Gleick’s Testimony on Threats to the Integrity of Science

by Judith Curry

The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.

Some excerpts from Gleick’s 2007 congressional testimony Threats to the integrity of science: 

The United States has a long and proud non-partisan tradition of scientific research, analysis, and support. As far back as the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin embodied the ideal of integrating a passion for science and fact with diplomacy and politics. This tradition continued through more than two centuries of advances in both science and in the tools and avenues for moving scientific information into the policy arena. By the end of the 20th century, institutions like the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the President’s Science Advisor, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering (NAS and NAE), national laboratories and universities, and even the media, were considered vital, independent sources of information, fact, and analysis needed across the political spectrum for making smart policies.

For the last several years, there have been growing indications of systematic challenges and threats at the federal level to the integrity of the scientific process using a variety of strategies and tactics. Independent government review organizations and advisory boards have been disbanded. Access to data and information has been reduced. Federal scientists have been muzzled. Scientific reputations, rather than scientific evidence itself, have been questioned. Scientific analyses and conclusions, prepared within federal agencies or by people outside of government, have been changed for political and ideological reasons by people who have not done the scientific work. Work by partisan organizations has been substituted for work by non-partisan scientists.


In the long run, the truth of whether the earth is round (mostly), goes around the sun (so the best evidence shows), or is warming due to industrial activity (considered “very likely” i.e., more than 90% certainty) will be demonstrated on the global stage. Our job as scientists is to seek the best understanding of the world around us and to communicate that understanding to the public. Your job as elected officials is to encourage scientists to give you their best understanding, fund new science if there are gaps vital for the public interest, to weigh scientific information, and then to make decisions. Short-term political or economic advantage must be trumped by our collective responsibilities to protect public health, the environment, and our national security and to ensure that our decisions are informed by the best available information.

Specific Recommendations

Congress can act to help restore confidence in the integrity of science and to reduce threats to science and scientists working to advise policy makers and the public:

  • Reinstate independent advisory committees to Congress and to federal agencies. ␣
  • Require that no political litmus tests be imposed on advisory committee appointees. ␣
  • Guarantee open public access to government studies, data, and scientific findings. ␣
  • Require transparency of information on conflicts of interest. ␣
  • Prohibit federal agencies and employees from modifying, censoring, or altering scientific findings. ␣
  • Re-establish and adequately fund an independent advisory organization to Congress on technology and science issues.

JC comment:  I don’t have any argument with the individual statements that I have excerpted above from the Introduction and Summary.

In the main text of his testimony, he presents the following categories of threats:

  • Scientific misconduct and altering good science
  • Suppressing or limiting good science
  • Scientific policy misconduct
  • Arguments from ideology
  • Ad Hominem attacks
  • Misuse of uncertainty and arguments from consensus

Table 1 is comprised of a list of deceitful tactics and abuse of the scientific process.  Its a pretty good list.

Most of what he writes seems reasonable when each point is considered in isolation.  But does all this add up to saying anything about the integrity of science?  I would argue that (mostly), it does not.

When I think of integrity in science, I think of Richard Feynman’s reflections on the subject, from his Cargo Cult Science talk:

“It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest, it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. . . [A]lthough you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. . . The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.  I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.”

It’s not easy to relate Feynman’s vision of scientific integrity to Gleick’s version of the integrity of science (or to the bloated overconfidence of the IPCC).  Gleick is seeking to define integrity at the science-policy interface, from the perspective of an elite scientist who has a policy agenda that is directly related to his area of scientific expertise.  And that seems to be targeted at enhancing the political/policy influence of the elite scientists.
I don’t want elite scientists, particularly those with policy agendas, defining integrity at the science-policy interface.  After all, look what they came up with in the context of climate science:  expert judgment, consensus building, appealing to their own authority, and blaming the lack of success of their preferred policy option on deniers, Heartland, etc.
A debate among social scientists and policy makers themselves on this topic is needed.  See Roger Pielke Jr’s book The Honest Broker for a starting point.
So, with respect to climate science, the science-policy interface has become broken and dysfunctional, and I would argue that elite climate scientists are more to blame for this than the likes of Heartland.
Should global warming activists lie to defend their cause?
John Horgan has a provocative post with this title at Scientific American.  Excerpts:

Kant said that when judging the morality of an act, we must weigh the intentions of the actor. Was he acting selfishly, to benefit himself, or selflessly, to help others? By this criterion, Gleick’s lie was clearly moral, because he was defending a cause that he passionately views as righteous. Gleick, you might say, is a hero comparable to Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who in 1971 stole and released documents that revealed that U.S. officials lied to justify the war in Vietnam.

But another philosopher my students and I are reading, the utilitarian John Stuart Mill, said that judging acts according to intentions is not enough. We also have to look at consequences. And if Gleick’s deception has any consequences, they will probably be harmful. His exposure of the Heartland Institute’s plans, far from convincing skeptics to reconsider their position, will probably just confirm their suspicions about environmentalists. Even if Gleick’s lie was morally right, it was strategically wrong.

