shells that they’ll have to answer. Being on one’s back foot all the time is not the way to win a war – and yes, it’s a war. Time to go on offense, instead of playing a weak defense (if at all).
        http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/andrew_bolt_doesnt_know_or_car.php#comment-2261819

      • Which raises the question:
        Since this is one of the few blogs where skeptics dominate, why are restraints being imposed that will in effect further limit skeptics?
        As a skeptic, I have been accused of literally criminal activity, and major AGW promoters make, with impunity, crazy slanders and delusional conspiracy accusations. Skeptics are to sit back meek and mild while our motives, lifestyles, sanity, etc. are trashed by people who now sit on the board of the AGU.
        This is not going well, frankly.
        It echoes GK Chesterton’s descriptions of and predictions about eugenics in a depressingly accurate fashion.

      • Let’s edit the following a bit:

        “As a skeptic, I have been accused of literally criminal activity, and major AGW promoters make, with impunity, crazy slanders and delusional conspiracy accusations. Skeptics are to sit back meek and mild while our motives, lifestyles, sanity, etc. are trashed by people who now sit on the board of the AGU.”

        to make:

        “Climate scientists have been accused of literally criminal activity, and major AGW contrarians make, with impunity, crazy slanders and delusional conspiracy accusations. Climate scientists are to sit back meek and mild while their motives, lifestyles, sanity, etc. are trashed by people who now chair Congressional committees”.

        That’s the reality.

      • Do you have any evidence for these allegations? Links? Quotes?

      • {Offstage} sounds of choking, sputtering …

        Now, this should be fun to watch!

  3. You may find this link of interest in the context of this post

    http://www.searchlores.org/schopeng.htm

    Thirty – Eight Ways to Win an Argument
    from Schopenhauer’s “The Art of Controversy”

    None of them in the spirit of Mr. Damer’s proposals but all of them common on the blogoshphere.

  4. Good thoughts. A nice example is provided for #12 :-)

  5. AnyColourYouLike

    “What another participant stated on another blog in another context should not be used to discredit or otherwise challenge the participant. ”
    ========

    Personally, I’d say there are times when it is relevant to know what a participant has said on other blogs/sites – Anna Haynes for example. Not sure that “in another context” really matters sometimes. I made a recent comment about someone who purported to enjoy debating here, yet describes climate sceptics on his own blog in particularly egregious terms. I asked about it in what I took to be a humorous way. If he had defined his seemingly hardline views, say on the denizens thread, I wouldn’t have bothered. But it struck me as a bit dishonest ethically speaking, to present oneself as a neutral observer/scientist here, yet be engaged in mud-throwing (presumably at many of the very same people ie sceptics of cagw – in another place.

    I thought this relevant because, in all truth, some of the technical arguments that go back and forth between such a poster and other technically accomplished opposing voices on technical threads, go a bit over my head at times. (Though I’m trying to self-educate on many subjects, time is short and sub-topics are many in climate debate.) To some extent we non-professionals are therefore forced to rely on trust and the reputation/ethics of the debaters involved, in order to surmise whether their technical arguments are likely to be tainted with confirmation bias or other emotional/ideological factors.

    It is somewhat ugly to call someone out like that; I don’t like doing it and I certainly wouldn’t wish it to become a common feature on threads. I just think in certain instances it’s preferable to know in the round who you’re dealing with.

    ======

    Apart from that small caveat I think your suggestions for keeping the blog civilised are sensible and worthwhile.

    Happy New Year

    • fair enough, but it really should be about the argument. and don’t forget, peoples opinions change, so dredging up ancient (more than a few years old) things that somebody said really can be detrimental to blogospheric dialogue. Note Marc Morano is currently going after Michael Oppenheimer for things he said two decades ago. this isn’t helpful, and arguably unfair. It was generally agreed that Oppenheimer gave a good presentation at AGU on scientists and policy.

      • That’s why I acually liked the post Jeff Id had about botched environmental predictions of the past. They gave the guys whose decades-old quotes they dredged up a chance to respond today, and put things in context. If your advice to policy makers depends on projections on multi-decadal time-scales, then you shouldn’t be shy about standing and delivering when you are asked to “close the loop” a couple of decades hence. Predictions are hard, especially of the future. This is fundamentally about validation. Unfair? Should we take projections seriously or not? Maybe we just need to be more clear about caveats, contingencies and the inevitable unknown unknowns.

      • AnyColourYouLike

        “and don’t forget, peoples opinions change, so dredging up ancient (more than a few years old) things that somebody said really can be detrimental to blogospheric dialogue.”

        Very true.

        Of course, people also have the option to edit offensive name-calling, currently viewable on their blogs, to reflect such a change of mind.

        …but, point taken! I have no interest in pursuing this line and agree with your general comments.

      • Politicians in particular hate being reminded of what they said previously.
        ;)

  6. Brandon Shollenberger

    I admit I was pleasantly surprised to see my name mentioned in a blog post (in the first sentence, no less). However, I have to point out there is no “c” in my name.

  7. Despite exhortations to the contrary, many exchanges in this blog and elsewhere will probably reflect the desire of the participants to win an argument rather than arrive at an accurate understanding of the subject.

    Winning has its obvious appeal. It is ego gratifying, and it confers the impression, probably illusory, that the “winner” will have converted others to his or her views.

    I formerly tried to win blogosphere arguments more often than I do now (although I lapse from time to time). I have reformed for two reasons. First, winning, despite the potential ego gratification, cannot be guaranteed unless one has the last word. The impossibility of assuring oneself of the last word has, unfortunately, not discouraged many of us from trying – to the point where the columns of reply upon reply narrow to the width of single letter (Judy has truncated the reply functions to avoid that here).
    As a result, I have lately tended to protect my ego more by making my original comments more tentative, thereby acknowledging up front the possibility that a different opinion might need to be reconciled with my thinking.

    Perhaps more important, I have concluded that “winning” probably has little chance of converting anyone to my point of view. It seems to me that the actual participants in blogosphere disagreements rarely admit “losing”, but beyond that, I have no reason to believe that even bystanders are necessarily converted simply because one participant appears to mount an argument superior to that of an adversary. Most “bystanders” probably have their own opinions already, and even those few who are genuinely interested in arriving at valid conclusions are likely to be more impressed by a combination of logic, informative content from reputable sources, and a respectful attitude, than by attempts to demolish someone else’s position. Indeed, snark, mockery, and contempt tend to alienate, and so those who invoke these weapons may lose the battle for bystander acceptance even when their position is in truth the superior one.

    Having laid down these precepts, I hope no-one actually judges me by them . I can’t find the exact quote, but as the late great Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once remarked in response to criticism that he often failed to heed his own advice, “My role is that of a signpost – to point the way to a destination without actually going there myself”.

    • At this point, directly below my comment are those by Steven, Craig Loehle, and Derecho64. Would it be unreasonable of me to suggest, in the spirit of both New Year’s resolutions and the theme of this post – netiquette – that we direct comments peripheral to that theme to other threads? All the questions raised have already been addressed elsewhere. They may deserve further discussion, but it seems to me that the venues for that already exist.

      • Fred, my comment was exactly on topic since ignoring opposing arguments violates the rebuttal principle. Your comment regarding if you care about winning or not I’m not so sure about. That was probably way off topic but I am too polite to mention it. Also, adressing is a rather strange term to use when describing the responses I recieved to my arguments. I recall no responses at all to my question regarding how much of recent warming would have to be attributed to previous forcings and the only response I received to the stratosphere question was your’s. No offense but describing what may affect temperatures is not exactly the same as an attribution. I do recall inviting you to post the pertinent portions of the paper you felt constituted an attribution, however I recall no portions of the paper being posted. I agree that this is not an appropriate thread to argue these topics in depth. It was exactly the right thread to bring up the fact that a proper rebuttal to the arguments had never been given. I’m suprised you failed to see the logic of the posting.

    • Fred, nice post. for some reason, i don’t care much about winning arguments, i like the dialogue and maybe learning something. your measured and thoughtful posts are far more effective here than the snarkiers ones.

    • Fred, just wanted to say that I appreciate your posts. I am a dead-center LukeWarmer. IMO there are enough possible outcomes, that both “sides” could end up being right. But in the end, you are succintly right, your arguments will likely not change anothers opinion, but they can have an effect of making us look at the other “side” more honestly. And for that I thank-you.

  8. Happy new year everyone. For my new years resolution I have decided to continue to wait for answers to the following questions:

    Where is the attribution that explains the lack of cooling in the stratosphere for the last 15 years?

    If there is a long ocean lag time then how much of the current warming must be attributed to previous forcings and should not be included in the short term sensitivity of recent forcings?

  9. Craig Loehle

    An example of some of these fallacies is the argument that it is “just physics” and that if you disagree you are simply ignorant. Take fire, as an example. Combustion is well-understood (as physics), and in controlled circumstances (internal combusion engine) is quite predictable–however, wildfire behavior is very unpredictable and still very poorly simulated. It is still “just physics”.

    • Considering the difficulties some people have with the basics (go to scienceofdoom for many examples), starting even with the basics is difficult. When folks reject certain theories/laws/axioms, often from a lack of understanding, going further is impossible.

      • David L. Hagen

        D64 again manages to commit the ad hominem fallacy three times in two sentences, by
        1) attributing ignorance
        2) claiming others reject the foundations of the scientific method, and
        3) lack of understanding;
        – all without evidence.
        http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

        He fails to recognize the growing evidence of a lack of statistical correlation between temperature and anthropogenic CO2. e.g. See:

        Paul Cesar Soares Warming Power of CO2 and H2O: Correlations with Temperature Changes
        International Journal of Geosciences, 2010, 1, 102-112 doi:10.4236/ijg.2010.13014

        Soares shows a greater correlation of CO2 lagging temperature than leading it. See Fig. 13.
        http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperDownload.aspx?FileName=IJG20100300002_69193660.pdf&paperID=3447

      • actually I thought that post by D64 showed relative restraint. the comment wasn’t very useful, but not violating any guidelines. a general comment like that doesnt’ qualify as ad hom, IMO.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks for the perspective on “relative restraint”.

      • I mentioned SoD because there are a few people there who still claim that the “greenhouse effects” violates the laws of thermodynamics. SoD has tried time and again, offering simpler and simpler problems, to show them that they’re wrong, but they simply refuse to acknowledge their error.

        There are still “skeptics” who claim that the earth isn’t warming; that CO2 measurements are incorrect; that climate scientists ignore the sun; that any warming is a mere artifact of either processing or deliberate deception; that volcanoes emit more CO2 than we do; and a whole laundry list of other (to be generous) misconceptions.

        The interplay between CO2 isn’t simple cause-and-effect, or a straightforward correlation – and climate scientists *know* *that*!

        I’ve yet to see a whole lot of “science” from “skeptics” that hasn’t at least been looked at by the climate science community. If the “skeptics” are to be believed, they’re discovering new and amazing things almost hourly. That’s ridiculous.

      • Simple. Ignore the ridiculous!

      • “If the “skeptics” are to be believed, they’re discovering new and amazing things almost hourly. That’s ridiculous.”

        LOL. Here is something that is ridiculous:
        http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

      • Gives me a laugh every time. Thanks JAE. :)

      • “There are still “skeptics” who claim that the earth isn’t warming; that CO2 measurements are incorrect; that climate scientists ignore the sun; ”

        1) The Earth isn’t warming, and hasn’t been since 2003 when the oceans started to cool as empirically shown by ARGO data. Less energy coming in than going out; Simples. Surface temperature will continue to fluctuate up and down as the oceans burp excess energy out into the atmosphere however.
        2)Co2 measurements are incorrect; the way antarctic ice core data is spliced to direct atmospheric observations is just one more hokey stick.
        3)Climate scientists do ignore the sun, by downplaying just how little we know about its modes of variability, how poor our measurement of its long term changes are, and how variation in its various emitted wavelengths affects atmospheric chemistry as well as insolation at the surface.

        There are”warmists” who deny these simple truths however, D64 being just one among many.

      • We’ve already addressed all these claims by “skeptics”, and they’re incorrect.

        I’m not going to rehash the same arguments over and over again.

      • “We’ve already addressed all these claims by “skeptics”, and they’re incorrect”

        WOW! That is about as LAME as arguments can get. I think you have violated several of the New Year’s Resolutions already. LOL

        Truth be told, the Warmistas have a really big hangover in 2011, and aspirin is not going to help. They desperately need some empirical medicine. But, sadly, they will not get it. I feel so sorry for them :-)

      • Then **Skeptical Science** is your friend:

        #3 is “It’s the Sun, stupid”:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

        #2 is “CO2 measurements are suspect”:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-measurements-uncertainty.htm

        #1 is left as an exercise to the reader.

      • Yeah, and I surmise that you also BELIEVE that all the current cold (and attendant deaths) in both hemispheres is due to global warming/climate change/climate disruption/or whatever Orwellian name can be conjured next. LOL. YOU, sir, are joining the ranks of a LOT of really DESPERATE folks who thought (and hoped) that we had the perfect storm of envionmental doomsday (and a way to really rob the public, enact “social justice,” spread the wealth, etc., etc.)—only to find out that the public is on to your “game.” They LOST, man! Maybe just because of the economy (and probably the grace of God), you and your ilk are now laughing stocks in the eyes of the public! And I don’t feel sorry for you at all!

        Actually, I really believe that they lost because the general public is way smarter than the Marketing Community (NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, Guardian, etc.) think.

      • Join the bandwagon!

      • JAE and I aren’t ‘joining a bandwagon’. We helped build and uncover the evidence over the last years. Others are joining us because they can see we are right.

      • JAE’s main argument looks like a call to join the bandwagon. The usual “we won, you lost, get over it” refrain.

        Prophecies and revelations about public opinion do not count as arguments.

      • Latimer Alder

        Much hilarity – and quite a lot of well-justified anger at the Warmists expense in The Telegraph today

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8235283/As-we-count-the-cost-of-the-freeze-Government-prepares-for-global-warming.html

        Once ridicule walks up the front path, credibility slimks away by the window.

      • andrew adams

        “For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This too is meaningless.”

        Ecclesiates 7:6

      • D64:
        “I’m not going to rehash the same arguments over and over again.”

        I hope that’s a new year resolution you’ll stick to. ;-)

      • I remember most of my thermodynamics coursework.
        There is nothing ‘basic’ about advanced thermodynamics.

        Even Wiki has mis-statements about the second law of thermodynamics after more then 500 revisions.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics
        heat can spontaneously flow from a higher-temperature region to a lower-temperature region, but not the other way around.

        I’m sure I can find some physics for non-majors textbooks that state the same thing as wiki.
        IIRC the correct thermodynamics law is-
        Heat radiates equally in all directions and the resulting net flow will be from hot to cold.

        Many,many people have been taught the ‘simplified’ laws of thermodynamics. It’s harder to un-teach something taught incorrectly then teach something right in the first place.

        Dr Curry, being the fine educator she is knows that to start teaching someone effectively you need to first determine what is it they know.

        If you have an environment where people are criticized or censored for expressing ‘what they know’ then you can’t educate.

  10. I was a lawyer for a quarter century and as those years drifted by I came to more and more automatically argue my cases by those rules — they are efficient and they so much help in avoiding personal animosity between lawyers (wh0 afterall, must work with and against each other over the span of a career — think of the energy people waste in needlessly despising professional opponents). I wish I had learned those principles in law school (or perhaps they tried to teach them but I was too young to appreciate their value).

  11. “curryja | January 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm | your future efforts to minimize inflammatory language and provide arguments will be greatly appreciated. the fact that you represent an underrepresented viewpoint here is why I have been more than tolerant, but please tone down the inflammatory language. Its not just about thin skins, its about trying to have a serious discussion here based on evidence and arguments and other information and opinions.”

    I have posted this seperately for one reason. Judith you say “the fact that you represent an underrepresented viewpoint here”. Fred Moolton, to whom this was addressed, is clearly a proponent of CAGW. So, on this blog, the proponents of CAGW are “underrepresented”. I wonder why. Dr. Curry is clearly a supporter of CAGW. She introduces the subjects, and we merely comment. I suspect the reason why the proponents of CAGW are underrepresented is because they dont have much science on their side.

    When one gets a blog as good as the one Judith has created, where the playing field is level, and where each side gets to present it’s case in a proper scientific manner, I suspect the skeptics will win over the proponents of CAGW most of the time.

    • “blog” is not synonymous with “proper scientific manner”.

    • Jim – Regarding your statement to Dr. Curry – ” I have posted this seperately for one reason. Judith you say “the fact that you represent an underrepresented viewpoint here”. Fred Moolton, to whom this was addressed, is clearly a proponent of CAGW”

      Actually, her remark was not addressed to me. In addition, I am not “a proponent of CAGW”. In fact, I am very much opposed to CAGW, as I am to all other catastrophes. Less facetiously, Jim, and in the spirit of this post, I do object to having the term “CAGW” attributed to my views, because it misrepresents them. I remain concerned about potential adverse effects of continued warming, for reasons that deserve to be expanded on elsewhere. However, I see the term “Catastrophic” as something of a strawman, and if we want to preserve rational discussion, I think we need to respond to what someone else has actually claimed, even if it is easier to refute something he or she has not claimed.

      • That comment of mine was addressed to D64, not to Fred.

      • Sorry about the mistake in attribution. With respect to CAGW. I agree that AGW is real. When you add CO2 to the atmosphere, global temperatures will rise. What I object to is the claim that this rise will cause damage to the world. Whether “catastrophic” is the right word to moderate AGW, I dont know. I did not invent the term. But we need an expression that states that we agree with AGW, but disagree with the idea that the change in the global temperature will be dangerous. Would you prefer D(angerous)AGW?

      • As Schneider would say, “catastrophic” and “dangerous” are value judgments.

        Can we separate out the value judgments from the science?

      • I’m inclined to agree, and in fact, the term “dangerous anthropogenic interference” (DAI) appears in the climate research literature. My only concern is the ambiguity inherent in the term “dangerous”. To me, a danger implies the potential for harm, but not the certainty – e.g., it is “dangerous” to drive at high speed on icy roads in bad weather, but you might escape unscathed.

        With that caveat in mind, and with an understanding that “dangerous anthropogenic interference” (or “dangerous global warming”) opens the discussion to evidence on the magnitude of the danger, I see these terms as acceptable. I would be willing to defend the concept of DAI without being characterized as claiming that catastrophe or even near-catastrophe are inevitable. For accuracy, I also wouldn’t claim that catastrophic consequences are outside the realm of plausibility.

      • Re dangerous climate change, see my previous post here

    • “I suspect the reason why the proponents of CAGW are underrepresented is because they dont have much science on their side.”

      That’s a rather unsupported belief. Perhaps they don’t consider this place to be worth their time.

      • D64 writes “That’s a rather unsupported belief. Perhaps they don’t consider this place to be worth their time.”

        I agree. I would like to see a discussion as to why the underrepresentation is happening. This blog seems to have attracted many well known skeptics, but very few proponents of ?AGW. I would like to know why.

      • Because blogs are only a middleman – why bother with the extra time and effort when the literature is where the science is at? Posting links may be useful, but isn’t necessarily efficient given finite time, effort, and patience.

      • Richard S Courtney

        D64:

        You ask:
        “why bother with the extra time and effort when the literature is where the science is at?”

        The answer to that is simple.
        The public pay for the “science” and the “science” will be curtailed if that funding stops. Hence, it is in their own interest for those receiving the funds to engage with the public.

        However, few of them are willing to engage with the public except through publicity releases or via propogandist and highly moderated web sites. They shy from open debate with their critics and are always soundly trounced when they do get involved in such debates.

        A Lacis and Chris Colose have attempted to engage on this blog but have made bold assertions that they have failed to substantiate when challenged. If their contributions to this blog are a guide then it is obvious what the true reason is for their colleagues not contributing here.

        Richard

      • If you want to replace the literature with the kinds of shouting matches most prevalent on blogs, woe to our posterity.

        Winning debate points isn’t the same as increasing our knowledge. I’ll let you figure out which matches blogs and which matches the literature.

      • Richard S Courtney

        D64:

        You say:
        “If you want to replace the literature with the kinds of shouting matches most prevalent on blogs, woe to our posterity.”

        Then please, please, please stop your conduct of “shouting matches” on this blog. It lowers the tone.

        And you seem unaware of the logical fallacy of ‘appeal to authority’. The “literature” may or may not be correct: in the long term it will almost all be proved wrong to some degree because that is the nature of science.

        The purpose of discussion – on blogs and elsewhere – is to evaluate ideas some of which are in “the literature”. Discussion does not consists of making arrogant assertions then expacting others to disprove the assertions.

        Richard

      • Courteny is correct in my opinion. You rarely see one of the “believers” engaging a skeptic in a public forum. There is probably a reason for that, hey D64?

      • Latimer Alder

        I wonder if that model ‘the literature is where the science is at?’ is itelsf crumbling round the edges.

        It wasn’t that long ago (in Victorian times) that ‘science’ was discussed and dissected in public debate rather than just on the few journals then available. I’m thinking of the Royal Institution lectures where Faraday demonstrated his work on electricity, and most especially of the great debates about evolution in Oxford
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1860_Oxford_evolution_debate

        It was only the widening of the geographical range of the participants to all parts of the globe that required the discussion to proceed at the rate at which paper could be printed and transported and replies delivered by ‘snail mail’.

        Hence the current belief among some that ‘the published literature’ is ‘the place where the science is at’. If this were solely the case then scientists wouldn’t feel the annual need to gather together for conferences where new work can be presented face-to-face and to garner public comments and questions.

        But the internet and the blogosphere have effectively removed the limitations of geography and time that the Victorians faced. Surely in time the paper-based literature and its ponderous and exclusive debates – with the power firmly held by editors and reviewers – will need to respond and we will move back towards a quicker far more inclusive and far more interactive discussion format..much more akin to Huxley standing on his hind legs to make the case for evolution.

