A disastrous truth

by Judith Curry

The Financial Times has an interesting article entitled “A disastrous truth” by Simon Kuper (h/t Roger Pielke Jr.).  The title is a clever play on the words of Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Kuper writes:

It’s now becoming clear that the Delta Works are a model for the world. This month’s deadly floods in BrazilSri Lanka and Australia – after last year’s deadly floods in Pakistan and Colombia – show how many people need Delta Works right now. But that’s not because of climate change. Certainly, man-made climate change is happening – it has already contributed to rising global temperatures and sea levels. However, according to most climate scientists, it cannot presently be shown to have anything to do with the recent disasters. We need to do something gigantic about climate change, but, separate from that, we also need projects like the Delta Works.

Here is a link for Delta Works.  The article concludes with:

When it comes to preventing today’s disasters, the squabble about climate change is just a distraction. The media usually has room for only one environmental argument: is climate change happening? This pits virtually all climate scientists against a band of self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism. (I know, I get the sceptics’ e-mails.) Sometimes in this squabble, climate scientists are tempted to overstate their case, and to say that the latest disaster proves that the climate is changing. This is bad science. It also gives the sceptics something dubious to attack. Better to ignore the sceptics, and have more useful debates about disasters and climate change – which, for now, are two separate problems.

I wholeheartedly agree that these are two separate problems (I disagree with the  statements that I have put a strike through), and expressed this sentiment in my post “Pakistan on my mind.”  The rationale for tying individual (or collective) extreme events to global warming was reinforced by Hurricane Katrina, which became a focusing event for global warming when for the first time the public seemed to understand that a 1 or 2 degree increase in sea surface temperature could be associated with more intense hurricanes (I posted an overview on the hurricane/global warming issue here).  The rationale then becomes to use each new disaster as a “teachable opportunity” to build support support for climate change science and policies.  The strategy is no longer working, and worse, it is based on the premise that we can actually attribute individual extreme events to global warming (see my previous post on this).

Extreme weather events and global warming are two different problems, with two different solutions.  Extreme events will undoubtedly change in a warmer climate (for better or for worse), but they won’t go away or change in character in any dramatic way.  Damage will continue to increase because of increasing population and concentration of assets in vulnerable regions (e.g. coasts, deltas, floodplains).

317 responses to “A disastrous truth

  1. Ignoring skeptic arguments does not decrease their validity.
    The author’s main point: that ‘climate change’ (is he not up to speed on the latest name, ‘global climate disruption’?) and weather disasters are two separate issues is a basic tenet of the skeptic argument.
    His explanation that climate scientists only used extremist talk and hype in response to them bad ol’ denialists is great except for its being false. But he is admitting that hype and mis-leading claims were in fact used. So progress is being made.
    And it seems we are moving the center of the discussion where it belongs: away from alarmist clap trap and to doing things that actually make a difference.

    • hunter

      You get that the article is ultimately arguing for a worldwide project to dam up and control all major water flows everywhere under some single world government, right?

      • Bart R –

        I think you must have read a different article than I did, as there seems to be nothing like that in there. It might be more useful to actually address hunter’s comment, instead of trying to deflect onto a strawman-like side issue.

      • Beyond the “single world government” aspect (are we not already dying of a cancerous metastasis of government into every aspect of the private human being’s existence?) there’s also the fact tht this approach accords to politicians and bureaucrats the sorts of god-like omniscience, omnipotence, and nonpartisan omnibenevolence which not even archangels are accorded in religious myths.

        If Hurricane Katrina’s impact upon New Orleans demonstrated to anyone with wit enough and honesty enough to acknowledge factual reality, it was that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had completely screwed the pooch in their decades of effort to re-sculpture the Mississippi River and that Gulf of Mexico port city.

        Building levees, broadening and re-routing watercourses, the Corps of Engineers and other dredge-and-bulldoze agencies of government effected a change in the Father of Waters such that the river’s silt-accumulating bottom was – by the time of Katrina – elevated like the floor of an ancient Roman aqueduct well above the parts of New Orleans where people had built their homes and businesses.

        Unlike those Roman aqueducts, of course, the Mississippi River drains most of America from the Continental Divide to the Appalachians.

        Lots of water, just waiting to find a lower level than that created by the Corps of Engineers, levees and pumping stations be damned.

        Given the record of government-run hydraulic engineering and their projects’ proclivities for failing catastrophically, what gives anyone to think that Delta Works schemes are going to be applicable other than in places like the Low Countries, where great cyclonic storms (hurricanes and typhoons) are simply never seen?

      • Rich,

        The Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain are above part of New Orleans land level. Blaming the corps isn’t quite the way to go as they were also doing a lot of work on reestablishing salt water marshes and other ecologically friendly projects since the mid 90’s. Ultimately the Politicians determined where and on what the money was spent NOT the Corps leaving the levees that failed unmaintained due to LOCAL politics!!

        The river did not flood New Orleans, a surge from the gulf in Lake Pontchartrain did!!

        You might also want to consider that parts of New Orleans are subsiding faster than CLAIMED sea level rise!!

        http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/hurricane/Sea-Level-Rise.pdf

      • kk has it right; the Corps planned and requested funds for decades to upgrade and maintain NO’s defenses. It was always trimmed away by Congress as “not urgent”. As usual, the real pooch-screwers were the pols.

      • I find myself in a rare moment of agreement with most of what is said by people finding themselves in rare moments of agreement with me.

        I’d have to refine Brian H’s blame-laying: the errors of the “pols” were famous, and braodly reported to the public, for decades. The problems with New Orleans predicted by the engineers made it (albeit in a greatly clipped reference) into a movie with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.

        In this case, there’s no people to blame except The People, who had every opportunity to avail themselves of full information and vote accordingly.

        I’m in no position to substitute my own judgment for that of The People. But in this case, as in so many others, The People have a heavy burden on their shoulders.

        So, yes, the ultimate argument of a proposal using a map of the highly regulated system of dykes and waterways of northern Europe frames itself in a way that cannot avoid debate of a single world system of regulating all major water flows worldwide.

        If it intended other, it would use other maps.

        And maybe it would point out some of the disasters coming out of close regulation by unrepresentative governments.

      • Bart R,
        If the author wants to indulge in a science fiction utopian(dystopian) fantasy, he is welcome to it.
        The thing I find fascinating is that even as AGW implodes its true believers keep pretending they were correct.
        Think of this lesson from eugenics’ rise and fall: evolution, the science eugenics distorted to push its unworkable and ultimately nightmarish social agenda, was good science.
        AGW policy demands- which are at least as unworkable and could easily be as tragic as eugenics- continue to fail. As do AW dire warnings of climate doom which fail every time they are invoked.
        What we are left with is a climate science that will be with us into the future. If we are lucky, it will mature as evolutionary science has done and open up practical methods to actually help people.
        But the apocalyptic clap trap of Hansen, this paper’s author, and so any others in the AGW movement will be forgotten by the time climate science is actually useful.

      • hunter writes: “But the apocalyptic clap trap of Hansen, this paper’s author, and so any others in the AGW movement will be forgotten by the time climate science is actually useful.

        Nope. I don’t think that the evil (as opposed to the stupid and the insane) machinations of charlatans like Hansen are ever going to be forgotten. JC Moderation

        Not in this “information age,” not after literally trillions of wasted dollars and euros and yen and whatever other fiat currency you care to name stolen from productive activities to utterly worthless “carbon abatement,” or hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of third-world folk starved to death for want of agricultural production turned to fuel ethanol manufacture.

        Heck, think of all those windmills out there, rusting and collapsing but still standing tall and reminding us of just how evil, stupid, and insane these “global warming” bastiches have been.

        There are fields of monuments to the cupidity, the cement-headedness, and the rabid-squirrel frothing craziness of Hansen and his co-conspirators. JC moderation

      • Dr Curry – are you happy that your board contains comments such as “the evil machinations … of the charlaton Hansen”

        I know that you can’t respond to every comment but you seem to have quickly stricken out comments that you don’t agree with such as “This pits virtually all climate scientists against a band of self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism. (I know, I get the sceptics’ e-mails.)” but have not commented on the above.

        Unfortunately, as a blog owner you will be associated with all comments unless you state that you disagree with them – that’s just how it goes (especially when you DO make a point of disagreeing with some but not others).

      • Louise, grow up and quit being silly.

        Only the feeble minded think that all comments on a blog belong to the owner.

        Spirited discourse is sometimes not pretty for those holding differing views.

        Live with it or leave.

      • Latimer Alder

        Read the thread before commenting.

        Judith struck those lines out to show that she personally did not agree with them, having been asked earlier to show which bits she was happy/unhappy with. This is explained in the text. The text is still readable, both here and in the cited original.

      • Latimer, read the comment before replying.

      • Latimer Alder

        I did. What other remarks do you want me to make?

        That you don’t like the remark about Hansen is your view. Others would agree with it wholeheartedly.

        And your problem with ‘light moderation’ is what exactly? That you might read something you don’t agree with?

      • Latimer Alder

        It is also worth noting that Judith did not strike out a ‘comment’. She had used the piece from the AMS as her introduction to this whole topic, and disagrees with a couple of things from it.

        You remark

        ‘Unfortunately, as a blog owner you will be associated with all comments unless you state that you disagree with them – that’s just how it goes (especially when you DO make a point of disagreeing with some but not others)’

        is both incorrect under the circumstances and extremely naive. I might even go so far as to call it ‘piffle’. As orkneygal nearly says ‘grow up or ship out’.

      • You will see that further down this page Dr Curry did indeed strike out a comment: “Hoo, boy. You’ve just moved out of the third category, Mr. Starkey, and firmly into “insane.” ” which, in, my opinion, was much milder than calling Dr Hansen an evil charlatan.

        Perhaps Dr Curry has not yet spotted the Dr Hansen comment (hence my bringing it to her attention) or perhaps she agrees with it.

        Readers will decide based upon her actions now that the comment has been pointed out.

      • Louise, Puhleez. I thought you agreed to go away the other day. Have you read Hansen’s Chinese editorial? Many think the same of Hansen, but Rich has the honesty to actually say it. What would you prefer, to stifle his speech?

      • Louise, I try to read every comment, but I am not on the blog 24/7. I moderate lightly by striking out statements that are in violation of blog rules. This is a blog for discourse on the controversial topic of climate change; people disagree with me and with each other. Rich Matarese’s comments often get moderated, I havent caught up with all the comments over night.

      • Louise, 6:10am

        If you can’t even be trusted to quote properly, how much attention should other people pay to what you write?

        Let us count the errors in your purported seven word quote of Rich M. in the post above yours.

        1) Phrase “evil machinations” used by you. No one else.
        2) Phrase “charlaton Hansen” used by you. No one else.
        3) Ellipses incorrectly placed.
        4-5 “charlatans” mis-spelled and converted to singular.
        6 “like” preceding Hansen stripped from text, thereby making Hansen sole target rather than an example of a group of like-minded people.
        7) Then throw quotes around the whole comedy of errors as if passing on precise wording of Rich M.

      • Ellipses should be ellipsis.

      • Louise is upset that the machinations of Dr. Hansen and his fellow members of the “Carbon Dioxide is Satanic!” AGW Cargo Cult priesthood have been characterized as stupid, insane, or evil.

        I can appreciate her feelings. My opinion of her feelings can only be expressed in language which Dr. Curry considers nasty and impolite, and doesn’t want displayed on her Web site. The reader is obliged, therefore, to imagine my contempt for Louise and the horse she rode in on, because I’m refraining from expressing it as explicitly as might offend Dr. Curry.

        Shall we calmly recall the preposterous positions on anthropogenic global climate change taken by Dr. Hansen since he stumbled into his “Jeez-CO2-is-a-greenhouse-gas-on-Venus-so-it’s-gotta-cause-catastrophic-warming-on-Earth!” notion many decades ago?

        Now, we all know that this concept is right up there with Jonathon Swift’s flying island of Laputa, the difference being, of course, that Swift was writing satire and Dr. Hansen was writing grant applications and requests for whacking great budget increases.

        Not that the title of Swift’s section from Gulliver’s Travels doesn’t have a piquant evocation of the career of Dr. Hansen. Anybody else reading here have sufficient familiarity with Spanish idiom to get the connection?

        For Dr. Hansen to be so very, very wrong and yet still keep pushing his Cargo Cult Science through Algore’s U.S. Senate hearing in 1988 and gloriously forward even to this day, there must be some speculation about his motives, correct?

        Conscious of prior art in the examination of fatuous and pernicious sustained efforts on the part of people otherwise presumed competent to operate motor vehicles on the public highway and balance their checkbooks, I credit writer L. Neil Smith (by way of his essay “Murder by Gun Control) with the explanatory phrase:

        “Stupid, insane, or evil. “

        Mr. Smith was speaking in that essay to the machinations of victim disarmament advocates, but in that Dr. Hansen has repeatedly called for government thugs to use violent force against Dr. Hansen’s fellow Americans in order to compel reductions in those Americans’ carbon dioxide emissions, there are similarities sufficiently strong that I cannot see where Mr. Smith’s type of assessment cannot be usefully applied to Dr. Hansen and the other “scientists” grabbing at grant funding and echoing his “Big Juju Come Soon, Oceans Rise, All Drown!” posturing upon the equivalent of a Papuan airstrip abandoned by the USAAF.

        If not stupid and/or insane, what is left but evil?

      • Heh!
        The real question about Hansen is – How the hell does he keep his “job”? There’s been ample and recurring reason for his dismissal under the provisions of the Hatch Act for at least 20 years.

        I’m rapidly approaching agreement with your assessment.

      • Just to elaborate a bit on the “Cargo Cult” reference, Climate Science, and Hansen its poster child, have been going through their own ritualized emulation of doing science, believing that to be sufficient to make their wishes and beliefs come true.

        Their explosions of outrage when it is pointed out that bamboo and wattle radar domes don’t cut it are pathetic.

      • Craig Goodrich

        To put it as tactfully as possible:

        Dr. Hansen has always been an enthusiastic environmental activist with strong political instincts. His early work was in astrophysics, specifically Venus, where the atmosphere is 95% CO2 and the surface temperature is hellish.

        Despite the fact that the predictions/”projections” of his late-1980s CO2-driven models of the climate of Earth have after more than two decades proven more or less spectacularly wrong, Dr. H persists in making public pronouncements which most knowledgeable experts of whatever political persuasion regard as absurdly exaggerated.

      • I think of them as resources for a booming future scrap industry: There’s lots of REEs in them thar ‘mills!

    • Thank you, Rich, for stating the problem so clearly.

      The unholy alliance of politicians, bureaucrats and scientists:

      a.) Demanded “god-like omniscience, omnipotence, and nonpartisan omnibenevolence”, and at the same time

      b.) Destroyed the very foundation of science by hiding and manipulating experimental data and observations that did not fit their hidden agenda.

      Key observations that have been “officially overlooked” – from the time of the 1969 fall of the Allende meteorite and the Apollo Mission to the Moon – are summarized in a new paper on the energy source that powers the Sun, exerts dominate control of Earth’s climate, and sustains life on Earth: http://db.tt/9SrfTiZ

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

    • Of interest to me, in addition to the issues addressed by others on this thread, was Mr. Kuper’s description of sceptics–“self-taught, freelance sceptics.”

      The “freelance” adjective seems to be a grudging concession, by Mr. Kuper, that sceptics are not typically in the pay of big-oil, the Koch brothers, etc. and that seems to me to be quite a concession.

      But the real prize, is Mr. Kuper’s selection of the adjective “self-taught” to first describe sceptics and then justify ignoring them. The horror of the “self-taught” is, we can be sure, one of the bogeymen of the establishment curia. And that Mr. Kuper’s only recommendation is to “ignore” these lumpen-scholars is a pretty good indication that the priesthood has concluded it no longer controls the interpretation of the “holy writ” and doesn’t know how to effectively respond.

      But then, as a former 60’s radical (sort of and briefly), maybe I’m reading too much into Mr. Kuper’s thoughts.

      • And here I spent a good part of my career being a professional skeptic – that nothing is proven until it is proven conclusively and incontrovertibly. I always thought this was part of being a good researcher …

      • randomengineer

        But the real prize, is Mr. Kuper’s selection of the adjective “self-taught” to first describe sceptics and then justify ignoring them.

        Kuper is an idiot. Autodidacticism is required just to be able to do science in the first place. Anyone with any brains at all is an autodidact by definition.

      • I interpreted his statement as ignoring the battle over global warming skepticism and getting on with building dams.

      • Dr. Curry,

        I can see I’ve been a part of the discussion that has steered commentary away from the issue you found of greatest value in Mr. Kuper’s article. For what it’s worth, I also think (I hope I’m not putting words in your mouth, Dr. Curry) that the AGW focus of policy and funding has been at the expense of mitigation–especially dams–with tragic real-world consequences.

        On the other hand, I suspect I share with others on this blog a profound scepticism of any do-gooder project however worthy the putative goal. That is, it seems to me as if every public policy initiative, however noble it’s original impulse, quickly gets co-opted by monied interests and those with “big” ideas for the “little” people (both right and left). So I find myself deeply suspicious of any “great idea” nowadays. But good people like yourself, Dr. Curry, with this blog may be able to turn that situation around. I surely hope so.

      • The battle is not over skepticism, as skepticism makes no policy demands. The battle is over AGW and environmentalist policy demands that government force people to change the way they live. The threat of disaster cannot be divorced from this movement because it is the primary driver. Ever since Silent Spring projected song bird extinction, environmentalism has been based on projecting natural disasters using simplistic science. That will not, cannot change.

      • Right, NASA and NOAA were into songbirds. NOAA scientists were with my father’s regiment when they captured Mt. Suribachi: in combat.

      • Mr. Wojick makes a salient point – indeed, the salient point in this or any other discussion of the AGW fraud – when he writes: “The battle is over AGW and environmentalist policy demands that government force people to change the way they live.

        The key word in that point is “force.” Dr. Curry’s 6 January thread on “Libertarianism and the environment” offered all interested the opportunity to examine in some depth the difference between the individual human rights perspective – libertarianism – and the collectivist approach to environmental issues.

        This latter is being implemented by a coalition of the evil, the stupid, and the insane, working together if not in conspiracy than in concert, each seeking different ends but pursuing their objects in such a fashion as to “force people to change the way they live” [emphasis mine] rather than peaceably to persuade.

        I offer here the opinion that the climatologists lurking and striving to drown our civilization in the hideously polluted “mainstream” of their dubious excuse for a scientific discipline are – of the three choices above (evil, stupid, insane) – uniformly evil. If the information packed in the FOIA2009.zip archive proves anything, it’s that they passed out of “stupid” more than twenty years ago, and they’ve been cooking along on the “evil” motivation ever since, especially with regard to their coherent structured cooperation in the perversion of peer review and their coordinated co-option of control over the authoritative surface temperature databases to achieve duplicitous “value enhancement” of the information by way of which honest scientific skeptics could prove the AGW hypothesis false.

        I repeat: the key word is “force.”

        Anyone who advocates pointing a gun at you – whether he wants to do it himself or is determined to send an armed government thug to do it on his behalf – is determined to wage war against you. He has abandoned even the seeming of reasoned argument – you getting this, reader? – and wants nothing more from you than your obedience to his will.

        Except for the “stupid” and the “insane” members making up the coalition of the evil, the stupid, and the insane, there has never been any purpose behind the great AGW fraud except to provide a velvet glove to mask – however translucently – their iron fist.

        And the evil (as always) are in control.

      • Rich Matarese:
        Were the ´evil´ to have been always in control, I suggest we would not be considering this problem, here.

        Sane and wise persons still seek Good.

        Dr. Curry, thank you.

      • I don’t lok at this as good and evil, but I do view things in general as rational or irrational on a concrete level.

        As for what would be happening given this group or that group being in control, that’s all conjecture. But I can say what is happening now. Dams across the country are being removed to comply with federal regulations – there’s a huge environmentalist (and federal government) legal push to remove dams, and prevent new ones from being built.

      • When one speaks of “rational or irrational” – especially “ on a concrete level,” one is simply discussing “stupid” and “insane” versus (respectively) dispassionately informed and lucidly reasoning.

        Those who are “irrational” may be willfully ignorant or congenitally incapable of acquiring information and handling abstract conceptualization – “stupid” – or they may be impaired by psychopathology of some kind. “Insane.”

        The “evil,” by contrast, tend reliably to be exceeding “rational.” They are simply not truthful, for they are exercising their reasoning faculties to violate the rights of other people. The truth would arm their victims against their thieving, enslaving plots.

