ACS Webinar on Climate Change

by Judith Curry

The forthcoming annual meeting of the American Chemical Society is hosting two sessions on Climate Change, one of which is available for public participation by registering to participate in a webinar.

American Chemical Society
Division of Small Chemical Businesses
242nd ACS National Meeting
Denver, Colorado 

Sunday, August 28   Colorado Convention Center, Room 205

8:00 AM Global Climate Change: What Citizens of the World Need to Know, C. Hampton, Presiding

  • Aeroglobal: Physico-chemical characterization of Saharan dust aerosols and their influence on remote alpine lakes and urban air quality, Natalie Mladenov 
  • Four decades of environmental chemistry and global climate change, Stanley E. Manahan
  • Ice on earth: Change is in the air, Ted A. Scambos
  • Paleoclimatology: Sources of evidence and implications for future climate change, David M. Anderson
  • Current and future forcing of climate change by emissions of CO2, Pieter P. Tans
  • Ocean acidification and climate change in the oceans, Richard A. Feely
  • Climate 2.0: Useful climate science and services for decision makers, Lawrence Buja

1:00 PM A Critical Look at Global Warming Data: An Examination of Driving Factors in the Wickedly Complex System Called Climate, P. Bonk, Presiding

  • Brief history of scientific concern about global warming and climate change, William Stewart
  • Cosmic environments, the dynamic heliosphere, and their imprints on terrestrial archives and climate, Nir J. Shaviv
  • Influence of anthropogenic surface processes and inhomogeneities on gridded global climate data, Ross R. McKitrick
  •  Climate science: Taking greenhouse warming seriously, Richard Lindzen
  • Climate science and the uncertainty monster, Judith A. Curry
  • Geological context of climate change as a basis for policy, Robert Carter

Instructions from Peter Bonk

From an email from Peter Bonk, convenor of the afternoon session:

Here is the link for your readers to register for the Webinar:
Title: A Critical Look at Global Warming Data: The Wickedly Complex System Called Climate
Date: Sunday, August 28, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:15 PM MDT
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/569495470
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
Have folks email an quick note to peterjbonk@gmail.com  if the link doesn’t work.
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As I mentioned, the morning session will be recorded in the room by the ACS and available for view shortly after the ACS meeting is over. I will also record the pm session via the tools that come with GoToWebinar.
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JC’s presentation
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My presentation is available [here curry acs climate].  Any comments would be appreciated, I still have some time to modify my presentation.

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JC comments:  I find it extremely interesting that the American Chemical Society is hosting these two sessions on climate change.  I am not sure whether  the AGU, AMS, RMS would organize a session like the afternoon one.

The webinar idea is a first for me.  I will be presenting my talk on Sunday afternoon from my home (need to make sure the dogs don’t bark).  I think this is a tremendously good idea, assuming that the webinar proceeds without technical snafus.   And it is a great way to make the proceedings of a premier scientific conference available to the public.

Kudos to Peter Bonk for organizing this.

235 responses to “ACS Webinar on Climate Change

  1. Give us a post on the CLOUD paper, will ya luv?

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110824/full/news.2011.504.html

  2. OT
    Thank you JC for no leaping on to the CLOUD, keep your feet firmly placed.

    In all good time CLOUD will rain down its interest giving substance:-)

    Please let the mist dissipate.

  3. Interesting graphic on page 22. Good to know that climategate was really Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter (?) and Bill O’Reilly’s fault.

    When a conservative questions the misrepresentation of data and inflated claims of certainty by the consensus, he/she is an anti-science climate denier. When a “moderate” or “independent” says the same thing, he/she is just following the scientific method. Since some of your audience might actually be conservatives, maybe including a political caricature in a scientific presentation might not have exactly the impact you would like.

    Apart from the reflexive liberal tourettes, an interesting presentation.

    • A bit of the Dr. Curry paradox isn’t it? Like quoting from Media Matters or other hard left publications, supportiing (contributing to campaign in 08′) Obama while claiming to be “independent, libertarian leaning”?

      No mention of the political culture of the IPCC consensus & supporters, just the surrounding players get “labeled”. They fall under the flattering than justified “tribes” that leave the uninformed guessing about what kind of tribes we could be talking about. A double standard by any other name over time becomes hypocrisy.

      Why the wall of silence and lack of specifics disclosing the political tendency of the IPCC and internal consensus support? This is a centerist activity? I don’t think so.

      • We must avoid divisive labels and identify ways that our opponents can “save face” and compromise with reality:

        There is absolutely no valid scientific basis for the AGW scare.

        Scattered temperature data were used to promote post-modern science, politically correct “Lysenkoism” [1] in the Western scientific community

        1. http://www.skepdic.com/lysenko.html

    • Not fair. I would have agreed with you, till I read the presentation. Go over the last 2 or 3 pages again.

      • I heard the point, I just think it revealing she would use a Media Matters link. There were plenty of other choices.

        She might do it just for fun.

  4. Ya know, in my field of IT security audit we have access to open forums, ideas, and webinars all the time, and as a matter of course. Including livestreamed conferences with open chat channels that are made available to viewers and presenters in real time.

    And this is from small to mid-seized hacker conferences like DojoCon and SchmooCon.

    So glad to see that the big, mainstream scientific communities are catching on.

  5. Norm Kalmanovitch

    In 1998 the climate changed from warming to cooling and since 2002 all five global temperature datasets (NDCD, GISS, HadCRUT3, RSS MSU and UAH MSU) averaged out show cooling since 2002 and the most recent predictions from NASA of solar cycle 24 and 25 indicate a repitition of the Daulton Minimum which bropught an extension of the Little Ice Age into the early part of the 1800’s yet there is no session on the current global cooling!!

  6. “My presentation is available [here curry acs climate]. Any comments would be appreciated”

    “Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.abstract

    Is this the guy, Anderegg et al.) you quote in your statement:
    ““Most of the observed increase in global
    average temperatures since the mid-20th
    century is very likely due to the observed
    increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas
    concentrations.”
    97% of climate experts agree with this statement”

    Has Anderegg written a new paper? Which outdates:
    “A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future”

    I am curious about “97% of climate experts” if you give a percentage than I suppose you have total number which it is a percentage of. How many climate experts are there?

    • Re the consensus.

      Previous examples of consensus

      epicycles and deferents
      the eternal, unchanging stars
      absolute time and space
      energy as a continuum (no quantum mechanics)
      steady-state cosmology
      the Milky Way as the entire Universe
      peptic ulcers caused by stress (rather than helicobacter)
      type Ia supernovae modeled as binary systems with mass transfer onto a white dwarf ( observational data – no donor companions found after the event)
      type II supernovae progenitors confined to red giants (SN 1987A <== blue giant) Astronomers are now forced to completely abandon models which had been accepted for many decades!

      Reading the IAC report on IPCC
      '…poor handling of uncertainty'
      '…vague statements not supported by evidence'
      The word "exaggeration" comes to mind.

      Given the limited understanding of aerosols and clouds, and the wide range of estimates of 'climate sensitivity' the confidence placed in the consensus would seem to be misplaced.

      • Examples for the sake of comparison, and to place the issue relative to known narratives, clarifies the point of the presentation as well as dramatizes the potential impacts.

        Many of g444’s offerings would be excellent comparators.

        Of course, so too would be other things 97% or more of experts agree on.

        Handwashing before surgery saves lives.
        The microbial nature of infectious disease.
        The atomic nature of matter.
        1+1=2
        ..

    • gbaikie,

      “I am curious about “97% of climate experts” if you give a percentage than I suppose you have total number which it is a percentage of. How many climate experts are there?”

      I am curious too. How many and their names. Who were the bright 3%?

    • William et al. (2010) surveyed 1,372 climate researchers.
      Of those – “climate experts” are self selected.
      William R. L. Anderegg, James W. Prall, Jacob Harold, and Stephen H. Schneider (April 9, 2010). “Expert credibility in climate change”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Retrieved June 23, 2010.

      “Convinced Experts” NCE = 817
      However note:

      The UE (unconvinced experts) group comprises only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200, excluding researchers present in both groups (Materials and Methods). This result closely agrees with expert surveys, indicating that ≈97% of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of ACC (2).

      So the 97% is based on top 100 “climate experts”.
      i.e., this 97% only says 97 “climate experts” agree, the 98% says 48 agree.

      See criticism by Pielke’s, Roy Spencer etc.

  7. Dr. Curry. Unless you have 1.5 hours you have far too many slides. I would allow at least 3 minutes per slide. Most are both rich and technical. Moreover, your narrative is deductive, with the most important points coming last.

    • Probably true, i will weed out a few slides and simplify a few others. Thx

      • What every you don’t cut the TSI reconstruction slide, to me it is the uncertainty highlight.

      • You might start with an executive summary slide. Tell them what you are going to tell them.

      • Dr. Curry. Our company teaches people how to meet, train, and make presentations online. You have 27 slides for one hour which is not excessive. Online presentations require you go faster than you would face-to-face. Some of the slides are not rich and technical so you can move quickly through them while others may require more time.

        The presentation appears to be a good one. I liked the light and easy way you approach a number of serious issues. The one comment I would make is that it appears you have no interaction with the audience planned. Asking the audience questions periodically through the presentation helps to keep the audience engaged. For instance, on slide 19 you could ask people how many people feel the statement at the bottom is true? Continue to give the presentation and when the poll is complete, share the information with the audience and make some comments. And/or you could ask a question on slide 22, ie. Climategate was a) much to do about nothing; b) raised some issues but it doesn’t affect the science, c) Raises some serious issues, but the science is still solid, d) Raises serious issues which put the science credibility in question, e) Raises issues which negates much of the mainstream Climate Warming science. Again you continue while the audience votes and then you share the results with them and add a comment of your own (from what you say on your slides, I would expect your position would d.

    • willard, I hear you. I’ve knocked off 3 slides, reduced the number of words and increased font size on others. thx

    • Great stuff, Willard!( I am a big fan of Guy’s.) He has 2 minutes per slide but his 30 point type rule precludes having too much content, which is what academics tend to do.

      Implicit in his discussion is not having readable sentences as well. If people are reading they are not listening. However, the trade-off is that your slides do not stand alone. If they are going to be archived online then they should be readable, as the archive may be more important than the presentation.

