Climate boomerangs

by Judith Curry

A boomerang effect occurs when a message is strategically constructed with a specific intent but produces a result that is the opposite of that intent.

Both sides of the political debate surrounding climate change in the U.S. seem to be feeling the boomerang effect.

Boomerang effects in climate change campaigns

Matthew Nisbett has an interesting blog post that discusses the following new study:

Boomerang Effets in Science Communication:  How Motivated Reasoning and Identity Cues Amplify Opinion polarization About Climate Mitigation Policies

H.S. Hart and E.C. Nisbet

Abstract.  The deficit-model of science communication assumes increased communication about science issues will move public consensus toward scientific consensus. However, in the case of climate change, public polarization about the issue has increased in recent years, not diminished. In this study, we draw from theories of motivated reasoning, social identity, and persuasion to examine how science-based messages may increase public polarization on controversial science issues such as climate change. Exposing 240 adults to simulated news stories about possible climate change health impacts on different groups, we found the influence of identification with potential victims was contingent on participants’ political partisanship. This partisanship increased the degree of political polarization on support for climate mitigation policies and resulted in a boomerang effect among Republican participants. Implications for understanding the role of motivated reasoning within the context of science communication are discussed.

In press, Communication Research August 11, 2011 009365021141664. Link to abstract [here].

In the absence of a freely available online manuscript, I will quote from Mat Nisbet’s essay.  The punchline seems to be this:

Climate change campaigns in the United States that focus on the risks to people in foreign countries or even other regions of the U.S. are likely to inadvertently increase polarization among Americans rather than build consensus and support for policy action. In contrast, locally focused campaigns that highlight the risks to fellow residents of a state or a city are less likely to activate strong partisan differences.

The study investigates the general problem of boomerang effects in climate change campaigns and advocacy.  A boomerang effect occurs when a message is strategically constructed with a specific intent but produces a result that is the opposite of that intent. Previous studies, for example, indicate that the use of dire messages warning of climate catastrophe may unintentionally trigger disbelief, skepticism, and/or decreased concern among audiences.

The importance of climate change campaigns and how subtle and not-so-subtle features might interact with the background of different audiences was underscored by another key finding of the analysis: After controls, neither knowledge specific to climate change or general science literacy was significantly related to support for policy action.

The study also points to a strategy supported by other recent research.  In this work, when information about the risks of climate change are localized, connected closely to values such as public health, and communicated in terms of co-benefits to the community, these campaign efforts are likely to be more successful at transcending ideological differences and building support for action.

Furthermore, as climate change is a global phenomena, news stories often highlight the impact that climate change is having and will likely have in the future on different parts of the world. While media messages are often created with an informational, rather than persuasive intent, our results suggest that broad public exposure to news stories discussing the impacts of climate change on other groups outside the United States  is likely to amplify the partisan divide on climate mitigation policies as motivated reasoning drives political polarization in identification with those affected by climate change.

JC comment:  I find this to be an interesting study, with results that don’t seem surprising to me.  By framing the climate change problem and its solution as irreducibly global, the UNFCCC/IPCC has developed climate change policies that are politically infeasible and have torqued the science away from detailed and serious examination of regional climates and vulnerabilities.  I’m a fan of the adaptive governance approach, whereby local/regional communities work to secure their common interest in the context of a changing climate.

Climate boomerang hits the Republicans

This title comes from a post at Collide-a-Scape.   Roger Pielke Jr. is quoted as saying:

Climate change has become a wedge issue. It’s today’s flag-burning or today’s partial-birth-abortion issue.

Joe Romm makes the following assessment:

Pielke cites two well-known wedge issues that split Democrats, issues that Republicans have used to their advantage to drive a wedge between liberal Democrats and more moderate or conservative ones (as well as independents).

But the article actually makes the case that climate change is an issue splitting Republicans, and thus — intentionally or otherwise — it makes the case that global warming potentially can be used to the advantage of progressives.

Here is what some of the Republican candidates for President have been saying about climate change:

Rick Perry: Perry writes that there has been “doctored data” and accuses former vice president Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his call to action on climate change, of being a “false prophet of a secular carbon cult.”  “They have seen the headlines in the past year about doctored data related to global warming,” Perry writes. “They know that we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time. Quite frankly, when science gets hijacked by the political Left, we should all be concerned.” Perry goes on to write: “It’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight. Al Gore is a prophet all right, a false prophet of a secular carbon cult, and now even moderate Democrats aren’t buying it.”

Mitt Romney:  At a June 3 town hall meeting in Manchester, N.H., Romney was asked about climate change. He said: “I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe we contribute to that.”

Jon Huntsman:  The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012.  When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.

Jonathan Adler at Volokh has an interesting analysis:

Those attacking Christie are suggesting there is only one politically acceptable position on climate science — that one’s ideological bona fides are to be determined by one’s scientific beliefs, and not simply one’s policy preferences. This is a problem on multiple levels. Among other things, it leads conservatives to embrace an anti-scientific know-nothingism whereby scientific claims are to be evaluated not by scientific evidence but their political implications. Thus climate science must be attacked because it provides a too ready justification for government regulation.   This is the same reason some conservatives attack evolution — they fear it undermines religious belief — and it is just as wrong.

JC comments:  Mitt Romney gets it right in terms of the science, mentioning uncertainties and caveats.  Huntsman makes a key point in terms of the political implications of  the anti-science connotations of this. Jonathan Adler makes the essential point IMO.

JC conclusion:  The irony of it all.  Just when we thought no U.S. politician (including President Obama) wanted to talk about climate change, suddenly it is a major issue in the Republican presidential campaign.  JC’s message to Republican candidates:  if you want to be well informed on the climate debate (scientific and political), spend time at Climate Etc. :)

Postscript:  I have been working on my own little “climate boomerang,” specifically the revisions to my null hypothesis paper.  Revisions should be submitted tonite.  This one will be really fun when it is published :)

477 responses to “Climate boomerangs

  1. Philip calls this, ‘cognitive dissance.’ Everyone knows that global warming is not proven science. But, just what is the circumstantial evidence for global warming?

    We know that climate change is not unusual. It’s not even unusually rapid.

    We also know that the myth of a scientific consensus belies the actual fact of an ideologically-driven consensus supported by fraud and corruption.

    We know that the global warming alarmists have become further and further removed from the kind of rationalism that a dispassionate search for truth requires.

    We see the failure of academia and note its precipitous decline in a sense of truthfulness among AGW scientists in proportion to the reality-inspired cognitive dissonance of the confused Climatology belief system.

    We see global cooling. We see all of the other completely natural explanations for climate change that global warming alarmists ignore.

    We know now about all of the errors in historical land measurements, and how NASA is the next CRU; and, we know how more accurate evidence from satellite data does not show any dangerous global warming at all.

    We have learned that the atmospheric CO2 levels as measured at Mauna Loa is totally erroneous — the mere product of a cottage industry of fabricating data by a father and then his son.

    We all smelled the carcass of stinking fish in Copenhagen and the Leftist-lib agenda is all too clear to ignore the real truth about the global warming hoax.

    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. ~Henry David Thoreau

    • I agree.

      1. On the bright side, AGW may be no more than “Alarmism Generates Wealth.”

      2. A dark side : AGW(“A Glitch in Wicked”)-social-engineering is suggested by:

      a.) Official response to Climategate disclosures

      b.) Official blindness to solar mass fractionation, and

      c.) Official ignorance of neutron repulsion in nuclear rest mass data

      #1 is everyone’s preferred answer, but
      #2 cannot be discarded so long as the US NAS, the UK RS, and the UN’s IPCC pretend to be ignorant of experimental data and observations.

      Today Vice-President Biden discovered the unpleasant response to AGW-social-engineering

      Oliver K. Manuel

    • Wegathon, who is this we you refer to? It is nether the scientific community nor the American people, many of whom believe no such thing. You are missing the point of the issue. We are in the middle of a great debate. This thread is about the political demographics of that debate. Your grandiose pronouncements have nothing to do with this topic, not that I can see.

    • Philip calls this, ‘cognitive dissance.’

      For the uninformed, “cognitive dissance” is when a person sets out to criticize (or “dis”) the thinking (cognition) of others, but ends up paradoxically revealing their own limited intelligence.(*)

      *The quote both invokes the term, and illustrates the phenomenon.

      • It’s interesting to note what Wikipedia says about how many people seek to relieve cognitive dissonance.

        The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance.

        They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

        Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying

        Just sayin’

      • The AGW community indulges in blaming their fantasy conspiracy continuously, justifies their positions in the name of saving the planet, and denying any legitimacy to those who dare question them.
        Certainly that was your point, Joshua?

      • Hunter, here is my point. Just a quick stroll along a couple of threads produces this:

        “That is an annoying bit of ignorance on your part.”

        “To dodge that makes you look cowardly.”

        “The scummiest thing you believers indulge in is to attribute motives.”

        “Colose is blunt and terse because he can, and it saves him from thinking. He can simply go into his put out TA mode, and treat us like he undoubtedly treats the students he is inflicted on.”

        “Or that Chris Colose does not know how many hours there are in a day.”

        “As for Chris, I am certain he knows the hours in the day, but I am also certain he could share that knowledge rudely and evasively if given half a chance.”

        “You are confusing your mania with passion and very few people would think that what you present here represents an example of reason.”

        “Thank you for demonstrating the alarmist clap trap AGW faith depends on.”

        “If you ‘recognize’ that the slr in 2100 is the tip of the iceberg, get your eyes checked.”

        “You are hurting skeptics everywhere by your silly crap and I wish you would stop. ”

        “I would suggest that anyone who actually believes the atmosphere ‘adds energy’ to the Earth is the one who needs to find a way out of the ivory tower.”

        “But you probably knew that and are avoiding the point: ”

        Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying

      • Joshua,
        For a guy that always calls on defending himself by the ‘mommy he did it too’ defense to make a list of things I wrote is ironic indeed.
        That you care enough about what I write to compile such an extensive list of sound bites is touching, in a creepy stalker sort of way.
        I would point out that none of the long list of quotes you offer justifies, blames or denies, especially when contrasted with what you and other believers engage in constantly.
        But thanks for caring enough to at least pay attention, I guess…….

      • hunter.

        The next time you catch me defending that sort of rhetoric will be the first time you will catch me defending that sort of rhetoric.

        I think that the blaming and denial exists on both sides. I don’t justify it. I was pointing out, however, that your finding such behaviors being exclusive to only one side is contradicted by your very own behavior.

        Bruce caught me in a “Mommy, mommy” post the other day and I acknowledged it. As the person who made up the term, I am qualified to inform you that you have failed to make a valid accusation.

        And really, hunter, it wasn’t difficult in the least to put together that list. Take a stroll along virtually any Climate etc. thread and you’ll find tons of similar examples, if not worse.

      • Like the Great Horned Sheep, leaping from crag to crag defying gravity, Joshua just gets more and more amusing.

      • I aim to please, kim.

      • We endeavour to give satisfaction.

      • Joshua,
        You are the bestest comic relief.
        You seem to oscillate between ‘mommy’ and ‘the next time’. Do you have any other points your responses cluster around? Time will tell.
        Yes, your protestation of innocence is as credible as as the bank thief with blue dye on his face.
        And as funny.

      • “Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying”

        yes those were the behaviors we saw in response to lawful requests for data. Luckily, after years of this nonsense the ICO stepped in and force CRU to change their behavior.

      • Cru, Cru, Cru the boat
        Gently down the stream,
        Merrily, verily, warily be,
        Peer review’s a dream.

      • Oh God ! Please let me puke !

      • Chunder clouds boom it.
        Lightning revolts and reverbs.
        Doctor, give me a cure.

      • Will someone please give me a BARF BAG !

      • She held her hat, looked
        Aghast and urped it all up.
        Potion number Nine.

      • BARFFF……

        SPLATTER ……

        UGHH ……

        Just threw up a Pizza. What a mess !

      • Carey,

        You’re becoming something of a curiosity. I mean, there is a vacuousness to your comments that is breathtaking. And I’m talking an utter lack of intellectual content, enlivened only by your, possibly unhealthy, pre-occupation with barnyard beasts and fowl. Just a bot-like bundle of primitive greenshirt reflexes.

        How do you manage it?

    • it’s not surprising that progressives have trouble with the term “cognitive dissonance,” which is in fact the state of holding two mutually exclusive propositions both to be true. You can’t be a good progfressive without it.

      Progressives maintain that no one culture is superior to another. Except the Judeo-Christian free market culture of the west which is horribly bad.

      Progressives believe that all people are equal. Except male white conservatives, who are inferior to everyone.

      Progressives believe in free speech. As long as it is speech they agree with, otherwise the fairness doctrine and net neutrality are necessary.

      Progressives believe that there is no such thing as objective morality. Except of course for conservatism, Christianity and capitalism, which are all inherently evil.

      And on climate change, you have to rely on the sacrosanct scientific method. Except when it calls for honesty in presenting results, openness of code and data, experimentation to verify hypotheses, admissions regarding uncertainty, or anything else which detracts from slavish adherence to the “consensus.”

      • Progressives love to protect birds like spotted owls, but keep quiet and don’t care about wind turbines slaughtering eagles and owls and bats by the millions.

      • Bad, bad, bad vibrations.

      • Progressives love to protect birds like spotted owls, but keep quiet and don’t care about wind turbines slaughtering eagles and owls and bats by the millions.

        Wind turbines are not there because of concerns about climate change. They exist because of the more immediate issue of oil depletion. That is the real boomerang effect that everyone will eventually experience.

      • “Get the price of oil high enough & we will sell you all you want.”
        ‘Bucky’ Brock—CEO of Brock Exploration 1982

      • The value of the hydrocarbon bond as structure will eventually exceed its value for energy. Not with a bang, with a hamper.

      • Right on Kim. -hamper-?

        Save all the oil to make plastic now, before it’s too late!

      • Yeah, you got it, a plastic hamper to keep all our stuff in. Plastics for clothing & shelter, too.

      • Wind Turbines produce some electricity some of the time. And never produce any oil.

        The US produces almost 0% of its electricity from oil. 46% is from coal, the rest is nuclear, NG, hydro.

        So no … Wind Turbines have nothing to do with oil, and everything to do with con artists droning on and on about global warming climate change climate disruption.

      • You are not looking at the big picture, unfortunately. In a place like Saudi Arabia, electricity generation is 65% from oil and 27% from natural gas. Saudi Arabia is at a tipping point in being able to increase their oil production on demand. They are starting to use the oil internally instead of exporting. They have no fear of progressives in their regime screwing things up and could care less about bats and birds. Depletion is a result of geological limitations intersecting with greed and nothing we can do about it.

        Long term thinking shows that renewable generation of electricity is well suited to recharge electric car batteries, which reduces the demand for gas. Read up on the economic value of substitutability.

      • They have wind turbines in Saudi Arabia killing birds too? Who knew?

        As for electric cars … 125 Volts sold in July shows there is no need to build expensive, unreliable bird slaughtering wind turbines.

        The hypocrisy of environmentalists is shocking … unless of course the obvious reason is that environmentalists real reason for support wind farms is to destroy capitalism and help out China.

      • Environmentalists are a convenient whipping boy. The problem of fossil fuel depletion is an enduring problem, independent of any sides we take.

      • There is 100s of years of fossil fuels available. And there is no good reason to slaughter birds and bats by the 10s of millions with unreliable and grotesquely expensive wind turbines.

      • There is 100s of years of fossil fuels available.

        Fossil fuel supplies don’t have the dimension of units of time. It is a volumetric measure. Please speak in the correct language.

      • “To put this shale gas resource estimate in some perspective, world proven reserves5of natural gas as of January 1, 2010 are about 6,609 trillion cubic feet,6 and world technically recoverable gas resources are roughly 16,000 trillion cubic feet,7largely excluding shale gas. Thus, adding the identified shale gas resources to other gas resources increases total world technically recoverable gas resources by over 40 percent to 22,600 trillion cubic feet.”

        World Gas consumption is just over 100tcf per year.

        200 years worth.

      • Why would you reflexively believe what a government agency (EIA) tells you?

      • Reflexively?

      • Are we really experiencing (or likely to experience within the next century and more) “oil depletion“? Insofar as I’ve been able to determine in the course of forty years’ and more desultorily following the “peak oil” imaginary hobgoblin, explorations have discovered more and more reserves of liquid petroleum, coal, and especially methane (natural gas) which have increasingly come to be cost-effectively accessible by way of improving extraction technologies.

        The only factor standing against these United States becoming a petrochemicals exporter instead of sluicing the average American’s economic lifeblood into the Swiss bank accounts of third-world kleptocrats has been a persistent NIMBY/BANANA hysteria on the part of our ‘viro infestation (James Delingpole’s Watermelons) and obstructions thrown up by politicians and bureaucrats who are the bought dogs of the Good Old Boys in our nation’s Oil Patch.

        Pardon me for saying this, but there is no real “oil depletion” within these continental United States. There is merely failure to get the hellangone out of the way so that we can “Drill, baby, drill!”

      • Are we really experiencing (or likely to experience within the next century and more) “oil depletion“?

        Yes. The math is at the level of bean-counting in comparison to climate science.

      • The US has 3 trillion barrels of kerogen available.

        Israel will soon perfect the kerogen to oil technology.

      • OK. So you do agree that oil depletion is a real issue.

        Gone are the days when it only took a fraction of the energy produced to refine the stuff. Now we are talking about energy returned on energy invested barely over 1 — that is if there is enough natural gas to heat the kerogen into something approximating useful.

      • Israel has lots of Natural Gas.

        As does the USA.

        By the way, gas prices adjusted for inflation are high, but no higher than 1918 and only a little higher than 1981.

        The problem is not a shortage of fossil fuels, the problem is that the most convenient one is not as cheap as it has been. The world keeps finding more.

      • Its on!

        “August 23, 2011

        TomCo Energy is a London-based company which owns leases on over 3000 acres of oil shale land in Utah’s Uintah Basin. As I have noted several times (most recently just last week), the Uinta Basin is the site of the massive Eocene Green River Shale formation – potentially the largest reservoir of unconventional petroleum in the world. With total reserves estimated at up to 1.3 trillion barrels, and ultimately recoverable reserves of 800 billion barrels or more , this formation holds three times or more the amount of Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves. Unlocking this formation would change the energy outlook of the nation – and of the world – for a century or more.

        Today, TomCo has announced that it has awarded contacts toward the development of this resource. These are pre-development contracts intended to provide the baseline operational and environmental information required to move forward.”

      • Of course England is interested. Their oil supply is dropping, exactly in accordance with my own depletion models. See the link in my handle above.

        Why are you spinning so furiously? Are you running scared?

      • Normal Person: “3 trillion barrels of oil from shale? Hurrah.”

        The Oil Drum Shill: “Doomed I tell you, we are doomed”

      • The Oil Drum Shill: “Doomed I tell you, we are doomed”

        You called it. We call them doomers. The other side we refer to as cornucopians. I prefer to stay in the realist camp.

      • Well, the cornucopia is really there, stocked by the eons. Unless oil abiotic and production can be ramped up by human will, the cornucopia is not a neverending pail.

        However, this little aliquot of anthropogenic CO2 may encourage repletion of Gaia’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Drip by drip.

      • Kim, I really have no idea what you just said.

      • If the oil’s going to run out anytime soon then what’s the big panic about? CO2 emissions will naturally fall as oil becomes scarcer.
        Or are we trying to save the remaining fossil fuels for future generations – who in turn will have to save it for their future generations, and so on?

      • That is actually a somewhat rational attitude.
        I would just modify it by saying that no one actually believes oil will “run out” soon. It is more of an effect of diminishing returns and the impossibility of ever hitting historically high flow rates. This will have significant effects on productivity levels because cheap energy is what drives most economies.

        The implied panic stems from the political concern of having the world-wide investment community spooked about the possibility of reduced economic growth in the future. That is why the government outlooks provided by agencies such as the EIA continue to show rosy oil production scenarios. I have written about this and it is obvious that they will do everything they can to prolong the boomerang effect from occurring:
        The US Energy Information Administration’s Faulty Peak Oil Analysis

      • Coal anyone?

      • Using wind to solve the alleged oil shortage is like using a can of tuna to tune a piano.

      • Oh, please, some of my best friends are piano tunas.

      • LOL!

      • kim, that was a good one.

      • Using wind to solve the alleged oil shortage is like using a can of tuna to tune a piano.

        No doubt. That kind of analogy really impresses on people what a concentrated source of energy conventional crude oil is, and we are fortunate to have exploited it (for a time at least).

      • Yes to some extent, but I’d say they exist more because politicians need to be seen to be doing something about AGW. They come up with greenwash. Wind, and other renewable energy, does have its place but it’s just a non-starter as a substitute for coal for electricity generation. It could possibly provide 10% of base load supply. Even if we are super optimistic and double that to 20%, the question still remains: “what about the other 80%.?”

        Like it, or not, the only viable alternative to continued use of fossil fuels is the nuclear option.

      • On that we can definitely agree.