I’ll give the last word to one of my students. The Gleick incident, he said, shows that the “debate” over global warming is not really a debate any more. It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.

JC comment:  Even with a possible Kantian justification for Gleick’s actions, such actions act to damage if not destroy the role of science at the science-policy interface.   Strategies of science that aimed at the climate science-policy interface, notably the IPCC consensus building process, are arguably bad for science.  Preserving the true (Feynman) integrity of science in the face of politics (including the politics of science) and the desire of policy makers for information that simply cannot be provided by scientists is the greatest challenge, both for  the integrity of science and integrity at the science-policy interface.

479 responses to “Gleick’s Testimony on Threats to the Integrity of Science

  1. Just who do you think you are to preach to anybody else about ethics?

    Over and over you lie to these people, mostly to portray your betters in the scientific community as liars, no less! Here is just one example.

    Kauffman, et al hypothesize that the relative slowdown in warming between 1998 – 2008 compared to the entire period since 1953 is due to three factors, including reduced incoming solar radiation (“insolation”) and La Nina.

    But you deliberately lied to your readers, to give the false impression that Kaufman, et al investigated only Chinese aerosols.

    The authors argue that the sulfates associated with this coal consumption have been sufficient [no, they do not] to counter the greenhouse gas warming during the period 1998-2008…

    The truth is that they argue only that sulfates are one of three major cooling factors, the other being reduced insolation and La Nina. Of course, your most ardent followers won’t see for themselves, even though I put the proof right in front of their ignorant faces.

    Lucky for you. It seems you know your target audience well enough to keep them coming back for more. If that’s what you consider an accomplishment, “congratulations.”

    • Is that you Peter?

      • Nah, it’s manpigbear!

      • Gleick’s 2007 congressional testimony and comments by settledscience cannot hide the cruelty of government policies that left so many citizens hopeless, homelessness, unemployed, using food pantries or food stamps to get food, living in homeless shelters (Agape homes), getting funds for unemployment, welfare, social security, disability, living with parents, or attending college on borrowed government funds with no way to find a field of study that will assure employment after graduation.

        This are the result of policies based on “manageable” computer models of reality, rather than on experimental measurements and observations of reality after ~1971:

        When fear of mutual nuclear annihilation convinced world leaders to

        1. End the arms race
        2. End the Apollo space program
        3. Unite Nations against global climate change, and
        4. Manipulate science and computer models to show:
        _a.) Industrial CO2 causes global warming
        _b.) The need to close CO2-producing industries
        _c.) New “Green jobs” will replace the jobs that are lost
        _d.) The Sun is a giant and steady Hydrogen-fusion reactor
        _e.) Sending CO2-industries overseas will avoid global warming
        _f.) H-fusion reactors like the Sun will meet future energy needs

        Reality itself is benevolent to life, not cruel, perhaps because life evolved in response to this reality [See: “Origin and Evolution of Life”,  J. Mod. Physics 2, 587‐594 (2011)]  

        1. Neutron repulsion in the core of the Sun triggers the conversion of tightly confined neutrons into atoms of chemical elements.
        2. Neutron repulsion triggered the explosion of the Sun five billion years (5 Gyr) ago, ejecting the chemical elements that now comprise Earth.
        3. Neutron repulsion in the core of the Sun releases the energy that sustains life and controls Earth’s changing climate by continuing to convert tightly confined neutrons into atoms of chemical elements.

        See: 1. Science 195 208-210 (1977)
        2. Nature 277, 615‐620 (1979)
        3. Meteoritics 18, 209‐222 (1983) 
        4. Meteoritics, Planetary Sci. 33, A97, 5011 (1998) 
        5. Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193‐198 (2002) 
        6. “Neutron repulsion”

        Summary: Reality is benevolent to life. Manipulated models of reality have caused great damage to society.

      • No. Settledscience is amongst Hansen, Trenberth, Mann, Jones, etal and the gullible followers such as PIG,oh, its P.G.

    • Yet another Climate Science paper which contains no science. No hypothesis, no testing of the hypothesis, no controls, no kinetics or thermodynamics and no place in the literature.

    • Settledscience is rather generous with throwing around the word lie when the evidence he gives is very weak. At most, its a case of a minor error in interpretation, something that happens to the best of us all the time. Imputing motives to people you don’t know is immoral and a sign of unresolved anger. Need a good psychiatrist or maybe a padded cell would be better? This looks to me like a case Judith, where banning someone would be appropriate. Your denizens deserve better than such a kook and you deserve better than this kind of character assassination.

      • I agree, but I also think it’s quite admirable to let the accusations just sit there. I think it shows integrity and more courage than I possess

      • John Carpenter

        David, banning ‘settledscience’ would not be a good move. Give them the soapbox, let them yell, rant and scream…. let them show themselves for who they are in full display to all. Their movement got caught up in propagating a lie to further their agenda while preaching to everyone else the ‘deniers’ are the big liars. Let rational people figure it out for themselves, it’s rather obvious the conclusion they are likely to draw from such hypocrisy.