      • Latimer Alder

        Then archive the whole thing..voice and all. A play is written to be performed, not just to be read.

        Similarly there is little point in having a webinar if the content could just as easily be read offline. why go to all the hassle of turning up at a fixed time etc if the same could e achieved by an e-mail with attached presentation?

      • > Then archive the whole thing..voice and all. A play is written to be performed, not just to be read.

        Perhaps like that:

        http://randomfoo.net/oscon/2002/lessig/free.html

        Lessig’s method (and the idea of “performing”) works better when you make the same presentation many times.

      • It’s not just academics who put too much on slides. Hopefully you have seen this before but it is fun to watch.

    • steven mosher

      Guy is talking about a VC pitch. the only things worth distilling out of it is the slides per minute metric.

      • This format (20 min) seems quite common outside the wonderful world of VC world, in academia and elsewhere. If papers are advertizing flyers for data and code, one has to wonder what are presentations like webinars.

        In any case, the most important rule might very well be the size of the fonts:

        > If “thirty points,” is too dogmatic, the I offer you an algorithm: find out the age of the oldest person in your audience and divide it by two.

        This echoes one of Roger Black’s rules: **Bigger is Better**. So this guideline might be useful outside the wonderful world of VC.

  8. Judy – One of your slides in entitled “Why Is There Such Strong Belief Among Scientists In the IPCC Attribution Statement?”

    If I had been among the 97 % of the queried scientists who agreed with the attribution statement, I would have been troubled that my reasons were not listed among the seven you cited. My reasons would have involved CO2 forcing and sensitivity, methane, cooling aerosols, black carbon, solar variation, and internal climate modes including ENSO, AMO, and PDO. I doubt that any additional reasons would have been nearly as important for me, including the seven you mentioned. My guess is that most of the 97% would have responded similarly, and most of those responses would have been sincere rather than merely rationalizations for opinions that were really due to your seven listed reasons.

    I think it might trouble scientists aware of your talk that you included no scientific reasons among the ones you hypothesized. Of course, troubling others is not a reason to refrain from expressing one’s true opinion, but is it your true opinion that scientific evidence played only a very subordinate role among the 97%?

    If not, I think you should consider changing the title of that slide to make clear that in addition to evidence based on the science, the interviewed scientists may also have been influenced by non-scientific forces. However, I would suggest that you not let the slide imply that only non-scientific factors were important.

    • “but is it your true opinion that scientific evidence played only a very subordinate role among the 97%?”

      That’s a very good point. The other bogus nature of the consensus polls is they don’t quantify impacts. While I have doubts about co2 impacts I might go along realizing co2 is only a very minor player in climate change impact. The way the poll(s) is (are) engineered is to get the “yes” from most so the
      few can then spin the “yes” in to the alarmist narrative. The polls are usually highly targeted for this impact.

      It’s rather amazing the historic stakes that so little is disclosed on the nuances of relative impact of co2 opinions. The other point which I harp on is how the political culture of IPCC consensus largely gets a pass from internal review and disclosure. While I and many believe the IPCC is agenda driven politically the whitewash of “we are scientists above politics” is standard fair. All this while the core is closely associated to the eco-left.

      The weasel history of “very likely” is only only a quarter of the story and the core consensus advocates guard this 24/7. Even critics such as Dr. Curry avoid what is an obvious failure in the 97% consensus claims.It’s what percentage of climate change is rooted in co2 that is essential. sincde that would get no where near the 97% number the Orwellian word plays have been the order of the day.

      Consensus polls are largely spin polls by consensus supporters. Serious polls about IPCC political cultures are repressed internally and the public is left with a dishonest picture. Dr. Curry dances around this to her discredit. What does it matter if people think co2 has some impact if half don’t think co2 is a serious impact story and so on. How does this obvious point become so obfuscated? I hope Dr. Lindzen hammers on this as he has many times before.

    • Referring back to my earlier comment, an important clarification is in order. In referring to scientific evidence as a reason for agreeing with the IPCC attribution, I specifically meant evidence based on the scientific literature and not simply based on the IPCC report itself. I would hope that if the interviewed scientists were true “experts”, they would know what the literature had to say, as well as the basic principles that allowed the literature data to be interpreted, and did not need to depend on the IPCC’s interpretation of the literature (I also include evidence reported at meetings)..

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        scientific literature is not scientific evidence especially with the literature corrupted by fraudulent peer review that has allowed a completely baseless fabricated CO2 forcing parameter to be accepted as a valid input parameter into climate models which to date have yet to produce a single valid projection of global temperature or even forcing.
        According to the peer reviewed literature the increase in CO2 concentration over the past three decades should have produced a reduction in OLR of precisely 0.782Wattsd/m^2.
        Satellite measurement of OLR shows that no such reduction has taken place and in fact the OLR has increased overall by over 2Watts/m^2 over this 30 year period.
        Physical data demonstrates increase in OLR; scientific literature proclaims a decrease inm OLR. Science Protocol dictates when data disagrees with scientific literature, peer reviewed or otherwise, the data is accepted and the literature is rejected. If honest science was driving this issue the IPCC would have done theior job long ago and determined that the only possible significant human effects on climate result from land use affecting the Earth’s albedo and from the ever increasing urban heat island effect from expanding cities with growing populations with no possible detectable effect from CO2 emissions because humans are responsible for no more than 5% of the 2ppmv/year increase in CO2 concentration and the 14.77micron band of the Earth’s thermal radiation that is affected by CO2 is already so close to saturation that additional CO2 from humans is incapable of creating any detectable enhancement of the greenhouse effect as evidenced by OLR measurements.

      • But the 0.5 degree warming in that same period should have increased OLR by 1.8 W/m2, so we see that the feedback on top of CO2 is able to cancel this decrease leaving OLR more or less constant.

      • I read it more carefully, and the OLR increase I see (at climate4you, for example) of 2 W/m2 is in the atmospheric IR window, confirming it comes from surface warming, and won’t be affected by CO2 anyway. What you are seeing is just global warming, unfortunately.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        If you are familiar with global temperatures you will know that temperature anomalies have nothing to do with OLR which is the direct result of absolute temperature in degrees Kelvin.
        If you look at absolute global temperatures from NCDC posted at:
        http://junksciencearchive.com/MSU_Temps/NCDCabs1880.html
        you will see that the seasonal variation in absolute temperature is approximately 4°C ranging between 12°C (285 kelvin) and 16°C (289 kelvin).
        If you look at the plot of global OLR you will see the same seasonal variation of approximately 10Watts/m^2 over the course of a year and matching the global temperature perfectly according to the fourth power law.
        Simply put this means that incoming energy drives the global temperature and the global temperature drives the OLR and neither feedback, CO2, nor anything else is involved and the OLR is anything but constant!

    • I agree with Fred. The most obvious hypothesis, given that these people know the basic science, is that they think the science itself is sound regardless of these surrounding issues. The list of hypotheses here are saying that their view is based on blindly following other scientists, following the money, or following the political causes. This is not how those scientists would be thinking, only the non-experts.

      • That’s of course nonsense Jim D. Scientists have proven themselves all too political throughout history. AGW is just another prefect example of the central planning narrative following people who are invested in central planning group think. A closed group at that.

        There are thousands in stronger fields who reject agw alarmism. The measurements are weak, the physics and math speculative. The climate specialty packed with political correctness.

        It takes common sense to detect this almost everywhere, it’s depressing so many experts can’t admit the obvious.

      • Well said. In addition, the polls citing the thousands of scientists that disagree with AGW are never discussed. The 97% faithful have no trouble swallowing the gross distortions of the IPCC summary and the outrageous exaggerations in “An Inconvienieint Truth”, and they rushed as one to put a lid on Climategate. Small wonder they lost the public; they have only themselves to blame.

        Judith’s presentation struggles to be fair, but she is afterall one of the 97%, and the apple can fall only so far from the tree. Still, I love her for trying.

      • JimD,
        Taht is the equivalent of attributing holy motives to priests.

    • Fred, my issue is the “strong” belief. this group included biologists and economists. a qualitative understanding of how the greenhouse effect works is not sufficient scientific reason for high confidence in this statement. But I agree that scientific evidence should be added to the list!

      • It should be something like “interpretation of the evidence” since skeptics look at the evidence too. As you know, we have seen suggestions that polarization increases with knowledge.

      • Dr. Curry, given that you are saying that the strong belief is incorrect, the science per se cannot be the reason. You are trying to explain how they got it wrong. Perhaps “overconfidence in certain evidence, especially the models” is the best hypothesis. This would cover the experts.

      • David, agreed. I’ve added a bullet “overconfident interpretation of the scientific evidence”

      • Oops – perhaps I spoke too soon.

        I’ve added a bullet “overconfident interpretation of the scientific evidence”

        As one separate and distinct from “careful interpretation” of the evidence? Or is, by your definition, a strong believe necessarily based on “over”-confidence? (Of course, along with fear, mistaken belief about “deniers,” etc.)

        Because if your interest is in “building bridges,” I might suggest that to say that the only possible reasons for a strong belief are “over”-confidence or reasons that are invalid in other ways, might not be the best bridge building technique.

        Although it will likely find unanimous agreement among the “sketpics” that are on the “denier” end of the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” spectrum – if that is your intent.

        But then why even bother with the presentation – as no doubt, those in the audience inclined to accept such a limited analysis are already of that opinion.

      • Joshua thinks the only slide should read: The science is settled, go home

      • Not at all, Kermit. I value quality skepticism.

        And I don’t think that the “science is settled.”

        I think that Judith should be more accurate about things like why scientists have strong beliefs about climate change, and that she should quantify her “certainty” on “Climategate as a crisis of public credibility in climate research.”

      • A hypothesis is a hypothesis, not a statement of fact. To say it is an opinion to be explored for evidence would be an accurate representation. Unless she labels the slide differently why would you expect more?

      • A hypothesis is a hypothesis, not a statement of fact.

        That’s a fair point, steven.

        But still, while the focus of her presentation is to deconstruct the legitimacy of analyses of the data that would lead to different evaluations of the uncertainties than hers – to not list all the obviously plausible hypotheses in a list of hypoetheses seems to me to be incomplete.