      • Actually, they don’t give a rat’s about the spotted owl. When it was recently revealed that not only did preserving old growth stands not help the owl, it’s not even a species, much less endangered, just a wimpy sub-population of the wide-ranging Barred Owl, they doubled down and ignored the data. Their goal was the closure of the NW logging industry; the Northern Spotted Owl was a Victim of Opportunity.

      • “Friends of Bats and Birds” would be a good front organization for polluters.

      • The winged beasts have been shown the backdoor by environmentalists dazzled by the whirling dervishes of Macedoine.

      • Get outta here! Pollution advocates don’t give a damn about bats and birds. All those sociopaths want to do is use lots of energy and foul the air and water.

      • How dare you call plant food pollution. As the plant kingdom thrives, so will the animal one. You don’t seem to want that. Why not?

      • You can’t fool and old farm boy about plants.

      • Baby Algae mewl and puke for M. carey.

      • Environmentalists are Murderers of Bats and Birds. Just in it for an ill gotten feed in tariff.

    • davidindavisDavid44

      “We have learned that the atmospheric CO2 levels as measured at Mauna Loa is totally erroneous — the mere product of a cottage industry of fabricating data by a father and then his son.”

      First time I’ve read of this one. What is this supposition based on?

      • bad acid trip. Burning Man is just around the corner. He’s on a pre burn

      • Climate Mann
        Better keep your heat.
        Don’t forget
        What your stats repeat.
        Climate change
        Gonna come at last,
        Now your cross’t sticks
        Are burning fast.
        Climate Mann.

  2. Jonathan Adler makes the essential point IMO.

    Indeed. I’m waiting to see how those attacking Chris C. (the NJ Governor who cannot be named according to the spam filter) like that rather hefty boomerang coming back at ’em.

  3. My first thought is: Chicken Little said, “The Sky is Falling”

    • And con artists are making a lot of money …

      The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) can’t figure out what benefits taxpayers are getting from the many billions of dollars spent each year on policies that are purportedly aimed at addressing climate change.

      A May 20 report noted that while annual federal funding for such activities has been increasing substantially, there is a lack of shared understanding of strategic priorities among the various responsible agency officials. This assessment agrees with the conclusions of a 2008 Congressional Research Service analysis which found no “overarching policy goal for climate change that guides the programs funded or the priorities among programs.”

      According to the GAO, annual federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, amounting to $106.7 billion over that period. The money was spent in four general categories: technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, science to understand climate changes, international assistance for developing countries, and wildlife adaptation to respond to actual or expected changes. Technology spending, the largest category, grew from $2.56 billion to $5.5 billion over this period, increasingly advancing over others in total share. Data compiled by Joanne Nova at the Science and Policy Institute indicates that the U.S. Government spent more than $32.5 billion on climate studies between 1989 and 2009. This doesn’t count about $79 billion more spent for climate change technology research, foreign aid and tax breaks for “green energy.””

  4. Focusing on the USA risks losing the worldwide picture. Many of you guys are pretty insular, but it should go without saying that the only way to understand militant belief and skepticism about climate change is by abstracting from idiotic memes such as “conservative white men”. At the end, once again the climate discourse ends up contaminated if not soiled by mental vomiting about one’s preferred pet topic, and there’s little of any interest or consequence to read.

    • There is no “worldwide picture” in regards to climate change.

      There are opinions of some, but that is all there is. What is the right answer for one country is probably not the right answer for another country.

      Climate change is not the same as an asteroid potentially hitting the planet where all humanity would killed. With climate change some places will benefit and other places will be harmed. As of now we do not understand what will happen to any specific country.

      • Rob, you should say ” what will happen, if anything.” It is the anything that is at issue, not the what. Unless you mean natural change which is not a mitigation issue, with mitigation being the only reason we are here.

      • Exactly. The underlying REAL question is, “Is mitigation, obligatory world-wide version, justified and workable?”

        Socialists and suckers answer “Yes”. The rest of us, “Fuggedaboudit”.

    • “abstracting from idiotic memes such as “conservative white men”.


      “abstracting from idiotic people such as “conservative white men”.


      • “abstracting from idiotic people such as “conservative white men”.


        “Robert is a booger-breath, zit-bleed greenshirt”.


      • Typo!

        “a boomerang effect” should be
        “a Robert effect”


  5. I have read this before and it is a good read again.

    This sentence jumps out at me.
    The climate science establishment provides a continuous drumbeat of model-based rather than observation-based predictions

    And this.
    The raw data from Mauna Loa show that carbon dioxide emissions are not constant and actually showed a decrease after 1992

    It appears that the high level of CO2 in the atmosphere may be calculations and not measurements.

    • And this.
      The raw data from Mauna Loa show that carbon dioxide emissions are not constant and actually showed a decrease after 1992

      I keep a close eye on that data and spotted this as a total lie in an instant. Curious about where this came from, I followed up on the links and found complete gibberish. This just proves that on the Internet anyone can write anything they want.

  6. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a well-documented boomerang effect, although the moral can vary from, never tell a lie, to never tell the same lie twice (geeky sci-fi reference).

  7. I’m a fan of the adaptive governance approach, whereby local/regional communities work to secure their common interest in the context of a changing climate.

    Personally, I like the (possibly related?) model of “participatory planning,” typically used for urban planning, but I think has relevant implications for planning more specifically focused on energy policies. It’s time to get the stakeholders with disproportionate power out of the policy development processes.

    Yeah, I know, good luck with that.

    • Joshua,
      You are just going on about changing the rules because you don’t like the direction of the discussion.

    • every time we mention adaptive governance it get’s ignored. weird

      • Heh, a tragedy of the commons.

      • does anyone know what it really means?

      • That’s a good question, BillC,

        There is a lot of “uncertainty,” for sure.

      • Governance that adapts.
        1. Rather than top down “scientific” management of problems where
        solutions are designed, optimized, and imposed top down, in adaptive governance solutions are explored and tested at smaller levels and results are fed back so that solutions that work can be adopted by others.
        2. Local rather global focus.

        It’s actually a more scientific approach to policy creation than a ‘scientific management’ approach.

      • So this would not be ‘Timmy G’ telling us all what we have to do or else. Instead this would be more like China, where each block would be provided with a ‘Grandmother of the Party’. Different for sure but “China leads the Way”, we are told. We should ask mt about it first though…I don’t want to get anyone into to trouble.

      • Gee Steve that “governance that adapts” sound very much like having states that get to try out ideas then if they work other states can use the idea instead of the federal giving top down edicts.

        I like it.

      • Steven,
        See; the people of the world are evolving ‘right’ before your very eyes.

  8. Romney and Huntsman expressing favorable views of AGW/CAGW is no surprise at all. Both are progressive Republicans, believing firmly in government involvement in the economy. It would actually be more news worthy if either of them espoused a skeptical view of CAGW/AGW.

    Huntsman is irrelevant to the GOP primary process. Nothing he says represents a split in the GOP in any way.

    Romney on the other hand is an example of a split that has always existed within the GOP. Those who are more progressive have tended to lifetime government office, and leadership positions in the party. Power is what progresesives seek, and progressive Republicans are no different. They have given us Republican nominees like Bob Dole, Gerald Ford, John McCain, both Bushes; every nominee during my lifetime except Reagan, who they fought bitterly to keep out of office.

    In this context, Romney sees his road to success as passing through the existing leadership of the GOP. His comments on CAGW/AGW are intended to appeal to this group, as well as progressive Republicans and cross over Democratic primary voters. Again, the only news would be if he did not take this approach.

    But for the first time since the early 1980s, there is actually a conservative counter-force to the progressive GOP leadership: Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, maybe Rick Perry (though he fits the lifetime government employee model), tea party activists. These are the people who will react badly to Romney’s acceptance of climate change as an excuse for government intervention in the energy economy. But they have already rejected him based on his massive intrusion of the State of Masachusetts into that state’s healthcare economy.

    Climate is not nearly as much a wedge issue in the Republican party as massive government spending, healthcare, immigration and many other issues. I think it is unlikely that Romney wins the nomination in the current political environment. But even if Romney wins the nomination, and the presidency, he will almost certainly have a congress much more conservative than he is. So all you CAGW/AGW progressives/moderates/ independents shouldn’t set your hopes on Romney. For you, it’s an Obama presidency and Democratic congress or bust.

    • Exactly. Climate isn’t a wedge issue as much as an indicator of a fault line that’s been there for decades. This gets the cause and effect exactly backward.

    • “But even if Romney wins the nomination, and the presidency, he will almost certainly have a congress much more conservative than he is. So all you CAGW/AGW progressives/moderates/ independents shouldn’t set your hopes on Romney. For you, it’s an Obama presidency and Democratic congress or bust.”

      Wasn’t Obama and democratic congress already a bust.
      Obama and the democratic congress [and all governments on this planet] are not overly concerned about AGW.
      The claims that we are all gonna die, million of animals will go extinct, or that our future in endangered, that millions of people could die, etc. None of this is regarded as important.

      • True but if you elect a wishy-washy on the topic the AGW fraud culture festers in the backgroud reasfy to emerge again. AGW needs a wooden stake in the heart; investigations into science fraud and a study of the political hyjacking of science. The entire eco-left needs to be purged and rebuked or will happen again and again.

        I wish Perry had the optimal resume. Consider what happened to Bush II who was an MBA from Yale; painted by the media as a rube because he was a weak public speaker. Perry or Palin are smart people but without formal credentials the left worships and in fact distorts every single day. In the daily discourse the Ivory tower is dominated by liberal group think, the best end for AGW are those inside that tower who realize it’s a political sham to speak out directly. Dr. Curry equivocates when more is required, likely for political culture reasons and acceptance by her natural peers which are similar to the eco-left under attack. She only goes so far which is disappointing and in fact a weak ethical position.

        If you know from the inside the IPCC is driven by an eco-left and statist agenda you should admit and comment on this. True or false? Then explain why or why not.

    • At 5:09 PM on 23 August, GaryM misperceives the nature of the Red Faction making up the nominal “right” side of our great permanently incumbent institutional Boot On Your Neck Party masquerading as a “two-party system,” writing:

      Romney … is an example of a split that has always existed within the GOP. Those who are more progressive have tended to lifetime government office, and leadership positions in the party. Power is what progresesives seek, and progressive Republicans are no different. They have given us Republican nominees like Bob Dole, Gerald Ford, John McCain, both Bushes; every nominee during my lifetime except Reagan, who they fought bitterly to keep out of office.

      Yet another manifestation of the carefully cultivated historical illiteracy inflicted by America’s educrats. Well, that’s what you get when politicians control the curricula.

      The “split” among modern Republicans – between the “RINO establishment” and what was known in my youth as the “Taft/Goldwater conservatives” – is an extremely recent phenomenon which resulted from the Democratic party going whole-hog into socialism during the hideous reign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the single most utterly damnable POTUS until Barry Soebarkah slimed in to defile the Oval Office.

      In his essay “The Republican Charade: Lincoln and His Party” (2006), historian Clyde Wilson put an eloquent case for considering the Republicans as:

      …the party of state capitalism. That, along with the powers and perks it provides its leaders, is the whole reason for its creation and continued existence. By state capitalism I mean a regime of highly concentrated private ownership, subsidized and protected by government. The Republican party has never, ever opposed any government interference in the free market or any government expenditure except those that might favour labour unions or threaten Big Business. Consider that for a long time it was the party of high tariffs — when high tariffs benefited Northern big capital and oppressed the South and most of the population. Now it is the party of so-called “free trade” — because that is the policy that benefits Northern big capital, whatever it might cost the rest of us. In succession, Republicans presented opposite policies idealistically as good for America, while carefully avoiding discussion of exactly who it was good for.

      Prior to World War II, the political faction that had become genuinely split was the Democratic Party. When I became an avid reader of H.L. Mencken’s stuff in college, I wondered why this self-characterized “extreme libertarian” journalist, literary critic, editor, and polemicist so frequently in his early years hammered the Republicans (read his classic flaming of Warren Gamaliel Harding’s inaugural address) without remit, going so far as to write:

      In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

      Indeed, in the days before “the Crooner” smarmed into the White House and began ripping the U.S. economy a series of bloody, savage, colostomies, the Sage of Baltimore was proudly active in Democratic Party politics, supporting Governor Albert Ritchie of Maryland in both his bids to secure the Democratic presidential nominations in 1924 and 1932.

      Hell, in the latter election, Mencken even supported FDR – an apparatchik of the viciously “Progressive” administration inflicted upon the nation by “Saint Woodrow” Wilson (whom Mencken loathed and opposed so vehemently that the writer was effectively censored out of newspaper publication throughout the Great War) – to get rid of the ruinously interfering and therefore depression-prolonging Republican meddler, Herbert Hoover.

      The divide among the Democrats of the pre-World War II era was between the old Grover Cleveland “Solid Gold” Bourbon Democrats and the hideous, hateful, evil “Progressives” now so thoroughly having made the word “Liberal” a stench in the nostrils of the average American that they’ve had to fall back on the use of the term “progressive” to characterize their economy-killing unarguably fascist plots and machinations.

      The Taft/Goldwater faction in the Republican Party arose after World War II only because there was no room for such limited-government thinking and advocacy in the FDR-despoiled Democrat faction, and these ardent constitutionalists have been every bit as hated and despised by the old-guard “establishment” Republicans as they are by the “Liberal” fascists on the other side of the Congressional nave.

      Dubbya, like Reagan, was a simulacrum of a Taft/Goldwater conservative, giving the carefully groomed appearance of small-government constitutionalism while conducting himself with absolutely Nixonian lawlessness, wreaking havoc upon the national economy in much the same way as Herbert Hoover and Richard “I’m closing the gold window” Nixon had done.

      The single most prominent rule-of-law political figure in the current Republican contest for the presidential nomination is Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, who had implacably declaimed his wholly accurate prediction of our present economic disaster during the 2007run-up to the national elections, and who presently enjoys an astonishing level of popular support despite concerted efforts on the part of everyone in the dying, bankrupt, increasingly irrelevant “mainstream” media to ignore his candidacy to death.

      Considering that the MSM is overwhelmingly biased in favor of our incompetent, arrogant, rotten-to-the-core Mombasa Messiah, and have proclaimed Ron Paul absolutely “unelectable,” you’d think that they’d be doing everything in their power to get Dr. Paul nominated as the Republican Party candidate in 2012, wouldn’t you?


      • I rarely take the time to wade through the turgid prose of this blog’s resident liberaltarian crank. But since this comment is a direct response to one of mine, I put on my waders and slogged into his adverse adjective filled swamp.

        The only point I can find buried within this pile of verbosity is that Republicans are stoopid, as is almost every single other person in the world except Rich Matarese. Which seems to be the point of every other comment of his I’ve read.

        I won’t bother responding to 95% of this muddled diatribe, but I will point out that heaping scorn on Ronald Reagan, the one politician who at least tried to rein in leviathan, while serving a similar heaping of hero worship on Ron Paul, one of the most ineffective politicians alive today, is an good an example of the political impotence of liberaltarians in the current electorate.

        How typical of a liberaltarian to rant on, complaining about ineffectual conservatives, while putting all his hopes in a man who has zero chance of ever being president. It is so much more important to preen and massage one’s own ego, than write anything that actually bears a resemblance to political reality.

        It is liberaltarianism that is a new animal on the political scene. And there are excellent reasons they represent only a few percent of the electorate.

      • At 3:09 PM on 24 August, unable to respond lucidly to my brief and accurate critique of the longstanding criminal conspiracy that we call “the Republican Party,” GaryM whines about my treatment of Ronald Reagan, whom this unthinking and historically illiterate partisan of the right wing considers:

        …the one politician who at least tried to rein in leviathan…

        Gad, what’s next? A defense of Richard Milhous Nixon?

        Were GaryM a dispassionate and responsible student of history and political economics, direction to something as brief as Murray Rothbard’s classic 1989 essay “Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy” might begin the job of curing GaryM of Gipper-worship. From that source I quote:

        It is generally agreed by political analysts that the ideological mood of the public, after eight years of Reaganism, is in support of economic liberalism (that is, an expanded welfare state), and social conservatism (that is, the suppression of civil liberties and the theocratic outlawing of immoral behavior). And, on foreign policy, of course, they stand for militaristic chauvinism. After eight years of Ronnie, the mood of the American masses is to expand the goodies of the welfare-warfare state (though not to increase taxes to pay for these goodies), to swagger abroad and be very tough with nations that can’t fight back, and to crack down on the liberties of groups they don’t like or whose values or culture they disagree with.

        Does GaryM contend that Dr. Rothbard was incorrect in his diagnosis? Nah! The syndrome of uncritical Gipper-worship reliably forfends even that much reasoned examination of the mythos.

        But for the honest examiner, Sheldon Richman had published in 1988 (in media res, so to speak) a more detailed examination of Ronnie’s administrations, “The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan,” concluding:

        Reagan’s fans argue that he has changed the terms of public-policy debate, that no one today dares propose big spending programs. I contend that the alleged spending-shyness of politicians is not the result of an ideological sea-change, but rather of their constituents’ fiscal fright brought about by $250 billion Reagan budget deficits. If the deficit ever shrinks, the demand for spending will resume.

        Ah, weren’t those the good old days? When Americans were scared spitless by nothing more than the “$250 billion Reagan budget deficits.” Between Dubbya and our Kenyan Keynesian, how deeply into the hole have our thugs in Mordor-on-the-Potomac plunged us? Barry’s achievement is something like $4,247,000,000,000 debt in just 945 days, isn’t it?

        Bad as Reagan had been, he wasn’t going to walk away with the title unchallenged, was he?

        But there’s plenty more honest scholarship on the pure bogosity of Gipper-worship, both during the Reagan reign and in subsequent years. For charisma, there’s nothing on the Red Faction side to match the guy, but portraying him as ever having “tried to rein in leviathan” is meat for nothing but mockery.

        I might merely imply that Republicans are “stoopid,” GaryM, but it takes a Republican writing here to prove it.

      • Rich,
        Quoting garbage and pretending it is gold only shows your taste in gold is rather poor.
        Anyone whose starting premise is the republican party is an ongoing criminal enterprise is really better off posting at a 911 truther, or even better, a UFO abductee site. The crowd at any of those sites will be more in tune with the level of intelligence and insights you have to offer.

      • At 3:50 PM on 24 August, hunter fusses:

        Quoting garbage and pretending it is gold only shows your taste in gold is rather poor.

        And you’ve actually read either Dr. Rothbard’s essay (Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy“) or Mr. Sheldon’s “The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan” to condemn their contemporary assessments of the Gipper’s malfeasances as “garbage“? How wonderfully Republican of you!

        Seems that when one touches matters of religious faith like Republican Gipper-worship (as opposed to honest appreciation of historical fact), the True Believer can’t engage in anything even remotely resembling reasoned disputation.

        Refresh my memory, hunter, please. Are you also one of those guys pushing “creationism in a cheap lab coat”?

      • Rich,
        I commented on your characterization of the Republican party inappropriate for serious discussion. I should have been more diplomatic about that.
        Your quoting books of opinion about Reagan does not trump the reality of his Presidency. A lot of good was accomplished. I have been around long enough to generally reject revisionist history for the garbage it generally is.
        In no way do I believe his was an immcaulate two terms. He was a man of his time, and fallible. I am not aware of any other types of people, except in fiction or very old stories.
        Please tell me if you are the author at the site your name links to?
        I am not aware of the term, “creationism in a cheap lab coat”. Perhaps you would explain a bit more?

      • At 4:20 PM on 24 August, hunter considers my

        …characterization of the Republican party inappropriate for serious discussion. I should have been more diplomatic about that.

        Your quoting books of opinion about Reagan does not trump the reality of his Presidency. A lot of good was accomplished. I have been around long enough to generally reject revisionist history for the garbage it generally is.

        Those were – as I’d said – contemporary (1989 and 1988) essays on the Reagan presidency, written by people who were in direct contact with the lumps and bumps of the Gipper’s damages done to the U.S. political economy. I remember those years all too well, as I’m one of the millions of Americans who had held our noses and voted Reagan into the White House in 1980 in the desperate hope that we were thereby voting Jimmy “the Malaise” Carter out of that office.

        I dunno where you were in 1980, hunter, but during the summer of that year, the lunchtime talk around the doctors’ table in the hospital cafeteria was about nothing except how totally screwed-up the economy had become, and how the Federal Reserve System was dumping counterfeit currency into the financial markets like crazy. The standing joke was that the Open Market Committee of the Fed had turned into “the Committee to Re-Elect Jimmy Carter.”

        In the run-up to the 1980 elections, the MSM talking heads were pontificating about how excruciatingly close was the contest between their beloved peanut farmer and the upstart Goldwater-esque ex-actor.

        Gawd, most of us were terrified that Jimmy the Jerkwad was going to win four more years to finish wrecking the hell out of our country.

        (In 1984, Mondale offered a choice that was no choice at all, and went down in the most spectacular set of flames ever seen in a U.S. presidential contest. I voted that year for David Bergland, a bright, personable, and extremely intelligent guy even if he was a lawyer. His campaign book, Libertarianism in One Lesson, is still in print insofar as I’ve been able to determine, updated most recently in 2005.)