      • HITCHENS: You be very careful, sir… A second ago you mentioned the term “character assassination.” Be careful your character doesn’t commit suicide in front of this everyone in this room.

        There is no room for interpretation. Kaufman, Kauppi, Mann (not thatMichael Mann, different middle initial) and Stock stated perfectly clearly in their Abstract:

        Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

        The two things that Judith claimed, in her utterly dishonest critique of that paper, are mentioned before the thing that she dishonestly told you that the authors had claimed was the sole cause of the “hiatus in warming” when they clearly said “partially,” also right in the Abstract. That is no error.

        Judith lied to you, with intent. Or else she’s an idiot, or she didn’t bother to read even the Abstract! Would you really rather believe one of those things? Then go ahead. But no other explanations are consistent with the documented facts in front of your face.

      • ss, have you stopped eating your wife?

      • huh. I read the abstract. I read judiths take on the paper.I’m sorry I don’t see a lie. now if she wanted to deceive she would not cite the paper. she is welcomed to her reading. I’m not bound by her reading and since she cites the paper she gives me the tool to dispute her reading. I would say her reading is too narrow and slanted. you would do better by a focused rebuttle than by faux outrage. willis does outrage better than you. study him

      • SS, You can say it all you like, but I don’t believe Judith lied to me, nor does anyone else who frequents this blog. So, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again — the sane thing would be to give up and just live with the fact that Judith is having an impact and is an intelligent and ethical scientist. I suggest you try Real Climate where you might find a sympathetic reception.

      • Let them expose their weakness here, don’t stop them like the alarmist sites stop skeptics.

    • ss It must feel lonely with a tinge of desperation watching your whole belief system going down the drain as study after study and revelation after revelation discredits all you thought sacred. This kind of behavior must be in the DNA of AGW defenders because they exhibit it without fail

    • Furious diatribes are hardly new to this blog, but settledscience’s demented little rant, above, has a disturbed, maniac quality that bears watching, I recommend. And I say that, all kidding aside:

      -The particulars of ss’ “beef” with Dr. Curry are a SciAm interview published in November of 2010 (linked by ss in his above comment) and one of this blog’s posts (again, linked by ss in his above comment) that appeared in July of last year (the post addressed the “Kaufmann” article that ss refers to in his above comment).

      -So this ss guy obviously has a long, long memory for perceived slights. And it is clear that he nurses his grudges with a festering and unremitting raw anger over a span of a year or more. I mean, settledscience’s comment (rushed to the no. 1 spot on this thread) is, at best, very tangential to the subject of the post. But the risk of being OT is obviously not the sort of thing to deter ol’ settledscience from commenting. Rather, it’s as if he’s been “itching” to launch his zinger comment and, in that state, any or even no pretext serves to set him off.

      -Although ss had the opportunity to take issue with the “Kaufman” post, at the time it originally appeared, there are no comments with the “settledscience” moniker appearing in the comment thread to the “Kaufman” post.

      -Curiously, there is a comment in the “Kaufman” post thread that appears nearly two weeks after the post first appeared and well after the the initial discussion had moved-on , by a gent with the handle “Reed Young.” And a day after Reed Young commented on this blog on the Kaufman post, he left a comment on the same subject in the thread of the SciAm article linked by settledscience in his above comment.

      –Reed Young’s SciAm comment (quite a read)is suffused with the same unhinged loathing and enmity toward Dr. Curry that we see in settledscience’s above comment.

      –We also find in Reed Young’s unsettling SciAm comment a gnawing grudge (Reed Young’s comment appears some 8 months after the SciAm article was published and 6 months after the the next oldest comment), similar to settledscience’s own.

      –I mean, if one didn’t know better, one might be forgiven thinking that Reed Young and settledscience are identical twins.

      -Reed Young and settledscience also share another quirky characteristic in common. If one clicks on settledscience’s name in his above comment you’ll see it takes you to a blog posting of some sort that is a repeat of his above comment, save for some additional, lead-in digs at Dr. Curry. Likewise, the comment with Reed Young’s name appearing in this blog’s Kaufman article post links to an obscure, unread blog. So it appears that settledscience and his doppelganger, Reed Young, both aspire to be “players” on the blog scene. And it must gall them both that Dr. Curry gets the page views and comment traffic they crave and is (unjustly, I think they perceive) denied them. Which only fuels the pathologies of these “two” creep-out weirdos, I strongly suspect.

      -Finally, David Young’s above comment notes the dissonance between settledscience’s hopped-up vitriol and the utter lack of a factual basis for such strong language.

      In sum, we have in settledscience (and Reed Young, I recommend) a person wrapped-very-tight indeed and in the unhealthy process of going full-blown nutso on us. Probably just an obnoxious, harmless pest with “sanity” issues. But, again, one who bears watching.

