Sceptical about scepticism

by Judith Curry

Nature Climate Change published a review of the James Lawrence Powell’s book “The Inquisition of Climate Science.”  The review, written by Fred Pearce, is titled “Sceptical about Sceptics.”

The Inquisition of Climate Science, by James Lawrence Powell.

From amazon.com:

Product Description

Modern science is under the greatest and most successful attack in recent history. An industry of denial, abetted by news media and “info-tainment” broadcasters more interested in selling controversy than presenting facts, has duped half the American public into rejecting the facts of climate science — an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence showing that human-caused, carbon-based emissions are linked to warming the Earth. The industry of climate science denial is succeeding: public acceptance has declined even as the scientific evidence for global warming has increased. It is vital that the public understand how anti-science ideologues, pseudo-scientists, and non-scientists have bamboozled them. We cannot afford to get global warming wrong — yet we are, thanks to deniers and their methods.

The Inquisition of Climate Science is the first book to comprehensively take on the climate science denial movement and the deniers themselves, exposing their lack of credentials, their extensive industry funding, and their failure to provide any alternative theory to explain the observed evidence of warming. In this book, readers meet the most prominent deniers while dissecting their credentials, arguments, and lack of objectivity. James Lawrence Powell shows that the deniers use a wide variety of deceptive rhetorical techniques, many stretching back to ancient Greece. Carefully researched, fully referenced, and compellingly written, his book clearly reveals that the evidence of global warming is real and that an industry of denial has deceived the American public, putting them and their grandchildren at risk.

Review comments cited by amazon.com:

“The most comprehensive, illuminating and searing account yet of the murky world of climate change denial and the charlatans who populate it.” — Irish Times

“Powell consistently brings the sharp insight of a knowledgeable insider melded with the skepticism of a critical outsider to the most important issues in science. In his latest book–his best yet–he shows us the path to understanding climate change.”–Peter D. Ward , The University of Washington

“James Lawrence Powell’s must-read book is a welcome addition to the growing literature debunking fossil fuel-funded, anti-science disinformation. As Powell makes clear, it is time for scientists to stand up and be counted.”–Joseph Romm, editor of Climate Progress and senior fellow at American Progress

This book is a winner, written in an easy, logical style with thorough and fascinating discussions of major deniers. (Orrin Pilkey, Duke University, coauthor of The Rising Sea 7/9/2011)

With the evidence for global warming so strong, why, Powell asks, does half the American public doubt it? His answer is a history of the campaign of denial, the most comprehensive and up-to-date history available. It is well written and well worth reading: this is the most important issue facing our generation. (Spencer Weart, author of The Discovery of Global Warming )

This courageous and well-researched book exposes how ideologues and money combined to attack sound climate science. (Richard Somerville, University of California, San Diego, author of The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change, second edition )

… this is a highly authoritative and accessible book that should be read by everyone who has any doubts about the reality of climate change. (Irish Times )                    

Fred Pearce’s Review

I haven’t read the book, and don’t have any plans to.  While glancing through an issue of Nature Climate Science, my eye was drawn to the title “Sceptical about sceptics,” which is the title of Fred Pearce’s review of the book.  The review is behind paywall, so I will excerpt liberally from the text.  The content of the review is of significance, beyond the review of this particular book.

My dictionary describes the Spanish Inquisition as “an institution that guarded the orthodoxy of Catholicism in Spain, chiefly by the persecution of heretics”. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Spain and Italy were dangerous places for those exploring ‘unorthodox’ ideas. Those accused of non-Catholic beliefs or actions were subjected to horrific torture during the inquisition’s tribunals to produce a confession, which would lead to their punishment and, often, death. Among those interrogated was the astronomer Galileo, who was forced to recant on his statements on heliocentrality, despite there being no evidence to support the Church-held geocentric view. In the twenty-first century, is climate science being judged by an inquisition of climate deniers in a similarly unscientific way?

The Inquisition of Climate Science by geologist James Powell claims just that.

But are things so simple?  Do climate scientists share blame for the way they react to criticism?  Sadly, in his rush to defend climate science, Powell does not address these queastions, and so he becomes part of the problem, too.  The boot often seems to be on the other foot.  For Powell is the man guarding the orthodoxy on climate science, and deviation invites demonization.  Powell’s world echoes that of George W. Bush, in which “if ou are not for us, you are against us.”  Should science be like this?

The book is full of crazy sceptics, from Palin to US radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh . . .

This plain man’s guide to the climate wars is right to take on these sceptics, and for the most part does it well.  However although these individuals are fair game, they are also easy game.  The central flaw of this book is that Powell fails to take on the serious and coherent critiques of the climate change consensus.  Where in this book are Judy Curry of Georgia Institute of Technology, the Universiyt of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Jr, the Unversity of Alabama’s John Christy and others?  All three are renowned academics, yet they each have also been reasoned critics of the orthodox climate science canon, and of their fellow researchers, in specific areas.  Arguments from credible science like these can be used by the climate change deniers to bolster their non-scientific case.  As such, they cannot be ignored.

It seems that Powell leaves them out because they would complicate a simple story.  He ends up conflating such reasoned sceptics with unreasoned deniers, and including among them those who do not criticize the the science at all, but question climate change policy, such as the Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg.  Doing so undermines Powell’s case and leaves him open to the charge of running his own inquisition.

The truth is that we know less than we sometimes think about climate change.

Nor do we know what the full impacts of warming will be on wider Earth systems, or how adaptable nature and human civilizations may prove to be.  There are many reasons for scientists to be humble, and calling those who engage in debating such issues ‘deniers’ is foolish fundamentalism.  It plays into the hands of the real deniers and mislabels good scientists.

In his final chapter, Powell says that the issue “comes down to trust”, adding that “the American public has always trusted scientists”.  Powell omits to mention that half the American public does not trust them on climate science.  Because he never admits this, he never asks why this unusual breakdown has occured and why the deniers are succeeding.

The corporate special interest groups have certainly played their part.  However by failing to tackle legitimate criticisms of the scientific consensus, books like Powell’s are also part of the problem.

JC’s comments:  I met Fred Pearce at the Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Debate.  Since his book “The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth About Global Warming,” I have viewed Pearce as one of a few truly important voices in the media on the subject of climate change.  This review certainly reinforces my view.

Update:  Andy Revkin has a post on “A map of organized climate change denial.” His intro paragraph:

A chart of “key components of the climate change denial machine” has been produced by Riley E. Dunlap, regents professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, and Aaron M. McCright, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University. The diagram below (reproduced here with permission) is from a chapter the two researchers wrote on organized opposition to efforts to curb greenhouse gases for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.

Kip Hansen (comment #8) responds:

Folks, this chart is utter nonsense. In the real world, that is, outside of two-party politics, there are no such entities as Corporate America, Fossil Fuel Industry, or Conservative Foundations. These are not cohesive entities, working together in some sort of conspiracy to fund climate skepticism. Those who say so, or ‘find’ these in the soft-science ‘studies’ are practicing politics, not science. All they are pointing out is that the Liberal/Democrats generally support climate alarmism and its proposed IPCC-style solutions of central control to reduce CO2 emissions, , and the Conservative/Republican/Libertarians support a more skeptical viewpoint and non-governmental solutions if problem are found to be real.

As Mr. Revkin knows very well, the most persuasive voices on the skeptics side are bloggers who are self-funding and mainstream skeptical scientists who get their grants from the same sources that CAGW scientists do, mostly the federal government. 

These sorts of name-calling political cat fights should not be given any sort of public airing, particularly this statement, which is certainly categorically false ‘That there are such well-financed and coordinated efforts is not contentious.’ It is not only contentious, it is not simply a matter of contention and argument, but from my front porch, it is simply a false statement made and repeated by zealots.

I am sure that politically, there are ties between various political groups sharing a common viewpoint, equally the same on both sides of the climate issue. The BIG money, of course, is paid out and spent on the CAGW side and has always been. 

The same type of nasty little charts were used to ‘prove’ such things as the ‘Jewish Bankers Secretly Rule the World ‘ conspiracy theories of the last century — showing that — surprise — banks were linked to one another by economic and money-flow lines. This chart is no different — produced to vilify enemies and ‘prove’ a false conspiracy theory.

352 responses to “Sceptical about scepticism

  1. Peter Davies

    While I consider myself as sceptical about AGW I am also sceptical of many of the anti AGW sceptics as well. Hence I rather doubt that true sceptics can ever be stereotyped.

    • Peter

      I agree. IMO the key issue can be summarized as follows:

      Some believe that the case has been made that human released CO2 will produce substantial net harms for humanity, and that warrants a series of costly actions that will reportedly mitigate these feared harms to a sufficient degree to be worth the cost to those paying for the actions.

      Others do not believe the prior statement to be true.

      The reasons people do not believe the prior statement has many causes. Some people’s lack of acceptance is rooted in scientific principals that do not seem to hold up to a reasonable analysis. Some seem to believe in potentially valid but unproven alternate causes.

      IMO,(which is worth what you are paying for it); the prior statement should not be accepted because the case has multiple fundamental flaws.

      There are to many open issues regarding the rate of any warming on a long term basis (our data is very limited).

      The models used to predict the key future conditions of temperature and rainfall are more likely to be inaccurate than correct when used to estimate these conditions in any specific location. Because of the current poor fidelity of the models, the conclusions written in many “peer reviewed” articles describing potential conditions many years into the future seem imo to be utterly without scientific merit and simple speculation.

      Finaly, the even if one accepted the rate of warming was right, and that somehow the models were correct,(which they are not) the actions often proposed make almost no economic sense for those paying the bill.

  2. From the first paragraph of the Amazon product description: science under attack (not just climate science, but science as a whole), industry of denial, media bashing and a duped public. Yep, ticks all the boxes.

    Fred Pearce’s commentary is dead on.

  3. Norm Kalmanovitch

    There is only one incontrovertable fact about global; warming and that is that NCDC, GISS, HadCRUT, UAH MSU, and RSS MSU all show no global warming since 2002 in spite of the increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels from 26.301Gt in 2002 to 33.158Gt in 2010.
    Until there is a firm prediction about when this human caused global warming will end the current global cooling of 0.2°C/century as depicted on the HadCRUT3 global temperature dataset since 2002; the only ones who can be called deniers are those who deny the world of the truth about global temperatures.

    • Norm

      There is only one incontrovertable fact about global; warming and that is that NCDC, GISS, HadCRUT, UAH MSU, and RSS MSU all show no global warming since 2002 in spite of the increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels from 26.301Gt in 2002 to 33.158Gt in 2010.

      Even more pertinent than the rate of human CO2 emissions is the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

      This increased from 372.9 ppmv in 2002 to 390 ppmv in 2011.

      According to IPCC the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity = 3.2°C and the CO2/Temperature relationship is logarithmic

      From 2002 to 2010, CO2 increased from 372.9 to 390 ppmv
      372.9 / 390 = 1.0459
      ln(1.0459) = 0.04484
      ln(2) = 0.69315
      dT(2xCO2) = 3.2°C
      dT(2002-2011 theo) = 3.2 * 0.04484 / 0.69315 = 0.2°C

      So we should have seen 0.2°C warming, if the IPCC assumptions on CO2 climate sensitivity are correct..

      But saw none.

      Max

      • simon abingdon

        Sort out the sensitivity issue and little more need be said.

      • That is the equilibrium temperature, Max. There is a time delay before the system reaches equilibrium.

      • Stirling English

        How long is the delay? How long must we wait before we see the spoor of AGW in the observations..not just as a gleam in the climatologist’s eyes?

        And do you know of another sort of delay other than a ‘time delay’. If not, the word ‘time’ is redundant in this context.

      • Well, about 850 years for Max’s calculation, except the equilibrium value is a theoretical abstraction and can never be reached.
        Speech delay? Development delay?

      • Naw, space delay. I lost it in the towel.
        ===========

      • 64kix. As an humble neurochemist I am in awe of people who understand complex thermodynamic systems.
        Could you please explain what the definition of ‘equilibrium temperature’ is?
        You see my problem is that in classical thermodynamics a system is described as being at thermodynamic equilibrium when it is in thermal equilibrium, mechanical equilibrium, radiative equilibrium, and chemical equilibrium.
        For the life of me I can’t understand how the Earth, which rotates and is also in elliptical orbit around the sun, which is filled with biotic mass can ever be at thermal equilibrium,radiative equilibrium, and chemical equilibrium.
        As I see it the Earth is always going to be bathed in sunlight, some of this will be consumed by plants and so maintain our oxygen rich atmosphere, maintain the various nutrient cycles, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen,sulphur, e.t.c., and also excrete long wave radiation.
        The idea that one could ever describe a non-equilibrium steady state system using classical equilibrium thermodynamics is beyond me.
        So, 64kix could you please tell me what the Earths ‘equilibrium temperature’ used to be before we started burning all that fossil fuels and how the calculation was derived?

      • DocMartyn – Excellent post.

        Maybe someone could also enlighten me about something too.

        All the black carbon that we are releasing into the atmosphere as C02. Where did it come from?

        You see, the term “fossil fuel” suggests to me that the world’s supply of coal, oil, natural gas, and the biomass of our forests and plants previously existed in some other form of carbon.

        Not only that, but that it was converted to it’s current form by living organisms.

        If that is the case, then that would suggest that the source of that was atmospheric CO2.

        So, what was the atmospheric C02 concentration at the stage where life apparently began? How acidic were the oceans? Was there runaway global warming, and, if so, how did life forms manage to evolve in what AGW proponents argue should have been extremely hostile conditions?

        One of the problems I have with AGW is that as far as I am aware, the c02 we are releasing now from burning fossil fuels and the like must have existed in the atmosphere previously (and in far greater concentrations than it does now).

        So how hot was it then?

        It does make me wonder if C02 sensitivity is lower even than Dr. Curry has argued.

      • Your question makes no sense, Doc. I was responding to someone who was using an equation that represents a temp differential from one equilibrium state to the next, based on additional radiative forcing. I was simply pointing out the error. We are talking about the measurement for the surface temp, I am sure you realize. Max was presenting his calculation as if it represented the transient sensitivity. That is completely offbase. The lag in the climate system is well documented.

  4. I assume a “W” is missing:
    (W?)here in this book are Judy Curry of Georgia Institute of Technology, the Universiyt of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Jr, the Unversity of Alabama’s John Christy and others?

  5. And please, no George Bush (43) jokes! :-)

  6. Rick Bradford

    > ” here in this book are Judy Curry of …”

    Shurely, “Where in this book are…”

  7. What’s the temperature? And which way does the wind blow?
    ==============

  8. cagw_skeptic99

    It would be nice if this text had the words: “JC’s comments” in front of the text, but maybe it is clear that it is. Fred hopefully did read the book before writing the review:) I like the comment.

    Fred Pearce’s Review
    I haven’t read the book, and don’t have any plans to.”

  9. As Mr. Revkin knows very well, the most persuasive voices on the skeptics side are bloggers who are self-funding and mainstream skeptical scientists who get their grants from the same sources that CAGW scientists do, mostly the federal government.

    Here’s what’s interesting about that comment.

    Judith often similarly praises blogging “voices on the skeptics side,” yet like the author of this comment, seems to ignore the abundant evidence in that “skeptical” blogging world of tribalism and weak scientific analysis.

    “Skeptics” want to have their cake and eat it too.

    • Joshua,

      I think that there is abundant evidence of this yes, but it is mainly on the part of certain denizens not the bloggers, or the ones I read. And I read this blog, Climate Audit, Roger Pielke Jr and Collide-a-Scape most frequently. And Revkin but that doesn’t really count. I am eternally grateful to JC and KK for linking to most relevant stuff that comes up. E.g. the ongoing debate between Lucia and Nullius in Verba about stuff Monckton said on WUWT. I don’t think you’re ever going to get our host to say “yeah some of my denizens are nutters” just like cwon is never going to get her to blog about whether Repubs or Dems should be in charge.

      Anyway, I disagree with you and I totally agree with the statement. I think what you said afterwards is mostly a non-sequitur, you seem to be talking past the comment.

      • BIllC –

        As usual, fair points and good post.

        I also appreciate the links that Judith posts (\the Monckton/Lucia back and forth has been pretty interesting).

        Your point about there being distinctions between the heavily (and overtly) politicized “skeptical” bloggers and the non-politicized ones is a particularly good point and well-taken.

        That said, partisanship in this debate doesn’t necessarily fall along political lines: For example, when someone like Willis, who has gained some attention for his technical analysis in the “skeptical” blogosphere, posts a ranting screed attacking Muller personally. And when such partisanship – whether political or reflective of other types of partisanship – is found to comprise much of the dialogue that takes place at a blog like Judith’s, the overall picture is not so cleanly sectioned off into the non-partisan and partisan realms as you post suggests to me you’d like to do. From what I’ve seen, I’m not convinced about the non-partisan nature of CA, and IMO, from what I’ve seen, Judith sometimes fails to consider the possibility that her own views are influenced by motivated reasoning and/or confirmation bias. I’ve just started reading more of Pielke Jr.’s stuff – and from what I’ve seen, while he is sometimes branded as a “denier,” his work does seem to me to be less partisan in nature, and not surprisingly, IMO, as a result it seems that his approach is one that engenders a more productive engagement with those who disagree with his perspective but who don’t see him as overwhelmingly partisan. I haven’t read much at Collide-a-Scape.

        There are similarly non-overtly political sources of information in the “climate community” as those that you mention, yet in the “skeptical” community, claims are made, constantly, about the overwhelming tribalism and partisanship in the “climate community.” So, on the one hand, some “skeptics” (including Judith) paint the “climate science community” as a whole as being “asymmetrically” tribal and partisan, yet on the other hand, those same skeptics seek to create distinctions within their own community that they won’t allow for in the “climate science community.”

      • I agree with you that partisanship in this debate doesn’t necessarily fall along political lines, and that’s a good thing. Even better is when you can’t determine the politics of the debaters. IMO people who consistently refuse to pick up the political gauntlet when it is thrown down are showing admirable restraint. Anyway, I do understand your point about tribalism among skeptics, but how important is it? The accusations of tribalism among the “climate community” have to do with funding, peer reviews, IPCC process etc. – something that the skeptics don’t have equivalent versions of – YET.

      • Anyway, I do understand your point about tribalism among skeptics, but how important is it?

        I don’t know, exactly. I reject arguments (I frequently see) that it doesn’t exist, and I’m very “skeptical” about arguments that there’s a “vast asymmetry.” That’s why I ask for evidence when such a claim is made, and for sophisticated arguments as to why the abundant and overt politicization on the “skeptical” side should be viewed as insignificant.

        The accusations of tribalism among the “climate community” have to do with funding, peer reviews, IPCC process etc. –

        Well – the arguments are not limited to that. They also involve charges of partisanship for political or other ideological reasons. Surely, you have not missed those arguments being made?

        But further, those arguments are logical, but they are also speculative. For me, the notion that there is some pervasive corrupting influence on the science of the “climate science community” due to funding needs to be proven more solidly to be sustainable. In my experience – and from what I’ve seen there is a solid body or research to back this up – most people are driven more by respect, autonomy, power over their own circumstances, etc., than they are by money. I find it hard to believe that a vast majority of the “climate science community” would simply gamble their integrity, credibility, and personal choice over what they deem most appropriate, for the sake of funding. And it isn’t as if views on AGW are in a binary condition w.r.t. funding. Curry, Spencer, Lindzen, and some other climate scientists are funded. Every day I read at WUWT links to articles, produced by the “climate science community,” that have results that could be interpreted (as Anthony does right or wrong) as undermining the “consensus” view on AGW.

        The questions about the IPCC process are important, IMO, but the notion that such institutional problems are somehow unique to the IPCC and it’s results suggests selective reasoning, IMO. I have seen similar problems in every large institution I’ve worked in, public or private, and in every large institution I’ve ever dealt with, public or private. I also see what I see as a willingness to blow some of those problems out of proportion. Attributing the problems in the IPCC, categorically, to “tribalism” seems to me to show selective reasoning.

        As for problems with the peer review process – they too are real. I have seen first hand, biases in the process of selecting articles for publication. But again, the existence of those problems does not mean that I find credible conclusions that any product of peer review is inherently flawed or a direct function of biases. Along the same lines, I do not find credible arguments that any product of peer review is therefore inherently corrupted by tribalism – any more than I feel that any “skeptical” analysis in the “skeptical” blogosphere is inherently flawed due to tribalism among “skeptics” as a group.

      • Joshua @ your latest,

        “They also involve charges of partisanship for political or other ideological reasons. Surely, you have not missed those arguments being made?”

        -No, I just choose to ignore them. If I thought our host made them (do you?) I probably wouldn’t read the blog.