        The “reality” of Reagan’s presidency was precisely as recounted in both Dr. Rothbard’s and Mr. Richman’s quoted appreciations, which are entirely the antithesis of “revisionist history.” They’re hard-eyed examinations of what had been happening at the time of the authors’ analyses. You can’t get any lessrevisionist” than that kind of assessment, damnit.

        What today’s sad-sack excuse for historical scholarship is shoving at you as grist for the Gipper cult, hunter, is “garbage” without even the illusion of honestly responsible corrective revisionism.

        Or haven’t you been around long enough to figure that out?

        Oh, yes. “Creationism in a cheap lab coat” is the accurate characterization of the religious whackjob concept being peddled – as science, for pity’s sake! – under the deceitful expression “intelligent design.”

      • I have no interest in a blog flame war, so I will simply repost a couple comments from our resident liberaltarian wannabe intellectual, then wait for him to google some more quotes rather than actually articulate anything remotely interesting.

        On a prior thread, we got this disposition about the differences between conservatism and progressivism:

        “My dad and many other men of his generation were consciously and explicitly conservative, and I got along fine with him. He was an Eisenhower and Goldwater Republican, active in the local GOP as well as in our Roman Catholic parish. Big-time political conservative, though he didn’t push it on me. I got most of my progressive conditioning out of the parochial schools in which I spent my growing-up years. No surprise about that, especially after John F. Kennedy got elected.

        When I got stuck into Austrian School economics in medical school, he and I used to dicker over public policy issues, with him – a conservative, for pity’s sake – arguing the case for the Keynesian garbage he’d had crammed down his throat by way of Samuelson et alia. in college and business school, me pivoting my points of argument around the disproofs articulated by Hazlitt and von Hayek and Murray Rothbard.”

        Conservatives arguing in favor of Keynes’ and a progressive arguing Hayek. Yep, no clue here about what the terms conservative, progressive and libertarian actually mean.

        Then this further example of why Ronald Reagan was a progressive:

        “If you don’t ‘think Richard Nixon was ever a conservative,’ do you think that Ronald Reagan was?

        And, if so, how come Ronald Reagan didn’t restore sound currency, re-open the gold window, abolish the Department of Education (along with OSHA and the EPA), and end Nixon’s War on (Some) Drugs while he had eight years in the presidency to remedy the damages done by his predecessor?”

        I could be juvenile and ask why Ron Paul has not put the U.S. back on the gold standard, brought all U.S. troops home, abolished the Fed, closed the EPA and Department of Education, etc. etc. But as an adult I am constrained by the reality that a single congressman does not have that kind of power. I don’t expect a raving liberaltarian to understand how our political process actually works, so I understand his belief that Reagan’s failure to convince Tip O’Neill and the rest of the Democrat controlled House of Representatives to abandon progressivism is proof that Reagan was a closet socialist.

        Rich’s posts remind me of the bar scene in Good Will Hunting (though I suspect Rich relies on google rather than an eidetic memory). Ask him a question, and he’ll quote what someone else wrote, cloaked in insults and non sequitors, rather than engage in what others would consider argument. Oops, sorry, that should be “reasoned disputation.”

      • At 5:27 PM on 24 August, GaryM (claiming to “have no interest in a blog flame war,” though almost certainly assured that in such a contest he’ll get his virtual cremasteric fascia kicked up around his figurative kidneys), draws quotes from previous posts of mine on another thread to no purpose other than demonstrating that I’ve really got the poor booger twitching, writing about my discussions with my late father:

        Conservatives [my dad] arguing in favor of Keynes’ and a progressive [me? are you out of your frelking mind, GaryM?] arguing Hayek. Yep, no clue here about what the terms conservative, progressive and libertarian actually mean.

        Oh, how rich. My father’s business-school-indoctrinated adherence to the Keynesian orthodoxy demonstrated how conceptually free-floating is the “conservative” mindset, and why the monicker really reflects nothing more than a conditioned evasion of genuine critical consideration applied to matters of purposeful thought and action (subsumed under what Ludwig von Mises and other Austrian School economists have characterized as “praxis“).

        If ever there were anything better calculated to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy of “conservatism,” I’m doggoned if I know how to put the case more eloquently. Dad was stuck with Keynes’s hideous and deadly crap (by way of Samuelson) because he’d internalized the cement-headed idiocies of his professors.

        It was the “stagflation” of the Carter years that jolted him out of his Keynesian conventionality. Though he’d long since broken with his instructors’ dicta in his professional life (a necessity!), Dad couldn’t quit clinging to that deck chair on the Titanic until he was looking up through thirty feet of green water and wondering why all the bubbles were going in a direction that his professors had said couldn’t happen.

        Oh, yeah. I had written about suffering “progressive” political conditioning in school, overcoming it by dint of experience and self-education to recognize the validity of libertarian political economics. Jeez, GaryM, can’t you read?

        GaryM goes on to quote a comment I’d made about how Richard “I’m closing the gold window” Nixon (Ah, 15 August 1971; I remember it well; the “Nixon shock” that led Milhous later to lament “We’re all Keynesians now”) was no more a real fiscal conservative than he was Marie, Queen of Rumania.

        Nor was Ronald Reagan a real constitutionalist, of course, to the extent that the word can be said to correspond to “conservative.” But GaryM goes on – hoo, boy! – to blunder:

        I could be juvenile and ask why Ron Paul has not put the U.S. back on the gold standard, brought all U.S. troops home, abolished the Fed, closed the EPA and Department of Education, etc. etc.

        Er, GaryM? Dr. Paul isn’t President of the United States yet. As a senior Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives – now controlled by the RINO establishment for no reason other than the large number of “TEA Party” freshmen voted into office by way of a political movement for which Dr. Paul was largely responsible – our “Dr. No” is doing what he can.

        As President, he’ll be able to do more. In the words of Paul Begala: “Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.”

        As for my memory, GaryM, I’m a physician. We’re expected to remember a helluva lot of stuff, and be able to summon it up reliably as required. We’re also expected to verify our factual assertions and support them when it’s expedient to do so. When I confirm for myself a source and it strikes me as useful to cite it explicitly, I simply tuck the link into a post on which I’m working (as long as I can manage not to screw up the HTML).

        If you’re too damned dumb to figure out what I’m writing and it comes across your threshold of appreciation as “non sequitors (not that you’ve yet engaged in anything remotely resembling “argument,” GaryM), how the hell is it my fault?

      • “As President, he’ll be able to do more. In the words of Paul Begala: ‘Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.'”

        Not a hint of irony in a purported libertarian regurgitating the delusions of an imperial presidency by the progressive Clintonite Paul Begala. Your rants just confirm that you understand republican democracy as poorly as you do conservatism, progressivism and libertarianism.

        Most liberaltarians “argue” the same way they did when they were full scale progressives, and Rich is no exception. Redefine the language, try to personalize your opponent and marginalize opposing opinions with ridicule (how Alinskyite of you), and bury them in verbiage. Your thinking is just as muddled now as it was when you were a complete progressive, rather than the half-progressive liberaltarian you have become.

        But the floor is yours. I will leave you to your self-perceived awesomeness. I am more bored with your pretentious prose than before, though I didn’t think that was possible. That will teach me to waste my time reading what you write.

      • Humorless as well as clueless, at 6:59 PM on 24 August the unthinking and illiterate Gipper-worshiping GaryM whines about my quotation of Bubba’s Begala (“Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.”) as an indication of how the overblown assumed powers of the presidency might be turned expeditiously to the reversal of the unconstitutional expansions of the Executive branch invoked by incumbent after incumbent having usurped authorities to which they had no lawful entitlement under our charter of federal government.

        In Hope, a work of speculative fiction published in 2001 by writers L. Neil Smith and the late Aaron Zelman, precisely this use of executive orders was explored, and this book is recommended to readers honestly interested in the consideration of such a course of action, to be undertaken in restoring that rule of law which GaryM – as a good Republican – really does not want to see happening.

        Like most apologists for government gone juramentado (as long as it suits his peculiar bigotries), GaryM is pretty much completely incompetent when it comes to the consideration of ideas outside his constipated “comfort zone.” There is – quite reliably – in the modern political conservative’s pitiful excuse for a Weltanschauung nothing more than an aversion to change, almost entirely unthinking, which reinforces what might even be considered a principle-of-least-effort factor in such a critter’s make-up so that they view their own studied ignorance as a virtue of some perverse kind, a determination not to think, not to learn anything outside their purblind and error-raddled canon, above all not to confront the glaring nonsenses pervading the myths by which they picture for themselves a moving-target set of “Good Old Days” about which silly clods like GaryM in fact know nothing at all.

        Poor fella. The only reason that GaryM is calling himself a “conservative” is that he’s too lazy to learn the root causes of the horrible “progressive” perversion of civil government that he – correctly – hates so much, and is therefore incapable of discerning how to correctly and effectively fix this bloody mess.

        Think of the modern American “conservative” as someone who comes upon a gang of thugs raping a troop of Girl Scouts and, instead of intervening to make the whole damned thing stop, prefers to bargain with the rapists so that they continue the violation of their helpless victims at a more moderate pace and – perhaps – with condoms.


  9. The premise of the article raises the question:
    What mitigation policies.
    Dr. Curry, I have asked more than once a question along these lines:
    “What mitigation policies are there that have either worked or could work to mitigate the climate by controlling CO2, and at what cost?”
    By the way, it is interesting that Romm, who positions himself as hard core for the science pov jumps striaght into the issue as a way to promote ‘progressive’ policies.
    As to my question regarding mitigation, if I receive a reasonable answer to that question, it will be a pleasant surprise.
    As to boomerangs, the idea that >20 years of relentlessly calling for an apocalyptic tipping point of the climate that fails to materialize is bound to have a bit of a blowback.
    The AGW community is reduced to either ignoring the skeptics or calling them names, but nearly always avoiding actual discussion (with our hostess as a notable exception).
    As the AGW predictions of doom continue to fail to materialize, this community attitude will only exacerbate the boomerang effect.
    As to the hopes to have conservatives split over climate in some way that will help ‘progressives’, dream on, Joe.

    • “to mitigate the climate”?

      You really would have to be a psychologist to understand what motivates the thinking of a cheat and a fearmonger. Imagine, for example ever trying to help solve a puzzle with someone who is simply trimming pieces so they fit together?

      And, that is exactly what GCM model-makers do. They apply perimeters to make models fit historical data. And, that is why the AGW model-makers’ GCMs fail grandly. All you have to do is compare GCM predictions to reality to see that the these models are mere toys and are not to be taken seriously.

      Needless to say, thinking that schoolteachers will save the world is the sort of leap of faith that separates global warming anti-science from any real science that is to be taken seriously. A belief that has not been validated and can never be validated is what we call superstition, not science!

      Besides, we know what causes global warming. Nominally: it’s the sun.

      • Actually they dont apply perimeters [sic] to make the models “fit” historical data. You read that somewhere but never checked it

      • Heh, the perimeters are in the circularity.

      • It’s a quick and dirty description of “tuning”. Or is there a better one you have to offer?

      • –>… Actually they dont apply perimeters [sic]

        He says they do not apply.

        Let look at—e.g., the HARRY READ ME file?

        Let’s have some fun. Let’s play a game called, Intellectual honesty.

        How many times can he spot the word, ‘parameter’ below (do you think he might want ot go the source because there are only about a tenth them pulled out and mentioned below, as follows:

        “… ..which is good news! Not brilliant because the data should be identical.. but good because the correlations are so high! This could be a result of my mis-setting of the parameters on Tim’s programs (although I have followed his recommendations wherever possible), or it could be a result of Tim using the Beowulf 1 cluster for the f90 work. Beowulf 1 is now integrated in to the latest Beowulf cluster so it may not be practical to test that theory…”

        “Introduced suitable conditionals to ensure that 61-90 anomalies and gridded binaries are automatically produced if the relevant secondary parameters are requested…”

        “Then, a big problem. Lots of stars (‘*********’) in the PET gridded absolutes. Wrote sidebyside.m to display the five input parameters; VAP looks like being the culprit, with unfeasibly large values…”

        “On a parallel track (this would really have been better as a blog), Tim O has found that the binary grids of primary vars (used in synthetic production of secondary parameters) should be produced with ‘binfac’ set to 10 for TMP and DTR. This may explain the poor performance and coverage of VAP in particular…”

        “So, I went through all the IDL routines. I added an integer-to-float conversion on all binary reads, and generally spruced things up. Also went through the parameters one by one and fixed (hopefully)their scaling factors at each stage. What a minefield!”

        “…Finally I’m able to get a run of all ten parameters. The results, compared to 2.10 with sidebyside3col.m,are pretty good on the whole. Not really happy with FRS (range OK but mysterious banding in Southern Hemisphere), or PET…”

        “PET precursor parameters: ranges…

        “Gridding primary parameters…

        “The 2.5-degree PRE/WET path is now at x10 all the way to the final gridding. The 0.5-degree PRE/WET path is at x10 until the production of the synthetic WET, at which point it has to be x1 to line up with the pre-1990 output from the gridder (the gridder outputs .glo files as x1 only, we haven’t used the ‘actfac’ parameter yet and we’re not going to start!!)…”

        “Still not there. One issue is that for some reason I didn’t give the merg runfiles individual names for each parameter! So I might mod the update program to do that. Then re-run all updates…”

        “So.. I guess I will use tmp.0903081416.dtb, pre.0903051740.dtb, and the earliest available from the other parameters. In other words…”

        “I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the update prog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections – to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more… ”

        “Well, the merged database is written principally from dbm*, with dbu* chipping in ‘new’ stations. I guess that new stations should be added to the wmo reference file? They are pan-parameter (well the MCDW ones are) but I have an eerie feeling that I won’t experience joy when headers are compared between parameters…”

        “Wrote metacmp.for. It accepts a list of parameter databases (by default, latest.versions.dat) and compares headers when WMO codes match. If all WMO matches amongst the databases share common metadata (lat, lon, alt, name, country) then the successful header is written to a file. If, however, any one of the WMO matches fails on any metadata – even slightly! – the gaggle of disjointed headers is written to a second file. I know that leeway should be given, particularly with lats & lons, but as a first stab I just need to know how bad things are. Well, I got that…”

        “METACMP – compare parameter database metadata…”

        [READ ME for Harry’s work on the CRU TS2.1/3.0 datasets, 2006-2009!]

      • steven,
        back filling or not, ‘hide the decline’ is not a good thign.
        But none of that is germane to my question:
        Where are the mitigation policies and plans and technologies that work?

    • hunter

      Since Judith (as a climate scientist and not an engineer) apparently does not feel professionally qualified to respond to your question

      “What mitigation policies are there that have either worked or could work to mitigate the climate by controlling CO2, and at what cost?”

      I will.

      The answer is “NONE”.

      There has been a lot of political posturing with “pledges” by political leaders of today to cut CO2 emissions to X% of what they were in year Y by year Z (many years after the politician will be long gone).

      An even better sounding (and more meaningless) pledge is to “hold global warming to no more than 2C”.

      This is all blah-blah.

      A (direct or indirect) carbon tax will also achieve zero change in our climate: no tax ever did.

      Hansen et al. made a specific actionable proposal to shut down all coal-fired power plants in the USA by 2030, replacing them with non-fossil fuel plants.

      This would achieve a theoretical reduction of global warming of 0.08C by year 2100, at a cost between now and 2030 of $1.5 trillion (to replace them with the next cheapest non fossil fuel alternate, nuclear). Hansen did not run us through this cost/benefit analysis, as it exposes his proposal as a hare-brained scheme.

      Another proposal to capture and sequester all CO2 from half of all new coal-fired power plants has also been mentioned on this site. In addition to the many unknowns regarding sequestration, this CCS scheme would cost even more than Hansen’s proposal and would achieve a lower net reduction in global warming – so is even more of a hare-brained scheme.

      The WWF has put together a story, whereby wind and solar rescue us, (which I have gone through in some detail) but this is so blatantly unrealistic that it does not merit any serious comment – it also lacks a cost/benefit analysis.

      IOW there are no actionable proposals “to mitigate the climate by controlling CO2”. This is simply because we are not able to control our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw at it

      Those are the facts, which no one (so far) has been able to dispute.


      • Peter Davies

        I agree that action to control climate would never work since world climate has multiple states, all operating at the same time, under chaotic conditions and hence incapable of prediction for more than one or two decades at a time .

        The effects of shorter term climate trends (the word “change” deliberately not used) on the population could be mitigated by individual countries through more effective and efficient water use and land conservation measures.

    • This is what makes Dr. Curry’s position inane. AGW mitigation should never have been logically considered but it was always the point of IPCC carbon rules from the day they started.

      Even falling back to “adaptation” you still are rationalizing carbon tax and global wealth redistribution to fund that. If there is a hurricane in Cuba there is isn’t going to be a claim it wasn’t made worse by U.S. CO2? It’s a sad joke.

      There really is no middle road, AGW is on the way to full refutation. It should be used to reform science and research funding to prevent partisan agenda science from growing again in other ways in the future. The key players should be under the microscope, the data and claims should be audited by third parties, state funded communications reviewed and potentially released if wrong doing be uncovered.

      • The silence from the believer or even serious posters about mitigation is dam*ing.

      • Properly understood, “adaptation” simply means adjusting to the climate as it evolves. It is what we always do, de facto. “Precautionary” adaptation (e.g., building giant seawalls around Florida to prevent it from being submerged) is so patently stupid not even the trooest of Believers proposes it.

        We are going to end up “adapting” to cooling in any case — that is, the economies that haven’t been bankrupted and mis-directed and crippled by mitigation are.

      • Warmist would still use the co2 canard to promote a carbon tax for “adaptation”. Central planning never quits and much of the science community is in this tank.

  10. Michael Tobis says

    The only way to simplify ourselves out of the present mess is by cutting our population 80%, unfortunately.

    Individual actions are well and good, but as Gore said in his Noble lecture, and as Obama sed about his lightbulbs, they aren’t enough. Not even close.

    • I didn’t know mt was Chinese. They will work cheap too. Ask, Qin Shi Huang.

    • Let’s start that population cut with MT himself.

      • Sot on, every single hypocritical parasite who bemoans overpopulation as a problem should practise what he preaches and remove himself from the human population. We’ll gladly say good riddance to such bad rubbish.

    • Maybe environmentalists could give up 80% of their mansions and jets and cars.

    • Michael’s lack of imagination, and that of his fellow voyagers, is tragic. The sun sends enough energy to our earth and atmosphere to theoretically support a million times the present human population of the earth. We’re talking about quadrillions of human souls, honey.

      • kim,
        That image triggers the basic misanthropy that runs through so many in the AGW community.

      • It’s Childhood’s End, Son. The energy is there. We will eventually use it. We have the imagination and we have engineers who can’t help but debunk politicized science.

      • Kim says:”It’s Childhood’s End,…” Great book. Arthur C Clarke. Used that for a semester final report in a college course in education. I don’t know if you indended the reference or not but it is a good one.

      • Yes, intended, but we have had a happy childhood with the cornucopia of fossilized fuel. The egg sac will eventually deplete and we’ll have to seek energy elsewhere.

    • Actually, they’re too much. There’s no “there” there, and the lightbulbs are dangerous, dim, and dumb.

  11. ‘it makes the case that global warming potentially can be used to the advantage of progressives’
    Strange isn’t it a movement, the ‘progressives’, with undefined aims or political platform look forward to using ‘climate change’ to split Republicans.
    Next, we will be told that the AGW movement is about science and not politics.

  12. Let's Get Serious

    “Exposing 240 adults to simulated news stories about possible climate change health impacts on different groups, we found the influence of identification with potential victims was contingent on participants’ political partisanship.” What is being tested here: the science or the news stories? Many of the scientists initiating news stories have political agendas extending far beyond the science they disclose. We all know that the media does a lousy job presenting science and putting it in context without a political agenda.

    Are there any well documented health effects from climate change: Heat stroke vs heart attacks from shoving snow? Deaths from “increasing” hurricanes and tornados? Malaria in Siberia? Is sea-level rise in Bangladesh a “health effect”. Or are we talking about the possible effects of climate change on the diseases of poverty that effect the billion poorest people on the planet – people whose problems will not be alleviated appreciably by having the EPA require that more ethanol from corn go into my gas tank. For the official EPA position, see:

    Neither Huntsman, Romney or Perry mention climate change at any of their official campaign websites.

    • “What is being tested here: the science or the news stories?”

      The people are what’s being tested. It’s basic clinical psychology.

      • Let's Get Serious

        Are they testing the people’s response to science or the news stories? Given that the news stories have little to do with science and much to do with politics, the investigators aren’t learning anything important about the public’s response to science. The investigators are so unfamiliar with the controversies of climate change that they chose to investigate the public’s reaction to news stories on the health effects, an area where the science content is low, alarmism is rampant, and a variety of perspectives are rational.

    • Many of the scientists initiating news stories…

      You gotta love people who demand scientific specificity.

      Many Republicans believe that Obama is the anti-Christ.

    • Many of the scientists initiating news stories …

      You gotta love people who demand scientific specificity.

      Many Republicans believe that Obama is the anti-Chrixt.