        It is certainly possible that there may be an element of the “stupid” and the “insane” in those who are predominantly “evil,” but to the extent that these “evil” people pose a danger to social comity and public order, they are both intelligent and compos mentis.

        The observation that “Dams across the country are being removed to comply with federal regulations” has to be discussed in the context of where these dams exist, why they were constructed to begin with, and why there are “federal regulations” requiring many of them to be demolished.

        For the greatest part, they were dams constructed for various purposes – mostly for the creation of reservoirs or other artificial ponds and lakes – by private parties on private lands, and these dams have over the decades fallen into disrepair for lack of maintenance and other upkeep. Given that local governments cannot for the most part afford to take on the expense of such maintenance and repair, the restoration of the dammed waterways to status quo ante may be the only reasonable option.

        Remember the Johnstown Flood (1889)? That was the result of a dam constructed to impound the waters of the Conemaugh River to create a reservoir – Lake Conemaugh -to support one of those canal system “internal improvements” boondoggles beloved of the grafting, thieving, counterfeiting, consumer-plundering Whig Party.

        Think “proto-Republicans.”

        The canal line was abandoned when the railroads came along, and the abandoned property containing the reservoir had been purchased cheaply by monied Carnegie Steel magnates to create the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, one of those oh-so-exclusive and secretive recreational venues for rich Rotarian Socialist hob-nobbery.

        They did not maintain the dam properly. The rest is death and disaster.

        The removal of these many dams today poses an interesting problem for a lot of local governments in America. Many of these private sector dams were built to create artificial lakes specifically to provide residential building sites with “lake shore vistas,” thereby raising the assessed values of these properties.

        So when the former artificial lake is returned to its natural state – a boggy expanse of mud and sea oats (what folks in New Jersey euphemize as “meadows”) along a trickle of creek water, do those homes formerly provided “lake shore vistas” get massively down-graded by the property tax assessors, kicking the hell out of the local government’s tax base?

      • Satire, parody? What branch of humor? Whatever, it continues:

        ¨… boondoggles beloved of the grafting, thieving, counterfeiting, consumer-plundering Whig Party. / Think “proto-Republicans.”/
        …, one of those oh-so-exclusive and secretive recreational venues for rich Rotarian Socialist hob-nobbery.¨
        Still incorrect: ¨And the evil (as always) are in control.¨

      • Nope, John R T. Simply history.

        Anent the Whig Party’s American System of “bridge-to-nowhere” government-funded “infrastructure” projects, counterfeit currency issue, and high “screw-the-consumer” import tariffs, what is it about this nation- and economy-destroying scheme of institutionalized graft and predation that evokes humor? Or which fails to connect the Whig Party’s corrupt and mercantilist and currency-debauching policies with those of its successor, the current Republican Party?

        I’ve been informed that the term Rotarian Socialism was coined by writer and educator Frank Chodorov sometime in in 1953 or thereabouts, and characterizes the statism of the modern Republican Party quite perfectly to this day.

        Something along the lines of “Three cheers for free enterprise, and keep them tariffs and quotas and set-asides and cost-plus contracts and sweetheart deals a-coming!

        Is this not the sum and substance of the Red Faction in America’s great Boot-On-Your-Neck Party permanent incumbency to this day?

        If you’re laughing, John R T, it’s the vacant, nervous laughter of the utterly clueless. You don’t get the joke because there’s no joke to get.

        And the evil – as always – are in control of that great coalition of the “Stupid, insane, or evil.” Anyone who would deny this without examination, without due consideration, even in twitchy neurotic compulsion, terrified to confront the facts of reality, is pitifully contemptible.

      • Rich,

        that is a typical Leftist only your side is evil rant. Try looking at the actual failings of MOST of the politics in the US and the rest of the world!!!

      • Nah, kuhnkat. It’s more like a typical constitutionalist dismissal of the faux “choice” we’re offered between metastatic bowel cancer (the National Socialist Democrat American Party) and malignant glioma (the Rotarian Socialist Republicrats).

        The Red Party is the faction of “fiscal conservatism” to precisely the same extent that you, kuhnkat, can travel faster-than-light to the lesser Magellanic Cloud for a quick ice cream sundae and be back at your computer before the Superbowl XLV kick-off.

        Hell, the Republicans have never been fiscal conservatives. The short-sighted and historically illiterate average American wrongly considers the Republicans “conservative” simply because their real opposition – the so-called “Solid Gold” Bourbon faction of the Democratic Party – was shoved out by the “progressives” beginning in the 1890s, the Blue Party having been taken over by thieving, counterfeiting, socialistic sons-of-diseased-mongrel-dogs who have been worse than the Republicans ever since.

        By the national elections of 1804, the Democratic Party – which had been the U.S. political party opposing foreign intervention (“imperialism,” they were calling it then), currency inflation (hence the nickname “Solid Gold” Democrats), spending on all sorts of “infrastructure” to flood cronies’ and contributors’ pockets with taxpayer money, commerce-stranglingly high consumer-screwing “protective” tariffs (the Democratic Party was the party of free trade) – had been taken over by William Jennings Bryan “Cross of Gold” inflation-pushing populists and Woodrow Wilson dirigiste “moral equivalent of war” progressives.

        Where the hell d’you think Nixon’s insane “War on Drugs” idea came from?

        The progressives were utter and unashamed racist bigots, too. It was absolutely NO coincidence that staunch Democrat permanent West Virginia Senator-for-Life Robert Byrd had been in his younger days an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.

        He was the perfect representative of the Woodrow Wilson hateful racist progressive movement.

        After 1904, there was really no substantial difference in the broad policy goals of the two supposed “choices” being offered Americans at the ballot box. There were (and continue to be) arguments over who gets to control which source of graft, but no real, substantive contention that the control mechanisms designed into the U.S. Constitution should ever get between America’s great permanent “bipartisan” incumbency and every fulfillment of their megalomaniac masturbation fantasies.

        It’s been entirely “Go along to get along” ever since, has it not?

      • Rich,

        Presidents and their party involved in substantial military action:

        Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican
        James Madison Democratic-Republican
        James Monroe Democratic-Republican
        Andrew Jackson Democrat
        James Polk Democrat
        Franklin Pierce Democrat
        Abraham Lincoln Republican
        Ulysses Grant Republican
        Grover Cleveland Democrat
        Benjamin Harrison Republican
        William McKinley Republican
        Teddy Roosevelt Republican
        Woodrow Wilson Democrat
        F. D. Roosevelt Democrat
        Harry Truman Democrat
        Dwight Eisenhower Republican
        John Kennedy Democrat
        Lyndon Johnson Democrat
        Richard Nixon Republican
        Ronald Reagan Republican
        George Bush I Republican
        Billy Clinton Democrat
        George Bush II Republican
        Obie Democrat

        The problem is POLITICIANS!!!

      • kuhnkat, just so you shouldn’t forget:

        George Washington, Federalist – who sent 12,950 men to make war against American citizens in the Whiskey Rebellion.

        In a real Ruby Ridge moment there, “On September 29, an unarmed boy was shot by an officer whose pistol accidentally fired.”

        Well, at least the poor kid probably wasn’t running away when he got shot.

      • Rich, Rich, Rich,

        How can one person get across such a totally warped view of an incident in 3 sentences.

        The only violence was initiated by the insurrectionists. The kid, as you even stated, was an accident no different than being run over by a car. There were actually deaths, but, caused by the insurrectionists attacking the tax collector’s compound BEFORE Washington sent the Militia.

        Why didn’t you mention the Conscription Revolt that the draft to fill out the Militia caused? Much worse in my mind than putting down armed attacks against gubmint employees.

      • And the Federalists’ excise levied against rural farmers’ only way of getting a cash crop to market – by way of distilling their corn into potable ethanol – wasn’t the engendering initiation of violence in the Whiskey Rebellion?

        Interesting concept there, kuhnkat. Then the actions of the Boston Sons of Liberty taken on 16 December 1773 to prevent the royal government from establishing the legal precedent that the British Parliament was lawfully empowered to levy taxes in the colonies (see “Boston Tea Party“) without these colonists’ consent were also – in the opinion of kuhnkat – “violence…initiated by the insurrectionists” and not a necessary citizen response to the unlawful actions of a rogue government?

        To quote from Murray Rothbard’s cited article on the Boston Tea Party:

        And the American attitude didn’t change much after the war. What were the people doing in 1765? They were tarring and feathering British tax agents. What were they doing in 1794? They were tarring and feathering American tax agents.

        Once the War of Independence had been won, there was little thought of creating a national government with taxing power….

        .
        I’d be delighted to discuss other American resistance against the actions of our central government, with emphasis on those which have resulted in strewing government employees’ cooling corpses across the landscape. Civil government is everywhere and at all times (even in these United States) engaged in aggressive violence against the private citizenry. I see no reason why anyone – especially Americans – should be reluctant to acknowledge this, or to appreciate the moral as well as the absolutely essential political value of determined armed resistance against such violent aggression as is perpetrated against the populace by government thugs (elected and appointed) as a matter of deliberate policy.

        ===
        “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable….”

        — H.L. Mencken

      • Rich, are you literate or copying things from somewhere??

        Where did I state any conclusions as to thether there was a valid reason for resistance.

        I will state there was insufficient for the VIOLENCE that occurred as the insurrectionists had done virtually nothing to fight the unfair tax through reasonable means.

        Are you saying that as soon as there is a grievance against the government we should pick up our guns, form gangs, and start beating up people, burning their houses, tarring and feathering them, and attacking government locations??

        Get over it Rich.

      • kuhnkat in the case of the Whiskey Rebellion, efforts “to fight the unfair tax through reasonable means” (i.e., by persuasion and parliamentary procedure, for tarring and feathering a tax collector is never to be considered an unreasonable response to government aggression) had failed to prevent the Federalists’ political steamroller from imposing upon these upcountry non-Federalists a gouge which was so pervasively destructive of the region’s general economy that even those who did not own and operate the stills (and who would not have suffered much directly as the result of this excise) rose up in support of the insurrection.

        Though you, kuhnkat, “…will state there was insufficient [reason] for the VIOLENCE that occurred,” you seem determined not to discuss what other means of abatement were left to the western Pennsylvania insurrectionists in the face of a distant and obviously hostile federal government which had “…sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.”

        As Dr. Rothbard had observed in his cited article:

        On the western frontier, whiskey was not a luxury item, but rather the basic medium of exchange. Money was almost nonexistent. Farmers would grow rye, distill it into whiskey, and transport the whiskey across the mountains to Philadelphia where it could be sold or used as barter for trade. Grain was too bulky to be transported, so the tax hit the western farmer hard. The 25% excise in hard cash was outrageous; it was in reality a tax on money. By 1794 the entire region was in open revolt.

        kuhnkatare you literate“? If so, why don’t you scan that article before you continue seeing how far down your throat you can shove your own foot?

      • Tsk. The cited article and quote was by historian Charles Adams, not Murray Rothbard.

      • An illiterate violent person you are Rich. Why do you think it is OK to beat up and tar and feather people doing their jobs?? Were they using FORCE to try and collect those taxes??

        You have yourself in a very self righteous huff. I am not sorry that I will not communicate with someone who is dumb enough to think burning peoples houses down because their job is to collect taxes is OK.

        Why haven’t you attacked anyone collecting taxes from you my good man?? Not a real man or it simply isn’t a reasonable thing to do.

        Get over yourself bud.

      • Well, kuhnkat has now officially blown it completely. Instead of addressing the issue under discussion in this thread – which is the proclivity of American government officers to engage in violent aggression against the private citizenry and the regrettable necessity for the populace to pose a credible threat of lethal retaliatory violent force in order to deter that lapse into criminality – we now have kuhnkat sputtering nothing but personalities addressed to this respondent, calling me an “illiterate violent person.”

        I’m supposed to be “illiterate” because I’m better read in American history than is kuhnkat, and I am “violent” because I recognize that civil government is the agency in civil society to which the private citizen delegates the exercise of his unalienable right to employ deadly force in retaliation against violent aggression.

        While, of course, always retaining the personal exercise of such deadly force by right. You can’t really say that a person has any right to anything if he hasn’t the corollary right to kill – if necessary – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.

        Why is it that folks like kuhnkat are content to have “official” government thugs go about committing extortion (taxation), counterfeiting (currency inflation), breaking things and killing people while never wanting to consider the moral grounds upon which those thugs’ comportment in these roles must be predicated?

        And why should kuhnkat get so indignant at me for simply pointing out this elementary fact of political life?

        I had brought up the subject of the Whiskey Rebellion for the sake of completeness in examining the perfidies of various presidential administrations, but the subject of resistance against taxation in American history is a valuable route to the proper assessment of the relationship between the parasitic and immensely destructive public sector of civil society and the private citizenry.

        This has been a subject under examination in American political discourse since long before the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, and there is no doubt in my mind – if not in kuhnkat‘s – that unless peaceable means are not discovered in open exchanges (such as we read here) there will be more blood spilled over the matter in these United States before the current decade is seen to its conclusion.

        I sincerely hope for a “soft landing” in which the plundering, pillaging, fraudulent, and otherwise criminal excesses of our various governments can be reversed before these politicians and bureaucrats can advance the levels of their predation beyond the point at which what is happening to Hosni Mubarak right now starts happening here.

        The U.S. Constitution is by no means perfect, but it beats the hell out of what we’re suffering at present.

        If the political class in these United States cannot live within the constraints of that Constitution, perhaps it is best that they cease to live at all. To put it bluntly, they’re working toward a condition in which the American people will have to make a dire choice, and by the time such a choice is forced upon the people, conditions are going to be so godawful that anyone with a pay grade above GS-7 will find his resume a death sentence.

        Of course, I’m an “”illiterate violent person” to make such an observation in front of someone like kuhnkat.

        Tsk.

      • kuhnkat obstinately refuses to read that Charles Adams article titled “The Rocky Road of American Taxation,” in which is provided a brief but satisfactory summary discussion of the Whiskey Rebellion.

        Had kuhnkat done so (he was served the opportunity on the proverbial silver platter), he would have learned that:

        In 1792, when the tax was adopted, the frontier region protested peacefully. There were speeches, meetings, and petitions. At a meeting in Pittsburgh, Albert Gallatin, who became a famous senator and Secretary of the Treasury under Jefferson, said that the tax was unjust and outrageous. Excises were the scourge of the earth. Said Gallatin: ‘All taxes upon the articles of consumption, because of the power that must necessarily be vested in the officers who collect them, will in the end destroy the liberty of any people that permits them to be introduced.’

        “Gallatin’s reasoning was supported by the long-standing hatred of excises by British subjects, plus three hundred years of European experience. When the government did not take any steps to repeal the tax, reasoned arguments soon turned into demands for secession. Liberty polls were erected as they had been in Boston to protest the Stamp Act.

        Thus kuhnkat‘s rancorous Caps Lock rant (“Why didn’t they have the guts to simply organise their area and SECEDE like the south did?? THEN they could have fought a DEFENSIVE war against evil!!“) makes him look embarrassingly idiotic.

        The people of Western Pennsylvania were doing their best to engage the same measures that had been undertaken by the American colonists in efforts to peacefully abate unlawful taxation imposed upon them by the British government in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

        The American Revolution, all will remember, was undertaken from 4 July 1776 forward as a war of secession. The various colonies engaging in the Congress had declared themselves sovereign nations, and in alliance they had proclaimed their independence from Great Britain.

        And that secession was over taxation, too, wasn’t it?

        The cited article is a section in Adams’ book For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization (1993). I direct to kuhnkat‘s attention the bibliography of that volume.

        kuhnkat wants “references“? Sure. The only problem I see is with kuhnkat‘s ability to make use of such information is his ever more undeniable willful ignorance of factual reality. He simply does not seem capable of overcoming his own thought-blocking in this area of consideration.

        Kinda like those AGW alarmists, isn’t he?

      • Rich, as usual assumes facts not in evidence and continues to be non-responsive.

        One last time Bozo. What were the actions that the insurrectionists took BEFORE resorting to violence that MIGHT ameliorate their blatant disregard for the rights of their fellow citizens?

        The fact that you have so far not responded to this leads me to believe you have only read the short blurbs like you linked to and have no in-depth knowledge of the subject.

        Bozo, a clown named Rich.

      • Now way to hellangone past Dr. Curry’s standards of personal comportment on her Web site, kuhnkat persists in nothing but personal insult, apparently ignoring responses provided earlier on the subject of the Whiskey Rebellion, complaining: “What were the actions that the insurrectionists took BEFORE resorting to violence that MIGHT ameliorate their blatant disregard for the rights of their fellow citizens?

        To the citation of Charles Adams’ online article “The Rocky Road of American Taxation” (which is a draw from Mr. Adams’ 1993 book For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization), kuhnkat makes no response other than to maunder that I “…have only read the short blurbs like [I] linked to and have no in-depth knowledge of the subject.

        Er, what the f… I mean, “What the hell?” That article of Adams’ I’d cited – a section of a book on the subject of taxation, upon which Adams is an established expert historian – is over ten thousand words in length.

        This is what kuhnkat wishes anyone to believe is a “short blurb“?

        Does kuhnkat want me to quote the whole bloody article here, or just quote in total the section on “The Whiskey Boys” out of its context in that article? That part of it comes out – let me see… – to a bit over twelve hundred words.

        Some “blurb.”

        There is obviously no intention on the part of kuhnkat to consider dispassionately the subject of the Federalist excise which precipitated not only the Whiskey Rebellion in the counties of western Pennsylvania but also throughout the frontier states and territories.

        As I had mentioned, economist Murray Rothbard had written a consideration on this subject in 1994, which is carried at multiple sites online. From one of these I draw :

        “The main distortion of the Official View of the Whiskey Rebellion was its alleged confinement to four counties of western Pennsylvania. From recent research, we now know that no one paid the tax on whiskey throughout the American ‘back-country’: that is, the frontier areas of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the entire state of Kentucky.

        “President Washington and Secretary Hamilton chose to make a fuss about Western Pennsylvania precisely because in that region there was a cadre of wealthy officials who were willing to collect taxes. Such a cadre did not even exist in the other areas of the American frontier; there was no fuss or violence against tax collectors in Kentucky and the rest of the back-country because there was no one willing to be a tax collector.

        “The whiskey tax was particularly hated in the back-country because whiskey production and distilling were widespread; whiskey was not only a home product for most farmers, it was often used as a money, as a medium of exchange for transactions. Furthermore, in keeping with Hamilton’s program, the tax bore more heavily on the smaller distilleries. As a result, many large distilleries supported the tax as a means of crippling their smaller and more numerous competitors.

        “Western Pennsylvania, then, was only the tip of the iceberg. The point is that, in all the other back-country areas, the whiskey tax was never paid. Opposition to the federal excise tax program was one of the causes of the emerging Democrat-Republican Party, and of the Jeffersonian ‘Revolution’ of 1800. Indeed, one of the accomplishments of the first Jefferson term as president was to repeal the entire Federalist excise tax program. In Kentucky, whiskey tax delinquents only paid up when it was clear that the tax itself was going to be repealed.”

        That, of course, is not a “blurb” to anyone except, I suppose, kuhnkat, who is Marianas-Trench deep in denial, the poor booger.

        Like Mr. Adams, Dr. Rothbard mentions sources for further reading, advising that:

        “Those interested in the Whiskey Rebellion should consult Thomas P. Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986); and Steven R. Boyd, ed., The Whiskey Rebellion (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985). Professor Slaughter notes that some of the opponents of the Hamilton excise in Congress charged that the tax would ‘let loose a swarm of harpies who, under the denominations of revenue offices, will range through the country, prying into every man’s house and affairs, and like Macedonia phalanx bear down all before them.’ Soon, the opposition predicted, ‘the time will come when a shirt will not be washed without an excise.'”

        Contrary to kuhnkat‘s purblind refusal to face reality, the period between the enactment of this excise (in 1792) and the violent resistance kuhnkat decries (in 1794), peaceable efforts were made all across the nation to abate this hated Federalist excise.

        Hamilton, however, wanted to establish a precedent to the effect that the central government he’d conspired to inflict upon the nation had the power to levy and collect taxes which were – even at that early date – in violation of the young Constitution (see Adams’ article, above cited), and sought deliberately to force the people of the western frontier into outright rebellion.

        I would admonish kuhnkat to examine the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780) in which a force of 1,100 Loyalist militia organized and led by British officers was attacked on chosen defensive ground by a smaller force of American frontiersmen – the “Over Mountain Men” – to be swamped and completely destroyed in little more than an hour of fighting. I repeat: destroyed.