        “For me, the notion that there is some pervasive corrupting influence on the science of the “climate science community” due to funding needs to be proven more solidly to be sustainable. In my experience – and from what I’ve seen there is a solid body or research to back this up – most people are driven more by respect, autonomy, power over their own circumstances, etc., than they are by money. I find it hard to believe that a vast majority of the “climate science community” would simply gamble their integrity, credibility, and personal choice over what they deem most appropriate, for the sake of funding. And it isn’t as if views on AGW are in a binary condition w.r.t. funding. Curry, Spencer, Lindzen, and some other climate scientists are funded.”

        -OK true, but much more strongly worded than I would choose. IMO there is a very large gulf between the realities of academic funding and compromising personal integrity. Most of it is a choice of which details to scrutinize in a world of overwhelming details. I certainly think it’s possible for the process to self-corrupt without the influence of nefarious ‘other people’s money’.

        “The questions about the IPCC process are important, IMO, but the notion that such institutional problems are somehow unique to the IPCC and it’s results suggests selective reasoning, IMO. I have seen similar problems in every large institution I’ve worked in, public or private, and in every large institution I’ve ever dealt with, public or private.”

        -The IPCC is in a pretty unique position. I do dare to disagree with Richard Tol that “the experts, by definition, contributed to the literature”. AFAIK, the IPCC is very close to “reviewing own work”. I am inclined to agree that something else is needed.

      • -OK true, but much more strongly worded than I would choose. IMO there is a very large gulf between the realities of academic funding and compromising personal integrity. Most of it is a choice of which details to scrutinize in a world of overwhelming details. I certainly think it’s possible for the process to self-corrupt without the influence of nefarious ‘other people’s money’.

        Fair point. The situation isn’t as black and white as I painted it, either.

        AFAIK, the IPCC is very close to “reviewing own work”. I am inclined to agree that something else is needed.

        I agree. Even if I might lean somewhat less into concluding that the current results were corrupted by virtue of “self-review,” I share your perspective that all reasonable attempts should be made to make the review as objective as possible. I suspect that I think that such an endeavor might by more complicated than you would think it to be – but from what I’ve seen, it is clear that a better job could be done. As with any institution, outside review, with optimal “transparency” is ideal. I don’t buy the arguments that somehow the IPCC is uniquely susceptible to partisan biases – but that in no way diminished the importance of controlling for bias as much as possible (more than it has been).

        That’s why I find thread like the previous one to be interesting. When the “climate science community” takes steps to control for biases – and those steps are rejected by some “skeptics,” it leaves me wondering what those “skeptics” are really interested in.

      • steven mosher

        You realize that McIntyre is a liberal. You realize that he says as a policy maker he would use what the IPCC says to inform his decision. You realize that Tom Fuller is a liberal and that while he believes in global warming he considers the fight against global warming to be a fight against the poor. Not everything fits into your neat little boxes Joshua. And you realize that our whole argument is targeted at a group of people within climate science who called themselves the ” hockey team” and it is the “team” who we identify as tribal, not the whole of climate science.

      • Joshua is a child sophist, very taken with his pudding in the corner.
        =========

      • Partisanship is not only a product of political ideology – although political ideology is sometimes a factor.

        As for the “neat little boxes” argument, I offer this in response:

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/09/30/uncertainty-monster-visits-mit-part-ii/#comment-117701

        And you realize that our whole argument is targeted at a group of people within climate science who called themselves the ” hockey team” and it is the “team” who we identify as tribal, not the whole of climate science.

        Who be “we?”

      • The drummers, honey; the drums you stuff your ears to ignore the crescendo.
        ==========

      • steven mosher

        you comment there did not address the issues and your reference to it here does not answer the specific questions I raise. The problem was with “the team” a small group of climate scientists who by their own admission had a bunker type mentality. Their mistake was to paint skeptics with a broad broad. They, like you, dont understand that some of the most important players are driven by other motivations. These motivations are not political they are personal. They have nothing really to do with climate science, but rather have to do with principles like transparency and due diligence. the skeptical “team” is does not really function tribally. You can basically say anything you want as long as its critical of the science. You can criticize another skeptic ( see lucia versus Monkton) because “consistency” is not a feature of the skeptical toolset. If you have 100 skeptics in the room you have 100 different arguments against AGW. These arguments are inconsistent. They are inconsistent for a reason. Skeptics can and do attack each other but in the end they return to the main target. They are not a team they are a swarm. They are not a tribe they are a confederation of tribes. They do not speak with one language, they do not enforce speech codes on each other. Until you understand that they are not a tribe in the same way, you’ll continue to misdiagnose the problem and make stupid suggestions. Your problem is that you make the same mistake that mann and others made. The big skeptical money doesnt fund people like Mcintyre. It doesnt have to, and he would never take money to do what he does. He does what he does because he loves puzzles. So, how do you deal with that? do you

        1. Give him a challenge to find out what you hid.
        2. Co opt him and do a paper with him

        All you idiots have suggested #1, practiced #1, and got your asses handed to you by the ICO.

      • Three cheers for:

        steven mosher | October 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm |

      • I have read that McIntyre is classified or self-classified as a “liberal”. As I view him a first rate logical thinker, I doubt he is a liberal in the modern sense, but rather as a classical liberal in the tradition of von Hayek or even Frederick Bastiat. If not, he is a just a common mutant with ever so common insatiable desire to be loved by the MSM.

      • Actually, McIntyre has characterized himself as a Clinton democrat.

      • Bill Clinton once called CO2 plant food, but only once.
        ==============

      • steven mosher

        So Joshua how does Lucia criticism of Monkton fit into your idea that the skeptics are “tribal?” How does Anthony’s criticism of Monkton fit into your picture? How does the audience at Heartland booing Steve McIntyre fit into your picture? How does the criticism I received for my article on Jones at Big Government square with your notions?

        Find me a published climate scientist who is willing to go on the record and say the following.

        1. Phil Jones was wrong to break FOIA law
        2. Mann was wrong to write to journalists and fellow scientists ( reviewers)
        and call McIntyre a fraud.
        3. Briffa violated IPCC guidelines as a Lead author by confidentially
        sharing a draft of Chapter 6 with Wahl.
        4. Jones was wrong to ask Wahl to delete his mails with An FOIA pending
        5. Mann was wrong to forward this request to Wahl.
        6. Hiding the decline is not best practices.

        Willing to say that all publicly and without qualification or playing the mommy they did it first game.

      • Steven – Are you wearing box-colored glasses?

        So Joshua how does Lucia criticism of Monkton fit into your idea that the skeptics are “tribal?”

        It is entirely consistent. I have never said that all “skeptics” are tribal, let alone tribal 100% of the time.

        By the same logic, I reject arguments based on a notion that the vast majority of the “climate science community” is only tribally driven, let alone that all evidence they produce that supports the contention that it is 90% likely that more than 50% of recent anomalous warming is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions is a product of tribalism.

        I would like to see the evidence to support the notion that there is some “vast asymmetry” in the tribal or partisan influences in how the science is interpreted on one side, but not the other.

        And again, I don’t reject the notion that that tribalism does affect interpretation of the science on both sides of the debate.

        Steven – It seems to me that you are mistaken about what I’m arguing, and you seem to conflate elements of what I’m arguing and groups that I’m discussing. Your use of the definite article in your comment I excerpted above suggests that confusion to me. Although I don’t doubt that I am not 100% consistent, I try to qualify my statements so as not to refer to “the skeptics” – or to dismiss all “skeptical” arguments as being driven by partisanship. . Perhaps I need to be clearer – but for that reason, again I will refer you to this:

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/09/30/uncertainty-monster-visits-mit-part-ii/#comment-117701

      • Alexander Harvey

        Steven,

        The old time sceptics were mostly climate scientists. I would have thought that at least one of them might say most or all of that.

        Alex

      • steven mosher

        Joshua. again refering to an unclear prior statement of yours doesnt clarify your answer to the issue.

        The vast asymmetry is clear to me.

        1. You are unable to find a single climate scientist who will openly
        say the 6 things I listed above. None of these things has anything
        whatsoever to do with the science. They have to do with the
        institutional behavior of 3 individuals. I call this this the thin
        green line. It’s the defense of personal behavior unrelated
        to the science that defines their behavior as tribal. My people
        can do no wrong.
        2. you are able to find many examples of skeptics going at each other.
        Anthony criticizing Monkton for his Nazi comments. Lucia criticizing
        Monkton. McIntyre critcicizing Scafetta. Heartland booing Mcintyre.
        JeffId attacking Pat Frank. Me criticizing Ross McKittrick ( a friend
        no less ) for his statements about Wagner

        The point of the asymmetry is this. The skeptics dont function or interact with each other like a tribe. There are no rules about things you cant say.
        nothing is taboo.
        They dont strategize a plan of attack on the AGW folks. Thats part
        of their genuis as I’ve argued before. Many lines of attack, many inconsistent lines of attack. The team thinks they are fighting another tribe. They are not. They are fighting a loose conferation that is tied together by a common opponent. That is why you can see Lucia attack Monkton in public, and ALSO why you can only see Briffa complain about
        Mann in private mails.

      • Why did you chose to criticize Ross McKittrick publicly and not privately?

      • Don’t forget how Willis jumped Spencer over at WUWT.

      • Yes, and Mosher uses the language correctly.Skeptics are in a confederacy. The fellowship of the UN, WWF, and the IPCC for top down approach is a confederacy. Conclusions that huge sections of either group or the other are in a conspiracy is incorrect.

      • Find me a published climate scientist who is willing to go on the record and say the following.
        1. Phil Jones was wrong to break FOIA law …….

        Yes quite. It’s not these instances of corrupt science that have killed off public trust in climate science, it’s the dogged refusal by the broad profession to acknowledge and rectify them – what you might call Climategate Denialism.

      • steven mosher

        lolwot

        Why did I choose to criticize Ross Publicly? Very simple. Somebody asked me what I thought and I saw no need to keep my mouth shut. And guess what, I think that his comments about Wagner have nothing to do with the science that Ross does which is first rate. Ross is on my “team” because he defends transparency. I disagree with his work on UHI ( publicly) disagree with what he said about Wagner( publicly) I like his work on paleo.. what is so damn hard for you to get in this? Crap I’ve priased and criticized Tamino. He does good science and happens to be an ass to some commenters. Big deal, I’m not going to deny he’s a jerk, Im not going to defend it, and the fact he can be a jerk has nothing to do with his math which is excellent. I get to say those things. Somebody “inside” the tribe doesnt get to say them. That is what makes it a tribe.

      • “…partisanship in this debate doesn’t necessarily fall along political lines…”

        I think that would better read “party lines.” If the US used a parliamentary system, we would see more nucleation of “interest” groups into a finer-grained array of parties. As it is, we see all kinds of odd bed-fellows struggling to squeeze into the procrustean constraints of the two-party system. The partisanship mostly is political for reasons you can put down to economic or fundamentalist religious fears (most of the wing-nut followers in the “anti-AGW” camp, who are effectively “hypochondriacs” in a sense, and who firmly believe the human race is a disease on the planet. I suspect that many of the more rational seeming participants in the debate may well lean the way they do, due to internal states that are somewhat in sympathy with one pole or the other. Deep inside, there’s a bit of wing nut in all of us.

    • Joshua,

      True skeptics are skeptical of even the skeptics.

  10. Heh

    Misread the word as info-taintment.

    Which works too, one supposes.

    One notes how infotainting Norm Kalmanovitch is with his nine-year long view of climate, which manages in half the length of time that signal can be separated from noise in the already questionable surface temperature record by ordinary mathematics and a demand for predictions about inherently unpredictable matters to come to an ironclad conclusion that happens to coincide with his own biased views.

    It’s like watching Jerry Lewis explain Relativity.

    • Whereas sticking to the 17 (or 30) year maxim is not at all like watching a meteorologist clutching his forecast that affirms the rain he can see falling through his office window isn’t real…

      up your game, son

      • Gras Albert

        Up my game?

        My skepticism is inadequate?

        There are five to 17 decreasing ten year spans in any net increasing 80 year span in the global temperature record since 1850.

        There are five to 17 decreasing ten year spans in the 80 year model runs.

        While I empathize with Norm’s tortured soul, his tortured logic is a pathetic trap that plays into the dyskeptic arguments of people who can make any temperature record seem to mean anything they want by simply abandoning the hard learned lessons of skepticism that tell us to judge data by signal:noise and appropriate statistical analyses.

        You don’t use bad data or bad methods to make your argument because right or wrong, you’re still wrong.

        You’re not happy with math because the numbers are mean to you?

        Get over yourself.

  11. “the American public has always trusted scientists”

    I’m not sure how this conclusion was derived. Way too general.

    Andrew

    • I agree.

      What is meant by “American public”? Everyone in the US or just 90%, or 75%, or 66%, or just a majority?

      Which scientists?

      Also, I find it telling of a writer’s merit on a subject to look out for statements of fact that use “always” and “never”. Unless you are dealing with a small number of examples, there is most likely going to be a least one example that deviates from the norm… which would mean it isn’t “always” or “never”. If one example defeats your argument, then don’t frame your argument that way.

  12. Though Galileo’s correction to the misapprehension of man’s place in the universe had much more vast intellectual consequences, the skeptic’s correction to the misapprehension by the alarmists of man’s place in the universe will have much more vast social, political, and economic consequences.
    =============

  13. If Galileo were still alive today, he would be a manmade CO2 warming Skeptic.
    He said:
    “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual”

    • There are so many nice quotes from great scientists about the value of scepticism, against authority/consensus etc. Are there any about the value of authority/consensus?

  14. The Inquisition was imposed by those embracing the “consensus” opinion onto those who dared to challenge the “consensus” opinion.

    Pearce has got the shoe on the wrong foot.

    .

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      The only official consensus in support of AGW is the 2007 Bali Declaration by Scientists but this was only signed by 212 scientists.
      The Oregon petition was signed by 31,487 American scientists of which 9,029 were PhDs.
      The Manhattan declaration was signed by 712 Qualified Endorsers and by 671 members of the general public who did not meet the qualification standard.
      212: 9029 and 212:712 is definitely not a consensus in support of AGW

  15. Hi Dr. Pearce
    I hope you do stop by.

  16. Latimer Alder

    I was tempted to stop reading as I choked on the words in sentence 2 of the product description

    ‘an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence ‘

    which caused me to wonder which meaning of ‘rigorously vetted’ they were using. Clearly one which is not usual in conventional discourse.

    But I perservered..I am second to nobody in the sacrifices I will make in the pursuit of Truth. It was not until I got to

    ‘the deniers use a wide variety of deceptive rhetorical techniques, many stretching back to ancient Greece’

    that I gave up.

    Those crafty deniers! How dare they bambozzle us all with underhand Hellenic ideas …some of them over 2500 years old? And we poor modernists have no defence at all against such knavish tricks. One whiff of a Socratic discussion – or of a touch of an idea from Plato and we are all doomed to perplexity. Its downright dirty playing…like sneaking up on Superman (another orginally European concept) with a suitcase full of Kryptonite. Unfair play.

    I will read further once I have recovered my composure, wiped the coffee from my keyboard, re-sealed my sides split from laughing and suspended disbelief for just another few minutes before I return to the Land of the Sane and the Normal.

    PS – just as a topical observation – we have had a heatwave in S. England for about a week now. And nobody that I know has blamed it on climate change! Even the Met Office has decided that its likely caused by the weather. How times change.

    • Ever since the russian ‘blocking’ heat wave, they wouldn’t dare i reckon.

    • ‘an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence ‘

      Teamspeak for ‘rigorously feted’. Similar to pal review.

  17. OK.

    Let’s get this straight.

    Pearce tell us the climate skeptics are leading an Inquisition against (“mainstream” or “consensus”) climate “science”.

    Did religious dogma skeptic, Martin Luther, lead an Inquisition against Pope Leo X (who ex-communicated him for his “heretical” views) or Emperor Charles V (who declared him an outlaw for daring to challenge Church dogma)?

    I think Pearce needs a basic history lesson.

    His premise is so totally absurd it is hardly worth reading in any more detail.

    Max

    • max, some confusion? Powell is the person talking about the inquisition, Pearce is the person rebutting it

    • Alexander Harvey

      Max,

      I think Pearce writes:

      “In the twenty-first century, is climate science being judged by an inquisition of climate deniers in a similarly unscientific way?”

      “The Inquisition of Climate Science by geologist James Powell claims just that.”

      to suggest that Powell’s Inquisition is bogus.

      Alex

      • Alexander Harvey

        See my post to Judith above. I got the author and rebutter mixed up.

        Mea culpa.

        Max

    • randomengineer

      You are hitting on a major point.

      Powell’s (not Pearce as others have said) use of the term “inquisition” is telling in that it conjures religious zealot imagery and all of the baggage of illiterate peasants, firebrands, and ignorant priests one can manage.

      It’s small wonder that some of the usual suspects herein consistently bang the AGW denier = evolution denier = religious nutbar drum when they are fed a steady diet of this iconography (and as an aside it’s fascinating to read them claiming this to be their own assessment.)

      Add to that the laughably absurd notion of the vast right wing conspiracy funded by eeevil oil companies, and it’s no small wonder that otherwise disinterested observers (e.g. me) conclude that by and large the alarmist contingent spends their days wearing tin foil hats whilst congratulating themselves on their superior intelligence.

      It’s the small things that count, and the loaded term INQUISITION is the giveaway here.

  18. Kip Hansen’s scepticism appears wounded.

    While Kip’s quick to be sceptical of charts and graphs — and perhaps there is a small grain of truth to some part of some of Kip’s questions — but slow to furnish evidence for such assertions as “The BIG money, of course, is paid out and spent on the CAGW side and has always been.”.

    Where is this big cAGW money coming from? It’s certainly not the US Government. The government’s own audits clearly show most of the tax dollars in this issue land in fossil industry (sorry, Kip, there is such a thing, even if it doesn’t fit your neat definitions) pockets.

    Is it international government money? Well, I’d love to see those figures, too.

    I understand Jo Nova’s produced claims.. and every time I look into them, they fall apart with the least zephyr of sceptical accounting.

    Maybe Kip’s yet-to-be-produced figures might be better?

    Maybe the same seance Herman used to chat with Galileo might unearth some fiscal proof of Kip’s quips?

    • The USGCRP funds CAGW to the tune of $2 billion a year. The fossil fuel industry gets virtually none of this, and does almost no climate research on their own, so what in the world are you talking about? There is a US fossil fuel research program but it is not about AGW, mostly pollution control and carbon sequestration (ironically, a part of CAGW).

    • Bart –

      You don’t understand. Kip makes a great point:

      “The BIG money, of course, is paid out and spent on the CAGW side and has always been.”.

      The billions spent by the fossil fuel industry to capture, refine, and distribute fossil fuels, and the billions in profit they take back in return, comprise that “BIG money” that spent on the “CAGW side.”

      • Ha ha.

        Geez oh boy Bart, the “big CAGW money” is the federal research, most of which winds up in papers that are more warmist than skeptic. That’s why Hansen’s statement about “mainstream skeptical scientists” in addition to the bloggers is relevant. Curry, Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Pielke, Pielke….

        The fact that the coal and oil boys make more money doesn’t mean they spend it on research and funding skeptics…

      • BillC

        If they’d ‘make more money’ without dodging taxes and demanding subsidies, on the scale of orders of magnitude more than all government science spending, I’d have no argument.

        So.. what’s your point again?

        That profitable ventures ought ride on the backs of taxpayers?

      • The “big money” that the fossil fuel industry spends is to provide a low-cost source of energy to supply the needs of the population of the world.

        A part of this comes back to them as profits, which are partly re-invested to develop new energy supplies, both from their original sources as well as from new ones.

      • manacker

        Yeah.. but see, it’s big tax money or tax expenditure.

        Why are the taxpayers of America subsidizing multinational corporations?

      • Regarding Joshua’s incoherent comment on Bart’s ridicul;ous comment:

        The money spent on exploring for and producing oil, gas, etc., and the resulting profits earned by the BIG EVIL fossil energy companies is not spent countering the money spent on funding CAGW biased research, and the related promotional propaganda.

        Can you quantify the actual amount of money that the denier industry spends to foil the efforts of the chicken littles to save the planet? And further, can you explain why the chicken littles have been such utter failures in accomplishing anything to prevent the sky from falling?

      • Erm, wrong. Actually (as you well know) the money on the ‘consensus’ side outweighs the ‘skeptical’ side by orders of magnitude.

        Trying to slight people off the back of funding betrays ‘your’ real intent, and shows just how little one understands on this subject.

        MAy i humbly suggest you go look up the main funders of the CRU, it only slightly destroys your (and this) whole point.

      • May I humbly submit https://judithcurry.com/2011/10/03/sceptical-about-scepticism/#comment-118147, in reply, and request you provide a link to your sources.