    • Chief Hyrologist


      I started to comment on an inconsistency in SS’s comment – but psychologically went off the rails with Kim’s comment about eating wives. This seems slightly OT – but in my experience is regarded by wives as one of the best moves a guy can make.

      SS’s comment is another kettle of fish however. They can’t get their story right – it is cooling but it’s La Niña and decreasing solar intensity – or it is warming in the deep oceans but God only knows why because there are all these cooling influences.

      I have just got used to the deep oceans warming – bear with me while I try something new – and don’t want to go back to the old idea of SS’s. I wish these people would make up their minds.


    • Cripes, I almost got flecks of spittle in the eye through the computer screen reading that comment.

      I am not competent to judge the scientific issue under discussion. But I can read, and fail to see where Dr Curry has preached to anyone in her post. She has raised an issue for discussion, with a couple of external perspectives as a starting point, and a brief and restrained comment of her own. She has, however, quoted the eminent ethicist Dr Gleick preaching – perhaps you are confused about who said what?

      Speaking of preaching, Settledscience would be right at home in a front of a tent revival meeting judging from the florid and vitriolic nature of his/her fire-and-brimstone tinged language. You need to chill. It’s not good for the blood pressure to get so worked up over a blog post, and exceptionally bad for your credibility in this instance.

    • Well Funded Big Oil Denier Machine Central - Commissar #7


      Cool it just a bit. People will think that you are just a caricature. We need you to make ridiculous warmist comments, but just convincingly enough. You have gone far too far on the spittle-flecked ranting to be taken as anything but a joke. The art of satire is to know just how far to go..and no further.

      I have booked you on a re-education course in WFBODM level -17 next week. Do not forget to bring your secret identity papers……


    • My my, you do know how to present an argument don’t you. Cool, clinical, stick to the facts and respect your opponent, you lack it all.

      You said: “But you deliberately lied to your readers, to give the false impression that Kaufman, et al investigated only Chinese aerosols.”

      Kaufman et al said: “..our analyses identify an important
      change in another pathway for anthropogenic climate change
      —a rapid rise in anthropogenic sulfur emissions driven by large
      increases in coal consumption in Asia in general, and China in
      particular. Chinese coal consumption more than doubles in the
      4 y from 2003 to 2007.”

      Judith said: ” The key argument in their paper is that an increase in coal burning (primarily in China) has increased atmospheric sulfate concentration with a resulting global cooling effect.”

      I can see how you would take that as a gross misrepresentation of the Kaufman paper, particularly if you hadn’t read the paper.

      What is an “ignorant face” by the way? Is it a face that is somehow uninformed? But what is it uninformed about, and how can you tell it’s uninformed, what symptoms do you see in the face?

      I’m afraid that your tone is all to prevalent among those who’ve adopted the knew religion when faced with people who refuse to believe in the cause. Many of the deniers believe this emotional stuff is because you’re losing the debate, which you are, when you do debate, but I don’t believe that at all, I believe it’s just good old fashioned intolerence, hatred and bad manners, and has no place in human discourse on any topic. That’s my last word, I’ll not respond, or correspond with you again.

    • David Springer


      Sulfate particulates reduce insolation. They shade the surface. So your bellicose protest that there are additional causes cited by Kaffmann et al are unfounded in the case of reduced insolation.

      La Nina is not a cause of anything. It’s a symptom. Specifically it’s a symptom of faster trade winds which evaporate more water and cool the ocean more. Faster trades are a result of a greater disparity in temperature between tropics and poles. We can discuss why there’s a greater disparity in temperature but I’ll put forward that a major cause is diminished Arctic sea ice extent which allow for increased heat loss over the Arctic ocean. Soon the La Nina will have cooled the tropical Pacific which reduces the temperature difference between tropics and poles which will reduce the speed of the trade winds and the calmer tropical Pacific will heat up more under the tropical sun, which will then cause another rise in temperature disparity between tropic and poles which will cause the trades to pick up again which will cause the Pacific to cool which will lower the temperature disparity and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

      See how everything fits neatly together once you understand which are first order causes and effects and which are not. Atmospheric CO2 is a first order cause or effect when the global ocean presents a mostly liquid surface. The water cycle rules in that regime. A whole bunch of heat engines using solid, liquid, and gaseous H2O as working fluid, heat reservoir, and heat sink all powered by the sun and earth’s rotation setting the direction of rotation through Coriolis force. The work that is accomplished is called ‘weather’.

      I swear to God all the scientists should just friggin’ bow out and let engineers explain the climate and the weather. It’s all very mechanical and straight forward.

    • Mydogsgotnonose

      Because of the major error in Sagan’s ‘two-stream approximation’ [it only considers one optical process when there are two], the ‘polluted clouds cool argument’ applies only to about half thin clouds. The rest behave very differently, easily proved by eye and satellite data.. The satellite data processing algorithms lead to false results, compounding the error.