      • Many Democrats believe that GWB was the “devil”.

      • And how many Democrats believe the rantings of an overweight and undereducated preacher named Al Gore?


      • Many “skeptics” are politically motivated.

        We could trade equally imprecise statements for a very, very long time.

      • Yet here is Joe Romm talking about cliamte as a wedge issue to help ‘progressives’.
        Dodge and weave, justify your own political bigotry, blame those whom you hate, and deny you are political.
        Thanks for clearing that up, Josh.

      • hunter.

        The next time you find me “denying” that I am political will be the first time that you find me “denying” that I am political.

        And hunter, I don’t apologize for Joe Romm. Never have. Never will. Accusing someone of guilt by association, hunter, is not very nice.

        I think that people like Joe Romm, who try to exploit “wedge issues,” are counterproductive to my interests – which lie in creating sustainable solutions through legitimate compromise..

      • Joshua… you are old school, in todays wacky AGW world now we have ‘Quakers’ & ‘Christian Scientists’ like ‘Hank’ Paulson.
        When ‘that day’ comes… Only you will know the answer to the question: Do you love my Son?… That is what I read anyway.

      • Joshua, the Romm’s of the world are a symptom. The disease to science is at the IPCC who would smooze with the likes of Joe Romm or Al Gore any day of the week. The problem here is that Dr. Curry claims to be an independent but will not comment on peers and the political overhang of the IPCC from the insiders view. Only in light overview fashions of both sides, trite.

        During the 1950’s the people who showed real courage were those who did “name names”. Really Hollywood had plenty of activist communists and those on the left agenda setting. There were excesses but who was really “socially” blacklisted longer by whom? AGW needs an Elia Kazan and so does the world.

      • cwon –

        Finally! A post directed towards me where I could get past the first sentence without encountering a straw man! Thank you.

        I agree that the Joe Romm’s of the world are a symptom. But I disagree as to what the disease is. As I see it, the disease is tribalism -along with motivated reasoning and confirmation bias – which equally afflict people on both sides of the debate. The more extreme you get to either end of the spectrum, the more those phenomena can be evidence in how people approach the topic of climate change.

        I also agree that Judith should be more up front with her political ideology – so that she can better control for how her political ideology influences her interpretation of the science. Unfortunately, however, I see little reason to believe that we’ll make any progress on that front.

      • Joshua,
        All you do is accuse by association.
        And you steadily hold out that your politics are above reproach,m and condemn any who disagree.
        None are so blind and all that.
        This is an argument you should quit while you are only this far behind.
        As to compromise, your idea of compromise is to either starve in the dark or starve in the dark while freezing to death.
        Not one AGW policy you have backed has ever worked or ever will work.

      • hunter –

        Please try to be a tad more specific if you can.

        Please point out where I “accuse by association.”

        Please point out where I, ever, said that my “politics are above reproach.”

        Please point out where I “condemned” someone who disagrees because of their politics, or indeed, for any reason.

        Please elaborate on which “AGW-policy” that I have backed which hasn’t work and can’t ever work.

        Thanks in advance.

      • andrew adams


        You have misinterpreted Romm. He is explaining that the notion that “progressives” can use the issue of GW against the Republicans logically follows from Pielke’s use of the term “wedge issue”. Go and read his original piece if you want to understand the point he is making.

      • aa,
        It was clearly said in the context of advancing the politics he supports.

      • Of course, with an endless way of redefining speech the left can never admit to losing an argument. This rhymes with “hide the decline” and the idiotic explaination of what that means to Real Climate folks.

      • hunter,

        The point of Romm’s artice is rather wider than that, and his main focus is on Pielke and the Washington Post’s use of the term “wedge issue” and its wider significance. Still, having read it again it is apparent that he is sympathetic towards the idea, so fair enough.

        And why shouldn’t he be? One doesn’t have to be a progressive to believe that action on climate change is necessary, or vice versa, but in either case there is a clear interest in undermining the Republicans. Climate change policy (as opposed to the scientific case for action) is a political issue so why shouldn’t people discuss political tactics?

      • There is nothing wrong with either comment from either party. It’s honest.

        What is dishonest is painting the IPCC politically in some other light than many would view Green Peace, The Sierra Club or Nature Magazine. It’s part of the eco-left culture and so are many in the climate science community. Time for insiders to own-up but they don’t even if they are relatively moderate on AGW abuses of science for a political cause.

        It’s shameful.

  13. Perhaps someone can explain it, but I don’t see the boomerang here. Climate skepticism may divide the Republican party, but that is only because skepticism is (happily) arising. That all the candidates do not (yet) embrace skepticism is not a boomerang, just a stage of growth.

    • Well there are two possible boomerangs. The first one is that the climate change issue has been falling off the radar screen as of late, which would presumable suit the Republican agenda. Now they have brought the issue back onto the radar screen. The other issue is that Perry seems to combine young earth creationism with anti-AGW, which gives the anti-AGW sentiments an anti-sciece tinge, which probably won’t play well in a general election. That is my take on the boomerang factor for the Republicans.

      • Apparently you assessment is in direct contrast to the political advise given to the majority of the candidates.

        Huntsman is the only one who apparently disagrees. How’s he doing, relative to the others in the polls?

      • Joshua,

        I kind of agree with Judith’s assessment but really wonder if it matters for any candidate.

      • BillC –

        I’m not sure that it matters either. But I think it highly unlikely that the political advisers to the candidates, and the candidates themselves, aren’t choosing a path that they think will enhance their electoral chances. I guess the question is whether it is a short-term strategy that they will use in the nomination process that they’ll revise if nominated – but my sense that that that they’re all in on the strategy to appeal to the far rightwing elements of the Republican Party (with the exception of Huntsman, and possibly Romney).

      • AGW is responsible for exporting millions of jobs to China/India AND for the massive increase in coal burning in China/India to provide power for those jobs.

        AGW supporters ARE the big polluters and job killers.

        Thats a powerful message and will help kill the Democrats chance in the next election.

      • Addendum:

        …in direct contrast to the political advise given to the majority of the candidates…

        And to Bruce’s perspective.

      • Bruce, we must learn that AGW supporters like Joshua, are not ‘job killers’,
        remember they sent the plants to China too.

      • Tom, how about “Job Exporters” and “Coal Burners”?

      • Bruce,
        Truth be Told. Like an eraser, remove the chalk dust- ‘the board is black’.

      • Judith

        Regarding possible “boomerangs” I believe the Republican presidential candidates are now jockeying for votes in the Republican primary. AGW is not a big deal to any of them (“it’s the economy, stupid”) but they are testing the waters on how they should “stand” on CAGW in order to get the most Republican votes for now.

        Once we have a general election, it will be easier to take a stance on this side issue. Polls show that most Americans do not believe that CAGW represents an existential potential problem (or a problem at all). Tea Party supporters are even stronger on this. Obama’s science czar has convinced him CAGW is a big problem and he has been vociferous regarding cap and trade before that cratered. He has also throttled back exploration and development of new oil and gas resources in the USA, thereby prolonging the major payments balance resulting from expensive oil imports from a greedy cartel. So the CAGW (and energy) issue, while of relatively minor importance overall, will probably work to the advantage of the Republican contender (and against the incumbent) in the general election.

        Forget about “young Earth creationism”. This is a totally unrelated topic, which is unlikely to get anyone any votes in the presidential election. One candidate is a Mormon. One is a Catholic. So what. Who cares?

        It will be about the sagging economy, “reckless” spending and increased taxation, possibly including (as a relatively unimportant sideline) the direct or indirect carbon tax proposed by the Democratic candidate (and incumbent).plus any added negative impact this could have on the economy if implemented. I predict that “drill, baby, drill” will again be a popular campaign slogan.




      • Except that it’s part of the bigger issue of the economy. When the EPA makes an end run around congress, and makes electricity more expensive, we now have a very potent issue. People are also keenly aware that the administration is interfering with oil production. While not strictly speaking a “climate” issue, it’s environmental, and the same cast of characters is involved, and the bottom line is that the Democrats want to make energy more expensive. They’ve come out and said it more than once.

        So it’s all part of this bigger ball of yarn, and anything having to do with energy costs is political fire, and the Democrats are handing the Republicans a big gift wrapped in a bow every time they get in the way of delivery of energy. You’d better believe this is a critical election issue, even if climate science, per se, isn’t.

      • One candidate is a Mormon. One is a Catholic. So what. Who cares?

        Well – just because you don’t care doesn’t mean that it is irrelevant to everyone:

        The new Gallup poll, conducted June 9-12, finds nearly 20% of Republicans and independents saying they would not support a Mormon for president. That is slightly lower than the 27% of Democrats saying the same.

        Forget about “young Earth creationism”. This is a totally unrelated topic,…

        Again, you should be more careful about distinguishing your own views from those of others. Fundamentalist Christianity is a major aspect of the campaigns of Perry and Bachmann – the two leading candidates. They have decided to feature their religious beliefs front and center as a part of their platforms. Obviously, their political advisers disagree, completely,with your analysis. Rick Perry has been a key player in the movement to include the teaching of ID in Texas.

        Sorry – but anyone who says that the religious beliefs of the Republican candidates is irrelevant to the election is simply not paying attention.

      • Of course, Rick Perry does have a better platform on climate change policy than Obama:

        Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas

        WHEREAS, the state of Texas is in the midst of an exceptional drought, with some parts of the state receiving no significant rainfall for almost three months, matching rainfall deficit records dating back to the 1930s; and


        NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on those days for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

        and Bachman in 2004 makes it clear that her religious beliefs are irrelevant:

        “Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle—we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of SaXan [substitute a “t:], I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”

        Yeah. Who cares about their religious beliefs? Clearly, Perry and Bachmann don’t care.

      • Of course, Rick Perry does have a better platform on climate change policy than Obama:

        Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas

        WHEREAS, the state of Texas is in the midst of an exceptional drought, with some parts of the state receiving no significant rainfall for almost three months, matching rainfall deficit records dating back to the 1930s; and


        NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on those days for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

        I could go on if you’d like.

      • If Perry were Obama, he’d have appointed an czar for the newly formed Department of Supplication for Precipitation Enhancement. With a budget of about $240 billion.

      • Did it work? No. In fact looking at the current US Drought Index, the ‘exceptional drought’ area matches the state of Texas uncannily well.

      • Prayers are quite inexpensive compared to the trillions squandered controlling natural variation in climate.

        But then again, maybe the prayer kept the drought area smaller than say … 1956.

        Or 1934.

      • Please do.

      • Dr. Curry. First, the skeptical Reps want to block EPA so they need climate high on the agenda. Second, I have only seen Perry doing anti-human evolution, which polls show roughly half of Americans believe. Where have you seen his young earth stuff? On the other hand, as Joshua has been demonstrating, the lefties are going to try to bridge to YEC. This is going to be fun.

      • interesting point about blocking EPA as motivating keeping climate change high on the agenda. Yes, this is much more interesting with climate change taking a center seat :)

      • Boomerang Bubble.
        Rainbows sprinkle unicorns.
        How green gets the earth?

      • Texas is leading the effort to block EPA in Federal Court, so Gov Perry knows a lot about this issue, and has a lot of experts on hand as well. The AGW movement had three lines of attack in the USA — Kyoto, cap and trade legislation, and EPA. The first two have been defeated so EPA is the only AGW army left in the field, as it were. This is a big deal for a lot of people.

      • Its troops and officers are the Obama’s “alternate cat-skinning” cadre. Rule by executive order and regulatory fiat.

      • EPA is acting under the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately when Congress passed the 1990 amendments they added causing climate change to the definition of pollutant. But during the cap and trade debate the greens threatened Congress with EPA action and Congress does not like threats. A lot depends on the next election, to say the least.

      • YEC is no more “antiscience” than Scientologists or Jehovah Witnesses or new age folks or atheistism. Its just leftwing handwaving. Only agnostics are not “antiscience”.

      • What is “atheistism” and why is it anti-science? As for the rest, well, I don’t think we have had people who want to teach those things as science in the school system. I agree that the Left Wing has been responsible for some anti-scientific things…In fact, they invented the post-modernist ideas that the Right has latched onto to try to explain why the scientific community is wrong on climate change. However, those on the Left who supported anti-scientific ideas were never really able to make much headway, whereas those on the Right seem to be.

      • Both sides seem to want to hang policy on misinterpreted science. And which side has better luck with such mistaken policy choices? I wunner why.

      • Kermit –

        Maybe I’m missing something, but would you mind pointing out which “left-wing” candidates promote doctrine like that of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or “new age folks,” or “atheistism” as a fundamental part of their perspectives on debate about scientific issues?

        You know, like when Bachmann talks about homosexuality as “part of”

      • Kermit –

        Maybe I’m missing something, but would you mind pointing out which “left-wing” candidates promote doctrine like that of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or “new age folks,” or “atheistism” as a fundamental part of their perspectives on debate about scientific issues?

        You know, like when Bachmann talks about the homos.ex.uality as “part of”

      • Judith

        A Gallup poll of the US on global warming shows 36% “a result of human activities”, 47% “a result of natural causes” and 14% both. That is a 11% advantage of “natural” over “human”. (EU polls 49% human, 23% natural, 20% both).

        40% say seriousness of global warming is exaggerated.

        Global warming is at the bottom of environmental concerns.

        54% are concerned over economic growth, 36% over global warming.

        Thus Perry’s position appears pragmatic. He needs to clearly get across that there is substantial uncertainty, (BUT NOT say that that there is NO evidence of human impact).

      • Judith
        Please be more precise on Perry’s position on education and origins.
        Perry favors ID in science class

        Gov. Rick Perry favors the teaching of “intelligent design” along with evolution in public school science classes but has no plans to push for curriculum changes that would require Texas students to learn the controversial theory, his office said Friday.

        Note, he was not advocating “creation science”

        On his own position:

        Perry responded “How old do I think the Earth is? I have no idea – it’s pretty old. It goes back a long way – I’m not sure anyone knows really completely know how old it is.”

        (That does not sound like “6000” years that a “young earth-creationist” would say.)

      • Sounds like a careful answer not to upset anybody. He could have just said billions of years and been on safe ground scientifically.

      • David –

        You don’t think there was something maybe just a tad evasive about Perry’s answer to the question?

        Just a tad?

        And David – Perry is responsible for appointing a Young Earth Creationist, dentist Don McLeroy, as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education.


      • And Texas schools rate quite well.

        “To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade.

        Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.”

      • Actually, that analysis is deeply flawed,

        For example, while he mentions the influence of poverty on educational outcomes, in drawing his conclusions he failed to control for poverty rates among different ethnicities in TX and WI.

        Are minorities in WI poorer than minorities in TX – something that can’t be assumed by aggregate state poverty rates?

        Are whites poorer in WI than in TX?

        I know your iowahawk sparined his arm patting yourshimself on his back after writing that post, but without controlling for poverty rates, his analysis is completely meaningless.

        He controls for ethnicity but not poverty when comparing states, even thought he mentions the influence of poverty on educational outcomes.


      • I think he makes the best point possible. Anti-Texas bigotry is rooted in ignorance.

        You asks “Are whites poorer in WI than in TX?” and you could have looked it up and answered your own question.

        Instead you, as per usual, chose a to smear Iowahawk.

        In fact, WI per capita income is higher than TX by 2,000

        Do you have any more dumb smears?

      • per capita doesn’t answer the question, Bruce. Try reading the questions I posed again.

        And the question is why, if iowahawk did the analysis to control for race, and he spoke about the influence of poverty, he didn’t control for poverty in his analysis.

        Use the Google and get back to me. K?

      • Come on Mommy Mommy. You do the research.

        Texas is doing well even if they are poorer than heavily unionized Wisconson.

        Anti-Texas bigotry ignores facts. Texas school children do above average.

        Whatever excuses you want to make up for Wisconson won’t help the children there — but the Governor of Wisconson is trying.

      • What are the poverty rates for children in Texas, Bruce? Is that another example of how fantastically Gov. Perry has run the Texas economy?

        You’re hilarious.

        But there’s another problem. Most of the states that don’t have teachers’ unions are poorer than Wisconsin, and have more English Language Learners in their schools, and rank higher for other demographic factors that make strong academic performance less likely. Rich kids in a school with a teacher’s union will do better than poor kids in a school without one, generally, but that doesn’t have much to do with the union itself. States with teachers’ unions do better, on average, than states without, but is this because of the unions, or state demographics?

        There’s only been one scholarly effort to tackle this problem that I’m aware of. Back in 2000, three professors writing in the Harvard Educational Review did a statistical analysis of state SAT/ACT scores, controlling for factors like race, median income, and parental education. They found that the presence of teachers unions in a state did have a measurable and significant correlation with increased test scores — that going to school in a union state would, for instance, raise average SATs by about 50 points.

        Two other findings leap out from the Harvard Educational Review study. First, they concluded that Southern states’ poor academic performance could be explained almost entirely by that region’s lack of unionization, even when you didn’t take socioeconomic differences into account.

        And second, and to my mind far more interesting, they found that concrete improvements in the educational environment associated with teachers’ unions — lower class sizes, higher state spending on education, bigger teacher salaries — accounted for very little of the union/non-union variation. Teachers’ unions, in other words, don’t just help students by reducing class sizes or increasing educational spending. In their conclusion, they stated that

        “other mechanism(s) (ie, better working conditions; greater worker autonomy, security, and dignity; improved administration; better training of teachers; greater levels of faculty professionalism) must be at work here.”

        The table below presents the average rank for the non-contract states.

        Average Rank Across 4 NAEP Tests
        Next to each state is its average rank

        Virginia……. 16.6
        Texas……… 27.3
        N. Carolina.. 27.5
        S. Carolina…38.9

        Out of these 10 states, only one (Virginia) has an average rank above the median, while four are in the bottom 10, and seven are in the bottom 15. These data make it very clear that states without binding teacher contracts are not doing better, and the majority are actually among the lowest performers in the nation.

        In contrast, nine of the 10 states with the highest average ranks are high coverage states, including Massachusetts, which has the highest average score on all four tests.

        If anything, it seems that the presence of teacher contracts in a state has a positive effect on achievement.

        Now, some may object to this conclusion. They might argue that I can’t possibly say that teacher contracts alone caused the higher scores in these states. They might say that there are dozens of other observed and unobserved factors that influence achievement, such as state laws, lack of resources, income, parents’ education, and curriculum, and that these factors are responsible for the lower scores in the 10 non-contract states.

        My response: Exactly.

      • Mommy Mommy, quoting from a teachers union sponsored paper makes you look dumber than usual.

        Actual Texas test scores are higher than the US average and Wisconsin.

        Your attempts to smear Rick Perry and education in Texas are failing spectacularly.

        Texas schools are doing fine.

      • Dr. Curry, this time ‘climate change’ is on a radar targeting screen, not a radar navigation screen.
        Do you think that any cliamte change is bad, or that we are adapted perfectly to the present climate? not to go off topic. But one of your colleagues, Dr. Dessler said this the other day and I am trying to understand what he may have actually been trying to say.

      • And Judith –

        Have you noticed who else, besides the political advisers to the leading Republican candidate disagree with your assessment that associating with YEC and anti-AGW sentiment is bad politics?

        Notice who else disagrees with your assessment that a “tinge” of anti-science is bad politics?

        A significant chunk of your “denizens.” Apparently, they feel that exploiting the far-right elements of the Republican Party is exactly what the candidates should be doing.

        Right here on your very own blog.

        David H. thinks that ID is a “major” scientific theory.

        David W. thinks that questioning whether Intentional Design is a “scientific theory” that relies on “scientific evidence” means that you don’t know anything about science.

        Who would have thunk it?

        But don’t let that give you the impression that the political influence among “skeptics” is of much importance, Judith. You know, there’s that whole “vast asymmetry” thang goin’ on.

      • Hayfoot or strawfoot,
        Epistomologee, haw.
        Can’t you keep in step?

      • Whether ID is a scientific theory or not depends on whether you allow supernatural explanations or not. This has nothing to do with evidence, it is a metaphysical issue.

        Evidence is a hairy concept, in fact there is an entire branch of logic devoted to it, called inductive reasoning. On the simplest model of science, any observation that is consistent with a theory is evidence for that theory, while any observation that is inconsistent is evidence against the theory. By this simple standard there is an enormous amount of evidence for ID. Basically every complex biological structure or adaptation. This is why it was the dominant theory for hundreds of years.

        Things become much more complex when there are two competing theories, for all the observations that are consistent with both cease to be evidence for either, versus the other. (Warming is not evidence for AGW, given natural variability.) Darwinism also explains complex structure and adaptation, so the evidence issue narrows down to specific differences between the theories, which I know nothing about.

        But basically, evidence is not the issue. ID is not considered science by those who believe that science cannot include supernatural mechanisms. Interestingly, Newton’s theory of gravity was initially rejected by many for just this reason. His action at a distance was deemed occult.

      • David –

        But basically, evidence is not the issue. ID is not considered science by those who believe that science cannot include supernatural mechanisms.