        Since mine are authoritative, bona fide, and say the diametric opposite of what you claim.

      • In your linked comment you say:

        “The fraction of spending on climate science compared to money that goes from the taxpayer to fossil energy corporations (including tax expenditures) isn’t even a rounding error.”

        We’re talking about the money spent on research, not the money that goes to the corporations as subsidies. I cannot for the life of me imagine how you can honestly conflate these two things. What is your justification for making this statement?

      • You’re conflating money spent (totalt) with money spent SPECIFICALLY on (or ‘against’) cAGW. It’s one thing to look at the susbidies and tax breaks companies get, it’s another to look at the research and marketing budgets when specifically targeted at cAGW.

        These are not the same things. I humbly suggest you look again bearing this in mind.

      • Yes, All Bart is saying is that the (alleged) subsidies to energy companies are more than the subsidies to climate science. Even if true, an utterly irrelevant point, designed to disguise the relevant point that those subsidies to climate science are vastly greater than the amounts spent by energy companies (and others) on climate science. And that the vested interest and dominance of this funding is what explains the ‘consensus’.

      • Huh.

        I go to the Idsos’ circus of CO2 website, and count scores of government-funded studies the Idsos count as support for CO2 emission.

        I look at what research is done supported by the government on climate — counting hurricane research, meteorology, and the dozen of other climate-change neutral areas — and cannot find an a priori line in the budget for research that tells the climate scientists what to discover.

        Your logic requires congressmen to be so smart they can tell ahead of time what scientists will learn from data and study.

        I’m sorry, I’ve met congressmen, and I can’t buy logic dependent on superior congressional braininess.

    • Bart R,
      You are either tremendouly ignorant or you are a liar. based on your track reciord, a good bet is the latter.

      • I think Bart is talking about the BIG OIL industry’s alleged “funding”
        of the all powerful Heartland Foundation, and the $1,500 they gave to Richard Lindzen back in the 1970’s, or whatever.

    • Big Green, big money.

    • Where is this big cAGW money coming from? It’s certainly not the US Government

      Of course it is. Do you think all the state-funded funded climate science costs peanuts?

      • Punksta

        I think you’ve been punked, if you think the fraction of state funding that goes to science, nevermind climate science, stacks up to a hill of peanuts compared to the state funding that goes to energy corporations.

        http://205.254.135.24/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/execsum.pdf

        Lamar Alexander apparently believed as you do, so he insisted on an audit. What did the audit show? The fraction of spending on climate science compared to money that goes from the taxpayer to fossil energy corporations (including tax expenditures) isn’t even a rounding error.

        I’ve provided my link, to answer your skepticism.

        Let’s see yours.

      • Th BIG money in climate science.
        The point is that what governments spend on climate science, utterly dwarfs what everyone else put together does. Probably by three or four orders of magnitude. Hence the ‘consensus’.

      • Punksta

        The BIG money in climate science?

        So the BIG money the US government flushes down the fossil drain changing dirty bandages that address the symptoms of high prices at the pump every day, that outstrips the amount spent every decade on research to study the disease of fossil waste, that doesn’t count for your purposes?

        Seems cherry-picking to me.

        Especially when the tax dollars come from the same pockets. Taxpayers’.

  19. This book seems to be adding more to the problem. How can anyone truely believe the conspiracy theories on either side (AGW socialist-marxist hoax, AGW-sceptics all oil funded dirty-capitalists)? These are just meant to keep each side assured of their truth and “unequivacal” science, either that AGW is not only true but understated, or that it is flatout wrong. These types of ideas help keep the “information cacoons” Cass Sunstein referred to in his book Infotopia intact. By making all of those people with whome you disagree seem either dim-witted or part of the conspiracy, you solidify both your own and the opposing sides positions on the issue, because they see how you respond and do so in kind as well. Both sides are in a dynamic state of constant feedback, pushing themselves and each other further apart with politics and ideology. Want my two cents? Break the cycle. Stop playing the game. If you fail to do so, I willing to bet 1000 to 1 you will never see large-scale, legit action on climate change and carbon emissions so long as the sides remain divided and the American public resorts to infighting along partisan lines, destroying the needed public will to act.

    • Jacob,
      The problem with your underlying assumption is that most Americans understand the concept of ‘first do no harm’.
      AGW policy demands are filled with clear harm and are completely unclear as to benefit.
      From my perspective, gridlock is the preferred status until the AGW community can either demonstrate any credible benefits and a believable safety claim, or finsihes imploding completely.
      My bet is on the implosion of the movement.

    • randomengineer

      Stop playing the game. If you fail to do so, I willing to bet 1000 to 1 you will never see large-scale, legit action on climate change and carbon emissions so long as the sides remain divided and the American public resorts to infighting along partisan lines, destroying the needed public will to act.

      YES YES YES. This is *exactly* what we want, for there to be no action whatsoever until such time as it becomes clear that action is warranted. If that’s all it takes, why, I’d be perfectly happy if all of the congresscritters threw up their hands and quit and went home starting RIGHT NOW. We can elect a new bunch of lying imbeciles november 2012.

  20. Latimer Alder

    There areprecisely zero index entries for:

    Watts
    Curry
    Montford
    Bishop Hill
    Keenan
    Pielke

    McIntyre and McKitrick are only mentioned in one footnote. Poor old Phil Jones doesn’t even justify a mensh at all.

    Perhaps less surprisingly, there are 9 refs. to Trenberth and 26 to Mann. The book’s dedication is

    ‘To James E Hansen, Michael E Mann, Benjamin D Santer and the late Stephen H. Schneider. SCIENTISTS OF COURAGE AND INTEGRITY’ (their caps).

    Doesn’t seem to me that this is a very comprehensive nor objective survey of the sceptical world. My twenty quid will be staying firmly in my pocket.

  21. The alarmists will try just about anything to get the focus off their misdeeds. Anthony Watts has a fine blog post today titled “Hansen rakes it in.” See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/03/hansen-rakes-it-in/

    No wonder Hansen allows Gavin Schmidt to work on RealClimate during the workday. Hansen has a personal money machine he has to keep well oiled and running smoothly!

  22. The people who think they can control the weather are the same people who think they can control every aspect of everyone else’s life and do a better job making decisions for them than they con do for themselves. These smarter-than-the-rest-of-us geniuses are called liberal fascists.

  23. Modern science is under the greatest and most successful attack in recent history

    “Modern science”, meaning Man made global warming is attacked because it calls a global cooling trend an accelerated warming (IPCC AR4).

    http://bit.ly/pMHO76

    No one can attack truth.

    Only falsehood is attacked.

    What a joke!

  24. Admitting too much here–>

    ___________

    “Product Description

    “Modern science is under the greatest and most successful attack…” ~amazon

    ___________

    In addition to being nothing but a hoax and a scare tactic, global warming alarmism really is just another Leftist “product” that is ginned-up out of whole cloth to generate “revenue” isn’t it?

  25. When I saw the title “The Inquisition of Climate Science”, I immediately thought of the defamation of scientists sceptical of IPCC science and policy, blocking of FOI requests, the corruption of peer review, etc. Amazing how leftists can reverse reality with their conspiracy theories.

  26. It is sad when someone who has actually accomplished a lot lets his bigotry and extremism reduce his ability think.
    Powell has really hurt his legacy with this book.
    Mooney has an excuse: He is a hack writer by trade. Powell should know better.
    The tell, of course, is the deliberate false claim that skeptics, in questioning the idea that the world is experiencing a climate catastrophe caused by CO2 are atakcing the entire enterprise of science.
    As demosntrated here and in large scale formal surveys, skeptics are generally well educated, technically competenet and supportive of science.
    The AGW extremists have to lie about this and create, as Powell ahs sadly chosen to do, a phony target for their rage at those who dare to question their chosen faith.

  27. The reality on Galileo is much more complex. He actually had the favor of the people, the Prince and the Pope. His experimental discoveries and writings caused major heartburn among the Aristotelians. They formed the secret Liga to destroy Galileo. They persuaded the Pope that Galileo’s was making a fool of the Pope by his “Simpliciton” (that Gallleo was using as the foil for conventional science.) See Roy Peacock, A Brief History of Eternity for details.
    Academic jealousies and politics and pride were much more to blame over Galileo’s problems than religion.

    • David L Hagen,
      The reality is that the Spanish Inquisition did not deal with Galileo at all.
      Galileo, our AGW beleiver friends do not seem to realize, did not live under the jurisdiction of the Spanish. He lived in Italy.
      But dragging out Galileo’s corpse is a fixation for many fanatics.

      • Latimer Alder

        Hunter me old pal me old mucker…

        Sorry to rain on your parade and all, but there was an Italian Inquisition to – a sort of daughter institution of the Spanish one. And Galileo was dealt with by them.

      • Latimer,
        I was responding to the specific assertion made by Pearce, “My dictionary describes the Spanish Inquisition as “an institution that guarded the orthodoxy of Catholicism in Spain, chiefly by the persecution of heretics”. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Spain and Italy were dangerous places for those exploring ‘unorthodox’ ideas.”

        I agree that there was an Inquisition in Italy. That is as well established in history as the LIA or MWP.
        But we skeptics are being accused by a lot of deeply disturbed people of not getting the facts straight, and those same people seem free to confabulate history in anyway that strikes their fancy. Pointing out the bad claims believers make is simply a nice fun thing to do.

  28. The most recent issue of Climatic Change addresses issues relevant to this and other recent threads regarding Guidance for Characterizing and Communicating Uncertainty and Confidence in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change A number of different views are described, including the one in the paper authored by Dr. Curry, which we have seen here earlier in draft form. The varying views on the subject are worth seeing for an overall perspective.

    • Pachauri, who wouldn’t recognize uncertainty if he were tied on the tracks and it ran over him.
      ===========

    • Among uncertainties are those assessing the relative roles of forced climate variations vs natural internal dynamics such as the AMO and PDO. It has been suggested previously that the AMO may be mainly a statistical artifact, but this is controversial. A new article in Climate Dynamics examines the possibility that the PDO includes a strong anthropogenically forced component. For the interval 1950-2007, these possibilities may have little impact since the net effect of AMO/PDO fluctuations tended to be small when averaged out over the interval. However, an anthropogenic contribution will have significance in estimating contributions over different past intervals and in estimating future trends.

    • Interesting that some articles are behind paywall and others are not? I wish felllow Burgher Granger Morgan’s article was not, so it could be accessed by readers of this blog (many of whom will not want to read beyond certain statements on the first page of which an image is available). The good stuff is in the remaining 14 pages.

  29. “Most. Scientists. Don’t. Know. You. Exist.”

    A climate scientists thoughts about sceptics. This is the simple reason perhaps, that there is no mention of Bishop Hill, Climate Audit, Watts Up, etc is that they just do not register in the academics world..

    In the words of a climate scientists that I am a little aquainted with…who was trying to get across this simple mesage to the resident sceptical commenators at Bishop Hill:
    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/9/28/dellers-on-reason.html?currentPage=3#comments

    Dr Tamsin Edwards:
    “Scientists usually end up saying denier because they only really hear about those denying CO2 is a GHG and that the earth is warming, and they don’t like skeptic (because they are themselves skeptical) and other terms haven’t stuck. Some soften it with “denialist”. They really don’t intend it to echo Holocaust denier I don’t think. They think of it more as equivalent to creationism.

    But this is only because of an important reason…

    Most. Scientists. Don’t. Know. You. Exist.”

    —————-

    (I was pointing out why ‘watermelons was ridiculously offensive to thousands of scientists and environmentalists and the locals were a little ‘sceptical’ ;-)

    Full Quote:

    DR Tamsin Edwards:
    “Right. At Barry’s request I’ve just read all of this thread on my phone. And it’s probably a bad idea to comment because I’m tired and have had a couple of beers (which explains why I haven’t just got up and got my laptop and modem to read and comment!).

    As many of you know I’m @flimsin the climate scientist. When you start sentences with (paraphrasing here) “the science is just…” or “CAGW is…” remember that behind the science are people like me. Kids who liked maths, read Stephen Hawking, worked hard during undergrad while the arts students had lie ins, trained to be a scientist in a different field (eg particle physics) then became climate scientists. I’m just a nerd who likes to understand stuff!

    I haven’t read Watermelons or watched the clip. A few thoughts….

    Shub, I am an example of a consensusist who has stopped using denier directly because of Barry, Bish and this forum.

    Name calling is ever so counterproductive. Today I was defending you lot to (particle physics) friends, yesterday to climate/stats friends, saying that denier offends and there is a spectrum of opinions anyway.

    Scientists usually end up saying denier because they only really hear about those denying CO2 is a GHG and that the earth is warming, and they don’t like skeptic (because they are themselves skeptical) and other terms haven’t stuck. Some soften it with “denialist”. They really don’t intend it to echo Holocaust denier I don’t think. They think of it more as equivalent to creationism.

    But this is only because of an important reason…

    Most. Scientists. Don’t. Know. You. Exist.

    Really! They are not aware that a significant part of people trying to prod science for weak spots actually are fine with AGW but not sure of magnitude/timing/impacts/policy. When I explain this they say “oh, that sounds perfectably reasonable!”. After all we argue about the first two or three in conferences and the literature ourselves! They agree Mann analysis was wrong, and would agree on lots of other things like “All models are wrong” (“but some are useful” :) )

    So give them a chance. Barry has won me over to you with respect, goodwill, and true listening. Please follow his example if you want to engage with climate scientists. Bish’s too.

    I am a modeller. My personal hygiene is not too questionable and I’m proud to be called one :) But not watermelon.

    Name calling is a surefire way to homogenise and depersonalise a group.

    I have typed this all on my phone with one eye shut lying in bed and desperate to sleep (after doing 12-16 hour days most days in the last two weeks, trying to get the science right). Please do read it in the spirit in which it was intended.

    Sep 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Tamsin Edwards

    • Name calling is a surefire way to homogenise and depersonalise a group.

      I’d add “and make sure they quit listening to whatever you have to say”. But otherwise, spot on…for both extremes.

      Dr. Edwards should comment while tired and after enjoying a couple beers more often. He makes more sense than some do cold sober.

      • I’d add “and make sure they quit listening to whatever you have to say”. But otherwise, spot on…for both extremes.

        Indeed. It never ceases to amaze me that people with solid reasoning skills seem to not get that point.

      • TAMSIN is a girl ;-) I don’t know if she has commented here yet, I’ll try and persude her to tip her toe in…

      • Doh! My apologies for the assumption, but yes, it sounds as though she’d be a welcome addition here.

    • Occam’s razor: they don’t mention the skeptical blogs, because it’s easier to thrash a straw man than a real blog. Why make life difficult, when this book is obviously targeted at the crowd that wants to see jousting with straw men?

      Always remember: a book is, first and foremost, a business venture.

  30. I read this post just after reading Donna Laframboise’s latest offering, about the 78 named IPCC authors/contributors who are associated with the WWF (and its immense funds).

    Why on earth should one be sceptical of unbiased, rigorous science when it’s in the hands of openly partisan scientists? !!!

  31. The drive of the world “conscience” is little changed. Whether witches, Jews or skeptics are the foe, there is some organized and motivated enemy out to defile the land, ursurp lawful authority and plunder the public purse for their own depraved pleasures. What has changed is the ability to defend oneself.

    Thank God (and Al Gore, I understand) for he internet! Without the internet, where would the climate change realists be? How would we get the information we need to see the bunk we’re being served, how would we know that we are not alone, scratching our heads and wondering what was going on? Would Inhofe be able to speak with such authority? Would anyone have been able to slow down, if not stop, Al Gore from becoming President of the UN and the crowned Messiah of the Green Revolution?

    I am a geoscientist and early on I thought it possible that the CAGW was real. It was only through the internet that I was able to satisfy my technical need to understand that I came to see CAGW as a model outcome, not a scientific certainty based on observation. And then the shrillness of pro-warmist alarm and outright hostility towards anyone who dared voice confusion, if not doubt, about the observational evidence of man’s CO2 production being a progressive disaster for the planet, pushed me into the skeptic camp completely. Which shrillness and hostility I also saw through the internet.

    If not for the internet … I shudder to think (Perhaps Al Gore softpedals his invention because he is being hoisted on his own petard these days.)

    • Hmmm…I think your path to skepticism is rather well trodden.

      • Me too.

        I just kind of assumed it was true. I was surprised at how modest the solutions were in the early days: the climate going down the gurgler and the answer was to switch off our mobile phones overnight. So I started checking the facts…

  32. Alexander Harvey

    I have to confess that I have survived until now in ignorance of Powell but I have visited his website to make amends for my lapse.

    Where I found what I must take to be an extract from another book containing a retrospective of a yet to happen part of this century.

    Lamenting the storm of 2042 the yet to happen author comments:

    “Remember that the attacks on the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001, even considering the effects of smoke and dust, directly affected only a small part of the city. The storm of 2042 wreaked havoc in a vastly larger area and brought the entire city of New York and its surrounding area to a halt. Many companies and organizations saw no future on the Island of Manhattan and if they were able, relocated to higher elevations inland, as my center has had to do.”

    I find this to be wrong and misjudged on too many levels. I must wonder whether this author understands the significance of a really happened event. Is this fair game? I think not. Is this wise? I think not. Is this humane? I think not.

    Alex

  33. The basics of a modern day liberal education:

    Witchburning 101: Techniques in Finding and Eliminating AGW Deniers

    Disestablishment Capitalism 101: Techniques of Finding and Eliminating Capitalists

    Situation Ethics 101: Techinques of Finding and Eliminating Judeo-Christian Ethics

    Political Correctness 101: New Methods for Constructing Towers of Babel

    Secular Socialism 101: Techniques for Increasng Personal Dependence on the State

    Global Warming 101: Using Superstition and Ignorance to Increase State Revenue

  34. I wonder if the book explains how it is that the evil denialists forced the IPCC to screw up? How did the dastardly dark forces cause Mann, Jones, Rahmstorf, Steig, Briffa et al to butcher their statistics and software so badly?

    I want to know who among the denialists forced climate scientists to fail to site instruments in accordance with basic standards. Who made the courageous scientists abandon transparency, audit and replication? What evil plot caused Gavin and JIm at GISS to fail to implement any quality control? And what about all those nasty e-mails and the FUBAR mess of Harry-read-me? Must have been one heckuva an elaborate conspiracy to get them to do all that.

    What denialist caused the creation of over 20 very different climate models if the science is settled? A tangled web indeed. Those denialists must be very, very clever. Darth Vader himself must be jealous.

    • Stirling English

      Stan

      If I mentioned the concept of the ‘Double Agent’, would enlightenment dawn?

      The crew you mention above are, despite appearances, all highly intelligent people. But they have been into the enemy camp undercover to act as buffoons, and so undermine morale and effectiveness. And you can see by the results how incredibly good at playing the part they are……..

    • “I wonder if the book explains how it is that the evil denialists forced the IPCC to screw up?”

      I’ll explain it to you. Denialists put in a lot of effort making a fuss out of the silliest irrelevant little things. Classic case last week was Anthony Watt’s and his Al Gore Video Experiment Investigation.

      In other fields, or even other areas of everyday life, there isn’t a denialist machine running to find every little mistake and exaggerate it into world-blowing scales.

      “I want to know who among the denialists forced climate scientists to fail to site instruments in accordance with basic standards.”

      That’s a case in point. site instruments were placed by meteorologists for the purpose of measuring temperature for weather. It was only co-opted for climate purposes in hindsight. The system is good enough for the general purpose. Could it be better? yes, but so could everything.

      BUt no the denialist will exploit the “rule book” to try and score points on technicalities. Getting fussed about jobsworthian “standards” and ticking the boxes – lots of bureaucracy – “OH NO THE SCIENTIST DIDN’T FILL IN FORM 24B!” is precisely the sign that deniers are exaggerating and spinning.

      See what I mean:
      “What evil plot caused Gavin and JIm at GISS to fail to implement any quality control?”

      • If you don’t like that Gavin admitted they lack quality control, take it up with him.

        The IPCC has completely discredited itself. Even some knowledgeable alarmists admit it. You can fulminate about Form 24B until you turn cocoon into hothouse if you want. Won’t make any difference.

        But you might want to grab hold of this little bit of reality — when you set about to change the world and drastically reduce the lives, liberty, and property of billions of people, you damn sure better bring your A game. Because when you claim to have it all settled and it turns out that you’re talking out your backside, the people you are trying to screw are going to expose your nakedness to the world. Every time.

      • “If you don’t like that Gavin admitted they lack quality control, take it up with him.”

        This was in response to the October 2008 error wasn’t it.

        What I didn’t care for was the desperate spin the deniers put on it to try and get the story in the news framed as a failing that undermined the science. That’s what the deniers work for – getting those kind of stories in the news by exaggerating cracks into caverns.