        It may not be here quite yet, but I”d venture to suggest that in ten years, maybe even within five, the proposition that ‘the literature is where the science is’ will be held to be exclusively true only by the most die-hard and conservative climatologist.

        The rest of the world will have moved on.

      • Latimer;
        You’re too generous. For “die-hard and conservative” substitute “debased and confused”. Both of those will be required to stay with the shambles by then.

      • Latimer Alder

        Why are the Alarmists not participating?

        Because the leading proponents are not ‘match fit’. They have spent too long seemingly secure in their own little world..isolated behind their own trusted gatekeepers and playing to the home crowd that an outing onto ‘away ground’ frightens the living daylight sout of them.

        Instead they send the ‘useful idiots’ to gague the quality of the opposition. And persistent though the Reserves 2nd XI are, they are being bashed up pretty badly.

        Having been told by their leaders to expecct nothing more than knuckle-dragging Big Oil funded deniers and creationists who can think no further than their next pay cheque dripping in the blood of dead polar bears and and the anguished tears of Mother Gaia as her heart is ripped from her bosom by the ignorant hordes whipped into a frenzy by that crazed Canuck Steve McIntyre and worshipping at the apostate churches of Judith Curry and Bishop Hill, they have had a very nasty surprise as they confront the real oppoistion, not the imaginary bogeymen of Mann’s Received Wisdom.

        So where are they now? The ‘leaders’ of the Cult? Like all poor leaders thay have disappeared when the heat is on (or off as the current weather has shown). With a new Congress going to ask some searching questions, public belief in AGW declining as fast as the low temperature records and the abject failures of both Copenhagen and Cancun, they have read the writing on the wall and dedicated their lives to saving their careers. Sacrificing their friends to save their skins.

        It almost makes me feel sorry for the useful idiots that have been so well duped. But only ‘almost’.

      • Latimer, did you actually read any of the links in the New Year’s resolution post? This is EXACTLY the kind of post with inflammatory words that we don’t need.

      • Latimer Alder

        Hi Judith

        You are of course absolutely right. On rereading my remarks they were expressed needlessly intemperately and unpleasantly.

        I sincerely apologise to you and to all your readers and hope to return to a higher standard of work after a short midwinter break.

        Thanks again for creating this fine place for discussion and debate.

        Best Wishes, Latimer

      • But you do. Which of you is wrong?

      • John from CA

        “reason why the proponents of CAGW are underrepresented”

        You’re not going to like this response but its worth pointing out and is data driven. Surveys related to USA citizens who believe Global Warming is a significant issue are predominately Democrats. Less than 40% of Independents, Republicans, and Tea Party Republicans feel its an issue or feel the science is even sound.

        The “movement” missed the window of opportunity soon to be further undermined by 20+ years of cooling.

        If the “Climate Realists” would just dump CO2e we could all achieve 10 times more.

  12. “Ego-Tripping” was a fairly good wording from the early 70’s

    Myself- just trying to show an understanding of what is in my head and NOT that I may be smarter than the next person attitude.

  13. I note that whoever composed the rules couldn’t resist dropping in codewords: “such as antiscience advocates,”, “antiscience proponents, and in particular creationists”. The rules would be unaffected and unharmed by simply deleting them. Which is always a good indicator that they were driven by other motives.

    Both the courts and the realities of access to resources dictate more of the “debate/war” model than this idealized set of rules/guidelines wishes for. When something’s at stake that you are not prepared to surrender, “all’s fair”. At least, that’s the emotions set and drive.

    I wonder how long it will be till people are objecting/refuting by references to the rules: “Violation of rule #3; inadmissible!”

    :D

  14. typo – ” the emotions’ “

  15. Craig Loehle

    Fred Moulton objected that my comments were OT. I disagree. We are debating/discussing and I gave an example of a nonsequiteur argument. Here is another. AGW theory has a series of propositions or facts, A,B,C…
    Let us say that blog poster NotFred objects to proposition/fact B, perhaps related to hockey sticks or clouds or something. The typical response here (and elsewhere in blog land) by defenders of AGW theory is to NOT answer NotFred but to instead say that the fact of AGW does not depend on B (or is not destroyed by B being false/iffy). But that is not the question. We can only talk about one thing at a time (and even that is difficult). When B is being discussed, it is not relevant what effect B has on the grand theory. Let’s resolve B and then examine A and C and D one by one. At the end, you can assess whether the table still has any legs. This is specifically about debate logic.

  16. What about the annoying labels? For example “Denier” or the even more tortured “Denialist”? For some of us this word has particularly galling associations (which is the reason it is used, I suppose. Strange that adults, some call themselves scientists, need to resort to this.) It is name calling, plain and simple, and generally raises the temperature of the debate. I don’t suppose censorship is called for, but surely it should be dealt with in the netiquette?

    • I agree. Use of such terms indicates fear.

    • stevenmosher

      According to greefyre

      “If one wishes to do away with the term “Denier” the logical and scientific approach would be to show that it is unnecessary, not useful, or is consistently being used inaccurately.”

      1. unnecessary. I prefer the term ‘contrarian’ or ‘the unconvinced’ or ‘the ignorati’ or ‘doubters’ or ‘disbelievers’. Nut actually the term is ENTIRELY un necessary as one doesnt need to over generalize about a motley crew of people who fail to agree with everything climate science says. Does greenfyre really believe that the term is NECESSARY? is it practically necessary? logically necessary? syntatically necessary?, rhetorically necessary? hardly. In fact, its the love of the term greenfyre uses that has thwarted people from thinking CLEARLY about the wide range of ‘dissenters’. whew. I spent a whole paragraph referencing the people greenfyre needs a term for without ever using the term. Language is such a wonderful thing.

      2. Not useful? I suppose the term that racist people use to refer to black people also has some use. It’s useful for expressing hate. Its useful for expressing bigotry. Its useful to shoot one’s self in the foot. The same goes for the term that greefyre would like to keep in the debate. That term has uses. None of them laudable.

      3. Consistent accurate use? hardly. people have used that term with me, with Mcintyre, with Id, with Lucia. The issue with the term is that it is not clear what one as to deny to be subject to the appellation

      In short I’d suggest people not use the term because
      1. there are much more creative alternatives
      2. writing about particular people is more impactful than writing about generalizations.
      3. its use is confused and misapplied. people who use it usually have no idea what it means.

      And if your goal is to be offensive then there are much better choices.

      • Interesting, however

        i) It is a scientific axiom that a difference is a difference only if it makes a difference. A number of people have proposed more specific taxonomies of Deniers & they are of value when that level of precision is desired or required, but it rarely is;

        As such, a generic term that includes all of the subclasses of Denier but still clearly differentiates
        Deniers from Skeptics is necessary, so why not use the correct one?

        iii) Communicating clearly and accurately is laudable Denier vs Skeptic IV: Get a dictionary!.

        Granted it’s an ugly term describing an ugly behaviour, but if misapplied it is simple enough to demonstrate the error, and if it accurately describes someone’s behaviour then maybe the offended party should consider changing their behaviour rather than demanding that it be inaccurately referred to as something that they approve of.

        iii) I can not be held responsible for how others behave. Can you show that I have used it incorrectly? Cite specific instances, giving references.

        My goal is to be accurate and to communicate clearly. I do understand Deniers resent the term, but then alcoholics, fraud artists, abusers, addicts etc all also resent it when they are correctly named for what they are … shall we do away with all of those words as well?

      • Not exactly winning hearts and minds with that statement…

        Is it denial to think the lower end of the IPCC ‘projections’ are more plausible, based on observed evidence? They dare not even call them predictions

      • If by “observed evidence” you mean deliberately cherry picking such short time frames as to constitute normal interannual variation and be completely meaningless as a climate trend which we know statistically must be at least 15 yrs of data, and really you need 30 to have a high degree of confidence, then it obviously would be, wouldn’t it?

  17. let the social grooming commence. I’d have to do a count but i wonder if the number of active participants here has reached Dunbars number yet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

    Judith it would interesting to do a count of comments per individual.

  18. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this recent bit from Judy’s colleagues over at WUWT?

    • Latimer Alder

      If you want to solicit comments about WUWT articles, then surely the best place to go is where (by definition) those interested in such articles congregate.

      And in what way are Anthony Watts and his team – admirable though they are in many ways – colleagues of Judith?

      I do hope this will not provoke a lengthy and unverifiable story about how some nasty blogger once said something you found disobliging………….

      • I’ll keep a scorecard on who, if anyone, can show, if anything, what’s wrong with that post.

        Latimer scores a zero.

      • Latimer Alder

        Whatever.

      • …. and yes, it’s a war. Declared Derecho64
        What we need is a cadre of scientists, well-versed in the nastier aspects of PR, debate, and so on, to take the denialists head-on. No more pussy-footing around. The denialists have taken their shots, time to return fire – and from now on, start lofting shells that they’ll have to answer. Being on one’s back foot all the time is not the way to win a war – and yes, it’s a war. Time to go on offense, instead of playing a weak defense (if at all).
        http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/andrew_bolt_doesnt_know_or_car.php#comment-2261819

      • Let’s put up my entire comment, shall we, radun?

        “I think it’s time for the climate science community to take on the denialists, their blogosphere minions (often one and the same) and the crap “journalists” head on.
        They’ve been trashing the community for years – and ignoring them, or hoping they’ll go away, or that the literature is sufficient, is a big mistake. They aren’t going away, they have far more influence than they should, and they don’t care about the literature.
        What we need is a cadre of scientists, well-versed in the nastier aspects of PR, debate, and so on, to take the denialists head-on. No more pussy-footing around. The denialists have taken their shots, time to return fire – and from now on, start lofting shells that they’ll have to answer. Being on one’s back foot all the time is not the way to win a war – and yes, it’s a war. Time to go on offense, instead of playing a weak defense (if at all).
        Let’s put Plimer, McIntyre, Watts, Monckton, Bolt, Delingpole, and all the other morons, on notice. The science community isn’t going to play it nice anymore. Yes, be honest – but be ruthless and show them for the charlatans, frauds, liars and scum that they are.
        Can you tell I’m pissed? Good!”

      • Where does your proposal lead?

        The only consequence that I can imagine is loosing the credibility much more widely than before. If science cannot win without your tactic, it cannot win.

      • Fire back with the real science, not the nonsense peddled by the folks I listed. At the same time, press them to defend what they’ve claimed – apply strong skeptical pressure to their positions.

        The truth, and the science, will out – no matter how many manufactured “scandals” and other dirty tricks the “skeptics” come up with.

      • Latimer Alder

        There’s no need for sceptics to ‘manufacture’ any scandals. The alarmists are showing themselves to be world class at creating them without our help.

        Living in their own little echo chamber they have no idea of the big wide world out here, and just how pathetic their obsessions are coming to appear. And how little credibility the ‘Trust me, I’m a climate scientist’ line has got left.

      • Your lack of trust in climate scientists would be more credible if you had done some of your own work and discovered that they didn’t deserve trust. As before, your skepticism runs only one way…

      • Latimer Alder

        I don’t need to be a chartered accountant to believe that Bernie Madoff is a fraudster or an elected politician that Al Gore is a little more than a big bag of wind.

        And every time my man Joe Sixpack asks a question and gets a partial, incomplete or snarky answer, my ‘trustmeter’ for climatologists takes another reading.

        And averaging the maximum and minimum readings , then adjusting for my own personal factors as I am entitle to do without explanation (a la climatologist), I observe that the trust is exponentially approaching zero.

      • The irony is that Latimer is predisposed to believing what he hears about climate science and scientists, rather than investigate for himself.

        The additional of Al Gore was a nice touch – a touchstone of sorts for “skeptics”.

      • Do you have an opinion on what levels of CO2/GHG’s that a nation state should be “allowed” to emit? If you were king/queen of the earth, would this be based upon the geographical size of the nation state or its population? What level of CO2 emissions per capita is acceptable to you?

        Given the realities of the planet earth’s nation states, I do not see how the issue is more than one of adaptation to unavoidable changes.

      • AnyColourYouLike

        “Yes, be honest – but be ruthless and show them for the charlatans, frauds, liars and scum that they are.
        Can you tell I’m pissed? Good!”

        D64

        Last week you were complaining about supposed flaming on McIntyre’s blog, including the untrue claim that he tolerates accusations of “fraud” against climate scientists.

        Now, what do we find here from your ethical bloggers handbook? mmmm…”morons”, “frauds”, “liars”, “scum”…

        Dear, oh dear, what ugly language! But it’s justified right!? Because, hey, you’re “pissed”! Of course!

        Y’know, one man’s self-righteous indignation is just another man’s immature bile. But, despite your occassionally amusing rhetorical ducking and diving around here, I think we all know where you really stand now. Wouldn’t you be more comfortable with GreenFyre and his band of merrie juveniles? ;-)

      • There’s a certain favourite amongst “skeptics” who has been shown to be a “charlatan, fraud, liar and scum”. Can you guess whom that might be, ACYL?

      • Latimer Alder

        That’ll be the Al Gore that won the Nobel Prize for

        ‘efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”‘

        along with the IPCC.

        A pretty central figure to the Alarmist cause. Please do not attempt to distance yourselves from his name. That he accepted the award as cited is just An Inconvenient Truth.

      • Al Gore got far more right than wrong. Monckton is practically all wrong. I’ll take Gore over Monckton. Would you take Monckton over Gore?

      • Most issues are complicated. People cannot make judgment on which claim is right based on real merits of the claim. Choosing to use the same aggressiveness makes it impossible to build even gradually more trust in own claims however superior they are.

        We do not need very many people who talk in name of science aggressively and presenting claims in a simplified fashion where the complications and uncertainties are kept hidden to give the opponents sufficiently tools to maintain equal status in public argument. I know that there are no efficient ways, but all science gets damaged from your proposed way, not only climate science.

      • How does honesty damage science? It’s precisely the *dishonesty* practiced by “skeptics” that needs to be countered with the facts and evidence. For one thing, “uncertainty” does not mean “ignorance”, which “skeptics” conflate *all* *the* *time*.

      • all the time? are all taking the same positions? you seem to be reading different positions than I do.

      • I’ve yet to see a “skeptic” show that they understand the difference between “uncertainty” and “have no clue”.

      • Full honesty presented in a non-flammatory way and with full openness on uncertainties does not damage science. Aggressive attacks against wrong claims may, however, do a lot of damage. Reading carefully statements by various academies and scientific organizations reveals that they are worried about the consequences of the “war on climate science”. They are worried largely because of the way some of the climate scientists and some non-scientist who speak for science present their arguments although the opposition is also contributing to the worries.

      • What about your hero, Al Gore?
        Millions of people saw him on TV tell us that the interior of the Earth a couple of kilometres down is, “several million degrees”.
        Where were all the howls of derision from your lot there?

      • Peter317 – yes

        Al Gore is our Christopher Monckton. Both sides have them. Non-scientist propogandists willing to distort the truth to support their position. I’ve not yet seen any credible scientist stand up and support Gore’s view. Skeptics keep trotting him out as if he is some sort of hero to the AGW camp – he isn’t.

        What’s your view of Christopher Monckton?

      • Gore isn’t my “hero” – and that one error of his doesn’t begin to compare to the deliberate “misstatements” (lest I step on a banned word) of Monckton, Carter, Plimer, Watts, et.al.

      • Louise, if and when Monckton comes out with a similar howler, I’ll (try to) be the first to point it out.
        Neither Gore nor Monckton are scientists – I’ll give you that – and even scientists make mistakes.
        But that ‘mistake’ was akin to asserting that the Moon is made of green cheese – even a schoolboy knows better.
        It wasn’t a ‘mistake’, it was a display of woeful ignorance for a man in his position.

      • Latimer Alder

        Was I supposed to notice some significant difference?

        Apart from a boiler plate ranting content-free alarmist preamble, that even I could have knocked together in 10 minutes for a Private Eye competition , it says exactly the same.

        Or did I miss a nugget hidden away there?

      • The word “honest”. One thing “skeptics” just don’t traffic in.

    • We’ve seen Don Easterbrook held up as a credible source for the science; certainly this analysis of his needs to be treated with the same skepticism as those from the “warmists”, does it not?

    • I do not have any colleagues over at WUWT that I know of, other than Roger Pielke Sr who has posted there a few times.

      • I figured that Anthony Watts, Willis Eschenbach, Steve Goddard (though not of late), Don Easterbrook, and the others (some of whom you’ve referenced) over at WUWT could be considered “colleagues” in a reasonably broad sense, Judy. WUWT is one of the most (if not *the* most) popular “science” blogs out there, and all the climate science bloggers are part of one big family, aren’t they?

      • stevenmosher

        By that logic Gavin would be Watt’s colleague. You try to use the term colleague to denigrate Judith. You seem to value honesty, show some and explain what was going through your head when you used the term.

        BTW easterbrook’s piece is pretty bad. One doesnt even know where to start.

      • I was merely giving the credibility to Easterbrook and WUWT that Judith had already granted.

      • stevenmosher

        be honest D64. What was going through your head. You were not trying to give credibility to easterbrook. You know full well he is wrong. You were thinking, ‘these guys are full of crap’ so I will call them judy’s collegues and some people may think she is full of crap.

        You’ve given two explanations for your meaning, neither of which holds water and neither of which is congruent with the persona you display here. And neither of which is consistent with your admonition to others to be honest. Now, grow a pair, admit that it was a attempt at a slam and move on.

      • Pointing out that WUWT far too often hosts, with accolades, “science” that is, shall we say, “mistaken”, ought to give readers here pause as to the value and credibility of WUWT. Since Judy has made it one of her missions with this blog the “bridge building” she believes necessary between the “skeptic” blogosphere and the climate science community, highlighting an example of the dross may make some people reconsider if the exercise has any value. Considering that Don Easterbrook has been glowingly referenced here, pointing out a particularly good example of his “analysis” may open some eyes.

      • Latimer Alder

        Is there anything preventing the ‘climate science community’ from setting up their own website and hoping to attract a similar number of readers?

        In the open world of the blogosphere, barriers to access are near negligible.

        But sites who set up strong barriers to open commentary and insist on adherence only to a particular viewpoint tend to be less popular than more inclusive ones.

      • “Popular” != “good”. Witness WUWT.

      • That post of Don Easterbrooks does raise an interesting point in light of the recent crystallisation of the “code of conduct” here.

        In that post, Easterbrook repeats something that is blatantly untrue, and that he *must* have known was untrue when compiling his original piece many months ago, and if not beforehand certainly after the incorrect claims were pointed out to him at the time, and before this new article was published. These untruths I have pointed out in the comments, as have (to their credit) a few other commenters, to little avail.

        Now, in the interests of scrupulous politeness I try and refrain from calling anybody anything that might derail a discussion or provide an excuse to deviate from points of substance. But at what point does it become justified to refer to the repetition of a known falsehood – whose purpose can only be to mislead – as a “lie”, or the perpetrator a “liar”? When does such an epithet move from empty abuse to a statement of well-supported fact? In the quest for a polite and reasonable discussion at all costs would the issue of a blatant lie go undiscussed?

      • You hit the nail on the head there.

        Perhaps there does come a time when you have to call a spade a bluddy shovel?

      • David L. Hagen

        Dave H.
        Re: “he *must* have known” etc.
        Rather than implying motives, how about providing some facts and objective scientific evaluation with cited sources by which we can evaluate your objections?
        Don Easterbrook is a Professor Emeritus of geology. I expect he knows more about actual geological evidence about previous climate conditions than >>90% of bloggers here.
        I recommend beginning by assuming Easterbrook has good motives and that he has good reason to show the data he does in the way he does, based on his very high familiarity with geological data.
        See #5 The Principle of Charity
        Easterbrook’s home page. http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/

      • Easterbrook’s very first sentence is incorrect given the subject of global temperature.
        “1934 has long been considered the warmest year of the past century.”

        1934 was the warmest year only in the CONUS, not globally. Apparently he’s made this “error” before, had it pointed out to him, and yet he continues to make it. At what point does repeating a shown-wrong error become deception, David?

      • You obviously didn’t read as far as his third sentence then, which says: “Since then, NASA GISS has “adjusted” the U.S. data for 1934 downward and 1998 upward” (my bold)

      • 1934 has no relevance in the context of global temperatures, so why does Easterbrook mention it? The entire rest of his article is about global temperature, except that he keeps using Greenland temps.

        Overall, the post is a mess. As some commentors have noted.

      • AnyColourYouLike

        The original point isn’t whether the post is a mess, but whether it is useful in a debate to start calling people liars. You’re swerving again…

      • See also Dave H’s comment.

        At what point can someone be called a liar? Any point?

      • There is no point to calling someone a liar in the context of a scientific argument. Their argument has been refuted, it is not given credence by the mainsream, they made xxx mistake, etc.

      • stevenmosher

        It’s probably better to say that the statement in question is not true. I seriously don’t think anyone who is not willing to stand behind their words with there real name is in any position to question the character of others.

      • I used my real name at one time. All it got me was grief when certain individuals couldn’t take being shown incorrect and decided to take the low road in retaliation.

      • I have no problem with anonymice. You would be amazed at the number of academics and govt employees posting here under the initials or a pseudonym.

      • stevenmosher

        Judith,

        I have no “problem” with anonymice either. I lend no credibility to their comments on the character of named individuals. So in my book D64 would never be able to call any named individual a liar. That would be an interesting experiment. To some limited extent one of the reasons why facebook kicked the butt of myspace had to do with the huge number of fake, anonymous profiles on myspace and the lack of credibility that engenders. like it or not. but that’s OT.