      In reality, most GW doesn’t come from GHGs and these hysterical attempts to purport imaginary cloud cooling is hiding equally imaginary high feedback CO2-AGW, an artefact of the false ‘back radiation’ idea, has seriously damaged science and many economies. Most of the ‘missing’ heat is probably natural, reversal of the Arctic melting, part of a 70 year cycle.

      The so-called IPCC consensus has come apart at the seams because it was always based in 4 scientific mistakes. The aerosol and IR physics errors are subtle but ‘back radiation’ and ’33 K present GHG warming’ should never have been considered valid by any competent professional with proper physics’ training.

      • You’ve got to convince me. Where, between Arrhenius’s cup and Nature’s sneering lip, is the slip.

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        Go outside when the clouds are preparing to rain then observe how they let less light through, higher albedo. This is exactly the opposite of what is claimed in the climate models. The physics, to be published, is subtle.

        In 2004, NASA substituted Twomey’s partially correct physics with a claim that small droplets reflect more because of higher surface area**.This is fantasy physics probably aimed at justifying the imaginary -0.7 W/m^2 ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling in AR4, just increased by Hansen et. al. by a further imaginary ~50% to explain no present warming.

        In reality net AIE is positive and maximum CO2 climate sensitivity is ~15% of the IPCC median claim.


    • Dear Anonymous Commenter ‘settledscience’:

      You have committed a very serious social offense [ the likes of which which would have seen you called out to a personal duel in the early days of Royal Society.] You have called Dr. Curry an intentional liar. There is never an excuse for such ill-mannered behavior.

      I suggest you apologize.

      Were it my blog, you would be sent to sit in the corner until you had. Failing that, you would not be invited to participate in conversations here in the future.

  2. I think Horgan’s argument leaves out the very strong possibility (probability) that Gleick actually forged the most important part of the data. I just don’t see how his noble selfless attempt to further his cause can possibly justify that. It’s possible that we might imagine that lying to find things out is consistent with trying to get the truth out. There is no way that lying about the truth is consistent with trying to get the truth out.

    • David Springer

      Comparing Gleick to Ellsberg is uber stupid. Ellsberg uncovered bad actors in the federal goverment telling egregious lies to the American people to support a foreign war of aggression that ultimately sent 50,000 American boys barely old enough to shave to an early grave and crippled three times that number for life. Gleick uncovered a free market advocacy group advocating free market ideals funded by private individuals who believe in free markets. The difference is stark.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Springer: The difference is stark.

        This needs to be repeated often. The difference between private citizen and government is stark.

  3. A provocative post.

    I agree that taken sentence by sentence, there is very little to comment on about Gleick’s points. It’s mostly bland, vague guff that isn’t controversial – but isn’t exactly enlightening.

    However, I did notice that he bemoaned the substituting of partisan organisations ideas for those from non-partisan scientists. I noticed it because I think he sees himself as non-partisan, which is surely slightly delusional – and might explain why he thought that his deception and lying were in the interests of truth, righteousness and the future of humanity..

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying the climate debate has become a war, but it has become totally politicised, so the point about lying for the cause has an equal resonance.

    • David Springer

      Non-paritisan scientists in climatology and evolutionary biology are as rare, respectively, as summer snowfall in NYC and fur on frogs.

      And that’s precisely the problem. Certain areas of science have become highly politicized and the scientific establishment has become increasingly tribal, lawyered up, and wee-weed completely out of shape when anyone dares to disagree.

      • David,

        Leave the frog in the back of the fridge for 3 months and you’d be surprised how much fur it has. Mostly of the whitish/blue-green variety.

  4. John Horgan is incorrect,Gleick sought to benefit from his fraud by having himself and his views ‘vindicated’ by finding the compromising evidence he has been for so long spruiking.He did not find what he needed so he manufactured it. He was also settling scores, not only with Heartland but with various people he disagees with ( by referring them in the manufactured document as if they were giving aid and comfort to the deniers). This was a selfish act so even by Kantian assumptions this was not a moral act. John Horgan needs to learn to think more critically.

    • Hogan knew that, but you are able to do anything lie, cheat, steal, kill as long as it is for the ’cause’. These people are saving the world, with that at stake, you can build a mountain of skulls and still be just, righteous and holy.

    • Fair point. His intention was to harm, denigrate and besmirch.

      Only people he disagreed with, though,
      so I suppose that’s OK.

  5. “In the long run, the truth of whether the earth is round (mostly), goes around the sun (so the best evidence shows), or is warming due to industrial activity (considered “very likely” i.e., more than 90% certainty) will be demonstrated on the global stage. ”

    notice anything?

    • Yeah – me too. But I’d already called him delusional once..

      • he also wrongly attributed the agw component to industry. note the shift from human caused gw to industry. gleick lied. but as flaw I rank that lower than butchering the language

      • Steve, how is it incorrect to attribute the agw component to industry? This is an honest question, not a provocation.

    • “the long run”

      How long is that?