        There were lots of little falsehoods made by the skeptics to that end – such as the false claims that NASA had made a press release based on the false data saying October was the warmest on record.

        If the episode discredits anyone it discredits the skeptics.

        GISTEMP simply doesn’t need that level of quality assurance. If there are such errors in the released monthly data it will be found and corrected long (as it was in this case) long before anyone makes important use of it.

        “when you set about to change the world and drastically reduce the lives, liberty, and property of billions of people, you damn sure better bring your A game.”

        Deniers sure haven’t. They are running on a kind of F for Fail game from my point of view.

      • “Deniers” aren’t trying to change anything. Their ‘grade’ is irrelevant. They don’t have to prove a damn thing to allow you to keep living your life the way you choose. Or to allow Algore to have an enormous footprint or Bill Gates to heat his driveway.

        This is where your errors in reasoning eventually lead you to your epic failure of logic. This is supposed to be science. Science used to employ the scientific method. Good, quality science still does. You want to change the world? You gotta make the case. The old-fashioned way. You have to earn it.

        Unaudited, unreplicated, non-transparent, pal-reviewed BS studies with forged data, single data points, butchered stats, and bizarre assumptions don’t cut it. Neither do kludged up climate models with untold degrees of freedom which can’t be verified or validated.

        It’s a hot seat when you set about to force the world to change with the iron fist of government. If you can’t handle some pushback from the victims of your schemes, get out of the kitchen.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘If there are such errors in the released monthly data it will be found and corrected long (as it was in this case) long before anyone makes important use of it.’

        Did I really read this sentence from somebody who claims to have serious scientific background? Or am I just inhabiting a parallel universe where up is down right is left, truth is false and false is truth?

        Because I take it to mean

        Its not worth spending any effort trying to do the observaions properly becasue we know the answer we need and will adjust the data afterwards anyway to suit.’

        Dude – whatever that method may be called – ‘fraud’ springs to mind – it ain’t got anything to do with any scientific method that I know.

        Without accurate observations you are not doing science, you are
        storytelling. This idea was one of the key points of the scientific revolution led by Bacon over 400 years ago. It is a great pity that climatologists seem to have forgotten about this key idea.

      • ““Deniers” aren’t trying to change anything. Their ‘grade’ is irrelevant.”

        That’s just where you are wrong. Deniers are trying to change the public perception of climate science and global warming, using various deceptive tricks. They should be held to just as high a standard as scientists, politicians or anyone else.

        What quality control do deniers employ on their own pronouncements? Very little. Hypocrisy too then.

        “Because I take it to mean Its not worth spending any effort trying to do the observaions properly becasue we know the answer we need and will adjust the data afterwards anyway to suit.’”

        Well you read it wrong then.

      • Actually the sites were reviwed in 1998 by an independent team and they found the issues Anthony found almost 10 years before he did. They made a series of recommendations that were not followed. I dont blame NOAA for their decision. I just observe that when it came to spending money or requesting money this aspect of observation was not given the emphasis I would have given it.

      • Mosh,

        Two points: 1) the observation sites are even worse over the rest of the world (which covers a bit more territory); 2) the people making the judgments you reference include many of the same people whose ‘judgment’ is the basis of all the authority appeals to which we are regularly bombarded. I think that it is grossly irresponsible to conclude that quality data is not a priority for a science mission of the magnitude of CAGW policy. I’ll repeat — grossly irresponsible. And gross failures in judgment tend to diminish credibility for those whose judgment is touted as wise enough for us to use it to base major changes in the way we live.

        When the supposedly all-knowing wise men are shown to lack wisdom, they lose the moral authority to dictate to the rest of us.

      • It’s not about quality or non-quality. Quality is a gradient, not a binary state. The question is whether improving the quality would bring any substantial benefit.

        Given the past station data is what it is and cannot be improved for lack of a time machine the question becomes do we really need better quality data going forward than we already have for the last 3 decades? Is that value for money? Or would the money be better spent on other areas which would do more for improving understanding?

        Clearly climate scientists consider the station data good enough. Me too.

        Even skeptics do, although they don’t admit it, because they happily compare the early 20th century rate of warming to the late 20th century rate of warming – which relies on the data being of usable quality even in it’s least reliable early part. Notice how skeptics always question late 20th century warming, but never early 20th century warming. They rather like that early 20th century warming so they have no desire to see it reduced or plant doubt in people’s minds that maybe it didn’t happen.

        I am not surprised skeptics push the data quality card so much though when really the quality is good enough. Feigning concern for the quality of the data is just another way of smearing the scientists and denying inconvenient aspects of the data.

      • steven mosher

        Given the past station data is what it is and cannot be improved for lack of a time machine the question becomes do we really need better quality data going forward than we already have for the last 3 decades? Is that value for money? Or would the money be better spent on other areas which would do more for improving understanding?

        Clearly climate scientists consider the station data good enough. Me too.

        ###############################

        Wrong again. recall that the review I refered to was in 1998

        Since 2000 NOAA has been hard at work improving the quality of the data. So, they obviously saw the need for improvement. Those improvements have included.

        1. establishing the CRN the climate reference network
        2. establishing several regional networks.
        3. Improved quality control and homogenization algorithms, first
        in GHCNV2 and now in GHCNv3.
        4. Making more historical data available. This actually came about
        recently due to BESTs work,
        5. Shuttering bad stations, after Watts start publicizing some issues.

        The simple fact is this. Watts publicized a story that was already known internally. NOAA had 3 choices
        A. work with Watts and his volunteers and try to co opt the project.
        B. Down play its importance
        C. Fight

        I wont play the tape for you, but basically they did a tiny bit of C and
        mostly B

        Its good to get your facts right before you interpret them. The way I look at it the “community” had the opportunity to take the “gas” out of the whole project by either helping, endorsing, or doing it themselves. That said, on balance, I think they did an ok job, but in my mind they missed a great opportunity by refusing to do the unexpected. By now you should notice a common theme. When McIntyre complained about Mann, the right approach was to work with McIntyre, not to fight. Same for Willis and Jones, same for Watts and Peterson.

  35. In his final chapter, Powell says that the issue “comes down to trust”, adding that “the American public has always trusted scientists”.

    Why would/should you “trust” someone who has lied to you on numerous occasions about a number of items.
    Polar bears.
    ocean’s rising.
    glacier melt
    temperatures
    unprecedented __________!
    food/crop failures
    wars/migration
    animals going extinct
    rates of _______ diesease going up
    ocean acidification (marine life gone)

    There are more that I cannot think of but why do think trust has fled climate science.

    • Stirling English

      @mkelly

      Remember the old Russian proverb

      ‘doveryai, no proveryai’

      which translates as

      ‘trust but verify’ and was highly regarded as policy advice by both Reagan and Lenin.

      And it is very apparent that Climatologists will – and do – fight tooth and nail to resist any attempt to verify their work. Such behaviour – in any field of endeavour – inevitably raises severe doubts about the bona fides of those asking for our trust.

      When dealing with climatologists, the best approach is to remember the wisdom of the feared British TV interviewer Jeremy Paxman. ‘What is this lying bastard going to lie to me about today?’

  36. The story says:
    failure to provide any alternative theory to explain the observed evidence of warming. I
    *****************
    That is simply untrue.
    The warming since records began consists of 1/2 ° C per century warming superimposed on a 60 year ocean cycle.

    The supposed acceleration of warming from 1978 to to 1998 was preceded by 1940 to 1978 cooling [exactly what the ocean currents should cause.]

    Invoking CO2 as a cause for the 1/2 ° C warming is futile because it began long before CO2 production began in earnest and continues unchanged until today. It is so slow that it is of interest only to climate scientists, Politicians need not apply.

    Since the records were started at the end of the Maunder Minimum when the sun was dormant of course it warmed. The effect of clouds and cosmic rays probably amplified this solar warming.

    http://sidc.oma.be/html/wolfaml.html

    No CO2 was invoked in his explanation.

  37. Can someone explain to me the difference in some scientist receiving money from say EXXON for research, travel etc – and someone receiving money from BP – Shell for research, travel etc?

    Or. some scientist funded by say, Koch for research, travel etc – and someone receiving money from say, Soros.org for “politicization of science”
    http://www.soros.org/resources/articles_publications/publications/annual_20070731/a_complete.pdf [ page 143 ] “politicization of science ($720,000).”?

    IMO: Many climate scientists prostituted their cause – way before, so called skeptics.

    Frankly, we don’t trust you – because you won’t self regulate yourself.
    You allow “grey literature” in IPCC [ “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.” ]. You allow conflict of interests in IPCC – WWF – FOE – Greenpeace etc. to sell your wares, within IPCC.
    Someone needs to regulate IPCC!!

    Peer-review has become a joke.

    Mr Jones:
    [ “The most startling observation came when he was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. “They’ve never asked,” he said.” ].

    [ “including a chapter in the 2007 one co-authored by Jones. It said that globally “the urbanisation influence … is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale”. In other words, it is tiny.’].
    [ “But for the first time he did concede publicly that when he tried to repeat the 1990 study in 2008, he came up with radically different findings. Or, as he put it, “a slightly different conclusion”. Fully 40% of warming there in the past 60 years was due to urban influences. “It’s something we need to consider,” he said.”].

    Very few of you take on such claims as Mr Gore makes. You send people to places like RC, SkS, where real questions that conflict with them – are treated with hmmm disdain.

    Frankly, Mr Powell, your bit*h about skeptics – bloggers – “ideologues and money combined to attack sound climate science” etc….Just bites.

    First, we need “sound climate science” .

    Just my thoughts. :)

  38. Theo Goodwin

    Fred Pearce is the only high profile journalist that I trust on the topic of climate science. He focuses on the facts and arguments. He does not buy into any political agenda. Of course, he is not perfect. However, his writings on Climategate were published in the Guardian shortly after the public disclosure and gave rise to the very best discussion of the issues outside of specialized blogs such as this one.

    I just love it when journalists or academics take it upon themselves to write books or articles explaining how fully one half of Americans are deluded by propaganda. Apparently, such journalists or academics are heavily influenced by the old Marxist doctrine that a person’s thoughts are caused and that the Revolutionary Vanguard must lead them out of their delusions to a clear understanding of their need for revolution. To paraphrase William F. Buckley, I would rather be governed by the first 400 names in the phone book than by the Harvard faculty.

    • Alexander Harvey

      Theo

      Is there a phrase missing after caused?

      “Apparently, such journalists or academics are heavily influenced by the old Marxist doctrine that a person’s thoughts are caused and that the Revolutionary Vanguard must lead them out of their delusions to a clear understanding of their need for revolution.”

      FWIW this goes much further back at least to Rousseau and the revolutionary dilemma regarding the use of force to impose freedom. The climate variant seems to be the levying of taxes to impose prosperity.

      Alex

      • Theo Goodwin

        Now that you mention it, I guess there is. A person’s thoughts are caused by their ideology, according to the Marxists. Something like that goes back to Rousseau but the Marxists made themselves masters of the idea. You will see from time to time books explaining how the working class suffers from false consciousness. According to the Marxists, everybody suffers from false consciousness until the Vanguard leads them into the light of Marxism, the final and dominant ideology. A similar set of ideas worked appears in Kuhn’s writings on science where we learn that scientists are caused by their paradigm or world view to see the world in a particular way. All of this is major nonsense.

    • Maybe I haven’t been called out on Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies because this isn’t an analogy.

      That is a sickening thought.

  39. One form of the Golden Rule may be stated: “He who has the gold rules”. This is particularly true in climatology. The most prominent alarmists are typically college professors or researchers in National Laboratories, who derive most of their research funding from Government agencies such as NSF, NOAA, NASA, DOE, etc. If global warming were not a major catastrophe facing mankind, why would these agencies want to invest heavily in climatology? At the same time, these agencies themselves are under scrutiny in these days of budget cuts and economic austerity. They need a cause célèbre to justify continued high-level funding of the agencies. Thus, we have a neat little mutual co-dependency between the funders and the fundees working to their mutual advantage. Global warming is the “goose that laid the golden egg” for the agencies and the climatologists.
    At the other end of the scale, it is claimed that some deniers were funded by special-interest groups. On the Internet it is claimed that Exxon funded the National Center for Policy Analysis and the Heritage Foundation to publicize denier ideas. However the amounts of funding involved ($75,000 and $50,000, respectively) were miniscule compared to the hundreds of millions doled out by Government agencies to support the alarmist agenda. Nature magazine claimed:

    “The Heartland Institute plans to spend $1.8 million on its climate programme this year. Of that, $413,000 will go to supporting the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a small group of skeptics who have set themselves up as a counterweight to the IPCC. Made up of … a few dozen colleagues, the NIPCC mines the scientific literature for nuggets of contrary evidence and doubt — often the kind of uncertainties that scientists readily acknowledge in their publications. The NIPCC also ignores mountains of evidence about the adverse effects of global warming and instead strings together a confident story that makes rising carbon dioxide concentrations seem entirely beneficial.”

    The Heartland Institute is known as a right-wing conservative organization. However, the accusation made by Nature magazine is exactly transferrable to most of the college professors who espouse the alarmist viewpoint. They “mine the scientific literature for nuggets of supporting evidence — often ignoring the kind of uncertainties that scientists should, but don’t acknowledge in their publications. The alarmists also ignore mountains of evidence and instead string together a confident story that makes rising carbon dioxide concentrations seem unreasonably harmful.
    Other claims of funding of climate naysayers by oil and coal companies exist on the Internet. As far as I can tell, some of this is probably true, but again, such funding is trivial compared to Government funding for alarmists. The stakes are much higher for alarmists.
    There are also great opportunities for entrepreneurs to take advantage of funding for climate alarmism. The Internet is full of reports by organizations such as the Wall Street Journal and (the now defunct) Goldman–Sachs emphasizing the opportunities for investment in climate change.
    The Deutsche Bank Group (2008) has been a leader in arguing for investment in mitigation of global warming (presuming that carbon emissions are the sole culprit). They said: “the growing investment opportunities in climate change …[will] continue into the foreseeable future” and went on to say:
    “In the energy sector alone, the International Energy Agency estimates that about $45 trillion will be needed to develop and deploy new, clean technologies between now and 2050. This represents nothing less than a low-carbon Industrial Revolution. Writers and policymakers from across the political and intellectual spectrum have recognized the potential this holds for long-term job growth and industry creation. The debate around climate change is shifting away from cost and risk towards the question of how to capitalize on exciting opportunities.”

    In their view, in seeking new investment capital to renew the world economy, they “believe that for investors, climate change has a built-in advantage over most other sectors. Its regulated markets hold the promise of enormous secular growth. In the long-term, the earnings of companies and projects that are supported by governments for policy reasons are more trustworthy.”

  40. Playing the victim card is second nature in liberal culture and exposing the many hypocricies around the greenshirt culture is no problem at all. Consider what’s going on in the general community;

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/10/03/liberal-fascism-is-the-new-black/

    Losing the public and science debate isn’t going to slow the rationaization to suspend liberty and grasp authoritarian control under any means at their disposal.

    • Alexander Harvey

      cwon14

      Quoting from your linked article:

      “The Constitution imposes too many restrictions on government interference for Mr. Sachs, and we’d be better served if we moved toward a ‘French-style’ constitution that consolidated the executive and legislative branches and empowered experts to help us manage the ‘complexity of our economy.’ ”

      People tinker with constitutions at the peril of consequences. FWIW I have read some of the thinking, particularly Madison’s concerns, on the restriction of power, not just to protect the people from their government but government from the threat of a logical consequence of the popular vote. Such things are finely balanced in my view. The inbuilt checks allow for more extreme popular positions not to result in more extreme outcomes but it doesn’t prevent the de facto institution of a narrow ruling class capable of using considerable powers to maintain the status quo against their removable which must then be by revolutionary means.

      Alex

  41. The book appears to be crocodile tears.

  42. It must be great to live in a world where everyone who disagrees with you is either intellectually or morally defective, possibly both. Too bad it isn’t Earth.

  43. “Joshua is a child sophist, very taken with his pudding in the corner.”

    That tribalism construct is so tired I can’t even read his posts any longer. Steve M,’s point is right on target, Joshua’s little boxes are way too small for the real world. I’m deeply skeptical and a lifelong liberal democrat.

    Nor do I really get the point of such reductionist thinking. How does it profit the discussion, I mean the actual discussion about the science, to constantly harp on tribalism? Why not break it down even further and say say it’s all about ego? How useful would that be? Not.

    At least come up with a different word for it. You’d be doing us all a favor.

  44. What about those of us who are sceptical but don’t read ‘anti-science ideologues’, don’t listen to ‘pseudo-scientists and non-scientists’ and wouldn’t know denialist info-tainment if we fell over it?

    This seems to be in the same vein as other books I’ve read that try to debunk a theory through name calling and setting up easy to defeat arguments which they attribute to their foe to prove the validity of their opinions.

  45. Someone mentioned the Oregon Petition and as I wasn’t sure of the details I did a quick lazy man’s search via Google. I was struck, but not of course surprised, by the efforts the warmists have made to cast doubts on the legitimacy of the signatures, and the credentials of the skeptical signatories…

    It seems clear the warmists rightly view this sort of thing as a threat. Do you folks think it would be worthwhile to try something like this again, only this time by bringing in some independent 3rd party auditor? I’m probably being naive, and I don’t pretend to know how it could be set up, but efforts along these lines are too easily dismissed. And yet it’s such a direct, easily understood method of disproving once and for all that there’s anything like a consensus out there….

  46. The so-called assault on science is of course a deliberate mislabelling of the assault on fraud in science. And the so-called supporters of science (the IPCC cadre) are in reality supporters and practicioners of science fraud.

    If Jones, Mann and the other Climategate Crooks had by now been been expelled from the profession, most people would probably accept that the climate science house had had a problem, but was now functioning properly again. But as long as the profession and its administrators remain by and large adamantly unrepentant, its utterings will continue to be rejected by thinking people as being inherently unreliable.

  47. Judith,

    Fred Pearce is obviously of the opinion you’re a sceptic on anthropogenic climate change, when you’re obviously not, and as you have stated many times. Apart from wanting to widen the confidence levels, 2 x CO2 sensitivity to 1 – 6 deg C for example, your scepticism isn’t so much directed at scientific opinion as the policy implications that it may lead to. Anyone doubting this just needs to check out your peer reviewed scientific publications.

    So if he cant get that right,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Stirling English

      So what definition of a sceptic are you using?

      • I would say that all scientists are necessarily sceptical, but in the context of the AGW issue the term ‘sceptic’ is usually taken to mean those who do reject, rather than just question the established consensus.
        In fact, given Judith’s liking for putting question marks in the middle of sentences, I’d say ‘questioner’ is a much more appropriate term.

      • I would say that all scientists are necessarily sceptical

        Actually are? Or should be? Are they ever tested on their scepticism, to make sure they aren’t just consensus/political-correctness sheep with advanced degrees, or craven grant farmers ?

        but in the context of the AGW issue the term ‘sceptic’ is usually taken to mean those who do reject, rather than just question the established consensus.

        Those who actively reject/deny CAGW are obviously deniers. Those who have not accepted – ie question – are sceptics. “I am sceptical of your claim” and “I reject your claim” are different.
        But Yes, there is indeed a dishonest attempt by most consensus adherents to mislabel sceptics as deniers.

        In fact, given Judith’s liking for putting question marks in the middle of sentences, I’d say ‘questioner’ is a much more appropriate term.

        Sceptic and questioner are interchangebale. Merriam-Webster gives scepticism as “an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity”.

      • Punksta,

        And no doubt you yourself, who I seem to remember ranting about UN and world government in connection with the climate issue, would define your opinions as those of a rational sceptic?

        So just what do these other guys say then? You know: the ones you’ve termed the deniers?

      • By “ranting” on the UN’s position on cagw, you presumably mean failing to studiously ignore their obvious vested interest and consequent forgiveness of those of its servants who hide data etc etc.

        Yes, I categorise myself as a sceptic; undecided.
        The widespread, unrepentant fraud underpinning the cagw consensus inclines me to think the cagwers don’t believe their own utterances – why else would they resort to fraud, and attempt to brush over it with phoney ‘Independent Investigations’ run by pals they have paid to exonerate them ?
        It could of course still turn out eventually that their wild hunch proves correct. But that still wouldn’t excuse the current dishonesty.

        What do deniers say? As already mentioned above, they say that cagw is definitely false.

      • Punksta,

        You’ve categorised yourself “as a sceptic; undecided.” You’ve also categorised climate science as a hoax and a fraud.

        So I’m just wondering how it is conceivably possible that you may be swayed by any scientific evidence than AGW is the problem the IPCC say it is?

        Pardon my scepticism on your scepticism! But I have a sneaking suspicion that you’d just say any new evidence was part of the fraud. Anyway, I suppose we’ll have to see but I’d have to rate the chances of hell freezing over to be much higher than any possibility you’d ever change your opinion!