      • In the old days, one could be online with a real name, a real email address – maybe even a phone number. Today, such openness is dangerous and naive, especially when there are those who exploit honesty for their own dishonest ends. Playing by the rules of decency and fairness doesn’t work so well when someone decides to be indecent and unfair and deceitful. Getting taken advantage of is unpleasant, but educational. Fool me once and all that…

      • stevenmosher

        Sorry D64 I’m not buying that you have ever been public on the web. And I’m not buying the danger angle. I witness your inability to be completely candid WRT the “Judy’s collegues” statement and I would discount anything you say about yourself.

      • I’m not going to replay the whole sorry story. Once was enough. Safe to say I’ve been public on the web since before there was a web – no longer, because there are too many folks who play games with honesty. I don’t need the distraction and annoyance.

      • Look, I’ll just refer you to this comment of mine:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/28/2010%E2%80%94where-does-it-fit-in-the-warmest-year-list/#comment-561936

        That sums up my basic problem with the post and my irritation with credulous knee-jerk acceptance. He’s presented this graph before and got called out on it, which in my book means he did this knowingly. Again – if you want to talk substance, take it up there (which is what I did, with only minor impact).

      • randomengineer

        I’m going to be point blank blunt here. If I were a fence-sitter and looking merely at personalities, what you and d64 display would sway me to being more sympathetic to the skeptic side.

        Clearly Easterbrook’s words and graphs are showing that warm is more prevalent than cold. Just as clearly the past 95 years is of ABSOLUTELY ZERO relevance to the larger picture.

        The fact that you elect to make this specious, nitpicking, largely irrelevant argument and are vocal enough about it to imply dishonesty to the point of deliberate lie reveals more about **YOU** than Easterbrook’s paper. The nitpicking about 1934 is also absurd. 1934 was warm. It matters little if it were the warmest year or the 10th warmest. That he seems to think it was the warmest isn’t meaningful and doesn’t change anything regarding the larger picture.

        Pouncing on a finer point that refutes an argument is well and fine, but this isn’t what you are doing. You have refuted nothing. You have only shown that you’re willing to pick at some irrelevancy and then pronounce Easterbrook as the loser. Winning the battle and losing the war is the modus operandi of lesser intellects.

      • Random:
        Hammer, meet nail head.
        That rates a +10.

      • randomengineer

        Brian H — you misunderstand. In keeping with the intent of this thread I’m saying that the approach and snark etc would set off my BS meter. What the graphs show vs what the detractors are carping about suggests that the unreasonable party here is the detractors.

        Example 1: Let’s assume that you’re looking at a blog post about a subject you have absolutely no expertise in, something that seems to be important for obscure political reasons but otherwise is utterly boring. Who seems right? Shrill, screeching detractors? NO.

        Example 2: Look at the greenfrye postings on this thread and the other new thread re christians. Attack after attack on Dr Curry. Being a normal human with no real stake in this, my conclusion is that the shrill and screeching greenfrye is utterly wrong. Why? Discovery and creation are difficult. Sniping and fault finding is easy, nothing different than what aboriginal primates did 20 million years back — feces slinging.

        Slinging s**t takes no talent. Everyone knows this. People are always going to be disposed to assuming that the calm argument is correct.

      • Random;
        Sorry, I was too cryptic. I meant that your comment hit the nail precisely on the head, and was altogether excellent.

        I hope THAT’S not a misunderstanding of it!

      • > Pouncing on a finer point that refutes an argument is well and fine, but this isn’t what you are doing. You have refuted nothing.

        Easterbrook’s whole point is that ~90% of the last 10k years are warmer than the present day.

        Fine – if you think that “present day” = 1905.

        If OTOH you think that the present day is, well, 2010 (when he wrote the article) then he cannot make the assertion he wants to make and his central argument completely crumbles – just as it did earlier in the year when he made it before. Yet he makes the same argument again.

        The fact that you dismiss pointing out a blatant falsehood that makes the entire article completely wrong as an “irrelevant nitpick” is mindboggling.

        Again, I invite you to go to the actual thread and provide genuine data to support his claim about >9,000 years of the past 10,500 being warmer than 2010, which is *explicitly* what is claimed. When you realise this, you find that – contrary to your claim – the last 95 years are of *huge* relevance when compared to the last 10k years.

        Easterbrook argues that because the temps are way below the median, modern warming is unimportant. I’m saying that precisely because Easterbrook chooses not to include the part of the temperature record which contradicts his argument and shows that modern warming is right at the very peak of any temps reconstructed in the last 10k years, he is being misleading.

        I’m arguing that knowingly presenting grossly misleading data *twice* when it clear you have been told that your assertions can’t be supported may well constitute the crossing of a line, evidentially speaking.

        You seem to be arguing that there’s nothing wrong with the article in the first place.

        There’s a gulf between those two positions I find very hard to fathom indeed if you’re basing your position purely on the data presented. You seem not to be, because you complain most in terms like “shrill” and “snark”.

        This is an issue. I feel that the evidence is so clear cut and convincing that discussion is pretty much unnecessary – it should be obvious. And yet, even in such a clear case of Easterbrook being *wrong* (let alone whether it is deliberate) I have a fight on my hands.

      • I don’t understand how there can be any controversy about Easterbrook. There may be some disagreement about what Easterbrook is claiming exactly about the peak MWP temperature vs. today, but can’t we finesse that disagreement simply by ignoring the last 100 years of “today” and stating up front exactly how much warmer Easterbrook’s graph shows the peak MWP temperature to be than the temperature yesterday, in say 1910?

        If no one including Easterbrook can say what that temperature difference is then your debate is as meaningful as arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, for which there is no hard numerical data either.

        If on the other hand there are precise numbers for the difference between peak MWP and 1910 temperatures, but significant disagreement over which is more accurate, then the search for resolution can be narrowed to that difference.

      • > can’t we finesse that disagreement simply by ignoring the last 100 years of “today” and stating up front exactly how much warmer Easterbrook’s graph shows the peak MWP temperature to be than the temperature yesterday, in say 1910

        > If no one including Easterbrook can say what that temperature difference is then your debate is as meaningful as arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, for which there is no hard numerical data either.

        I addressed this very argument in comments in that thread. If you want to make that assertion, fine – that means you completely disagree with Easterbrook and his entire article, the central thesis of which is to claim 2010 is in the coldest 10% of years in the last 10k. It would be better if people came out and said that, rather than pretending that this is “nitpicking” and that the people with issues are Easterbrook’s critics.

        Easterbrook’s claim that by showing temps warmer than 1905 he is showing temps warmer than today is plainly wrong, and you can argue about how wrong, or in which particular way you want to interpret that wrongness (either that he should include modern temps, or you believe that such a comparison is not possible, or whatever). In any event – *he has been told this is wrong before* for all these reasons. This cannot charitably be chalked up to a mistake.

      • If you made exactly that point then do we or don’t we now have a number for peak MWP minus 1910 (or 1905 or whatever) that Easterbrook would agree to.

        If we do then please say what that number is.

        If we don’t then Easterbrook has no credibility since in that case he’s basing an argument on data he doesn’t even have, which nowadays if not during the MWP is considered extremely bad science.

        I don’t see how anyone can defend science based on absence of data without losing their own credibility.

        Continuing to focus on the fuzzy concept of “today” as you seem to be doing allows Easterbrook to scurry harmlessly around between the fibers of a very fuzzy rug, allowing the argument to continue endlessly.

        Does Easterbrook have such a number or not?

      • > If you made exactly that point then do we or don’t we now have a number for peak MWP minus 1910 (or 1905 or whatever) that Easterbrook would agree to.

        Well you could try eyeballing his graphs, but the last three all have different scales and all give different absolute temperature values, so on that basis alone I’d say his naive comparison with 2010 is fatally flawed.

        That said just looking at the (most detailed) final graph, the Greenland MWP is approx. -30.5C, while 1905 looks to be about about -31.6. So Easterbrook is using a value 1.1C *below* the MWP as his “today” value, and then makes his claim about temperature relative to the last 10k years based on this value, completely ignoring that present temps are about -29 or so, so at least 1.5C *above* the MWP. This is without even starting on his conflation of “Greenland” with “global”.

        > If we don’t then Easterbrook has no credibility since in that case he’s basing an argument on data he doesn’t even have

        This is my point. He was also told about this many months ago, and yet has repeated it again. Which is why I queried the point at which the intent to mislead becomes undeniable from observed actions.

        > Continuing to focus on the fuzzy concept of “today” as you seem to be doing allows Easterbrook to scurry harmlessly around between the fibers of a very fuzzy rug, allowing the argument to continue endlessly.

        What? What’s fuzzy about saying that 2010 is not 1905, and that massive amounts of warming that completely violates his line of argument have been hidden, knowingly? What’s fuzzy about saying that his explicit statement about 2010 being in the bottom 10% of temperatures in the last 10k years is the exact opposite of the truth and not supported by *any* data presented?

        The only reason this continues endlessly is the unwillingness of most to accept he’s made a massive, massive error (charitably, given that the actions indicate deliberate obfuscation), and the insistence on calling criticism of the interpretation of the presented data as “nitpicking” or “shrill”, and knee-jerk cheerleading of his “demolition” of “alarmism”.

      • Had you just commented on the relevance of 1934 to global temperatures, as you just have, I doubt that anyone would have disagreed too strongly.
        However, you didn’t. You just had to cast aspersions, in order to reinforce your earlier assertions about Easterbrook being deliberately “deceptive”.

      • stevenmosher

        It’s rather nice that people are allowed to say that the post is a mess. Would you agree that anyone who runs a blog who refuses to post a comment that demonstrates an error in the bloggers post should have their honesty questioned? provided that comment is civil and factual?

        of course not. you would not admit to that principle

      • You try to use the term “principle” to denigrate RC.

      • stevenmosher

        Actually, I didn’t have RC in mind. D64 has a problem with trying to hold Skeptics blogs to account. That problem is that virtually all skeptic blogs permit freewheeling comments. The readers of skeptic blogs hold them to account, or more precisely they give the appearence of that. Since the skeptics were told there was no debate, their strategy was simple: host debate. link to your enemies. invite them to post. let them comment.
        Since they were told that a consensus existed, all they had to do was demonstrate that the consensus was constructed, was enforced by the power of publication.
        Now that’s a risky strategy because there will come the time when certain authors of the blog are thrown under the bus ( see Goddard) but even there the strategy of providing a free marketplace of ideas (however stupid) will in general trump the closed debates run by the anonamati.. deep climate, eli rabbit, tamino, etc etc and the controlled debates run by the elite ( RC)

        RC had a great leadership chance and they blew it.

        WUWT basically targets all the flaws in the RC communication strategy and exploits them for all they are worth. For that I blame RC for not understanding how conversation happens on the internet. They saw the blog as a megaphone they controlled.

        RC refuses to link to skeptic sites, so what do you think a professional would suggest that Anthony should do to position his site against them?
        RC bans commenters, how do you position against that?
        RC focuses on peer review science, how do you position against that?
        RC never allows a dissenting view to be published, how to position against that
        RC publishes “finished” work, how do position against that?
        RC is serious, how do you position against that? easy.

        In short, WUWT is almost a picture perfect antithesis of RC. I would add that Anthony also listened to some folks who had years and years of experience running some of the most popular bbs during the dawning of the www. And not some fools at fenton. Not to mention Anthony’s own years of service in professional media.

      • “Skeptic” blogs are more interested in playing to their base than anything else. The science? Naaah. The real issues? Naaaah? Feeding red meat to their fans by doing the oh-so-tired song-and-dance routines? Oh yeah.

      • Steven,

        Yes, but RC moderation. The drill is known. I see one big problem with this woulda-shoulda-coulda analysis. For all I know, RC shoulda-woulda-coulda be more stringent and filter out cheerleading.

        There is no symmetry between RC and WUWT. RC is playing offense. They have the ball. They can’t use their hands to hold their opponents. It’s not their job to air everything.

        However they play their game, you will be able to criticize them. Now, it’s “they don’t let us speak to them.” Next, it would be “they are not listening.” Fabricating failures to communicate is almost trivial matter. Everyone does it: JC here with MT, Tamino with Joliffe. Even Steve does it. Remember the time Ross got tired and told Ritson to shut up and publish? Even tAV simulates moderation: commenters ignore trolling and do not answer everything. In any case, talking about moderation style without talking about traffic and resources leads nowhere.

        Saying “let’s all play open” rests on wishful thinking. If you are about to shame me, you don’t get to see my hand.

        Turn it over to the lawyers.

      • The difference is that RC is funded by the US taxpayer.

      • You’ll note that D64 didnt accept the principle.
        honest discussion. gotta love it. You can actually tell a fair deal about people by their failure to answer direct questions.

      • Williard,

        WRT RC. You still don’t get it.

        “There is no symmetry between RC and WUWT. RC is playing offense. They have the ball. They can’t use their hands to hold their opponents. It’s not their job to air everything.

        However they play their game, you will be able to criticize them. Now, it’s “they don’t let us speak to them.” Next, it would be “they are not listening.” Fabricating failures to communicate is almost trivial matter. ”

        1. RC is playing offense? Err that was a choice not a necessity. In fact by having such high profile people lead the blog they put the A team at risk. VERY POOR CHOICE in strategy.

        2. It’s not their job to air everything? Whoever suggested such a thing. There is a better tactical approach than that, please.

        3. However they play their game I will be able to criticize them? trivially true. That amounts to saying there is no perfect strategy. One doesnt make the impossibility of a perfect strategy the EXCUSE for a boneheaded one.

        Do you actually review your arguments to think of potential counterpoints or do you just write what comes to mind?

        Finally, I’m not suggesting symmetry between RC and WUWT. I’m EXPLAINING what the RC strategy had to do ( HISTORICALLY) with the development and refinement of the WUWT strategy. I’m explaining in marketing terms the kinds of things that drove product differentiation.
        This has nothing to do with the scientific merit. nothing.

      • Moshier,

        Thank you for pointing me out what I do not get. Sometimes, I have problems accounting for my own thoughts. By chance you’re there.

        1. RC is the establishment. So they have the ball. So they carry the ball forward. So they try not to fumble it too much. (I can concede that they did fumble the ball, and more than once.)

        When you have the ball, your job is not to move the ball forward, that is, to play offense. This might not be in the rules of the game, but it’s part of the overall point to play the game. Playing offense is not a strategy, but a role. My guess is that you’re conflating RC’s role with their editorial choices.

        2. Your (historical) explanation of WUWT clearly portrays RC’s editorial choices as bad. Most of your criticisms of these choices relate to your usual mantra: free the code, free the data, open the debate. To satisfy that, it seems to me that you’re telling us that they shoulda-woulda-coulda “air everything.” If I am interpreting you wrong, or better if you have specific suggestions regarding RC’s editorial practices, please tell them.

        3. I was not appealing to a perfect strategy, but underlying the fact that your alleged (historical) explanation was your way to talk about what you consider “boneheaded” RC’s editorial choices. Not only that, I was hinting at the fact that you can say that over and over and over again. Mindframing “yes but RC moderation” is a way to market memes, not to discuss.

        4. I know you’re not arguing for a symmetry between the roles. I am underlining the fact that the roles are asymmetric to show that what WUWT’s editorial choices would-should-could not make any sense if we’re to apply them to RC. So your (historical) explanation, even if we’re to be charitable and consider that you are litterally talking about that (and not for instance using this conversation to hammer the “yes but RC moderation” ringtone) cannot leave you with any constructive conclusions. At the very least, you have yet to told them, if that were your communication objective.

        5. Finally, you’re quite right to say that this has nothing to do with scientific merit. Please tell us how this is supposed to be relevant to this discussion.

      • Some people use context, I guess you are one who does not.

      • > how about providing some facts and objective scientific evaluation with cited sources by which we can evaluate your objections

        Essentially, it is false to say your graph says anything about 2010 when you truncate it at 1905, but I suggest you take discussion of the substantive points to the thread itself, where the objections have been raised in detail, rather than pretending they don’t exist. Continuing here is off-topic (when I’d made an attempt to bring it back).

        RE: principle of charity – this was my point. When does charity essentially become naivety or credulousness? How far does someone have to go to clearly no longer deserve the charity you leap to afford in this case?

      • If I’m not mistaken, Andy Lacis also joined a discussion there following his paper in Science with Gavin Schmidt. I believe though that he finds Climate Etc. more hospitable because this site encourages more in the way of discussion and less in the way of condemnation, although the latter has a way of intruding even here, as evidenced by comments in this and other threads.

      • Steven Mosher

        “1. RC is the establishment. So they have the ball. So they carry the ball forward. So they try not to fumble it too much. (I can concede that they did fumble the ball, and more than once.)

        When you have the ball, your job is not to move the ball forward, that is, to play offense. This might not be in the rules of the game, but it’s part of the overall point to play the game. Playing offense is not a strategy, but a role. My guess is that you’re conflating RC’s role with their editorial choices.
        ##########################
        no, I am arguing that their editorial choices didnt help them in the role they were playing. basic.

        2. Your (historical) explanation of WUWT clearly portrays RC’s editorial choices as bad. Most of your criticisms of these choices relate to your usual mantra: free the code, free the data, open the debate. To satisfy that, it seems to me that you’re telling us that they shoulda-woulda-coulda “air everything.” If I am interpreting you wrong, or better if you have specific suggestions regarding RC’s editorial practices, please tell them.

        Bad? no. lacking foresight, yes. hard to defend? yes. Easy to counterposition. yes.
        Specific suggestions? hehe, I gave those to the web master who would listen. Not just me, of course, but he listened to a few of us who understood what people expected from a conversation on the web.
        I’ll take the numbers he got as proof. No freebies for you or RC.
        But one I mentioned.. very simple. Linking to your opponents.
        early on Anthony wasnt doing that. he took the suggestion and changed.
        RC, still thinks that linking is a form of indorsing. Stupid. Stupid of them not to have a big blogroll, especially say lucia. now, since I mentioned not linking in my comment, how did you miss that as a specific suggestion. Moderation? thank god they finally added the borehole,
        still sub optimal. Now you will note that WUWT moderation has changed over time from what it was in the begining. The style of moderation in the begining was very disciplined. Run by a guy who had years of experience as a neutral figure. .. It works to create a space where all sides come. very sticky. huge engagement time. massive revisits. traction dude. traction. if your role is offense, you need traction.
        see how the editorial choice impacts the role you are playing?

        3. I was not appealing to a perfect strategy, but underlying the fact that your alleged (historical) explanation was your way to talk about what you consider “boneheaded” RC’s editorial choices. Not only that, I was hinting at the fact that you can say that over and over and over again. Mindframing “yes but RC moderation” is a way to market memes, not to discuss
        #########
        It’s more than moderation. And I dont consider them to be bone headed, they are bone headed. I’ll live by the numbers. I’ll compare the numbers of folks who listened against the numbers of folks who didnt and draw my conclusion. What do Judiths numbers look like? do you suppose she went to gavin to ask his advice? or perhaps eli? or mann? or you? I dunno. I divide the world into folks who listen and folks who dont. I note a correlation with traffic.

        4. I know you’re not arguing for a symmetry between the roles. I am underlining the fact that the roles are asymmetric to show that what WUWT’s editorial choices would-should-could not make any sense if we’re to apply them to RC. So your (historical) explanation, even if we’re to be charitable and consider that you are litterally talking about that (and not for instance using this conversation to hammer the “yes but RC moderation” ringtone) cannot leave you with any constructive conclusions. At the very least, you have yet to told them, if that were your communication objective.

        5. Finally, you’re quite right to say that this has nothing to do with scientific merit. Please tell us how this is supposed to be relevant to this discussion

        #########
        the discussion was Judth and WUWT and RC. that was what I was res[onding to

    • I would ask how the O18 ratio was used to measure temperature. The ratio is for measuring ice volume, not to accurately measure temperature.

      What is it you didn’t like?

    • Well, so far, outside of Steve Mosher, no-one has shown that they understand how and why Easterbrook’s analysis is incorrect. A little tribalism at play?

      • Gareth Snowden over at Hot Topic does a good slaughtering of Easterbrook’s latest WUWT post. Tsk, tsk, Don.

      • Could be that you’re the only one here who’s actually bothered?

      • no-one has shown that they understand how and why Easterbrook’s analysis is incorrect.

        Ahem.

        “Today” in the context of the Holocene, which is the epoch in question, could well mean the general period 1800-now, which is surely modern compared to 10,000 BC. If that’s what Easterbrook means by “today” then I don’t see what the problem is with his claim that the MWP was warmer than “today.”

        But how is this notion of “today” relevant to global warming, which did not take off seriously until after 1970?

        Fight warming with warning, and definitions with definitions.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        The problem is that Gareth actually, whose post is linked a couple of comments above, actually bothered to ask what the “present” in BP meant. The answer was clear — “present” meant 1950, so the most recent date in Easterbrook’s post (95 years BP) is 1855. The most recent date in the GISP2 core is about -36 years BP which would be 1986, but it is not included in Alley’s data.

        For those of you who might actually be interested in reality, I highly reccommend Gareth’s post at Hot Topic. It is a rather through fisking of Easterbrook’s claims.

  19. I just spotted this at Omniclimate, Incredibly Accurate Climate Forecast for 2011.

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/incredibly-accurate-climate-forecast-for-2011/

    One of the predictions:
    The nastiest criticisms by rabid AGWers will be thrown in the direction of Curry

    So far, his prediction is right on track

    • David L. Hagen

      Congratulations for raising the issues that have fulfilled that prophecy.
      The saddest prophecy being fulfilled is:

      Elderly people will keep dying of fuel poverty, while the world concerns itself to increase fuel prices in order to reduce CO2 emissions

  20. Greenfrye is obsessed, here is another lengthy post that he just put up

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/myth-making-by-scientific-american/

    • I am by no means generally agreeing with “greenfyre”, but I do agree that Scientific American has a strong bias in its articles towards the position that human released GHG’s are an impending disaster that requires immediate, massive United States action. Sci Am seems like little more than a propaganda rage on the topic

      • Rob,
        You cannot stop an Ice Age.
        They have been occurring naturally for billions of years.
        Ocean have never come close to a boiling moment.
        Atmospheric pressure will not allow it!