        Both the American backwoods population and the Federalists were conscious of what the Battle of Kings Mountain meant. Organized militia was the only military force at the Federalists’ command, and the Over Mountain Men had proven that organized militia, even under professional leadership, were easy meat.

        Had not Gallatin and other cooler heads among the anti-Federalists managed to defuse the situation – chiefly by way of nullifying Hamilton’s excise and in a few years effecting the political overthrow of the Federalists – the next phase of the American Revolution might well have begun at Braddock’s field.

        ====
        One interested amateur has compiled a bibliography on the Whiskey Rebellion, to which I refer kuhnkat.

        It’s a link, kuhnkat. You put the pointer of your mouse over it, and hit the the little clickety button.

      • Tucci78 now joins Bozo in blowing hot air up his own skirt.

        Tucci78, in all your hot air you also have not written one word from the enormous tome, which includes many other interesting events having nothing to do with the whiskey rebellion, which in any way suggests the insurrectionists took even one legal step to gain respite from this onerous tax.

        Again, what did they try to do BEFORE starting the violence! Apparently you and Bozo are so disconnected from reality that you have no idea how a civilized society approaches grievances.

        I believe part of their grievance was that the Federal government was not protecting them from raids by the indians. Their response? Attack local law enforcement and federal representatives. Boy, that sure solved that indian problem!! Now they are fighting on two fronts.

        You bozos just can’t seem to bend your minds around the FACT that every violent tax revolt may not be justified until appropriate steps are taken to peacefully resolve the issue. Now, this is a test, what should they have done before starting to shoot up the countryside and burn down buildings?

      • Rich,

        your long winded BS still hasn’t pointed to one historical FACT where the insurrectionists tried through the court or getting people elected to change the situation, or even trying to start a movement outside of their area to carry a popular revolt. The only historical facts on the table are that they griped and started inflicting violence on governemnt agents unlike the examples I gave.

        Pull your head out and give me a couple references to something other than these guys committing violence against those not attacking them. Basically your are whining because a bunch of guys started some gangs and roughed up and killed people and then chickened out when the Fed headed over their way.

        Why didn’t they have the guts to simply organise their area and SECEDE like the south did?? THEN they could have fought a DEFENSIVE war against evil!!

        So oh great literate historian, where are those references?? So far you haven’t layed one useful quote on me!!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Dr. Curry,
        I think climate science is way behind civil engineering when it comes to building dams.

      • Craig Goodrich

        … also when building models.

      • Latimer Alder

        I wonder exactly who the author thinks were not ‘self-taught’ in Climatology?

        The field is barely twenty-five years old. Today’s ‘elder statesman’ are only on their fifties. They cannot have been taiugh in the 1970s/80s buy the great gurus of the field as they didn’t exist at the time. Neither could their PhDs have been so examined – for the same reason. So mostly, they have had to ‘make it up as they go along’, for lack of any other possible way.

        No harm in that – and it allows for creativity and ‘blue skies’ solutions…as well as giant missteps along the way. They didn’t have a great corpus of work to guide them, so they taught themselves and (perhaps) did the best they could.

        But now ‘self-taught’ is used as a pejorative term. In no more than thirty years, the area has moved from ‘we don’t know, nobody’s ever done this stuff before so we’ll try to find out’ to a rigid dogma with heretics being insulted and vilified, dissent suppressed, control of ideas as being the norm.

        How can this be? AFAIK it has not happened in any other field of science with quite the same fervour.

        What is it about Climatology that makes the early practitioners a) so uniquely able and qualified to come up with the correct answer first time in everything they touch, and b) so fiercely and militantly protective of these answers?

        And self-taught can be both a good thing and a bad thing. We know that Mike Mann’s attempt to teach himself statistics led to intellectual humiliation. Jones’s attempts to learn from ‘Data Archiving for Dummies’ fizzled out in an office move. But Michael Faraday’s attempts to teach himself electricity and magnetism led to one of the most beneficial developments in all of human history. He had no-one to guide him either. Being self-taught can be very useful.

      • I think “self-taught” is a back-door way of saying, “not taught by us,” and therefor almost certainly uninformed and wrong.

        And it’s nonsense anyway. The DIY statistics, modeling, programming, forecasting, physics, hydrology, etc., etc., that makes up the bones and flesh of Climate Science is uniformly excoriated as flimsy, clumsy, and downright incompetent by professionals in those areas.

  2. I am not Warming Skeptic. I am a manmade CO2 Skeptic. Warmer oceans and exposed Arctic water certainly should lead to more precipitation. That is common sense and does not require any Models. More precipitation should be responsible for more extreme events. Much of this more precipitation will be snow and will cause the ice to advance and that will, at some point cool us again.

    • Not at all self-evident. Precipitation results from cooling of warm humid air; Cold Eras have historically been very violent weather/climate eras.

      Consider the gradient of energy flows from the (very stable) tropics when the poles are warm vs. when the poles are cold. The latter are much more vigorous.

  3. The saddest disastrous truth is just this.

    President Eisenhower displayed remarkable talents as a fortune teller when he warned in 1961 that government science might one day become a tool of government propaganda:

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  4. If I am wrong and CO2 is a bigger driver than I think, that won’t matter. Warmer will cause more snow and that will cool us again.

  5. Besides, I’m not sure that a Delta Works would be all that beneficial or applicable in the areas he mentions.
    Sure, it may work for the short term or a limited well-developed/strategic area, but since delta’s do build up constantly by sediment deposit, (and the occasional flood!) wouldn’t it be much better/more economical to adopt an adaptation strategy (build structures on stilts so they’re above expected flood heights) than an expensive, limited use mitigation strategy ?
    (And make no mistake, the original Delta Works were VERY expensive!)

    I also find myself disagreeing with the article’s conclusion that “skeptics should be ignored” — this is the classic ‘circle-the-wagons’ strategy that’s failed so spectacularly in the past; maybe said skeptics actually have a valid point ?

    Oh well, just my two devaluated eurocents :)

    • “wouldn’t it be much better/more economical to adopt an adaptation strategy (build structures on stilts so they’re above expected flood heights) ”
      The “primitive” river dwelling people in the major watersheds of Papua New Guinea such as the Sepik and Fly rivers worked that out long ago :-)

  6. “When it comes to preventing today’s disasters, the squabble about climate change is just a” murderous “distraction”…every dollar spent discussing how to reduce the world temperature by 0.00018C in ten years rather than in adapting to the current and possible future climate, is just another way of involuntarily leaving yet more people to die.

  7. I do not understand this post. Do you agree wholeheartedly with Kuper’s claim that it is “better to ignore the skeptics”? Are you suggesting that it is the skeptics who prevent us from having “more useful debates about disasters and climate change” which is what Kuper says above. It is not the skeptics who conflated these two issues. Nor by the way is his account of the climate debate correct.

    For that matter, what is the disaster debate to which he refers? The world has a cadre of disaster professionals who know how to prevent flood damage. In the USA the post-1936 flood control program was largely killed by the greens in 1968 with NEPA. Should we debate reviving it?

  8. Every thing that is happening now is well inside the extreme temperatures and events of the past ten thousand years and will not likely get outside of the extremes of the past ten thousand years. This ten thousand years has been the most stable warm period in the last eight hundred thousand years. Look at the Ice Core Data.

  9. Judith –
    The link you provided above is to an earthquake story. The Delta story is here:
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/ef8f21c6-2357-11e0-8389-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1BmAlfVTr

  10. “However, according to most climate scientists, it [climate change] cannot presently be shown to have anything to do with the recent disasters. ”

    I think it is better to say that while some climate scientists think it is likely that recent extreme weather events were partly caused by or intensified by heat trapped by human GHG emissions, there is as yet no consensus on this. I do not know what most climate scientists think and one cannot objectively assert what most climate scientists think until there are assessments published by national and international review panels. It is normal that there be disagreement in an emerging field and this does not mean certain scientists are “overstating their case” or engaging in “bad science.”

    Some questions are settled. This one is not. We need to help the media and public understand this since it is not possible or desirable to suppress new ideas from public view until a consensus is formed.

    • It is normal that there be disagreement in an emerging field and this does not mean certain scientists are “overstating their case” or engaging in “bad science.”

      You’re quibbling, Mike – and defending the indefensible.

      It’s a good article, says things that need to be said. And proposes a commonsense solution that’s not likely to be implemented in the present financial climate. States that are headed for bankruptcy are not likely to be taking on major infrastructure projects in the near future.

    • Mike,

      You say: “…it is not possible or desirable to suppress new ideas from public view until a consensus is formed.”

      Presumably, you subscribe to the converse of the above comment–it is possible and desirable to suppress new ideas from public view when a consensus is formed.

      So that I can better understand your thoughts in this area, Mike, could you point out some of the posts and comments on this blog (to include prior posts/comments) that you find express ideas contrary to one or another climate science consensus and that should be suppressed from public view? Likewise, could you describe the techniques that you have used, or others you know have used, to suppress new ideas from public view in those climate science areas where a consensus has formed?

      • You presume wrongly. This leads you to ask a serious of idiot questions.

      • You’re quite the bold fellow, Mike. Sorry, I seem to have touched a nerve–I mean, Mike, you didn’t clarify anything in your response. Rather, all you had to offer was a reply dripping in “vitriolic language” (haven’t we learned anything?) with an embedded “idiot” that seems to me (though I acknowledge that I’m an unusually sensitive individual) to be lacking in civility (in your angry haste I see you even used the word “serious” when you obviously (or am I being a presumptious “idiot” again) meant to employ the word “series”). Gee, I’m really sorry I disturbed your dignified equanimity so spectacularly, Mike.

        But you know, Mike, I still wonder about your view on the suppression of new ideas from the public view when a consensus is formed. So help me out, since I got things so wrong. We know this from you, “It is not possible or desirable to suppress new ideas from public view until a consensus is formed.” But what about when a consensus is formed. Then what? Yah know what I mean, Mike?

      • I said: “You presume wrongly.”

      • C’mon, Mike, give me a break. There was no presumption in my second comment (except for “serious”/”series” matter confirmed by your own correction), only an inquiry. Let me repeat:

        “We know this from you, ‘It is not possible or desirable to suppress new ideas from public view until a consensus is formed.’ But what about when a consensus is formed. Then what? Yah know what I mean, Mike?”

        Yah want to try again, Mike?

  11. Willis Eschenbach

    Sometimes in this squabble, climate scientists are tempted to overstate their case, and to say that the latest disaster proves that the climate is changing. This is bad science. It also gives the sceptics something dubious to attack. Better to ignore the sceptics, and have more useful debates about disasters and climate change – which, for now, are two separate problems.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and expressed this sentiment in my post “Pakistan on my mind.”

    Oh, yes, dear Judith, that’s the ticket, ignore the skeptics. After all, ignoring the skeptics has worked so well to date and has such a string of successes attached to it … sometimes I truly think I’ve wandered back into a previous residence of mine, the “rubber room” at the nut house.

    First, in science, YOU CAN’T IGNORE PEOPLE WITH VALID SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIONS, no matter what names you might think up to call them (e.g. heretics, capitalists, skeptics, non-believers).

    Second, this useful idiot says: “Better to ignore the skeptics, and have more useful debates with useful debates about disasters and climate change …” Dear Judith, surely you must know that if you “ignore the skeptics”, the only people you’ll be having “useful debates” with are people who agree with you. Are you truly signing off on this plan, where your left hand will have “useful debates” with your right hand?

    No, ignoring skeptics is not a good plan. Not for you, Judith, and definitely not for science. This is just a new and more sophisticated version of the hoary and (I foolishly would have thought) thoroughly discredited argument that “the debate is over, the consensus is formed, the problem is understood, now we can ignore any nay-sayers and have useful debates about the solution”. It is a stupid plan, it is an ignorant plan, it is a plan that is suicidal for science, and I am astounded that you seem to agree with it.

    w.

    • Buzz Fledderjohn

      “First, in science, YOU CAN’T IGNORE PEOPLE WITH VALID SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIONS…”

      This is perfectly consistent with what Judith is saying.

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      Kuper categorizes:

      This pits virtually all climate scientists against a band of self-taught freelance sceptics,

      To which apparently you “wholeheartedly agree”.
      Is there no longer any room for scientists how are skeptical?
      How do you handle exposure of invalid extrapolations, backwards models etc? See David Stockwell reviewing major: Errors of Global Warming Effects Modeling He concludes:

      What often happens is that a publication appears which gets a lot of exciting attention. Then some time later, rather quietly, subsequent work gets published that questions the claim or substantially weakens it. But that doesn’t get any headlines, and the citation rate is typically 10:1 in favor of the alarmist claims. . . .
      All of the ‘errors’ here can be attributed to exaggeration of the significance of the findings, due to inadequate rigor in the validation of models.

      http://landshape.org/enm/errors-of-global-warming-effects-modeling/

      Are you saying that scientists should ignore fallacies, errors, wrong predictions, and other problems with orthodox models? Is there no longer any room for a scientist to be skeptical? Whatever happened to the scientific method?

    • Now you know, once and for all, where Judith Curry stands.

    • Right Willis, I spend all my time ignoring skeptics. I have changed my post to read: I wholeheartedly agree EXCEPT FOR THE CLAUSE ABOUT “BETTER IGNORE THE SKEPTICS”, and expressed this sentiment in my post “Pakistan on my mind.”

      I viewed the article as being about separating extreme event disasters from global warming, which is an argument that is in agreement with what most skeptics say. I did not view this as a article about “lets ignore skeptics.” By arguing about global warming, we are missing a very big issue and opportunities for solutions that have nothing to do with energy policy.

      • By arguing about global warming, we are missing a very big issue and opportunities for solutions that have nothing to do with energy policy.

        Which is why I said: It’s a good article, says things that need to be said. And proposes a commonsense solution that’s not likely to be implemented in the present financial climate.

        We should be looking for solutions to the present day problems (like protection of at-risk populations along the coastlines from major storm effects) rather than arguing about what the climate/weather will be like 100 years in the future. The future is unknowable and anyone who claims to “know” what it will be is a liar. We can certainly “guess” – but that’s not certain knowledge.

        What we do “know” is that we have always had major storms – and always will. And that as more people and infrastructure migrate to areas that put them at risk, the “storm damage cost” in both money and lives will continue to rise unless we do something positive to protect them. That “something” is NOT related to Cap and Trade or to Carbon taxes – those are worse than useless in that they simply provide an avenue for a small group of individuals to become extremely wealthy (witness Al Gore and others) and for massive fraud (witness the EU’s ETS ).

        OTOH, for too long in the US, we’ve condoned the actions of those who build in at-risk areas (on he coastlines?) and then, when the storms destroy their homes, claim government backed (i.e.- taxpayer funded) insurance funds and rebuild in the same place so the cycle can repeat – over and over and over. That’s just dumb?… insane?…. pick your own word.

        A Carbon Tax wouldn’t have prevented the New Orleans/Katrina debacle. Nor will it prevent the next one after the same areas of New Orleans are rebuilt. Only proper infrastructure – and proper land use policies would have any positive effect. Any bets on that happening?

      • I agree with Jim. So often we see statements like “developing nations are the most susceptible to climate change” and the truth of the matter is that developing nations are the most susceptible to weather, period. Hurricane Dean was a Cat 5 and killed 40 people in Mexico in 2007, Cyclone Nargis a weak Cat 4 killed 138,366 in Myanmar in 2008.

        Putting emphasis on emissions reductions in order to mitigate disastrous weather instead of economic and infrastructure development is akin to burning witches or sacrificing a goat to prevent a storm.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thank you Judith for clarifying.
        I agree “we are missing a very big issue and opportunities for solutions”

        However, I believe energy policy regarding liquid fuels (Peak Oil) is the biggest issue we have to grapple with.

      • Nope, that dog won’t fly either. Or is it a pig?

        Unfortunately for climate activists who want to screw us to the wall with Peak Hydrocarbons, the frac gas glut world-wide has pretty much put paid to that whole meme:
        http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/1108/opinions-steve-forbes-fact-comment-energy-crisis-over.html

        To the (moderate) extent that energy is fungible, this has knock-on effects on pretty much every kind of power pricing; i.e., every joule that NG can substitute-generate for another (like coal, oil, wind, etc.), that enhances available supply and depresses demand for that other source — driving down price. For the dreamed-of renewables boom, this is quite fatal.

        When we succeed in making enough people aware that CO2 sensitivity is way down the list of real economic concerns, the economic law of the jungle will begin to operate, and NG will transform the landscape. When engineers and businessmen both “get it”, even slavering politicians and one-green-worlders will lose traction.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        My bad, Judith, I should’a known, my apologies. But at a minimum, it was immensely insensitive. I mean, if you want to get support for an idea, it seems like you might pick a spokesman with less of an unpleasant agenda.

        To is particularly galling after he has said:

        This pits virtually all climate scientists against a band of self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism. (I know, I get the sceptics’ e-mails.)

        This is the same old booshwa, Judith, and I can’t tell you how depressing it is to see it on your site. The message of this claim is clear — that the debate is over, and all that is left is real scientists on one side, and people with tin-foil hats and “self-taught” people on the other side. I’m sorry, but that’s not just nonsense, it is a slap-in-the-face insult to the host of scientists, both amateur and professional, who have labored to expose the deceptions, double-dealing, scientific malfeasance, and most of all just plain bad, shoddy, baseless science practiced by some of the leading scientific lights of the side that Kuper lauds.

        So I fear that your explanation above, which says (or at least appears to say, lest I misinterpret) that you agree with his tin-foil hat claim I quote above, is extremely depressing to me. It just shows me how far we have to go, when you explicitly support his ludicrous claim that the science is all on one side of the debate. Since when? You haven’t even gotten past the null hypothesis, and you back his claim that it’s scientists versus the lunatic fringe? Like I said … depressing. But I digress …

        Regarding his idea that we should separate the climate debate from the discussion of disasters, certainly we should. However, I’m certainly not the one trying to focus on disasters, that would be the AGW folks. In fact, a main focus of far too many of them is the coming Thermageddon, which we can avert only if we cease our idolatrous worship of the golden calf of fossil fuels, or something like that. I’ve never been that good on doctrine.

        This focus on disasters reminds me of a comment allegedly made by William Randolph Hearst regarding his reputation for yellow journalism, for playing up disasters and highlighting impending doom. He said something like “Some people think the business of this newspaper is to report the news. Other, more cynical people think the business of this newspaper is to make the news. I am here to tell you that neither one is true. The real business of this newspaper is to make money.” And scientists these days know that’s the business of the media.

        Science these days is a fiercely competitive world. There’s papers published every day, things are always changing, it’s hard to get an edge, difficult to get recognized. Unfortunately, one way to get noticed (as Paul Ehrlich has proven) is to be a doomcaster, even a failed doomcaster. Even a repeat offender failed doomcaster. Ehrlich is a famous scientist, just for doing one thing – repeatedly predicting (wrongly in every case) some impending massive disaster.

        So yes, I’ll be happy to separate the climate discussion from disasters and how we deal with them, and I’ve written in favor of that. But that won’t stop some overzealous young arctic researcher from understanding what Hearst had to say, and giving us a screed about how ‘this raises the possibility that ice water from the permafrost melted by 2030 will destabilize the methane clathrates, leading to a mini-PETM event by 2050’, which in turn will lead to a Heart-worthy headline like ‘Scientist Says Geological Scale Disaster Impending’, and the scientist will look innocent and say “Who, me? It wuz the media that exaggerated it, I said ‘possibly’, you can’t blame me” … because scientists in 2011 know that newspapers are looking to make money, and that the people love vague forecasts of doom. So some of the climate scientists, not all of them, not most of them by any means, but an unfortunate number of them, have jumped on that apocalyptic horse and ridden out to battle in the hope of emulating James Hansen and earning undying fame.

        So I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon myself. I’m gonna start warning people that before the year 2030, no, make that before the year 2012, that has a nice ring to it, before 2012 they will assuredly be visited by at least one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Strife riding the white horse, War on the red horse, Pestilence mounted on the black horse, and bringing up the rear on the pale horse, perhaps the most dangerous and costly of the lot, Climate Alarmism …

      • Thank you for your commentary, Mr. Eschenbach.

      • Willis,
        Climate science fluffed off evaporation and precipitation patterns as they are not temperature related. In doing so, the shifting ocean heat has now generated vast amounts of evaporation and cloudcover which has shifted weather patterns.

    • I think their present policy should continue and they should keep ignoring us. We’ve made wonderful progress in the last year kicking the foundation out from under ‘climate’ science while they’ve ignored us. I wholeheartedly endorse their strategy and commend them for their unwitting cooperation in our endeavours.