        Come on – stop pissing about. You’re a denier and you know you are. Just accept it.

      • Tempterrein

        You’ve categorised yourself “as a sceptic; undecided.” You’ve also categorised climate science as a hoax and a fraud.

        As mentioned above, I’ve not religiously averted my gaze from the data hiding, pal review etc etc. Also as mentioned above, I’ve noted that the results could still go eiother way in the end – it’s not settled either way.

        So I’m just wondering how it is conceivably possible that you may be swayed by any scientific evidence than AGW is the problem the IPCC say it is?

        As a layman, I’ll start believing them when them when they acknowledge the wideapread science fraud they have spawned, punish and expel the likes of the climategate crooks from the prefession, and set about reintroducing some of the basic tenets of science back into climate science. You know – like transparency, integrity, at least a passing interest in the truth, as opposed to supporting some precommitted politically correct conclusion no matter what.

        Pardon my scepticism on your scepticism! … Come on – stop pissing about. You’re a denier and you know you are. Just accept it.

        That you have a need to believe such drivel tells us much about you.

      • it is conceivably possible that you may be swayed by any scientific evidence than AGW is the problem the IPCC say it is?

        Besides a general turning away from fraud, some physical chain of causation beyond Tyndall’s law would greatly help – some answers to the clouds/feedback question, for example. A cessation of the pretense that models are something that reality must adapt to. Etc.

      • Stirling English

        @punksta, @tempterrain

        As a great man once said:

        ‘“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made’

        But our ‘leading climatologists’ don’t even attempt to fake it. Years of watching their antics shows that their first instincts are to dissemble, to conceal, to mislead and generally to obstruct any attempt to scrutinise their work. And to react to even the mildest of criticism as if the devil himself were gnawing at their vitals. If they are not shysters at heart then they are certainly highly skilled at acting the role.

        So like Punksta, I’ll start giving more credence to the climatologists and their theories when and only when they begin to behave like true scientists and not as hucksters peddling snake oil at the County Fair.

  48. Judith starts us on our journey of discovery…

    “I haven’t read the book, and don’t have any plans to.”

    and the comments complete it:

    “It must be great to live in a world where everyone who disagrees with you is either intellectually or morally defective, possibly both.”

    “Someone mentioned the Oregon Petition and as I wasn’t sure of the details I did a quick lazy man’s search via Google. I was struck, but not of course surprised, by the efforts the warmists have made to cast doubts on the legitimacy of the signatures”

    Climate Etc seems to inhabit a world beyond parody

  49. So–one half of Americans are deluded by propaganda! Which half?
    I agree to some extent that modern science is under attack. But the attack is from within. —And many like Rush Limbaugh et. al. on one side and Al Gore et. al. on the other are profiting enormously from it.
    I have become skeptical of AGW first because of the integrity of the main players. (However, many do their work credibly and with little fanfare) Secondlly, and more importantly, because of the science of which I cannot get simple questions answered.
    One example: regarding feedback, water vapor and clouds in models. Why has their never been warming (a hot spot) observed in mid-Altitudes in the tropics? Does not the hypothesis of positive feedback predict this?
    A second question: Why is there an assumed constant relative humidity
    (not specific humidity) within higher elevations. Doesn’t weather balloon data contradict this?
    These are only a few questions that I have and as anyone should, I will gladly stand corrected if I am wrong or misinformed.

    • The positive feedback is supposedly from more water vapor in the atmosphere.

      The funny thing is that contrary to the models the amount of water vapor in the air has gone down since 1950 so how in the world is this positive feedback thingy supposed to work anyway.

    • Darryl,

      On the hotspot question. This is probably the best summary of the evidence so far: http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot.htm

      Relative and Specific Humidity: Here is NASA’s data.
      http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/Optical%20Depth%20Data.xls

      So there is no “assumed” constant level, although the measured change is not large and is altitude dependant.

      • tempterrain

        The NOAA data you cite shows a decline in specific humidity from the surface up to 300mb from 1948 to today.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Specific+Humidity+(up+to+300mb+only)&level=300&lat1=90&lat2=-90&lon1=180&lon2=-180&iseas=1&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=1&typeout=1&Submit=Create+Timeseries

        Soden et al. have challenged these data as has Dessler, since they indicate a negative water vapor feedback, which does not agree with orthodox hypothesis.

        An earlier thread here discussed this at some length.
        https://judithcurry.com/2011/09/25/trends-in-tropospheric-humidity/#more-5048

        The lead article concluded:

        The issue of the magnitude and sign of long-term water vapour feedback is far from resolved.

        Max

      • “negative water feedback”? No. It means that the magnitude of the positive feedback may be less than it otherwise might be.

        See also comments by Fred below.

      • tempterrain

        Without going into the discussion of whether or not the thermometers were at fault, let’s get one thing straight about the NOAA data we both cited.

        The trend since 1948 of specific humidity (water vapor content of the atmosphere) from ground level to 300 mb was negative with warming.

        Declining water vapor content with warming would mean a net negative water vapor feedback.

        As Fred Moolten points out, this is hotly disputed by the IPCC orthodoxy (Soden, Dessler, etc.) as it conflicts with theory (Clausius-Clapeyron, etc.).

        It also conflicts with shorter-term observations of Minschwaner + Dessler, which showed positive tropospheric water vapor feedback over the tropics, but at a rate of only a fraction of that assumed by IPCC.

        IOW we have both the magnitude and the sign of water vapor feedback still in question (except, of course, by the IPCC orthodoxy, which assumes positive feedback at a rate high enough to essentially maintain constant relative humidity in lockstep with Clausius-Clapeyron).

        It appears to be another classical case of the thermometers disagreeing with the theory.

        Max

        Max

    • Darryl – Your questions have been addressed in extensive detail in many venues, including the scientific literature, and also including this blog. For the sign of water vapor feedback (positive) and the constancy or inconstancy of relative humidity in the upper troposphere (unsettled), see the recent threads on tropospheric humidity and on evaporation. For the “hot spot” (tropospheric amplification), search for the thread on tropospheric temperature trends. That phenomenon is not required for positive feedback although it does relate to the magnitude of both the positive water vapor feedback and negative lapse rate feedback (the “hot spot” is actually a manifestation of the latter). You won’t find final answers, but you’ll find your questions dealt with seriously.

      I would urge you to do this because it avoids one of the plagues of the blogosphere – excessive repetition of content that has been well covered previously. In this case, a huge amount of column space would be needed to repeat the details adequate for a good understanding.

      • I’m so old I remember being mocked at Climate Audit when I suggested that we knew neither the magnitude nor the sign of the water vapor feedback.
        =============

      • I am still unsure of the sign and magnitude of the water effects of radiative influx and efflux; especially the during diurnal cycle and especially over both oceans and land.

        Not a big fan of averaging and I am far more interested in fluxes than max-min/2.

      • Darryl

        Fred is correct.

        This topic has been covered in previous threads, but (of course) without being resolved.

        New insights should be welcome.

        Max

  50. It has to be asked why it is that some people evidently feel so threatened by a handful of deranged bloggers.

    • At the risk of transgressing Godwin’s Law, I might just make the point that the threats “handfuls of deranged” people of various persuasions shouldn’t just be ignored.

  51. 10/3/11, Sceptical about scepticism

    According to the advance notices, James Lawrence Powell’s latest book is another blend of the rhetoric of politics and journalism (attacks in news media, duped public), the rhetoric of religion (skepticism (read: heresy), deniers, inquisition), and the rhetoric of Marxism (movement (read: conspiracy, group think), industry funding). On his web page, he invokes the rhetoric of a preacher:

    Global warming is real, human-caused, and dangerous. This I believe. This the vast majority of the world’s scientists believe. To see the evidence, go to Case Closed, Consensus, and Warming Earth. To this juncture, none of his positions can be answered on the basis of science. They are religious fervor. Turning to his Case Closed, he says,

    To see how temperature, carbon dioxide, and methane have all varied together for 800,000 years, click here.

    This argument is neither new nor correct. It is an exaggeration of IPCC’s claim of 420 kyr, the end of the temperature reduction in the Vostok 780 kyr record. That argument collapsed when investigators discovered CO2 lagged temperature by about a millennium. IPCC recognized as much in AR4.

    The lag falsifies the intent of the next claim from Powell’s Inquisition about an overwhelming body of rigorously vetted scientific evidence showing that human-caused, carbon-based emissions are linked to warming the Earth. The statement is literally true, but not at all in the sense Powell meant it.

    CO2 did not cause the temperature rise. The link that does exist is that temperature is the cause and CO2 the effect. It is also the result of scientific analysis of the temperature and CO2 records, omitted by IPCC, which show that atmospheric CO2 follows temperature according to Henry’s Law of solubility for CO2 in water. See The Acquittal of Carbon Dioxide. http://rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html . In other words, CO2 not only lags temperature, but atmospheric CO2 arises from the flux between air and water.

    Powell claims, If global warming is a hoax, it is the greatest in human history. As the lists below show, there is a stronger consensus on global warming than virtually any topic in science. [¶] The academies of science of the following 33 nations or regions have issued statements accepting global warming as real and human-caused: [lists] He is correct in his hypothesis, AGW is a hoax, and in his conclusion, it is unparalleled.

    For Powell to say, deniers themselves, exposing their lack of credentials, their extensive industry funding, and their failure to provide any alternative theory to explain the observed evidence of warming, he must ignore these data:

    31,487 American scientists, including 9,029 with PhDs, have signed this petition, which includes: There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    Senator James Inhofe has spearheaded the defeat of global warming measures in the US Congress. He claims in a Senate Minority Report, More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims Scientists Continue to Debunk “Consensus” in 2008 & 2009.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhatch.senate.gov%2Fpublic%2F_files%2FUSSenateEPWMinorityReport.pdf&ei=AuSJTp_KKKeLsQLdhojTBA&usg=AFQjCNFQi1LItjmzn4j5jMn6yaz8nXLhgg

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12

    Question for Dr. Powell: How many scientists are required to advance a new scientific model? Hint: How many scientists are required to refute an existing scientific model?

    The lengths of the lists are irrelevant to any scientific question, whether Powell’s conjecture about a consensus, and the counter claims actually measured. Nevertheless, they are relevant to Powell’s claims that what he perceives as a conspiracy of skeptics are without credentials, arguments, or objectivity, and that his lists represent all scientists. Maybe he has answered all these in his book; as soon as it’s free, we’ll have to remember to check.

    As to Powell’s claim that no alternative has been advanced, one only need click on my name for the paper on SGW. The Sun predicts the instrument record of surface temperature over its entire 140 year history with an accuracy comparable to IPCC’s running average temperature. How did the human fingerprints get on the Sun?

    Dr. Powell graduated from Berea College with a degree in Geology. That was in 1958. Curiously, Berea College today offers neither a degree nor a course in geology. http://www.berea.edu/cataloghandbook/academics/academicprogram/degrees.asp . Since the days of the abolitionists, Berea College has had the noble mission to promote the cause of Christ, which may account for Powell’s rhetorical style. Berea is accredited only for a the baccalaureate, which raises interesting questions about the significance of an honorary doctorate, as granted to Powell and others, from such an institution. http://www.jamespowell.org/Shortbio/Shortbio.html . An honorary doctorate is a negative credential.

    Cosmopolitan University offers honorary doctorates by e-mail, for which a reasonable handling fee is to be paid. A CU honorary Doctor of Science in Climatology ought to satisfy the argument that “he’s not a climatologist”. CU has a Department of Computer Science, but no Earth sciences. Still there’s reason to be optimistic: coming soon is its Department of Atheism.

    Nevertheless, much to Powell’s credit, he submitted his PhD dissertation in Geology at MIT just four years after graduating Berea. His dissertation was on the geological origin of carbonatites based on his analysis of the isotopic ratio of strontium (87Sr/86Sr). If he wanted to apply his scientific credentials to a scientific matter in climate, he might turn to what the isotopic ratio of carbon (13C/12C) needs to be in atmospheric CO2 concentration to constitute a fingerprint of human origin. IPCC and its climatologist authors doctored a graph to make human CO2 emissions appear parallel to measured isotopic lightening at MLO. See SGW, III. Fingerprints, esp. Figure 27 (IPCC, AR4, Figure 2.3). This is just one of a dozen or so smoking guns of fraud in the hoax called AGW.

    Powell’s appeal to the subjective raises the question of where and how one might acquire science literacy. Since it is not taught in public high schools, it seems to be acquired by osmosis from a solid foundation in undergraduate physical sciences. Consensuses, beliefs, explanations, and descriptions are all subjective notions, and outside the domain of science.

    The sham goes on.

    • Is the the “..but CO2 lags temperature” argument?

      It’s all explained, for those who wish to have it explained, in :

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-significance-of-the-CO2-lag.html

      • Thanks, temptterrain, for the link. I skimmed through the post and comments, but didn’t notice any discussion of one of the problems with invoking a large CO2 feedback for the Vostok data. The particular problem I’m thinking of is that for any given temperature, the CO2 level has an apparent tendency to be higher during cooling periods than during warming periods. The tendency is not strong and probably needs the attention of a statistician. But if it is real, itis not easy to reconcile with a large positive feedback role for CO2.
        I fully accept we need more and better data of the Vostok type to reduce such uncertainties, but in the meantime they’re the best data we have. Perhaps the best move would be to drill more such deep (and expensive) holes in the Antarctic ice. Are we doing that? And if not why not? Don’t tell me it’s the cost!

      • tempterrain, 10/04/11, Sceptical about scepticism

        You need to quote what you found significant in your citations. Don’t expect others to do your research for you.

        This one was an easy task, though. It’s shooting fish in a barrel to uncover John Cook’s errors on his blog, Skeptical Science. In the first paragraph of your link, he says,

        When we examine past climate change using ice cores, we observe that CO2 lags temperature.[1] In other words, a change in temperature causes changes in atmospheric CO2.[2] This is due to various processes such as warmer temperatures causing the oceans to release CO2.[3] This has lead some to argue that the CO2 lag disproves the warming effect of CO2.[4] However, this line of thinking doesn’t take in the full body of evidence. We have many lines of empirical evidence that CO2 traps heat.[5] Decades of lab experiments reveal how CO2 absorbs and scatters infrared radiation.

        [1] The lag is not trivial – it’s long, and it appears well above the background noise. It is a full millennium, give or take a couple of centuries. The cause reasonably is the THC, based its cycle time and on physical reasoning with Henry’s Law plus ocean currents. Furthermore, no alternative is available. Apparently IPCC’s GCMs do not account for the THC.

        A confirming fact is that the lagged response is shaped like Henry’s Law. See The Acquittal of Carbon Dioxide, Figure 5, and discussion.

        http://rocketscientistsjournal.com/2006/10/co2_acquittal.html

        Cook provides a similar diagram but with only a straight line fit, and then gobbledygook about time scales and how difficult predictions are. He says,

        On a time scale of years, warming has an effect of around 3 ppm of CO2 per degree Celsius. On a scale of centuries, the effect is much larger – around 20 ppm of CO2 per degree Celsius.

        His time scale of years is off-scale for climate, which conventionally requires at least three decades. As long as Cook wants to restrict his analysis to first order effects, that is, eliminating solubility and the subtleties of climate, including assessing cause and effect, his accuracy will increase proportional to the square root of the time interval.

        Cook says,

        What we’re interested in is the expected global warming by the end of the 21st century so century time-scales are the focus. The most important period for estimating sensitivity of CO2 to temperature on century time-scales is the Little Ice Age. Bold added.

        Whoops! What he wants here is the sensitivity of temperature to CO2, not the reverse. What IPCC wants is the sensitivity of temperature to Anthropogenic CO2, which it models with confounding natural effects turned off.

        Cook concludes,

        So when someone mentions to you that CO2 lags temperature, remind them they’re actually invoking evidence for a positive feedback that further increases global warming by an extra 15 to 78%.

        His percentages are quite irrelevant because his physics are false. In order for CO2 to be a positive feedback it first must cause warming. If it caused warming, it would lead temperature. It hasn’t in the past, and no valid reason exists for it to have a measurable effect in the future. The problem is not the existence of the greenhouse effect, but rather why is it so small? The answer, as it turns out from other considerations, is that Earth’s climate is regulated by albedo, surface albedo in the cold state, and cloud albedo in the warm state.

        [2] Specifically, an increase/decrease in surface temperature causes a corresponding increase/decrease (not some vague changes, which might be read as variability) in atmospheric CO2. This effect is not mechanized in IPCC’s GCMs.

        [3] The cause is not due to various processes, but to Henry’s Law of solubility. IPCC never discusses Henry’s Law. Moreover, when IPCC rediscovered the Law while trying to establish the existence of the Revelle Factor, IPCC concealed its findings from the public. The diagram showing the T dependency of the buffer factor was omitted now in order not to confuse the reader. AR4 SOD, author’s response to Nicholas Gruber, Ch. 07, #7-1027, 6/15/06.

        [4] Cook resorts to ambiguity to change the subject from surface temperature accounting for CO2 to the extraneous topic of the existence of the greenhouse effect. Data approved by IPCC show that global warming causes an increase in atmospheric CO2, a fact that has several consequences. On paleo scales, CO2 could not have been the cause of global warming, as Dr. Powell claimed. The CO2 greenhouse effect, which is based on unchallenged physics, has not been absent, just too small to be measured. While the GCMs do not account for this positive feedback of CO2 release due to temperature increases, they need not do so because the effect is insignificant – lost in the noise.

        [5] Heat cannot be trapped. Heat is a flux in thermodynamics. Arguments that don’t comport with thermodynamic principles are only worth debunking, and then only if they get in the way of educating people.

        Powell made a false claim about the relationship between temperature and CO2 over the paleo record. He thought it established that CO2 caused the observed rise in temperature. The data did the opposite.

      • Jeff Glassman | October 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        [ clapping ] I soooo…want to lift [ steal ] this. BUT so no one can do plagiarize stuff on me…May I? :)

      • kim 10/04/11, 5:09 pm, Sceptical about scepticism

        Re plagiarize: Of course! Plagiarize away.

        Nice of you to ask, but you needn’t have bothered. Everything on these blogs is given to the public in my unlegal opinion.

      • Thank you!
        I’ve bookmarked your blog :)

      • Jeff Glassman,

        Are these your own ideas and/or do you have a credible scientific reference to support your argument?

      • Jeff,

        To answer my own question I’d say you don’t have any credible science to support your argument.

        In fact your sentence ” In order for CO2 to be a positive feedback it first must cause warming.” shows you don’t even understand the meaning of the term positive feedback.

        Now it’s water vapour, not CO2, which is causing the positive feedback. Its just nonsense to say that water vapour must first cause a further warming to be considered a positive feedback . It clearly doesn’t.

        As the Earth came out of the ice age the primary forcing which caused the initial warming was due to changes in the Earth’s orbital pattern. As the Earth warmed slightly CO2 levels slowly rose. There was a time lag. Increased CO2 levels then acted as a positive feedback to cause increased warming.

      • Obviously when two oxygen atoms are coupled to a carbon atom it now acts as a pseudo-Tachyon; a carbon atom knows when it is going to be oxidized in the future and it knows the future atmospheric temperature equilibrium point, so while not bound to oxygen suck up heat and then store it and then when burnt, wait a few decades, and release the heat they have been storing up while sitting in coal veins or in oil formations.
        This is why there is an apparent lag, it takes time for these carbon atoms to release all the heat they have been sucking up.

      • tempterrain 10/04/11, 7:45 pm, Sceptical about scepticism

        tt: In fact your sentence ” In order for CO2 to be a positive feedback it first must cause warming.” shows you don’t even understand the meaning of the term positive feedback.

        Did you know that IPCC has three different definitions of feedback? Did you that each of Lindzen & Choi (2011), Dessler (2010), Spencer & Braswell (2011), Hansen, et al. (1984), and Curry (2011), had yet another definition of feedback, for a total of eight different definitions?

        Did you know that feedback comes from control system theory, and that control system theory is a sub-discipline of systems science? Did you know that Curry and Hansen, et al., correctly identified the source of that original definition. Did you know that in system science, feedback is a signal generated within a system that modifies the inputs to the system? Do you know which of the eight different definitions above from climatology comes closest to the original? Did you know that the exact same real world system can be modeled with the exact same feedback as either linear or nonlinear by choice of flow variables? Did you know that because the GCMs use the radiative forcing paradigm that they have no flow variables?

        I didn’t think so because …

        tt: Now it’s water vapour, not CO2, which is causing the positive feedback. Its just nonsense to say that water vapour must first cause a further warming to be considered a positive feedback . It clearly doesn’t.