      • In case you missed it the first time around, I responded to the Sci Am piece, and there was extensive discussion here, see the thread on Heresy and the Creation of Monsters.

      • I was not referring to a single article by Scientific American, but the general tenor of the publication. IMO, Scientific American has lost all credibility on the topic by consistently publishing articles that “suggest” various negative situations (or those perceived to be by SA) to have been created by AGW.

        Personally, I have learned in reading some of the comments posted here over the last few months. Many of the comments are superficial and meaningless, but many others raise valid points regarding the rate of climate change. (I especially like radiant forcing).

    • hmmm…his obsession is slightly creepy actually.

      • Well, he is trying what Michael Tobis tried a few months ago, trying to build attention for their fledgling blog. MT proudly proclaimed a doubling in his blog’s hits (which are quite low to begin with). Greenfrye is a much better writer than MT, which isn’t saying much. Trashing me is so 2010. Greenfrye et al. and whoever else is trying to build their blog traffic in this way: pls spell my name correctly and make sure you include a link to judithcurry.com.

      • Hi Judith,

        I think this post would probably violate rules 2-4 above. It would also be more fair to link to Tobis’ actual comments.

        Warm regards.

      • Just out of curiosity: JC, how many times a day do you check your blog statistics?

      • If my goal was to build web traffic I would hardly be discussing you Ms Curry. Posts about Ruth Bourdain or Cherl Kerl would give me 1,000 times the traffic for 1/100th the work. With all due respect, as an internet phenomenon you’re really not that interesting. Circumstanitial ad hominem by the way.

        My original hypothesis was that on a blog alleging to discuss science, a field in which providing empirical evidence for every claim is a given, that no matter how often I point out that no one here has substantiated their claims by documenting specifics (as noted,something one should not even have to ask, it should go with the original claim) they would still make no effort to do so.

        Having demonstrated that beyond all doubt, my new hypothesis is that I can openly state that this is what I am up to and they still won’t do it.

        So 2010? well a good thing I am not, and never have been trashing you; I would SO hate to be unfashionable.

        I am merely asking that you provide actual evidence for the claims you have made about me and my writing. Presumably if the various criticisms I documented are indeed false, then it is a simple matter to provide me with a few links that prove your point.

        I look forward to seeing them with eager anticipation.

      • The following words in your post speak for themselves:

        “Being blunt, she is being rude, arrogant, disingenuous and quite probably dishonest.”

      • i) and this is supposedly evidence of?

        ii) That is indeed a quote, and the context for it is that it is a summation of the findings after 7 pages of discussion that reviewed dozens and dozens of posts, including a number of yours.

        Given the evidence provided and discussed in those 7 pages, is it inaccurate? unfair?

        Harsh certainly, and uncharitable perhaps, but wrong? So far no one has provided a shred of evidence suggesting that it is, so like any good empiricist I have to stand by the evidence.

      • { so like any good empiricist I have to stand by the evidence.}

        LMFAROTFP!

        What is evidence for you, is not necessarily evidence for others.

      • Actually refuting any of the post or demonstrating any error with facts would be a far more convincing rebuttal.

        Actually it’s the only convincing rebuttal.

      • randomengineer

        So far no one has provided a shred of evidence suggesting that it is, so like any good empiricist I have to stand by the evidence.

        You’re demanding counterevidence of your opinion.

        Seriously?

      • Had you actually read the piece you would know I document everything that I said, and thereby spared yourself the humiliation of making that comment.

      • Dr. Curry – { Trashing me is so 2010.}

        I am putting the bill in the mail for new keyboard!

        thanx for the laugh.

      • stevenmosher

        Ya think?

      • Creepy? Well IMHO anyone that expends that amount of effort to perform such a character assassination is to say the least a little obsessed and the tone is undoubtedly malevolent. That said, I had not considered the possibility that he is trying to boost the number of hits on his blog. In which case, his behaviour is less creepy and (sadly) more considered. What was your point?

      • i) How is documenting someone’s words and actions , comparing them to demonstrable facts & discussing it, “character assisnation”?

        ii) Thoroughness can also be a sign of wanting to be fair and not make rash judgments based on too little evidence. Some people do that.

        iii) As noted above, there are far more effective ways to boost web traffic; the suggestion is just plain silly in addition to being a circumstantial ad hominem

        iv) Had you considered the possibility that he may simply have been reviewing the facts in an attempt to determine the truth about something? A really bizarre idea I know, but I’m strange that way … maybe even what you would consider “creepy.”

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Thanks for the links GF, especially to “circumstantial ad hominem”! God knows we could use an education in common latin blogging terms around here!

        “Being blunt, she is being rude, arrogant, disingenuous and quite probably dishonest.”

        I think this is an example – can you confirm? I SO want to understand this concept. Please be patient with me. ;)

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Damn, I’ve just got it…that’s “outright abuse” isn’t it?! I knew I should have studied that link closer. I hearby resign from trying to bandy rhetoric with a master such as yourself. I’ll get me coat! Goodbye blogosphere…:(

      • Actually it’s not. An abusive ad hominem is when someone attempts to substitute abuse for logical thought … see most of the responses to my comments on this site for examples of this.

        Where one has provided many pages of documented evidence and arrives at a conclusion, then though the terms may be distasteful, they are not abusive nor an ad hominem.

        Of course if one could demonstrate that the conclusions do not follow logically from the evidence, or that the analysis was flawed, then abuse could be suggested, but again no one here has been able to find any error in either the evidence or my logic, so that’s really just an abstract point.

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Well thanks again GF.

        Actually I was just playing around, having had a couple of glasses of wine last night.

        I just find your whole approach to argument very…er…boring and unimaginative. You sound like a primitive computer program, quoting repeatedly from your little red book of internet debating tactics with neither imagination nor humour. We’ve heard all this kind of stuff on a milion websites before. Try expressing an original thought, that isn’t merely an exercise in parroting abstract logic you read about on wikipedia, and you might come across more as a human being with some actual insight.

      • Boring indeed, I too find this mind numbingly tedious, but I am testing the hypothesis that no matter how often I point out the fact that no one has shown a single error in my piece, none of you will even try to do so.

        On what is allegedly a science blog, concepts like “facts”, “evidence”, “logical argument” etc seem to be totally mystifying to the at least some of the denizens. If that were not strange enough, they actually seem to think irrelevant ad hominems delivered in a self-congratulatory tone constitutes an intelligent rebuttal; Dunning Kruger effect on a group scale?

        That part is actually quite fascinating to watch, in a macabre sort of way

      • Actually, the reason you aren’t getting much response here is the boring factor, the clever cuisine analogies not withstanding. Your post has elicited a relatively small number of comments at your blog, it has been mentioned only by one other blog as far as i can tell (Horatio Algernon), and only 25 people have linked to Climate Etc. from greenfrye. Not much impact. And not much interest here at Climate Etc. The main interesting outcome has been to introduce Martha to Climate Etc., I hope she hangs around.

      • @ Ms Curry

        I don’t actually confuse popularity with relevance or significance ( Argumentum ad populum fallacy); by that measure Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson are far more important topics than climate change.

        Re: Few comments on my blog:

        i) I am fairly strict that comments be on topic, which does limit the amount of irrelevant chatter;
        ii) I find none pointing out any errors

        Re: Few comments on your blog:
        i) I find none pointing out any errors
        ii) Yes, most seem to have the good sense not to openly demonstrate that they can’t refute any of it.

        Martha is a gem and nobody’s fool. I have and do greatly appreciated her contributions at Greenfyre’s.

      • Greenfyre, I am not talking about popularity, but impact. again my point is that not too many people seem to find what you have done to be interesting or relevant or significant, and hence aren’t spending any time debunking it. Don’t confuse this absence of debunking with your post being a useful or significant analysis. If your essay were to somehow go viral (like the RC post and the Scientific American article), then I would have to pull myself away from things i find more interesting and important and deal with it.

      • greenfyre

        I had made a request of you at the evangelicals thread. You may not have seen it so I repeat it here.

        Baa Humbug | January 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Reply

        Yeah I’m not too savvy when it comes to the internet. Thnx, I got the article now.

        Just one more request. Would you kindly point me to the notification you might have given Dr Curry that you were/had written an extensive article about her at your website.
        Alternatively you may have emailed her, if so could you verify that please.

      • Richard S Courtney

        greenfyre:

        Your nonsense is distracting Dr Curry from her work.

        Whatever importance you place on yourself, your opinions and the trivia you write is of no interest to anybody except you.

        Please desist from trolling this blog.

        Richard

      • @ baa

        I sent Dr Curry as many emails as she sent me, the number of which you may calculate from the fact that i) she is clear that one should do so when you see errors , and ii) she alleges that there are many errors.

    • Not to worry. He’s already at the top of his voice, so he can’t get any louder (or more annoying).

      One has to wonder what other Curry-haters think of him. Do they look to him for further insights, or resent his trying to out-do them, or get embarrassed at his making them look bad?

      Trashing me is so 2010.

      Damn. Billions of Xmas presents, all so 2010. They should postpone Xmas a week. ;)

  21. Am I allowed to call an organisation (note, not a person) an ‘alarmist’CAGW group if their ‘corporate’ style video aimed at recruiting the public has cuddly graphics of plants withering and dying at CO2 levels of 389 ppm…..!
    (ie about co2 levels now)

    That can only be described as ‘alarmist’ scientifically..

    A mainstream group as well

    I’m putting together an article about it, my blog or perhaps Watts Up

  22. Brandon Shollenberger

    Good God almighty. Could there be more flagrant trolling than this? It isn’t just trolling. It is also a dishonest attempt to smear Judith Curry by painting her as a “colleague” of people who are being insulted.

    I am flabbergasted now. How do people respond to a post talking about what sort of behavior should be avoided by doing exactly what is said should be avoided? How do people go from a post about how to behave to insulting people over things which are completely irrelevant to the post?

    And no, it isn’t just Derech064. It is people raising to his bait. It is people ranting on about things which are just as irrelevant and serve only to insult other people.

    This blog post currently has 90 comments. At least 15 of them have no relevance to the blog post, save they might do what the post says shouldn’t be done. I really don’t get it.

  23. DON’T FEED THE TROLL, he will go elsewhere in search of nourishment. Boulder he is one of yours.

    • It’s trolling to point out an article over at WUWT? How so?

      • stevenmosher

        In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[2]

        ####

        I would hazard 64 that if I went through all the posts at Judith’s that you and Oliver manual would be pretty darn close in off topic or non germane comments.

  24. 64–this is an unrelated question I asked you earlier that you might not have scene–

    Do you have an opinion on what levels of CO2/GHG’s that a nation state should be “allowed” to emit? If you were king/queen of the earth, would this be based upon the geographical size of the nation state or its population? What level of CO2 emissions per capita is acceptable to you?

    Given the realities of the planet earth’s nation states, I do not see how the issue is more than one of adaptation to unavoidable changes.

    • I’d emplace a carbon tax to correct the market’s valuation of pollution (at zero, which is wrong) and then let the market do its magic.

      • if not implemented worldwide isn’t it meaningless at best or at best harmful economically to that implement?

      • What’s the current market valuation on carbon-based pollution, Rob? Is that value correct? If not, does it need to fixed?

        Starting about 160 years ago, miners made a godawful mess of a lot of places in the western US, which we are now having to clean up at quite substantial expense. Is that right?

      • 64- you raise an unrelated point.

        You had proposed a carbon tax, and I suggested that such a tax would punish those nation states economically that implemented it vs those that did not. You did not respond to that point, but practically it is of high importance.

      • In the shorter term, there could be additional costs – in the longer term, those nations that decarbonize their economies earlier will be in the advantageous position. I’m looking at the long game, not the next election or quarterly report.

      • I also look at the longer term, but there is no economic advantage to the nation having a carbon tax. From an economic perspective, clearly; nation states would be better served to use the lowest cost approach. Those nations will have an advantage in lower production costs and thereby better opportunity for employment. The tax concept only works if adopted by almost all nations

      • As fossil fuels become less and less economical, those nations that have decarbonized will be in a far better position to deal with those additional costs.

        You’re still assuming that dumping one’s pollutants into the air doesn’t cost anything. That’s incorrect.

      • No, I am not assuming anything, I am evaluating your proposal economically, and fairly. If nation “A” taxes carbon and nation “B” doesn’t, then nation “B” has a cost advantage.

        You suggested that nation “A” would somehow be better prepared for a future where hydrocarbon was more expensive, but economically, that does not make sense. Economically, you switch to the new energy when it is cost effective. The whole point is that under the concept you described, you would put the US at a massive disadvantage economically for decades, while developing countries would continue to emit at higher levels. The effect on the environment would be minimal, but the effect on the economy would be measurable.

        Your idea works only if adopted worldwide

      • The UK government(s) have been increasing fuel taxes in leaps and bounds since 1993, all in the name of ‘reducing emissions’, you understand. Not that any of those billions they collected went anywhere near ‘decarbonising’ the economy, but disappeared into the big black hole of govt spending. Now they’ve dug a big hole for themselves. They cannot now increase fuel tax much more, if at all, without bankrupting the country, or leading to a massive revolt, or both.
        And instead of investing in new power stations, they’ve squandered ridiculous sums on wind generation – which, in total, provides a derisory tiny amount of power. And in a few years time, as the old power stations are decommissioned, we’re going to suffer blackouts on a massive scale.

      • Peter– I do not believe the goal in the UK (in the past) was to reduce emissions, but to reduce importation of oil and the outflow of capitol. It could be argued that the tax was relatively effective in achieving that goal.

        In the case of a carbon it is a much less “clean tax” since it involves many new government bureaucrats auditing carbon production (an economically expensive and unproductive task) while countries that do not have the tax system continue operating as they wish at much lower costs.

      • Rob, I’m having trouble understanding how the tax could be said to have been, “relatively effective”.
        By what measure, and relative to what?

      • Remember, “cost effective” assumes all costs are known and accounted for. Dumping (say) toxic waste into a river is “cost effective” for the polluter; however, there are very real costs involved, whether or the responsible parties are held liable to cover them.

      • 64- let’s discuss specifics. The US today emits approximately 15% of worldwide CO2 (my estimation of 2010 emissions) , so does it make economic sense for the US to spend billions to reduce the carbon emissions from existing facilities if the countries that produce (say 70%) of emissions will not commit to the same goals?

        Also, what specifically is the goal? It is much easier to reach a goal if you know what it is…(small joke). Is a country with a lower population density being unfairly punished if the goal is on a per capita basis. Should the goal be per capita par sq. mile???

      • Does it make economic sense for the US not to address
        changing its fossil fuel-driven economic system when it knows the very finite nature of those energy sources?

        Is it cheaper to spend $100/month now on a gym membership to get in shape and be healthy, or cheaper to spend $100,000/month in 30 years in an ICU?

      • sorry, I should be more careful to read before posting. You suggestion would seemingly give an economic advantage to those (nation states) avoiding your proposed tax.

      • randomengineer

        Correct.

        Plus the fact that there isn’t a magical technology waiting in the wings for the opportunity. Currently it’s carbon or nuclear. Nothing else works, and to imply that they do or will in the near term is a weird form of creationism.

      • Begs the question by assuming CO2 is pollution. It is actually a resource, and its production and release should attract a negative tax.

      • I imagine if oxygen rose from 20% to 80% you’d be willing to call it a pollutant at that level. Anything that rusts your car much faster is surely a pollutant.

        Yet oxygen at 100% is a resource in oxyacetylene welders.

  25. If I might return to the theme of this post – the effect of our interactional modes on the quality of the discussion – I would like to describe the evolution of my own perceptions since beginning to visit this blog a few months ago. At that time, I had read severe criticisms of Judith Curry based on the manner in which she conducted Climate Etc. The two themes were (1) that she was “fraternizing with the enemy” by encouraging a free range of skeptic commentary here, and (2) that she was forfeiting her scientific integrity by exaggerating the weaknesses of conclusions drawn by many within the climate science mainstream.

    I came here inclined to believe both criticisms, and found my beliefs somewhat reinforced by my first experiences with the blog. I have changed my mind.

    Regarding the first criticism, which presumes the existence of an “enemy”, what I have noticed over time is that Judy has been careful to distinguish between the respect she accords an expressed opinion and her agreement or disagreement. Indeed, I perceive that some views here that can be characterized as “skeptical” have earned her agreement, but many have simply gained the benefit of her respect without eliciting a specific response on their merits. By being willing to acknowledge the merits of some particular argument, she has convinced skeptics that she accepts their legitimacy. To my mind, that increases her ability to persuade on those occasions when she disagrees. Perhaps she is “fraternizing”, but with other human beings, not with “the enemy”. Each of us has a personal style, and hers appears to work well for her, even if it would be insincere in someone with a different temperament. There are times when she has responded to a comment with “that’s interesting” when I wanted to say “that’s wrong”, but in retrospect, I think her response was the one with greater long term value.

    The second theme – scientific integrity – strikes me as more significant, because one can always get along with others by suppressing disagreement at the expense of one’s beliefs. I should say up front that I have not always found myself agreeing with Judy on specific scientific points. At first, this fueled my suspicion that she might be engaged in some form of scientific appeasement in order not to offend. However, as I continued to read her posts and comments, and visit the links she cited, my views changed substantially.

    The first element of change involves her expertise. I believe I have a fairly broad and accurate comprehension of climate science, its principles, and much of the relevant data. However, what has become increasingly clear is something I should have recognized from the beginning – Judith Curry, who does this sort of thing for a living, understands climate science in far greater depth than I. It sank in gradually, but I was particularly impressed by the content and links in her posts on radiative transfer models and recently on feedbacks – including her own chapter on the subject. Many of us are dilettantes, albeit knowledgeable ones – she is a professional in the best sense.

    I reserve the right to continue disagreeing on specifics. My instincts tell me that Judy’s emphasis on uncertainties, while legitimate, fails to recognize the power inherent in the convergence of multiple independent lines of evidence, despite the uncertainties that characterize each. When I register that view in the future, however, it will be with more humility than I started with. But that’s off-topic.

    The second element in my changing perception involves consistency. Over the past few months, I have perceived in Judy’s comments, a consistency of perspective incompatible with a simple desire to be agreeable. I now have a fairly clear idea of how she views the climate system and its dynamics. Exposure to that perspective has been edifying. I look forward to more.
    Finally, it’s my impression that I am not the only knowledgeable participant whose perceptions have evolved in the way I’ve described. Among the others are some expert professionals in climate science who may be participating here more often than they first imagined they might. That’s a good sign.

    One other thing. Some may have noticed that I address her as “Judy”, even though we are not acquaintances in the real world. A bit of history – shortly after the Lindzen/Choi GRL paper in 2009, I noticed a comment by Dr. Curry (it may have been on ClimateAudit) challenging some aspects of the paper. I emailed her, explaining that I was an outsider only beginning to gain some grasp of the field at a superficial level, but asking her whether some of my own reservations about the paper might have merit. She took the time to respond in some detail – more than my status deserved – addressing me as Fred and signing her email Judy.

    That’s part of the interactional style that we’re talking about here.

    • Fred, thank you for your nice post. I must say that you have been a “model Denizen,” providing thoughtful and insightful comments and unfailingly polite.

      • Judith,
        I agree with Fred.
        At first I was worried this site would be a pro-AWG site to promote your view.
        HOW WRONG I WAS!!!
        Over time you have shown a wide open mind and I see many people here changing to a more open mind towards looking at the problems rather than two sides having a war of words.
        We who read and listen have changed which is so refreshing to see.
        We all think differently and putting constructiveness rather than confrontation to the forefront have made us all richer with knowledge.

        I have a couple ideas for you on revisting old science that could be vastly improved with todays knowledge and technology. I know the perameters in the old science was too broad in experimentation and made many mistakes that would greatly help today.

        Thanks Judith!

      • Michael Larkin

        I will second that, Dr. Curry. Fred and I may disagree about some things, but he is unfailingly polite and a great asset to this blog.

        Having said that, I can’t see why you tolerate D64, or the specific posts of anyone who responds to his trolling. Those who do get drawn in are behaving exactly as desired and are usually capable of far better posts.

        Listen folks, just ignore D64, as I do, and he’ll get bored and go away. I’m sure that many do as I do – just scroll rapidly past his posts and any responses to them. But even that is more energy than I’d ideally like to expend on trolls.

      • Actually D64 has cleaned up his act over the past fews

    • Let us know when you’re cleared to lead off with, “Hey, Jude!” ;)

      AFAIK, you’d be the first! :D

    • Although I’m the opposite of an “expert professional” in this field, being little more than a novice amateur with a flair for physics and other climate science prerequisites, I feel very comfortable seconding Fred’s remarks.

      One would have to be pretty obtuse not to have noticed that I’m a rabid AGWer in almost all respects, not exactly in the sense of blindly accepting AGW so much as in doggedly if not rabidly checking it detail by detail to see which parts of it are clear enough, which could benefit from either more clarity or more elaboration, and which are flat wrong (and there are indeed such).

      One part I can’t see at all is why what one might call the “AGW pack” is so rabidly anti-Curry. The only possible explanation is that it’s what happens when a mob forms, an hypothesis is broached, no one finds any evidence to the contrary, and it starts to gain acceptance. Three thousand posts later, all of them continuing to affirm this hypothesis while ridiculing its negation, it takes on all the irrefutability of heliocentrism.