      Pointman
      http://thepointman.wordpress.com/

    • Steven Mosher

      Willis did you read what Judith wrote. Do you watch what she does?

      here is a suggestion I made to you and others before.

      It is easy to write a critique of Judith ( hey you and Tobis and Romm)

      Try to find some common ground.

      There is a common ground to be found in focusing on local adaptation for extreme events ( which will happen regardless). There is a common ground on a push for Nuclear.

      • randomengineer

        One can hope this is actually real —

        http://pesn.com/2011/01/17/9501746_Focardi-Rossi_10_kW_cold_fusion_prepping_for_market/

        But the common ground point is well made. Work towards energy solutions that both reduce CO2 and provide the infrastructure necessary for adaptation.

      • Steven Mosher

        Common ground.

        I’m picturing a logo that goes on sites where the owner accepts and promotes the common ground.

        or maybe common ground week where we all practice trying to find common ground.

        Do you think that WUWT and OpenMind ( anthony and tamino0 could find common ground on nuclear? and say ‘here is our common ground!” can we find common ground on better coastal mangement and flood prevention and hydro power.

        Dunno, some hardline greenies will have to give.

        There’s a thought. Tobis, Tamino,WUWT and Moreno all agreeing to state their common ground agreement on nuclear..

        Who would sign that petition?

      • randomengineer

        Ask the bloggers to start a “Common Ground” thread on this for starters. If Dr Curry and Tamino and Anthony and… so on can agree to at least host a thread on common ground, who knows, maybe a ball can get rolling.

        As I told Dr Tobis in a previous thread, if the climate community in general can find a point of agreement, skeptic and “believer” alike, this could even reverberate in other circles. Petitions aren’t really needed. Agreement *is* the petition.

      • Steven Mosher

        I’ll discuss it with the folks I know

      • Excellent, only I see five “grounds”: the only middle (slightly boring) one being what all really agree on, then two all-is-not-settled sides, then the two extreme all-is-settled sides. Only the two latter can be safely ignored.

        Judith, your blog is a fine candidate for working the three remaining grounds! Where else?

        The FT thing bears signatures of the new retreat; who said it would be pretty: let’s adapt and innovate, forget wrongdoing, point at denialism (it exists, but need not be an issue), not AGW shortcomings.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | January 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm

        Common ground.

        I’m picturing a logo that goes on sites where the owner accepts and promotes the common ground.

        or maybe common ground week where we all practice trying to find common ground.

        Do you think that WUWT and OpenMind ( anthony and tamino0 could find common ground on nuclear? and say ‘here is our common ground!” can we find common ground on better coastal mangement and flood prevention and hydro power.

        I’ll sign on for nuclear. And for the much-maligned dams for flood control and drought abatement. I’ll sign on for solar, in the niche markets where it makes economic sense. I’ll sign on for the government giving prizes (like the X prize) for solving what are agreed to be the critical choke problems in a variety of energy related areas (e.g. artificial photosynthesis, algal/microbial biofuels) .

        Probably more, but that’s what comes to mind immediately.

        Good idea.

        w.

      • Steven Mosher

        Common Ground:

        1. nuclear.
        2 dams for flood control and drought abatement.
        3 solar
        4 government giving prizes (like the X prize) for solving what are agreed to be the critical choke problems in a variety of energy related areas
        5. Open data
        6. More research into natural variability

        Lets see what Anthony thinks. Just keeping it general now.

        Judith?

      • Well most of those are pretty uncontroversial, although I would make the following points.

        2. There is still plenty of room for disagreement here. Skeptics will want to make plans based on current weather patterns, pro-AGWers will want to consider expected future changes due to AGW.

        6. “Natural variability” is far too vague and covers far too many possible areas of research. Of course there should be more research into specific areas where we currently lack knowlege, and as far as I know this reasearch is to a large extent being done – see Dessler’s recent work on cloud feedbacks for example.
        Still, with that caveat this is still untroversial from my perspective, but I would point out that this will involve more of your tax dollars funding more climate research by a lot of the same scientists whom the skeptic accuse of milking grant money at the moment. Are you sure the skeptics will be agreeable to this? Especially if, as I suspect, the results will not disprove AGW and may well support it.

        My more specific complaint about your approach is this – it is not really about finding common ground at all, it is about those of us who consider AGW to be a real and serious problem effectively handing a veto to the skeptics over any possible action – we give up trying to achieve anything which the skeptics don’t want to do. There will be an awful lot of compromising going on and it will be entirely on one side.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘we give up trying to achieve anything which the skeptics don’t want to do’

        Only work on things for which there is a ‘consensus’?

        I thought you guys were all in favour of consensus. It removed the need for evidence or experiment. As long as enough people agreed, that was enough. A bit like Peter Pan and the Fairires.

        Or did I misunderstand the constant recent references to ‘consensus’?

      • Latimer,

        My point is that I don’t believe that what Steven is suggesting represents a genuine consensus.

      • Latimer Alder

        And your reasons for not believing it are what exactly?

      • Firstly, I’ll admit that I may have read more into Steven’s comment that was intended – I kind of read it (partly based on a comment he made in another thread) that having agreed on common ground the pro-AGWers should limit their efforts to trying push for action in those particular areas, whereas having re-read his comment he’s probably not going that far.

        Having said that, I still think that the fundamental differences are too wide. I do think that finding some common ground on specific questions relating to climate science is worthwhile, so the points he makes about open data and more research on areas where there is uncertainty are fair enough, but then I think we all agree on these things anyway – there are other areas where I can’t see there ever being agreement.
        As for specific actions which are required, well it’s great if we all agree that we need to increase the use of nuclear and solar power, even better (but more unlikely) if we can agree on the need for a comprehensive energy strategy to replace the use of fossil fuels – there is obviously a case for this regardless of AGW but it’s not something I would neccessarily expect all skeptics to agree on.

        But even so, you can’t get away from the huge gulf between the view that AGW is a serious problem that needs correspondingly serious action and the view this is simply not the case – both think that the other is not just wrong, but that they are dangerously so. As long as that fundamental difference exists finding agreement on tangentially related issues such as nuclear* is nice but not a basis for any meaningful consensus.

        *I would add that nuclear is a subject that will always cause disagreements in any forum and wouldn’t assume that either side has a unanimous view.

      • randomengineer

        *I would add that nuclear is a subject that will always cause disagreements in any forum and wouldn’t assume that either side has a unanimous view.

        Which frankly is quite silly given that at present nuclear is the only land based scalable non fossil fuel tech that humans have. I have no idea what the objection could be outside of ideologically motivated claims of ‘nuclear waste’ which is a) 1970’s era nonsense, and b) utterly ignorant of latter day design. Either way any objection is based solely on ideology and prideful ignorance and not fact. (And here I thought this was the 21st century.)

        … if we can agree on the need for a comprehensive energy strategy to replace the use of fossil fuels …

        Windmills and solar cells don’t work and aren’t going to, nor does anything else of the standard “green” ouvre, which makes green notions of strategy moot. There is no strategy if there isn’t a technology base. There is but one green tech that can work scalably, and that’s solar power satellites.

        Of course, I’m merely an engineer and not an enlightened policy wonk, so I’m limited to opinions based on what’s honestly achievable: nuclear and solar power satellites. The rest is ideologically driven idiocy — the wishful thinking wet dreams of technology creationists.

        If you want to talk strategy, it’s imperative you talk about stuff that can actually work.

      • RE,

        I don’t have any great objections to nuclear myself, or at least any issues I might have are outweighed by the practical neccessity of finding alternatives to fossil fuels. It does still seem to be an issue amongst some people though – I tend not to follow the arguments that closely but I don’t doubt that some attitudes are not entirely rational. TBH, I find the intensity of the pro-nuclear attitude of some on the right a bit odd sometimes as well.

        Regarding other power sources I admit I don’t know as much as I should but solar could be viable in some places once the technology is better developed, although I think the attempts to introduce it here in the UK are premature. The widespread use of biofuels is obviously a bonkers idea. Wind certainly has its limitations but can make a contribution – China seems to be getting into it in a big way, and other forms of power generation may not be economically viable at the moment but may become so as fossil fuels become more expensive. But I don’t have any particular attraction to specific solutions – I’m happy to consider reasonable arguments for any of them and yours doean’t seem unreasonable in itself.

      • Small point of disagreement. Dessler reiterated consensus on clouds and apparently did nothing new or original. In this respect it would appear that much of the work being done is still the same support for AGW.

      • I was merely pointing out that the research was being done, I wasn’t claiming that Dessler’s findings were particularly revolutionary. But then I don’t think it’s fair to assume that results of research into clouds will only be meaningful if those results are contrary to AGW. Maybe our current assumptions about the effects of clouds are broadly correct.

      • Yes, and I was pointing out that a graduate student, or fully paid Climate Scientist, repeating research with no new measurements, experiments, or ideas is not taking us anywhere no matter how many times it is done. At least there wasn’t much money spent on the students work.

      • Yep, all of those seem good to go. From a skeptic’s POV.

        I think you’ll get fudging and flak on #4 and 5 from the AGW side, though.

      • Correction, #5 & 6.

      • I think aerosol mitigation could be added to your list especially black carbon.

    • “… sometimes I truly think I’ve wandered back into a previous residence of mine, the “rubber room” at the nut house.”

      Was that you in the next room?? Please come back and visit!!

  12. Even floods in Brisbane aren’t getting worse – just check out the city’s 19th-century floods.

    It is yet to be determined how much rain fell on the upper basins to form the flood event, but one scientist indicates without the Wivenhoe Dam, the water level would have topped 6 meters on the flood gauge that did not hit 6 meters in 1974, and the 1974 flood was also mitigated.

    • If we don’t yet know how much rain fell in the catchments, how can we know what the peak “might” have been ?

      Speculation is simply not useful here and is likely designed to confuse and avoid actual issues

      • The scientists are doing that assessment now. It’s not as simple as how much fell.

        On speculation, is that like the speculation that dam operators caused a man-made flood?

    • Nevertheless, at least as far as Brisbane was concerned, much of the flood damage arose because the system was mismanaged.

      See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/levels-an-admission-of-badly-timed-release/story-fn59niix-1225992596040

      Brisbane has always had floods – indeed, the archetypal ‘Queenslander’ in Brisbane is a house on stilts.

      Ultimately, some form of central management (with flexibility built in for local conditions) is essential to control events on this scale. Because such systems are managed by humans, inevitably mistakes will happen whether management is centralised or localised.

      Brisbane’s current flooding would have happened ‘anyway’ – whether somewhat more severe or not because of climate change is an open question. The human and material costs flow however purely from people’s decision to live in the area sometimes with added input from failure to build houses and infrastructure to take account of known risks – another very human trait.

      The insurance industry has long been aware of the problem and has thus left all too many homeowners and businesses uninsured for flood damage. Insurance companies (love ’em or hate ’em) often have a good finger on the pulse for risks in an area and will tailor (manipulate?) policies to protect their interests.

      See: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/xenophon-demands-insurance-shakeup-20110121-1a007.html?skin=text-only

    • JCH,
      When TS Allison hit Houston in 2001, we knew in real time how much rain fell in the metro Houston area.
      The geographic gradients and local amounts were well known.
      I doubt if it is that much harder to do this in SE Queensland.
      http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/inland_flood.shtml
      From following some Australian blogs as well as the AGW movement in Australia, what we are seeing over there is a bunch of CYA scrambling to distract from the fact that climate science utterly failed the people of Australia. Again.

      • I was house hunting in Houston when Allison happened. We had seen several houses we liked, but after Allison we did not like them as much.

        We live in a 35-story high rise.

    • As the dam was allowed to fill before releasing water, how do we know that the water wouldn’t have flowed for a longer period at lower levels?? In other words, the flow would have been spread out over a longer period without the dam, and would not have reached the same high levels!!

      Please see http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/

      There are multiple posts on several sides of the issue in the last couple of weeks giving details of the actual rates and levels including the fact the flow rates were limited before the actual flooding. It would appear that having the dam full was more important, due to the recent drought conditions, than worries over a massive flood. Wonder why they weren’t looking at historic records for guidance?

  13. “Better to ignore the sceptics”

    “I wholeheartedly agree”

    I have an idea. Why don’t we ignore Judith Curry?

    Whadda ya think Judith Curry?

    Andrew

    • C’mon Bad Andrew. Dr. Curry was not endorsing the comment you quoted when she said she “wholeheartedly agrees.” No climate science blog has been more open to divergent views, skeptical and otherwise, than this blog. I mean, just read through the comments, especially the more lively threads that regularly develop on this blog.

      • Mike,

        Judith Curry doesn’t disclose that she rejected any part of the conclusion.

        Maybe she could explain if she doesn’t agree with certain parts, since she wrote “I agree wholeheartedly” without any qualifications.

        Andrew

      • sorry “wholeheartedly agree” ;)

        That’s a pretty strong agreement.

        Andrew

      • Andrew,

        I agree a clarification would be useful–though I’m still inclined to give Dr. Curry the benefit of the doubt based on abundant past good-will toward skeptics and others. But you make a good point, Andrew.

    • All sorts of people ignore me, you are welcome to join the club if you wish.

      • Thanks Judith,

        I’ll sh*tcan your views on AGW, since I got your permission. ;)

        Andrew

      • you have my permission to ignore me, not to misrepresent my positions

      • B A,
        If this blog were a cocktail party hosted by Dr. Curry, you would be getting asked to go to another party about now.
        Basic manners and respect are worthwhile, whether in a real or virtual party.

      • Bad Andrew seems to have disappeared, hopefully he is either ignoring me or misrepresenting my views somewhere else, with the same level of credibility that he has shown here.

      • I’m still here. In what comment did I misrepresent your views?

        Andrew

      • Your statement:

        “I’ll sh*tcan your views on AGW, since I got your permission.”

        reflects your intent to do this. You clearly understand nothing about my AGW views, based on your behavior here.

      • How does me putting your views in the appropriate place misrepresent them?

        Andrew

      • BTW, I can conclude since you used strikeout and had to clarify your position, that you initially misrepresented your own views.

        Andrew

      • No I did not originally misrepresent my views, nor did I change my mind about my views. I clarified the post based on certain people’s misunderstanding of my views.

      • OK. Maybe you should be clearer about them in the future.

        Andrew

      • Dr. Curry,

        May I respectfully recommend that Bad Andrew’s comments are best ignored and are not, at all, representative of those others of us you greatly benefit from and enjoy your blog.

        I know you do all the work to make this blog possible with very little thanks in response. I’m sure I speak for the vast majority when I offer my personal gratitude for your noble enterprise. We are all the better for it.

      • I’ll second this sentiment and add that to me some of the posters seem to ignore the bulk of the evidence in search of ways to feel offended. Actions speak louder then words and your actions have not been representative of the words you later crossed out.

    • Steven Mosher

      keep this kind of commenting up Andrew and you will find that people with better things to do ( like jeffid, steveMc, Anthony, and Judith) will eventually see no point in spending time blogging.

      • Steven Mosher,

        I’ll be happy when AGW pushers like yourself stop blogging. You can go ahead and quit anytime.

        Andrew

      • randomengineer

        Dr Curry testifies before congress. You don’t. Her opinion counts.

        Skepticism without the backing of responsible people with working knowledge is reduced to pointless and useless screeching. The correct middle pathway being opened up here is that which obviates the more shrill alarmists *and* addresses valid skeptical points. Destroy the middle path and skeptics will get NO points addressed.

        Fortunately yours is an increasingly diminishing voice, and sanity looks like it may prevail despite your efforts to the contrary.

      • “Dr. Curry testifies before congress”

        So do a lot of criminals

        Andrew.

      • randomengineer had written: “The correct middle pathway being opened up here is that which obviates the more shrill alarmists and addresses valid skeptical points. Destroy the middle path and skeptics will get NO points addressed.

        I disagree in principle and in particular. Respectfully, but adamantly.

        First, the concept of “the middle path” suppresses alternative approaches. Who says that either the anthropogenic (carbon-dioxide-forcing) global warming fraud or the skeptical position – that the AGW hypothesis is merely the blunder of credentialed damned fools extended into the political machinations and economic pillage wrought by lying, thieving charlatans – is correct to the exclusion of all other considerations?

        We may be dealing with the fallacy of the false dilemma.

        Second, if either of these positions is correct, by what possible stretch of the imagination is there any value in finding any sort of “middle path” blending elements of both?

        As evidence continues to develop, and even by way of the utterly unreliable (and demonstrably mendacious) climate computer modeling programs of the AGW high priesthood, it becomes more and more evident that nothing undertaken to suppress the clean combustion of hydrocarbon fuels could possibly abate or even significantly mitigate the alleged adverse impact of anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, then any plans, proposals, or efforts to persuade, or extort (by way of taxation and/or regulation) reductions in those emissions are worse than useless.

        Adaptation to any changes in climate will require the efficient maximum utilization of all resources. Only the free market (a bourse of exchange in which resources, both tangible and intangible, human and material, are to trafficked in manners completely free from government direction or interference or even perception except for that policing required to deter and to punish violation of the individual human rights to life, liberty, and property) can mobilize and allocate these resources to that maximum extent.

        Nothing should be permitted to degrade the efficiency of that free market, especially not the power fantasies of socialist fanatics, government employees, or power-hungry popularity contest entrants.

        If we are facing “catastrophic” global climate change – whether induced by man-made carbon dioxide emissions or not – the parasitic perniciousness of “Pass a Law!” idiots who think that an act of legislative or presidential fiat can alter Planck’s constant or round pi off to five zeroes cannot be afforded.

        It’d be like putting a lunatic with a five-gallon can of kerosene in the middle of your wooden lifeboat, handing him a flare, and telling him to like a nice, cheery fire to keep everybody warm.

        So what’s the solution to climate change, whether anthropogenic or not?

        Freedom. Individual rights. The free market.

        Everything that the “environmentalists” hate most venomously and are seeking to destroy.

        There is no “middle pathway” to be sought with these people. There’s nothing they bring to the bargaining table that could benefit anyone except themselves.

        And they are evil, stupid, and/or insane.

      • randomengineer

        Second, if either of these positions is correct, by what possible stretch of the imagination is there any value in finding any sort of “middle path” blending elements of both?

        “A” in AGW isn’t limited to CO2. Rather this is land use and soot and heat generation and farming and lots of other stuff that six billion humans can’t help but do. Regardless of what you think of man-made CO2 “A” is reality. Humans change their environment. The real argument concerns magnitude and/or response: are humans changing the climate radically and what ought to be done?

        The middle path recognizes nothing but the basic facts, that yes, humans can and do change their environment one way or another. This path ignores the chicken little nonsense of the CO2 alarmists and also dismisses the cranks who think the entire ball of wax is a commie plot.

        Why the middle? Re CO2 as Pournelle says we’re running an open ended experiment. Could turn out crappy for us. Doesn’t hurt us to pay attention and dial back CO2 if we can. Re commie plot, why, *of course* there are malevolent hucksters who will use doomsday prognostication as the means by which they sieze power and impose their will. There *are* those out there who seek global governance and view AGW as their ticket. These are the enemy.

        The middle path promotes the free market e.g. nuclear energy. This reduces CO2 and creates wealth (energy = wealth) and takes the initiative away from the alarmists. If CO2 really is a problem, we’re reducing it. If it ain’t, we’re not living in the dark as the malthusians would prefer. No matter what side you’re on you win. The only losers are the extremists. Free market nuclear energy and CO2 reduction takes their edge away.

        This is the same problem the right wing has. The ideologically pure culture warriors want to use the GOP to stomp abortion etc (i.e. things that at least 50% of the voters won’t vote for) whereas the social moderates point out that a platform that results in republicans getting elected is the entire point of a political party. That means you have a position that the majority can agree with. Going whole hog culture warrior doesn’t do much other than make for an ideologically pure yet ineffective regional party.

        Similarly, claiming AGW is fraudulent doesn’t result in a win because the reality is that “A” is real enough, and the only thing gained is ceding the game to the chicken littles via being marginalised. Eternal Vigilence requires you figure out what the game is. The middle path is the vector that results in a win for all but the extremists. That’s the point.

      • I’m not going to be nice like the others, Bad Andrew. You’re way over the line, pal. You want to get in someone’s face? Try me. I’m up for it, guy.

      • mike,

        What did I say that’s “over the line”?

        Andrew

      • Andrew,

        Your original comment on this thread was appropriate given the lack of clarity in Dr. Curry’s post in terms of the specifics of her “wholehearted” agreement (since clarified). Subsequently, your contribution has been one ill-tempered, mean-spirited, nasty comment after another. And for reasons that remain obscure, most of your comments seemed directed at Dr. Curry and in a manner that ill-suits someone who is a guest at her bountiful “table” provided at no cost to you.