        This is feedback – feedback of IPCC’s bizarre scenario, only this time its better known as regurgitation. Besides, IPCC has no concept of what feedback is. Furthermore, you have not understood that IPCC’s models cause CO2 to initiate warming. That initial warming then releases water vapor, which creates IPCC’s high climate sensitivity in its models. In IPCC’s model, CO2 causes warming first, and if it couldn’t cause measurable warming at all, there would be no feedback. Unlike water vapor, CO2 has no other mechanism beside its greenhouse effect by which it might cause warming.

        tt: As the Earth came out of the ice age the primary forcing which caused the initial warming was due to changes in the Earth’s orbital pattern. As the Earth warmed slightly CO2 levels slowly rose. There was a time lag. Increased CO2 levels then acted as a positive feedback to cause increased warming.

        Thoughtful. So why don’t the GCMs, which mechanize CO2 to initiate warming for water vapor release, have that same warming release more CO2 from the ocean? IPCC claims to be uncertain about even the sign of water vapor feedback. (In large part, that’s because IPCC fails completely to mechanize cloud cover dependence on water vapor.) On the other hand, everyone is certain that the sign of the CO2 greenhouse effect is positive. So why should climatologists rig up a water vapor release, when just as easily they could have had the initial CO2 release more CO2? Answer: if warming releases CO2 from the ocean, whether coming out of an ice age or when initiated by ACO2, it upsets IPCC’s model that the bulge in atmospheric CO2 measured at MLO is all due to man.

        The bulge in CO2 at MLO, estimated as the Keeling Curve reduction, to the extent that it is not more IPCC fudged data, could be due to the natural flux of CO2 out of the ocean, which increases with increasing surface temperature, and to which man adds about 6%. It might also be due to the plume of outgassing from the Eastern Equatorial Pacific wandering over Hawaii, and modulated by the seasonal prevailing wind. It might also be due to terrestrial emissions. The jury is still out on this battle of the bulge, but it isn’t worth much effort except for academic purposes. The CO2 greenhouse effect is too weak to be measured, and besides, the Sun accounts for Earth’s surface temperature.

      • Hmmmm and you offer Mr Cook and Gavin? :(

      • That last post was to – tempterrain | October 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      • CO2 can act as both a primary driver, if humans burn fossil fuels to increase CO2 levels, and a secondary driver ( part of the positive feedback loop) if CO2 levels increase naturally as a result of other forcings which cause a warming and which, in turn, lead to increased CO2 levels.

        If I understand your question correctly, you’re asking if it can be both a primary and secondary driver of climate forcing?

        I guess it could. But I’m not sure if it would be possible to separate the effect of one from the other.

    • The CO2-temperature lag is only “explained” by that link, if “explained” is taken to mean : “assume what you are trying to prove”, ie that the Tyndall effect is the dominant driver.

  52. Judith,

    You know I am absolutely skeptical of ALL science.
    Too much “believe what I say” attitudes on conclusions.

    • All Science? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you it wasn’t a good idea to poke you finger into a mains socket?

      • Now, hmmmm.
        I’ve replaced and put in sockets with the power on.
        It’s just not a good idea to touch the opposite wires at the same time.

  53. son of mulder

    “Modern science is under the greatest and most successful attack in recent history.”

    No it’s not. Science is science ie You hypothesize, then you and others test the hypothesis with experiment and you keep, modify or reject the hypothesis based on the experimental findings, and so the process continues.

    What is, with increasing success, under attack is a pseudo-scientific process where observations are made, not under laboratory conditions, or manipulated/misrepresented/ignored deliberately to support a hypothesis. Or unvalidated/incomplete/conveniently tuned models are created to predict a required answer and used as if they were an experiment to validate a hypothesis. Or conspiratorial attempts are made to close down the reporting of the scientific process in journals, when the results are inconvenient to a particular interest group. Or opinion of powerful groups is used to suggest the completeness of a particular branch of work, when there are clearly many uncertainties and unanswered questions..

    • Son of Mulder,

      You’ve claimed, if I understand you correctly, that experiment is a necessary part of the scientific method.

      Can I just invite you to consider this point and perhaps, by way of an ‘exercise for the student’, provide examples of three other scientific disciplines which do not , or cannot, rely on ‘experimental’ evidence?

      • son of mulder

        I don’t know of any scientific disciplines which do not, or cannot, rely on experimental evidence. It would be an oxymoron for such a discipline to exist.

      • I’m not sure if you just pretending to be slow or if you are for real. Maybe you can tell me how solar scientists get near enough to the sun to do any experiments on it?

        Or how a biologist would do an experiment to simulate the evolution of a bird from a dinosaur?

      • Stirling English

        Here’s an experiment to see how sunlight is composed

        So clever it even got to be a album cover

        You are right. Biologists find it very hard to do experiments with evolution. That is why the theory of evolution is useful as an explanation of what did happen, but not much cop at all at predicting what will occur.

        Do any parallels with climatology spring to your mind?

      • son of mulder

        Scientists don’t need to go to the sun or the stars to learn lots about them see

        http://www.aip.org/history/cosmology/tools/tools-spectroscopy.htm

        As regards evolution, recent developments in genetic engineering coupled with observation of naturally occuring mutations in genomes are beginning to put some hard science behind the theory (hypothesis) of evolution eg development of drug resistant bacteria see

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

        When it comes to climatology, the development of remote sensing means satellites can start to track and measure what is happening globally. Consider models to be the equivalent of hypotheses representing how it is believed that atmospheric physics works and the various measuring activities to be the experiments so that over many years predicted changes in climate behaviour may or may not be observed.

        I hope that helps you to understand that I was not being deliberately slow but I am for real.

    • Well you now seem to realise that observations are just as valid as experiments; and, of course the scientific method does have to vary from one discipline to another according to what is possible. I might just make the point that although climate science, like astronomy, isn’t normally an experimental subject there is one large intended and uncontrolled experiment currently in progress.

      • Humanity will always be “one large intended and uncontrolled experiment currently in progress” as far as the planet is concerned.

        Which doesn’t mean anything goes, but this notion that the earth has some pristine original state that must be maintained is a fantasy and anti-human.

      • On that subject I’ve suspected for a while that the Medieval Optimum might have been caused by deforestation and the growth of agriculture in Central and South America. Thus, when disease wiped out most of these populations, the return of the rain forest was accompanied by the “little Ice Age”. I’ve never had the energy to actually research the dates to see if there’s a correlation. Might be a paper in it for somebody.

      • So CO2 emission controls are designed to restore the Earth to its “pristine original state” ? Does anyone else think that?

      • Hux: Which doesn’t mean anything goes, but this notion that the earth has some pristine original state that must be maintained is a fantasy and anti-human.
        Temp: So CO2 emission controls are designed to restore the Earth to its “pristine original state” ? Does anyone else think that?

        And this year’s runaway winner of both the Non-Sequitur and Strawman Awards is our very own Tempterrain.

      • son of mulder

        So I take it that if you accept that as my intended use of the word experiment implicitly included measurements which by definition need some form of observation then you agree with my initial post. Or was your objection deeper than that?

  54. New study shows.

    Neutrinos are first ever observed example of faster-than-light travel in a non-medium, defy laws of physics
    ************
    Note the difference with climate [non] science !

    Did the authors of this paper attack the people who disagreed with their findings ? No they welcomed someone checking their work.

    If they [the hostile reviewers] make arguments which are invalid you show that they are invalid and go on if their arguments are valid you amend your theory.

    You both want the real answer don’t you ?

    Scientists like Mike Mann that waterboard the data until is says what they want it to are a disgrace to science.

    This is how true science works. Climate science could take lessons. If someone goes over your work with a magnifying glass they are your ally not an enemy.

    When will the alarmists ever learn ? When will they ever learn.?

    • NetDr,

      I think you’ve got hold of the wrong end of the stick with your neutrino story. The researchers at CERN are as surprised as anyone else at their result. That’s not say they have rejected it out of hand , its just possible that they may be on to something fundamentally new, but its probably more likely that there is some systematic error in their results which they have overlooked.

      http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/09/neutrinos-and-the-speed-of-light-a-primer-on-the-cern-study/

      • Temp

        It is you who has the “wrong end of the stick”!

        What I have commented on is the scientific attitude shown by the researchers. They are right to be skeptical of their findings unlike Dr Mann who water-boarded his data until it said what he wanted it to and did his best to hide his data and code.

        They have said “This is amazing please check my work.” They have shared their work so that it can be duplicated by others and they haven’t called those that think they are wrong “deniers” !

        They are true scientists, the alarmists aren’t.

        The unwillingness to share work product lest it be shown to be wrong makes me think they are unwilling or unable to compete in the marketplace of ideas.

        When Judith statred discussing uncertainty she was accused of being in the pay of big oil or having a mental breakdown.

        These are the actions of those who afraid of the truth.

      • NetDr,

        The scientists at CERN haven’t made any claims one way or the other for the simple reason they aren’t sure. That’s one difference. Do scientists at CERN always report their results that way? No, they don’t. In fact I would say it is so unusual as to be unique. Anyone else know of anything similar? Normally they, like all scientists, interpret their results and write up their conclusions in exactly the same way as you’re criticising Michael Mann for doing. Its quite unrealistic to suggest that this should ever become the norm.

        The main difference, however, is that whichever way this particular uncertainty ends up being resolved there will be absolutely no input from the climate science rejectionists of this world. Either way, it won’t affect the price of gasoline, so they just won’t care!

      • temp
        Normally they, like all scientists, interpret their results and write up their conclusions in exactly the same way as you’re criticising Michael Mann for doing.
        ************
        They all hide their data and won’t publish their code ? Dr Mann’s secret code multiplied data that agreed with him by 390 times as much as data which didn’t. That is why he wouldn’t publish the code.

        They all uses some data upside down and hide the decline in recent temperature as measured by their proxy tree rings ? Believing that tree rings which are unreliable in recent years are reliable 1000 years in the past is ridiculous and he knew it.

        You sir are insulting to good honest hardworking scientists.

        Dr Mann of all people should have been humble since his study contradicted dozens of non tree ring studies done before and after as well as written accounts of sailors and farmers which attest to the little ice age and the medieval warming period.

        The establishment circled the wagons and instead of banishing him they did their feeble best to exonerate him.

      • NetDr,

        “Dr Mann of all people should have been humble since his study contradicted dozens of non tree ring studies done before ……”

        Such as ?

      • The main difference, however, is that whichever way this particular uncertainty ends up being resolved there will be absolutely no input from the climate science rejectionists of this world. Either way, it won’t affect the price of gasoline, so they just won’t care.

        Note with pity the attempted insult from the brain-damanged alarmist, trying here to associate decline-hiding, data-hiding, email-deleting, vested-interest climate ‘science’, with the hard science of physics.

  55. “I’m laughing at the superior intellect.”

    -James T. Kirk

    So am I, Captain. So am I.

    Andrew

  56. “That’s a case in point. site instruments were placed by meteorologists for the purpose of measuring temperature for weather. It was only co-opted for climate purposes in hindsight. The system is good enough for the general purpose. Could it be better? yes, but so could everything.”

    That is factually incorrect.

    The U.S. Historical Climate Network is what we surveyed. Most of those stations are manned by volunteers reporting once per day for climate purposes. NOAA’s own words: “The United States Historical Climate Network (USHCN) is a high quality data set of daily and monthly records of basic meteorological variables from 1218 observing stations across the 48 contiguous United States.”

    The siting was atrocious in many cases. There were quite a few stations next to air conditioners, above a family bar-b-que, etc. The data from those stations was not, and is not, used in day-to-day weather forecasting.

  57. Well, it comes down to this; Climate rationalized murders in Honduras;

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/10/eu-carbon-trading-scheme-pays-for.html

    Where’s our resident idiot “Robert” babbling about the Norway killings by a lone nutter? These killings are linked to carbon credits in the EU. Note who is the “big money” in the story.

  58. Saw Andy Revkin’s piece about Dunlop – seems like Dunlop and Powell are of the same mold. When considering this type of literature one must not forget the immense financial clout of the global warming movement that spends more than three billion dollars in the US alone on climate research, lobbying, and propaganda. As you have noted, Powell is nevertheless afraid to take on real scientific critics of global warming and contents himself with shooting down a few cooks who are said to be conspiring to suppress his noble science. As a hate piece the book is almost as bad as Naomi Oreskes’ “Merchants of Doubt” although he does not sink to her level of ad hominem attacks against dead people. I was pleasantly surprised by the moderate tone of Fred Pearce, something I did not expect from Nature Climate Change. But I was premature, for they made up for that by printing an adulatory interview with Naomi Oreskes on the next page. Fred Pierce has the good sense to state that “…we know less than we sometimes think about climate change. Sure, we are warming the atmosphere …” I will take it up from there and offer an outline of the state of climate science from a skeptics viewpoint. I will stick to science, not politics. First, let’s look at Arctic warming. We are all aware of the Arctic summer ice cover shrinking, Greenland glaciers breaking up, permafrost melting, and polar bears in trouble. We are told that these warming signs prove that anthropogenic global warming is real. But here is the problem: in 2009 it was discovered that Arctic warming had a sudden start at the beginning of the twentieth century. Prior to that there was nothing but two thousand years of slow, linear cooling. The Arctic temperature curve looks like a hockey stick, even more so than the original. Furthermore, there was no simultaneous increase in carbon dioxide concentration which you would expect if carbon dioxide was the cause of warming. There is no alternative to the conclusion that carbon dioxide greenhouse effect did not start Arctic warming. But what then did? It turns out that a shift in the North Atlantic current system which started sending warm Gulf Stream water north is very probably responsible for it. Direct measurement of the temperature of warm currents that reach the Arctic in 2010 shows that water entering the Arctic now is warmer than it has been anytime within the last two thousand years. The conclusion is inevitable that warm currents, not the greenhouse effect, are warming the Arctic. From this it follows that any and all observations of Arctic warming cannot be used as proof that global warming is happening. Which leaves mighty few other observations that can be used for that. The most accurate way of measuring global temperature is by satellite which has been available for the last 31 years. Satellites reveal the presence or absence of warm El Nino and cool La Nina periods that are controlled by the ENSO oscillation in the tropical Pacific. An analysis of the available satellite records from UAH and RSS shows that within the only global warming within the last 31 years was a short spurt that started in 1998, in four years raised global temperature by a third of a degree, and then stopped. It was oceanic in origin. One third of a degree Celsius is half of what has been allotted to the entire twentieth century. The early part of twentieth century warming took place from 1910 to 1940 and then stopped. From the end of this period until 1998, a stretch of more than fifty years, there was no warming at all while carbon dioxide relentlessly increased. If you still want to claim that carbon dioxide is warming the world you must explain why there was no trace of any greenhouse effect during these fifty years of the twentieth century.

    • Arno Arrak

      We are all aware of the Arctic summer ice cover shrinking, Greenland glaciers breaking up, permafrost melting, and polar bears in trouble.

      Gore’s sci-fi movie, “AIT” taught us that polar bears are at existential risk due to human-induced global warming, but here’s a REAL threat for the hapless beasts:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2044627/Europe-Canada-Russia-risk-second-hole-ozone-layer-opens-Arctic.html

      Where are the brave heroes who will volunteer to go up there to rub them all in with sunscreen?

      Max

      • Stirling English

        Too late.

        A few months ago we could have equipped the expedition that rowed to somewhere near where the Magnetic North Pole used to be about twenty years ago with a superdooper big vat of Ambre Solaire for the Polies.

        At least it would have given some sort of purpose to the stunt. And perhaps the bears would have treated the expeditionosts as tasty midsummer snacks. Win win!

      • Alexander Harvey

        Max,

        Here is short video clip of Freeman Dyson discussing the prospect for the development of an Artic ozone hole. My guess the interview is from about 10 years old so it is prescient. He is on good form, pointing out that people are worrying about the wrong things when it comes to increasing CO2 concentrations. He says that rather than global warming we should be worrying about stratospheric cooling and the resultant loss of ozone which he categorises as disastrous.

        Alex

      • I’m usually the type of person that doesn’t take the risks of CO2 too seriously as far as modelled predictions go. However, that video has me quite concerned as what the guy says rings true in every way.

      • Likewise.

        I would like to know a little more about this. If there was a case for a dedicated post on a subject, this would be it.

        What studies have been done in the paleo record regarding CO2 effects on ozone in the stratosphere and how it affected life?

      • Alexander Harvey

        Rick,

        Freeman is controversial, and can be quite mischeivous, but he is what he is.

        It is fortunate that the Montreal Protocol on ozone protection got going when it did. Also it accidently did more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than anything that the IPCC/COP crew have ever done.

        The science seems a bit complicated as the hole also effects the weather not just vice versa. It moves the jet streams, changes storm tracks, affects rainfall patterns, and of course increases UV radiation at ground level.

        That said, it does seem to me that we have got quite a good grip on how it all hangs together and the effects are real, distinctive and can be modelled.

        It is important and worrying to a degree, I think it was thought that it wasn’t going to get any worse and it was just a matter of waiting for the CFCs and the resultant chlorine atoms to leave the system over the next few decades. The emergence of the Artic hole is a bit of a blow but it was predictable and Freeman knew this.

        It is odd that someone so villified for his scepticism should be spot on over this issue.

        Alex

    • Article seems to say the/a problem is cooling – unusually cold Arctic winters, which are expected to continue.

      (Nevertheless something to do with man-made global warming in some way or other though, I wouldn’t wonder).

  59. From my own perspective I have not know anyone or any group attack neurochemists/oncologists except for the animal rights terrorists. The funny thing is that the sort of people who stand up for Planet Gaia against the evil corporations also want to save all the ‘pwiddy liddle bunnies and wodents’ from evil vivisection’s and Big Pharma. We have to pay a lot of money to secure animal facilities because the Earth worshipers want to maim/kill us for working human diseases.
    I have never had any hint that people on the right would want to murder me for my animal work, the same can’t be said for the left.
    The same goes for nuclear power. Not a lot of people on the right are against CO2 emission free nuclear power, nor do they want to tear down hydroelectric dams to help 3 inch long fish.

    • I’m a passionate animal rights supporter and an equally passionate climate skeptic.

      Just sayin’.

  60. Steven Schuman

    Last summer I was at a graduation party in Maryland. The graduates father was there and he spoke of a book he had written about climate change. I pointed out I was a sceptic. His first statement was, ” as many people are as sceptical of climate change as believe in creationism.” I replied, ” do you mean to say all minority viewpoints are without merit?” I stated my case for scepticism, not total disbelief. I believe he was shocked at my knowledge of the science and the depth of my arguments. He appeared to have never spoken to a sceptic before despite the fact he was so dismissive. I find this to be the case where people talk about “deniers” but have little knowledge or experience about the sceptical community. The next day I looked up his book, “America’s Climate Problem,” and the man I had been talking to was Robert Repetto, Yale University professor.

    • Steven S: Good for you!

      A few months ago while waiting in line at a cafe, a man struck up a conversation with me because of a literary biography I was carrying. We got a table together and talked, and as we talked he kept trying to draw me out politically. He was an older gay man who was on the board of directors for a museum and moved in elite circles. I didn’t want to spoil a nice literary conversation because he had made it clear he was a strong Obama supporter — he had even attended the Inauguration — so I kept evading him.

      Finally, he insisted, so I told him that I had not voted for Obama and disagreed with most of his policies. My new friend was surprised but curious. He remarked on Obama’s vast intelligence and wondered how I could not be won over. We still had reasonable rapport, so I asked him how he knew Obama was so intelligent.

      That stopped him right there. It was clear he had never thought to question Obama’s intelligence and in the world he moved in, neither did anyone else. Nor could he come up with any good answers.

      I mention this not to get into an Obama discussion, but to underline Steven’s point that liberals, American liberals anyway, live in a bubble where their assumptions are almost never challenged nor are their stereotypes of conservative opponents.

    • This is the mindset of many scholars and even NASA.
      Assumption that anyone not an expert in the field of study is an idiot and should be ignored.
      Meanwhile many great discoveries were of people not in the area of study but stumbled upon a discovery.
      My contention is of cherry picking for a certain conclusion and NOT allowing the science discovered be understood fully. This is how theories missed measuring many small insignificant areas to protect their theories.

      • “Assumption that anyone not an expert in the field of study is an idiot and should be ignored.”
        Not quite.
        Most people aren’t experts in nuclear Physics. Does that make them idiots? Of course not.
        But if they then, say, start inventing their own Bosons, to keep up with the Higgs’?
        Well, yes, “idiot” may then be quite an apposite term.

      • “Meanwhile many great discoveries were of people not in the area of study but stumbled upon a discovery.”

        I don’t know about you, but whenever I need medical advice, I seek out novices because they might stumble upon a cure for what ails me.

      • “I don’t know about you, but whenever I need medical advice, I seek out novices because they might stumble upon a cure for what ails me.”