        The question of whether it could be an effective “bridge-building” technique is another matter.

      • I suppose when the IPCC states “of course we could be all wrong and the skeptics right” we will have a fair presentation from them? I think you ask for too much when you ask for your opinions to be represented instead of those of the presenter.

      • I’m not sure how the IPCC is relevant.

        From where I sit, when a presentation doesn’t deal with obviously plausible counter-arguments, it suffers as a result.

        To the extent that you do think that the IPCC is relevant, I would say that the same principle applies to their work as well.

      • He does have a point. There should be a reason or two to be wrong without it requiring a fundamental character flaw. Something such as underestimation of the levels of uncertainty would be less confrontational language..

        Also, in decision making under uncertainty it would be nice to see no regrets policies mentioned, such as those with duel purpose like reducing black carbon.

      • Something such as underestimation of the levels of uncertainty would be less confrontational language..

        But even that is simply a matter of opinion. “Underestimation” is not a fact, but Judith’s perspective. The fact is that not all the scientists in question formulate their opinion on a character flaw or a belief in disinformation. Some % simply interpret the science differently than Judith does.

        She may be right, but her determination that the only way to have a strong scientific belief is via an underestimation of uncertainty is an opinion. That she isn’t even open to acknowledging other possibilities is quite remarkable.

        I find it continuously astounding that people who are concerned about careful interpretation of data make such obvious errors in their analysis (on both sides of the debate, btw).

      • Confident with the evidence would be the objective way to describe this. “Overconfident” is inserting your own subjective judgment.

      • Nice to see the acknowledgement that evaluation of the scientific evidence might, possibly, be one of the reasons for a “strong” belief.

      • Joshua, but doesn’t the slides dealing with Climategate undermine your confidence in that “scientific evidence?” It should.

  9. Good to see Lindzen is “taking greenhouse warming seriously” according to his title. Is this a turnaround of some sort for him?

    • Hopefully this will be a sarcastic based title. We should take GHW in the proper proportions which puts the alarm machine out of business.

      • Now having seen he has a similar title in 2007 paper, I don’t hold out any hope of anything new from him. The title is actually nothing to do with what he showed.

      • Lindzen is sarcastic by nature. The skeptics have an unfortunate tendency to use ironic titles that support AGW when taken literally. “Satanic Gases,” “Trashing the Planet,” “Unstoppable Global Warming,” etc.

      • David,
        I wonder if the sarcasm is worse than the hysterical fear mongering that AGW promoters rely on so strongly?

      • Not worse, but those titles unwittingly promote AGW, since many more people only read the title, than read the book. It is a stupid tendency on the skeptics part.

      • I don’t know, but I know I’m worried about space aliens wiping us out because we are letting capitalism warm the planet.

    • Lindzen believes in AGW not CAGW, and I agree with him.

      The direct effect of doubling CO2 is theoretically only .4 ° C per the British Royal Society. It is the supposed amplification by water vapor which hasn’t happened in the past so why should it happen in the future.

      In fact water vapor has decreased since 1950 or so.

  10. ‘One of which is available for public participation’ says a lot. Thanks, Judy.
    =================

  11. Webinars at the very least reduce the conference’s climate footprint, so there is a remote possibility that it will lead to a net reduction in total societal emissions (depending on its content and impact). The big fly-ins seem like obvious emissions losers–there’s no way the persuasion power of the conferees can compensate for the fuel they’ve burned to get there.

    Maybe the rule should be “greenhouse demagogues fly free–all others must use broadband.” We could rate “persuasion source CO2 intensity” and develop “rhetoric mitigation policies” including “conference cap and trade.”

  12. Judith:

    With respect to your presentation, it looks like you are trying to make the argument that a) “good science” entails concluding that there is great uncertainty over the human role in warming the planet and b) the consensus propounded by the IPCC and the scientific community results from extra-scientific factors.

    I agree, but if you want to advance your objectives, you need to really win on point a). Unless your oral presentation is much clearer than your slides, that won’t happen. It looks like you’re hanging your claim on problems of calibrating solar and aerosol influences in the models. The graphs in your presentation in no way speak for themselves to a non-climate-science audience.

    You need to make sure you pound that point home. For many, that is the key takeaway they need. The picture with all the different types of ignorance is neat, but I’d drop it in favor of a slide that says in words exactly why the apparent fits of the models are not convincing and why you believe there is uncertainty. Once you’ve established the scientific predicate, you can go on to address people’s motives for believing the “false” consensus. (BTW, the confessional angle is a good one.) Fred’s comment above is going to be typical unless you crush the argument on the (lack of) validity of the IPCC’s confidence bounds in light of the modeling limitations.

    • Once you’ve established the scientific predicate, you can go on to address people’s motives for believing the “false” consensus.

      Which would also apply to Judith’s alleged “crisis of public credibility in climate research.”

      Judith insists on the “scientific argument” that a “crisis” exists because she says it exists.

  13. If this represents the ACS position on climate change

    http://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/policy/publicpolicies/promote/globalclimatechange/WPCP_011538

    then how did they end up with such a panel of …… erm ……… sceptics?

    • It is probably a token to show balance to the Republicans who now control Federal science funding. These distinguished societies and associations do lobbying, among other things. Note that the panel is virtual, not actually at the ACS meeting. One hopes they at least schedule a room for watching the webinar.

      • David,
        Plesae tell us how republicans control science funding.
        TIA

      • Federal science funding is made and directed by the House Appropriations Committee (or it will be if we ever get an appropriations bill passed and signed). The House is controlled by Republicans. The bills that are coming out now are very skeptical of AGW. This is apparent to the entire science community, who track this stuff closely (including me). This is probably the only way that climate science will shift away from AGW, but it will do so quickly if necessary to save the field.

      • Are you telling me scientist will spin their research for dollars?????

      • Being humbled early by the vagaries of nature is going to be ultimately helpful to climate science. Too bad it didn’t happen earlier, and thank the object of your ultramondane beliefs that it happened as soon as it did. Imagine if we actually had ruined the world’s economy with a green financial bubble.

        Oh, wait.
        =====

  14. Speaking of uncertainty, Judith:

    A title of one of your slides:

    Climategate as a crisis of public credibility
    in climate research

    Perhaps you should include some verifiable data showing a causal relationship between climategate and a “crisis of public credibility in climate research?”

    Oh, right. I’ve asked about that many times without a response.

    Guess I won’t get a response now either?

      • Jane –

        I assume that you posted that link as a rebuttal to my question? Would you mind summarizing the data supporting an assertion of causation? I’m not asking for “engineering-level” accuracy – just a rough synopsis, or perhaps some follow-on links to text versions of the data?

    • What would you like, Joshua? How about newspaper article counts followed by the 10-15% shift in poll results? Of course there are other possible explanations, such as the general anti-liberal surge, or just a reaction to the Copenhagen hype, which was intense, like saturation bombing.

      Data do not show causal relationships, they merely suggest them. The theory of Climategate revulsion is mostly anecdotal, based on numerous personal accounts, including Dr. Curry’s.

      But as our resident mass psychologist you should be answering this question, not asking it. How much did Climategate contribute to the poll shift against AGW?

      • I’d like something that shows some attempt to quantify measures of causation, David, because that is what Judith asserts.

        As for the evidence of correlation -in addition to the shift that you mention, polls I’ve seen places scientists in general, as well as climate scientists, pretty well situated in trust levels among the American public.

        I know that can be highly questionable, but that knife cuts both ways.

        I think that Climategate, in the main, strengthened the perspective of many who were already inclined in a certain direction – consistent with the studies that we’ve seen that show motivate reasoning as an important component in the debate – as evidenced by data which show that as people know more about the issues they are more likely to fall in line with perspectives that could have been predicted by their social and political attributes. That isn’t to say that it isn’t causal for something, but to say that it is causal for a “crisis in credibility” is an overstatement.

        I think that Judith’s assessment of the overall balance is likely distorted because her shift in her personal perspective causes her to project her experiences to a wider context.

        I think that no doubt, it created a “crisis of credibility” among some who might have had trust in climate scientists prior to Climategate, but from the data I’ve seen, that number would be quite small – not sufficient to deserve the descriptor of “crisis” among the public.

        I think that the high levels of trust in climate scientists, as shown in polls, coupled with a contrasting trend in beliefs about the threat of climate change, may or may not be evidence of a crises “caused” by Climategate. As you suggest (which I acknowledge) it may also be that due to other factors such as partisan media (e.g., the mainstream media outlets of Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O’Reily, Savage, Alex Jones, Medved, Bennett, Ingraham, etc.) that has created a situation where many in the public do not actually now the viewpoint of the majority of climate scientist regarding the theory that GW is 90% likely to be A – and mistakenly underestimate the strengths of the “consensus” viewpoint.

        But honestly, David – I have absolutely no problem with speculation about causation based on indirect evidence of correlation (please note indirect because Judith claims a crises of confidence in the science commulnity based on evidence of a shift in perspective on the dangers of AGW) – but I do have a problem with facile statements of causation (which I have seen Judith make over and over) without quantification of the evidence supporting causation.

        I think such facile attribution of cause, in the face of uncertainty, is incredibly ironic every single time that Judith writes those kinds of statements. And for her to make such statements at this kind of conference is one thing – but to then say that her interest is in building bridges between public opinion and legitimate science, seems to me to be highly contradictory.

      • Sorry – it should read that I know that polls can be highly questionable but that knife cuts both ways.

      • Joshua, I think the warmers who watched Kyoto go down the drain in Copenhagen would agree there is a crisis. In any case the poll shift toward skepticism seems real. The scientific question is how to quantify the Climategate contribution? This is your field, not mine, so what do you suggest? It appears that a lot of social scientists are getting money for this sort of research. Maybe we can too.

      • It’s not my field, actually.

        Yes – I completely agree that the question is how to quantify the causation – well, if we agree that relative to other issues, precisely quantifying the causation related to Climategate is really that important.

        I do think it is important at some level – but I think that what is more important is for both sides to work together to use Climategate as an object lesson. I see finger-pointing, which is abundantly apparent on both sides (and I reject focusing that argument on who “did it first.” as juvenile) to be largely counter-productive, and I see most attempts to quantify the impact to be motivated by objectives of assigning blame to the other side.