    • I can’t tell from your responses if you guys get it. Usually I’m dumber so I guess you do.

    • How about — In the long run (whatever that is), the truth (whatever that is) of whether the earth is round (mostly (more than 50% round) — so it’s not flat, get it?), goes around the sun (so the best evidence shows (although if they waterboarded me I would deny it (and then recant later)), or is warming due to industrial activity (just industrial activity, with or without CO2?) (considered (whatever that means)(by somebody or other) “very likely” i.e., more than 90% certainty) will be demonstrated on the global stage (whatever that is (or perhaps the Globe Theatre playing A Midsummer’s Night Dream (or something))). No I didn’t notice anything.

    • (yes Mr. Mosh), (I noticed).

    • Yes.
      Taking out any parenthetical comments that annoy you, it’s absolutely (and obviously) true. And very important.

      You can argue all you like about who has this or that agenda. But the earth rolls on without regard for that. And if we want to know where we’re headed, we need the best information we can get. Not certain – we can’t have that. Just the best that we can do. And if you don’t like what the current “elite scientists” are doing, figure out how to do the job better.

      • Easy, test hypotheses with observations from reality rather than from virtuality.

      • As Kim said, the answer is plain to every high school student. Test the hypothesis against the observations. If it fits, it’s validated. if not, throw out the hypothesis.

        Pity that Ph.D’s don’t get it, or rather,deliberately and dishonestly pretend that models are the only oracles.

      • As you probably remember Nick you said something similar in Lisbon and I agree whole heartedly. AGW science is the best explanation we have. No amount of fake documents or shoddy behavior will change what nature knows: GHGs cause warming. We continue to add them to our atmosphere at our peril. No amount of bad behavior on the part of anybody will change that physics.

        Because the science is true, because I believe in the science, and because I believe that the truth that only nature knows will prevail, I have no problem demanding that best practices be used and that the highest of standards for integrity be upheld. Its because I believe in the science that I can be critical of the kinds of things I see. Its because nature will settle this matter of science that we are free to attend to the mundane issues of people’s behavior.

      • Andrew Russell

        How to do the job better? Follow the Scientific Method – which your “elite scientists” REFUSE to do.

        Tell Lonnie Thompson to publish the ice core data he has been REFUSING to do for all these years.

        Stop cherry-picking data – like Briffa and his Yamal fraud.

        Stop fraudulently turning data series upside down, ignoring the documentation of the researcher who gathered it that it is worthless for anything, then claiming you have an ‘independent’ Hockey Stick.

        Open up the IPCC to real scientists. Make it’s proceedings public instead of secret. Throw out the political activists and their corrupt NGOs. Impose both transparency and conflict of interest rules on ALL it’s participants. Fire the soft-core porn king.

        Remove from positions of authority in government, academia, and the IPCC those “elite scientists” who engage in slander and libel instead of science. (admittedly, that would gut the IPCC lead author list…)

        Are you getting a clue, now?

      • steven mosher | February 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm |

        Because the science is true, because I believe in the science, and because I believe that the truth that only nature knows will prevail, I have no problem demanding that best practices be used and that the highest of standards for integrity be upheld.

        — a fine statement, but are the first two ‘because’ clauses necessary?

        Its because I believe in the science that I can be critical of the kinds of things I see.

        — Mosher’s integrity is not in question. My question is that if Mosher is so confident that his side (and I’m not implying what that is) can win without cheating, why do so many climate scientists and their supporters feel such a need to cheat?

      • diag.
        I can only hazard a guess at why some particular human gives into temptation. that’s a dangerous business. for the most part id say noble cause corruption. you see skeptics getting away with intellectual crimes and you fancy youself a climate dirty harry.

      • This response is to steven Mosher.

        When you say “AGW science” what science are referring to?
        1: just that there is GHG effect, and that increases the temperature by about 1 degK for each doubling of CO2?
        2: there is a feedback that amplifies the CO2 sensitivity BY 2 MORE folds?
        3: the whole kit-n-kaboodle… along with all the nonsense about having 6 degK increase by 2100 AD?
        4: the sun having NO effect on the temperature change of the last 60 years or so, on my favorite spinning rock?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        steve mosher: AGW science is the best explanation we have. No amount of fake documents or shoddy behavior will change what nature knows: GHGs cause warming.

        I agree. On the other hand, climate science has many omissions, approximate (hence at least somewhat inaccurate) models on many scales, and imprecise (and inaccurate) parameter estimates. Model forecasts based on AGW science are not very accurate to date. Hence, we have no firm reason to believe that we know what future increases in CO2 will do to future climate, such as how they alter the rate of transfer of heat from the lower troposphere and surface to the upper troposphere.

        Scientific methods work best, but they work in the long run. For something as complicated as climate science, the long run is longer than for making a bomb and nuclear power plant after the discovery of fission, which itself was a long time coming after the discovery of radioactivity.