        No, but you might want to check out which medical practitioner has the best track record. Statisticians, don’t know squat about medicine, but they can be useful geeks.

      • You can’t seek outside yourself for what ails you.
        ===========

      • “No, but you might want to check out which medical practitioner has the best track record”

        Anthony Watts has the best track record on climate change analysis? Who knew?

      • But if they then, say, start inventing their own Bosons, to keep up with the Higgs’? Well, yes, “idiot” may then be quite an apposite term.

        Climatology has the opposite problem of course – ‘idiot’ experts who declare the science is settled when they not even close to explaining the physics.

  61. At the risk of alienating everyone on this excellent forum, studying climate ad nausea and zealously deploying renewable energy are not particularly effective uses of time and money. IMO, the actual problem is reasonably priced energy for the world’s population, not global warming. Further, renewable energy is not capable of making even a minor dent in global CO2 emissions and is in any case (from a practical engineering standpoint) a very poor solution to the alleged problem. The emphasis should be on the efficient use and creation of energy. That leads to lower costs, thereby putting more money in consumer’s and industry’s pockets. That, in turn, causes increased economic activity, lifting living standards for all. As a happy byproduct, the wise use of energy reduces CO2 much more effectively than high-priced, unneeded, less-than-helpful energy that more-or-less randomly self-dispatches itself into the electrical grid.

    I suppose this sort of viewpoint would be classified by the IPCC crowd as skeptical and “denier”, but such an assessment is not really accurate. IMO, CO2 is irrelevant with the “climate change industry” on the whole actually dangerous. Vast sums of money are being squandered, thereby severely complicating solving the real fatal problem: reasonably affordable supplies of energy for mankind.

    • Bravo Mike!

      Yes, the eco-fascists will be unhappy with you. Plain talk common sense is repugnant to them.

      • At the risk of alienating everyone on this excellent forum,

        I think it sounds reasonable too, as I am always for conservation.

      • Me too. Nothing wrong with energy conservation.

        Mind you, I’m not sure about the sentence ” the actual problem is reasonably priced energy for the world’s population, not global warming.”

        Ever thought there may be more than one “actual problem”?

    • Mike Keller

      Excellent observation!

      Max

    • Mike,

      We could have extremely cheap electrical power that is not taxing our resources. It is the commercialism companies wanting more profits that hampers this. They are not interested in any cheaper way to create power as the funding gates have filled their pockets.
      Efficiency is only what a company tells you the formula they came up with. Actual efficiency is the ability to harness every molecule of energy. We harvest energy by the bulk without understanding any science as to how this works. Centrifuge is the biggest enemy of our current technology as it generates friction and changes the molecular structure of the rotating turbine.

      • We could have extremely cheap electrical power that is not taxing our resources. It is the commercialism companies wanting more profits that hampers this.

        If they’re really making crazy profits, why don’t other companies enter the market and undercut them ?

      • You mean we still have our own companies left in North America?
        Power generation is imported from Germany, Japan, China, etc.

      • Who owns the power companies is irrelevant.

      • Stirling English

        Sorry Joe

        Energy does not come in units of ‘molecules’.

      • Stirling,

        This is exactly why science has NEVER looked into power generation.
        They left it up to the engineers and corporations.
        Have you witnessed compression with circular motion?

      • Stirling English

        Nope. But I have seen you atttempt – and fail – to describe your apparatus, methods and findings on more than one occasion to others.

        Do so, and I will begin to believe you. Otherwise I consider you as just another charlatan with a perpetual motion machine..

      • Maybe Joe means “iotas” of energy? I’ve not yet discovered a precise definition of “iota” but I’d say it must be something close to the quantum limit.

      • Stirling English

        Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. But we’ll never know as he doesn’t either!

    • ” The emphasis should be on the efficient use and creation of energy. That leads to lower costs, thereby putting more money in consumer’s and industry’s pockets. ”

      That sounds quite reasonable to me, also. How do you propose getting those developments to take place, given that the “free market” situation we have now had not produced results sufficient to provide energy cheap enough for much of the planet, and given that future acquisition of fossil fuels is likely to be more costly environmentally as well as economically?

      • Oh – and politically.

      • Joshua

        Your stated goal: “should be on the efficient use and creation of energy.”

        Comes about by an open market. It is basic economics. Efficency is relative.

      • Rob, the trick is to plan five years at a time. Works like a charm. Everybody properly schooled knows that.
        ==============

      • Stirling English

        With hindsight the 5-year plan for the USSR starting in 1990 was not an overwhelming success, was it?

      • Rob –

        But how about in an absolute sense, Rob?

        How efficient is our acquisition and usage of energy (and not only in terms of acquisition and/or transforming fossil fuels into kinetic forms, but also when we consider things like insulation or transmission)? Sure – we don’t have an unfettered market, but we have a market that roughly reflects the will of the people w.r.t. protecting the environment.

        Seems to me that by saying that we should only evaluate the efficiency of the current system in a relative sense, you are limiting the possibilities. Relative to what? Relative to what is theoretically possible? Relative in terms of what is realistically possible? How do you determine that?

        AFAIK, all the countries (except maybe Finland?) that rely more on relatively efficient nuclear energy have done so via a less open-market avenue.

      • Stirling English

        Not only did they feel to meet their targets, they even failed to have a country in which to try. Oops.

        Oops. Just one of those unexpected and unpredicted little glitches that happen in even the best planned worlds.

        But the serious point is that the USSR collapsed without any substantial outside intervention. It was a self-generated unforeseen, unintended catastrophic failure. No person or group of persons set out to bring down the Soviet Union…least of all Gorbachev. And – as the home of ‘Scentific Marxism’- it was one of the most studied and most analysed social systems ever. But nobody – no ‘expert’, no politician, no pundit, no JoeSixpack in Leningrad saw it coming.

        Like the old saying goes ‘Prediction is very hard – especially about the future’.

        Given the lousy track record of climatology so far, I see little reason to trust them in the future.

      • Stirling –

        When you encounter someone who’s proposing a Soviet style government – maybe you should take up that discussion with them?

      • The broad CAGW camp already has a distinctly Soviet-style attitude, world-government to force their policies on everyone, etc etc.

      • Stirling English

        Reply was to Kim’s remark

        ‘Rob, the trick is to plan five years at a time. Works like a charm. Everybody properly schooled knows that.’

        Seems pretty germane to me. And the catastrophic unforeseen collapse of the USSR should be a parable for all those who indulge in fortune telling — or climate prediction. Look away if you find it too much for your tender sensitivities.

      • Stirling,
        It seems few AGW believers are willing to honestly discuss the implications their policy demands lead to.
        This is not unprecedented. The eugenics believers of the early 20th century denied with great fanfare those who pointed out that eugenics laws (allegedly based on sound evolutionary science) would lead to nightmares like the ones that came true in Germany.

      • Can we really say that eugenics is what led to the Nazi horrors though?
        Or was it something found to be convenient by the Nazis ?

      • Punsta,
        Good question.
        A major critic of eugenics, GK Chesterton, predicted in the late teens/early 20’s of the 20 century that eugenics plus German culture would lead to some nasty outcomes.
        So I do not know which came first, the monster or the means to be monstrous, but I would submit that to the victims it made little difference.
        Then we can take a peak at what role eugenics played in the overall efforts to develop a new scocialist man, and Lysenkoism.

    • Mike,
      The elites are not in agreement with you. They are blocking good energy development while they enrich themselves on windmills and solar scams.

  62. “the actual problem is reasonably priced energy for the world’s population, not global warming”

    It is both and they are inter-related.

    Small scale renewable energy obviously won’t put a dent in the more massive emissions problems but it is an aspect of approaching energy production and consumption in some regions around the world, dependent on geography and development needs.

    But you are looking at the big picture and you are absolutely right to do so. Making a substantial dent in emissions without seriously limiting energy requirements (especially for developing nations) requires that we focus on efficiencies.

    Improved efficiency, not renewables, is going to account for more of the savings.

    cheers!

    • Latimer Alder

      Wow

      Something we can agree on.

      Making better use of a scarce and/or expensive resource is a laudable aim, whatever the resource…energy…food…water etc etc.

      So long as generating effiiencies in one area doesn’t mean extra waste in another. No point in spending zillions on home insulation and then opening the windows becasue its too hot!

      And the benefits have to be immediately apparent to those who bear the cost.

    • John Carpenter

      “Improved efficiency, not renewables, is going to account for more of the savings.”

      Martha, is that you? We are in agreement on this issue! Can I add that this is hopefully true for the short term ( < 50 or so years)… long term I expect other alternatives (perhaps with re-newables even) to eventually make the dent that is desired.

    • Making a substantial dent in emissions without seriously limiting energy requirements (especially for developing nations) requires that we focus on efficiencies.

      Martha: Do you have numbers on that? How much more efficient do you believe we can become?

      I agree that renewable energy sources aren’t going to get us there. But neither will improved efficiency. There are limits to energy efficiency and much of the low-hanging fruit in that regard has already been plucked.

      We’ve got to support two billion or more people before world population levels out mid-century. We aren’t going to do that with energy efficiency.

      No, we need much more new energy, reasonably priced of course. The only currently realistic non-carbon solution is nuclear.

      The fact that the climate change movement has not made nuclear power a number-one priority demonstrates its lack of realism and its interest in a larger green agenda.

      • A number of strategies are used to support an economy, and energy forecasters say efficiencies have barely been tapped.

        I’m not sure what leading and supplementary sources you would perceive as credible. Off the top of my head, the U.S. NRC/NAS, EIA and DOE, also ACEEE, have numbers; and there are lots of additional sources from other countries and non-government researcher institutes if you Google.

        All together, the potential and forecasts for improved efficiencies seems to not just equal but exceed renewables, in the American context.

        I hope John or Latimer can indicate what they think are good analyses and sources of information on this, too. :-)

      • Latimer Alder

        My parents grew up and got married in the UK in WW2 when everything was rationed…food, power, clothes etc. If you wasted your one egg a week, you couldn’t get another till next week. If you ruined your only summer frock you couldn’t get another until next year. If you only got 200w of electricity for two hours a day, you were careful how you used it.

        So they naturally made ‘waste not, want not’ a part of their lives and I don’t need vast academic tomes to reinforce the simple truth of this statement.

        But neither do I think that following policies that will make such a way of life compulsory for all – in the hope of avoiding some imagined catastrophe if the winter nights get a degree or so warmer and the sealevel rises a foot or two – is a sensible course.

      • Yes. So direct economic benefits for consumers is a motivation, but should not be imposed? I tend to agree. I try to balance this, however, with also wanting to avoid imposing crises on people, wanting to be as realistic as possible about any situation, and wanting to ensure people with few resources in society are not left behind by new economic challenges.

        However, when it comes to facilities/equipment and the government and commercial sectors (the majority of energy consumption), most energy analyses show absolutely astonishing levels of waste — so here, I am more inclined to want to look at policy rather than voluntary actions (unless the current trend to take voluntary steps really takes off).

        When you separate consumer/citizen issues from these other energy issues, do you still think in terms of choice, and not imposing anything (on government or corporations/industry)?

        thanks

      • Latimer Alder

        If an indepenedent corporation is stupid enough to want to waste its own money by not using its resources in the best possible wy. then so be it. It’ll come off the bottom line for the shareholders. And very likely the clever guys on Wall Street will compare Joe Soap corporations energy costs with Fred Sixpack’s…amd unpleasant things will happen to the directors.

        But when government employess – including academics – are involved who are spendong public money raised from you and me, then there is no such disincentive to good husbandry. It may be different in US, but in UK ‘public servants’ have a deep inbred belief that the magic money tree will never stop yieldign its fruit for their own personal benefit.

        Not sure what the answer is, but I do know that I saw more waste in one year working in ‘public service’ than I did in ten working for a multinational.

        Fromm a personal perspetvice I try not to waste things that are essential but dull so that I can spend more on things I enjoy. When you are a pensioner you have to live this way….but its a lot more fun than being a wage slave..however much more I might have been paid as one.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Latimer,

        Mostly for the benefit of others:

        Coal and petrol were rationed, I think that gas and electricity use was discouraged but not on ration. Much later PM Edward Heath did managed to ration electricity which was during a war of sorts.

        No doubt about food rationing, general and long, long lasting. Longer and harsher after the war ended than during. By and large the ration was available but not universally for all things, That which was not rationed was not essential and prone to shortages, high prices, or non-existence.

        The bigger issue was that almost everything was worn out or gone. The merchant navy, the rail network, road transport, the machine tools, the housing stock, all the money, etc.. There was an over abundance of adventure playgrounds and paddling ponds however.

        Alex

    • Martha,
      This is the most reasonable post you have made in a long time.
      Yes, increased efficiency is going to be important.
      But first you need something to be efficient with.
      And there are limits of efficiency.
      Think of the story of the farmer who noticed he could save a couple of handfuls of oats a day and his horse would still work just fine.
      He started holding back a bit more oats each day and was pleased to see the horse working just as hard.
      He was happy and intrigued.
      He decided to see how much he could save on oats and still get the good work from his horse.
      The experiment worked very well until the morning he woke up to find his horse had starved to death.

      • My reasonableness is not new. :-)

        “there are limits of efficiency”

        Of course. Multiple strategies run an economy. What’s more, I think we can appreciate that different economies will require different plans to achieve their goals.

        p.s. I know many farmers and I don’t know any who are clueless and uncaring about the well-being of their animals, their families, their farms and communties. Still, while I find the point of your story to involve a situation that is not typical or likely, I do find your characterization of someone blind to anything but efficiency to be insightful. Why? Because I think extreme domination of the value of efficiency via rapid industrialization, so unbalanced by other values that were easier to retain when we all lived together and on the land in the past, is a part of how we have come to lose touch with basic realities.

        I suppose it depends on one’s view of people, and also, hope for the future.

        cheers

  63. It’s good to see more serious attention on the views and credibility (or lack thereof) of climate deniers.

    One can certainly see them out in force on this thread, peddling the same old lies with semi-hysterical vigor.

    A critical eye seems to be very upsetting to anti-science folk. They desire that others give explanations, but don’t like being asked for explanations themselves. They demand evidence of others, but hate to asked for the extraordinary evidence for their extraordinary claims. They enthusiastically slander scientists, but don’t think their lying, plagiarizing, resume-faking, nazi-comparison-issuing, death-threat-screaming ways deserve any critical evaluation.

    I dunno. The tone here lately seems a little more shrill, a little more desperate. Has denialism peaked? Can deniers ever recover from the public getting a good look at who and what they are?

    • You’ll let us know if you ever eventually string together an argument, Robert, won’t you? Give it a heading like Robert’a Initial Actual Argument, so we know not to ignore it.

    • Why does Robert always take the role of buffoon, and do it so well?

  64. Denial and delay lasted so long that, by the time its enablers had died, been thrown in jail, or in some countries executed, it was too late to prevent runaway global warming.
    –James Powell, 2084: An Oral History

    • Ken,
      Sounds like a fun science fiction romp. Although it is obviously derivative, publishers do trip over themselves to market expolitative books. Good luck and all that.
      Of course historically, as anyone who has bothered to read history knows, the actual scenario is that the false prediction of apocalypse gets delayed until the charlatans who promoted and profited from it are dead or forgotten.
      But writing and reading b-grade sci-fi is fun, and apocalypse always sells better than good time stories.

  65. I have refrained from contributing to this site because the level of discussion tends to extend well beyond my comfort zone. There are two comments, however, I’d like to make after reading the posts on this thread.
    One: I’ve read Steven Mosher’s comments on WUWT many times and was never able to figure him out. I knew he had brass ones to make some of the comments he did but after reading him here, I admit that I now have a greater respect for his views than before. I see he is more objective than I gave him credit for, and he wants (demands?) accountability in a field that in too many cases ignores it. So I have learned something of his integrity to the scientific process. I now have no qualms about putting him on my Christmas card list. (Lucky him!)
    Second: I can’t help thinking (with my round tin foil hat fitted upon my square head) about the enormous amounts of money being spent, and being requested by the UN and other world bodies, to combat the possible threats caused by AGW. The economic toll of capitulating to these demands, however, has been underestimated (or worse, suppressed) and in my view that has been deliberate.
    I now see the whole wealth redistribution (the UN’s term, not mine) as a form of green socialism. Just as Reagan’s “all-in” defence strategy helped push an already financially burdened USSR over the brink, experts want the West to divert hundreds of billions of dollars from where they are needed towards projects that may (might, could, perhaps) avert a climatic Armageddon. I believe it will not end well. I see lower living standards for all humanity—especially the already impoverished—restricted individual freedoms, and the concentration power in the hands of a faceless, unelected bureaucracy. It is economic colonialism and its cost must be discussed openly, with the integrity and accountability that my previous subject so well displays. Yet, even if the experts’ grand social experiment is well intentioned and not a plan to line their own pockets, I’m reminded of what Dr. Thomas Sewell once said: “Intellectuals are the last people to realise their own vast sea of ignorance surrounding the small island of their knowledge. That is why they are so dangerous.”

  66. The U. S. governmental program in climate change involves spending $2.7B this year; see “Our Changing Planet – The U. S. Global Change Research Program for 2011 – A supplement to the president’s budget for FY 2011”. downloads.globalchange.gov/ocp/ocp2011/ocp2011.pdf

    Funds are distributed as follows:

    Focus Area Millions of $ Agencies & Departments
    Improving our knowledge of Earth’s past and present climate variability and change 1,429 USDA, DOC, DOE, DOI, NASA, NSF, SI
    Improving our understanding of natural and human forces of climate change 549 USDA, DOC, DOE, DOI, DOT, NASA, NSF
    Improving our capability to model and predict future conditions and impacts 281 USDA, DOC, DOE, HHS, DOI, USAID, NASA, NSF, SI
    Assessing the Nation’s vulnerability to current and anticipated impacts of climate change 235 USDA, DOC, DOE, DOI, EPA, NSF, SI
    Providing climate information and decision support tools 178 USDA, DOC, DOI, DOT, USAID, EPA, NASA, NSF, SI
    Climate Change Communication and Education 41 USDA, DOC, NASA, SI

    • Donald Rapp

      $2.7B?

      Seems like a drop in the oil barrel compared to spending on fossil fuels.

      Oh. I get it. Fuel good. Knowledge bad.

      The logic of book burning.

    • Donald Rapp,

      And how does $2.7 billion compare to other expenditures of the US Federal government?

    • So, seems the Federal govenment is paying its corrupt lackey ‘scientists’ another $2.7 billion for for more of their excellent blinkered CAGW progaganda.

      Bart R laments that this is nothing compared to alleged subsidies for oil companies, laughingly referring to the pack of politically-motivated lies, distortions and information-hiding by the likes of Mann, as ‘knowledge’.

      And Tempterrain drives home his superiority in non-sequiturs and shifting the conversation away from questions he is keen to avoid, similarly asking how the $2.7 billion compares to other expenditures of the US Federal government.

      • randomengineer

        That’s 2.7 billion this year. Add it up over the years.

      • It is said to $100 billion over the last 20 years.

      • “Said to” ?

        $100 billion, the amount spent on the supposed ethanol research program in how many months?

        $100 billion, a myth fed by confirmation bias that no skeptic would ever accept without auditing the statements of account and tracing the spending to where it’s actually happening.

        Which when I try to track it down, the $100 billion figure vanishes like a mist, along with the attention span of those who repeat the fable.

        Clearly another case of knowledge bad, fuel good.

        This meme of government funded science = government funded cAGW..

        Doesn’t it by elementary algebra mean, by cancelling the “government funded” term (oh, that it were so easy, BP and ethanol would go wanting) mean in your mind “science = cAGW”?

        I don’t know if Republicans or Democrats are more anti-science, but I can tell from this who is.

        Fuel good; knowledge bad.

        One step removed from book burning.

      • Bart R,

        You just don’t get it.

        $2.7bn is a really big number

        $100bn is an even bigger number

        Er, Climategate!

      • 100 billion, the amount spent on the supposed ethanol research program in how many months?

        Yet again you attempt to avoid the issue – ie comparing how much the government spends on CAGW progaganda – to proven frauds like Mann and Jones – versus all other funding on climate science.

        And to refer to what the bigoted, corrupt, self-interested ‘consensus’ produces as “books” – ie knowledge – is laughable. The output of the IPCC is just politically-funded political spin calculated to further politics.

      • Punksta

        I understand what you think you’re saying.

        The problem is, you’re babbling when you say it.

        Let’s dissect your claim.

        1. The government
        2. is funding propaganda
        3. by scientists
        4. by spending money on research.

        1. By limiting discussion only to the government, you’ve picked a fine patch of cherry pie. A cherry pie that serves your argument not at all, but still, a skewing of views that tends to cater to paranoid conspiracy theorists and those who think libertarian means, “gubmint=satan” (which view is not hard to empathize with, however it is clearly nuts).