        I think that quantifying the causation is a landmine – particularly in such a highly politicized context. There are people, however, who are taking that endeavor seriously, and facile attribution of causation do not further that cause. Not in the least. I see it as only feeding back into exacerbating the problem (a positive forcing feedback loop, if you will) .

        I first became interested in Judith’s input into the climate debate when I heard her on the radio talking about tribalism among scientists. I was highly impressed with the logic of her argument. However, since I started coming to this website, I have seen her fairly consistently do things that I believe unnecessarily contribute to the tribalism (please note, I in no way mean to imply that that is the sum, or even the balance, of her work).

        Given that polls are attacked equally vociferously from both sides, it seems to me that the psychologically-oriented studies that we’ve seen discussed her at Climate etc. are the least likely to cause knee-jerk dismissal from partisans. I think that the point is to view causation related to Climategate as a symptom of a larger phenomena of human nature, not something more attributable to one side or the other in the debate. But, unfortunately, IMO, Judith feeds right into the tribalism by presenting those studies from a tribal framework.

        Sorry for being so long-winded – but , IMO, a lot of what you write about is on track towards understanding the phenomenon as a question of how people reason – although I would differ in that I think that in approaching that question without investigating the “why” of how people reason is building an analysis on a foundation of false dichotomy.

      • Climategate reflected on both sides…of course, how silly to think otherwise! Move along there!

      • So then you suggest that Judith simply remove that part of her presentation?

        Judith – what do you think?

      • right now i’m thinking of removing the 3 climategate slides.

      • Well, from one perspective, not speaking about ClimateGate would be like talking about politicized hurricanes without mentioning Katrina. The elephant in the room should be acknowledged if only to show that you know about it.

        Sure, we know practically all potential viewers know this much inside baseball, but this is to be broadcast to the world, no?

        Or oughta be.
        ======

      • Kim –

        You seem to be mistaken. The whole world already knows about Climategate inside and out.

        It has caused a “crisis of confidence” all across the planet.

        Did you forget?

      • Thanks, Josh; it’s coming back now through a vague memory fog. But see, you had to mention it or poof, it was gone.
        =============

      • Ironically, the ClimateGate principals were trying their best to tame the uncertainty beast, they were just going about it in the wrong way. They were doing so by taming it within the circus tent of peer review, unwilling to meet it on its own terms in the wild.
        =============

      • Joshua,

        50% climategate
        50% cooling

        With some overlap. Some people didn’t know about the cooling before climategate. Many people haven’t heard about climategate yet. It still hasn’t really hit mainstream. Denial about climategate is still strong.

      • Edim –

        Just speculation or do you have some data?

      • Just speculation.

      • Listening to the conversations.
        =============

      • “As you suggest (which I acknowledge) it may also be that due to other factors such as partisan media (e.g., the mainstream media outlets of Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O’Reily, Savage, Alex Jones, Medved, Bennett, Ingraham, etc.) that has created a situation where many in the public do not actually now the viewpoint of the majority of climate scientist regarding the theory that GW is 90% likely to be A – and mistakenly underestimate the strengths of the “consensus” viewpoint.”

        The “partisan media” you identify does a much better job of presenting both sides of the issue than the “other partisan media” (ABC, MSNBC, NBC, CNN, Public Radio, etc). With partisanship on both sides, the public has to make up its own mind about the truth. We believe weathermen because we can evaluate their predictions. We don’t believe Climate Scientists because they exaggerate and dissemble.

    • Hmmm, let’s see. The meeting in Copenhagen was supposed to come up with an agreement to limit carbon emissions. One month before it began, we had Climategate. Nothing came out of Copenhagen and the public’s belief in AGW is plummeting. Now coincidence is not causation, but what else would you attribute it to?

  15. Hello all, I will briefly discuss the “behind the scenes” of this symposium after it has concluded. Some of it is the “inside baseball” of the ACS. Stay tuned.

    Dr. Curry, thanks for your kind comment!
    Pete

  16. Pete Bonk or Judith:

    Is there a link for more detailed information about the webinar, like who is William Stewart? There’s nothing on the ACS site so far as I can see.

    • Most of the information is at the ACS website; this particular program is under the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses (!!), and access may be limited to ACS members.
      William Stewart is an attorney and author of “Climate of Uncertainty”. The book does a good job of putting the AGW hubbub in a historical context. His lead talk should serve as a good place to start the discussion.

  17. Dr. Curry
    TSI graph could be better; you can get data from:
    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%20(Reconstructions).txt

  18. Dr Curry,
    Your second slide shows the IPCC’s conclusion that
    “Most of the observed increase in global
    average temperatures since the mid-20th
    century is very likely due to the observed
    increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas
    concentrations.”

    However the comment that “97% of climate experts agree with this statement
    (Anderegg et al. 2010; Doran 2009) ”
    appears to misrepresent the findings of the Doran (2009) study, and makes no mention of the size of the sample from which the 97% figure is drawn.

    A. The respondents whose responses were taken into account in the Doran study were
    “…those who listed climate science
    as their area of expertise and who
    also have published more than 50% of
    their recent peer-reviewed
    papers on the
    subject of climate change (79 individuals
    in total). ”
    B. The questions asked in the Doran study were:
    “1. When compared with pre-1800s
    levels,
    do you think that mean global temperatures
    have generally risen, fallen, or
    remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant
    contributing factor in changing
    mean global temperatures?”
    C. “Of these specialists, 96.2%
    (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1
    and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question
    2.”‘

    There is no mention of the ‘20th century’ or of ‘greenhouse gas’ in either of the Doran survey questions. Many, perhaps most, climate sceptics and IPCC critics could happily answer ‘risen’ to the first question (after all, since the 18th C we have been emerging from the little ice age), and I suspect many would answer ‘yes’ to the second question, especially if UHI is taken into account.
    Perhaps the Anderegg et al study provides something relevant to the discussion. But what is the point of referring to Doran?

    • good point, i’ll remove the doran reference. the anderegg paper is specifically about the attribution statement

      • There are other polls which show a more differing range of view points among climate scientists.

        http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html

        http://www.centralcoastclimatescience.org/poll-annan.pdf

        It could just be my bias, but I am more inclined to trust the results of polls that don’t show such high percentages of agreement among scientists when the arguments are not rock solid.

      • I agree – the Anderegg et al result is quite twisted. You only have to look at Prall’s web page to see his very obvious bias. They seem to get the 97% figure by looking at those with the most publications. It’s well known post-climategate that those that don’t support the bandwagon have a hard time getting anything published.

      • Roger Pielke sr. says:
        “The Anderegg et al paper is another in a set of advocacy articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This paper illustrates more generally how far we have gone from the appropriate scientific process.”

      • The poll results don’t match up very well with the poll Pielke sr helped with and is my 2nd link. I’m not suprised he doubts the validity of the results.

      • I agree with Pielke Jr on the Anderegg et al. paper. But how many times have you heard the 97% number bandied around? It is this i want to address.

      • Steven seems to be talking about Sr.

      • Judith, you see the 97% argument bandied about quite often. This does not appear to be central to your argument and it seems that a lower percentage would strengthen your argument not weaken it. But it is your argument not mine, just trying to help.

      • Could be on closer inspection the 97% is engineered by false choise polling. Mixing up “anthropological” while avoiding direct quantity calims against co2. This maximizes the response and is driven by the many agenda setters involved in the poll.

        Gallup and Pew are experts on this manipulation of any topic.

        This isn’t rocket science, you can’t smell the bias of NYTimes/CBS poll in Georgia? These aren’t much further from that. Why not comment on the partisan nature of the “consensus” polling processes to date?

      • Doran debunked;

        http://climatequotes.com/2011/02/10/study-claiming-97-of-climate-scientists-agree-is-flawed/

        Truthfully, when you hear “97%” it’s almost always a sign of an alarmist grasping straw. It’s embarressing you would put that up on a powerpoint. The debate is so redundant it’s hard to believe you haven’t seen these claims refuted many times.

        I have no doubt there is a majority doing everything to look like 97% including bully tactics and beating down anyone outside the herd.

      • I couldn’t think of the authors of this poll right away. It is a very comprehensive poll of the views of climate scientists

        http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/GKSS_2010_9.CLISCI.pdf

      • It’s an intersting poll, given that the majority thing AGW is over hyped (Question 52) but then the majority weights “climate change” very inportant (question 27-27a, 73 etc.). A bit conflicted to say the least.

        It’s still a shill poll;

        Question 20-21 are both steered and avoid isolating co2 as the main problem. The usual mix and match tactic of muddling “anthropogenic” to maximize a positive resonse to be later distorted by the policical arms of agw linkin co2. This get so old so fast.

        Questions 55 and 56 are clearly trying to confuse which “enviormental activists” are in discussion.

        Question 71 is telling and likley very understated. At least half the group somewhat to largely agrees they are enviornmental “activists”.

        Why not just ask what there general politcal views are? Left, right or center? Of course we know why.

        Plenty more to be concerned in term of self-importance, power grasping and authority group think in the responses. Again, plenty of important diversity of opinions but the poll is engineered to water that down. Questions 74 on again reveal the academic left, insolated inner culture. They could list 307 social problems to survey including “excesses of capitalism” but not one question along the lines of “expansion of state authority” or “totalitarianism”. Considering many of those sampled live in sub-prime democratic or less states, the exclusion is sort of offensive. Typical of course.

        I’m glad the survey is there, politcal correctness reeks but it’s worth a review. I thouht the response rate from the heavily weighted “15 years+” group was telling as well. Climate science is a really insular demographic group, it makes sense but there it is in numbers. Consensus = aging Orthodox with thick skin and hard arteries.

      • The polls I suspect are most accurate tend not to make anyone happy.

      • I don’t care that there are biased polls, I care that logical people can’t admit they are obviously biased.

        There is data in the polls as well, plenty they steered away from for the cause. Many in the IPCC wouldn’t be disclosing serious information about themselves at this point as well. I expect a reenactment the Hollywood Ten for climate science in my lifetime with all the false victimization claims to boot.