      • The consensus is delivering the worst we can get, evidently. A textbook example of cargo cult science. GHGs cause warming? How are they gonna stop convective/evaporative cooling of the Earth’s surface? It’s basic physics (joking a bit).

      • Nick, as you said “But the earth rolls on without regard for that.” That is very very true.

        Could you also say that humanity rolls on (towards some end,) without regard for a few bumps in the road?

        I’m asking the question in an abstract frame, no values to specific outcomes.

    • David Springer

      Actually the earth doesn’t go around the sun. They both go around their common center of mass.

      • +1
        But is the language reasonable if their common centre of mass is inside the sun?

      • Well since there is no preferred reference frame, isn’t it valid to say all of the above? As in the earth is going around the sun, the sun goes around the earth and they both go around a common center of mass, and they both go around the moon… wait now I’m confused.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Springer: They both go around their common center of mass.

        It’s worse than that: they travel in a trajectory on a sort of annulus around the center of mass of the Milky Way Galaxy.

      • Actually, the common center of mass for the solar system, the Barycenter, is a few millimeters away from the center of the sun, causing the sun to wiggle by a few millimeters at the surface.

        And this, folks, is precision in action!

  6. “In the long run, the truth of whether the earth is round (mostly), goes around the sun (so the best evidence shows)”

    Pity he never passed on this snippet to Trenberth as no one has ever told him

  7. To allow the debate to be seen as (let alone become) a war threatens more than just the integrity of science, it threatens the science itself. My understanding of science is that it is the pursuit of truth through evidence – and isn’t it said that the first casualty of war is the truth?

    On these grounds I would reject all of Horgan’s arguments as being those of advocacy, not science, and therefore ultimately destructive to what is being debated.

  8. Markus Fitzhenry.

    In a fit of rage
    A bluster of arrogance
    Spittle sprays
    Anger displayed
    The cause must be right
    Ideology now endures the smite
    Crushed by a sceptics might

  9. “Was he acting selfishly, to benefit himself, or selflessly, to help others? By this criterion, Gleick’s lie was clearly moral, because he was defending a cause that he passionately views as righteous.”

    What a load of pretentious crap. Gleick didn’t lie, forge a document and slander others because he was trying to “help others.” He was being embarrassed in his flame war with Heritage blogger, was embarrassed again by being challenged to a debate he had no intention of engaging in, and used his fit pf pique to paint a picture of himself as much more important to the climate debate than he has ever been.

    Every pompous, greedy, dishonest CAGW activist from Rajendra Pachauri to James Hansen, to Michael Mann to Phil Jones to the until now little known Peter Gleick, ALWAYS claim that their self aggrandizing behavior is “for the children.”

    He’s not some valiant warrior fighting to save the planet. He’s a vain, dishonest hypocrite who got caught. End of story.

    • +1 @ Gary

    • John Carpenter


    • +1

      Monstrous ego overwhelms moderate intellect.

      Crimate science seems to have quite a few cases of this.

    • Spot on target – hear hear !

    • The same question has to be asked again and again, because the Gleicks of this world never answer: If you are so sure of your case, why not debate it openly, as heartland invited him to do, and let rational argument talk?

      The problem is, that because this whole debate has become so politicised, people have forgotten to try and find common ground, find where the gaps are, and use science to discover what’s unknown. If I had $1c for every time I’ve heard “belief”, I would be a very rich man.

      I also take issue with Gleick’s 2007 testimony… “In the long run, the truth of whether the earth is round (mostly), goes around the sun (so the best evidence shows), or is warming due to industrial activity (considered “very likely” i.e., more than 90% certainty) will be demonstrated on the global stage. “, where he slyly slips in the CAGW ‘consensus’ in alongside ’round earth’ and ‘earth goes around sun’. He calls for science to be re-established, yet unilaterally decides that his belief trumps science when it comes to the climate – and people ask why institutions such as Heartland work against this.

      • Warmists are not sure of their case and they know (more or less unconsciously) it’s not debatable without exposing the pseudo-science (in the Popperian sense). They’re in (climate change) denial and projecting it on the skeptics.

    • David Springer


      two snaps up

    • I’ll add my vote of approval.

      I’ve learned that anytime someone refers to the “good of” or “think of” the children, the very last thing on their minds is the well being of children.

    • Uptinkles

  10. I don’t know if people have seen this (I originally found the link on Lucia’s Blackboard) but there was an interesting exchange of emails and messaged between Gleick, Prof. Tamsin Edwards and Barry Woods. Its an interesting reveal inside of Gleick before the story Heartland story broke. My impression from reading it is that Gleick was firing off a lot of salvos but seemed incapable of taking aim.

    • Plus he forgot to bring ammunition :)

    • I think the emotional truth behind his spat with Barry Woods was he objected (violently) to the provocative name of Barry’s blog [Real climategate]. Because Gleick is (was?) a partisan ideologue, the inference he took was that Barry was a lying, thieving, child-hating, money-grabbing, scumbag, and so he abused Barry in some tweets – forgetting that he didn’t actually have any reason to do so!!