      With that sort of unshakable mindset, pointing out that houses are designed and built with geocentric coordinates will get you nothing but puzzled looks if not vitriol, as will pointing out that Judith Curry is a firm believer in AGW who is trying to work across the aisle here.

      The first time aisle-crossing really paid off for Obama since entering the White House was with his acceptance of the Republicans’ wish for tax cuts in brackets that Democrats felt should be shouldering more of the country’s financial burden. Prior to that, the only way he’d been able to make everyone happy was to make no one happy.

      I wish Judy a similar such aisle-crossing success here.

    • Richard S Courtney

      Fred Moolten:

      You and Dr Curry both agree the AGW hypothesis. I reject it.

      However, I completely and wholeheartedly agree your post at January 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm: indeed, I applaud it.

      In my opinion, Dr Curry deserves congratulation for her willingness to engage with those – including me – who disagree with her.

      It is clear that she has learned the hard way what happens when a member of ‘The True Faith Of AGW’ attempts to ‘convert’ those ‘infidels’ (including me) who do not share that faith. Infidels must be destroyed so those who are contamnated by association with ‘infidels’ must be destroyed, too. And web sites have been established that do try to destroy her (e.g. the ‘greenfyre’ blog). Similar web sites have existed for many years with the purpose of destroying ‘infidels’ in the same manner.

      Dr Curry has responded to the attacks of her by taking ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ and carrying on with her (so far unsuccessful) attempts to convert ‘infidels’ like me. That takes great courage.

      All people of genuine integrity will admire the courage she is displaying whether they share her views of AGW or not. And they will all defend her right to say what she thinks whether they agree with her views or not.

      So, I concur completey with your post.

      Richard

      • I don’t think greenfyre has “been established that do try to destroy her (e.g. the ‘greenfyre’ blog). ”

        You yourself were featured quite some time ago:
        http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/new-study-climate-deniers-are-fundamentally-wrong/

      • Richard S Courtney

        Louise:

        I wrote:
        “And web sites have been established that do try to destroy her (e.g. the ‘greenfyre’ blog). Similar web sites have existed for many years with the purpose of destroying ‘infidels’ in the same manner.”

        You have responded saying;
        “I don’t think greenfyre has “been established that do try to destroy her (e.g. the ‘greenfyre’ blog). ”

        You yourself were featured quite some time ago:”

        Quad Erat Demonstrandum.

        Richard

      • Richard

        Your delusions of adequacy beggar belief. As any 5 year old can discover in 2 min, the blog had been around for a year before you ever got passing mention.

    • > By being willing to acknowledge the merits of some particular argument, she has convinced skeptics that she accepts their legitimacy.

      And I think this is the very core of why she is the focus for so much criticism. By not acknowledging the flaws of some particular argument (or being willing to charitably overlook them in the quest to find merit), she has convinced those on the”consensus side” that she accepts their legitimacy also.

      This is then seen as asymmetrical, given the focus on flaws in the IPCC assessments to the seeming exclusion of pretty much all else.

      • Dave,
        It does not matter how much education you have had, was that education 100% correct?
        Did you question or follow the flow?
        Are you inquistive enough to look at a possible theory or LAW flaw?

        Unless someone is there to show a mistake, you are prejuding through your educational elders.

      • I don’t actually know what your comment has to do with mine.

      • Sorry,
        Just anticipating the higher education egos some have had.

  26. Judith,
    Land heights to sea level are huge differences.
    On land, your higher in the atmosphere which means pressure should be different and cloud cover lower.
    Perameter changes of an expanded atmosphere to a relaxed atmosphere are quite pronounced after an Ice Age to before one is about to occur.

  27. Since there are some good conversations starting, despite of true believer efforts, discussing the failure of predictions, perhaps this will add some depth:
    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3349
    I like this part, observing Ehrlich and pals:
    “In a way, Erlich’s, Viner’s, and the other gentlemen’s bald assertions of faultlessness in the face of adverse actuality is charming. You have to love a guy who is never right but sticks to his guns. He does so because his core beliefs—the theories and hypotheses that drive his predictions—are just too pretty to give up. He cherishes his theories, he pets them and speaks softly to them, he lavishes gifts on them and upon others who can appreciate the same beauty he sees—and he savages those who would call them ugly. “

  28. Irony: on a post about blog manners and fallacious arguments, I have spotted numerous nasty nasty posts and the violation of a huge number of the principles of valid rasoning by Damer. Way to go, guys!!

  29. John from CA

    In the spirit of the topic, is there a preferred and or polite term for people who blindly support AGW?

    I’ve seen number of terms used but none were very polite other than to refer to a Climate Scientist or PHD as Dr.

    Also, what is the current accepted phrase for the condition; Global Warming appeared to give way to Climate Change but Global Climate Disruption doesn’t appear to be catching on?

    • John from CA

      Here are a few of the names I pulled from the comments:
      denialists, skeptics, major AGW promoters, major AGW contrarians, LukeWarmer, warmists, Warmistas, really DESPERATE folks, laughing stocks, your ilk, proponents of CAGW, knuckle-dragging Big Oil funded deniers and creationists [note: I prefer Global Warming Heretic], ‘leaders’ of the Cult, Deniers

      I didn’t see a single reference to a preferred or polite term for people who support AGW. Maybe there isn’t one? Maybe its Environmentalist?

      • John,
        You ask a good question.
        I am not sure of the answer.
        Until the assault on skeptics reduces, and until rationality emerges in the AGW community, I think sticking with ‘true believer’ is pretty good.
        For opinion leadersin the community, I like ‘promoter’ or ‘fear monger’ (especially when thinking of Hansen, Gore or Romm). For those making fortunes off of AGW inspired policies, I like ‘profiteer’, since they are not runing con’s per se.
        But I am open to suggestions.
        got any?

      • John from CA

        hunter,
        Thanks for taking the time to comment. I was looking for something that might help establish mutual respect.

        Climate Realist
        Environmentalist
        Conservationist
        Eco-Smurf <– sorry, off base but I couldn't resist

        Dr. Curry's premise in this post is a very reasonable request for those who seek a civil exchange and honest debate about the issues. The inability to define something as simple as preferred | respectful nomenclature doesn't help.

        Trying to look at the situation from the perspective of one who supports AGW as it stands, I'm having the hardest time understanding what it actually stands for and what I might refer to myself as in the debate.

        From a "Positioning" perspective, the situation is a complete mess.

        Global Warming = Warmer?
        Climate Change = Change Agent?
        Global Climate Disruption = Disruptor?

      • the safest thing is to say “supporter of the IPCC consensus”

      • John from CA

        Thanks,
        I try that from now on and see what happens.

      • Richard S Courtney

        Dr Curry:

        I think a universally agreed language that is not inflammatory would be a great step forward in obtaining useful diaogue between all ‘sides’ in the AGW debate.

        However, I cannot agree that your suggestion of “supporter of the IPCC consensus” is a useful and accurate description of all who accept AGW. It may be accurate of yourself and some others but, for example, Dr Hansen dissents from the “IPCC consensus”.

        So, I use ‘AGW-supporter’ as a descriptor of those who adhere to a catastrophic meme of AGW, and ‘AGW-proponent’ for those (like Dr Hansen) who suggest much more severe responses to AGW than the IPCC supports. In my opinion, these categories are as emotionless as possible while being accurate descriptors. But I am open to better suggestions.

        Richard

      • I dont support the IPCC consensus and don’t want to be classed with those that do. But apart from myself and hansen, i think the term covers a lot of people in a way that is not viewed by them as insulting?

      • John frmoCA,
        I am not sure how we get to a mutually agreed on set of definitions.
        You say you support AGW as it stands, and I have to ask what does that mean?
        You mean you believe the idea that humans by way of CO2 are creating a world wide climate catastrophe?
        Or do you believe that CO2, like any other enviro-factor, will influence the climate in some way?

      • John from CA

        “Trying to look at the situation from the perspective of one who supports AGW as it stands…” walk in someone else’s shoes before judging.

        I don’t support the IPCC consensus as it stands.

  30. Are you ready for something even more bizarre? Check this out

    http://curryquotes.wordpress.com/

    • John from CA

      Just ignore them Judith, its clearly some poor soul crying out for attention.

    • You can not help but to be offended to some degree, and understandably so. The site certainly paints an intentionally inaccurate picture of your views.

      • well i’m not offended, just bewildered. who would spend their time doing something like this? who would care to read something like this (probably not even greenfyre).

      • AnyColourYouLike

        That site is a little stark and twisted-looking in it’s banal anonymity. It’s obvious some of these guys are hoping to smear and intimidate you. Such low tactics, so obviously self-defeating, come from immature minds. Probably best to ignore them.

      • After the neurological exam by email, I’d have to say nothing really surprises me. It’s so juvenile, it’s almost funny.

    • I think Dr Curry should puff-up her chest a couple of inches and be proud knowing that she has single handedly caused a bunch of people to $hit themselves.

      If they were not scared of her, they’d have put their name to the blog.
      Gutless people. Sexist blokes probably too cowardly to tackle her incase she gives them an intellectual beating.

    • It’s interesting that all these anti-Curry sites have popped up all of a sudden. Is there any sense that this is a coordinated attempt to discredit Judith or is it all just spontaneous? Regardless, it’s unjustified, nasty and cowardly stuff. My heart truly sinks that there are people out there like this. Season of goodwill etc. Not good. :(

  31. Sometimes an antidote to the squabbling about climate change is simply to step back, and let an authoritative and objective source provide updated information:
    The Global Warming Issue

  32. Dr. Curry
    Your blog started well in opening communication and interchange of the science ideas between two sides. Recently it has deteriorated in a kind of bickering which is undermining the original high hopes. It is time to take strong action, return to science, cotemporary observations and their interpretations, else your are risking more than just reputation of your blog.

    • I reckon it’s because people have had too much time over the holidays and possibly a little too much red wine. The bad ju-ju will pass soon enough when we get on to more substantive scientifc discussion…..one hopes :)

  33. “ I am open to suggestions on how to improve things”
    Here are my suggestions to you at the GreenFyre blog, a community of citizens, scientists and academics that you indicate you are eager to dismiss. A topic of special interest is the study of propaganda i.e. denial of climate change. I hope my initial suggestions regarding how you might improve your own work are instructive.

    Judith,
    I have stopped by your blog and spent time reading your posts and discussion. It’s good that you are stopping by this blog and doing the same.
    Gryposaurus asks you important questions that should be addressed for accountability. Thanks.

    On your blog, you ask to engage with philosophical and political issues. I can do that here, as can others.

    I want to speak with you about two problems right now. The first is related to the importance of a thoughtful use of terms to reflect meaning. The second is the importance of skills to engage intelligibly in argumentation.

    Firstly, then, you engage in heavy use of the term ‘tribalism’. This term is used both in and outside of scholarship, and is generally not helpful. I’m sure you are at least aware that it is tied to colonialist views of Africans as primitive and stupid people. Enough already. It is pejorative (as you intend) but also racist as you use it, to any thoughtful person. To be clear, it is not a neutral word outside of your use of it i.e., to describe the problems with communication about climate. You use it so constantly and thoughtlessly that I have to assume you do not have much conception of meaningful language use that includes adequate awareness of key power relations.

    I hope you further your understanding of power relations, and in keeping with that I encourage you to be up to date on criticisms of the U.N. framework and specifically the historical role of dominating American foreign policy interests. This will add to a coherent understanding of why the U.S. is not presently participating in an international agreement to curb emissions. This is a separate, specific and far more important power relationship and explanatory point than the general nature of institutionalized social activity, such as science and Academe. Of course it’s all related for anyone with a social analysis, but the problems with science as an establishment are widely understood and discussed in philosophy of science and date back to the Popper-Kuhn debate and before that to critiques of positivism. We live in a highly bureaucratized economic system and I am used to speaking with scientists, here and elsewhere, who know that, consider it, and understand it, in relation to the production of knowledge.

    Secondly, you have chosen to approach the situation using argumentation but to be honest with you your skills in this area are not the best.
    In particular, there is a pattern of not making it clear when you are putting forward or outlining the arguments of others e.g. McIntyre on Mann. Clarity of this sort is a basic step in communicating reasoning and discussion. Maybe you think you are doing this, or doing it well, but it’s not the case. At all.

    Also, it is important to learn to clearly state your own view, separately from your attempts to outline the views of others. You’re not doing that. It involves not only being able to accurately summarize and contextualize the views of others and make it clear when you are doing that, but also, where you see things similarly, where you see things differently, why, criticisms you would like to make, your own assumptions, your own value considerations, what you are rejecting, some resulting questions, some awareness of what others are doing to contribute to moving forward, and what you don’t know.

    Ongoing discussion of your goals, interests, and how you think you’re doing with what you want your actions to contribute, would probably make your project all that much more interesting to everyone.

    • Martha, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I am TOTALLY swamped this week so I do not have time for detailed responses, but your points are well taken and I will ponder them. I have very limited time for anything until Jan 12, other than meeting 3 pressing deadlines for my daytime and weekend jobs.

      • Judith,

        I notice people hide behind using other peoples comments, phraises or opinions so as not to use their own heads to think and reply.

    • Martha, one other comment. Gryposaurus asks good questions, but it would take me a day to do justice to answering them. And there are other really good questions to. My greatest challenge in blogging is the time issue. Not having time got me in hotwater on the RC thread discussing Montford’s book: I was on travel, didn’t have a copy of the book with me, tied up with a meeting, and a looming proposal deadline. I did a a quick driveby post at RC which raised a (controversial) topic that I originally suggested, and was moved to make a quick reply, which was all i had time for. This went viral, then i tried to calm waters with time i didn’t have, and it got worse. Then on Italian Flag, this got attacked for some reason that is still incomprehensible to me (try to make sense of tobis post, i still can’t). Subsequently, when i had time, i did a new post on the italian flag, which none of the critics bothered to comment on (part III is in the works when I have time).

      I wish I had more time for this, but I just don’t. Reminder, I am not a full time paid blogger like Joe Romm or retired like Steve McIntyre. In addition to regular faculty member duties, my administrative duties are nominally half-time. On top of that, I have a weekend job as president of a company. I do my best in making time for blogging and have to do triage in terms of what I reply to and how I balance my time in responding to new posts and creating new material. I have already spent more time than I can afford on this reply, but your thoughtful message deserved more of an answer.

    • Martha – I’m sorry, but I think you should return to greenfyre for what you seek. I also note that you are not a regular contributor here so I expect that Judith will afford your remarks the weight they deserve.

      1. The study of ‘denialist’ propaganda is best discussed somewhere else where you will be able to let off some political steam. There is no place for it here so you are likely to be disappointed. That is the whole point of Judith’s blog.

      2. Your suggestion that the term ‘tribalism’ is racist is laughable nonsense. Please invest in a good quality dictionary. By the same method, your use of the term ‘denialist’ is equally loaded and offensive.

      3. It is down to Judith to decided whether to lay out an argument or merely to enable one. It is her patch. To my mind, the quality of the blog is better for her neutral approach as it encourages a more considered and polite discussion by those that comment on her posts. If she laid out her analysis at the start, the blog would become little more than a loudspeaker for whatever side she supports. But then again, that is why you object to her ‘enabling’ approach, isn’t it? If you read the blog comments, you will see that Judith does occasionally make her views known when the scientific disussion demands it.

      4. The role of American foreign relations in the formation of UN climate policy is irrelevant to a blog that tries its best to discuss climate science as its primary objective. If you want to infuse the science with the politics, please look elsewhere.

      5. Finally, I believe that by merely highlighting the areas of disagreement and enabling a polite debate, Judith is much more likely to bridge the divide than any site that adopts a partisan approach. These kind of sites may be more interesting for you but they do little to resolve the climate wars and all they do is put off people like me who are trying to get better informed of the scientific issues and wish to hear both sides of the argument. It is interesting that Judith’s initiative has caused such vitriolic anger in certain quarters. Perhaps you could explain why this is so?

    • randomengineer

      I’m sure you are at least aware that it is tied to colonialist views of Africans as primitive and stupid people. Enough already. It is pejorative (as you intend) but also racist as you use it, to any thoughtful person.

      That would be news to the ancient angles and saxons. Even the romans. I can’t speak for Dr Curry but in my view starting a dialogue by first demanding twisted/spun definitions of terms is designed solely to give the advantage to the interlocutor, and I’d refuse to engage.

      • Whatever the perception, it is clear that the use of the word ‘tribes’ is not one intended to unite the different peoples but to point out their differences.

        How can this term be used with the supposed intent of building bridges?

      • It’s all about context though isn’t it? I haven’t done a word search so I am more than willing to be proved wrong, but if memory serves me, Judith used the term tribes and tribal to describe the *current* situation with respect to proponents and skeptics. You only have to read the comments at greenfyre and WUWT for confirmation that there are two tribes at war.

      • My point is that emphasising the two extreme positions on the whole climate change debate as two different tribes does not help to build any bridges as was one of the intents of this blog.

        I firmly believe that most of us sit somewhere along the continuum of views from blind believer in Apocalyptic AGW to outright denier of any human impact on the climate. Very few people actually sit at these two extremes. Most people sit somewhere between the two and so to categorise everyone as belonging to one of two tribes does not help.

        Recognition of this continuum, for example in shades from pure white at one extreme to pure black at the other is probably much more helpful than either the Italian flag or the labeling of folk as being of one tribe or another (after all, most of us are mixed-race in this debate but with possibly a greater heritage from one ‘tribe’ or the other).

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Ironically, the GreenFyre site is a perfect examplar of the kind of tribalism being discussed. That this criticism should emerge from that site is pretty ironic, to say the least!

        I don’t think the tribal thing has been much emphasised in recent posts. I would say that came out at the start of the blog, kind of as a part of Judith’s “mission statement”. ie What is the playing field like as this blog begins? Given the number of quite viscious attacks she had already received in the blogosphere, it’s hardly surprising the idea that an element of the debate had become “tribal” – say like Celtic and Rangers fans taking potshots at each other – would have crossed her mind.

      • Louise,

        For what it’s worth, my understanding of Dr. Curry’s use of the word “tribal” was in describing divisive pigeonholing of people using some litmus test (either for or against). In other words, I think you’re in violent agreement with her (certainly with me) that black and white “us” vs “them” is detrimental.

      • randomengineer

        It’s ironic that we’re having *this* discussion on *this* thread.

        That martha’s interpretation of the term is wrong isn’t germane. She’s essentially attacking from the start by putting Dr Curry on the defensive wondering what words she can and can’t use. This causes her to consider language over substance. If martha knows this she’s malevolent; if she doesn’t then she’s incompetent.

        The problem isn’t that martha doesn’t understand the term, but that she’s using this as a way to press an attack which has nothing to do with the substance of the actual argument. Is martha genuinely offended? My guess is no, that she’s malevolent.

        In any discussion I engage in I’ll use whatever words and/or metaphors I like, and if you want to go out of your way to fabricate reasons to find them offensive, that’s your problem. Thus I repeat what said earlier — if I were Dr Curry I wouldn’t engage on those terms.

      • Actually, I hope Martha continues to hang out here. I like some of her comments and her civility, and we certainly need more females posting here :)

      • Why do “we need more females posting here”?

      • for a diversity of perspectives and communication styles.

      • randomengineer

        Agreed. Note that engineering isn’t exactly overrun with females. What’s the ratio like in your field?

      • in terms of faculty, it is about 15% (in my department, it is slightly over 25%)

    • Martha- By you definition, it someone being a denialist if they agree that increased GHG’s will effect the climate, but do not agree that the rate of those changes will be per the IPCC estimations? Is it being a denier to not believe that there is evidence to proclaim that a warmer planet is necessarily worse for humanity overall in the long term? Is it being a denialist not to support a redistribution of wealth from the US to other nation states due to potential climate change?

      Bottom line—what is your definition?

  34. AnyColourYouLike

    Cor Blimey guvnor!!

    Martha’s ludicrous attempt to co-opt the term “tribal” from the pages of countless history books, as well as many common pejorative uses (eg opposing sets of football fans), and spin it as merely “racist”, is such extreme, politically correct nonsense that I’m surprised Dr Curry took the trouble to answer her diatribe (no pun intended).

    That this earnest, naive and youthful sounding essay comes from a poster at the Curry character assassination site GreenFyre, who nevertheless shows no sign of recognising the irony of attempting to dictate good blogging policy to Dr Curry, beggars belief.

    • randomengineer

      …the irony of attempting to dictate good blogging policy to Dr Curry

      Well, bugger me, I just commented on irony above, not seeing this. hah.

  35. Judith,
    Thank you for your reply. Completely understood re. time and many responsibilities. I appreciate your openness to feedback that increases both cross-disciplinary work, and awareness of diverse experience.
    Take care.

  36. I just received an email from Marc Morano about his latest piece on on Michael Oppenheimer
    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/9297/UN-IPCCs-Michael-Oppenheimer-Transforming-into-an-activist-first-and-a-scientist-a-distant-second–Scientific-work-roundly-trashed-even-by-fellow-warmists

    Marc and I have communicated previously, and I have told him in no uncertain terms that I feel he often does unjustifiable hatchet jobs on climate scientists. He did me the courtesy of giving me the chance to defend Oppenheimer. I don’t know Oppenheimer personally, but in his defense I pointed Marc to Oppenheimer’s AGU presentation that I thought was quite good, i also like his 2007 paper on consensus. I made the point that if someone changes their mind with time, they should be given credit for that. Marc countered with Oppenheimer’s recent immigration paper, that I had to agree was rather bad.

    So compare Marc Morano’s behavior and what will be regarded by the climate establishment as a “hatchet job” on Oppenheimer, with greenfyre’s post. Marc Morano taking the (relative) moral high ground should not provide comfort to greenfyre et al.