        So mind your manners, Andrew.

      • Steven Mosher

        sometimes it is better to ignore a “skeptic.”

        It really is a case by case thing for me.

      • I dont want to be misunderstood, Steven. My reprimand of Andrew has nothing to do with his “sceptic” views (the “skeptic” label, in its broadest compass, includes myself). Rather, the issues is good manners, whatever one’s climate science convictions. And by “good manners” I don’t mean phony, manipulative appeals to “civility” and the need to eliminate “vitriolic language” from our discourse. I mean just plain old good manners. Despite playing dumb, Andrew knows what I mean.

      • I’ll accept that my phraseology was bad mannered in that one comment.

        Andrew

      • For what it’s worth, Andrew, I greatly respect your manly (I’m an unapologetic sexist) acknowledgement. I hope when I screw up, I’ll conduct myself half so well (I haven’t always–thanks for the reminder how it’s done).

      • Steven Mosher

        I’ll just suggest what I did over on WUWT. people should spend as much time reading the actual science as they do commenting on it.

      • I agree.
        And I say that as a skeptic.

      • :-)

      • Andrew:

        This kind of commentary is something I’ve seen from Romm and Realclimate. Why don’t you leave the bile to them?

      • John,

        I don’t agree that it’s ‘bile’.

        Andrew

      • I once told someone (on another forum) that as a conservative, he made conservatives look bad. And that’s what you’ve proceeded to do here wrt sceptics.

      • Jim,

        I don’t agree.

        Andrew

      • Didn’t expect you to. But it’s still true. For this thread – not for others that I’ve noticed.

      • Bad Andrew,
        It is sort like you are at a cocktail party and have reached the stage of inebriation where you are (you think) invisible and bullet proof.

      • He is, however, 150% visible and approaching 100% proof :-)

      • Cheers, my good fellows! ;)

        Andrew

      • It’s remarks like yours which makes me want to stop blogging.
        And I’m not an AGW’er

      • Peter317,

        I think you may be a tad overly-sensitive if comments on a blog, want to make you stop blogging. I mean, the wailing and gnashing of teeth only goes so far. Seriously.

        Andrew

      • No, life’s too short.. things to do…

      • I notice JeffId is closing his blog at the Air Vent, partly for family reasons, but also because of the behaviour of a small minority of commentators. Sad, in my view.

      • I am certain the AGW partisan extremists are taking note.
        The Climate Skeptic blog was damaged by a small minority of posters who attacked relentlessly and engaged in name hijacking and sock puppetry.
        At one point it was a significant enough blog that it was one of the first to receive the links to the climategate e-mails from, apparently, whoever broadcast the leak.

      • RobB – it seems that Jeff ID got into an argument with a poster called ‘ConcernedJew’. Jeff Id made reference to ‘happy gas chambers’ at which point all hell let loose.

        Jeff Id then closed the blog.

        http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/01/21/the-idiots-got-to-him/#comment-38678

  14. Judith

    Damage will continue to increase because of increasing population and concentration of assets in vulnerable regions (e.g. coasts, deltas, floodplains).

    To reduce future damage due to floods and save water for drought periods, let us invest on DAMS!

    • Please feel free to invest your funds as you see fit.

      But please don’t try to tell others that you know where their funds should be invested.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

      • Why not? We can’t all afford to build dams ourselves (not that I’m wholly in favor of dam construction). People should feel free to comment on where public funds should be invested – whether anyone is persuaded by these arguments is another matter.

    • Yes, this is what I am trying to agree with!

  15. This was a good morning read. Yes, Kuper paints skeptics with a broad brush, and perhaps even stuffs them with a bit of straw, but his article itself has a skeptical bent – a skepticism towards whoever ends up being the inevitable claimsmaker for the scientific link between the latest weather event and climate change. This trend, especially apparent after Katrina, threatens to do more harm than good even for the movement to stop AGW. By attempting to make the consequences of climate change visible and therefore real, in excess it has the opposite effect of increasing incredulity, and does nothing to address vulnerabilities.

  16. I am a “self-taught skeptic” and I have some experience of working with computer fluid dynamics and smoke control models, so I am familiar with the degree of uncertainty present in them and with the assumptions that are made and built in in order to make them work. I am deeply skeptical of the CO2 “forcing” since it cannot be demonstrated at anything like the levels the “models” predict in any laboratory experiment and as for the “extreme events” scenario, it is really only necessary to look back, as someone else suggested, at the flood records of the 19th Century for the Indus or the Queensland areas to see that what has changed is the amount of run-off due to paving and building and the populations now at risk.

    The climate is changing, I, however, take leave to doubt that the western nations are the sole cause. Overpopulation everywhere in the developing world, destruction of rain forests and the draining of lakes marshes and river systems all play a part – but with politicians as usual focussing on the nebulous “CO2 Problem” which seems driven more by a desire to control the mobility of populations than anything else, and has given rise to the fraud ridden “Carbon Offset” schemes currently being investigated in the EU by Interpol (And incidently and major source of funding to a number of “Eco” groups, it is unlikely that an increasingly skeptical populace will continue to swallow the hype.

    Somehow the heat has to be taken out of the debate which more closely resembles the spolit between Rome and the Protestants in the 1600’s than a “scientific debate” and stop the labelling and name calling. There are many serious scientists with valid reservations on this issue – but they are not being heard or being allowed to contribute. When that is addressed, some of us “skeptics” may be found to have something to offer.

  17. > … self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism<

    As usual in such polemics, this is a deliberate misrepresentation of the informed sceptical position

    AGW climate change is not some "socialist ruse" (nor, from evidence in the various threads here, is it yet an urgent planet-destroying threat). But it IS used as a cloak for various not-so-covert political agendas, which deliberately conflate fear of climate Armageddon with "their" solution (eg. various Green political parties, NGO's such as Greenpeace)

    IMO, the problem for science is to disassociate from these unpleasant bed-fellows without losing integrity. People like Hansen in wild advocacy mode do not help this

    • randomengineer

      AGW climate change is not some “socialist ruse” … But it IS used as a cloak … [snip]

      I’m thrilled to see that others get this point. The alarmists dismiss this as conspiracy nut stuff without quite grasping that yes there *are* people out there who will use AGW as the mechanism by which they ascend to power, and they’re parroting the arguments of the alarmists to do it. “Yes the guy next to me is a sheep. Seriously. It’s not a wolf dressed like a sheep.”

      The salient question here is to ask why what you’re saying isn’t OBVIOUS to everyone.

  18. Willis Eschenbach must write only during his lucid moments. I find what he has to say interesting and thought provoking enough for me to explore on my own. Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre’s dogged pursuit of accountability for what people say has led me to distrust what some warmists say, as they nuance the truth to their advantage. There is one thing to being ignorant and grudgingly say “I was wrong.” There is another thing to…well, frankly, mislead. When the science says ” I don’t know”, there is nothing wrong with that. Disasters happen by chance or mistakes or willful intent. Response to disasters is frequently poor because the disaster was not anticipated, wasn’t communicated, or was in the hands of people with other agendas. Predicting disasters and the outcome of rare events really is a mixed bag. What becomes a disaster often is a result of poor engineering; for some, it is not politically expediant to address potential outcomes; some to social engineering gone bad; and some, to having a mindset that one cannot believe that one is wrong. The Radiative Transfer Model global climate disruption explaination of disasters seems to embody a bit of each of the four elements: poor engineering, political correctness, social engineering gone bad, and self-absorbed mesmerization with one’s GCM. The secret passageway out of this tunnel vision is to have flashes of light on the walls and straight ahead, usually by other illuminaries, but also by the firefly which flickers here and there, emitting just enough light so that one doesn’t stumble over the object infront of you. There are now tsunami, tornado, etc. warning systems in place and they are maintained. There will be other warning systems, usually piggy-backed upon existing systems until the existing systems are so burdened they have to be totally revamped. We are making progress to recognize and respond to potential disasters. Yet, there are serious flaws and we need to respect skeptics and random walkers such as the Little Dutch Boy who put his finger in the dyke; their actions, and in the case of science skeptics words, are demonstrating a fault in the paradigm. We should never be comfortable in ignoring these clarions.

    • “Nuance the truth” seems a little different from clearly mislead. Blind acceptance of “science” relies on the demonstrable integrity of the scientists and the process. Since we know there is questionable integrity in both areas, I don’t see how anyone should be expected to blindly accept the conclusions.

      As for the article separating global warming and current disasters, there has never been a specific causal connection made, so the author is stating the obvious. His real point is the rest of what he says.

  19. “Better ignore the skeptics”. Can’t help wondering on which planet Mr.Kupers has been living the last year? Somehow I can’t lay the connection between the Deltawerken en Global Warming. After all it was intiated after the 1953 flood, when “Global Warming” was no issue and the new ice ages of the 70’s has yet to be discussed. All and all a rather clumsy article full of the usual platitudes of a former sports writer (say wot???)

  20. I’ve been an opponent of AGW for a long time on both professional and political grounds. In its heyday, the consensus high priests of the movement decided to marginalise any who would criticise it to the lunatic fringe. We got banished to the UFO and crop circles crowd and that played for a decade or so. Rather a good run in my opinion but those days are over.

    The amount of damage done to the creditability of the science is now terminal; it’s toast. It gave the politicians an excuse to walk away (witness them not in Cancun) and the funding is already leaving the table because economies simply haven’t got the money. The spin in Kauper’s article is all very yesterday I’m afraid but I hope he keeps it up. I like opponents to persist with a losing strategy.

    Pointman

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/

  21. Hamish McDougal

    Your protestations would ring a little more true if you didn’t (lazily) link to Hurricane Katrina.
    As I understand it (maybe I know), a Green organization, by legal process prevented the Corps of Engineers increasing the height of the levees to that which would have prevented the catastrophes, showed this triumphantly on its website until Katrina struck, and thereupon, took it down immediately.
    I know you’re busy, but try investigating.

    • With no respect whatsoever for the “…Green organization [which] by legal process prevented the Corps of Engineers increasing the height of the levees to that which would have prevented the catastrophes” of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, it has to be observed that “increasing the height of the levees” had been precisely what has predisposed the regions of the lower Mississippi to such “catastrophes” in the first place.

      The Mississippi River carries enormous amounts of sediment down into the Gulf of Mexico, and the southernmost Parishes of Louisiana are largely established upon the alluvial deposits of this river.

      The system of levees and other hydraulic works devised to prevent Mississippi River flooding in these areas have resulted in silting of such mass and volume between the levee-raised banks that the bottom of the Mississippi River’s channel now runs some considerable feet above the surrounding lands.

      Forget the river’s high water levels. We’re talking about the river bottom.

      As I’d noted earlier, the Father of Waters has been turned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into an enormous ship-navigable elevated aqueduct.

      Any effort put into “increasing the height of the levees” as they protect Orleans and Plaquemines and Saint Bernard and Jefferson Parishes – and all the rest of the state upriver – could and would result in nothing more than further increases in river bottom elevation by way of silting. The end result of such a strategy (if such it can be called, even charitably) is even more destructive flooding when eventually the works fail at some point. Any point.

      No matter how impressive the efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers might appear along the course of the Mississippi River system, this is a flaw which overcomes every positive aspect, and guarantees ruination for the people of the delta.

      • Rich,

        You have to love Mother Natures ingenuity.
        Just like Mother Nature was never at the negotiations table with God on man inheriting the Earth.

      • “Silting” is also one of the major problems with dams. Which is one of the reasons that dams are not a popular option wrt the Pakistan flooding.

      • The fact is STILL that the RIVER did NOT top the levees. Lake Pontchartrain under the hurricane driven surge undermined the levees and toppled them!!!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levee_failures_in_Greater_New_Orleans,_2005#Investigations

        Please get over the well built raised aqueduct. There are other real issues with turning the Mississippi into a concrete lined aqueduct, but, this was not one of them!!

      • My personal experience with government agencies’ “infrastructure” work on the Father of Waters and its tributaries comes of decades spent further upstream, where the labors of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage these waterways has resulted in flooding time and again.

        That the surface of Lake Pontchartrain is above the lands in the southernmost Parishes flooded during Katrina, and that the storm surge came into the city of New Orleans in 2005 from that estuary I take better note than I had before, but the premise still stands. Government efforts at warping these waterways have resulted in precarious conditions in the delta region just as it has in the lands upstream, through the Missouri and Ohio basins as well.

        The proclivities for flooding in these regions are appreciated, and there is definite economic value both in preserving farmlands and buildings from such floods as well as in keeping these rivers navigable, but the federal government’s efforts have been determined more by political priorities then by either best ecological or most reliable hydrological knowledge.

        Any system that accords popularity contest winners (particularly the most senior popularity contest winners, the most experienced in “go along to get along” and in the collection of campaign contributions) first-to-last authority over budgeting and building is virtually guaranteed to achieve monumental failures with a much higher frequency than would otherwise be the case.

  22. As long as we are on extreme weather, I would appreciate if someone in this group could look at this site and tell me if these supercells are real? I have a hard time wrapping my mind around something like this. Absent the global warming debate I would just like to say that what climate scientists study is just so darned cool http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1334672/Jaw-dropping-image-enormous-supercell-cloud-Glasgow-Montana.html

  23. Mr. Kuper was obviously still very young when the 1953 North Sea Flood happened. As I recall, there was at least 12 hours warning time before the storm surge and tidal surge together with the windstorm hid the southern Dutch coast. And I remember people at sea lost their lives as well as folks in the UK. Warnings went out to the affected areas and people and a lot of them left the province to stay with relatives. But just like the warnings issued prior to Mount St.Helens blowing her top and being ignored by some folks, the same thing happened in the Dutch province of Zealand. After this little history, two things. The Delta Works was started as a response to the general population demand of:”Never Again”. Except for some greenies and nostalgia from towns and their past glories, there was a general agreement that this massive work should be undertaken. Global warming never was invented yet when the project was started. Second point: The decision to close the gates and sluices etc. is in the hands of a NON-GOVERNMENT organization. Government will be advised, but will not be consulted, so to speak. The flooding in Brisbane could have been greatly reduced if a non-government engineer could have made the decision, instead of politics being involved.

  24. Dr. Curry – Simon Kuper said this:
    ‘This pits virtually all climate scientists against a band of self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism.’

    And then you said this:
    ‘I wholeheartedly agree EXCEPT FOR THE CLAUSE ABOUT “BETTER IGNORE THE SKEPTICS”’.

    And I’m tempted to say some snarky things but will hold my tongue. I will ask what the hell is that supposed to mean, though. You agree that virtually all climate scientists are pitted against freelance sceptics who are motivated by a ruse? You can’t be serious – say it ain’t so!

  25. A thought occurred to me. Whether it counts for something or not I don’t know but …

    There is a difference between a skeptic and a crank.

    The skeptic reasons. He has a well-prepared argument with facts, resources and data that challenges a scientist’s hypothesis/theory on its assumptions and results.
    Ignoring these people is at one’s peril. They should be a welcome sanity/reality check that can strengthen good research, and can save the scientist from the embarrassment of bad research.

    The crank believes. Either through circular reasoning, wild conspiracy theories, or a deeply ingrained misunderstanding (either out of ignorance or willfully, it is not up to me to make that call) of how the world really works. And nothing anyone says can shake that belief.
    Listening to these people is at one’s peril. They have nothing but slowly simmering madness to share, which can easily boil over into a massive persecution complex.

    The sad part is that skeptics and cranks exist on both side of the argument and that so far, the cranks are winning — by labeling the real skeptics as cranks.

    Again, just my couple of cents …

  26. Judith

    Like others here, I am dismayed that you agree with the proposition that sceptics comprise “a band of self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism.”

    It is by no means necessary to the sceptic position to regard AGW as a deliberate hoax, or as a Trojan horse for socialism. I for one would argue that one of the lessons of climategate was that the Team are “true believers”, who are so sure of their position they see nothing wrong with a bit of cheating for the cause – the very opposite of fraudulent behaviour, which implies intent to deceive.

    However, to deny that many very left wing organisations view the AGW issue as a means to their particular ends would be disingenuous, the examples are so numerous. This glaring fact does rather fall into the hands of the conservative lobby, for whom the AGW issue provides a very fine stick to beat their liberal opponents. And while I am far from being a conservative, I fail to see how holding conservative type views renders ones judgement of scientific matters suspect, any more than the preponderance of liberal viewpoints among climate scientists is any pointer to the quality of their work (these lie elsewhere).

    So to disparage sceptics as believing in a worldwide socialist conspiracy is wrong, in that it applies only to a section of the sceptic community (I cant prove its a minority, but my impression is that it is), and because it is the most vocal adherents of the alarmist viewpoint who provide a thoroughly plausible rationale for this view in the first place. I think it behooves the AGW believers to look to their own keenest supporters, before labeling others as conspiracy theorist kooks.

    • Peter Wilson:
      [“It is by no means necessary to the sceptic position to regard AGW as a deliberate hoax, or as a Trojan horse for socialism. I for one would argue that one of the lessons of climategate was that the Team are “true believers”, who are so sure of their position they see nothing wrong with a bit of cheating for the cause – the very opposite of fraudulent behaviour, which implies intent to deceive.”]

      Well said, indeed.

      As a ‘reasoning’ (although that is for others to judge…) sceptic, I find that the cAGW ‘theory’ falls on the lack of verifying, evidential real-world data. I see no point, reward or advantage in attributing a sense of ‘conspiracy’ to it. I would suggest that any hint of conspiracy may have occurred as a result of politicians seizing an opportunity to make political or economic advantage when they see one being presented to them by some scientists. At a base level, the lack of evidence in support of the cAGW theory should be sufficient to cast doubt on its veracity.

  27. Willis Eschenbach | January 23, 2011 at 4:20 am

    I’m sorry, but that’s not just nonsense, it is a slap-in-the-face insult to the host of scientists, both amateur and professional, who have labored to expose the deceptions, double-dealing, scientific malfeasance, and most of all just plain bad, shoddy, baseless science practiced by some of the leading scientific lights of the side that Kuper lauds.

    Willis that is very powerful writing.

    I agree with you.

    A simple example is the shift from talking decadal trends to talking about the nth hottest in the record when the DECADAL trend contradicts their projections of 0.2 deg C.

    Thank you.

  28. The structure and tone of the article is very disturbing, although I agree with the [central?] message that the way to mitigate extreme weather event is to address them in the traditional way:
    floods: dams, flood reservoir, or simply not building in floodable area
    drough: irrigation, water reservoir, keep population density at a mangeable level
    and so on…

    But, beside this quasi-tautological message, there is another one, that is that skeptics are a bunch of loonies without anything interesting to say, and that the mainstream view on climate change is so validated that it is no needed to defend it anymore (oh, and by the way, of course we have to do something to solve this severe issue too, even if not a single practical issue regarding climate change is raised). Just let appointed scientifics, in-the-know global organisations and governments deal with it, folks, they know better than you, look instead the other way, into delta works. It will help people, and it will also distract you from looking too closely at the self-proclamed climate change consensus and what is done in its name.

    • oups, I need to clarify myself a little bit:
      I meant that the way to address extreme weather event is the traditional way (flood mitigation for floods, drought mitigation for drought), instead the “trendy” way that was promoted since 5 years: reduce the CO2, because CO2 is the mother of all the weather plagues that affect humanity (or, more important for some, the biosphere)

      This is certainly a welcomed message, coming from the accepted decoupling between AGW and extreme event (although, they mention that in some future, maybe, such coupling may reappear….yeah sure, that’s a scientific argument of a caliber skeptics may only dream of).

      Later, the article also said that of course, cAGW is a serious problem that must me addressed, ignoring skeptics claims that could show that, on the contrary, it is a non-problem, while failing to give any argument justifying the seriousness…well, apart, the “may, in some future, contribute to extreme events, although it does not for now”.
      I guess that even ukewarmer should think this is a quite pathetic reasonment, but it is, unfortunateley, also cAGW business as usual….

  29. A lot of environmentalists are stuck in the 1970s and continue to promote a strain of leftish romanticism about idyllic rural village life powered by windmills and solar panels. They idealize poverty, seeing it as a noble way of life, and oppose all large developments. James Cameron, the multimillionaire producer of the most lucrative movie in history, Avatar, paints his face and joins the disaffected to protest a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon.

    Might want to get some knowledge before you start making stuff up, even on Sunday.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Confessions+Greenpeace+founder/4073767/story.html

  30. Dr C
    I can name so names here, but Mr Kuper’s view is shared by many reasonable, and thinking climate scientists. Mr Kuper may have used his lazy dismissal to finish his article but it exposes his intention to fall on the side of orthodoxy *by* taking potshots at skeptics. This is cowardice and nothing more.