        There is plenty in the poll that confirms my views. There is a very far left fringe in the IPCC and Climate science world. It just gets an MSM pass and Dr. Curry for example helps facilitate the “hide in plain sight” by not confirming what many skeptics and alarmists both know about IPCC and academic political inclinations. All this while skeptics get tarred as “right wing advocates” as their science opinions are belittled. Worse they get a holocaust denier comparison yet we are suppose to be polite while simple questions are ducked and obfuscated.

    • Doran was a pro-warming spin poll. Again, Dr. Curry plays along with the phony consensus players.

      Neither “centerist or libertarian” in nature.

      Look we have a left-wing fringe that can only keep babbling that “the science is on our side” and can’t admit the huge overlap of their politcal cultures and science views. Why should we be surprised by a fake “no-lable”, “centerist leaning libertarian” emerges as well?

  19. Judith,

    Question?
    In the future, what constitutes as hard evidence?
    So far we have seen collected data be manipulated by what ever would fancy the scientist of the day to find as trends, oscillations or what have you. This without including motion, planetary shape, pressure changes, chemical interactions, distance measurements, billions of years for a few hundred, etc. Some gases even change their temperature when compressed into individual gases to liquids or even solids.
    The complexity is immense when trying to understands ALL factors that are in play on this planet.

  20. Fred Moolton,
    I notice that amongst you reasons for believing in CO2 based AGW, that you do not mention the assumption of positive feedback from water vapour.
    To my mind that is a vital link in the chain, that not only has not been proven but has been refuted.
    You mention solar variation as one of your reasons for believing in CO2 based AGW. Have you been keeping up with the research from CERN?

  21. Peter Davies

    I like whats been happening on this thread. Dr Curry is obviously getting excellent feedback on her draft presentation from the denizens of Climate Etc. However, I am not clear where this presentation is going and the various contributions do not appear to be congruent.

    I therefore support David W’s suggestion that a form of executive summary should be given so that the audience will know what is about to be given to them, because, frankly, after reading what has been put together at this stage, I’m still not quite sure what the main underlying point is, to be taken away by webinar attendees.

  22. The fact that the presentation’s title is “Global Climate Change: What Citizens of the World Need to Know” does indeed tell you all you need to know.

    “Global”, “Climate Change” and “Citizens of the World” are all loaded (and tired and overused) propaganda terms. ACS is nothing more than an animated fossil display.

    Andrew

    • While the ACS does have it’s Public Policy Statement on Climate Change (link is in the thread), the title of the two symposia were written by the symposia organizers (Christine and myself) within the Division of Small Chemical Businesses. Approval of wording lays at the Division level- the groups that put the Technical Program together- and does not need to go up and down a chain to the ACS Wizard in Oz.

      • Pete Bonk,

        I don’t think it would matter if the Lollipop Guild had approved the wording. The words are what they are. Same old tired chant. Aren’t you guys gettin tired of it?

        Andrew

      • Andrew, perhaps you have missed the fact that this is a panel of skeptics, plus Dr.Curry. I think skepticism is exactly what the citizens of the world need to understand. Would that they did, as we would not need to be here. (Not that I mind being here. It is lots of fun.)

      • “perhaps you have missed the fact that this is a panel of skeptics, plus Dr.Curry. I think skepticism is exactly what the citizens of the world need to understand.”

        David,

        The problem isn’t that people don’t understand skepticism. The problem is that the people ALREADY understand skepticism and other people of dubious character in groups like ACS consider skeptics a political obstacle and nothing more. When groups like the ACS get off the propaganda slogans I will start taking them seriously. Until then, this is just more of the same.

        Andrew

      • BTW, this line is delicious:

        “this is a panel of skeptics, plus Dr.Curry”

        The absence of “Warmer” or “Global Warming Advocate” in front of Dr. Curry’s name is conspicuously delightful.

        Andrew

      • I think Dr. Curry defines the boundary between skeptics and warmers. Hence each side accuses her of being on the other. She believes in sensitivity, but also natural variability, with the balance between the two being as yet unknown.

      • David,

        We are in agreement that she doesn’t know much about how the climate works. That puts her in the seat next to the rest of us in the gruel line.

        Andrew

    • I feel your pain Andrew, how about;

      “Workers of the World Unite against the Bosses’??

      The past 3 years has felt like fifty. Open the NYTimes op ed section if you want to know what hard arteries and dead from the neck up thinking from the 1880-1940 period in particular is like. Listen to the economic policy and they misquote Keynes like he hadn’t died in 1945. “Demand” and “stimulus”, how failed, dull and outdated can we get?

      AGW is just part of the baby boomer death rattle, self absorbed eco-socialism for a generation that had it generally wrong on most topics.

  23. Dr Curry

    My suggestion is that on a page full of text
    The main heading is followed by bullet points which are no more than one sentance on the screen. You of course when presenting could very briefly expand/ add your own take on each of the points.
    With regard to the percentage of climate experts who support the agw theory I reproduce below a climategate email dated 1997? My question would be what would jo public have made of this? Boys being boys, I think not.
    Sorry for its length:-
    From: Joseph Alcamo
    To: m.hulme Rob.SwartSubject:
    Timing, Distribution of the Statement
    Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 18:52:33 0100
    Reply-to: alcamo
    Mike, Rob,
    Sounds like you guys have been busy doing good things for the cause.
    I would like to weigh in on two important questions —
    Distribution for Endorsements —
    I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as
    possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is
    numbers. The media is going to say “1000 scientists signed” or “1500
    signed”. No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000
    without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a
    different story.
    Conclusion — Forget the screening, forget asking
    them about their last publication (most will ignore you.) Get those
    names!
    Timing — I feel strongly that the week of 24 November is too late.
    1. We wanted to announce the Statement in the period when there was
    a sag in related news, but in the week before Kyoto we should expect
    that we will have to crowd out many other articles about climate.
    2. If the Statement comes out just a few days before Kyoto I am
    afraid that the delegates who we want to influence will not have any
    time to pay attention to it. We should give them a few weeks to hear
    about it.
    3. If Greenpeace is having an event the week before, we should have
    it a week before them so that they and other NGOs can further spread
    the word about the Statement. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so
    bad to release the Statement in the same week, but on a
    diffeent day. The media might enjoy hearing the message from two
    very different directions.
    Conclusion — I suggest the week of 10 November, or the week of 17
    November at the latest.
    Mike — I have no organized email list that could begin to compete
    with the list you can get from the Dutch. But I am still
    willing to send you what I have, if you wish.
    Best wishes,

    Joe Alcamo

  24. Dr Curry

    Sorry I was not clear the bullet point should be on one line ie no long sentances.

  25. Last slide should list your references and links.

    The first slide after the title and introduction should layout the central point you are trying to get across or show.

    Your summary and conclusion page should be labelled as such since some people will wake up when they see that.

    The slides have too much text. You need to condense and summarize more, or split your slides into part 1, 2 and 3 or something and then just go through them faster. These ones could be your notes rather than the slides.

    Edward Tuft is the master of presentations see : PowerPoint Does Rocket Science–and Better Techniques for Technical Reports
    http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0001yB&topic_id=1

    and
    http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint

  26. Can I get $1 for each ad hom attack on Dr. Lindzen or reference to Exxon or Tobacco funding in advance?

  27. It seems that from my distant observation point that the American Chemical Society has made somewhat of a change back toward a correct scientific process. Knowing the presenters, those in the first session have a stronger belief in AGW, while those in the second are less certain, or are skeptical. For once then, the total presentation is a step toward actually finding what may be true, as opposed to skewed presentations to win an argument. Many more than may be expected with a strong science background outside of the group who deals with all aspects of climate and weather have been left with a bitter taste regarding some their distant colleagues. Shame on anyone who forms an opinion based upon political beliefs. Anyone who simply wants to find the truth to make informed decisions, should not be labeled negatively, regardless of what a person may believe to be true in any one point in mind.

  28. Correction – last word should be time.

  29. Very nice effort. I would like to see mention of one reason for this lock-step consensus: many scientists have been afraid to speak out against the tribal position for fear of being blackballed from ‘the club.’ The risk of being seen supporting ‘the enemy’ is too great to bother with. Why criticize the IPCC or a press release publicly when it could affect your ability to publish and get you run out of faculty lunches? Being seen as a climate heretic could literally destroy one’s career in the current atmosphere.

    • Putting it nicely; Dr. Curry is on the backend career wise. She can do what she wants including setting a bad example by silence on important political questions. She both is critical of the consensus while covering for them at the same time. Alarmist blood boils but they know she has feet in both camps and they restrain themselves. Same with Lomborg.

      Gutless fear might exist in the younger ranks but it’s tribal (left-wing)inbreeding that accounts for the containing the gag reflex to alarmist swamp fever. How could Dr. Curry show up at a Public Broadcasting fund raiser ever again if she fully disclosed what drives the consensus? Elia Kazan she is not.

    • Mark

      “I would like to see mention of one reason for this lock-step consensus: many scientists have been afraid to speak out against the tribal position for fear of being blackballed from ‘the club.”

      I agree that this is an important point and one that needs to be addressed to help lance the climategate boil and regain trust in an honest debate. However, I have never seen any evidence that your statement is true unless you can provide it? Until then, it is speculation really albeit based on a logical suspicion and some evidence of gatekeeping in the peer review process. Not sure if it should go in Dr Judith’s presentation or not – perhaps as a passing remark. Tricky one.

  30. Judith Curry

    Sounds like the ACS climate meeting will be interesting, with some presenters definitely not in the “consensus” camp.

    [So it looks like it will not simply be an “IPCC rubberstamp”. I for one would be extremely disappointed if that’s how it turns out or if the moderators try to “frame” it that way.]

    See that Nir Shaviv will be presenting, as well. I hope he will be able to include his thoughts on some of the recently released findings from the CLOUD project at CERN.

    Also look forward to seeing the comments to your presentation concerning “Climate science and the uncertainty monster”

    BTW, you have listed four bullet points for.”getting climate science back on track”

    Some would suggest that this list should include the bullet:

    – Replace IPCC with a small, non-political body of neutral and objective climate scientists, in order to ensure that the present corrupted process is eliminated

    I realize that this may be too direct and, thus, difficult for you to do in your position, but I definitely think you should add this one (based on earlier threads here):

    – Eliminate political activism among climate scientists

    Just a thought.