    • Sorry Dr. Curry, but that site gives me the Willy’s. Not only is it badly written, but most of his “proofs” are gross exaggerations. He gives all sides a black eye IMO.

    • If you are able to demonstrate that Morano is wrong, why then more power to you. I cannot imagine that you couldn’t since I have yet to see anything of his that wasn’t error filled nonsense of such transparency that a bright teenager couldn’t expose it.

      Equally, if you or anyone are able to demonstrate that my post was wrong, either in the evidence, the use of the evidence, or the analysis, then more power to you.

      Notwithstanding the assumptions you have made about my character, my first allegiance is to truth.

      As it stands no one has been able to document a single flaw in the post with respect to fact or logic, and as such I have to stand by it’s conclusions. Should anyone do so they will find me most happy to correct it.

      My only interest is accuracy, and for that reason I will not let anything remain in it that has been shown to be false, nor change anything that has not been shown to be false.

      Thank you

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        A quick glance at your smear job on Judith Curry is all it takes to see you aren’t being accurate and honest. The very first thing you list as a criticism of her is:

        In her piece Doubt Ms Curry begins her incendiary bridge building by attempting to conflate the the terms “Denier” and “Skeptic”, and does so by referring to them as “labels.”

        This is complete rubbish. I’ve actually read that particular blog post of Curry’s a number of times due to some controversy surrounding it. It does nothing of what you claim. At no point in her post does she do anything to conflate “skeptic” and “denier.” The only justification you provide for your insult here is to claim Curry is conflating the two by referring to them as labels.

        Could you say anything more inane? If Curry said “republican” and “democrat” are labels, would she be attempting to conflate them? Obviously not. Your criticism here is completely without basis. You just made it up. Given this, I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising to see you repeat false criticisms which were also just made up, such as:

        “she has stated multiple times that she believes if we can not confidently attribute early 20th century climate change then we can not confidently attribute late 20th century climate change. I’m sorry to be blunt and with all due respect to her CV, this is grossly illogical”

        Poor grammar aside, this is untrue. It misrepresents Curry’s comments, which said it would be “very difficult” to confidently attribute modern warming in those circumstances. By effectively changing “very difficult” to “impossible,” a strawman is created for the sole reason of smearing Curry.

        So here is your chance. Prove you are as committed to accuracy as you claim to be. I’ve provided you two clear-cut examples of inaccurate criticisms you have leveled against Judith Curry. Retract those, and apologize for them. Do that, and maybe people will be willing to point out a dozen more inaccuracies you have promoted.

        Good lord. Why am I even bothering to post this?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Here’s an afterthought. You parroted a criticism from coby, which I reproduced above. That criticism was entirely a Misrepresentation of what Judith Curry had said. While making the criticism, coby provided a link to Curry’s original comment. To make things easier on you, I’ll provide both Curry’s remark and coby’s depiction of it.

        Gavin, it is very difficult to have confidence in the attribution statement for the latter half of the 2oth century, if we cannot explain the warming in the earlier period. If the warming in the early period was caused by multidecadal ocean oscillations such as the AMO and PDO, then it is much more difficult to rule out the same as dominant factors in the current warming.

        “she has stated multiple times that she believes if we can not confidently attribute early 20th century climate change then we can not confidently attribute late 20th century climate change. I’m sorry to be blunt and with all due respect to her CV, this is grossly illogical”

        Now then, it is obvious coby’s depiction was inaccurate. Given how flagrant a misrepresentation this was, it makes one wonder if you bothered to check the validity of anything you posted. So tell me, if you are devoted to accuracy, how did you manage to fail to perform even the most basic of fact checking?

        Insulting a person while doing such shoddy work is pathetic. Doing so while claiming your “only interest is accuracy” is just ridiculous.

      • I’m unsure why you think that the one quote is an “inaccurate” depiction of Judy’s thoughts. Coby does not mention a reason she has this stance, so how is this inaccurate. I’m even more confused about how this could be described as “flagrant”. Can you be more specific?

        This is something that Judy has stated several times. Here she is saying it at Collide-A-Scape:

        Without being able to convincingly attribute the causes for the earlier part of the century, your attribution for the latter part of the 20th century is not convincing, i.e. you might have have obtained your attribution for the wrong reason and with the wrong combinations of forcing.

        Here is Gavin’s take:

        Your next line is illogical. “If they can’t explain this earlier warming, why should we be highly confident in their explanation of warming in the second half of the 20th century, which is approximately the same duration and magnitude of the warming during 1910-1940?”
        The reason why there is a difference in our ability to confidently attribute changes in 1910-1940 compared to post-1950 (and for reference 50 years is longer than 30 years), is precisely because of the well-known issues you have mentioned. Confidence in forcings is less,  confidence in the temperature record is also less (cf Thompson et al (2007)), and there is not the same contrast between possible solar changes and GHGs that allows for a more confident attribution in the later 20th Century. Are we to assume that you think that any climate change in any period of the past must be attributed with the same confidence as the most recent period before that can be credible? That would certainly be a novel argument.

        Here she is saying the same to me, on this very blog:

        Regarding the 1910-1940 warming. To justify high confidence in the warming since 1970, you should be able to demonstrate that this was not caused by the same mechanisms that caused the 1910-1940 warming. The models don’t agree even with the same forcing. This does not inspire confidence.

        And as far as the AMO/PDO discussion, this came up as reasoning, but doesn’t change what Judy said, at all. Here is what Gavin said about it:

        Indeed, we point out specifically that the 1940s peak in the temperature record is not matched in the forced component of our simulations regardless of the solar forcing used. We suggest instead that is likely to be a feature of the internal variability since individual runs do show excursions of this magnitude (a result also noted in GFDL papers on the subject Delworth et al, and is seen in figure 9.5 in AR4 too).

        And I fished the IPCC statement out:

        Over the instrumental period (since the 1850s), North Atlantic SSTs show a 65 to 75 year variation (0.4°C range), with a warm phase during 1930 to 1960 and cool phases during 1905 to 1925 and 1970 to 1990 (Schlesinger and Ramankutty, 1994), and this feature has been termed the AMO (Kerr, 2000), as shown in Figure 3.33. Evidence (e.g., Enfield et al., 2001; Knight et al., 2005) of a warm phase in the AMO from 1870 to 1900 is revealed as an artefact of the de-trending used (Trenberth and Shea, 2006). The cycle appears to have returned to a warm phase beginning in the mid-1990s, and tropical Atlantic SSTs were at record high levels in 2005. Instrumental observations capture only two full cycles of the AMO, so the robustness of the signal has been addressed using proxies. Similar oscillations in a 60- to 110-year band are seen in North Atlantic palaeoclimatic reconstructions through the last four centuries (Delworth and Mann, 2000; Gray et al., 2004). Both observations and model simulations implicate changes in the strength of the THC as the primary source of the multi-decadal variability, and suggest a possible oscillatory component to its behaviour (Delworth and Mann, 2000; Latif, 2001; Sutton and Hodson, 2003; Knight et al., 2005). Trenberth and Shea (2006) proposed a revised AMO index, subtracting the global mean SST from the North Atlantic SST. The revised index is about 0.35°C lower than the original after 2000, highlighting the fact that most of the recent warming is global in scale.

      • Read the detection and attribution thread, my thoughts on this are explained at length there.
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/17/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-i/
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/17/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-ii/
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/17/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-iii/

        These are issues at the heart of the scientific debate. I believe that my stance is far more supportable than Schmidts.

        And yes, the IPCC does state this in Ch 3, but this receives virtually no consideration in Ch 9 on detection and attribution.

      • Section 9.4.1.2 says:

        Variations in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (see Section 3.6.6 for a more detailed discussion) could account for some of the evolution of global and hemispheric mean temperatures during the instrumental period (Schlesinger and Ramankutty, 1994; Andronova and Schlesinger, 2000; Delworth and Mann, 2000); Knight et al. (2005) estimate that variations in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation could account for up to 0.2°C peak-to-trough variability in NH mean

        9.5.3.1 El Niño-Southern Oscillation/Pacific Decadal Oscillation

        The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is the leading mode of variability in the tropical Pacific, and it has impacts on climate around the globe (Section 3.6.2). There have been multi-decadal oscillations in the ENSO index (conventionally defined as a mean SST anomaly in the eastern equatorial Pacific) throughout the 20th century, with more intense El Niño events since the late 1970s, which may reflect in part a mean warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific (Mendelssohn et al., 2005). Model projections of future climate change generally show a mean state shift towards more El-Niño-like conditions, with enhanced warming in the eastern tropical Pacific and a weakened Walker Circulation (Section 10.3.5.3); there is some evidence that such a weakening has been observed over the past 140 years (Vecchi et al., 2006). While some simulations of the response to anthropogenic influence have shown an increase in ENSO variability in response to greenhouse gas increases (Timmermann, 1999; Timmermann et al., 1999; Collins, 2000b), others have shown no change (e.g., Collins, 2000a) or a decrease in variability (Knutson et al., 1997). A recent survey of the simulated response to atmospheric CO2 doubling in 15 MMD AOGCMs (Merryfield, 2006) finds that three of the models exhibited significant increases in ENSO variability, five exhibited significant decreases and seven exhibited no significant change. Thus, as yet there is no detectable change in ENSO variability in the observations, and no consistent picture of how it might be expected to change in response to anthropogenic forcing (Section 10.3.5.3).

        Perhaps this isn’t what you are looking for. Maybe you can detail what is you would like the IPCC to say, or reference (it is a report after all) to clear this up. I think this is where much of the confusion comes on this subject with people who support the mainstream science. Is it that there isn’t enough work done, evidence found, data tracked? I think we can manage an agreement, as far as attributing a confidence level to warming, but perhaps this is just wishful thinking, and the best explanation is that this is one of the reasons why attribution confidence isn’t %100. Right?

      • I also forgot to add that Judith also brings up aerosols as a reason for uncertainty in this context, so it is not only an AMO/PDO discussion:

        he larger point I was trying to make is that even the most “settled” pieces of science aren’t entirely settled.  And attribution, which was a much more complex scientific issue, should not be considered settled at the very likely level (90-99% confidence), for reasons that I stated in an earlier post.  Even if this conclusion is “plausible”,  our understanding of the 20th century forcing from solar and aerosols is inadequate, and the models are highly tuned to match observed surface temperature variability based upon inadequate forcing.   IMO, for a very likely confidence level, you need to do much more work than has been done by the IPCC and the papers they reference, for this confidence level to be justified by the scientific evidence.  Note, the lack of contrary evidence isn’t sufficient, it may simply mean that the known unknowns have been inadequately explored and the unknown unknowns inadequately pondered.

        to which Gavin replied:

        Nobody is arguing that aerosol forcings are not uncertain. But let’s think about what that uncertainty means for the attribution issue, noting that the net effect of aerosols is almost certainly cooling. Imagine that the aerosols have a minimal effect (ie. forcing much less than generally assumed), then you would get a good match with obs using models with a lower-end sensitivity. But you would end up with an attribution to greenhouse gases that would match or exceed the recent trend (i.e. no effect on the AR4 statement). Now, let’s take a case such that the aerosols have a big effect, so that the net forcings are much smaller than the median estimate. In that case, only the models with high sensitivity will match obs, and again, the impact of GHGs will be strong and positive. The reason why the aerosol uncertainties don’t have much of an impact is because they are cooling in the aggregate. Only if there was a significant chance of the anthropogenic aerosols actually having a net warming effect would this change the conclusion and evidence for this is sorely lacking.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        gryposaurus, I’m not sure how I can be more specific. coby claimed Judith Curry said it was impossible to confidently attribute modern warming if we cannot confidently attribute earlier warming. This is untrue.

        Let’s look at what the two quotes you posted from Judith Curry. The first one you offered says attribution for latter-century warming “is not convincing” under those circumstances. Obviously, “is not convincing” is a far cry from “is impossible to do.” The second quote is even less supportive of coby’s criticisms. In it, Curry says you should be able show later-century warming wasn’t caused by the same mechanisms as early-century warming if you are to confidently attribute later-century warming. That is also a far cry from calling such attribution impossible. In fact, you offer a quote from Gavin in which he claims to be able to do exactly what Curry says needs to be done. Gavin actually seems to accept the premise of Curry’s (second) quote.

        I really have no idea where the confusion is coming from. For all the text you’ve posted, the issue is quite simple. Did Curry say it is impossible to attribute later-century warming without being able to attribute early-century warming? No, but coby claims she did.

        That’s all there is to it.

      • Did Curry say it is impossible to attribute later-century warming without being able to attribute early-century warming? No, but coby claims she did.

        Huh? Isn’t the text that you provided above from Coby? This is what you quoted as Coby’s argument:

        “she has stated multiple times that she believes if we can not confidently attribute early 20th century climate change then we can not confidently attribute late 20th century climate change. I’m sorry to be blunt and with all due respect to her CV, this is grossly illogical”

        Where does it say anything about impossibility? He says pretty much the same thing as she does, and what she believes, we cannot, with high confidence attribute late 20th century climate change because of low confidence in early 20th century data. But the entire point is about the logic of this reasoning. I’m not sure what coby’s argument is, but I’m guessing it is similar to Gavin’s

        The reason why there is a difference in our ability to confidently attribute changes in 1910-1940 compared to post-1950 (and for reference 50 years is longer than 30 years), is precisely because of the well-known issues you have mentioned. Confidence in forcings is less,  confidence in the temperature record is also less (cf Thompson et al (2007)), and there is not the same contrast between possible solar changes and GHGs that allows for a more confident attribution in the later 20th Century. Are we to assume that you think that any climate change in any period of the past must be attributed with the same confidence as the most recent period before that can be credible? That would certainly be a novel argument.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Where does it say anything about impossibility? He says pretty much the same thing as she does, and what she believes, we cannot, with high confidence attribute late 20th century climate change because of low confidence in early 20th century data

        gryposaurus, Judith Curry hasn’t said scientists cannot attribute later-century warming with high confidence without being able to attribute early-century warming. She has simply said things like it is “very difficult” to do so. This means it is possible to do. We can (conceivably) do it, despite coby claiming she said we cannot do it.

        I suspect the confusion comes from me not being as clear as I could be. When I refer to coby talking about something being “impossible,” I am just replacing “cannot” with “impossible.” That means he would be claiming Curry says it is “impossible to confidently attribute the warming,” not that he is saying it is “impossible to attribute the warming.”

        Hopefully that clears things up a bit?

      • Not really. Coby says :

        she believes if we can not confidently attribute early 20th century climate change then we can not confidently attribute late 20th century climate change

        He says this in regards to at least three separate statements she has made. They are:

        Without being able to convincingly attribute the causes for the earlier part of the century, your attribution for the latter part of the 20th century is not convincing

        it is very difficult to have confidence in the attribution statement for the latter half of the 2oth century, if we cannot explain the warming in the earlier period.

        ,b>To justify high confidence in the warming since 1970, you should be able to demonstrate that this was not caused by the same mechanisms that caused the 1910-1940 warming.

        Where does he miss the basic gist of what Judith believes according to these comments? She obviously thinks that we cannot confidently attribute late 20th century CC because of data from the early 20th century. If you replace “cannot” with “impossible” then you are making the mistake of leaving off the important word “confidently” that follows the word “cannot”. Otherwise we are just playing word games without getting to the real logic of the reasoning. Why?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        gryposaurus, your confusion here is confusing. I don’t know how you can say:

        If you replace “cannot” with “impossible” then you are making the mistake of leaving off the important word “confidently” that follows the word “cannot”.

        This is wrong on two counts. First, your claim makes no sense. Replacing one word with another doesn’t somehow delete other words in the sentence. Second, I specifically addressed this issue in the comment you are responding to:

        That means he would be claiming Curry says it is “impossible to confidently attribute the warming,” not that he is saying it is “impossible to attribute the warming.”

        I specifically addressed this issue of yours, yet you seem to have just ignored what I said. This also seems to be true when you say:

        She obviously thinks that we cannot confidently attribute late 20th century CC because of data from the early 20th century.

        This isn’t what she has said. I’ve already explained the distinction between what she said and what you are saying several times. Once again, you don’t seem to be reading what I say since you don’t actually address what I’ve said.

        Coby claims Judy said something cannot be done. Curry never says this. She describes reasons it would be hard to do, but never says it would be impossible.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        That last sentence of mine was sloppy. I meant Judith Curry explains why it is difficult to accept attribution of modern warming when attribution of earlier warming is unattributed. That something isn’t convincing doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Nevermind. I just made typed it up even worse on my second try.

      • To justify high confidence in the warming since 1970, you should be able to demonstrate that this was not caused by the same mechanisms that caused the 1910-1940 warming.

        In other words:
        “You should demonstrate it was not caused by the same mechanism, otherwise you cannot justify high confidence .”
        or
        “You cannot justify attribution with high confidence”

        You can twist these words whichever way want, they still say basically the same thing to me, and give off the impression that without one thing (earth 20th century attribution) you cannot confidently attribute the other (late 20th century attribution).

        But this still doesn’t get to the issue of the logic, however you frame the statements.

        Without being able to convincingly attribute the causes for the earlier part of the century, your attribution for the latter part of the 20th century is not convincing

        Once again, if it is “not convincing” to attribute late 20th century warming unless you have the early twentieth century data, how would it be “possible” to confidently attribute the late 20th century warming. IOW, without one thing, it is not convincing, therefore, it is impossible or you cannot attribute with confidence. Once one thing is lost, it is no longer convincing, ie you are no longer confident. So it is important to get that thing (earth 20th century data) or the confidence is lost, once again.

        But I see you interpret this entirely different, which is fine. But Coby’s or Gavin’s or my interpretation certainly isn’t wrong or flagrant as you said in your initial post. And we still haven’t looked at the logic in depth, no matter if the interpretation of Judy’s thoughts are that it is impossible or just really hard.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        gryposaurus, I’m afraid you interpretation still doesn’t make sense. You seem to be going to great lengths to change Curry’s statements from what they are to something else, and there is no reason for it. You seem to be grossly distorting Curry’s remarks just so she can be criticized. For example, she had said:

        To justify high confidence in the warming since 1970, you should be able to demonstrate that this was not caused by the same mechanisms that caused the 1910-1940 warming.

        You “paraphrase” this to:

        “You cannot justify attribution with high confidence”

        This is a flagrant misrepresentation of what she said. You changed it from a (effectively) conditional statement to a statement which assumes a condition is true. That’s absurd.

        The truth is her conditional statement is perfectly correct. In fact, Gavin seems to agree with it. He posted to explain how can we know the current mechanism is different than the former mechanism(s).

        If you want to stop playing with semantics and instead focus on the underlying logic, that’s fine. Curry has had three blog posts about it.

        Actually, I see you’ve commented on those posts. This confuses me, because those posts make Curry’s position quite clear, and it isn’t what Coby claims.

      • You seem to be grossly distorting Curry’s remarks just so she can be criticized.

        When someone says that you need “something” to be “convinced”, any interpretation I can think of for “being convinced” is the condition for having “confidence”.

        As all can see, interpretation is part of an argument. For instance, interpretation is used here:

        In fact, Gavin seems to agree with it. He posted to explain how can we know the current mechanism is different than the former mechanism(s).

        but

        The reason why there is a difference in our ability to confidently attribute changes in 1910-1940 compared to post-1950 (and for reference 50 years is longer than 30 years), is precisely because of the well-known issues you have mentioned. Confidence in forcings is less, confidence in the temperature record is also less (cf Thompson et al (2007)), and there is not the same contrast between possible solar changes and GHGs that allows for a more confident attribution in the later 20th Century. Are we to assume that you think that any climate change in any period of the past must be attributed with the same confidence as the most recent period before that can be credible? That would certainly be a novel argument

        This looks to me as a rebuttal of Judith’s argument, no matter how Brandon tries to is put.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        gryposaurus, you have got to be kidding me. Judith Curry said in order to have high confidence you need to be able to demonstrate modern warming is not caused by the same mechanism as earlier warming. Nothing in Gavin’s comment refutes this.

        The only reason Gavin’s comment might seem to refute what Curry said is you first distorted what she said. I pointed out this distortion and explained why it was nonsensical just one comment ago. You ignored me then based your attack on Curry on your ridiculous distortion.

        For whatever reason, you are constantly misrepresenting things. It is a waste of my time to repeat the same things over and over simply because you make things up. I have no interest in watching you go to great lengths to distort what Curry said so she can be attacked for saying things you know she doesn’t believe as you have read her lengthy blog posts on the subject.

        I don’t understand your behavior, but I do know your mental gymnastics are completely unappealing. Maybe someone else will take you up on this discussion, or maybe it will just die. Either way, I’m finished responding to you.

      • My brain hurts from reading “incendiary bridge building”. That’s what happens, I guess, when you try and grasp and mentally model a particularly inane oxymoron…

      • brandon thanks for doing this. i don’t have time and you are doing a great job :)

      • How does misrepresenting the facts constitute “doing a great job?

      • Brandon This is complete rubbish … You just made it up.

        Curry : “I am through with these labels, and I hope to convince you to be finished with them also.

        You even quote Beck who actually said can not confidently attribute, NOT “impossible” as you then attempt to claim.

        See also gryposaurus below.

        Anything else?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Curry saying she is finished using labels in no way conflates two labels. Your argument here would necessitate claiming she attempted to conflate every label in existence. Obviously, she didn’t. She just said she was done using them. All you’ve done here is provide a quote without any explanation for why the quote matters.

        The word “cannot” (“can not” grammatically makes no sense in his sentence) can fairly be replaced with “is impossible to do.” I used “impossible” because it is an adjective, not a verb, so it fit in the sentences I was writing. There was no change in meaning, so my substitution was appropriate. coby claimed Curry said something cannot be done. She did no such thing.

        As for gryposaurus’s comments, those can actually be found above your comment, not below. However, I’ve already addressed those.