    Mr Kuper does not believe the skeptics, but the consensus science, but yet wants us to ‘adapt’ by building dams even as we emit CO2, which is, going by his own science the sole factor, that requires the dam building in the first place?

    These are people who do not belong in the climate science. Their very pragmatism – adopted as a scientific-philosophic position and attitude – precludes them from passing judgement against ‘skeptics’, ‘warmists’ or anyone else well and truly stuck in the debate.

  31. “The rationale then becomes to use each new disaster as a “teachable opportunity” to build support support for climate change science and policies.”

    Every generation is convinced that it faces challenges never before seen. The kids are the worst ever (work ethic, manners, education, music, whatever). War will destroy us. Whatever eminent disaster the Chicken Littles complain of, Paul Erlich style gloom and doom has been a big seller in every generation. Always popular, always wrong.

    • So true! “Modern Man” has the same outlandish problem Lemmings face every day, “Who to follow?” And, of course, there is that one ‘historic’ lesson that we all vaguely recall from High School, “Lemmings sometimes follow the wrong leader.” ‘Modern Man’ of course is sooooo much smarter than a bunch of stupid Lemmings, but there it is, s/he still ends up in the ocean swimming for their life every so often.

      There is truly a googleplexgaggle of would-be leaders, bloggers, preachers, politicians, scientists, psyentists, investment brokers, indian chiefs, priests, MD’s, generals, witch doktors, bakers, gurus, candlestick makers, PhD’s, psychos, imans, hollywood idiots, bra-burners, and butchers who are asking us to follow them up their favorite little San Juan Hill. It is just so very confusing and awkward that we naturally get confused about which way to go or what to do next. Sometimes, and it really does happen, a clique of wierdos of a special social bent and radical persuasian take over the universities and colleges of a big chunk of the world (or the government of a nation or three) and everything gets really dicey for a generation or two or three or four; children turn against their parents, brother turns against brother, sister against sister, and it all started in gradeschool because of a union-made teacher (or whatever). Well, you get the idea I’m sure.

      Today is no different for us than yesterday was for Ma & Pa, or tomorrow will be for our unborn kids. I know it’s difficult, but we really do have to think for ourselves. Sometimes there’s a gem in a garbage dump, or a jewel in a pigsty, but it is soooo messy to jump in these places and do a thurough search to find them. Oh, yes, and we all need to look over the edge before we jump willynilly like a Lemming off any cliffs.

      Life is more difficult than we often think it is; no matter how old we are.

  32. Dr. Curry
    The first link (article) in :
    The Financial Times has an interesting article entitled “A disastrous truth”
    is about devastating earthquake in Chile last year.

  33. At 10:09 AM on 23 January, randomengineer had replied to an earlier post of mine thus:

    “A” in AGW isn’t limited to CO2. Rather this is land use and soot and heat generation and farming and lots of other stuff that six billion humans can’t help but do. Regardless of what you think of man-made CO2 ‘A’ is reality. Humans change their environment. The real argument concerns magnitude and/or response: are humans changing the climate radically and what ought to be done?

    .
    Not at all. Not one little bit. Not now, not over the past thirty years and more, not ever in this whole excuse for a debate on science and public policy.

    The “‘A’ in AGW” has always been first and foremost about atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increases as the result of humans’ purposeful combustion of hydrocarbons, fossil and non-fossil.

    Only at the most remote removes has there been any address of “ land use and soot and heat generation and farming and lots of other stuff.” Indeed, of this “other stuff” we had heard effectively nothing until it became clear to the “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (cAGW) fraudsters that their CO2-forcing mechanism was being examined sufficiently – despite their frantic efforts to blot out all research (and prevent every publication) disproving the validity of their fabulous, oh-so-sophisticated computer models – that widespread critical resistance to their preposterous bogosity had grown to the point at which they could smell the tar bubbling and see the feathers being plucked for their ceremonial executions.

    Yes, randomengineer. “man-made CO2 ‘A’ is reality

    So goddam what?

    If no anthropogenic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels can possibly induce a significant adverse greenhouse gas effect – remember the qualifiers “significant” and “adverse” – then no effort undertaken to reduce CO2 emissions is of any value whatsoever, and does nothing but damage to the welfare of billions of real human beings.

    Millions of these, I remind all readers, are people who are literally starving to death or dying of infectious diseases exacerbated by starvation right now, and millions more are going to die, the numbers ratcheting up and up and up every time the “environmentalists” – the AGW fraudsters and liars and and neurotics and thieves – get their way in the implementation and enforcement of “greenhouse gas initiative” government policies.

    Your calls for moderation, randomengineer are in reality calls for the impoverishment and death of hundreds of millions of your fellow human beings. You got that firmly fixed in your mind?

    Any noise about how “claiming AGW is fraudulent doesn’t result in a win because the reality is that ‘A’ is real enough, and the only thing gained is ceding the game to the chicken littles via being marginalised” is itself a flagrant, knowing, vicious disavowal of what actually is known regarding the minimal-to-zip atmospheric temperature forcing effects of carbon dioxide created by the purposeful complete combustion of hydrocarbons.

    I’m not interested in any “game,” and anybody who sees this as a “game” is advised to get to hellangone off the “playing field,” because what you’re asking real, live human beings to do is to give up their lives in order to assuage the neurotic anxieties, to feed the megalomania, and/or to satisfy the grasping thievishness of the AGW conspirators.

    Conceive of this as a “game,” eh?

    randomengineer, the politicians and the “Cargo Cult Science” climatologists and the nutcase “environmentalists” have been jiggering this “game” of yours.

    Playing it by their rules is going to get us – and by that I mean those of us whom they view as ignorant “self-taught” cattle fit only for slavery and slaughter – completely screwed.

    If that’s your objective, randomengineer, I’d appreciate an explicit statement of intent from you. And anybody else posting online.

    I refuse to presume honest benign intent any more. Those who decline to defend individual human rights in a quest for compromise with people bent upon violating those rights – by force or by fraud – are not to be treated other than as enemies.

    So do I look at you henceforth and evoke Rostand?

    Here comes, thank God, another enemy!

    • Randomengineer’s comments were exactly correct. Humans do affect climate. AGW is not solely about CO2. Rich again wishes to establish his own definition of something and then rants when others view it differently.
      The issues which face humanity in a world governed by many nations is to do “what makes sense”. Controlling the level of emissions of CO2 per person is far, far less important than controlling the number of humans. Spending vast sums to switch to less efficient forms of electricity production makes almost no sense when one considers the impact to the climate that the expense would have. Planning and building appropriate infrastructure does make sense.

      • And yet another “let’s-only-drink-half-a-gallon-of-that-Jonestown-Kool-ade” voice is heard from. Inevitable, I suppose. If they’re not evil or insane, there’s certainly that third option.

        We have Mr. Starkey writing that “AGW is not solely about CO2” and goes on to claim that he can climb into my personal brain and discern my “…wishes to establish [my] own definition of something..” et yadda, yadda, yadda.

        Nope. If it’s not anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions upon which this whole AGW fraud focuses, Mr. Starkey, then how the hell is it that every goddam thumbs-around-people’s-throats measure aimed at foreclosing the supposed An Inconvenient Truth “catastrophe” of man-made climate disruption gets based on “reducing our carbon footprint,” anyway?

        How come we’ve got all these “emission trading schemes” and “carbon taxes” and “carbon capture” and “carbon offset” and that great U.S. House of Representatives “cap-and-trade” (Waxman-Markey, also known as H.R. 2454) boondoggle, all of them based upon the idiot premise that humans’ purposeful atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide are THE causative influence and THE factor in “climate change” to be ameliorated?

        Were “AGW…not solely about CO2,” Mr. Starkey, then why the hell has there been focus in both the “Cargo Cult Science” climatology literature (especially in the cultists’ grant applications), in all public policy discussion, and in all of these worthless, thieving, destructive excuses for legitimate laws and regulations on NOTHING else to any real extent except CO2?

        Jeez, ya think I’m not taking sufficient pains to emphasize this point? As opposed to “evil” and “insane,” I assume I’m dealing with that third motivation here, but there’s got to be some point at which “stupid” gets so debilitating that you’d think they’re too damned dumb to read what’s being displayed on their computer screens.

        While it appears that Mr. Starkey is yet another one of those Population Bomb” types (read: “Controlling the level of emissions of CO2 per person is far, far less important than controlling the number of humans“) and seems to favor reductions in breeding rates (we are left to speculate how Mr. Starkey would favor achieving that objective, and to what extent it involves something along the lines of a forcible spay/neuter campaign imposed upon the Untermenschen), there’s no evidence that he’s actually opposed to “Controlling the level of emissions of CO2 per person,” merely distaining “Spending vast sums to switch to less efficient forms of electricity production” as making “almost no sense when one considers the impact to the climate that the expense would have.

        As to what “impact to the climate” can be effected by reduction in per-person (or even total aggregate) emissions of carbon dioxide…. Well, there’s a nice Randian “blank out.”

        But according to Mr. Starkey, “Planning and building appropriate infrastructure does make sense.

        Yeah. Anybody else ever heard of American politician Henry Clay’s “American System“? One of the key elements was “a a system of internal improvements (such as roads and canals)”?

        Y’know. Those “infrastructure” projects Mr. Starkey is calling for. Plenty of “bridge to nowhere” government tax-and-borrow-and-counterfeit-and-SPEND worthless monuments to politicians’ bloated egos, and real pocket-liners for their contributors.

        Ooh, I feel so comforted in the knowledge that the same politicians who gave us Waxman-Markey (“cap-and-trade”) in 2009 are going to make for us the wise and necessary and life-saving “appropriate infrastructure” decisions Mr. Starkey thinks we’re going to need.

      • AGW is the term Rich. It is not CO2GW. CO2 is the “predominate” human released GHG but not the only one. I have repeatedly written why I believe that cap and trade is bad policy.

        Infrastructure includes building appropriately sized dams that serve as both flood control and fresh water reservoirs. Infrastructure includes an efficient electrical distribution system and means to generate electricity without having to export our capital.

        Whether you feel comforted or not is of no interest to me. What is of interest is trying to reach a consensus towards implementing policy decisions that make sense.

      • Mr. Starkey, when there is no basis upon which to articulate the nature of any nominal human-caused planetary climate problem (much less to reliably and verifiably assess those factors of human action which are supposed to be causing such a problem), just what the hell is any “consensus” worth?

        Certainly, there are other “greenhouse” atmospheric components which are increased by human action – notably methane (CH3) and water vapor (H2O), but in comparison against the insane, evil, and stupid concentration upon carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, there is nothing in public debate which proposes to abate human contributions to these other greenhouse gas levels.

        That’s because no abatement of these human contributions would (or could) make a goddam bit of difference in terms of atmospheric heat trapping. The AGW charlatans know that in a political climate where they can no longer peddle their “CO2 is Pollution!” bullpuckey, they’ve got not the proverbial nitrocellulose dog’s chance of chasing the methane will-of-the-wisp.

        And water vapor…. Oh, boy. We’re gonna be taxed and regulated and monitored by government thugs to reduce our production of water vapor?

        Yeah, right. And the sales of shovels and quicklime will be going through the roof all over America.

        Forget deficits in government pensions funding. There are going to be no more government employees left alive to retire.

        So you’re determined to keep your “interest” on “trying to reach a consensus towards implementing policy decisions that make sense,” Mr. Starkey?

        And you expect these “policy decisions” to be made by POLITICIANS and yet have them “make sense,” much less achieve any positive effect upon the global climate, eh?

        Hoo, boy. You’ve just moved out of the third category, Mr. Starkey, and firmly into “insane.” JC MODERATION

      • there is nothing in public debate which proposes to abate human contributions to these other greenhouse gas levels. – RM

        You’ve apparently never heard the cow-fart jokes.

      • Yes, we have all heard the jokes EXAGERATING the Warmers activities. I, for one, cannot remember any serious policy suggestions. May be just my flaky memory. Could you refresh it with some information on serious policy recommendations about controlling methane?

      • Rich—you again make utterly silly statements.
        Reaching a consensus on the topic of climate change could easily help to implement rational policies that benefit both the economy and the environment. An example would be the construction of modern nuclear electrical generation facilities in the United States.
        Your quote- “. There are going to be no more government employees left alive to retire.” Is an example of one of your many silly statements
        I can tell you from personal experience in discussing the topic of AGW with others, that when people are more informed on the topic they do not support the implementation of policies like cap and trade. Politicians are just people….like you. It is through people that policies are implemented.

        LOL and your calling me insane…….well I’ll put that into the catagory of another one of your silly statements

      • Mr. Starkey, “Reaching a consensus on the topic of climate change could easily help to implement rational policies that benefit both the economy and the environment” is not worth the investment of effort or other resources because the premise – that “rational [government] policies” capable of benefiting “the economy” are possible – is dead before it can be dragged out and waved around.

        Frankly, the only valid conclusion to be reached about “rational policies” in this or any regard pretty much begins and ends with getting government OUT of normative interferences in “the economy.”

        A free and wholly voluntary market is the most efficient mechanism by which resources and needs can be reconciled, and the efficiency of any “economy” is optimized by maximizing the extent to which that “economy” is free from the ordinations of politicians and bureaucrats.

        The only legitimate role civil government can play in the marketplace is to offer a deterrent force which promises reliably to punish the violation of individuals’ rights to life, to liberty, and to property.

        Governments simply cannot devise or “implement rational policies that benefit both the economy and the environment” because the officers of civil government are in essence nothing more than armed thugs.

        However perfumed and prettified they might make themselves, they’re just goons with guns, exercising the police power in civil society as has been delegated to them by the people making up that society.

        Put them in charge of anything else, and what you get is corruption, incredibly stupid decision-making, and the destruction of “both the economy and the environment.”

        What is the basis of this absurd belief in the supreme wisdom of government thugs, anyway? Dr. Curry insists that I refrain from calling such believers “insane” or “stupid,” but allegiance to a religious faith (if not obviously hypocritical) cannot be called “evil,” can it?

      • Seems to me people are focusing on the style of communication Rich Matarese employs rather than on the substance of his message.

        AFAIC the man is spot on. Blunt yes, but blunt is what’s required now. Pussy footing around (pi$$ farting as we say in Oz) isn’t getting us anywhere. It in fact encourages the alarmists to continue as they have been unabated.

      • Rich,
        How can a consensus to call ‘false’ ‘true’ lead to good policies that help the environment and the economy?

    • randomengineer

      Your calls for moderation, randomengineer are in reality calls for the impoverishment and death of hundreds of millions of your fellow human beings. You got that firmly fixed in your mind?

      Perhaps reading what I have written on this forum rather than making assumptions would be of some benefit. I have on this forum advocated nuclear energy in western countries and a push for solar power satellites — a scalable technology that works right here and now — which is the mechanism by which we can enable impoverished countries with working tech and gigawatts of energy that doesn’t risk nuclear proliferation.

      Rather than starve people, the idea is to provide energy. Lots of it.

      Use your google skills to investigate Solaren, a company negotiating with PG&E to loft a solar power sat. I think it would have already been lofted had the economy not folded up. This stuff works. So does private enterprise.

      If it takes fear of hydrocarbons to achieve the future and give the final smackdown to the malthusians, so be it. It matters little if the fear is rational or irrational. What matters is results. You aren’t offering results or a path to get results. You offer impotent rants, personal insults and platitudes about free markets, which is essentially ideological mental masturbation. The only thing that appears to be firmly fixed, sir, is the location of your cranium.

      • Writes randomengineer: “If it takes fear of hydrocarbons to achieve the future and give the final smackdown to the malthusians, so be it.

        Well, that’s the old “bodyguard of lies” line of argument. An effort to deceive the public (including “the malthusians“) is justified by the ends toward which one is working. For randomengineer, “Rather than starve people, the idea is to provide energy. Lots of it.

        To that object I have precisely no objection. I was wholly converted to the safety and economic advantages of light water nuclear fission power generation by (among others) Dr. Petr Beckmann more than thirty years ago (and to randomengineer I strongly commend Dr. Beckmann’s The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear [1976]).

        With regard to solar power satellite systems, I evoke unto randomengineer the homely old Americanism with regard to grandmothers and the consumption of raw eggs. To the reader’s attention I draw G. Harry Stine’s Space Power (1981) , preserved wholly and freely accessible online by the National Space Society.

        The history of Dr. Glaser’s idea in America is such that one can only evoke Robert A. Heinlein’s notion – in his own solar power speculation “Let There Be Light” (1940) – about interests suppressive of applecart-overturning technological advances:

        “Did you ever hear of ‘Breakages Ltd.’?’
        “What is it, a salvage concern?”
        “Not by a hell of a sight. You ought to read something besides the ‘Proceedings of the American Society of Physical Engineers.’ George Bernard Shaw, for instance. It’s from the preface of Back to Methuselah, and is a sardonic way of describing the combined power of corporate industry to resist any change that might threaten their dividends. You threaten the whole industrial set-up, son, and you’re in danger right where you’re sitting. What do you think happened to atomic power?”

        This was written in 1940, mind. What do you think is still happening to atomic power?

        Look, the “We’ll Never Get Them to Act Unless We Lie to Them!” approach is precisely what we’ve seen from the “man-made climate disruption” fraudsters, and though it has shown them the way to promotion and pay, what we ought to have learned by now is that no lie can be sustained indefinitely.

        If nothing else, the people whom randomengineer wishes to influence by way of lies invoking “fear of hydrocarbons” will become resistant to the desired effect by way of habituation.

        randomengineer, you can’t “keep up the skeer.” Even if that were possible, it is inevitable that any such lie must be discovered, and with discovery comes the kinds of rage and ridicule which is presently the despair of the post-Climategate international AGW fraudsters.

        As for your contempt of my supposedly “impotent rants, personal insults and platitudes about free markets,” permit me to observe of your personal duplicity – your desire to lie for what you conceive to be a good cause – and especially your wonderful ignorance of economics (which seems to be preventing you from perceiving the fatal liabilities involved in using government goons with guns to force people to do your bidding) that you’re sure as hell the wrong critter to offer criticism of an honest disputant’s analyses and manner of presentation.

  34. I may have missed it somewhere in the comments, but I don’t think anyone has questioned Kuper’s assertion that some climate scientists have claimed a particular disaster proves the climate is changing. This seems unlikely to me and I wonder if there are examples of it? Using a particular disaster as a teaching opportunity is a very different thing and, I think, quite justifiable.

    Reflecting on this, the feeling that much of the discussion (in the lower reaches of the climate debate food chain at least) centres around arguing against indefensible positions, and Judith’s original stated aim of bringing together the different sides in this debate to have a constructive discussion I wonder if it would be possible to have a post outlining which arguments, on both sides, could fairly be described as indefensible. It would save a lot of time and lead to far more productive dialogue if it were possible to point someone to a credible source to say ‘your position is indefensible’.

    • Latimer Alder

      It is indefensible to claim that the output from a climate model is equivalent to having conducted an ‘experiment’.

      Even if the model had showed some previous ability to predict anything accurately, it would not be an experiment. Since there have been few attempts to even bother to test this, all that such output demonstrates is the characteristics of the program used.

      • The IPCC presents a hypothesis as to how the additional CO2 added to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise. This hypothesis is not based on the scientific method, in that there is no observed data in the estimations. It is indefensible to claim that we know how much global temperatures will rise as a result of a doubling of CO2 concentrations.

      • Surely that depends on the range given and the degree of certainty stated? This, with appropriate qualifications, is clearly a defensible position, which is not necessarily the same as saying it is correct. Latimer Alder’s suggestion (4:05pm) also seems to me to be a defensible position, with appropriate caveats – a climate model is equivalent to an experiment. There is nothing inherent in an experiment that makes it a perfect reflection of reality any more than a model is.

      • There is nothing inherent in an experiment that makes it a perfect reflection of reality any more than a model is.

        You got that bassackwards. The proper statement is:
        There is nothing inherent in a model that makes it a perfect reflection of any part of reality. An experiment is a reflection of a small piece of reality.

        Neither a model nor its output are data. They’re only “simulated” data.

      • Whether an experiment is a reflection of reality or not is only distantly relevant to the original question, which is ‘could there be equivalence between a climate model and an experiment?’. Clearly they are not the same thing, but they can give us information of equivalent value. An experiment is not useful if it has to be simplified so far that it no longer realistically models the complexity of the real world. I wonder how you view experiments that establish the warming attributable to a certain increase in CO2 in the lab?