    Max

  31. Judith

    Maybe that should read:

    – Discourage political activism among climate scientists

    Max

  32. Oh my, the good Dr Judy has 60 picky editors. Be careful for what you ask for…

    • Pete Bonk

      These (including myself) are not “editors” (that would be far too presumptuous).

      We are simply “unpaid advisers”.

      And we all know what “free advice” is worth..
      .
      But let’s hope that you can keep this event from becoming an irrelevant “IPCC rubberstamp”.

      Some “free advice”: IMO the best outcome of all would be a general agreement to the statement: “we really don’t know all that much yet about our climate, but we are struggling to find out more…”.

      Max

    • Actually, you would be surprised at how helpful this process has been in the past. I’ve gotten very good comments on draft papers, and even input on early stages of writing a paper. Obviously they need filtering, but I actually find this process and the comments very useful

    • Latimer Alder

      Feel the massive power of the internet to improve things in a hurry!

      Near realtime work from around the world by knowledgeable and experienced people. 60 picky editors sure beats the heck out of paper-based pal review by two academics with axes to grind and a publication process designed to add delay and to encourage ‘gaming’ (see Climategate e-mails).

      Its the way of the future Pete. Recognise it. embrace it and use it, or get left behind……..

  33. Dr Curry,
    Get rid of 18, 19, 22 [with adjustment to text as necessary] Take out the 97% entirely its quite meaningless. Slide 26 says it all and should be at the beginning too! [possibly different words]

    An old friend who taught “presentation” said [probably not original]
    “Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, tell ’em and tell ’em what you’ve told ’em.”

    Best wishes and good luck with the presentation.

    • John

      Yeah.

      And then add a two minute closing session on, “what have we learned?” to make sure they got it.

      Max

    • thx, still pondering what to do with slides post 17. i was thinking about taking all of the climategate slides.

      • Dr. Curry,
        While your work is very important, simply presenting the evidence of climategate in plain form in a group that has probably not actually seen them could also be very significant.

    • Latimer Alder

      I think you need a very long hard think about who your likely audience will be, what their pre-knowledge and level of interest in your topic will be and what take-home message you want to leave them with. And since people are turning up voluntarily, you;d better make sure they have some fun too. My guess is that many members will not be academics and used to a robust and direct arumentation, not a discursive and allusive one.

      So cut down on all the tedious long winded sentences…it is a presentation, not a paper. I was bored witless and nearly asleep before I was halfway through reading (for example)

      ‘Explicit consensus building processes can enforce overconfidence
      and belief polarization.’ There are plenty of others like that. You do not get extra points for people wandering off to make the tea or watching the cricket on the telly while your webinar is playing to their empty study. You have to grab their attention and interest and keep it.

      Short simple direct language on your charts. Don’t put all the answers on the screen all at once..there is no point in you delivering the darned presentation if it can just be read in isolation….a waste of everybody’s time. You need to have some drama and some surprises to keep the audience awake and tuned in..if not then at least some good jokes.

      Webinars are hard because you get little to no realtime feedback. It is difficult to wing it by bouncing off the audience as you can in a small room or theatre, Best to be short and snappy to take all your audience with you…leaving further development of the argument for questions/offline.

      So I agree with 10 slides, ,20 minutes max. Tell em what you’re going to say tell em, tell them what you told them, then get off.

      LA (webinar veteran since 1992)

  34. Concerning the slide on climate sensitivity, the discussion that we had on the IPCC AR4 WG1 Figure 9.20 led in my judgment to two conclusions.

    As representation of evidence the curves do not represent PDFs but conditional probabilities. Thus their values are of significance but area under the curves is not. Assuming that the curves do indeed represent correctly, what they are supposed to represent, the combined evidence is given by the product of all curves at each value of climate sensitivity.

    There is one clear error in the figure. The Gregory 02 is drawn an different basis. When drawn correctly it doesn’t fall to zero at the high side, but remains at a relatively high non-zero asymptotic value, because that analysis gives only a lower limit and doesn’t provide any evidence against arbitrarily high values of S or even on instability.

  35. Max,
    The ” what have we learned will precede the “we still have a lot to learn about the wickedly complex system that is climate”.
    How could it be anything else but complex? Which for me is an issue when a
    simple solution (“It’s the CO2, Stupid!”) is trotted out.

    Hope everyone can tune in for a bit or a bunch on Sunday. Our current registration limit is 100; we are at 80 now. If it approaches 100 tonight I can pay to have more folks listen and watch.

    Have no idea how many will be in the room at the Colorado Convention Center, we have had a few small ads in Chemical and Engineering News. Bottoms in the seats are what it is about as a symposium organizer.

    • Keep us posted Pete. Mind you some of us will be having a bit of a hurricane at the time.

      My impression is that C&EN has been heavily pro-AGW, but maybe they will cover your treachery (just kidding). On the demographic side, I would think that industrial (and small business) chemists were more likely to be skeptics than their academic counterparts. Any thoughts on that?

    • Peter

      Thanks for clearing this up.

      As a chemical engineer living outside the USA I am not a member of either ACS or AIChE but I applaud your efforts to get some sanity into this debate.

      Let’s hope it doesn’t get hijacked by the “consensus” crowd.

      Max

  36. Judy:
    The first few technical slides (4 to 12) do not seem to be self-explanatory. Is there a way you can summarize the point that is being made so that the listeners can relate the technical details to the argument that you are making?
    Otherwise I am a big Tufte fan – the fewer slides the better – especially when you are presenting to a well informed audience. Slide 15 for example, does little for me. It is purely taxonomic and makes but one central point but in a not particularly impactful way.
    Big fonts and few words are OK for management types but make technical folks suspicious.
    Hope this helps. Good luck with the presentation.

  37. Here is an interesting thing about the ACS: Yes, the “ACS” in DC has a Public Policy Statement on Climate Change. ACS members have at minimum a BS degree in chemistry or allied field and thus have the tools and knowledge to discuss energy, radiation, etc., but most of us don’t work in the climate field and thus don’t have a financial or professional involvement in the whole AGW arena [other than as citizens and taxpayers]. Some of us have strong views, on both sides of the coin, but can also weigh evidence with a certain level of dispassion.

    • Pete:
      Have you checked the Denizen link at the top right of this page. The audience here will match up with ACS membership in terms of technical know how and scientific orientation.

  38. Latimer Alder

    ‘Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster’ is a really great title. Intriguing and sounds interesting. If I was walking by, I’d want to stick my head in the (virtual) room to meet this beast.

    But you don;t introduce him in your talk until slide 16! The passer by has gone on to other things by now…The casual visitor’s appetite has been whetted but not fulfilled.

    ‘Daddy where’s the monster? I wanna see the monster. You promised me the monster’

    ‘Don’t worry – Judith is just warming you up with 15 charts about the IPCC’

    ‘Boring!. Can we go a play with the gators instead……’

    • Latimer,

      There will be a real room (205 in the Colorado Convention Center) with a live audience for the Symposium/Webinar. Perhaps I should talk to the Boston Redsox and see who put together “Wally” the mascot for Fenway Park’s famed “Green Monster”.

      Hmm, A “Green” Monster? I think I know what Prof. Curry is getting as a “Thank You” for being part of this event. :-)
      Tho to some I suppose the “Philly Phanatic” could also serve the role!

    • Latimer

      You may have missed it, but the “monster” IS the IPCC – no “uncertainty” about it.

      Max

      PS And the “hobgoblin” (see Mencken) is CAGW.

      • Latimer Alder

        I don’t doubt the argument. I was just referring to the presentation drama (or lack of). When invited to see a minster, we want to see the monster early on…not 30 minutes of pretty dry stuff later.

        This is a chemistry society meeting not an AGW seminar. The audience will be much more general, including lots of droppers-in. Judith must think of them in her presentation style which is emphatically NOT the same as the style you need for a same room all deeply interested seminar.

        Like TV and radio need different acting and production techniques, so do webinars compared with ‘real life’

  39. Judith,

    How many proxies are used in climate science for just following the temperature monster? This excludes any factors that influence or has any bearing on climate itself.

  40. Judith,

    Your presentation is GOOD.

  41. Decision-making under deep uncertainty could mention Ross McK’s proposal to automatically increase carbon taxes as the globe warms. Alarmists’ protections will soon result major incentives for decarbonization. “Denier’s” projections will have little effect. Action will be taken on the basis of observational data, not GCM projections that can’t be validated.

    Do you need a slide on “the big picture”? The validity of the IPCC’s attribution statement is important ONLY to understanding the biases of the IPCC’s reports. Unless there are unexpected dramatic breakthroughs in energy production and/or international cooperation, the “fate of the planet” will be determined by climate sensitivity (feedbacks).

    • Frank

      Carbon taxes based on actual warming sounds good, but first let’s take out the warming that is occurring naturally (i.e. attributed to natural forcing factors since we have emerged from the Little Ice Age).

      IPCC AR4 WG1 has put this at 7% of the total since industrialization started (or about 0.05C).

      Several solar studies have put it at ~50% of the observed 20th century warming (or about 0.35C)

      So we already have a dilemma here in quantifying the tax rate.

      Then we should assess whether or not the observed warming to date (since the LIA) has been harmful or beneficial to mankind.

      If we cannot answer that question, we are in a bit of a pickle figuring out whom to tax how much for what.

      And, if it starts to cool, are the past taxes going to be “paid back”?

      Sorry Ross MkK – sounds like a can of worms to me (or simply a normal tax revenue generation boondoggle, like all the others).

      Max

      • Max: Trying to decide how much of current observed warming is anthropogenic and how much is natural variation does open up a can a worms, but we shouldn’t get bogged down by this problem. The critical question is whether or not temperatures when CO2 has doubled (and some equilibration has occurred) will be 1.2 degC higher than before (the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity) OR some multiple of this ranging roughly from 1.5X (+1.8 degC) to 4.5X (+5.4 degC). There is little need to argue about fractional attribution of the 0.7 degC rise observed in the historic record, when we are facing changes that are potentially so much bigger. We should compromise and agree that man has currently brought the planet roughly 0.5 degC closer to climate change “catastrophe”; so that we can direct out attention to our margin of safety and how fast our margin of safety is decreasing. We have excellent decadal measurements about two key threats: a) How fast the atmosphere is warming and b) How fast sea level is rising.