        Now then, would you explain just how Curry attempted to conflate “skeptic” and “denier,” or would you point to where Curry has said “we can not confidently attribute late 20th century climate change”? If not, will you change your blog post and apologize?

      • How very tiresome of you to:

        i) ignore “I hope to convince you to be finished with them also.

        ii) Straw man ” … necessitate claiming she … ”

        iii) any explanation for why the quote matters Try .reading the article

        iv) So you are claiming that when Ms Curry said:
        … cannot explain the warming in the earlier period … she really meant … it is impossible to explain the warming in the earlier period … ?

        v) Beck’s paraphrasing is fair notwithstanding your desperate attempts to distort it;

        vi) Even if we substitute Ms Curry’s quote into the post the point stands, so this is quibbling over a red herring as well as a Straw man “.

        vii) No, you responded to gryposaurus, but you did not refute his/her points.

        viii) … would you explain just how Try .reading the article.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Your points i – iii in no way respond to what I’ve said. Point iv cannot possibly be taken from anything I’ve said. Points v and vi are untrue, as his paraphrase changes Curry’s position from accurate to inaccurate. Point viii is just ridiculous, as the article doesn’t explain anything more than you have here.

        I am quite finished with you greenfyre. You haven’t tried to engage anyone about your blog post. You haven’t tried to have an actual discussion here. You can act haughty and claim to have “won” if you want, but at this point, the most you are doing is preaching to the choir. Neither your tone nor your comments could possibly be made in an honest attempt at communication, so this is over.

        You are not devoted to accuracy. You are just full of it.

      • You’ve made a stirling effort, Brandon and everything you have said in defence of Judith is totally valid. But as you yourself seem to recognize, there is little to be gained by continung to engage him . He is not here for a debate only to further inflate his ego and sense of self importance. Notice how he often ends a post with a question to keep the banal exchange going and to gain the attention he craves. IMHO it would be best to ignore him now and he will soon go away.

      • i) “What you said” was to cherry pick part of Ms Curry’s statement and pretend it was all of the relevant text. It wasn’t, and the predetermined conclusion you chose the out of context text to support does not reflect what she actually said, and is hence irrelevant insomuch as I was discussing what she actually said, not what you wish she’d said.

        ii) You stated “cannot” can fairly be replaced with” “is impossible to do”, so I simply did so with one of Mr Curry’s statements. Either stand by your original claim and accept the substitution for Ms Curry as well, or acknowledge it for being wrong in all cases, as it indeed is.

        iii) I am sorry I could not summon the charity to pretend that your attempt at a refutation was at all serious, but it wasn’t. By all means engage me respectfully and in good faith and I will respond in kind.

      • That is Dr. Curry to you.

      • PS Actually given how abusive you were in your posts I’m a bit surprised at how restrained I have been.

        If you are honestly seeking rational discussion with anyone you may want to consider refraining from name calling and making a bunch of false accusations in your opening remarks.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I am responding because I noticed I did make a mistake in my comment, and I should correct it. Your point iv was not as baseless as I had thought. I misunderstood what you said, thinking you were dropping the conditional aspect of the quote during the paraphrase. Upon rereading your comment, that is obviously not the case. You simply did not quote the conditional aspect in either version.

        So I do agree it is a fair paraphrase. There is obviously some difference which stems from the change, but I don’t believe any of it is relevant. I apologize for being unfairly critical due entirely to my misunderstanding.

        But since I am already responding, I have to scoff at these two comments of yours:

        By all means engage me respectfully and in good faith and I will respond in kind.

        I have consistently been far less abusive than you, and you have not improved your behavior in the slightest. Seeing as you have been extremely disrespectful on your blog and on this one in general, your claim regarding civility is hard to believe.

        If you are honestly seeking rational discussion with anyone you may want to consider refraining from name calling and making a bunch of false accusations…

        You tell me I should refrain from name-calling and making false accusations, yet I haven’t called anyone any names. You are telling me not to make false accusations while falsely accusing me of using name-calling. It’s laughable.

        Now then, this unless I come across some other error I have made, I am not going to respond again. I will make an exception for only one thing. If you actually explain how referring to “skeptic” and “denier” as “labels” (or anything Curry has said) is conflating the two terms, I will respond again.

        I’m not going to hold my breath though, as so far all you’ve done is offer quotes with no apparent relevance, then accuse me of dishonesty because I didn’t include other irrelevant portions of her text. It has been half a dozen posts now, and you still haven’t offered any explanation.

      • Re: “So I do agree it is a fair paraphrase”
        Thank you

        re: “I have consistently been far less abusive than you”

        From your initial (2 part) comment:
        your smear job
        you aren’t being accurate and honest
        complete rubbish
        for your insult
        Could you say anything more inane
        completely without basis. You just made it up
        you repeat false criticisms
        parroted a criticism
        you repeat false criticisms
        flagrant a misrepresentation
        fail to perform even the most basic of fact checking?
        shoddy work is pathetic
        just ridiculous

        Yes, just gushing with respect, I can see that now, and that is merely your first post which you now acknowledge you were wrong about.

        Whereas my TITLE hysteric reply … actually just responds to your points in a rather telegraphic manner, but is not abusive in any way … and on it goes from there.

        For God’s sake man, look at the evidence before making any more claims … shooting from the hip is not working for you.

        With that in mind, go back and read Dr Curry “I hope to convince you to be finished with them [labels] also” Are you saying that by “finished with them” she actually meant “keep using them?” Is that what you are suggesting?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        By the way, you should go back to this comment of yours. In it, you claimed to be testing a hypothesis. That hypothesis was proven wrong nine hours before you made that comment.

      • Man this is so cool. Greenfyre and Martha, together, one thread and one thread only. Wow! Get your tickets now. See them perform mind bending acts of linguistic gymnastics, redefining old favorites, and bringing new meaning to your very eyes and ears. If you have never heard a reflected meaning, now is your chance! Hear conflation done right! Experience truth, truthfully, powerfully! Watch the wonder of evidence and hearsay dancing together, as one! Don’t miss it.

        If there is only one thread you can read this year, this is it. It will change the way you view the world, nay the universe! Tell your friends, bring your neighbors, they wont want to miss this.

        Get your tickets now, before they’re all gone.

        (dull teenagers must be accompanied by a paying adult, signed waivers will be required, no refunds will be given.)

  37. “The role of American foreign relations in the formation of UN climate policy is irrelevant to a blog that tries its best to discuss climate science as its primary objective. If you want to infuse the science with the politics, please look elsewhere.” robert

    I have read all comments directed to me and feel it is representative to answer this one.

    I guess you have not read the stated goal of this blog. There is some responsibility to understand the goals.

    I wish to respect Judith Curry so I have actually read her ‘about’ page, in addition to alot of her posts. I also read other credible science sites, as time permits. Scientists, especially women scientists, are often busy people. I am interested in her informed opinion. I also have informed opinions.

    Please consider clicking on the ‘about’ page. It says:
    Climate Etc. provides a forum for climate researchers, academics and technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists, and the interested public to engage in a discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.

    The ‘science-policy interface’.

    A ‘forum’.

    What’s more, I fit into three of the categories.

    This blog is about discussing the point of interaction between science and policy, which is my area of interest. Your inability to look beyond your assumptions is something that I can’t help you with, here.

    Furthermore, I wonder if Judith is attempting leadership in a male-dominated circle. I’m sorry if that doesn’t resonate with you. It resonates with me and I wish her to succeed with her stated goals.

    My concern is that individuals don’t bother to read or understand those stated goals.

    Robert, what, exactly, do you feel you contribute?

    • Martha, interesting points you make about gender. I am so used to interacting in a male-dominated environment that i’ve ceased to ponder these kind of issues.

    • “The science-policy interface” ie the precise point at which science meets the policy. It is where scientists meet policy makers and it covers the way they frame their scientific advice. American grand strategy is hardly at the interface and IMHO is outside the scope of the blog. I suspect that your desire to discuss it merely demonstrates your own prejudices. This is my last word on the matter as I don’t wish to feed you any more. Good day to you madam.

      • “The science-policy interface” ie the precise point at which science meets the policy. It is where scientists meet policy makers and it covers the way they frame their scientific advice”

        Who is your audience for this statement, Robert? It’s not me.

        There is no such ‘precise’ point where science meets ‘the policy’. That is why terms like ‘interface’ are used, to encompass competing interests and not only science knowledge but many other spheres of knowledge. There is nothing precise about it. That is the point.

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Martha

        Your last couple of posts sound rather reasonable, and as one who was quick to attack your first offering, may I say that I hope you continue to post here making relevant, modest and specific points, rather than giving us the abstract from your Phd thesis in Power Relations right off the bat…

        A little less political correctness – “‘tribalism’. This term is used both in and outside of scholarship, and is generally not helpful. I’m sure you are at least aware that it is tied to colonialist views of Africans as primitive and stupid people.”

        Not being quite so condescending – “you have chosen to approach the situation using argumentation but to be honest with you your skills in this area are not the best.”

        And sounding less like you’ve swallowed a year 1 undergraduate Philosophy of Science primer – “but the problems with science as an establishment are widely understood and discussed in philosophy of science and date back to the Popper-Kuhn debate and before that to critiques of positivism.”

        ….might have got you a more sympathetic welcome. This is not a blog where driveby smart-ass wisdom is given much credence, and I think you’ll have to earn a little respect before you wade in with the big generalised criticisms of Dr Curry. Try lurking on a few threads for a week, spot something specific and criticise it specifically.

        Good luck.

      • Well, there’s another point, Martha. Like it or not, the policy flowing from the AGW camp amounts to global economic suicide. So it must be ruled out, both de jure and de facto. Then we are left with “coping” with the consequences of AGW, which requires quantification.

        And Climate Science is all over the map on that. It is, in fact, clueless. History, however, is replete with evidence that warming is beneficial.

      • “Like it or not, the policy flowing from the AGW camp amounts to global economic suicide.”

        Speaking of on or off topic, is this on topic?

        It seems to me that indefinitely delaying the policy is more costly than implementing it, presuming we come to grips with the problem before things become catastrophic. Had we (the west) simply implemented Kyoto the needed policies would likely have stayed at the nuisance level, again in my opinion.

        Admittedly, my expertise in economic matters is limited.

        But given the vast amount of doubt and even hostility pointed (unduly I think) at the climate community, it is amazing how these sweeping economic assertions get what seems like a free pass.

        Economic suicide? How do you know? What’s your evidence? How mature is your intellectual framework?

        I know quite a bit about climate science and only a little about economics, but the little I know is enough to tell me which is the more mature body of knowledge. It astonishes me that people prepared to dwell endlessly on the uncertainties of climate find themselves capable of such blanket economic assertions. I tend to doubt they know much about either field.

      • Hello Dr. Tobis, good to see you again. Could we please drop these references, from all sides, to the bashing of climate scientists/denialists? To paraphrase Dr. Curry, it is so 2010.

        New year, New start. As per this thread, a bit of mutual respect, and maybe we can inch a bit closer together eh? Not saying that you have to hug me or something like that, but maybe we can start with a handshake and the knowledge, that in fact we do agree on a lot of the science as presented. We just may not agree on the degree of the apocolypse.

      • Following the demands of the cAGWers like your own self would amount to a slash in global energy consumption of between 10 and 40%, depending on the rigor of the application and the particular mix. This would crash virtually every economy and society not already at 3rd world levels. It is inane on the face of it.

        For a very mild critique, from an AGW believer, try the work reviewed here by a VERY senior Hahvahd economist:
        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21494

        It concludes that the very mildest of “mitigations” would about break even over the next century, GIVEN full weight to the damage projections of Warmists and full efficacy of the policies adopted. The “strong” solutions, a la Gore-Stern, cost about 20 trillion more than they save.

        And since warming is not actually harmful, the picture is actually much worse than that, as there are no offsetting damage avoidance credits to mitigate the huge expenditures demanded.

        So mitigation is much worse than pointless.

      • P.S. Sentence structure: “the work by a VERY senior Hahvahd economist, reviewed here”

        And you’ll really like it! It’s based on a computer model (DICE).

      • Alarmist much, eh?

        Scott Denning talked to this myth at the Heartland Conference:

        http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/scott-denning-to-iccc-heartland-%E2%80%98conference%E2%80%99-gathering-%E2%80%9Cbe-skeptical%E2%80%A6-be-very-skeptical%E2%80%9D/

        “The worst media myth of all: Without the subsidy of cheap fossil energy, civilization will crumble!

        Be skeptical… be very skeptical!

        You’d think those un-American naysayers had never heard of capitalism …
        of the magic of markets …
        of the creative genius of a free people!”

      • Bart,

        I’m a bit confused with regard to the comparison being made. It’s true that the world benefitted greatly by the transition to fossil fuels. However, it doesn’t follow that a similar transition to a carbonless system would yield similar benefits in all cases.

        The transition to fossil fuels occurred in the manner Denning aludes to – it was market-driven rather than a government mandate. Additionally, the newer fuels supplanted the older ones as they became more and more available. The statement “Do you really think entrepreneurs will sit and shiver in a post-fossil world?” betrays a lack of familiarity with the real world – now, as then, our usage of currently available energy sources is key to moving to new ones. Cutting usage of the current set doesn’t magically trigger a transition to a new one.

        The manner of transition inherent in the policies Brian H refers to are anything but market-driven. Simply raising a price by artificial means doesn’t make it mean that the market will react the same way it does when prices move naturally. In the absence of a viable alternative, you have either just decreased the overall wealth of consumers (if no decrease in consumption occurs) or induced hardship (if the costs force a decrease in consumption).

        I will agree with one of Denning’s slides: “Modern wealth results from ingenuity and hard work. Before we run out of oil, we’ll invent energy technologies for the 21st Century.” Bearing that in mind, I tend to believe the next transition will occur in a manner similar to the last.

      • Gene,
        The present situation seems indeed different from the past transitions. In those past transitions the old solution was usually still evolving and betting better, but new alternatives were developing more rapidly. Thus the change was from good to better. Now the expectation is that we must sooner or later give up techno-economically superior solutions due to exhaustion of resources or environmental reasons. This is not likely to lead to a better economics than the old solutions, if they could still be used as before, but speeding up the development may lead to a better economics than postponing the transition as long as possible.

        The mechanisms of technological change has been the subject of quite extensive research, but the results are certainly not conclusive. Much of the interest has been directed both towards estimating the mechanisms that have been influencing the development in absence of strong technology policies and towards possibilities of speeding up the change with conscious policies.

        The book “Technological Change and the Environment” edited by Gruebler, Nakicenovic ans Nordhaus in 2002 contains an overview of much research. Some journals have dedicated special issues to the subject and related matters including Energy Economics in 2008 and twice in 2009 and The Energy Journal in 2006. IPCC WG3 includes also some material on this research in AR4/WG3 Chapter 11.

        In my judgment the research cannot really provide convincing arguments either to support introducing strong economic incentives (like quota and emission trading or high carbon taxes) to force accelerated phase-out of fossil fuels or to choose some less drastic policies. Modeling the dynamics of technological change is dependent on much less certain assumptions than modeling the global climate, and different assumptions may lead to almost opposite conclusions.

        The majority of scientists belong probably to the optimistic end of the spectrum, which believes in the power of strong incentives and/or massive support of R&D, but many are doubtful both on the efficiency of best policies and even more on the capability of the political process in finding and implementing these best policies.

      • Pekka,

        thanks for the tip re: “Technological Change and the Environment”, I’ll have to add that to my reading list.

        I have to count myself a member of those who “are doubtful both on the efficiency of best policies and even more on the capability of the political process in finding and implementing these best policies”. Government manipulation of the market is a blunt instrument at best and tends to excel at demonstrating the law of unintended consequences.

      • Gene,

        I totally agree that the necessary changes won’t happen magically nor all that easily. That was also a point of critique I had on Denning’s presentation (see the end of my post).

        Both you and randomengineer though didn’t seem to spot that some of what Denning had to say was meant not literally but rather tongue in cheek/sarcastically.

      • Bart,

        My apologies, I focused so much on Denning’s presentation, that I didn’t read your post as carefully as I should.

        As far as the tongue in cheek aspect, perhaps it came across more clearly in person…some of it I took as snarking on faith in market forces and some of it seemed (as it seems you’d agree) to be magical thinking.

      • Bart,
        The heart of AGW/alternative energy is magic thinking.

      • randomengineer

        Bart

        Are you a technology creationist?

        Are you thinking we engineeers are trained seals who can conjure radical new tech on command? as in “Gee, we could have given you carbonless SUV’s 20 years back, but nobody asked for them.”

        The serious question here is what technology do you imagine is simply waiting around the corner that we can transition TO?

      • Bart,
        You guys are breaking the first rule of holes.

      • The executive summary:

        > Nordhaus examines five kinds of global-warming policy, with many runs of DICE for each kind. The first kind is business-as-usual, with no restriction of carbon dioxide emissions—in which case, he estimates damages to the environment amounting to some $23 trillion in current dollars by the year 2100. The second kind is the “optimal policy,” judged by Nordhaus to be the most cost-effective, with a worldwide tax on carbon emissions adjusted each year to give the maximum aggregate economic gain as calculated by DICE. The third kind is the Kyoto Protocol, in operation since 2005 with 175 participating countries, imposing fixed limits to the emissions of economically developed countries only. Nordhaus tests various versions of the Kyoto Protocol, with or without the participation of the United States.

        Note that the optimal solution with the DICE model is a solution that adjusts itself to the DICE model. Let’s wonder why.

        As for the “warming is not actually harmful”, let us observe that it might be a little more complicated than that:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives-intermediate.htm

      • Richard S Courtney

        Michael Tobis:

        Concerning contraint of fossil fuel usage (which is what constraining GHG emissions really means in practice) you ask:

        “Economic suicide? How do you know? What’s your evidence? How mature is your intellectual framework?”

        I have given detailed answers to those questions on another thread, but a simple answer which you may grasp is as follows.

        All human activity requires adequate food, water, resources and energy supply. Constrain the energy supply and production of everything reduces (including food and potable water). At present the only afordable sources of abundant energy supply are nuclear power and fossil fuels. So-called ‘renewables’ cannot provide much energy because the laws of physics do not allow it, and they provide much more expensive energy supply than nuclear power and fossil fuels so their use inhibits production of food, potable water, and resources.

        Therefore, stopping the GHG emissions would reduce fossil fuel usage with resulting economic damage. This would be worse than the ‘oil crisis’ of the 1970s because the reduction would be greater, would be permanent, and energy use has increased since then. The economic disruption would be world-wide. Major effects would be in the developed world because it has the largest economies. Worst effects would be on the world’s poorest peoples: people near starvation are starved by it.

        Furthermore, if some countries adopted the high energy prices while others did not then that would be a direct incentive to transfer economic activity to other countries. Indeed, constraining GHGs provides a direct incentive for such transfer of some economic activities (e.g. manufacture of cement releases CO2 from limestone). So, constaraint of GHG emissions is an incentive for transfer of economy between countries with resulting loss – and probable collapse – of the economies which lose the activity.

        Costs of such GHG emission constraints to industrialised countries are indicated by the ‘Berlin Mandate’ that required OECD countries (Europe, Japan and the US) to reduce their CO2 emissions to 15% below their 1990 levels by year 2010 (although they did not). The US Department of Energy (DoE) estimated that this reduction would increase US domestic energy prices by between 80 and 90% and would increase the coal price to US consumers by 300%. Also, the DoE study determined that the Berlin Mandate would not reduce world-wide emissions of CO2. Energy intensive industries would be forced to move from the US to places where the emission constraints did not exist or were not enforced. This could even result in an increase to the emissions because the less-controlled places are likely to have less energy efficient industries. The DoE study went further by saying that its findings are not specific to the US but apply to every industrialised country.

        The US DoE study is supported by a similar study commissioned by the German government. That determined the cost to Germany of fulfilling the Berlin Mandate would be about US$500 billion and the loss of 250,000 jobs.

        But these job losses are the purpose of such constraints as provided by treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol. They are a transfer of economic activity from developed countries to developing countries that do not have the emission constraints.

        The above facts are inescapable realities until some future technology to replace fossil fuels at competitive price is found.

        Carson Towers and fusion power may be developed in the distant future, and in the far distant future other not-yet-developed cheap energy systems may also become available. These systems include geothermal energy from the Earth’s core and the sampling of thermal gradients across the oceanic thermocline. But, for many decades to come, such technologies will remain as mere science fiction.

        Richard

      • So…you are wrong about the cliamte crisis, youknow, admittedly little about economics, but we who have studied this are ‘immature’ to talk about how destructive going from dependable cheap power to undependable expensive power will be?

  38. To Michael Tobis,

    Perhaps you should start by contacting Ross McKitrick. I believe he could start your education.

    http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/

    http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/mckitrick.oeatalk.pdf

  39. AnyColourYouLike

    My tone reflected some anger over how a term was being repeatedly used.

    And by deliberately outlining what anyone would find in an introductory philosophy text and posting it to this comments thread on rational argument, I was calling Judith on a real problem with her approach to important exchanges — it is confusing people — and challenging her to bring stronger skills to the table instead of getting caught up in any personal issues-making or shadowboxing. The relevant context was from another blog, where her experience was very negative and her reaction was to dismiss everyone.

    I don’t need your approval or permission to speak. And Judith Curry is an equally accomplished, grown-up woman with alot of education and confidence, so I don’t really understand why you feel the need to facilitate our interaction beyond what we have clearly already chosen to say to each another about this.

    • Martha – don’t you find it kind of sweet* the way the big strong chaps rally round to defend poor little Judith?

      *nauseatingly so

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Louise

        Is that kind of crap really necessary? You’ve seen me defend McIntyre in much the same way, against D64 and others. What exact point are you trying to make?