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘An experiment is not useful if it has to be simplified so far that it no longer realistically models the complexity of the real world.’

        Lost me there sport. Experiments do not ‘model’ the real world. Experiments are the tools we use to probe and prod the real world to find out what it actually does.

        In case the distinction between experiments and theory has momentarily escaped you, a real Nobel Laureate put it like this:

        ‘Each piece, or part, of the whole nature is always an approximation to the complete truth, or the complete truth so far as we know it. In fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore, things must be learned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected…….The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific “truth”.’

        In a choice between the Heraclitan world view or the Feynmanian, my vote is for Feynman every time.

        And this difference lies at the heart of the warmist/sceptic divide.

      • Feynman said many things, not all consistent and all more subtle than selective quotation can reflect. He is not the arbitrator of what is or is not the sole source of scientific truth. But much as it would be interesting to extend this discussion it is moving away from the original point, which was to identify, if possible, arguments that could be accepted as indefensible. It is clearly the case that many serious particpants in the debate assign significance to the output of climate models and will defend this position. What I am interested in is an attempt to improve the quality of the discussions by eliminating what all serious participants will accept as unnecessary noise.

      • No matter how much significance anyone ascribes to model output, it’s indefensible to treat them as real-world data. They may point you in the right direction if they’re properly constructed, but assuming that they’re giving you “real” answers isn’t “science”.

        To repeat –
        Neither a model nor its output are data. They’re only “simulated” data.

      • @Heraclitus

        ‘There is nothing inherent in an experiment that makes it a perfect reflection of reality any more than a model is’

        Measurements?

      • Latimer Alder

        @heraclitus

        An early ‘model’ of the world suggested that everything was composed of some mixture of fire, air, earth and water.

        Are there any reasons to suppose that this model is incorrect? If so, what are those reasons, and how were they established?

        By your argument it is equally as valid as Bohr’s atomic theory or today’s more nuanced understanding. They are all more or less imperfect reflections of reality. So of equal value?

      • Rather than looking only for arguments that support your own position can you not look for ones that counter it? Can you think of no famous examples of experiments in the history of science that have led to false conclusions?

      • Latimer Alder

        Sure people have been misled by experiments and drew false conclusions. But at least they did the experiments in the first place.

        Climatologits can argue the hind leg off a donkey about why their models don’t need to agree with any experiments or observations, but that their results should be taken as in lieu of experiment. Which is complete tosh.

      • Latimer,
        In climate models, evaporation or precipitations are not included.
        Hard to put a value on a moving cloud with a different density mass in it’s formation and reflection sunlight at different points in a day when the sun is at different angles as well.
        Models do not record preciptation values from tree rings or other proxies.

  35. The disastrous truth is that as many skeptics predicted, AGW hype is now entering the area of plaintiff lawsuits.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jLQy3ze-D7N4ZQzyDjvLA8ChIEhQ?docId=CNG.0974f2ca1c91adea909b6017dc4d554e.471
    So something that has never been caused to be a source of any disaster, much less actually be a threat to anything or anyone is now going to make robber baron lawyers even richer.
    The climate science community in general has misled, ill-served and ill-advised people around the world.
    The hype of global climate disruption, unlike UFO abductions, is actually going to cost society in real dollars and ruined lives, bad policies and more vulnerability to normal weather.
    Thanks, IPCC. Thanks, Hansen. Thanks, Trenberth.
    And not one policy these clowns or institutions will push is going to make one bit of difference in the world climate.

  36. EFFECT OF CO2 ON GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

    The data required to establish the effect of CO2 emission on global mean temperature already exist.

    The global mean temperature data are available from the Climate Research Unit of the Hadley Centre.
    http://bit.ly/cO94in

    The CO2 emission data are available from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre.
    http://bit.ly/gIkojx

    For the 60-years period from 1880 to 1940, the average emission of CO2 was about 0.8 G-ton, and the increase in the GMTA was about 0.35 deg C. For the 60-years period from 1940 to 2000, the average emission of CO2 was about 4 G-ton, but the increase in GMTA was the same 0.35 deg C. This means that an increase in CO2 emission by 4/0.8=5-times has no effect in the increase in the GMTA. This shows that human emission of CO2 does not affect global mean temperature.

    • Oh, goodie. And now we’ve got somebody citing the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the Hadley Centre and the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) as if Climategate had never happened, and we all don’t know just how thoroughly the AGW fraudsters have been “cooking” those datasets for the past couple of decades.

      Aw, c’mon, Dr. Curry. “Stupid, insane, or evil.” What else explains this constant re-forking of the same old manure?

      • With a champion like you, Elsie is gonna be able to toot her way well in the 22nd Century before the methane Nazis come for her.

        Libertarians are the ruminants best friend. I guess because Libertarians have obviously done their fair share of ruminating themselves.

      • Ah, so it seems our JCH is lactose intolerant.

        So what has Elsie done to you, except send you immoderately and embarrassingly to the public convenience after downing a milkshake?

      • JCH,

        CO2 and gases are the least of the problems coming up.
        The atmosphere sucked up a massive amount of water as we speak most of the northern hemisphere landmass is covered in cloud cover.

      • Rich,

        please calm down and slow down. You just responded to a person who used CRU’s own data to show they were probably wrong. If you do not pay attention you not only hurt yourself, but, in some peoples eyes, your “side”. Your histrionics makes it much easier for the Warmers to ignore sceptics as a whole in spite of people like Willis, Jeff Id, and the other excellent voices.

      • Yeah, I get it. I’ve been spending the past week concentrating upon stomping the gun-grabbing fascisti salivating over the corpses in Tucson. My apologies to Girma as I withdraw foot from mouth.

        At my age, it’s something of a miracle I can flex and rotate at the involved joints to get it so far past my mandible, isn’t it?

      • I understand Tucson Rich. After Ft. Hood they couldn’t very well say that military people shouldn’t be allowed access to weapons on a military base so had it all bottled up when this happened.

        Wonder when they will start trying to clean their own violent rhetoric up??

      • For me, the worst part about the Tucson massacre (MSM “tragedy” my left hind cheek) is that I find myself having to defend the failings of the psychiatrists, who are being castigated directly and indirectly for having not caught this Loughner specimen before he perpetrated this slaughter.

        I’ve dealt with patients suffering from schizophrenia (who hasn’t?) and I presume that Loughner will be found to have been suffering from the paranoid sub-type. Onset of this condition – especially this particular sub-type – is invidious. Such a person could and would pass background checks before the diagnosis could be established, and it would not only be easy but typical for him to evade questioning about hazardous practices like firearms ownership.

        All patients lie. That’s a given. In the paranoid sub-type of schizophrenia, it’s one of the reliably expected features of the disorder, which really has to be diagnosed by way of getting a detailed history.

        The alternative is to have them dragged into your Emergency Department in the midst of a psychotic break, which is how I’ve diagnosed all my cases of schizophrenia. The prognosis is a helluva lot better if and when you can catch them and get them under effective treatment (mostly with atypical neuroleptics) before that kind of thing happens.

        But I’ve had a long-running (if polite) feud with the pshrinks for decades, and standing up for them online and IRL gives me a toothache.

  37. Bruce of Newcastle

    Professors Ambraseys and Bilham address the same basic issue in Nature (469, 153–155, 13 January 2011) noting the difference in fatalities of the NZ earthquake (zero) with the Haiti earthquake (220,000+) despite being both about Richter 7 and at the same depth.

    In short, fix corruption and poverty and you can very probably ameliorate much of the mortality related to major natural disasters.

    • Writes Bruce of Newcastle: “In short, fix corruption and poverty and you can very probably ameliorate much of the mortality related to major natural disasters.”

      I second the motion. Now, what are the sources of “corruption and poverty” in human society, what mechanisms enable human beings to engage each other in productive activity without suffering theft and other impairments, and how might The Conquest of Poverty [PDF] thereby be managed?

      • Bruce of Newcastle

        Pass. I have been known to take merely difficult projects, but this is beyond my poor scientist’s pay grade.

        My point is clear though. Do you spend trillions on carbon abatement when you could spend those trillions on fixing the rule of law in relatively lawless countries? And how not to waste those trillions while trying? It becomes worse when, if like me, you think the temperature data is consistent with a 2XCO2 of 0.6 C, which implies a greenhouse gas related rise of only 0.29 C since preindustrial times.

      • Tsk. Bruce of Newcastle focuses on the objective of fixing “corruption and poverty” but fails response to a Socratic question regarding the sources of “corruption and poverty” and measures most likely to abate these debilitations.

        And I even gave him a hotlink to a source of information in support of his personal inquiry, in response to which Bruce of Newcastle despairs: “this is beyond my poor scientist’s pay grade

        How disappointing. Rather entirely too much like the internist who picks up the correct diagnosis, and then refuses even to think about what treatment options might be effective in addressing it.

      • As I said, pass. I’ve been reading Flavius Josephus lately and I’m tossing up whether to read Clausewitz or Xenophon next. Haven’t got to Socrates yet, sorry.

  38. Sorry for being slightly off topic but I guess this thread, related to disasters and extreme events, actually remains the best place to introduce what should be, Dr Curry, one of your next threads :

    “When alarmism becomes insane and dangerous! “

    Few days ago an Argentina based NGO published a study claiming that the planet would warm by 2.4°C by 2020, and projected disastrous dire consequences for global food supply.
    (http://www.hoffmanpr.com/world/ClimateChangeFoodGap/The%20Food%20Gap%20-%20The%20Impacts%20of%20Climate%20Change%20on%20Food%20Production%20by%202020.pdf)

    Key Findings
    Following the current business-as-usual path, by 2020:
    1. The temperature of the planet would be, at least, 2.4ºC warmer.
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important man-made greenhouse gas. In 2008, CO2 levels reached 385.2 parts per million (ppm).
    With current increase rates of about 0.5 percent per year, CO2 levels could reach 410 ppm in the next decade. These levels correspond to greenhouse gases (GHGs) concentrations above 490 ppm CO2-equivalent (all greenhouse gases combined).
    This equals a 2.4ºC increase in global temperature.

    .

    This 2.4°C warming, in a single decade (24°C per century!), is 17 times higher than the one observed between 1970 and 2000. It is also about 4 times higher than IPCC’s worst predictions. But it is all the more crazy that no warming has been observed since roughly 13 years, and that we’ve even entered, in 2001, into a slightly cooling period, that should end in 2030!

    But the most worrying is not that an NGO could publish such scams.
    What worries me a lot is that some supposedly “serious” and well informed papers, all around the world, especially here in France but also in the US (look at Scientific American headline her after: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/sciam_scam_uef_story.png) have been unprofessional and senseless enough to report this study without any verification with regards to its validity.

    Of course this is just junk science but it is tremendously dangerous.
    First of all for (real) climate science itself, that will unavoidably be brought into discredit. But also for people, all around the world, since such scams, if considered as serious, could lead to thoughtless political and economical decisions.

  39. Since hurricanes are mentioned, this is a good site: The reference is current to January 2011.

    Maue, Dr. Ryan N. 2011. Global Tropical Cyclone Activity (2010 Update). Scientific. Florida State University. http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/

    2010 is in the books: Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy [ACE] remains lowest in at least three decades, and expected to decrease even further… For the calendar year 2010, a total of 46 tropical cyclones of tropical storm force developed in the Northern Hemisphere, the fewest since 1977. Of those 46, 26 attained hurricane strength (> 64 knots) and 13 became major hurricanes (> 96 knots). Even with the expected active 2010 North Atlantic hurricane season, which currently accounts on average for about 19% of global annual hurricane output, the rest of the global tropics has been historically quiet. This work may be cited as Maue (2009) or Maue and Hart (2011).

    Maue also gives history back to 1972 and has an attractive chart. (I seem to recall some folks announcing that 2010 was the “hottest year on record”.)

  40. Hi Judith,

    you have clarified your positions regarding most of the controversial points of the Financial Times article, based on the some comments in this thread I guess.

    IMHO, there is still a point that would be highly controversial (rejected by most, if not all, skeptics, and a good amount of lukewarmers, probably a majority of them):

    “We need to do something gigantic about climate change”

    What is your position on this point? would you strike it out too, or do you agree with that? “Gigantic” seems to imply more than just “study link between C02 and climate change more” imho, it is more along the line of hard CO2-limiting mesure now, along mainstream-to-extreme AGW policies, certainly harder-than-kyoto policies…

  41. Judith

    For the period from 2000 to 2030, if we have global cooling similar in magnitude and duration to the period from 1940 to 1970, would not that disprove man made global warming?

    • What it will disprove is the Hansen-esque school of global warming:
      That we are experiencing dangerous tipping points that require gargantuan efforts to save ourselves from.
      IOW, the apocalyptic version of AGW will become what skeptics predicted: fodder for the dustbin of history.

      • Hunter,

        Actually, I think you understate your case – unless there were a truly exceptional event or series of events significant enough to explain both the lack of expected warming and the significant cooling trend then it would pretty much be curtains for AGW. But then as we say in the UK “if my auntie had balls she’d be my uncle”, and 10 years into the 30 year period mentioned all of the major global temperature records show a warming trend, so I don’t think we have to be too worried about the prospect of this happening (the “duration” part of the argument is already moot).

      • aa,
        something was lost in the translation. I missed your point.
        But I am glad to hear about your Aunt and hope everything works out for the best.
        ;^)

      • Hunter,

        Sorry, that’s the danger of using local colloquialisms when there is an international audience. I just meant that it is very easy to say “what if” but without some factual basis it is just pointless speculation. Girma’s speculation about a 30 year cooling trend starting in 2000 is rendered rather pointless by the fact that there has been a warming trend since 2000.

      • Has there? i thought the temps have levelled if not fallen SLIGHTLY.

      • “The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08±0.07°C decade–1, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing
        ENSO (the “ENSO-adjusted” trend) is 0.00°±0.05°C decade–1, implying much greater disagreement
        with anticipated global temperature
        rise.”

        Unless 2009 and 2010 has changed the trend, it appears you could both be right depending on if you wish to include or exclude ENSO. Of course if you include ENSO I see no reason to leave 1998 out of the equation. From NOAA State of the Climate 2008 published in BAMS.

      • steven,

        I used the basic date not adjusted for ENSO on the basis that this was most relevant to Girma’s question. I would leave 1998 out of the question because Girma was asking about the trend since 2000 but interestingly the trend since 1998 is about flat according to HadCrut and slightly upwards according to UAH.

      • I’m not sure the unadjusted data would be most pertinent to Girma’s question. The underlining temperature change is more important then the swing changes due to what can easily be discounted as natural variability.

      • They all show a slight warming trend – here are HadCrut and UAH – they show the largest and smallest trends respectively.

      • aa,
        Not so much, my friend.
        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/hadcrut-december-anomlay-0-251c/
        The one thing that is clear is that climate alarmists are making very much hype from very little change.
        One of the signs of bad science is to draw huge conclusions from data that is not clear.
        And the absence of the discussion of metrology leaves a whole lot of assertions looking rather………intemperate.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/22/the-metrology-of-thermometers/

      • Hunter,

        Different start dates – mine are from 2000 onwards, that one is from 2001 onwards. On that basis HadCrut does show a slight negative trend – the s GISS, UAH and RSS are still positive though.

      • aa,
        Cherry picking is a key tool in the climate alarmist toolbox.

      • Girma said “from 2000” so I used the trend from 2000, simple as that. I didn’t even consider the trend from 2001 until I saw your link – anyway three out of four positive trends still goes in my favour I thinkk.
        But JCH has a point – looking at trends over these relatively short periods isn’t always particularly enlightening.

      • What start date was he supposed to use to avoid cherry picking?

        Obviously you think a different start date than used by GIRMA. These are odd cherry picking rules. The goal posts are running loose in the orchard.

      • His graph is from 2000 to 2010. Her graph is from 2001 to 2010.

        Trends are fun

    • Girma,
      Many excuses can be used and is being used including “Global Warming is generating cooling”. Which really pushes the boundaries of logical thinking.
      Currently “La Nina” is blamed even though it is showing no signs of slowing.

    • randomengineer

      The cynical view is that this would *prove* the case in that warm weather proves “climate change” as does record cold, as do floods or droughts. Trenberth in the upcoming AMS speech is offering the reframing mechanism. Any event viewed by this frame is therefore proof. By saying that the null hypothesis is anthropogenic (“A”) then claiming natural cause for either warming or cooling would require extraordinary proof — far more proof than what is required now to claim “A” magnitude. He is in effect changing the rules by requiring the burden of proof to be shouldered by doubters.

      Imagine Trenberth says his cat is under control by extragalactic aliens. He now claims it’s up to the skeptic to prove that it isn’t rather than him proving his claim. In other words, make any stupid claim you like, and it’s up to doubters to prove you wrong. Nifty, that.

      • Which brings up what is often a remarkable similarity between extreme AGW and UFO abductions.

      • Yeah, a classic challenge along the same lines: “Prove that you’re not the Queen of the Space Unicorns in disguise.”

    • You can’t disprove man made global warming. You can disprove models of the intensity.

      ‘ The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.’

      From State of the Climate 2008 published in BAMS.

      • As there is (almost) no warming since 1998 (i.e 13 years) we are quite close to the criteria. And since a significant La Nina (cool) episode has started end 2010, that should probably last more than a year according to past experience (also long and significant La Nina episode after 1998 El Nino), it is highly probable that we reach end 2012 still without warming compared to 1998. Then the 15 years’ criteria will be fulfilled.

        You’re right saying that man made global warming can’t be disproved, in the extent that man produces GHG and that GHG are proved to generate warming. But AGW theory is disproved in the extent that warming is not global, nor constant, and that it is not driven by CO2 (which means not man made) , but by natural cycles in which oceans play a significant part.

        AGW theory is not compatible with (and therefore disproved by) observed cooling periods [1880 – 1910] and [1940 – 1970] (while CO2 concentration was steadily increasing), and with comparable warming rates (+0.15°C per decade) observed during [1910 – 1940] and [1970 – 2000] periods, whereas man-made CO2 emissions had been multiplied by 5 in the meantime…

      • It actually should be ENSO adjusted temperatures and you will have to move the start date to 1999 which means we are currently 12 years towards the 15 year mark. At least that is when the NOAA report started their no warming trend.

      • Oil keerekt, except that “criteria” is more than one. As in plural. The singular is criterion. Just as the singular of “phenomena” is “phenomenon”. Honest.

  42. this may be off- or tangential to topic: “teachable opportunity” , like “teachable moment” is a term that has a root premise in an “us/them”, “benighted/enlightened” view of social structure. I am increasingly troubled at is use in preference to something like “learning opportunity”. In a classroom, we are taught. Outside of the classroom (or once we graduate from school), we learn.
    Having “teachable opportunities” and “teachable moments” implies that most of us are unable to learn, and must be taught. I think this is an unproductive approach, tending to (a) put off those who might not otherwise be so and (b) imprinting an attitude similar to what has been called in the foreign relations domain “the subtle bigotry of low expectations”.
    Just a thought.

    • randomengineer

      You are correct. One of the more insidious notions of those presuming they’re enlightened is the idea that you too would agree if only you were properly educated. To these people there is only a single answer: it’s not possible to look at the same information and arrive at a contrary conclusion. As such they rely on the notion of teachable moments, and Dr Curry has some thoughts on this in threads re “Indoctrination.”

      Oh, and the bigotry displayed by the “enlightended” is subtle at about the same level of a 747 landing in your kitchen.

    • Perhaps ‘pontication opportunity’ is more appropriate?

  43. At 7:58 AM on 24 January, andrew adams in a responsory post being squeezed down above, had received Steven Mosher‘s suggestion about “dams for flood control and drought abatement” with:

    There is still plenty of room for disagreement here. Skeptics will want to make plans based on current weather patterns, pro-AGWers will want to consider expected future changes due to AGW.

    andrew adams explicitly numbers himself among “those of us who consider AGW to be a real and serious problem,” and in so doing gives those of us whose considered opinion that the AGW fantasm is the single greatest fraud in the history of science to blow him a big, juicy razzberry when he puts up a straw man about how “Skeptics will want to make plans based on current weather patterns [while] pro-AGWers will want to consider expected future changes due to AGW.

    The case, in fact, is that the “pro-AGWers” folk have been sweating mightily to foreclose even the consideration of future climate conditions other than what they have projected on the basis of their kludged and ludicrous “hockey stick” computer models (with deliberately corrupted historical instrumental and proxy global temperature datasets to “support” these bogosities).

    If anything, the skeptics on the subject of “man-made global climate disruption” have stressed the need for a lucid and honest appreciation of past and present climate variations upon which to base any projections of possible future climate change.