        Ross has suggested that a carbon tax should be equal to the economic damage being caused today and in the future by climate change, but I don’t see how this is practical. I prefer a carbon tax that increases exponentially as our margin of safety decreases. We could define our margin of safety in terms of degC and perhaps meters (sea level rise). Alternatively, we could define our margin of safety by the number of years our safety margin will last at current rates of change. If you believed that “intolerable changes” (bad enough to make you abandon fossil fuels for electricity production and most transportation) would take place once temperature had risen 2.0 degC above today’s temperature (or 1.5 or 2.5 or 3.0), would you agree that current temperature represented an 0.5 degC step towards disaster and deserved a 1X tax, another +0.5 degC deserved a 2X tax, a third +0.5 degC deserved a 4X tax, a fourth +0.5 degC tax deserved an 8X tax and a fifth +0.5 degC tax deserved a 16X tax? How big should X be? I’d guess that 10X should be enough to shutdown all discretionary emissions from fossil fuels (and other GHG sources). Then 1X would be fairly small. You are worrying about a fraction of 1X.

        The purpose of a carbon tax is to provide an economic disincentive to continued reliance on fossil fuels, not to raise government revenue. Many people think that a carbon tax should be fully rebated equally per capita. That type of tax doesn’t remove any net money from the economy, but does (sensibly) redistribute money from high emitters to low emitters. To protect domestic economies, I’d favor putting a carbon tax on imports (from countries with no emissions penalties) and rebating carbon taxes on exported goods. Internationally, the size of a carbon tax could be scaled to a country’s per capita GDP.

        There is no innate problem with a carbon tax that falls if temperature falls, but it makes sense to smooth out the bumps by using decadal averages (and longer averages for rate-of-change calculations). Businesses make investment decisions all of the time without perfect knowledge of the future. Should the XYZ power company build a new coal, natural gas, or nuclear power plant that will last for 50-75 years? What will customer demand be over that period? How much will fuel for the plant cost? How much will climate change cause the carbon tax on fossil fuels to rise? What will competitors be doing? The possibility that a modest carbon tax might drop by a trivial amount in the next 5 years won’t play a major role in such business decisions.

      • Frank

        The basic problem is that a carbon tax is simply a tax boondoggle.

        It will have ZERO impact on our planet’s climate (no tax ever did).

        In fact, there have been NO actionable proposals made to date, which would have a perceptible impact on our planet’s climate: NONE, ZERO, NADA.

        Forget the “carbon tax” idea.

        Instead, try to come up with specific actionable proposals, which could have a demonstrable perceptible impact on our climate if implemented, subject them to a cost/benefit analysis and (if they seem to make any sense at all after all that) subject them to democratic ratification by the people who will eventually have to pay for them (voters/inhabitants of the industrially developed and developing nations) – or their elected representatives.

        If they pass this threshold, start working on implementation plans.

        Max

      • Frank

        We should compromise and agree that man has currently brought the planet roughly 0.5 degC closer to climate change “catastrophe”

        This is a bogus argument.

        We do not know whether “man” has had anything to do with the observed “0.5 degC” rise in temperature (actually, it has been close to 0.7 degC since the record started in 1850), and we do not know either whether this warming has been beneficial or harmful.or whether we are headed for “climate change catastrophe”

        So the argument is a strawman.

        Max

      • Cooling makes a boomerang out of Ross’s stick.
        ============

      • A carbon tax that is fully rebated equally per capita does not raise revenue and therefore is not a tax boondoggle. If the government were to take in a total of $300B from a carbon tax, every citizen could get a rebate of $1,000 and leave the government nothing to spend. If temperature rose 0.5 degC further, the government might take in $1.2T from a carbon tax and rebate $4,000 to each citizen.

        You appear to be demanding proven solutions to novel problems: “there have been NO actionable proposals made to date, which would have a perceptible impact on our planet’s climate: NONE, ZERO, NADA.” “try to come up with specific actionable proposals, which could have a demonstrable perceptible impact on our climate if implemented.”

        About half of CO2 emissions are produced when fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity. Over the past few decades, France has DEMONSTRATED that this is unnecessary – whatever electricity can’t be produced from renewables (or with dubious carbon capture) can be obtained from nuclear power. All we need is a carbon tax that is big enough to make fossil fuels plants financially unattractive and marketplace free enough to respond.

        The other half of CO2 emissions come from transportation. With plugin hybrids, gains in efficiency, lower carbon natural gas fueling large vehicles, and some biofuels, CO2 emissions by the transportation sector might be cut by half. If a high enough carbon tax were imposed and the government promoted change, the marketplace would deliver these emission reductions.

        Where feasible (transportation fuels, electricity bills), I’d certainly want every citizen to know precisely how much they are paying in carbon taxes. Every month, the government would be required to report how much they received in carbon taxes (per citizen from various sources) and how much was rebated to every citizen (by direct deposit or credited on annual tax returns). Citizens would also receive the latest temperature data and carbon tax rate: “Over the last decade, average global temperature measured from space has risen 0.45 degC above the 1980-1990 mean. Our national goal is to limit this rise to X degC. At the current rate of warming, we will reach this limit in Y years. To prevent this, carbon taxes are scheduled to rise Z% by the time temperature has risen a total of 0.50 degC (about W years from now at the current rate of increase); ZZ% by the time temperature has risen 0.60 degC (about WW years from now), ZZZ% at 0.75 degC (WWW years from now), etc. All the revenue raised by these carbon taxes will continue to be rebated equally to every citizen.” An informed citizenry paying a visible tax is the best protection against legislators that provide loopholes for special interests and other GHGs.

        Why compromise on 0.5 degC of anthropogenic warming? Using a no-feedbacks climate sensitivity of 1.2 degC for 2X CO2 (this is “settled science”), the “first step” man has taken is about 0.5 degC – roughly consistent with the historical record and the IPCC’s attribution statement. A modest negative overall feedback (such as suggested by Lindzen or Spenser) won’t reduce this answer appreciably. The strongly positive feedbacks seen in models (hypothetically negated by anthropogenic aerosols) suggest that the first step we have taken could be much bigger than 0.5 degC. To me, it seems sensible to base policy on the assumption that man has brought the planet at least 0.5 degC closer to catastrophic warming and then recognize that – if catastrophe is coming – the first step was bigger.

        Is catastrophe coming? We don’t really know. If temperature rises (or falls) enough, the change in climate will be “catastrophic”. People can disagree about how much change is tolerable. If the solution to the problem involves a visible and potentially punitive carbon tax, the definition of “catastrophic change” will probably be set higher than the activist’s preferred “2.0 degC above pre-industrial”. I’m interested in how many “steps” we are away from such a catastrophe and how fast we are approaching catastrophe. If climate sensitivity turns out to be high, none of the follow things will be important: a) The exact size of the first step we have already taken towards “catastrophe”. b) Whether the first step was net beneficial or harmful. c) Whether the MWP was warmer or cooler than today. d) Whether the sun or the PDO causes temperature to rise, drop or remain constant over the next decade or two.

  42. Read your presentation and found it pretty interesting. I had two minor comments. One of your thrusts is how do you help guide policy when the uncertainty is so great. Sorting out the natural from anthroprogenic is impossible in a quantitative way at this time. (But I do think within 15 years, with both the AMO and PDO cold coupled with weak solar cycles, the natural vs. anthroprogenic will be pretty clear.) But weather the climate is warmer or colder or the same there are some policy choices that will make sense like a focus on resource utilization efficiency.
    The second comment is more related to observations of science over the last 35 years. The only thing more boring than working in a field where the science is settled is working to support a consensus. Scientists are supposed to be pioneers, not share croppers supporting a remote land owner. What a horrendous constraint. The thing that makes climate science interesting is that so little is well understood. I know it is described as a chaotic system but I suspect underneath cacaphoney is there is a symphony playing but we have not year learned to read the music. It’s the process of learning the music that makes this field exciting.

    • The Music of the Sphere is enhanced by a light show, with ultry-violet wizardry on ozone in the stratosphere and phytoplankton in the ocean.

      Son et lumiere.
      =======

    • John Carpenter

      Some people learn to play music by ear…. and some train to play classically. In both cases the musician, over time, can become accomplished.

      • John Carpenter

        Problem is when the musician is playing on a guitar with only one string -the C (for CO2) string. Music gets kinda monotonous and repetitive, sorta like the “consensus” sound.

        Max

  43. One comment on belief on Catastrophic AGW (CAGW).
    .
    Some scientists like the “solutions” propounded by the politicians. Their love of the solutions proposed makes them more likely to believe any argument which is anti – CO2.
    .
    Since CO2 doesn’t stop at national boundaries some kind of world government is needed to make nations take measures which are obviously not in their best interest
    ..
    To those scientists with a far left perspective world government is a positive good and CO2 regulation is a means to achieve it.

  44. Signed up for this webinar at the last minute, hope it goes through. I am really impressed that ACS is allowing it with the proposed faculty to go ahead. Hope we can learn from them.

  45. Judith,

    I see that you have brought your uncertainty monster out of his lair for your webinar. He looks scary sort of fellow. Does he have a name? I suspect he might have – he’s obviously a friend and ally of yours, so I think you must have given him one by now even if he didn’t have one before.

    Is he really as frightening as he looks, or is he just misunderstood? In my experience the real bad guys don’t actually have horns sprouting out of their heads. In any case, has anyone actually asked him where he stands on the issue of climate change?

    • You are partially right, tempterrain!

      Uncertainty is not a foe of honest science.

      Uncertainty is a friend that sets realistic limits on conclusions.

      Uncertainty is a monster, usually hidden away, for those who try to manipulate science to control others.

      That is why proponents of the AGW scare promoted by world leaders, Al Gore, and the UN’s IPCC consider uncertainty a monster.

      Thanks for pointing that out!

      Plan to be there at 1:01 pm CDT, Professor Curry, trying to learn how to participate in the “ACS Webinar.”

      All is well,
      Oliver

    • tempterrain

      The “uncertainty monster” is only “scary” for the “consensus” group.