        Just because you believe that the quality of “evidence” used to support the “scientific theory” that life was designed by a supernatural entity meets a standard of “scientific evidence,” does not make it so. You may believe that evidence stands up to scrutiny from a scientific perspective, but there are many others who feel differently, including, no doubt, the vast majority of scientific experts in the field.

        Here’s one example of a viewpoint different from yours about the “scientific-ness” of the “evidence” for ID, with respect to key “evidence” as put forth by proponents of ID – the eubacterial flagellum, which is considered by ID proponents to be “evidence” of irreducible complexity :

        The very existence of the Type III Secretory System shows that the bacterial flagellum is not irreducibly complex. It also demonstrates, more generally, that the claim of “irreducible complexity” is scientifically meaningless, constructed as it is upon the flimsiest of foundations – the assertion that because science has not yet found selectable functions for the components of a certain structure, it never will. In the final analysis, as the claims of intelligent design fall by the wayside, its advocates are left with a single, remaining tool with which to battle against the rising tide of scientific evidence. That tool may be effective in some circles, of course, but the scientific community will be quick to recognize it for what it really is – the classic argument from ignorance, dressed up in the shiny cloth of biochemistry and information theory.

        The reason that ID is not considered science by many is precisely because the “evidence” proponents say supports their theory – the theory that that live could only exist because it was designed by a supernatural entity – does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

        The reason they think that science cannot include supernatural mechanisms is because they don’t feel that their is scientific evidence to prove that conclusion.

        any observation that is consistent with a theory is evidence for that theory

        I have a crumb on my table as I type. I created it while eating a piece of toast. I have a theory that all crumbs in the world, indeed, all crumbs that ever existed in the world are created when I eat a piece of toast. Is the crumb on my table “scientific evidence” for my theory?

        You, apparently, would say yes. I would say not – because my evidence has not been empirically evaluated, and the causal link between my “scientific evidence” and my theory has not been subjected to a test of falsifiability.

        What is particularly fascinating to me, David, is that it seems that think that something as fundamental as how one defines what is or isn’t scientific evidence isn’t germane to how one views science more generally.

        So let me ask you, you think that my concept of what constitutes “scientific evidence” is mistaken. Do you consider my mistaken view point on that issue to be irrelevant to my viewpoint on science more generally?

      • Note that flagellae do transport and mobility, and the clotting mechanism allows preservation of the internal milieu, both vital for survival, a vitality perhaps misunderestimated by some.

      • kim –

        I am not qualified to address the technical questions addressed in the excerpt I posted.

        My point was that David asserted, as a fact, that the “evidence” for ID is “scientific” in nature. Now he may be right. But there are others, highly expert in the field, who differ in their opinion.

        My point (perhaps I should have been more clear), is that David seems to be conflating his opinion here, with fact.

      • Once again Joshua, you are talking about the correct theory but calling that the only science. False theories are also science. And yes your crumb is evidence. Not much, certainly not good enough, but evidence none the less.

        You have no idea what evidence is. Please think about it. Perhaps read about it. Then if you have a new theory of evidence we would all like to hear it.

      • And yes your crumb is evidence.

        Thanks for confirming your belief – but I would like you to be a tad more specific.

        Is my crumb “scientific evidence” in support of a “scientific theory.”

        I have been asking you to answer this question, with that degree of specificity, in various forms, for a while now and you haven’t quite done that. So please excuse my persistence.

        Now David, you said that I was “ducking” questions that in fact I had answered repeatedly. I am not making a determination that you are “ducking” my questions, after all, this forum can make it difficult for anyone to answer all the questions posed to them – but I would appreciate some direct answers.

        And I will, again, ask you to answer another question I have been asking you in various forms.

        You have stated, repeatedly, that in my perspective on the “scientific-ness” of ID and the “evidence” in support of ID – I have a mistaken understanding of science and a mistaken understanding of what comprises scientific evidence.

        So do you think that my misunderstanding of these fundamental issues is indicative of anything important about my view of science in general, and my view of climate science in particular?

      • Joshua, you keep using “scientific theory” interchangeably with “theory”. They are different. If you don’t ask a precise question you won’t get a precise answer.

      • Kermit –

        Actually, I think I’ve been pretty careful about making that distinction in a very precise manner.

        Parenthetically, you will notice that when I asked David W. about whether or not my crumb is “scientific evidence,” he answered that it is “evidence.”

        And that’s why I asked him for clarification.

        If you could point out where I used “scientific theory” and “theory” interchangeably, I would appreciate it so that I could clarify what I meant to refer to.

      • Yes Joshua, you crumb is scientific evidence for a scientific theory. Is this clear enough? It is a stupid theory but it is a proposed general law based on observation, so it is scientific, as a matter of logic. (It is not scientific in the social sense that you could get it published.) The observation is real so that makes it scientific evidence.

        For the record, in our discussion I always mean scientific evidence when I say evidence and scientific theory when I say theory, unless I say otherwise, or make a mistake.

        This is really simple stuff. Evidence is the simple relation between an observation and a theory (or hypothesis, as they mean the same in this context). It is a simple logical relation, like a syllogism. Who says it, the context, influences, etc., none of this matters.

        If by scientific theory you mean a viable theory, a good theory, an accepted theory, an interesting theory, or anything like that then you need to say so. That is an entirely different issue and not one I have addressed here.

      • David-

        If by scientific theory you mean a viable theory, a good theory, an accepted theory, an interesting theory, or anything like that then you need to say so.

        Actually, I think I’ve been quite clear on that point, but I will repeat what is essentially what I have said many times.

        I don’t presume to pass judgement on the viability, or “goodness” or the extent to which ID is “accepted” or “interesting.”

        I have actually said so, many times.

        I am talking, strictly, about whether or not it is a “scientific theory,” based on “scientific evidence.” I’m not sure how I could be more clear about that.

        It is a stupid theory but it is a proposed general law based on observation, so it is scientific, as a matter of logic.

        It is my understanding that the view of the vast majority of scientists, who are trained in the scientific method, is that the evidence for ID is not “scientific” and that the theory of ID is not a “scientific theory” precisely because the evidence provided in support is not “scientific evidence.”

        I have provided you with an excerpt from a prominent scientist which, I contend, supports that perspective. Again, it is my understanding that in order for evidence to be considered “scientific” it must be evaluated through empirical/experimental analysis, and subjected to tests of falsifiability.

        For example, to contend that my crumb is “scientific evidence” of my theory about all crumbs being created by my toast, one must subject my crumb and all other crumbs that have existed in the history of the universe to a empirical/experimental research and tests for falsifiability (e.g., chemical analysis, to determine whether they all contain the same chemical composition.) It is my contention, that unless my evidence is subjected to such an analysis, it cannot be considered to be “scientific evidence,” and therefore cannot be considered to be in support of a “scientific theory.”

      • Sorry – this is a quote from you – not something that originated from me. I messed up on the tags:

        If by scientific theory you mean a viable theory, a good theory, an accepted theory, an interesting theory, or anything like that then you need to say so.

        Please refer to the rest of my post at 12:07

      • Yes your crumb is evidence for the theory. It is not evidence AGAINST the theory. it is evidence for the theory.

      • Is it “scientific evidence?”

        Is it “scientific evidence” for a “scientific theory?”

      • Sure Joshua. It is clearly a scientific theory, however goofy. Universal, empirical, evidence based, and all that. So the evidence is scientific. (This is an established, even ancient, field of study you know, or perhaps not.)

        Unless you have a private language, which I strongly suspect. When you quote a term it means that you are not using the ordinary meaning, but some other meaning, which is not explained. If you mean by “scientific theory” and “scientific evidence” something other than scientific theory and scientific evidence you may well be right but we have no idea if you are because you are making up your own language.

      • It’s all chaff.

      • Scythed, flayed wheat in wind,
        Punjabi et Oglallah.
        Look up! Falls the Word.

      • Thanks for answering David.

        I’ll leave others reading this to judge whether or not a crumb on my table is “scientific evidence” for my “scientific theory” that all crumbs in the universe, throughout the history of the cosmos, were created by my eating a piece of toast – and as to whether or not that viewpoint comports with the accepted definitions of “scientific theory, and “scientific evidence.”

        Further, to clarify another question that I asked that you left unanswered – I am also concluding from your most recent post, that it is consistent to interpret your viewpoint that:

        (1) Because in the past, events that took place were considered “scientific evidence” of a “scientific theory” that the configuration of stars and planets determined future events,you consider astrology, like ID, to be a “scientific theory” supported by “scientific evidence.”

        (2) regardless of what was previously thought about the “scientific” nature of astrology, you consider astrology to be a “scientific theory” supported by “scientific evidence,” and that the standard definitions of those terms is consistent with such a viewpoint.

        And just to put a final point on this:

        You haven’t answered the question (although I have asked it repeatedly), I am also assuming that you believe that my misunderstanding of the standards of “scientific evidence” and “scientific theory,” you think that my misunderstanding is irrelevant to my views of science in general, and climate science in particular.

        If you could confirm my assumption on that last point, I would appreciate it.

      • Joshua, once again you are using scientific theory and scientific evidence in quotes so I really don’t know what you are saying. But to answer your last question, I do believe that your screwed up concept of science adversely affects your understanding of the climate debate. This is apparent in many of your posts. In particular, you seem to think that the validity of scientific arguments depends on who makes them, and why. That is the ad hominem fallacy in modern dress.

      • In particular, you seem to think that the validity of scientific arguments depends on who makes them, and why.

        I don’t believe that I’ve said anything that supports such a conclusion. But in case I have, allow me to clarify my viewpoint.

        I think that the degree to which evidence is subjected to empirical/experimental analysis, and subjected to tests of falsifiability correlate to whether that evidence can be considered “scientific” in support of a “scientific theory.”

        That would apply across the board – no matter who it is that is a proponent of any particular theory.

        I use the quotations to help distinguish between my references to evidence, scientific evidence, theory and scientific theory. I have used the quotation marks in that way to help prevent any interchangable use of those terms. I hope that helps.

      • I do believe that your screwed up concept of science adversely affects your understanding of the climate debate.

        Thank you!

        I must say, it has taken you quite a while to answer that question. I can only assume it is because you are reluctant to criticize me personally, but I can assure you I don’t take it personally in the least.

        So, now, you have agreed that how I define “scientific evidence” and “scientific theory” are affect how I understand the climate debate.

        So – you have asked me repeatedly why I think this discussion is relevant to the nature of the debate about climate science.

        I have answered that question many times, but I now see that unless you make that connection with my viewpoint only, can we assume that for others as well, you agree that how one defines “scientific evidence” and “scientific theory” affects one’s understanding of the climate debate as well?

        And, of course, that would include people who think that ID is a “scientific theory” supported by “scientific evidence.”

        Wow! It has taken us a long time to get to this point of common understanding (assuming that I’m right that the connection doesn’t apply to me only). But it just goes to show that when people debate issues without rancor, they can arrive at points of agreement.

      • And although you seem to believe that I have done so, I never meant to suggest that it is evidence AGAINST the theory (love that use of all caps, Steven. It makes your points so emphatic).

      • Is it scientific evdience? I have no idea what “scientific” means in this context. In fact I think it may be meaningless to call evidence “scientific” or to call theories ‘scientific”. our process of evaluating theories and evidence is scientific.

        What does it mean to call on observation ( thats all evidence is) “scientific”?

        I’m not suggesting that you suggested it was evidence against the theory. I’m suggesting something else

      • Thank you, I’m glad you like the caps. But I dont think YOU got the point. so, I’ll drop it. Anyway, ID is a crock. However, you have to be careful. The principle method of reasoning used in ID is the same method endorsed by Oreske’s and other’s in climate science. Do you know what that form of reasoning is? I bet not.

      • I’m not suggesting that you suggested it was evidence against the theory.

        Sorry for misinterpreting your point.

        I have no idea what “scientific” means in this context.

        I don’t view these determinations to be context specific.

        I think that in order to be considered “scientific,” evidence needs to be empirically/experimentally evaluated, and subjected to tests of falsifiability. And to build upon that, theories that are not based in evidence that satisfy those requirements are not “scientific theories.”

        And again, I think that those requirements apply across the board. If there are any climate scientists have argued otherwise, I would disagree with their assessment.

      • Joshhua,
        I will type this s-l-o-w-l-y so that maybe you can hear this clearly.
        Being against the social mania of AGW is not being anti-science.
        Disagreeing with your faith in climate calamity is not anti-science.
        Being against the bad science and bad ethics exposed in climategate is not anti-science.
        And Obama exploiting the far left wack jobs by claiming that under his wonderful leadership he would lower the seas and cool the planet is far more anti-science than pointing out that AGW is based on dubious data.

      • hunter –

        Apparently you are confused about basic principles of physics.

        The rate at which you type has no relationship whatsoever, with the rate at which I read what you’ve written, let alone the rate at which I process what I read, let along my ability to understand what I read independent of the speed at which I read it.

        Further, I don’t “hear” what I read. I read it.

        Now apparently you think that I wrote somewhere that “being against the social mania of AGW is being anti-science.”

        I don’t recall ever writing that, or ever writing anything that approaches that in meaning. Perhaps you could be more specific about what I wrote that gave you that impression?

      • Joshua,
        I see you also suffer from the effects of a badly performed humorectomy.
        I did not sttae that you wrote the sentance you quoted, I was pointing out that you demonstrate that belief as frequently as possible.
        Good luck with getting your humorectomy reverssed. Perhaps they have some sort of therapy available you could see if your insurance would cover.
        Or is humorectomy, like plastic surgery, an uninsured elective surgery?
        And please- a standard AGW talking point is that disagreement with AGW makes one anti-science.

      • And please- a standard AGW talking point is that disagreement with AGW makes one anti-science.

        hunter –

        It isn’t nice to imply guilt by association.

        Please point out where I ever implied that disagreement with AGW makes one anti-science. Or, please point out where I ever defended that implication. I think that making such an argument implies a facile reasoning – and is wholly counterproductive in the climate debate.

      • That’s a possible real world outcome. The ID red herring is a major talking point in liberal media and in the crowd.

        If you can’t talk about the rotten apple you distract with another complicated flavor test of another fruit. AGW should be enough to refute the claim that liberals has a science bias. The issue to link to arrogant science claims is failed Keynesian economic doctrine, another clear failure and the root of the current credit excess issue. Most people understand this at some degree.

        Most people aren’t emotionally attached to ID, it’s a straw issue.

        AGW is winning issue for the GOP, they don’t want it “off the radar”. You have this all wrong as a scenario. Perry does have baggage like supporting at one time mandatory hpv vaccine which also has a planned parenthood agenda attached. he recanted but the damage is done.

      • Two possible boomerangs — one is certain. The alarmists have clearly experienced a significant boomerang. This has been acknowledged by everyone and lefties argue with each other about whose fault it is.

        The other possible boomerang is, at present, nothing more than wishful thinking by lefties hoping for something bad to happen to conservative politicians. We have nothing more than hopeful predictions from the same folks who embraced hope and change as a governing principle. Until we see real evidence of a ‘boomerang’, it will remain nothing more than leftwing wishful thinking.

  14. Judith Curry

    [This got cut by the spam filter – because of the NJ gov’s name? – so am reposting]

    Thanks for posting an interesting article on “climate boomerangs”.

    Regarding the Hart & Nisbet study, you agree with the premise that AGW should be a local or regional, rather than a global, issue, where local governments adapt to whatever climate changes occur, if and when they do so. This is logical and IMO certainly makes more sense than a forced, top-down global system of CO2 taxation and curtailment that will cost trillions and achieve no perceptible change in our planet’s climate.

    Regarding the views of US presidential candidates:

    Rick Perry’s comments are bluntly stated, but basically ring true to his constituents: much of the recent climate hysteria has been based on uncertain or even “doctored” data. The fact that AGW is not really driving our climate is evidenced by the current global cooling trend despite CO2 levels that have reached all-time highs..

    Mitt Romney is more wishy-washy: it’s warming (maybe) and some of this could be caused by humans (maybe), but the science is uncertain.

    Jon Huntsman relies on the “argument from authority” to proclaim that AGW must be a problem because the NAS says so.

    You have written that you apparently believe that Mitt “got it right”. I’d agree that he “got it right” simply because he covered both sides of the debate like a slick politician, looking for votes from all sides, would do. IOW he “got it right” for everybody (without really taking a stand).

    Perry basically “got it right: concerning the weakness of the science supporting CAGW, but he put too much of a political “left/right” spin on it (hey, it’s a Republican primary we’re talking about here).

    Hunstman stand was weak and sounded bureaucratic (“90 out of 100 scientists…”). Bringing in “anti-scioence” and “evolution” killed it for me.

    Adler’s opinion regarding NJ Governor Chris C’s stand is nice to read, but relatively inconsequential, as C… is not (yet) running for the US presidency. Adler also blows it by throwing in “evolution” – totally irrelevant to the debate on CAGW.

    I may not agree with your assessment of which candidate “got it right” more than the others, but I agree with you that presidential candidates (including, most importantly, the incumbent) should spend some time lurking (or even posting) here at Climate Etc. if they want to talk intelligently about AGW as a political topic.


    • Jon Huntsman relies on the “argument from authority” to proclaim that AGW must be a problem because the NAS says so.

      Why is this a bad thing? Do you prefer your politicians to make their decision based on their own assessment of the science (which will probably, just coincidently, align with their ideology)?

      The whole purpose of the NAS was to have actual science inform policy rather than just having each politician have their own “pet” scientist. This has served us well but apparently a significant fraction of the Republican Party has decided that we should go back to the Dark Ages.

      • Heh, the Dark Ages when failing to pay your bills might get you sent to ‘gasp’ Australia.

      • Joel Shore

        apparently a significant fraction of the Republican Party has decided that we should go back to the Dark Ages

        The “Dark Ages” will come when the coal-fired power plants are all shut down (as recommended by Hansen) and the lights go out.

        Fortunately, the US electorate are not stupid enough to let that happen.


      • The whole purpose of the NAS was to have actual science inform policy rather than just having each politician have their own “pet” scientist.

        Yes, it’s vital that we have politicians worldwide all singing from the same hymnsheet.

      • Joel Shore,
        We go back to the dark ages when we bankrupt ourselves on subsidies to windmill profiteers and spending our resources on problems that are predicted to be hundreds of years away.
        Sort of like the tumult the millenialists of the 900’s caused waiting for the return of Christ.
        While the purpose of the NAS may have been to inform policy with science, it safe to say that at least in the area of climate it has failed.

      • hunter: The people who are losing the scientific debate are always going to claim it is the ref’s fault. That’s no reason to get rid of the refs.

      • At 12:56 PM on 24 August, Joel Shore writes to hunter:

        The people who are losing the scientific debate are always going to claim it is the ref’s fault. That’s no reason to get rid of the refs.

        To the contrary. If the “referees” are obviously, demonstrably crooked, you mustget rid of the refs.

        Either that or get the hell out of the game. Secede. What the devil d’you conceive to be the reason why secession from these United States is being seriously discussed for the first time since the War of Northern Aggression?

        This is not a “scientific debate,” Mr. Shore. It is an exercise in political pillage. The “scientific debate” ended the moment the AGW fraudsters began getting their preposterous bogosity imposed upon innocent people by way of government thuggery.

      • Joel,
        You are tedious and I think it would be very unpleasant to try and do a business deal with you. It is clear your idea of keeping one’s work and fair play are not the one’s most people use.

      • Addressing manacker, at 8:54 PM on 23 August, Joel Shore had written:

        Do you prefer your politicians to make their decision based on their own assessment of the science … ?

        Yep. That’s one of the reasons why I enthusiastically support Dr. Ron Paul‘s candidacy.

    • Huntsman is going to do worse than John Connally did in 1980.
      any time spent talking about his positions and impact are wasted.

  15. Thrown but unseen still
    Biggest Boomerang of all.
    Which way the wind blows.

    • Indeed Kim.
      Physics says a feather should fall
      like a cannon ball
      but my feather blew up in in a tree
      so much for sensitivity
      where will the boomerang go?
      wither Windigo?

    • While pondering the physics
      Of backradiation
      A boomerang hit me
      In the head
      And I saw light

  16. This appears to be my new home.

  17. Does the laugh riot of the BRIC and other Developing countries and all of the Third World at the machinations of the hypocritical and self-defeating nihilists of Western academia qualify as the occurrence of ‘boomerang effect’?

  18. Given the thesis that Republicans think of climate science via its effect on their wallet, it does seem that the best AGW points are the ones that show the expense of pursuing the current course versus that of preparation or mitigation. It is probably also for this reason that regional impacts would weigh more heavily in their decisions, and it is unfortunate the climate science can’t yet be very quantitative on regional impacts due to the uncertainties being larger for smaller scales being considered. So even if this is a way for climate science to get noticed, there is no easy path there, and I suspect there won’t be until the climate variation is locally demonstrated in some economical impact (e.g. high costs of water, energy, or food), which might be too late.