    Remember “lucid and honest,” as opposed to the “pro-AGWers” and their adamant “No, I’ll destroy that data before I’ll let you look at it!” responses, which led up to the release of that FOIA2009.zip archive on 17 November 2009.

    It is not just upon “current [and recorded past] weather patterns” that properly skeptical scientists and policy advocates wish to predicate mitigatory efforts like the “dams for flood control and drought abatement” about which Steven Mosher had written, but certainly these sources of information which the “pro-AGWers” like andrew adams seem persistently to “blank out,” presumably because “current weather patterns” do not fit the computer models to which the “pro-AGWers” have plighted their troth.

    Sheesh. I’ve lost track of the first source I’d ever read expressing the idea that a discipline is “scientific” to the extent that its theories have the reliable ability to predict. By that standard, the AGW fraud has never been scientific in any way except for the snake-oil salesman seemings that are even today being noised the “pro-AGWers.”

    Hell, their computer models can’t be relied upon to account for past climate changes. This is why the fraudsters took such pains to get control over both the global temperature datasets and the scientific literature in climatology and allied disciplines to stave off disproof. They knew that their “theory” was ruinously, hideously wrong.

    andrew adams and the other “pro-AGWers” need to get a handle on the fact that what us “the skeptics don’t want to do” is continue in Gadarene pursuit of the unspeakable waste and destruction that has been effected by the “pro-AGWers” for the past thirty years, destroying the global economy, getting people killed, and generally setting up the human race to suffer decades of poverty and famine and disease.

    The continued quest of the “pro-AGWers‘” into fantasy and deceit has had real adverse consequences of this nature, and will continue to do damage as long as the “pro-AGWers” continue to be given weight in public and private policy determinations.

    Whacking these “pro-AGWers” wherever and whenever they stick up their heads is nothing more than a responsible exercise in the preservation of public health.

    • Rich,
      The ‘pro-AGWers’ are offering such bad advice that dams and levees to simply control historical events are being blocked. And let us not even get started on the misanthropic activities of their close allies in the enviromental movement.

      • Perhaps you can identify the persons/entity that got through to the Wivenhoe Dam managers that an auxiliary, fuse-plug spillway needed to be added for flood mitigation, which was completed in the midst of their 2000s “drought forever” brainwashing?

      • Perhaps you can see that all they could get was a fuse emergency system, instead of the extra dams and levees the rationalists originally wanted?

      • You’re dodging.

        They added flood-mitigation capabilities to the dam. Why would brainwashed “drought forever” engineers and meteorologists add flood mitigation capabilities to the dam?

        Why was the rational conservative politician screaming over and over that the brainwashed “drought forever” engineers and meteorologists should not release flood waters from the dam?

        Answers:

        1. The dam was insufficiently protected from rain events expected to exceed historical levels.

        2. The rational conservative politician was crazy stupid.

      • I am dodging nothing.
        Climate science failed to identify this risk until after it happened.
        Pielke, jr. has a nice post that puts the lie to your implication that this was an event greater than historical experience.
        Why do true believers cling so hard to their bs?

      • Extreme rainfall is defined as the amount of rain falling in the top one per cent of rainfall days. Projections based on 15 climate models and a medium emissions (A1B) scenario indicated that Cape York can expect up to a four per cent increase in extreme rainfall across all seasons, and that western Queensland and the Gulf Region can expect up to a four per cent increase in summer and autumn (CSIRO & BoM 2007).
        Climate change is also likely to affect extreme rainfall in south-east Queensland (Abbs et al. 2007).
        Projections indicate an increase in two-hour, 24-hour and 72-hour extreme rainfall events for large areas of south-east Queensland, especially
        in the McPherson and Great Dividing ranges, west of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
        – October, 2010

    • Well there’s not much there worth replying to, so I will just say that I don’t pretend to be an expert on dams but there is various research which indicates that rainfall patterns, glacier melt and snowpack will be affected by global warming and this will impact water supplies – drastically in some cases. It would seem to me that these kind of things should be taken into account, amongst other things, when planning dams and drought mitigation efforts.
      But as you obviously have not only not made any effort to understand the research into the likely effects of AGW but are plainly uninterested in doing so because of your a priori assumption that it is all a fraud I don’t see any point in continuing this discussion any further. Please feel free to continue with your absurd fact-free bombast but I’m not interested.

      • In a typical “pro-AGWer” blank-out evasion of responsibility, andrew adams writes: “Well there’s not much there worth replying to…,” ducking address of the damning failure of the professional AGW fraudsters’ “hockey-stick”-graphing computer models either to account for historical climate variations (whatever did happen to the Roman Warm and the Medieval Warm periods, anyway?) or to demonstrate over the past decade the sensitivity of global climate to the accelerating increase in anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

        Remember, the “pro-AGWers” have for the past thirty years claimed that increases in atmospheric CO2 has been the driving force in global climate change. Other factors may operate – either as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or otherwise – but the AGW high priesthood (and their True Believers, like andrew adams) have repeated with plethora and volume their insistence that only a civilization-killing reduction in man-made carbon dioxide emissions can possibly turn back the rise of the oceans and the general terrible anger of violated Mother Gaea.

        And when called upon to address this fact, andrew adams responds with “Well there’s not much there worth replying to….”

        Aw, ain’t that just so typical of the “pro-AGWers“? Hold their feet to the fire until you can smell the meat cooking, and they just give you a blank look and ask what the hell you’re talking about.

        andrew adams focuses on what he conceives to be “the likely effects of AGW” without ever making any concessions even to the possibility that the AGW hypothesis is completely wrong. This is, of course, due to andrew adams‘ “a priori assumption” that the Cargo Cult Science voodoo practitioners who lead him in worship are either telling the truth (which they’re not) or following sound scientific methodology to reach valid conclusions (which they’ve never done).

        Forget “bridge-building.” Somebody please hold a mirror up to andrew adams and persuade him to look himself in the face.

      • Maybe you should read your comments back and consider why people consider your remarks not to be worth replying to.

      • Huffily (and evasively, too), andrew adams ducks responsibility to respond yet again by sniffing that I should “read [my] own comments back and consider why people consider [my] remarks not to be worth replying to.”

        Aw, hell, I already know why. So does andrew adams. Because he – like all “pro-AGWers” – bloody well can’t reply to critiques of the (let’s be charitable, now) methodologies and practices and conclusions and malfeasant policy ukases of the AGW fraudsters who’ve been masquerading as “climatologists” for the last thirty years and more.

        So let’s put aside all this “bridge-building” and “consensus” guff, forget about holding up a mirror before andrew adams‘ tightly shut eyes, and just call these “pro-AGWers” precisely what they are.

        We’ll have to do that offline, of course, ’cause Dr. Curry doesn’t want us using that kind of precise language on her Web site.

    • Whacking these “pro-AGWers” wherever and whenever they stick up their heads is nothing more than a responsible exercise in the preservation of public health.

      Actually, just one point for Judith. How do you think the bridge-building is going?

      • The military engineer has long been familiar with “bridge-building, ” and accomplished in the art thereof.

        In the advance against an enemy, “bridge-building” under combat conditions and against resistance is commonly critical to the successful destruction of the enemy.

        I’m just delighted to engage in “bridge-building” which gets me closer to the “pro-AGWers.”

      • Andrew,

        Look at it this way – while the hordes of paranoid conspiracy theorists here devout themselves to blog-stoushes, they are not involved in public policy formulation. That’s a win for everyone.

        I wouldn’t let this lot within a bull’s roar of public policy on collecting the trash.

      • Yeah, you enjoy yourself Michael. Keep up your whistling in the dark, ’cause “in public policy formulations” since Climategate, you “pro-AGWers” are getting yourselves completely whupped.

        Heck, the prosecuting attorneys are coming after your “climatologists” for criminal theft of value in their grant funding. That’s just part of the political backlash. You wanna speculate on what happens when the plaintiff’s bar start seeking compensatory and punitive monetary damages?

        Thousands and thousands of predatory feeding tort lawyers hounding you and your True Believer ilk into penury and exile….

        Might think about opening some kind of “pro-AGW” expatriate community in Guatemala or Kazakhstan, mightn’t you?

        Or how about one of those low-lying island nations you alarmists have been hand-wringing about? They’re certainly not going to be swamped by rising oceans any time in the next couple of centuries after all, are they?

      • I think you’re right Rich, predatory lawyers on are on your side.

        Birds of a feather and all that………….

      • Well, there certainly are damages. It’s going to be difficult to pin the blame on anyone or any group. This was an ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd’. The whole herd stampeded off toward the cliff. Sure, there were those trumpeting alarm. Most of them have justification for their delusion, basically they heard it from the next guy.

        So actually finding the tortfeasors will be difficult. Demanding a cure will be even more difficult. Heh, not that it won’t be tried.
        ========================

      • I know of a certain popular political figure who is vulnerable, but by the time this mess is resolved he may not have deep pockets anymore, and he may be pursued by nastier sharks than the plaintiffs bar, for instance, by his fellow investors.
        =============

      • Now, now, Michael. Just because somebody wants to throw you to the sharks doesn’t mean he wants a bite out of you himself.

  44. Judith;
    The link under “article” in your first sentence is to an MSNBC discussion of quake swarms from the Chilean event. ??
    Wassupwiththat?

  45. John R T writes in brief response to my post above which concludes:

    Except for the “stupid” and the “insane” members making up the coalition of the evil, the stupid, and the insane, there has never been any purpose behind the great AGW fraud except to provide a velvet glove to mask – however translucently – their iron fist.

    And the evil (as always) are in control.

    The whole of it being squeezed down, I recap John R T‘s words here:

    Were the ´evil´ to have been always in control, I suggest we would not be considering this problem, here.

    Sane and wise persons still seek Good.

    From this last we can conclude that “Sane and wise persons” of non-criminal intent are absent entirely from the great “man-made global climate disruption” campaign.

    No surprise there. That which the “pro-AGWers” consider “Good” is entirely too much like that which the high priests of the Aztec religion considered “Good.” Those of us capable of lucid and honestly informed reason on the subject of global climate change are not susceptible to the AGW fraud.

    This leaves us with the True Believers as the “stupid” and the “insane,” who are being manipulated by those among the “pro-AGWers” who know that this is a fraud and propagate this fraud as a vehicle to achieve theft of value. The “evil.”

    Where the “evil” are in control, of course (see “Wiki-bloody-pedia“), it is not possible even to discuss heretical deviation from the One True Faith, and on those Web sites to which the “pro-AGWers” are accustomed, posts such as mine are scoured off with IP banning instantly to follow.

    This means, of course, that head-up-the-cloaca “stupid” and “insane” warmists who never dare expose themselves to crimethinkers questioning their Holy Orthodoxy go without that familiarization required to help them understand just how hideously hateful they truly are, and why there are increasing millions of people out beyond the blogosphere who would dearly like to take them firmly by the throat and persuade them – terminally – of the error of their ways.

    The “evil” among the “pro-AGWers,” of course, are fully conscious of the growing response to their thieving, manipulative machinations. Why d’you think that – especially since Climategate – Algore (the primate of the Church of Man-Made Global Warming) has gone nowhere in public without muscular armed guards and in big, fast, CO2-spewing armored limousines?

    The “stupid” and the “insane” are hapless critters. The “evil”? Hey, they’ve been taking good care of themselves since this whole gaudy fraud got started.

    And they’ve been “always in control” of the AGW fraud from day one. Sheesh, as if the “stupid” and the “insane” could’ve cooked this up to begin with….

    • Rich,
      You missed “moronic”.

      • Nah. The term “moron” has a set definition in medicine:

        …a feebleminded person or mental defective with a potential mental age of between eight and twelve years who is capable of doing routine work under supervision.

        To the extent that a Stanford-Binet (IQ) testing can be relied upon, the performance range of the moron is scored between 50 and 69.

        The classification system to which the term “moron” belongs is obsolete and no longer in use. See Mulvy, Kentucky Medical Journal, 1916 (1 September) 493-99. By contrast, the descriptor “stupid” is current, unmistakable in usage, and unarguably applicable in the context of this discussion. To quote Heinlein (1973):

        Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

      • Stupid, evil, and insane are all variables of time, circumstance, money, etc. Somehow there has to be an equation relating all three. :)

  46. Funny! :-)

  47. My curiosity about the possibility of WW2 combustion activities in some way effecting global temperature has apparently caused a scientific paper to be rapidly written and published!

    The abstract:

    http://tinyurl.com/4hazqfm

  48. At 11:41 PM on 31 January, the psychotically obtuse kuhnkat continues to shove himself up his own cloaca on the subject of the Whiskey Rebellion (1794). In the interest of avoiding further narrowing, I recapitulate this blithering idiot’s post here, in toto;

    Tucci78 now joins Bozo in blowing hot air up his own skirt.

    Tucci78, in all your hot air you also have not written one word from the enormous tome, which includes many other interesting events having nothing to do with the whiskey rebellion, which in any way suggests the insurrectionists took even one legal step to gain respite from this onerous tax.

    Again, what did they try to do BEFORE starting the violence! Apparently you and Bozo are so disconnected from reality that you have no idea how a civilized society approaches grievances.

    I believe part of their grievance was that the Federal government was not protecting them from raids by the indians. Their response? Attack local law enforcement and federal representatives. Boy, that sure solved that indian problem!! Now they are fighting on two fronts.

    You bozos just can’t seem to bend your minds around the FACT that every violent tax revolt may not be justified until appropriate steps are taken to peacefully resolve the issue. Now, this is a test, what should they have done before starting to shoot up the countryside and burn down buildings?

    .

    Were this kuhncat simply to have read my post above (at 2:21 AM on 31 January) he should have seen that I had quoted directly from Charles Adams “The Rocky Road of American Taxation” the following two paragraphs:

    In 1792, when the tax was adopted, the frontier region protested peacefully. There were speeches, meetings, and petitions. At a meeting in Pittsburgh, Albert Gallatin, who became a famous senator and Secretary of the Treasury under Jefferson, said that the tax was unjust and outrageous. Excises were the scourge of the earth. Said Gallatin: “All taxes upon the articles of consumption, because of the power that must necessarily be vested in the officers who collect them, will in the end destroy the liberty of any people that permits them to be introduced.”

    Gallatin’s reasoning was supported by the long-standing hatred of excises by British subjects, plus three hundred years of European experience. When the government did not take any steps to repeal the tax, reasoned arguments soon turned into demands for secession. Liberty polls were erected as they had been in Boston to protest the Stamp Act.

    .

    This source of information is instantly available online, directly accessible to kuhnkat to read in full. Charles Adams draws upon primary and secondary source materials which are noted in the book – For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization (1993) of which this cited article is an extraction. kuhnkat is now perfectly able to seek the book itself and follow Mr. Adams’ citations to their sources.

    Those two paragraphs, however, are sufficient to demonstrate to anyone but someone with pathological thought blocking that there was an interval between the enactment of Hamilton’s excise on potable alcohol (1792) and “BEFORE starting the violence!” (1794) about which kuhnkat keeps fulminating.

    Dr. Rothbard, in his 1994 article” on the Whiskey Rebellion (above cited and quoted), had stated:

    Rather than the whiskey tax rebellion being localized and swiftly put down, the true story turns out to be very different. The entire American back-country was gripped by a non-violent, civil disobedient refusal to pay the hated tax on whiskey. No local juries could be found to convict tax delinquents. The Whiskey Rebellion was actually widespread and successful, for it eventually forced the federal government to repeal the excise tax.

    .
    The expression “non-violent” bears repeating for the sake of kuhnkat‘s opacity. The only areas in which there was any remarkable violence – in the western counties of Pennsylvania – it was because the Federalists initiated coercion – violent force – to collect Hamilton’s excise in that region. In other parts of the back country, as Dr. Rothbard had observed, no such effort was made by the Federalists, doubtless on the understanding that they could not have achieved Hamilton’s desired objectives. To quote further from Dr. Rothbard’s article (which kuhnkat refuses to read otherwise, it seems):

    Washington, Hamilton, and the Cabinet covered up the extent of the revolution because they didn’t want to advertise the extent of their failure. They knew very well that if they tried to enforce, or send an army into, the rest of the back-country, they would have failed. Kentucky and perhaps the other areas would have seceded from the Union then and there. Both contemporary sides were happy to cover up the truth, and historians fell for the deception.

    .
    As other writers have observed, the farmers of western Pennsylvania were intensely aware of the fact that Hamilton’s excise on alcohol was ,b>not being collected in the upstate counties of New York and Maryland and Virginia and the Carolinas. The tax was therefore not uniform. Again I quote from Charles Adams’ article previously cited:

    The very first power granted to the new Congress was “to lay and collect Taxes” which are “uniform throughout the United States.” The most significant word is “uniform.” It evolved in the convention from the words “common to all,” which was proposed on July 23, 1787. Later in the draft approved on September 12, 1787, the words were “uniform and equal.” This draft went to the Committee on Style which, for some reason, dropped the clause completely. Madison penciled in the clause as it now reads, omitting the word “equal.” Were either of these omissions intentional? Is that significant? Probably not. Constitutional law in the early days of the American republic considered the terms “uniform and equal” to be redundant verbiage. Thomas Cooley, the leading authority on constitutional law in the nineteenth century, explains the principle in 1868 in his treatise on Constitutional Limitations:

    State constitutions have been very specific, but in providing for equality and uniformity they have done little more than to state in concise language a principle of constitutional law which is inherent in the power to tax.

    .
    Since “uniform” was to be the standard for all taxation throughout the United States, to understand what they meant, the writings of this period clarify what really doesn’t need clarification. The word “uniform” is basic English with a common meaning. When the Constitution was up for ratification in the states, the strongest proponents — the federalists as they were called — all proclaimed that taxing powers were limited and restrained. No one then wanted Congress to be able to tax at will. Noah Webster, one of the strongest federalists, wrote a pamphlet on October 10, 1787 (shortly after the Convention), addressed “To his Excellency, Benjamin Franklin, President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” in which he emphasized, “But the idea that congress can levy taxes at pleasure is false, and the suggestion wholly unsupported.”

    .
    The Pennsylvania farmers’ arguments – and these were recapitulated by their urban anti-Federalist allies, like Gallatin and Jefferson and the rest of the coalition that would come together in the elections of 1800 as the Democrat-Republicans – were simply that the Federalist administration had no lawful authority under the Constitution to lay and collect Hamilton’s excise on whiskey in the manner being aggressively pressed upon them.

    Peaceable efforts undertaken both in the western counties of Pennsylvania and in the nation’s capitol from 1792 through 1794 met with Hamiltonian arrogance and general Federalist obstruction. For a nation which had recently fought a long and bloody war to rid it self of absentee government imposing uneven and inequitable tax burdens upon citizens who were effectively without voice in these matters, it was perfectly within precedent for the people of the backwoods counties, territories, and states – after exhausting all other options – to take up the treatment of President Washington’s tax collectors precisely as Boston’s patriots had treated the tax collectors of King George.

    I suspect that kuhnkat is one of those Republicans who count themselves as “conservatives,” and who have no idea whatsoever what it is that they’re supposed to be conserving. When it comes to a choice between the preservation of individual rights and strong government, creatures like kuhnkat would rather rip out their own eyeballs than read any soundly reasoned and historically literate argument which proves that the institution of civil government is secondary to (and must always be subordinated unto the control of) civil society.

    Lawful government in these United States is not Hamilton’s vision of European-type aristocracy but rather an agency providing specific and highly limited services within a strictly defined sphere of action beyond the boundaries of which it is deadly for government’s officers to transgress.

    I would hazard a guess – and it would be a good guess – that kuhnkat is one of those peculiar fools who conceives government to be the “brains” of society, and requires the authority to command every other component of our national body politic with cruel and rigorous discipline.

    This, of course, is what has thrown the American economy into its present mess, and is driving it deeper still. That dirty old “knowledge problem” if nothing else, combined with Dr. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    Government is that agency to which is entrusted delegation of the private citizen’s lawful and necessary right to employ deadly force in defense of his own rights to life, to liberty, and to property. These government goons may no more lawfully initiate violent force against other persons’ than can kuhnkat (who at the present moment probably itches to do such violence to me, the poor idiot).

    Modern American political conservatives – especially Republicans, whom Frank Chodorov had characterized half a century ago as “Rotarian Socialists” – are anything but genuine American patriots. Had they been present during the American Revolution, I have no doubt that they would have been staunch Crown Loyalists, and the Treaty of Paris (1783) would have seen kuhnkat and his like run off to Canada, lucky to escape with their lives.