      In fact, the “monster” is the essence of rational skepticism at work, a concept that is the greatest threat to the “consensus” dogma.

      Max

  46. Oliver, the symposium starts at 1:00pm Mountain Daylight time. folsk can get on ad set up brfore that but again the show doesnt start until 1 pm MDT You have an extra hour tocut the lawn or play wiht the grand kids..

  47. The webinar is just about ready to start. I will do some light real time blogging of my reactions. I have to say, this is a much better way to attend a conference than flying somewhere. However, some minor technical difficulties in getting the first presentation up . . . Here we go

  48. William Stewart’s talk was well presented, he is a lawyer, he gave a broad overview and background of the problem, the uncertainties, and the possible solutions

  49. Latimer Alder

    Dr Shaviv is presenting far too much material and far too fast for a non-specialist audience. He needs to slow down,a lot, be far more selective with his material, make 1/4 as many points and explain them more clearly and slowly. If he were talking to colleagues in his own lab, this would be fine, but he isn’t. He’s talking to chemists.

  50. McKitrick’s presentation was quite good, too many numbers, but his argument was very good, and presents a rather devastating argument of IPCC arbitrariness and high handedness (and ultimately incorrect dismissal) in dealing with a skeptical argument

    • I agree. Excellent.

      Overall, I am amazed at how much the ACS group has allowed criticism of the AGW dogma.

      That abuse of government science began growing out of sight in ~1971, and probably cannot be stopped without also allowing the SSM dogma (standard solar model) to be openly challenged and previously hidden or manipulated experimental observations to be openly addressed.

      The AGW story rests on the validity of the 1967 Bilderberg conclusion that Earth’s heat source is a giant ball of hydrogen, heated by a stable H-fusion reactor.

      http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1968SoPh….3….5G

    • Latimer Alder

      Yep. I liked his laid back delivery and his charts were better than the previous guys.

      But the punchline was so understated as to be difficult to pick out from the surrounding statistics. Blink and you missed it. It needed to be laid on thick and repeated. I also think he assumed too much background statistical knowledge for a chemical audience (I am a one-time chemist)..and the pitch might have been even stronger with fewer charts and getting more quickly to the real point.

  51. Latimer Alder

    Very, very disappointed that Lindzen (from whom I expected a lot) is doing no more than putting an essay on the screen and reading it word for word with barely a syllable’s deviation from the script.

    He – and others with this approach – will never win the hearts and minds of anyone without a direct career exclusively devoted to climate change. People such as me – who has other interests as well – and like politicians who have plenty of other things to worry about.

    They *must* pay attention to the well-understood techniques of persuasion and illustration,for the interested generalist rather than to the stilted and dry and frankly outdated conventions of academic discourse.

    • I am not viewing this, but that would be his normal method. Has he used his party trick of showing how the global mean temperature variation compared to station variations is no more than a thick straight line among the variations? He seemed quite proud of that in the Dessler debate.

    • Latimer Alder

      He could even try simple stuff like a variation of pace, emphasis, light and shade. The dreary monotone is soporific and I cannot distinguish any important conclusions from the droning………

    • Latimer Alder

      There are zillions of places with advice on presentations, but here’s just one with top ten tips. It focusses on business presentations, but the lessons are just as applicable to science..or any other field where a presentation is the right medium to get your message across. They are not difficult to get right, but it is a grave mistake to get them wrong.

      http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/career_and_jobs/article5429333.ece

    • Lindzen had a few interesting arguments, but I agree overall it was not very effective as a presentation.

      • I dunno. If his conclusions are correct, style won’t matter. And if they aren’t, style won’t make them correct.

        Despite the application of immense skill borne of long experience, the matter is out of his hands, and in those of Nature.
        ===================

      • Latimer Alder

        @kim

        Yep. He can be right all by himself – while the wrongheaded ones provide all the momentum and gain all the political influence and money and lead us all to economic disaster. But he can console himself that in 1000 years time future generations will look back on him as a wise prophet unhonoured in his own time.

        Or he can spend a bit of his valuable time learning how to give a flaming presentation and maybe win the argument today..and save us all the pain for the next 1000 years.

        The contrast between his markedly lame effort and Bob Carter’s excellent and memorable pitch is startling.

      • I accept your point, but believe he is struggling as hard as he can.
        ============

      • Latimer Alder

        I am only suggesting that scientists spend a little time learning some basic presentation techniques…not that they should all aspire to become presentational geniuses.

        Out in the ‘real world’ we would take fresh graduates – usually with a science or mathematical background – and could give them these skills in two days. Enough so that they were competent to stand in front of an audience for 30 mins and talk persuasively about their pet subject.
        Not necessarily to Carter’s standard (who was very polished), but considerably better than the weaker performers today.

        It may be an Inconvenient Truth, but the practical argument is not won by the number of papers you can cite, or the r2 coefficients or the depth of your research or any other purely academic measure, but by the number of other people you can persuade to your point of view. And in persuading people, it is not just what you say, but how you say it that is also important. Neglecting these learnable and well-understood skills…to the point of near incompetence..is not a mark of academic purity. but a betrayal of it.

      • He’s got Monckton for that.

    • Latimer, from either side at this point it’s always a script. Dr. Lindzen must be bored to tears with emotional politics which is what eco-green-left-agw argument and spin of complex climate data and models.

      I hope there is a replay link as I lost the internet due to the storm half way through Dr. Curry’s presentation. Regardless, if anyone leaves the academic form to speak honestly about the blood politics the drives AGW agenda setting they are labeled “anti-science”. It doesn’t matter how much more they are qualified than the accusers. This is how the core consensus that took decades to weed out dissent is used and the whole point of the “settled science” beat-down. How can Dr. Lindzen be anything but redundant as AGW claims are always redundant?

      That’s why a study of the IPCC, it’s core political culture, it’s history and links to the eco-agenda is a more important focus of discussion. The science is too marginal but that doesn’t stop the AGW narrative or the consensus beat-down of dissent.

      • Latimer Alder

        I’m not arguing for an emotionally laden performance of tear jerking and the death of Little Nell every night…Al Gore exists to show us the folly of that approach.

        But basic respect for one’s audience and one’s own work should lead a presenter to want to present it in the clearest and most memorable way. Reading an essay off a screen shows neither.

  52. timetochooseagain

    Sorry to say I waited too long to sign up for this event. Anyone know if we can find a recorded version of some of it after the fact? Ross has made his powerpoint available on his website, as has Judith. Shaviv posted on the CLOUD results this week on his site so maybe he will post after the fact about this meeting (He hardly ever posts on his site).

  53. I am amazed that so many speakers are scientists who have questioned AGW dogma!

    Professor Curry in up there now. She follows other good scientists.

    Your voice is great, Professor Curry, and I appreciate your boldness in taking IPCC to task!

    Good luck,
    Oliver

    • Latimer Alder

      Yep – you have a nice Hobson’s, Judith

      (Hobson’s Choice = voice in Cockney rhyming slang)

      ‘And then you see …’whoah’….’

      This is more like it!- a bit of light and shade..a touch of drama ….go for it! It all makes for a more memorable and more persuasive pitch.

  54. Well that was an interesting experiment! We had some early tech issues- my fault, forgot to mute myself- and we lost internet here for 3 minutes. But otherwise fine. Judith, thanks for making this a blog post. I am going to go out and buy a beer with all the carbon credits I earned by not flying Prof. Curry out to Denver… I will impose on Judith one more time to tell te story of how this meeting came about, and what it might mean going forward for the ACS. Thanks to all that tuned in, sorry about that feedback and special thanks for the immediate feedback, on the fly, by posters on the blog this afternoon. Cheers!

    • Peter, due to “climate issues” I lost the internet in my area. Might there be a rebroadcast link?

      I enjoyed what I heard.

    • Thank you, thank you, Pete!

      Excellent, after technical glitches were cleared up.

      Who was the last speaker? I was distracted, but I really liked his direct approach.

      Has ACS leadership realized that their support of SAGW dogma was destroying credibility in ACS? Or did you somehow manage to slip some honest science past them?

      Anyway, Pete, I appreciate your work in organizing a great webinar.

      All is well,
      Oliver

      All is well

    • Pete, thank you very much for such a stimulating session!

  55. I am converting the presentations even as we chat. I am sure i can impose on our blog hostess to let folks know when it will be ready. I am at ACS thru Thursday, so give me a few days.

  56. Last speaker was Bob Carter, James Cook University in Oz

  57. This is not an easy format to speak in. I was in my office talking to my computer screen, with no feedback as to whether the audience was there or not, paying attention or not, etc. Partway through I realized that if my internet connection had gone down I would have no idea if anyone was even hearing me or not. Nothing beats a live audience for this kind of talk, but nevertheless it’s a good technology and I appreciate how much time and money was saved not having to travel across the continent.

    • It was a tough schedule on the East Coast especially. I’m sure some lost power while I and others lost internet.

      I had several politically inappropriate questions ready to go but it will just have to wait.

  58. Was I the last to see that science magazine has now published a:

    “New study refutes claims of drought-driven declines in plant productivity, global food security”, the Zhao and Running study?

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-refutes-drought-driven-declines-productivity-global.html

    AGW’s firm upper lip seems to be quivering now like the historical walls of Jerico before they fell down!

    For decades my former students and associates were unwitting opponents of official AGW dogma In opposing SSM (Standard Solar Model) dogma.

    We had no idea that we were opposing AGW dogma, until the tip of that iceberg recently became visible, with SSM as its cornerstone.

  59. Latimer Alder

    Webinars are tough to present at, precisely because the audience is invisible and ‘dead’. My experience is that to maintain their interest – which can easily be distracted by external factors – one needs to be quick and direct. And to give a lot more thought to the constitution and prior knowledge of the likely audience. In the web world people can wander in and out at will…If you bore them they’ll quickly go and do something else.

    It is a very bad format for the traditional academic ‘I’m going to drone on and tell you everything I know about topic X so that you can all admire my application and how hard I work’. One has to be very selective and to make the points (about three maximum).very quickly and effectively. A good reading list/biblio at the end should allow those really interested to go off and do their own research, while giving the casual dropper-in just enough to understand what you are trying to convey.