  19. “In the absence of a freely available online manuscript, I will quote from Mat Nisbet’s essay. ”

    The 20 page report is available as a PDF here:

  20. Some boomerangs the Dems have thrown that will likely have a big impact on the next election:

    Obama restraining oil/coal/gas exploration and extraction – contributing much of the consistently high cost of energy (be careful what you wish for progressives, making energy prices necessarily skyrocket may advance your agenda in the short term, but it may be death at the ballot box);

    EPA regulating older coal plants out of existence before adequate replacements are constructed – killing jobs and contributing yet again to higher energy prices:

    Labeling all conservatives, particularly tea party activists, as radical, anti-science, racist, sexist homophobes – the numbers involved are getting to be too large, and the insults are getting tired among all of the electorate, except fellow progressives; be careful about energizing the base of your opponent in a general election;

    Massive spending over the last three years to preserve the left’s public employee base – making it next to impossible to implement new legislation designed for short term, pre-election, faux growth (ala cash for clunkers);

    And of course, if we go back a bit, trying to implement the entire watermelon agenda at Copenhagen, with the ultimate boomerang of killing any real climate related legislation in the U.S.

    It seems boomerangs are a double edged sword.

    • HELP! Electricity rates in Indiana are projected to increase 84% in 8 years from 2011 to 2019! i.e. from 6.4 c/kWh to 11.8 c/kWh

      • Isn’t Indiana a 98% electricity from coal state?

        No wonder the current rates are so low.

      • How much of that rise is because of subsidies to wind farms and EPA forcing the closing of coal power stations.

        “As part of the settlement, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. will permanently scuttle an idled coal-fired power plant in Gary and spend $600 million to install and improve pollution controls at three other aging electric generators in Chesterton, Michigan City and Wheatfield.”

    • That’s a boomarang arooma shang a langa shokker of a shiberee light a bill.

  21. Wicks its wicked way
    Slashing airs of policy.
    Hard, not fade away.

  22. Judith

    In terms of the “null hypothesis”, I recommend referring to:

    Don Easterbrook, Evidence Based Climate Science Elsevier 2011 ISBN: 978-0-12-385956-3
    (You can preview portions of it at a time). He has edited a volume assembling numerous articles high lighting “inconvenient” evidence which forms the “null hypothesis” of the degree to which climate naturally varies.

    Loehle and Scafetta (2011) . similarly model anthropogenic component on top of the null hypothesis of the natural climate variation modeled as 20 and 60 year oscillations around the long term rising trend since the Little Ice Age.

    Climate scientists wishing to show higher anthropogenic impact must then use Loehle and Scafetta (2011) as the “null hypothesis” against which they much show statistically significant differences.

    To date most validation efforts I have seen of GWMs have been miserable failures statistically despite the 90% confidence expressed by IPCC.
    Best wishes on your paper. e.g., see my posts under severe testing:
    Are IPCC’s models falsifiable?
    Proposed Severe Test
    Extreme Precipitation Test
    Regional trends and statistics

    Best wishes on your boomerang.

  23. Why it is, I cannot say, but climate boomerangs bring to mind for me the Fortune Cookie Game.

    You know the one; your parents may have played it: read the fortune out loud and at the end add the words “in bed.”

    Once anything is put out into the world, there is no telling what games people will play with it (in bed).

    However, it seems we’re due for a long spell of people playing these games in the context of the presidential race given how incredibly protracted the process is (in bed).

    Where we’ll see politicians and scientists complicating each other’s positions together (in bed).

    And we can expect it’ll be a big mess (in bed).

    Which will no doubt satisfy the fossil industry because the longer it takes to come to a resolution of the climate, the longer they get subsidies and unfair advantages (in bed).

  24. Call me crazy, but Perry elevating climate change into the national debate–in the way he has–seems like a win-win for Democrats.

    BTW, with Fox News now seemingly siding with Huntsman (on this issue, anyway, at least in the instance cited in my latest post), you have to wonder where this is all heading:

    • The Republican candidates (Huntsman excepted) are all-in on their bet for leveraging the Tea Party and religious fundamentalism.

      And there’s no way your one example out of hundreds of examples going the other direction support a contention that Fox News is staking out anything close to a “pro-AGW” stance.

      Ain’t happening.

      It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will the extremist candidates pull Romney too far to the right? If he gets the nomination, how many extremists will backtrack on their extremism to vote for someone they think is a flip-flopper and they think they can’t trust? Just how badly will the Bachmann and Perry campaigns fall apart?

      Ain’t enough popcorn in the world for watching this high-quality entertainment.

      • And how is it working out for Obama’s all in bet on AGW consensus?
        Has he made the climate better?
        Has he produced any net jobs?
        No and no.

      • If they are smart they promise investigations to get to the bottom of the issue. If they are dumb, they will allow the issue to be a wedge.

      • Good point.
        The whitewash of climategate is no small part of this.

      • The point is not that. The point is how one makes peace within the Republican framework. Where some claim hoax and other say the science is basically correct.. You make peace by promising to put the issue on trial. You make peace by focusing the attack on some other issue. And you make great theatre.

      • I agree.
        AGW has benefited from and extremely generous free ride at tax payer’s expense.
        A real review of the funding, the data, the conflicts of interest, the methodlogy, the transparency of analysis, peer pressure, is called for.
        Then a review of AGW policy demands: the real costs of windmills, the real economic costs of ‘green’jobs, the influence of NGO’s, etc. is in order.

      • Joshua

        This is the side show right now.

        The main event (and popcorn time) will be when the Republican nominee takes on Obama.

        Unless a major miracle happens soon, the current administration is behind the 8-ball because of a lousy economy and a poor track record – but the bright side is that Mr. O. is a fantastic campaigner and a great orator.

        Will “hope and change” work again?

        Pass the popcorn.


    • You’re crazy, Perry has a winning issue like none other.

      We’re only of touch from everyone ignoring AGW fear mongering like it happened centuries ago. The dog don’t hunt anymore.

    • intrepid_wanders

      Win-win, I do not think so. Once the EPA and Climate Change come to light, more and more people are going to see the direct link of emissions to manufacturing production and GDP and all heck is going to break lose. People that can not feed their families are not going to care about climate change. They may usually vote Democrat, but a job may be a little more enticing. You think that Greece, Spain, United Kingdom and soon to be Germany riots are in favor of climate change legislation? Hungry people tend to have nothing to lose in the civilization of laws.

      EPA Annual Change:
      EPA Fast Facts:
      CDIAC (Oak Ridge Lab) data and trend:

      Obama, maybe, Senate and House Majority, no…

    • Let the light shine in.

    • You’re not krazy, Keith, but you share with the left continued belief in the delusion that CAGW and green energy became. It is unfortunate that the issue has become so partisan, otherwise the sadly, hubritically, deluded left would see the problems in the science a lot more easy.

      Not krazy. Something worse. The Faithful.

    • Yep, Keith, I call you crazy.

      This is definitely no “win-win” for the Democrats.

      AGW is a relatively unimportant non-issue for Perry and all the others, as well.

      Opposing a direct or indirect carbon tax will go well with most US voters, I’m sure, but the main issue will be the economy, followed by the out-of-control government spending.


  25. Fox News has a bunch of progressives as on air personalities. Shepard Smith, Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel, Geraldo Rivera, Chris Wallace. I don’t know who Clayton Morris is, but he has lots of company at Fox on buying into AGW/CAGW. Someone alert the media. Oh wait…

  26. Still hanging on the other thread for Dr. Curry;

    Would you describe the “consensus” as left, right or center using the U.S. as comparative model example?

  27. The boomerang idea starts, or appears to start with a monolithic point of view and information source that becomes skewed. That is not the case with climate. There are several points of view with no central trusted source of information.

    Among the people on all sides who don’t understand the science, the various well argued scientific views are meaningless. They are guided by pixie dust and charming, charismats in all walks of life. True deniers are in this camp. The unconvinced, of which I am one, are well versed in the science, understand the issues, and are unconvinced either side has an edge. Because we are not believers we are considered deniers by those who are. Believers don’t believe in the unconvinced, are not quite as rapture-bound as the devout believers, and are capable of growing doubt. There are fashionable believers who make a point of being seen in the news and tabloids bearing the green staff of the devout believers, but in fact it is all lip service as they go to and from these opportunities in their stretch limos and SUV’s. The very green, very devout believers ignore the science. It is enough to know that in this direction lay suffering for humanity and it is that suffering that will put us on par with all the objects in nature that we exploit. The PM of Australia falls into this camp with Dr. Hansen at her side.

    All of these points of view are well represented in the popular press or blogs. It was not always that way. A spontaneous non-boomerang of intelligent but unconvinced climate experts, trades people, engineers, non-earth science scientists, bloggers, news writers, and politicians rose to ask this question: “I’d like to see your work and data – will you provide it, please?” and then all hell broke loose. Critical pieces of the consensus data and methods are missing and it is a travesty they can’t find it.

  28. Hey Nimrod, got your ears on?

    • Hey Nimrod, got your ears on, come back…

      • Hey Hunter, got your ears on, come back…

      • Hey Hunter, got you ears on, come back…come on man…

      • Hey Hunter, If you catch this I would like to know…OK, You wanted me to be booted because of this:)

        If I was to drop an oak ball from the top of Building 7, onto the sidewalk
        in NYC on 9/11 how many seconds would it take for the ball to hit the
        ground? Now time the collapse of the building itself in these videos.
        Remember your field trip to the planetarium when you were just a kid in
        school? I loved field trips…

        I hope your qualifications are better than Eli’s, he was not able to see
        anything unusual about this terrorist act, as the building collapsed. We all
        know every scientist can’t be Sir I. Newton but even Joe six-pack can keep
        the beat, 1,2,3,4,5, well almost 6. Gung-Ho, all.

        or that?:o)…

        I will now return this thread to your regular scientific programming, where
        the ‘white-washed’ will continue their vaudeville act, & as Dr. Joel Shore
        likes to say…

        “Let’s limit the pseudo-scientific nonsense to one topic at a time.”

        In three, two, One…

        Now, getting back to the incredibly-dangerous greenhouse gas CO2…

        Oh,… The Invisibility.

  29. Huntsman’s going nowhere, so his opinion is of little consequence. The actual frontrunners are Bachman, Perry and Romney. Is there a quote from Bachman on AGW that could be compared to the two others who matter? Romney is a true RINO and I do not personally believe he will get through the primaries. If he gets through there will be a whole lot of nose-holding in voting booths across the country – on both sides.

    • Yes, this is correct.

      This is why the in-the-lefts-tank media has worked hard for Huntsman #1 straw, Romney #2. Very similar in 07-08′ and the pro-McCain cycle they ran as they also ran in prior cycles.

      • It is to the advantage of the Chinese for the developed West to continue with exaggerated guilt over responsibility for CAGW. One wonders how the Ambassadorship to China of Huntsman has informed his views on the matter.

        One wonders how the views of Maurice Strong inform the Chinese.

      • Once upon a time Bill Clinton said that CO2 was plant food. I thought it was the beginning of the primary wars, but I suspect ‘meaning of is is’ has been given a tour of Uncle Scrooge’s vault and those beams in his eyes have the meanders of thalers.

      • Ooh, the fish to catch in an oxbow.

    • I think Bachman would say that we have too many filing cabinets full of junk science already …

      • For some quotes, appears semi-useful.

        Though it appears Wag’s characterisation isn’t too far from the quote on Bachmann.

      • At 10:05 AM on 24 August, Bart R had cited an article from The Hill‘s Web site to confirm Wagathon‘s characterization of Rep. Bachmann’s view of “man-made global climate change.”

        I rather like Dr. Ron Paul’s take (summarized briefly in that article on Republican candidates’ positions on the AGW fraud:

        “You know, the greatest hoax I think that has been around in many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming. You notice they don’t call it global warming anymore. It’s weather control,” Paul said in a Nov. 2009 interview with Fox Business.

        “Eliminate the ineffective EPA. Polluters should answer directly to property owners in court for the damages they create — not to Washington,” Paul says on his campaign website.

        Isn’t Dr. Paul the only candidate in this contest – on either side of the great big “Boot On Your Neck Party” – who has formal training in the sciences and experience in a profession which requires scientific literacy to function?

      • Dr. Matarese

        Surely, Dr. Paul would not be the only candidate who would recognize (or have handlers to do so for them) the hallmarks of confirmation bias in your sincere observations.

        And don’t all candidates have too much trouble already with the biases people (or handlers) express in their names?

        What sort of Dr. prefers an argument from authority over reason, fact and evidence, especially when so many have worked so hard to manufacture evidence to fit their foregone conclusions?

        I adore Dr. Paul’s long public record of idealism, and much of what he says agrees very far with what I’ve thought myself on so many subjects before the other shoe drops.

        Every skeptic needs a Dr. Paul, if only to remind one to re-examine one’s beliefs lest one fall victim to self-delusion.

      • At 1:53 AM on 26 August, Bart R makes a non-response to my comment regarding the summary of Dr. Paul’s “take” on the AGW fraud and my observation that he is the only candidate on either side of next year’s “advance auction sale of stolen goods” with formal education in the sciences and experience in a discipline requiring scientific literacy by yammering incoherently about “confirmation bias” and how I’m somehow supposed to have succumbed to the logical fallacy of “argument from authority.”

        Bart R, have you got anything remotely resembling a point you’re trying to make in this putzelry of yours?

        There is no “argument from authority” whatsoever in any appreciation of the fact that, as a physician and surgeon (he’s board-certified in obstetrics & gynecology), Dr. Paul is unarguably practiced in a profession which requires both undergraduate and postgraduate didactic training in the sciences, and is therefore more apt to bring to his consideration of the great hideous “man-made global warming” bogosity an approach informed by familiarity with what is and is not scientific method.

        Just how the hell do you define “confirmation bias,” anyway, Bart R?

        And in your undergraduate years, did you ever so much as walk past the door of a lecture hall in which a class in formal logic was being conducted?

      • Gee, Rich

        Delighted to see you’re in good humor and relatively lucid tonight.

        I doubt Dr. Paul’s credentials (which one can find detailed in his campaign literature, newsletters and so forth) are so rarified as every candidate (some apparently in broad agreement with his stance) goes without lackeys and supporters with equal or better credentials on science, and for all that I don’t subscribe to the view that credentials have bearing on the truth of one’s statements, else so armed by experts every camp of politicians ought be able to tell nothing but the truth.

        Hence, argument from authority — you seriously as an educated man do not see how what you say sounds to others?– implied in the casting out of relatively ancient credentials in a set of really irrelevant disciplines to the topic at hand because he’s the only one with the authority such credentials confer?

        As for how one defines confirmation bias, Rich M? Any old commonplace dictionary definition will do, or even most online definitions ( or or or for a few results for ‘confirmation bias’ on Google — I won’t dignify what came up when I Googled “Ron Paul Bias” with links).

        It’s well known you are of similar beliefs to Dr. Paul (which I think admirable, really, the active interest in the public welfare both you gentlemen speak of and act on with vigor and stamina).

        And there appear to be strong indications of a confirmation bias as a result.

        Who the evidence comes from shouldn’t matter, so long as the evidence is reliable.

        Who interprets the evidence does not bear on logic, so long as the interpretation follows logic.

        That you, an otherwise reasonable man, brought up by institutional adherents of the tradition of formal logic, resort to such magickal reasoning yourself simply adds more evidence that argument from authority is poor basis for drawing conclusions.

      • Senselessly second-handing online definitions of “confirmation bias” without making any case at all for how the concept might conceivably apply in any of my posts in this forum, at 2:57 AM on 26 August, Bart R maunders his equally unsupported “doubt [that] Dr. Paul’s credentials (which one can find detailed in his campaign literature, newsletters and so forth) are so rarified as every candidate (some apparently in broad agreement with his stance) goes without lackeys and supporters with equal or better credentials on science,” ignoring the fact that I was talking about the candidates themselves and not any hirelings or handlers.

        Yeesh, you’d think that if Bart R can’t make a point in his posts, at least he might possibly be able to get one.

        With equal pointlessness, Bart R says that he doesn’t “subscribe to the view that credentials have bearing on the truth of one’s statements” (who but a warmista or some other species of idiot would?) and then flops into fantasy that “so armed by experts every camp of politicians ought be able to tell nothing but the truth.

        Egad. Politicians telling “nothing but the truth.

        Whatever Bart R has been guzzling in the past few hours, I’d like a couple of liters.

        Bart R continues trying gormlessly to allege that commenting about a person’s training and experience somehow constitutes “argument from authority” on no grounds other than that – to Bart R – it “sounds” to his abjectly uneducated ear as if that’s what I’ve done.

        Yeah, Bart R is as the beasts that perish when it comes to an understanding of logic. This surprises anybody – except Bart R himself?

        Look, Bart R, it is not illogical to observe that, ceteris paribus, a person who has had to meet the curriculum requirements to get into medical school, and then the requirements not only to graduate from medical school but also to get through clinical training in a specialty field like obstetrics & gynecology is going to have to become literate in the sciences. Even a yammering incompetent like you really ought to concede that much if I hold a figurative blowtorch to your skull and turn up the heat until I evoke some activity in that clabbered oatmeal you keep between os frontalis and the nape of your neck to deaden the echoes.

        It’s not a matter of “the authority such credentials confer” but rather the training and the habits of thought which any formal education in the sciences tend with some reliability to inculcate. I’ve spoken about Dr. Paul’s experience and intellectual conditioning, and you, Bart R, are blithering about “authority” without even the most tenuous hint of sense about your desperate, sweaty groping.

        As for your baseless presumption that I am “of similar beliefs to Dr. Paul,” Bart R, there you are most certainly dead friggin’ wrong. In the sense that we’re speaking of religious faith (which is how the term “beliefs” must necessarily be used in this context), Dr. Paul’s “beliefs” differ from mine substantially.

        Anent matters of political and economic philosophy, however, we tend to be largely in accord.

        Differentiate between “philosophy,” Bart R, and “theology.” The latter is the realm of “beliefs.”

        If you think (gad, Bart R thinking!) that you’ve got squat from any of my posts in the way of “strong indications of a confirmation bias as a result” of my affinity for Dr. Paul’s political economic positions on issues discussed in this venue, then you’d best drag ’em out by way of quotation, hadn’t you?

        Hey, I’m an entrirelyreasonable man,” and I’m wonderfully willing to get something from you in the way of “evidence” for your yanked-out-of-your-tochus mockery of a contention that I’ve in any way wrought the fallacy of “argument from authority” by way of “confirmation bias” regarding my statements about Dr. Ron Paul.

        Personally, I think you’re just utterly full of guano, and couldn’t put a lucid argument forward if your life depended on it.

  30. I find this particularly interesting “Climate change campaigns in the United States that focus on the risks to people in foreign countries or even other regions of the U.S. are likely to inadvertently increase polarization among Americans rather than build consensus and support for policy action. In contrast, locally focused campaigns that highlight the risks to fellow residents of a state or a city are less likely to activate strong partisan differences.”

    Perhaps it says more about the American peoples’ ability to empathise with others outside their immediate community than the politics or science?

    • Or their good sense in not wanting to pay for expensive ‘solutions’ to ‘problems’ extrapolated from unproven ‘science’ presented by people who the majority hold to be likely guilty of data fudging.

      The American people have not been slow in providing assistance to the victims of real natural disasters in the past.

      • But if their local neighbourhood is perceived to be under threat, they seem to believe the scientists – that’s what seems to be odd (in my view).

      • Sadly, tallbloke, you just seem to think that the louder and more often you say something, the more likely it is to true.

        But, then, there’s a lot of that on this thread.

        Louise’s point about empathy is pretty clear and emerges strongly from the studies

      • “Louise’s point about empathy is pretty clear and emerges strongly from the studies”

        I disagree. Do a parallel study on U.S. Citizen’s responses to real natural disasters outside their borders if you want to try to prove that.

        By the way, I don’t recall ever having said this before:
        “Or their good sense in not wanting to pay for expensive ‘solutions’ to ‘problems’ extrapolated from unproven ‘science’ presented by people who the majority hold to be likely guilty of data fudging.”

        But you seem to think I’ve been saying it loudly and repeatedly, so you’ll have no problem linking to multiple instances where I’ve said substantially the same thing. Please feel free to do so in order to avoid people reaching the conclusion that you are making false statements in bad faith.

    • Perhaps it says more about the American peoples’ ability to empathise with others outside their immediate community than the politics or science?

      Yes, perhaps those nasty Americans aren’t as empathetic as the rest of the world who selflessly jumped in to prevent the deaths of Bosnians, Croats, and Kosovan Albanians.

      Or perhaps that aspect of “empathy” is a bit more universal.

      • Can you explain why “focused campaigns that highlight the risks to fellow residents of a state or a city are less likely to activate strong partisan differences” ?

        Why should the science be perceived differently if it is thought to effect people not part of your own community?

      • First of all, it’s a classic human (in other words, not just American) trait for concern to intensify with proximity. You might be shocked to learn that risks to family members excite even less partisan differences.

        Second, there’s the possibility that “focused campaigns” are treated less like science and more like advocacy or even advertising.

    • All things said, Louise, I think it says less about American peoples’ ability to empathize than it does about humans’ ability to empathize.

      Granted, the U.S. spends less as % of its GDP on foreign aid than virtually any other Western country.

      Well, and granted a country like Sweden spends something like 5 x as much when measured as a % of GDP on foreign aid than we do. But I’m sure that there are countries that spend less as a % of foreign aid than we do.