      • I see you’ve given your permission for the females to converse without your supervison – very good of you

        It was you who said “You gals have fun now y’all” I believe?

      • AnyColourYouLike

        That’s called having a sense of humour Louise. If Martha had been male I’d have been just as critical, as indeed I was with the (presumably male???) man of mystery GreenFyre.

        So, you’ve got me down as a sexist pig on the basis of a couple of throwaway remarks….mmmm….and you really believe I was “giving permission”, cause, hey, I’m a patronising guy, right?!

        Yeah, ok, Louise! ;) The only sexist mindset I detect here is from your jumping in to flame, through some misguided sense of sisterhood.

        Whatever.

      • yes, lets have some girl talk, too much testosterone around here sometimes. If females were in charge, I’m sure things would be very different (IMO probably better).

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Actually you’d probably better delete that before I’m put to death by the sisterhood.

      • Hmmm, isn’t that a bit sexist?

        You might want to read about the history of what use to be called the Women’s Television Network here in Canada (now called just WTN) before drawing any conclusions about which sex gets along better.

      • Jealous?

      • Sounds like Louise has never experienced the pleasure of having a big strong chap (or chapette if you prefer) rally round to defend her.
        It’s a shame, coz the world doesn’t always need to be serious and PC.

        I still open doors and give up my bus seat to ladies Louise, do you hate me for it?

    • I’m still trying to get my head around the Martha phenomenon.

      First, in an instant classics of “I’m offended” inventiveness , Martha ingeniously discovers that Dr. Curry’s “colonialist” attitudes are also “racist.” (How’d you like to have Martha sharing your workspace?)

      Then Queen Wanna-Bee Louise jumps in to advise in her subtle, snippiest-best that she doesn’t appreciate “little Judith” getting all the attention and solicitude of the “big strong chaps”–an attention and solicitude one strongly suspects Louise regards as rightfully hers.

      And, of course, we have Greenfyre’s declaration before the world that Martha is the woman of his/her dreams.

      Finally, Dr. Curry, on whom the heavy charge of “colonialist racism” hangs, then proceeds to fire off a couple of Go-Girl! “broadsides” in Martha’s general direction.

      Did anyone else see that circus train whiz by? I’m not imagining it am I?

  40. AnyColourYouLike

    Oh well, fair enough Martha.

    Since Dr Curry has deigned to be kind and somewhat more welcoming than IMO your opening outburst deserved, I guess there is nothing more to say about it. For the record I was offering advice on not sounding quite so self-important as a new poster here, rather than giving “permission” or “approval”. However, I look forward to hearing your points of view in the future.

    You gals have fun now y’all. :)

  41. Skeptics are bound to love this one
    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110104/full/news.2011.701.html

    In Nature News:

    Why dire climate warnings boost scepticism
    Undermining belief in a fair world may mean that climate warnings go unheeded.

    • randomengineer

      [sigh] I suppose it’s not possible that people who seem to “believe in a just world” are also those who tend to be better at detecting overt attempts of manipulation.

      The data presented flies in the face of a psychology class experiment I took part of in school (back in the 70’s!!) where it just so happened that the less politically left one was correlated to the ability to read newspaper articles and determine the bias therein (left or right.) Of course that was an informal lark from an “eccentric*” prof, not a peer reviewed proof.

      *non-socialist, centrist psychologists? In the 70’s? Eccentric!

      Despite the informal nature of that experiment, that prof changed my life [obviously… here I am rambling on some 37 years hence. Sorry.]

  42. Hello Judith and all (am the Omniclimate guy). Finally I am remembering to click on the “Notify me of site updates” here too!!

    BTW On Dec 29, I happened to nominate Greenfyre’s original culinary marathon for the 2010 Edward Davis Wood, Jr.’s Climate “Blogging Turkey” Award. It sorts of makes sense (the award, not the blog post), and on multiple levels too 8-)

  43. Only a few more words on the Greenfyre-Martha duo. One reason there isn’t much impact for his blogs is the torrent of abuse unleashed upon anybody showing up over there. Presumably, few find much interest in being constantly read the riot act out of a scurrilous dictionary.

    I have collected my own “experience” of participating in a couple of threads at Greenfyre’s, in this blog post (whose text is unsuitable to children, I suspect).

    Martha on the other hand must be the same person accusing me (at Greenfyre’s, of course) of violating the IPCC copyright (!!!) since I committed the crime of publishing a few sums on some figures published in the SPM (the shock, the horror, the yawn)

    I guess I should be just happy not to have been accused of racism at the time. Lucky me.

    • AnyColourYouLike

      Maurizio

      Best not to diss Martha, especially with humorous sarcasm – that will merely confirm you as an old-fashioned, sexist male chauvinist pig….er…and don’t defend Dr Curry either as that merely indicates that you are…er…a nausiating, sexist male chauvinist pig…or something…

      …em…Louise can explain. ;)

    • Apparently you confuse ‘being presented with facts and documented evidence that exposes your claims as false’ with “torrent of abuse”

      i) anyone who cares to search my blog for your comments can easily ascertain that what you have received is generally the former;
      ii) the two actually are different, although this confusion of simple words seems to be a recurring problem for you;
      iii) hence the tendency for people to refer you to a dictionary;
      iv) it is true that at times your willful obfuscating and disingenuous argumentation have led some people to be less than kind towards you, but then if you insist on disrespecting people by not engaging them honestly some blowback is not surprising.

  44. Anycolouryoulike
    ‘you gals go have fun’

    You don’t see the problem so I’ll shed some light on it for the sake of rational discussion.

    You are in a sexist muddle. You express an utterly trivializing perception of women and Judith Curry, yet also wish to say you respect Judith Curry’s expertise and power.

    Please try to shine the light of day on what you think and why you think it.

    • AnyColourYouLike

      Martha

      Please get a sense of humour and stop being so pompous and victimised. It was a joke. ;)

      • Normally I would say that Martha is suffering from the effects of a humorectomy, but in light of the highly PC defense mechanisms of Martha, perhaps I would avoid that particular jab.

      • Not possible. Senior Member of “Pompous and Victimized R Us”.

        I predict exactly zero reduction of either no matter what is said or presented. It’s bred in the bone.

    • Martha – Could you explain why Greenfyre refers to Judith Curry as “Ms Curry”? In general, scientists are designated simply by their last names (Hansen, Lindzen, Curry, etc.), but on occasion, when they are discussed extensively, they are afforded the courtesy of the prefix “Dr.”

      Perhaps I’m overinterpreting Greenfyre’s unconventional form of description, but it seems compatible with an attempt to trivialize, patronize, or belittle – as though a “Ms” need not be given the respect due a scientist who is described in the usual manner. Is Greenfyre engaging in some form of sexist belittlement, or are those of us obsessed with terminology simply spending time on irrelevancies?

      • randomengineer

        Good point, amigo. Overt PC nonsense is a giveaway. Note martha’s feigned outrage over the use of the word “tribal” thus lefthandedly accusing Dr Curry of racism. If these posters (martha/greenfyre) were one and the same it wouldn’t be surprising.

      • Perhaps you could explain:
        i) why you would ask Martha to explain what my reasons are?
        ii) why you find the term Ms to be trivializing?

        Thank you

      • I can answer number 2 Gf. It is because as Fred said, when a person has gone through the trouble of getting a PHD, generally it is accepted manners to address them as Doctor. If we are discussing a paper or comment from a PHD, then the custom is to use the last name. By refusing to use the term Dr. Curry, as opposed to Ms. Curry, you are just being blatantly sexist, by inferring that Dr. Curry is less of a scientist then a man. You are denigrating her accomplishments in other words.

        If you were to have a bit of awareness, it may also occur to you that not only are you being sexist, but you are also close to being a hypocrite by posting your sexist drivel in this specific post – you know the one that started out discussing netequitte.

        As for question one, I’ll let Fred or Martha educate you on that point.

      • Insomuch as it is not my habit to refer to males as “Dr” in my writing I cannot see that I am depriving Curry of a recognition that I afford males.

        I was also unaware that an adult female is somehow to be considered of lesser competence or value than someone with a PhD; perhaps you could enlighten me on this fine point of gender politics.

        Be that as it may, I am more than happy to refer to Dr/Ms Curry in whatever way she is most comfortable with. My interest has always been in what a person says and does and I put no stock in titles, credentials and/or other labels.

      • GF, Dr. Curry has accomplished what just a few scant years ago would have been nigh on impossible. By you “not putting stock” into her credentials, shows that you have no idea what shit she has had to go through to be where she is today. Fine you treat men the same way, bully for you. As my mother would say, that still is no excuse to be rude. You talk about going after truth, well the truth is, Dr. Curry has a PHD, this entitles her to be treated with the least amount of modicum and be addressed as stated above. And yes, still to these eyes, your attempt to denigrate her by refusing to acknowledge her hard work and position by refering to her as Ms. as opposed to Dr. is just plain sexist. You keep on singling her out by her SEX, is that so hard to understand?

      • As others have correctly noted the most common forms of address are either “Dr” or simply the last name.

        Am I to understand that you are as concerned and offended by all instances where she or any other woman who has a PhD is addressed as anything other than ‘Dr’ or ‘Professor’?

        I note that her screen name is curryja … had you ever entertained the possibility that she prefers not to use the title? I am not suggesting that she necessarily does, I freely admit that I have no idea, merely that some people do.

      • When talking about Dr. Schmidt, do you label him as Mr. Schmidt?

      • randomengineer

        5 gets 20 that ‘Mr’ is reserved for skeptics.

      • Actually I refer to him as Gavin, but I not having met or corresponded with Dr Curry I would not be so familiar.

        & randomengineer would lose his money naturally … apparently it did not occur to him or you to look for evidence on my blog … but I guess that would be making a fact based argument.

      • So for Dr Schmidt, aman, just his name with no label is good enough. But for Dr. Curry, a woman, a label is needed to make sure we the audience know for sure that Dr. Curry is a woman. And you still cannot see how sexist that is? If you truly do not see this as sexism, then to me, your logic is bent and not worth wasting my time on your diatribe of character assault.

      • Actually none of you have the slightest idea why I have done what I did, but I remain absolutely fascinated by your conviction that to identify someone as a woman is to demean them somehow.

      • Ms is a social title, it is not a professional title (by conventions in England and America). Use of Ms in a professional environment is not typical, nor is Mr. for that matter. My gender (to the extent it is relevant at all) is indicated by my first name. Ms was derived from the desire not to identify a female by their marital status in a social environment. At this point, such appelations (mr and ms) seem meaningless, other than perhaps to indicate that the person is an adult. IMO, such social titles have outlived their usefulness. I do not use my professional title in social situations (as medical doctors do), in fact I rarely use my professional title, and am primarily referred to by my name (first, last, or a combination). I am not surprised that using a social title in a context such as this raised eyebrows and questions as to your motive.

      • No, gf, I understand all.
        ==============

      • Last attempt GF. I am pointing out to you the context. In your blog, yes I perused it, you are attempting to discredit Dr. Curry’s views. Fine. But by using the label of Ms. you intentionely point out that Dr. Curry is a woman, which has nothing to do with her PROFESSIONAL opinions. As you stated previously, if this Dr. Schmidt you were blogging about, you would just call him by his name, no label. And you can’t understand this as sexism? WOW!

        If you do not understand that as a matter of historical fact, women have been denigrated just for their sex (as in being unclean during their menstrual cycle), then you really do lack the neccesary sensitivity and logic, to have faith put into your pronouncements.

        Also, if I were to go to your site as a newbie, to try to ascertain knowledge on the subject of global warming, and I read that you are quoting someone called “Gavin”, how am I to know that this person is a prominent scientist in the GW society? Professional monikers do matter when looking for advice. I would much rather know that the Doctor I am seeing about my gout is not a Dental Doctor – DDS. Capiche?

        And if you need a bit more info on how bad woman have been treated for nigh on forever, by a male dominated world try this site to start with.

        http://theantisocialbutterfly.com/

      • Mike – Perhaps you didn’t intend to demean Dr. Curry when you referred to her as “Ms” instead of applying standard terms for referring to scientists – use of last names, either alone or possibly prefixed with “Dr” (she has a PhD). Regardless of intent, I expect that many readers will interpret that departure from standard practice as designed to be demeaning, or at least patronizing – as though implying someone called “Ms” should be taken less seriously than someone called “Dr”, as is the common practice when a prefix is attached to Judith Curry’s name. You can clarify this by stating your reasons for the unconventional use of “Ms”. You must certainly have had some purpose in mind.

        I have a more serious bone to pick with you, however. If you click on the “denizens” link toward the top right corner of this page, and then use the “find” function to read my bio, you will discover that you and I may share some views on climate. It is because of this that I find your site troubling. I say this because what emanates from it (in my perception) is an attitude of contempt toward your perceived adversaries that I am convinced is counterproductive. I assume that your intended audience includes open-minded readers interested in arriving at an accurate understanding of climate change. In my experience, a contemptuous attitude almost always alienates such readers. If they would ordinarily be amenable to giving your opinions a fair hearing, they will be less so in the face of that contempt. Some may be persuaded even so, but fewer than you could persuade with the same level of information accompanied by less inflammatory rhetoric.

        There are already a plethora of climate blogs. Some, as you know, already stand apart from others for the wrong reasons. I would urge to avoid joining that group.

      • AnyColourYouLike

        Fred

        I commend your post and agree with it entirely.

        Unlike yourself, I’m basically a sceptic of agw, however there are very few sceptic sites on which I post. That’s because I find the tone of some far too cheerleading and ready to accept almost anything that denies agw on face value. Many posts on those sites have the same tone of contempt I see from GreenFyre, and the same mind-numbingly boring, predictable bile and rhetoric.

        Sceptic or believer, we have to get beyond such rubbish.

      • Fred

        I certainly meant Dr Curry no offense, nor to diminish her credibility in the least (which I do not think being identified as a woman does. In my experience they are frequently saner and more competent than men), but you are correct that it has been calculated.

        The full explanation will be provided in the last post which should be going up in a day or two, so I hope you will pardon me not writing it out twice.

        However, I will draw to your attention:
        i) The assumption by some that ‘Ms’ is some sort of denigrating designation;
        ii) It is contextual; search for ‘Ms Curry’, ‘Judith Curry’, ‘Judy Curry’ + “climate change”and then compare and contrast where it elicits a reaction (if any), by whom, why, and how it is addressed.

        As for the second part of your comment, that is a much longer discussion and one more suited to my blog than Dr Curry’s, so I will leave it for now.

      • PS It was completely unnecessary to identify what ‘tribe’ you belonged to. Your comment is respectful and rational, that should be enough for anyone.

    • Entertaining or frustrating? It is frustrating to me to see them describe the article in Forbes as an attack on science. It is an attack on poor science and poor science reporting. It is definitely not an attack on the scientific method.

      RC got some facts correct but others wrong. For example, the Northwest Passage was sailed in 86 days by a wooden boat in 1944. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801448,00.html

      Plus, there is good evidence the oceans are not heating as quickly as AGW theory requires. See this graphic by Roy Spencer. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/01/dec-2010-uah-global-temperature-update-0-18-deg-c/

      I listened to the audio book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People today. One of the habits Covey described was listening to the other side. Not listening just enough to know the topic so you can reload with information to support your side. The trick is to listen long enough and deep enough to empathize with the other side.

      But it is really hard to listen to RC and empathize with their position when they distort the facts the way they do. If they were honest about the measurements which do not support the theory, then it would be easier to have a discussion. They really short circuit the conversation when censor comments from informed readers who are able to bring up evidence and measurement data they find uncomfortable. They simply do not want to deal with it. If they want to gain more respect, they have to show more respect to skeptics.

    • randomengineer

      RC claims Bell is mistaken OHT re Josh Willis and ARGO data.

      Meanwhile at WUWT today is a post re a paper in press purporting to show ARGO cooling. WUWT doesn’t seem to editorialise.

      As one with no dog in that hunt, which one is it?

      If it’s cooling will RC retract?

      • RE, thank you for that post. I had not seen the WUWT post or the paper by Knox. There are two issues: 1. Knox is looking at a different time period than Lyman, focusing on 2003-2008 – the period when the rise in ocean heat flattened. 2. Lyman does not trust the Argo data and Knox does.

        Lyman tried to armwave off the flattening of temperatures saying the cause was “unclear” and the uncertainties large enough that the flattening was “statistically meaningless.” Knox feels the uncertainties are related to the XBT data, not the Argo data.

        So if you trust the Argo floats, the flattening is real and statistically meaningful.

        Willis was able to establish that systematic errors effected the XBT data before. I’m sure he is looking hard at the Argo data. The result by Knox and Douglass is currently the best we have but is subject to future revision.

      • I’m waiting for Pielke Sr. to comment on this paper. As he has a history with OHC.

        :)

      • RM,

        Uh, highly unlikely, as I have good intel that the author of this paper puts a sock on, then shoe, then other sock, then other shoe, which we all know is just wrong!

        :)

    • Dr. Curry,
      I mentioned listening to Steven Covey’s book. He is very big on listening to the other side first instead of demanding to be heard first. Here are the major points and my reactions to them from the RC blog post:

      * RC claims that instead of the usual attack on science, the Forbes article attacks the media for reporting science – This is a totally bogus charge. The media has ignored important stories which show AGW is less likely to be dangerous. For a long time the media ignored Climategate, until it got so big it could not be ignored anymore. This does not mean the Forbes article was a good piece, but its criticism of the media is solid.

      * RC says Forbes is claiming the media underreported the fact 2009 and 2010 cyclone activity was low. RC tries to make it sound as if there is a still a connection between cyclones and global warming, but the science says no. Ryan Maure has done a great deal of work on this and it seems pretty conclusive. RC appeals to anecdotal evidence without any appeal to the scientific evidence.

      * The Ocean Heat Content paragraph says Forbes got it wrong because they did not know about the correction to the data. The RC criticism is true to a point. Data was corrected which erased the cooling, but the oceans are still not warming like AGW theory would predict. RC is not being straightforward about the issues here.

      * The Trenberth-Landsea controversy is old news. The research of Ryan Maure above has decided the issue in favor of Landsea. It is ridiculous RC is taking this position.

      * Glaciers are melting, but in most instances it has been determined this is not related to warming but to lack of precipitation. It is disingenuous of RC to keep this fact from readers.

      * The ice cap issue is very much in flux. No clear winner here in my opinion, but I expect a clear winner will come forward soon.

      * Sea level is measured in mm and uncertainty is high. Taken alone, I am not sure the data means much of anything. I would love to see someone do a thorough audit of the data on sea level rise because the data is conflicting. I linked to Roy Spencer’s data earlier.

      If climate scientists were smart, they would hire Steve McIntyre to audit their numbers and see if they hold up. If they don’t have the confidence to do that, maybe they should find another line of work.

  45. Now that’s pretty clear what Greenfyre is up to (a playground bully kicking and pushing his way ahead in a game, managing by that to score and then turning around wondering why nobody else is cheering apart from the usual minions), it should also be pretty clear why Judith is “Ms Curry”, and Gavin is “Gavin”.

    The trouble is not about sexism, but about the impossibility of denigrating a person as a person AND calling her using her first name. Since Greenfyre is a human being too, he needs to put some distance first between himself and us subhumans. It’s only after that that he can afford to play he mudslinger.

    Funny thing is, in many respects I can be classified as a “warmist” myself, only intolerant of undue alarmism and more concerned about personal liberties than the climate of 2100AD. That’s how I interpret the incredible list of insults continuously pouring out in my direction, and that’s why I forecasted even more insults in the direction of “Ms Curry”. You see, there is nothing an integralist hates more than a “heretic”…just check how many Muslims have died at the hands of “Islamic” fundamentalists, or how many Communists at the hands of Stalin’s secret police.

    Greenfyre is not out there trying to kill anybody (at least for now, but then what he plans to do with the subhumans, he hasn’t told yet), but he’ll be doing plenty more soiling of his own (and others’) blog, for sure, constantly repeating the one concept, that anybody not completely agreeing with him is not a human being.

    • Latimer Alder

      I think you should refer to this person with his chosen qualification and appropriate due reverence. Thus:

      Greenfyre (FCD = Friend of Charles Darwin – self-appointed)

      or

      Mike Kaulbars FCD.

      To leave off the suffix surely implies a lack of respect.

  46. Dr. Curry,
    It seems the whole Ocean Heat Content issue deserves a post.

    Here’s the way I read the situation. Roy Spencer does not trust most of the satellite readings. The only one he trusts is the AMSR-E instrument, which shows no warming trend. I haven’t read up on this instrument but assume sea surface temps are arrived at from calculations of steric sea level rise.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/01/dec-2010-uah-global-temperature-update-0-18-deg-c/

    At any rate, Knox and Douglass trust the Argo data which show no warming of the oceans from 2003, a finding consistent with the AMSR-E satellite (although they don’t mention it).
    http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperDownload.aspx?FileName=IJG20100300001_98861471.pdf&paperID=3446

    The folks at RC evidently believe the satellites Spencer finds untrustworthy because they claim sea levels have been rising since 2003. For that reason, they do not trust the Argo data. Lyman et al published in Nature in May 2010 and Knox submitted in July 2010.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/01/forbes-rich-list-of-nonsense/
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7296/full/nature09043.html

    • Ron, I definitely agree this is an important topic. I’m struggling (for the next month) to find time, so it will probably be a while before i get to it.

      • I understand, Dr. Curry. I’m not rushing you or pressuring you. I just know you are interested in hearing ideas, as I would be if I had the time and skills to write a science blog.

      • Thanks, I very much appreciate your suggestion.

  47. “What time is it?” I shaped the words with my mouth, not speaking aloud but breathing in the lightest of whispers. James could make out what I was saying.