        2. You sure you want to open that can of worms? The government in its infinite cunning has found the ideal agents of propaganda to fool the people — no, not marketers, merchandizers, Hollywood screenwriters or Washington speechwriters, but a group far more subtly skilled and better qualified to lead an attack on the Truth — physicists.

        Yes, I am mocking you. That’s a ludicrous position to take.

        3. Scientists. The guys in high school who even you called nerds and dweebs. Tongue-tied introverts with the social skills of a paste sandwich. You’re sticking with that?

        4. And they do this by paying for the propaganda _before_ the research is done, so confident they are they can pull off the conspiracy no matter what the numbers — the peer reviewed numbers — say?

        Your argument requires a vast conspiracy of precognitive political operatives openly functioning with a subversive collective of specialists in all ways indistinguishable from ordinary specialists who routinely produce uncontrovertable, reliable and uncontested findings in exactly the same way and at exactly the same rate, in other specialized scientific fields.

        I don’t mind someone making a case for a lie, like the one you submit; however I’m offended when the lie is so poorly constructed as to require a sub-reptilian intellect to fall for.

        Please, come back when you’re ready to insult my intelligence with something less spectacularly incredible.

      • Bart and his Conspiracy of Honesty

        Punksta says : ..The government . is funding propaganda . by scientists . by spending money on research.
        By limiting discussion only to the government, you’ve picked a fine patch of cherry pie.

        A ‘cherry-pie’ constituting 99.999’% of all climate science funding. What is it about the other 0.000’% you find so compelling?

        And what explains your dogged unwillingness to see the obvious effect of this near-monopoly of funding, and the unavoidable vested interest involved in this ‘research’ ? Do you seriously think the hiding and manipulation of data, etc etc, and the refusal of the climate establishment to expel or even discipline those those caught red-handed, are just random oversights?

        Continuing to ignore the state’s obvious vested interest, you again wheel out the pathetic ‘conspiracy’ strawman. But what you even at this late stage apparently still haven’t worked out, is that it doesn’t take a conspiracy for an organisation to pursue its own self interest – eg the state promoting alarmism about climate, or tobacco companies promoting complacency about smoking. That is perfectly normal and expected, requiring to special explanation. What would take a conspiracy within its ranks, is if this were to NOT happen.

        So, if you want to argue that state-funded climate science – 99+% of the total – is overall objective rather than biased self-interest, you need to provide evidence of such a conspiracy. IOW, a conspiracy of honesty and integrity; and while you’re at it, be sure to explain Climategate and the deafening silence from the establishment; also pal review by others also on the take from the state.

      • Punksta

        It seems we do agree on one thing: the funding should not come so monopolistically out of the pockets of ordinary taxpayers.

        It should come from fees charged those who make the research necessary, those who profit while increasing unknown future risks. Which would be the fossil industries.

        Why should general tax revenues benefit the Free Riding few at the cost of the many?

        Your vested government interest argument, while it is not strange to me, I usually hear applied to courts and judges, law enforcement and those who investigate and uncover wrongdoing. Many’s the crook who’s lamented how the gubmint got it in fer him.

      • Bart R, If we are going to tax the parasites that make these expenditures inevitable, then we would have to tax Greenpeace, WWF, 10:10, Gore, Hansen, you, etc. etc. etc.
        You ready to pitch in?

    • And is the government’s $2.7b for CAGW propaganda even the whole picture? Does this really cover all climate science at all state-funded universities?

      And how many orders of magnitude greater is this total than what everyone else together spends on climate rersearch? Three? Four? And with this dominance of funding, is there any surprise a ‘consensus’ has emerged?

  67. Donald R: Thanks for the link. I’ve been looking for a good cite of that information. Here it is clickable: http://downloads.globalchange.gov/ocp/ocp2011/ocp2011.pdf

    See Table 2, page 69 of document, page 79 in the PDF.

  68. Eric Ollivet

    I would like to take the opportunity of this thread for proposing a small exercise regarding variations of CO2 concentration vs. variations of T° and PDO index, just using a convenient tool and data set available on the Net.

    Proceeding
    Step 1 : go to woodfortrees site (http://www.woodfortrees.org)
    Step 2 : for each of the 3 parameters (HADCRUT3 variance-adjusted global mean / ESRL CO2 / JISAO PDO Index) apply following treatment :
    a) From time… to time…. : select a ~ 20 or even 10 years period to get sufficient accuracy
    b) Mean(Sample) => 12 (months) : to get rid of seasonal variations, especially for CO2
    c) Derivative : provides the variations of the parameter w.r.t time
    d) Mean(Sample) => 12 (months) : for “smoothing” the output signal
    e) Normalize : to get comparable outputs’ scales.

    Results
    [1960 – 1970]

    [1970 – 1980]

    [1980 – 1990]

    [1990 – 2000]

    [2000 – 2010]

    Discussion
    Main outcomes are the following:
    1) All variations follow a similar pattern showing a roughly 3 years quasi-periodic cycle, likely to correspond to El Nino oscillation (ENSO)
    2) [CO2] variations are following T° variations with about 6 to 12 months lag…
    3) T° variations are generally following PDO index variations with a shorter lag (about 0 to 6 months)

    Conclusions
    1) Earth’ climate is not driven by CO2 concentration but by complex Oceans (thermal) Oscillations, Oceans’ being of course main heat reserve & inertia wheel of Earth climate system.
    2) Variations of CO2 concentration are actually following these Oceans (thermal) Oscillations and subsequent Ocean’s degasing rate + global temperature variations.

    • Eric Ollivet

      It seems links are not working properly.
      Here is the link for [1970 – 1980] period :
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1969/to:1981/mean:12/derivative/mean:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1969/to:1981/mean:12/derivative/mean:12/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1969/to:1981/mean:12/derivative/mean:12/normalise

      This is just an exemple : you can change the time range.

      You can also download raw data for the complete [1959 – 2011] period, that you can then easily display / analyze with your own software.

    • Peter Davies

      Good post Eric. I always believed that the oceans were an important element in localised weather conditions over the short term but feel that relatively sudden shifts in climate occur through external forcings such as volcanic eruptions, meteor strike and the effects of changes in cosmic rays and sun spot activity, which are, unfortunately, all chaotic by nature and unpredictable.

    • Eric Ollivet

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1957/mean:204/derivative/mean:204/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/mean:204/derivative/mean:204/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1957/mean:204/derivative/mean:204/normalise/detrend:-2.0/offset:-0.8

      There you go.

      Fixed for you.

      1. Changed your inadequate 12 month smoothing to 17 years to reduce noise in the signal.

      Note how immediately and compellingly the signal correlating CO2 and temperature emerges, explaining (by eye) 9/10’s of the trend.

      2. Detrend the PDO index per its clearly, distantly secondary role to line up with the dominant CO2 trend line so what little correlation the PDO curve might be contrived by eye.

      Of course, with so much manipulation of the curves, not a very valid analysis, but then it’s built on top of a specious premise.

      Still, better than Girma.

      • Eric Ollivet

        Bart,
        Your manipulating of the cures is inadequate.

        By increasing the averaging time scale you remove “high frequencies” cycles (i.e. ENSO) but make appear some larger scale cycles such as solar cycle (11 years) or PDO cycle (60 years). But the maximum averaging duration shall be half of the one of the cycle you intend to show (Shannon theorem).

        A 3 years’ averaging puts in evidence the 11 years solar cycle.

        But still PDO is preceding T° that is itself preceding [CO2].

        Using a 11 years’ averaging indeed highlights the 60 years PDO cycle. The conclusion remains unchanged.

        Indeed, at any time scale you look at it, the conclusion remains valid :
        PDO is preceding T° that is itself preceding [CO2], which definitely means that Earth’s climate is not driven by [CO2] and that AGW theory is just pure fantasy.

      • Eric Ollivet

        Indeed, I purposely manipulated to remove high frequency cycles and acyclic singularities.

        Where ENSO or the solar cycles are so short they cannot explain any trend greater than a quarter century, they are simply noise and unimportant.

        And while PDO precedes T° until 1985, for only 20 years indeed, it diverges wildly thereafter, having no explanatory power whatsoever. The obvious conclusion is that PDO has little no connection to T° compared to other effects.

        Likewise, I do not deny T° influences CO2, however it is plainly a bidirectional effect, and CO2 the dominant cause, else the drops in T° would more profoundly affect CO2 level.

        The conclusion that PDO precedes T° is invalid; that T° precedes CO2 is true, however CO2 dominates T° so far as the graph can be interpreted. It would take much more data to support your confidence level of ‘definitely’ even if you weren’t plainly ignoring the lines where they inconvenience your foregone conclusion.

  69. Anthony Watts

    This post made it into the top ten at wordpress today, congratulations!

  70. Eric

    Excellent post. Thanks.

    Your results are confirmed.

    http://bit.ly/nBWqgo

    Change in PDO index results in change in temperature that is followed by change in CO2 concentration.

  71. I bemoan it when any group is allowed – without critical judgment by editors, especially – to mischaracterize and misrepresent their opponents.

    For years in politics the Republican Party has been allowed – without opposition it seems – to characterize the Democrats any way the GOP chose to do so. It is not to the Republicans’ shame that they are not opposed or challenged on such misrepresentations. Instead, it is to the shame of the Democrats that they have no srtong voices with which to rebut the charges. They simply aren’t that tough to do, yet no one has taken on the responsibility. Voices on the left are even silenced by their own kind, seemingly to keep from offending their enemies. (Why anyone would CARE what their enemies think, I cannot even imagine, but for some reason the overly-PC Democrats and progressives certainly seem to.)

    Likewise, since before I ever became a skeptic, the establishment climate scientists and their supporters have been characterizing, ad infinitum, the skeptical community as shills of the oil industry and other large industrial concerns, and especially as paid-off pawns of right-wing think tanks and right-wing concerns. But the skeptical climate community – unlike the Democrats – has been right on top of things and has rebutted the charges right and left, not letting the charges take hold. They have for the most part succeeded, even though the climate establishment acts as if this has worked for them and keeps on making the same lame and unfounded accusations.

    I say kudos to the skeptics for keeping on top of things, as much as I say shame on the Democrats for not picking off the sniper attacks as they came.

    The opening comments in the Amazon “Product Description” are as desmonstrably wrong as can be. Why Amazon allows such patently political statements without cleart labveling as suuch, I cannot guess. Perhaps controversy sells well enough to override common decency and good taste, as well as objectivity.

    The big guns in the skeptical community are Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts, and no one has demonstrated one smidgeon of evidence that they are on the take, from anyone at all, much less the oil industry or powerful industrial concerns. yet those charges keep getting repeated over and over, parroted by science editors and pro-AGW followers. It is downright cowardly of them to be so poorly respecting of facts. Scientists like Powell claim the high ground, which they not only don’t deserve, but which they are frittering away with as hominem attacks that are not worthy of any people calling themselves scientific or reasonable. That they have lost the high ground is their own fault, not the fault of skeptics per se. When they go on to charactereize the entire debate as the skeptics pulling the wool over the public’s eyes on behalf of the oil industry, Pulleeze! The biggest reason the public doesn’t follow wherever the pro-AGW crowdd leads is because of Climategate, and the emails in which the climate scientists convict themselves of unscientific behavior and collusion and conspiracy, as well as cherry-picking and deceptive fudging of the data, as in “hide the decline.” Until they “fess up” and throw themselves on the mercy of the public’s judgment, their crusade will continue to falter.

    They are getting what they deserve, and such ridiculous claims as this book makes are only accelerating the decline – the decline that won’t be hidden.

    • Agreed except that the Dems’ campaigns of demonizing have been far wider, more sustained and pointed than anything the Right has offered up. Attacks on Obama notwithstanding, but those are pretty widespread. No, the Dems’ “template” is the one used by the CliSci community, and after that, I’m with you all the way.

    • “The big guns in the skeptical community are Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts”

      Steve – Could you describe exactly what it is that Steve McIntyre is skeptical of? A few years ago, I read his statement in ClimateAudit that I believe indicated his willingness to accept the main conclusions from the climate science community that CO2 emissions raise global temperature and might constitute a potential harm. He also complained that their explanations of this were not as transparent as he would like, although he didn’t question their expertise in the matter.

      This is all from memory,but Steven Mosher has I think suggested something similar about Steve McIntyre, and if any of those Steves wishes to clarify, that would be helpful, because I may have misremembered the comments.

      Steve McIntyre continues to examine specific claims from a skeptical perspective, but I’m not sure that makes him a “skeptic of AGW”, whatever that means.

  72. A book defending junk science—just what we need.

    The falsehood is the assumption that “climate science is real science. As we know that the data has been adjusted to produce a desired result, altered for no defendable reason, or simply fabricated, we know it is not science. Basic thermodynamics AND real world observations both confirm this conclusion. Thus, this book is nothing but propaganda—another attempt to shore up a failing political agenda.

  73. What I find interesting is the number of coordinated releases to all the media, each time a new “catastrophic” threat is “revealed”. Anyone know where these come from? Gotta be a PR firm. Tides? Moore? Who funds them? Feature films, well-produced shorts – gotta cost some dollars.

  74. Maybe also take note of the presentation of Michael Mann next AGU meeting:
    http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2011AM/finalprogram/abstract_195510.htm

    whilst it would be taking candy from a baby, to refute each and every allegation, the interesting question is, how is this possible in the first place?

    That’s the question also asked numeorus times in history following big clashes between different cultures.

    The answer has also mentioned in these blogs before, groupthink (Irvin Janis), if you need friends you have to make common enemies.

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

    • The evangelists for climate alarmism continually use the phraseology that the skeptics are “attacking climate science”, and all the evangelists want to do is “communicate the science” to the public. All of this presupposes that the alarmists have a lock on the “climate science”, and the skeptics are not scientists and their analyses do not constitute “climate science”. However, there does not seem to be a succinct summary of just what “climate science” is. Maybe the latest IPCC Report might qualify in this regard but it is very diffuse and fragmented and does not present a cohesive summary of “climate science”. Most climate scientists are specialists in one narrow area of climate science; that is required to succeed in academia. Not very many of them have a synoptic view of the whole field from one end to the other. It would be of great help to everyone if the evangelists for climate alarmism would put out a summary of exactly what “climate science” is.

      “Climate science” as it is used by warmists implies adherence to a set of beliefs: (1) Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations will warm the Earth’s surface and atmosphere; (2) Human production of CO2 is producing significant increases in CO2 concentration; (3) The rate of rise of temperature in the 20th and 21st centuries is unprecedented compared to the rates of change of temperature in the previous two millennia and this can only be due to rising greenhouse gas concentrations; (4) The climate of the 19th century was ideal and may be taken as a standard to compare against any current climate; (5) global climate models, while still not perfect, are good enough to indicate that continued use of fossil fuels at projected rates in the 21st century will cause the CO2 concentration to rise to a high level by 2100 (possibly 700 to 900 ppm); (6) The global average temperature under this condition will rise more than 3°C from the late 19th century ideal; (7) The negative impact on humanity of such a rise will be enormous; (8) The only alternative to such a disaster is to immediately and sharply reduce CO2 emissions (reducing emissions in 2050 by 80% compared to today’s rate) and continue further reductions after 2050; (9) Even with such draconian CO2 reductions, the CO2 concentration is likely to reach at least 450 to 500 ppm by 2100 resulting in significant damage to humanity; (10) Such reductions in CO2 emissions are technically feasible and economically affordable while providing adequate energy to a growing world population that is increasingly industrializing.

      My personal views are: (1) Yes, it is true that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations will tend to warm the Earth’s surface and atmosphere; (2) Yes, human production of CO2 is producing significant increases in CO2 concentration; (3) The rates of change of temperature in the previous two millennia are uncertain because proxies have been misapplied by the hockey stick crowd. It appears likely that absolute changes in temperature during the MWP and the LIA were as great or greater than during the 20th and 21st centuries, but the rate of change may have been greater in the 20th and 21st centuries. It remains unclear how much greenhouse gases contributed to the rise in the 20th and 21st centuries; (4) The climate of the 19th century was far from ideal, being considerably colder than many people in mid-latitudes would prefer; (5) Global climate models still suffer from great uncertainty in regard to how clouds, humidity and aerosols change spatially and temporally in an era of increasing greenhouse gases; (6) No one knows how warm it will get by the end of the 21st century. Nevertheless, it seems likely that a CO2 concentration in the range 500 to 900 ppm might produce a temperature rise of at least 2°C from the late 19th century that could be problematic for humankind; (7) The potential negative impact on humanity has been exaggerated; (8) The only alternative to rising greenhouse gas concentrations is to immediately and sharply reduce CO2 emissions – whether this averts a “pending disaster” is not well understood; (9) Even with such draconian CO2 reductions, the CO2 concentration is likely to reach at least 450 to 500 ppm by 2100 probably resulting in some warming; (10) Such reductions in CO2 emissions are neither technically feasible nor economically affordable, and would necessitate inadequate energy supply to a growing world population that is increasingly industrializing, leading to worldwide depression.

      • Donald R: Works for me. That’s essentially my view on these matters.

        I would add that a commitment to increased nuclear power would be a realistic way of insuring future energy needs while hedging climate change risks.

        I’m a skeptic but I recognize there are risks in burning fossil fuels not only because of the climate, but also because fossil fuels, especially coal, are polluting, are a diminishing resource, and have other important uses.

      • Peter Davies

        Huxley, I respectfully disagree with your preference for nuclear energy but wholeheartedly support your views on the need to reduce our reliance on the burning of fossil fuels, for the same reasons that you have espoused.

        Then what alternatives are there you might ask? What, for example, about obtaining greater efficiencies with our current use of energy in westernised economies?

        A paradigm shift is required of westernised economies to reduce waste, pollution and consumption so as to become more aligned with our third world neighbours.

        I dislike long posts and rarely read them so will not go into further details of how I think that westernised economies should proceed at this time.

      • Eric Ollivet

        Peter, I respectfully disagree with your statement that reducing waste i.e obtaining greater efficiencies for current energy sources would provide reasonable alternate. Of course this would help but would remain significantly insufficient.

        As huxley pointed out, and also knowing that all nice renewable energy sources have also very poor efficiencies, the only reasonable alternate is nuclear energy.

        PS : I live in France where 75% of the electrical energy is produced by nuclear plants… This reliance on nuclear energy is considered as a danger and a weakness by some of our politicians… The question has been long debated, especially after Fukushima, but none of them has ever been able to propose a credible alternate.

      • Eric I agree that obtaining greater efficiencies in power use would be insufficient in itself but then if lifestyle changes occur in westernised societies to the point where a critical mass is reached in thinking so that a new paradigm is reached, demand for energy should be reduced substantially as well.

        I believe that this might already be happening because average house sizes, for example, have been steadily declining in Europe and the UK and while Australia (where I live) is by far the largest, I note that the average size of building lots here have steadily declined over the past century.

  75. Speaking of the poor green movement getting buried by “big oil”;

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/05/green-groups-have-plenty-of-green/

  76. Surely the AGW hypothesis has been tested more than any, with the possible exception that smoking causes lung cancer, which was also subject to an industry driven criticism.

    The fact that the AGW hypothesis still stands is testimony to its strength.

    We should remember that the skeptics also have an hypothesis. It is that climate sensitivity (CS) is low – around 0.5*C for 2xCO2.

    It is time now, after 30 years of testing the AGW hypothesis, that the low CS hypothesis should be put under scrutiny. How does it explain all the classic work which points to CS of 2 – 4*C? What happens when it is entered in the most accurate models? What sound evidence is there for low CS?

    Some skeptics will never be budged from their position. But the real scientists like Lindzen and Spencer have a responsibility to try to answer these questions.

  77. IMHO, the following speech given at the RSA in Edinburgh is an absolute ‘must read’ and deserves a post in its own right (Dr Judith please note). It is the voice of rational skepticism that sums up all the objections very nicely and there is nothing that could be considered ‘denial’ about it.
    read it here at Bishop Hill

    • Considering that his speech is about truth-telling it has a convenient lie near the beginning:

      Just this month Daniel Shechtman* won the Nobel prize for quasi crystals, having spent much of his career being vilified and exiled as a crank. “I was thrown out of my research group. They said I brought shame on them with what I was saying.”

      Shechtman was not thrown out of his research group, but his findings were contested by Linus Pauling, who in his old age was starting to get cranky. Shechtman had nothing to do with Pauling, but Linus was still being listened to which meant it was a year or two tops before he got his research published.
      Whoopee big deal, cranky old man raises a stir and years later Shectman acts like a martyr and thus a myth is born.

      The speech also mentions Michael Shermer positively even though Shermer does not consider AGW (or peak oil for that matter) worthy of skepticism
      http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/11-09-28/
      Scroll to the bottom, a much better read than the one recommended above.