      Like, you know, Somalia, or North Korea. (And BYW, Louise, you’re British, aren’t you? ‘Cause the U.K. doesn’t exactly come up smelling like roses on that list either.)

    • –> “Perhaps it says more about the American peoples’ ability to empathise with others outside their immediate community than the politics or science?”

      Perhaps, it says more about Western Leftists and liberals–e.g., does the truth really matter to them?

      Everyday 30,000 people on this planet die of the diseases of poverty. There are, a third of the planet doesn‘t have electricity. We have a billion people with no clean water, we have half a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Do we care about this? It seems that we don‘t. It seems that we would rather look a hundred years into the future than pay attention to what‘s going on now. I think that’s unacceptable. I think that‘s really a disgrace.” (Michael Crichton)

  31. The most spectacular climate boomerang is realclimate, as a perusal of the denizens thread will confirm. This is perhaps best illustrated by the comment of ‘Frederick Bloggs’, whose experience closely resembles my own:

    “These may be strong words, but I would wager that any intelligent and curious scientist who spends a few weeks reading up about climate science at realclimate would come away quite disgusted.”

  32. Judith,

    The problem is that scientists are suppose to be our experts and any mistakes discovered should be rectified.
    Instead, the route of hiding mistakes and ignoring any research contrary to what was bought and paid for by grants that were biased based on politics.
    This generated the current problem of using uncertainty as a crutch for fixing mistakes so that all science does not collapse with the politics that fired the AGW movement.

    Science needs to be non politics but is paid by political policies.
    Quite a contradiction!

  33. In a comment on this thread, Judith noted that,
    “Perry seems to combine young earth creationism with anti-AGW, which gives the anti-AGW sentiments an anti-sciece tinge, which probably won’t play well in a general election. That is my take on the boomerang factor for the Republicans.”

    That is precisely one of the main points of my “boomerang” post. But I also argued that this association would damage the climate skeptic brand with the pubic.

    • Judith then has misrepresented Gov. Perry.
      After observing these tactics for decades now, it is clear that the way to destroy a conservative is to misrepresent what they say.
      The way to destroy a lefty is to quote them accurately.

      • How did Judith misrepresent Perry, hunter?

      • Linking ID and AGW is a liberal talking point, another example of Dr. Curry self-indentification between the lines.

        Look in a society that is pretty evenly divided only half as many people admit to being liberal yet they run the Whitehouse at the moment. How does this happen? Many thinking people are embarrassed by their peers and pretend to be otherwise when in fact at the root they are very similar.

        Explain how independent “libertarian leaning” Dr. Curry coughed up a check to “hope and change”, cap and trade Obama in 08′????

      • I don’t think that Judith “linked ID and AGW,” cwon. My impression was that she was saying that such a linkage would likely be formed among members of the voting public – among Republicans in particular – and that such a linkage would work to the disadvantage of the Republican candidate in the national election.

        Explain how independent “libertarian leaning” Dr. Curry coughed up a check to “hope and change”, cap and trade Obama in 08′????

        Common sense?

      • Just to add –

        Maybe it’s just me, and don’t think that I don’t respect Judith, I do – but that said, I don’t think that she has the power to “link” ideas in other people’s minds.

      • Off topic and nonsense Joshua. Worthy of troll status.

        My point was clear is you could rub to stick together; how does a “libertarian leaning” give money to a left-wing ideologue??

        It doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    • Or Perry’s handlers got it reasonably right on one issue and not right on another.

      Your “case” falls apart because you can not demonstrate that your proposed actions makes sense from the perspective of an individual nation.

  34. Woops, my argument about the collateral damage for climate skeptics (from Perry) is here:

    • Give it up, Keith. Hanging flat worldism, fake moon landing, and denialism on skeptics has already spectacularly failed. Leftists freaked, and fascinated by Young Earth Creationism are going to be disappointed that this doesn’t appear on the electorate’s radar, which is arrayed toward the economy.

      But go for it; let’s get really farcical.

    • Keith,
      Even for you that is weak.
      But if it makes you happy, do it until you go blind.
      It is as close to reality as you may be able to get.

  35. People are already skipping vacations, leaving their heaters on low in the winter and their air conditioners off in the summer, keeping their boats out of the water, worrying about the cost of filling their gas tank up to get back and forth from work, and worst of all putting off needed dental work, all to try and save money in what are economically hard times for a large percentage of the population. To think that the argument that matters to the general public will boil down to a scientific argument over the GHG effect is surreal. The argument that will matter is does one person want to increase the price of things they are already having trouble affording and does one person not want to. There may be some confusion in the Republican crowd as the boomerang causes some to duck but the only place it can possibly land is on the head of those supporting energy price increases.

    • That’s the empathy question again, Steven. State of the global environment or, errr, the state of my teeth, what’s more important? That’s gotta be a question that divides down partisan lines …

    • To think that what matters to the stressed-out general public now, or in the next few years, is more important than the scientific truth, and having an honest and competent science actually underpinning our civilization (rather than actively threatening it, as consensus climate science now does), is deluded, short-term thinking. Behind the politicization of climate debate is the real incompetence of the scientists in positions of power and authority (including Dr. Curry), and of the whole American system which has been thoroughly suborned by them.

      • I’m sorry, I thought this string was about politics. In politics what matters to the stressed-out general public is what matters. Did I comment on the wrong post in error?

    • To pay for your own dental care or have someone else pay for your dental care, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to spit upon others through the gap in your teeth or take up arms against his wallet to fill you jaw with his gold–that is the question.

  36. I couldn’t resist adding that in there. It is true, I see it every day.

    • Steven, well said. I see it too. The economic reality for the majority of folks is whether there is money left at the end of the month to buy food. Those buffoons that claim there is a higher moral imperative based on some wooly abstract idea of the primacy of scientific truth are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think that will chime with the ordinary man in the street. Too many middle class idealists with too much time on their hands, too many creature comforts and an enlarged middle class conscience. They need to set aside their liberal nonsense, get real and grow up a bit! Bah!

  37. Ricky Perry:

    It’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.

    Why is Ricky Perry is correct?

    Because of the observed data:

    The above data shows the GMT has a cycle that consists of 30 years cooling by 0.32 deg C followed by 30 years warming by 0.68 deg C. The magnitude of the warming is greater than the cooling because the warming of +0.18 deg C (=0.06 deg C/ decade x 3 decade) every 30 years modifies the cyclic cooling and warming swing of 0.5 deg C, by decreasing the magnitude of the cyclic cooling but increasing that of the warming by 0.18 deg C.

  38. Man in street: So how do you know that?
    Mann in white coat: I know it because I have a PHD in Climate Science.
    Man in street: Oh yes, haven’t I read some of your emails, aren’t you a Doctor of Data Doctoring?

    • Lol – nice one, Beth. I was just going out and that one has cheered me up no end!! Thanks for the smile!

  39. Booma rang rang rang at 2:00 AM, but no One answered.

  40. Oh I think I see where this is going now.
    The scam to get people to support their governments to hand over billions of dollars and the control over the energy used to power their industries, to a bunch of unelected faceless beurocrats in Brussells didn’t work because people didn’t empathise with polar bears dying in far off places or with a few extra fat bellied black kids dying of drought in remote lands.
    So now they’re going to try the same scam on a local and regional level where mayors and councillors are much easier impressed by meetings in exotic places and visits by dignitaries.

    And they’ll have the IPCC AR5, (with it’s regional forecasts), to back them up.
    Brilliant strategy, but it’ll still not work because the average Joe Blo recognises a scam regardless of how red his neck is.
    Although it will stretch the scam out for another decade or so and flush some more billions down the trough. Shameful.

  41. The reason Democrat voters hated Bush stemmed from the Left’s antipathy toward because he blocked Kyoto. Like the lone man in China who stood in front of a column of commie tanks at Tiananmen Square in 1989 Bush committed the unforgivable sin of supporting America with his whole heart.

    “Humans have always feared climate change and developed myths that our sinfulness is its cause. Accordingly, we always want to be able “to do something” about climate, to sacrifice to the Earth to bring about a golden age of climate stability. Unfortunately, both geology and history show us that the idea of a stable climate is untenable; there has never been, and never will be, a stable climate under human control. All we can do is adapt to constant change.

    “Our current obsession with the single factor of carbon dioxide emissions is little different. In a system as complex and chaotic as climate, actions with just one factor out of the thousands involved may even trigger unexpected consequences. It is vital to remember that, for such a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system, not doing something (i.e., not emitting gases) is as unpredictable as doing something (i.e., emitting gases). Even if we closed down every factory, crushed every car and aeroplane, turned off all energy production, and threw 4 billion people worldwide out of work, climate would still change, and often dramatically. Unfortunately, we would all be too poor to do anything about it.

    “Basing policies on worries about `global warming’ is a serious threat to us all, but especially to the 1.6 billion people in the less-developed world who have no access to any modern form of energy. The twin curses of water poverty and energy poverty remain the true scandals. By contrast, the political imposition on the rest of the world of our Northern, self-indulgent ecochondria about `global warming’ could prove to be a neo-colonialism too far.”

    (Philip Stott)

    • Well let’s see.. There was letting 9/11 happen on his watch … there were those two wasteful and destructive wars … there was the buildup of the debt … a little matter of the biggest financial crash since the 30s …

      I think what Bush supported with his whole heart were his friends in the oil and defence industries. Step forward Cheny and Rumsfeld.

      I don’t know, Wagathon. Perhaps you are George W Bush !

      • “letting 9/11 happen”

        I’ll meet you at the grassy knoll 3 pm today to discuss this.

        This from people who will die pretending the IPCC is even handed politically.

      • –>…Perhaps you are George W Bush !

        Maybe so comrade. If AGW was about science and not politics, then it would not be a Left versus right issue now would it? Obviously it’s all political.

        For all of the evolution of man, mastery over the vagaries of nature was as prized as the search for truth for its own sake. Now that the nihilism of the secular, socialist bureaucracy has reached its zenith in the West, what once had value is now worthless and truth doesn’t matter anymore.

        QUESTION: Do you prefer George Washington, or Mao Tse-Tung?


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

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

      • Unfortunately, people who don’t like the policy implications of AGW have turned it into a political issue in the USA. Leaving the country which should be leading the world with nothing to say.

      • You do realize that Climatology as practiced by Western AGW alarmist academics has been likened to the science of ancient astrology, right?

      • PaulB,
        You will look good in this:
        You are obviously well practiced at ignorant bigotry. The tinfoil hat will just let people know what to expect before you start talking and prove it.

      • Fascinating

    • The irony is that not only was Kyoto killed before Bush took office, its implementation would have done nothing, even if one accepts the most rigorous AGW mythology, anything for making the climate better.

  42. One war established a functioning democracy in a difficult tripartite region in a particularly geopolitically sensitive area; another was de-emphasized after routing and exiling the Taliban but now, apparently hopelessly re-emphasized by his successor.

    Debt? What about debt? Let’s talk about the debt increase since the appropriating body became Democratic controlled, 2006.

    The crashes roots in the bubble created by the Boston Fed study and political paralysis of regulation of F&F are being exposed to air and sunshine.

    • The calculus in Iraq is approximately 3,000 enfranchised voters for every dead American serviceman. A steep, but fair, price.

  43. Hart&Nisbet: “The deficit-model of science communication assumes increased communication about science issues will move public consensus toward scientific consensus..” Again with the consensus!

    Mr. Aldder: “Among other things, it leads conservatives to embrace an anti-scientific know-nothingism whereby scientific claims are to be evaluated not by scientific evidence but their political implications.”

    So as an engineer I must accept this (AGW) as scientific consensus or I must be an anti-science know-nothing.
    And JCurry you think Alder gets it about right? How to win friends and influence people.

    • mkelly,
      A great tell of how nasty and and shallow the AGW community is can be seen in their true believers doing the Owellian hack on language.

    • If (as a non-scientist) you don’t accept the scientific consensus, then what do you accept? A religion? Somebody’s blog?

      You can’t pick and choose what scientific consensuses (consensi?) to accept on the basis of whether or not you like the policy implications.

      Scientists will work around the edge of the consensus to confirm or question it, and, just sometimes, a new consensus will emerge from that scientific process

      • PaulB,
        Of course one can inform their actions regarding science based on politics, morals and economics.
        Scientists are not a priestly class of people with immaculate motive method or results.
        Their work product is not error free or above questioning.

      • Of course not. But at the scientific level, the questioning and the exposure of errors has to be done by scientists. Otherwise the rest of us have no way of judging the validity of that questioning.

        As I said earlier, the fact that you don’t like the policy implications of a scientific finding does not constitute a scientifically valid criticism of that finding

      • Paul B so all the clergy and lay persons that layed the early foundation for chemistry, physics, etc should be considered what? The engineers that gaved us some of the laws of thermodyanamics etc are what? Your loyalty to scientists is nice but mistaken. Anyone can and should question and expose errors of fact, math or logic.

        Science gave us eugenics and being against that on a moral basis was a better stance than being against it on a scientific basis.

      • mkelly

        They laid the foundations of the scientific method that you now seem to regard as unnecessary. The same method that quickly found eugenics to be without (scientific) foundation.

      • Your being obtuse or miss the point.
        Your quote:” …the questioning and the exposure of errors has to be done by scientists.”

        My point is that your contention is hog wash. Lots of folks not being scientists gave us scientific information and anyone can and should be able to expose errors. And I never said the scientific method was unnecessary.

      • PaulB,
        Your historical illiteracy re: eugenics is either very great, or your definition of ‘very quickly’ is not one used by reasonable people.

      • PaulB,
        No, people may not advanced physics, but they know the smell of bs.
        AGW stinks of BS.

      • paulB,
        As climategate demonstrated to those willing to bother to look, fraud is not a question of science.
        It is annoying but not surprising that when I point out that scientists are compeltely able to make mistakes detectable by the lay person, you simply repeat your point.
        Knowing a fair number of scientists, I can only tell you that the esteem you hold scientists in is no more appropriate than in holding a pastor or doctor on a pedestal that prevents critical review.

  44. JC’s message to Republican candidates: if you want to be well informed on the climate debate (scientific and political), spend time at Climate Etc.

    Or even better, consult:
    10 -12 year North Atlantic Outlook
    from a financially independent annalist.

  45. Here’s another boomerang on the republicans

    Let’s cut right to the chase, courtesy of Media Matters, which has posted this shocking revelation from Clayton Morris, Fox & Friend’s Sunday host:

    If you dive into the weeds a little bit on this global warming thing, you see that it seems that facts are certainly on Huntsman’s side on all of this and fact checkers have come out, and we’re actually having our own brain room look at this right now and any of Perry’s comments don’t seem to hold a lot of water.

    • Judith –

      That is one example that stands in contrast to the vast proportion of Fox News “reportage” on the issue of climate change.

      • Focus on the time derivative :)

      • Good point.

        But I would contend that your perspective might be a bit premature. In reality, I hope that it isn’t. But I fear that in time, my perspective will prevail.

        Based on my “scientific evidence.” (Insert happy face here – I don’t know how to put emoticons in a blog comment).

        And btw – if you have been following the ID debate (not that I would subject that upon anyone), I would appreciate a brief description of your perspective.

      • At 12:31 PM on 24 August, Joshua asks of Dr. Curry:

        …if you have been following the ID debate (not that I would subject that upon anyone), I would appreciate a brief description of your perspective.

        There is no “debate” on the subject of “creationism in a cheap lab coat.” There are merely professions of faith on the part of the religious whackjobs and the disgust of honest men.

      • I’m not sure, Rich.

        I haven’t seen any “religious whackjobs” in the debate on these threads – unless you consider me to be a “religious whackjob.” (II don’t feel qualified to make that assessment – although I have been accused of being a “whackjob” adherent to the religion of AGW, on these threads, many times – so you may be right about that).

      • I’ve always been of the mindset that it doesn’t take a religious whackjob to believe in creationism or ID etc. If you really believe in an omnipotent deity, surely (S)He can make the evidence look however (S)He wants for whatever reason (S)He may choose.

        However I don’t have enough experience to know whether IDers routinely trot out bogus “evidence”. I suspect we’d have a hard time PROVING it bogus.

        Having said that, I am a hard core agnostic if that denomination exists.

      • I’m a hardcore agnostic as well, Bill. Perhaps we can start a church of religiously fanatic hardcore agnostics and get special tax exempt status?

      • BTW – Rich,

        Just to clarify, I see you referring to people who believe in the theory of ID as “religious whackjobs,” and I just wanted to confirm something.

        You self-identify as a conservative, and as a libertarian, is that correct?

      • In pursuing the religious idiocy of “intelligent design” (and why the hell are we not discussing super-intelligent space squid?), at 5:06 PM on 24 August, Joshua asks of me:

        You self-identify as a conservative, and as a libertarian, is that correct?

        Of course, I am not a conservative, but join with H.L. Mencken as “an extreme libertarian.”

        While the religious whackjob (per Mencken) can be viewed as a mere “amiable comic character,” it’s when these schmucks get politically active and try to force their ghostly insanity upon children and adolescents in the government schools as if it were science, they’ve gotta get stomped as vigorously as possible.

      • Judith – I thought that you might find this interesting.

        PRINCETON, NJ — Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans’ current favorite for their party’s 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%.

        Seems that at least so far, linkage between Creationism, AGW skepticism, and politics is working pretty well for Perry.

      • Fox’s brains are just now getting involved? I can see flasks of CO2 in a vaulted laboratory, many hued from the various wavelengths of light under study.

        Off in the distance, torches and pitchforks await. Which brain will be implanted in the humunculum?

    • Given the complexity of the climate debate, it will be interesting to see which so-called facts are being checked. This statements of Perry’s is the only one on collide-a-scape: “Every day it seems new evidence emerges that the “evidence” for global warming has been exaggerated, manufactured or just plain wrong.”

      It is factually correct.

      In any case the climate debate is now back in the news, where it belongs. Note too that there is a big hurricane on the way to DC, so we will soon get that issue too. I love this.

      • No David that precisely isn’t factually correct. What you see are the same cherry-picked memes rearing their ugly heads around the pseudo-skeptic echo chamber. Perry may believe that, but he’s also playing to the support he thinks he needs to get the Republican nomination. Of course if he does get it (we liberals can but hope!), he’ll have to do a mega flip-flop come the real election.

      • Have you missed the new evidence Paul? We discuss it here you know. But your reference to “pseudo-skeptic echo chamber” suggests you would not know evidence if it kissed you, or worse.

      • I don’t know what sort of evidence you have in mind. For example WUWT recently drew my attention to a new bit of research about a newly discovered current north of Iceland. Reading the comments below that piece, you’d think that – rather than being just another piece in the jigsaw – the fact that this current hadn’t been identified up to now somehow “proved” that scientists didn’t know what they were talking about.

        In other words, the new finding is perfectly compatible with the existing science and even adds to it, but gets interpreted in the echo chamber as if it was another step towards overturning the hated AGW consensus !

      • paulB,
        AGW makes the claim that their theory of CO2 calamity is based on a complete and sound understanding of the climate variables.
        Time and time again it is proven that the is not true.
        The intersting thing is that the AGW faithful, like you, are so immune to any actual critical review of your faithful conclusions.

      • No – the uncertainties are there, and they’ve been made as explicit as they can be. But for that precise reason, its made easy to highlight the uncertainties and the areas of continuing research to give the impression that the science around AGW is much less settled than it actually is.

      • PaulB,
        The uncertainty range makes AGW a faith based enterprise.
        Trenberth new this when he tried to shift the null hypothesis to disproving that human activity has an impact on the climate.
        If he thought he had evidence for what he claims- that CO2 is causing a cliamte crisis, he would have stayed with that claim.
        He doesn’t and he is playing you for a fool.
        The tell you are a true believer is your persistent dependence on phrases like ‘settled science’.
        So you are immune to actually thinking about this topic, and are going to stick your rosary/mantra of CO2 doom.
        By the way, do you not at least find it odd that the scientists who claim to have developed the AGW doom theory are also the people promoting the solution? Is it not funny even a bit that as soon as we develop the high tech to even measure the items in the atmosphere, we immediately discover we are facing a climate crisis? One that can only be measured by the application of those new tools?
        Great conincidence. not.

      • Paul, unfortunately I do not have time to bring you up to speed on the climate debate. When did you lose track of it?

        Or are you under the impression that there is and never has been any evidence against AGW, and no exaggeration of the threat? That would be interesting. It is a claim I have never heard before.

    • The Republican establishment (Karl Rove et al) are desperate to nominate a candidate they can control like Hunstman or Romney.

      They don’t control Perry. They hate that.

      • Bruce, I don’t know about controlling somebody, I just think they’d like a candidate who has a snowball’s chance in a rapidly warming Earth of actually becoming President ;-)

      • They’d rather lose with Huntsman/Romney than have Perry elected.

        But I think placing all your bets on two related Mormons really falls into the DNC’s hands. Anti-Mormon bigotry is easy to use to smear politicians.

      • Paul is right in that the mainline Republican party is afraid that the right wing movement will cost them an easy Presidency. This is entirely possible, but the movement is on, so only time will tell. Predicting the unpredictable is a fool’s game, and not just in climate science.

    • Dr. Curry,
      Huntsman is not going to get anywhere on this.
      A question worth asking is how far has Obama’s position on AGW gotten him?
      I know it is fun to decontruct Republicans, but the process actually toughens up Conservatives.
      Lefties generally only get softball questions and enabling op-ed treatments. Then their supporters act surprised when things go badly.
      But I am impressed that FOX (the great satanic ‘faux news’) is now a source of insightful news and thinking.

    • JCurry says: “Let’s cut right to the chase, courtesy of Media Matters,…”

      You mean the “Media Matters” funded by George Soros? That Medai Matters? The Media Matters that is supposed to be a 501-C tax exempt organization that is now being looked at by the IRS for violating thier tax status. That Media Matters? Did not David Brock turn out to be a liar about something?

      You could do much better than Media Matters Ms. Curry.

  46. Judith, just to clarify (bit which will be apparent to anyone who reads my post): That last paragraph, starting with “If you dive into the weeds a little bit…” is not from me, but a direct quote from Fox’s Clayton Morris.

  47. Bruce,
    Or another way to look at it: The Republican establishment is merely desperate to have an electable candidate to run against a President who is up for reelection in a down economy.

    • True enough Kieth, but they are riding a backlash wave and that is a significant factor. At this point there is no way to know who is, or is not, electable. Politics at its best.

      • It will be ironic indeed if Obama wins a second term because the reaction to his policies was too extreme. That would be funny, but it sounds somewhat unlikely.

    • The Republican establishment gave us Dole and McCain, and resisted Reagan and Bush 43.
      The reality is that the republican establishment has spent too much time listening to the AGW echo chamber and being told it is not civilized to doubt the AGW fear mongers.
      Perry will likely not be the candidate, but it will not be because he does not gain the approval of the climatocracy.

  48. Keith

    The Republican establishment is merely desperate to have an electable candidate

    From my faraway vantage point in Europe, it looks like that “electable candidate” first has to win the Republican primary, and that Perry is leading Huntsman by a healthy margin there.

    How the Republican nominee will do against Obama will have more to do with the voting public’s perception of how good Obama’s record in office was (and how well the US economy goes). Climate change will, at best, be a minor side issue, which (according to US polls) will most likely represent a negative factor for Obama.

    As a grass-roots movement, which generally opposes big spending big government, the Tea Party will most likely also have a major influence on both the Republican primary and the general election.

    Unless something major happens to improve the US economy, I think Obama will have a very hard time getting reelected, despite a very slick campaign machine and lots of money.

    But who knows?


    • Obama’s one hope is to avoid having anyone critically review his leadership and accomplishments.
      The AGW community, by pretending that another one of their jobs is vetting candidates for the office, is desperately hoping to make their opinion on candidates count, since it is obvious they are not being taken seriously on anything else.
      For Obama his only hope is to continue to be ignored and to have fawning opinionators continue to distract from his miserable record and immature behavior.
      So making Perry scary and pushing anti-Mormon bigotry is all he has.
      The AGW community, being well practiced at bigotry and fear mongering, is a ntaural ally of Obama.

  49. John Whitman

    CERN CLOUD Results Out. No boomerang there, I think.


  50. A boomerang effect occurs when a message is strategically constructed with a specific intent but produces a result that is the opposite of that intent.

    There is no “specific intent” on the sceptic’s side.

    The data just says the global mean temperature is cyclic.

    No “strategically constructed” message is required to state the truth.

    Let the middle-class continue to overcome its boredom by discussing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (man made global warming).

  51. “There is no “specific intent” on the sceptic’s side.”
    Did you type that with a straight face?

    I’m assuming you believe that pro-AGW folks have a “specific intent.” And I would agree. (But I would say that people are moved by different intentions.)

    But climate skeptics have no “specific intent”?


    • “intent” has a manipulation sound to it.

      The skeptics are just responding to the fear mongering by the AGW side to stop.

      The data does not show any “accelerated warming” of the IPCC and it is cyclic.

    • I can only speak for myself, but for this (liberal) sceptic the only specific intent is science and transparency. To be sceptical is easy. You just don’t believe. Nothing more to it.

    • Curious comment – Keith

      What do you imagine my intent is for example..?
      It is most definetly not political.

      What is Andrew Montford’s intent, or Doug Keenan, or Steve Mcintyre, or David Hollands intent or even Tom Fuller/Steven Moshers ‘intent’
      If we understand each other, and I think we still clearly do not, we can all begin to have a debate anew

    • Keith,
      As informed as you are, there are skeptics who point out the deep flaws in AGW. There are skeptics who show the destructive demands AGW makes on economics. There are skeptics who show the lack of actual benefit from the AGW policies.
      Or how about an actual investigation of climategate?
      There are skeptics who are still waiting on an answer to where are the mitigation policies and technologies that work?
      AGW promoters have a range of goals, from a reading of the literature:
      Destruction of industrial society. Trials of industrialists. Huge reductions in the human population. A halt to development in the third world. Bankruptcy of the coal industry. More bird destroying windmills. Implementation of expensive treaties that do not make any difference in CO2 production.

    • The road to Hell is specifically paved with good intentions. The road to Heaven is generally paved with good intentions. Chew on that kloor; doncha know it’s a conspiracy?

  52. When the CERN director admonished the scientists to be careful of their interpretations of the CLOUD results, the predictable boomerang effect was to create more interest when the results were released. They will be published tomorrow.



  53. Stephen Pruett

    Evidence for ID includes things like the extremely improbable gradual evolution of 20 different proteins doing whatever functions they did, then at some point mutating to form a multi-subunit complex of proteins, each of which is necessary for the function of the whole. Are there examples illustrating how something like this might happen by evolutionary mechanisms? Yes, but only partially (like the flagellum example already mentioned that performed another function before a functional flagellum emerged). When irreducible complexity was the only claim (not ID), the work was getting published in mainstream biochemistry journals. However, when ID came into the picture this became a clear case of metaphysical rather than physical theory.

    So, evolutionary theory is sketchy on details but the best we have if we rule out metaphysical theories, which we probably should do if we are going to call the activity in question science. This does not necessarily mean that metaphysical theories are irrational or worthless, just that they aren’t science. Although you may not believe it, a lot of conservatives do make this distinction. It is not the science and evidence of evolution with which they have a problem, it is the elimination of the metaphysical. If scientists ever want more than 50% public support, we should emphasize that we are not (at least most of us are not) interested in ruling out the existence of the metaphysical realm, we are just unable to deal with it in science.

    Interestingly, the central argument for CAGW via CO2 is very similar to irreducible complexity, in that it is an argument based on failure to find other explanations. As observed by Phil Jones when asked why he was so sure that the warming was caused by CO2, he said something to the effect that he was sure because no one could think of what else could be doing it. This is like irreducible complexity proponents saying we have these enormously complex molecular structures and we can’t imagine how they could have developed incrementally by natural selection, so our conclusion is that they didn’t! I know, it’s not exactly the same, because at least CO2 physically could account for some warming, but how much? In both cases, these are weak arguments; not totally worthless, but weak. And then there is the last 13-15 years with no warming, evidence for much higher CO2 levels in the past without a tipping point, not knowing what causes ice ages or the end of them, not knowing what caused the warming in the first half of the previous century, and predictions that don’t seem to be turning out all that well (IPCC, 0.2°/decade)…

    • Stephen –

      This does not necessarily mean that metaphysical theories are irrational or worthless, just that they aren’t science.. Although you may not believe it, a lot of conservatives do make this distinction.

      Just for the record, while I think that the term “a lot” is a bit unspecific, I do believe that.

      By the same token, I also think that it is worthy of note that some conservatives do not make that distinction.

      You seem to be well-informed on the topic. Would you mind elaborating a bit on why you think that metaphysical theories cannot be considered science – perhaps specifically in the context of ID?

      • Stephen, the irony I particularly enjoy is that though the mechanisms for the development of such entities as flagellae are not completely worked out, it is taken on faith that it was by natural selection and standard evolutionary pressure.

        Powerful thing, that; faith. More powerful culturally than evolutionary pressure.

      • Isn’t that what metaphysical means?

    • “Interestingly, the central argument for CAGW via CO2 is very similar to irreducible complexity, in that it is an argument based on failure to find other explanations. As observed by Phil Jones when asked why he was so sure that the warming was caused by CO2, he said something to the effect that he was sure because no one could think of what else could be doing it.”

      Poor Phil is just a pseudo scientists, not a real scientists. He is to be pitied.
      A real scientists like myself would have told you recent global warming was caused by something we don’t know about. How do we know it was caused by something we don’t know? Because we know what we don’t know.

      • Like the cucaracha, you seem to be a creature of the night, Carey. And your comments that littler this blog–might we compare them to the droppings of those furtive, nocturnal critters, as well? I mean, ol’ amigo, your comments are really dumb. I mean really, really dumb.


    Former Iron Curtain countires decrying the loss of liberty in America:

    “…political correctness, which is nothing else than a misnomer for officially sanctioned hypocrisy.

    “In comparison with my life in communism, I live in an infinitely better world now, but in a world which is more disappointing than I had expected it to be in the moment of the fall of communism. My hope was to live in a more free and liberal (in the European, not American sense of the word) society than I see around me now.” ~Václav Klaus: “‘What is Endangered – Climate or Freedom?’ My answer is resolute and straightforward: climate is O.K., freedom is endangered.”

    • Klaus is one of my favorite conspiracy theorist. He believes global warming is a communist plot.

      However, my favorite conspiracy theorist is John Birch Society founder Robert Welch, who believed communists were controlling President Eisenhower’s brain by way of his brother Milton.

      • Wild, Cat.

      • Other famous communist plots:

        65 million in the People’s Republic of China
        20 million in the Soviet Union
        2 million in Cambodia
        2 million in North Korea
        1.7 million in Africa
        1.5 million in Afghanistan
        1 million in the Communist states of Eastern Europe
        1 million in Vietnam
        150,000 in Latin America
        10,000 deaths “resulting from actions of the international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power.”

      • HOLY COW, that’s more than 90 million plotters. They must be everywhere. Thank’s for the warning.

      • Yep, they’ve been plotted.

      • I don’t know about you, but I’m building my bunker as we speak.

        And don’t forget to check under the bed.

      • Heh, there’s 90 million rotting under your useful bed.

      • Your building a green bunker and your bed has Young Earth Creationists and Big Tobacco under it.

      • I recommend a tinfoil hat.

      • Judging from Climate etc. threads, they’re all sold out.

      • Al Gore likely has extra gold foil hats, you could ask him.

      • Kermit –

        Contrary to the conspiratorial beliefs of some “skeptics,” not everyone that disagrees with their perspective is in direct contact with Al Gore.

        Or for that matter, thinks that the man is anything other than a blowhard politician.

      • Didn’t you know tinfoil is bad for the environment. You and Joshua will need wax paper hats :)

      • But Kermit –

        Wax paper wouldn’t conduct the electrical thought waves. No wonder libz aren’t as obsessed with conspiracy plots as conz.

        It’s the wax paper!!

      • Oh, I forgot paper isn’t good for the environment either and wax is from petroleum products. Just purchase some carbon offsets and you’re good to go.

      • 90 million + victims of your implied “imaginary communist plots”.

        I would not be surprised if AGW turned out to a Chinese Communist plot and Al Gore their top agent since it has worked out so well for China.

        “Former U.S. vice president and environmental activist Al Gore on Tuesday hailed China and Japan for providing global leadership in tackling climate change.”

        “I think that China has provided impressive leadership,” Gore told reporters.”

      • Those aren’t the plotters, those are the results from the plots.

      • M. carey,
        Those were the one planted by the plots: the dead, thanks to lefty hard work.
        Your cynicism is rather pathetic.

      • Sad enough history, can you imagine people mocking those who died in Hitler’s camps?

        Of course the term “denier” does just that. The double standards are rather large in the debate.

        Then as now there are those who internally excused from relative safety the events listed. Those that watched repulsive behavior and views said little for social reasons. the eco-fringe of the IPCC gets full cover from media, academia and certain political factions. Some things never seem to change.

      • M. carey

        If it was not a plot why say “acclerated warming” when non exists?

      • Hmmmm…….Vaclav Klaus vs. M. Carey, who to give credibility to?

  55. “Rick Perry has never lost an election; I’ve never won one. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world. On the other hand, I’ve long been friends with Bill Clinton and George W., and Rick Perry and I, though at times bitter adversaries, have remained friends as well. It’s not always easy to maintain friendships with politicians. To paraphrase Charles Lamb, you have to work at it like some men toil after virtue.

    I have been quoted as saying that when I die, I am to be cremated, and the ashes are to be thrown in Rick Perry’s hair. Yet, simply put, Rick Perry and I are incapable of resisting each other’s charm. He is not only a good sport, he is a good, kindhearted man, and he once sat in on drums with ZZ Top. A guy like that can’t be all bad. When I ran for governor of Texas as an independent in 2006, the Crips and the Bloods ganged up on me. When I lost, I drove off in a 1937 Snit, refusing to concede to Perry. Three days later Rick called to give me a gracious little pep talk, effectively talking me down from jumping off the bridge of my nose. Very few others were calling at that time, by the way. Such is the nature of winning and losing and politicians and life. You might call what Rick did an act of random kindness. Yet in my mind it made him more than a politician, more than a musician; it made him a mensch.

    These days, of course, I would support Charlie Sheen over Obama. Obama has done for the economy what pantyhose did for foreplay. Obama has been perpetually behind the curve. If the issue of the day is jobs and the economy, Rick Perry is certainly the nuts-and-bolts kind of guy you want in there. Even though my pal and fellow Texan Paul Begala has pointed out that no self-respecting Mexican would sneak across the border for one of Rick Perry’s low-level jobs, the stats don’t entirely lie. Compared with the rest of the country, Texas is kicking major ass in terms of jobs and the economy, and Rick should get credit for that, just as Obama should get credit for saying “No comment” to the young people of the Iranian revolution.

    More to the point, could Rick Perry fix the economy? Hell, yes! Texas is exhibit A; Rick’s fingerprints are all over it. He’s been governor since Christ was a cowboy. The Lone Star State is booming. The last time I checked, Texas is kicking in a hell of a lot of the U.S. GDP. Unemployment is lower than the vast majority of the other states. Hell, we could probably even find a job for Paul Begala.”

    And there is more

    • “The Lone Star State is booming. The last time I checked, Texas is kicking in a hell of a lot of the U.S. GDP.
      Unemployment is lower than the vast majority of the other states.”

      The Texas unemployment rate in July was 8.4 percent. Among the 50 States, 24 had lower rates than Texas and 25 had higher rates. Why do Perry’s butt kissers think 25 is a “vast majority” of 49?

      • People are flocking to Texas because it is the best state creating jobs. Until those new immigrants find jobs, they will count as unemployed.

        “During more than a decade as governor, his state created more than 1 million jobs, while the nation as a whole lost 1.4 million jobs.”

      • They are going to Texas because it is as politically far from DC as is possible while still being int he US.
        Texas at last count accounted for most of the jobs created in the US during the current Presidential Administration.
        Unlike the Obamaton’s standard position, you will find very few Texans kissing anyone’s butt, much less the Gov’s.
        He serves a lively contentious state that accepts no one just because.
        That is why Obamatons are so confused.


    Awarding Al Gore the Nobel Prize for helping dead and dying Old Europe stab America in the back. Now, beng awarded the Nobel is practically the mark of the devil–e.g., on par with being awarded the MOAMMAR KHADDAFI HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE…

    • Sour grapes from someone who probably couldn’t even win a prize in box of Cracker Jacks.

      • Ooops, your psyche is showing. You are demonstrating a DOUBLE BOOMERANG.

        Fact: Al Gore is a seminary dropout and lifetime socialist politician in the Democrat party who has shown himself to be a hypocrite of global proportions.

        With the challenge to reason that these facts present–and given that such facts would cause or contribute to a change in attitude about Gore by any rational person–we see the BOOMERANG EFFECT as global warming alarmists whose attitudes have been challenged, attempt to counter the change in attitude about Gore. But, the Gore supporters have only weak and confrontational arguments.

        Nevertheless, Gore’s supporters feel compelled to attack all who now see that Gore’s prognostications of Thermageddon are supported only by weak and confrontational arguments. The 2ND BOOMERANG.

      • Many right-wingers suffer from Gore envy. I’m not sure why, but it may be because Gore is very successful and the wingers are miserable failures.

      • Yeah, I’d like to be that fat, too. ;)


      • Is this why the Left hated Bush so much and hate Palin and hate Bachman–i.e., out of envy and because Lefties ‘are miserable failures’? BOOMERANG!

      • M. Carey,
        Your dictionary is different from that of people who speak standard English.

      • I heard that his hand work, needs help. He is too pushe. That’s what the girls say… but hay, that’s progress. Banker next? Who knows? Saul good…?

  57. Sorry but this whole thread is based on a pretty well known game of partisanship by hyping specific comments on one side while strategically ignoring nuttier instances on the other side. Try reading it this way:
    “The GOP exaggerates the problems with the science,” said the anti-nuke crusader.
    “Republicans are all crazy extremists” said the animal rights activist who threatened to kill medical researchers.
    “The GOP’s rhetoric is almost violent,” said the anarchist veteran of riots at WTO protests.
    “It’s because the GOP has been hijacked by religious extremists,” said the seventh son of the crystal wiccan guru.
    “Republicans would destroy valuable research” said the Greenpeace activists who destroyed test beds of genetically-modified crops.
    “The left is the only movement looking to help the earth democratically, not by force” said the ELF member known for torching houses and SUVs
    “This must be a global action that is serious,” said the European official who worked tirelessly to ensure the world’s largest emitter of CO2 was exempt from emissions cut treaties.
    “The climate concerned want real action, now” said the activist who blocked nuclear power but will, for the 20th year in a row, head to an international convention to call for the same policy that failed 20 years in a row.

    • Righto–No no no not god bless America god damn America… Boomerang!

    • Well said.
      Don’t forget about the famous climate scientist whose civil rights were protected even as he assisted criminals in getting off criminal destruction charges, who endorsed a book calling for the stripping of the civil rights of hundreds of millions of people by the violent destructio of industrial technologies.


    US needs jobs. The Left has taken over the economy, California is going Greek and Blue-states’ love affair with the neo-communism of dead and dying Old Europe has become a death wish.

    Meanwhile, Bush’s Texas is a job-creator.

    The governor credited Texas’ low taxes, reasonable regulatory structure, and economic development incentives such as the Texas Enterprise Fund and Texas Emerging Technology Fund with creating jobs for Texans by attracting businesses to relocate to the state. Approximately 70 percent of the jobs created in the U.S. from November 2007-2008 were in Texas, with 7,300 jobs created in November 2008 alone. Texas’ unemployment rate is one point lower than the national average, and the state’s annual growth rate was 2.1 percent last year, compared to -1.4 percent nationally.” ~Rick Perry

  59. Here is a good op-ed by Paul Krugman on the anti-science thoughts and rhetoric running through the GOP:

    • Skeptics, and some Republicans, are looking for the face of science behind the masque of CO2. Paul the K sees the masque slipping and tries to re-adjust it.

    • Having read that opinion piece (that’s what it is, no more, no less) it seems that the major proportion of anti-science thoughts and rhetoric are emanating from Mr Krugman.
      I honestly thought you were above that sort of thing.

    • The ancient “progressives smart, conservatives stupid”. Only Paul Krugman’s 600th attempt on the meme and the narrow minded readers of a once important newpaper think it’s original.

      Sorry, take the lock-step consensus and go. No kool-aid for me.

  60. Dr. Joel Shore
    likes to say…

    “Let’s limit the pseudo-scientific nonsense to one topic at a time.”

    So what’s up with Pau Kriegman, the No-Bell prize winner?

  61. UVA all in on FOI blocking for Mann;

    The mother of all “boomerangs” in the making.

  62. A hockey stick looks a lot like a lopsided boomerang.

    Is this a coincidence?

  63. The Spencer-Boswell Boomerang
    The Spencer and Braswell story goes viral

    Earlier today I checked in to the WUWT dashboard and was surprised to see that WUWT had the #1 story on all of this morning: . . .
    Tonight, checking in again, I discover not only is WUWT still near the top with a follow up story, but the Spencer and Braswell story is dominating the top 10, labels mine:. . .
    (WUWT @#2, Climate Etc. @#5, Pielke @#7)
    The last time I’ve seen anything like this, where climate blogs dominated the top ten, was just after Climategate broke. . . .
    On the upside, this debacle has placed thousands more fresh eyes on the Spencer and Bracewell paper, as well as on the folly of the “failed peer review” process claim by the resigned editor of Remote Sensing. . . .
    I have a feeling that this won’t end the way Wagner thought it would.

  64. Judith –

    JC comments: Mitt Romney gets it right in terms of the science, mentioning uncertainties and caveats. .

    Looks like you need to update this post – along with your analysis about what various Republican candidates deem to be the politically expedient stance on global warming.

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