      When push came to shove [honest brokers Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards stepped in] he had absolutely nothing to defend himself with – nothing.

      A bit like when he was accused of a sneering review of Donna Laframboises’s – not having read the book, he simply had nothing to say but splutter. He was asked for evidence that he wasn’t lying and crept back under his stone.

      As the correspondent of the Atlantic suggested, I think he has problems of derangement

      • And some of the language he used in the DL book “review” also showed up in the fake HI document. The terms “anti-climate” and “influential” are observed in both bits of writing. Does that put the nail in the coffin on the identity of the fake-memo author? Of course not! But it does add to the circumstantial evidence that points to Gleick.

        I wrote a post about it.

    • Lovely remark from gleick in his e-mail to Barry (Jan 2012)

      ‘we should probably ALL count to 10 after writing anything and before hitting send’

      Advice that he would have done well to follow a month later….

      Gleick is very good at dishing out the free advice complete with wagging finger and arrogant assumed superiority. But absolutely useless at taking it.

      In the Dog an Duck we call this ‘all mouth and no trousers’…among other less polite things.

    • Thanks for the link. A very revealing exchange.

  11. As the jewelry store robber blames the cop standing on the corner during the crime for his criminal incarceration, Dr Gleick blames others for his need to rant that others are to blame for his behavior. The American Revolution rant “Extremism in the defense of liberty is not a crime” has become Extremism in the defense of his belief system is justified. Personally, I am not moved in his direction. Rather, I suspect that in other areas of his life, he makes the same arguments: in buying a car, finding a parking space, recycling, in lots of areas we call mundane. Yet, how does such a creature behave in the greater world? How does he apply his principles in every day circumstances? My supposition is that in many areas, he justifies what he does as he is seeking a higher, selfless order. And so, we have deceit, manipulation, able to live a duality because he is seeking the higher order, and is therefore, justified in whatever he says or does. Am I surprised? no, of course not. He is yet another in a long list of evangelists, who have at times led others to a premature end, ah la Jones in Jones Town Guiana. That is how I view Dr. Gleick and his rants. There are people who will willingly enter the commune, only to be repelled, and, as they seek to leave, be extinguished. This public catastrophe warming gourpie is not a solitary, isolated commune in the jungles of Central America. These are the halls of Academia, Congress, Corporate Board Rooms, and the spaces of NGO’s. Those enveloped by the siren song risk peril to body and soul. Indeed, we need to seal our ears to their beseeching, ignore our own comrades at times, and guide the ship of state past this enchantment, as, after all, it is an illusion. My straw man is another illusion, as I don’t know him intimately, only by his actions; hence, my suppositions, my suspicions, my wariness by the company he keeps. Others of this crowd I do know, and I am equally in disbelief. It is best to have an arm’s length relationship. And there in is the lesson, detachment; not, engagement. We must remove ourselves as best we can from the rant, the energy, the excitement, to try to be thoughtful, sleep on it, weigh these notions, make connections with what is said, vs, what is observed. In my mind, the observed carries more weight than what is being said. It is cold outside. There has been slightly more snow this winter than average, even though it is reported to be a warmer winter than last year. Maybe so. The speed of global warming as evidenced by warming winters is still not evident to me. I will not act hastily.

    • RiHo08, a rant has to have at least two paragraphs. Dr. Gleick is ahead of you there, at least he has a rant.

    • RiHo08

      Because you have something interesting to say, I make the effort to read through your un-paragraphed epic stream-of-thinking..

      However, it is hard work. Of course, that may mean I am one of the privileged few who manage to engage with your thinking, but if so, is that not a pity?

      To explain the difficulty, think of a paragraph as a long relaxed breath. As soon as its length is assessed (from the beginning) the exhalation which accompanies the mental reading of it is roughly matched to its expected duration.

      Unfortunately, in the case of unnaturally long paragraphs (such as yours above) a single ‘breath’ is insufficient to carry a reader to the end. Consequently, about a third of the way through digesting what is otherwise a wholesome mental meal, the readers mind gets up, wanders off, and becomes attached to something entirely unrelated to the original subject of interest.

      Anything and everything can be the distraction, and when the attention is once again forced to return to the long paragraph (with a slight sense of frustration) there is the added problem that there is no obvious sign of where the ‘breath’ ran out and the attention wandered.

      I’ll keep making the effort because I enjoy reading what you have to say, but you could cast you net further and wider with a more disciplined (if less bravura) approach. :)

      • Anteros

        Of course you are right.

        Reading through this morning, it dawned on me why such long and uninterrupted essays: As I write, my mind image is horizontal yet the posting is vertical.

        I will do better in the future.

        Thank you for the support and the helpful suggestions.

      • I don’t know if this will help..

        After you’ve written what comes naturally – which may well be a horizontal chain of thinking expressed vertically, try reading it out loud. You may find that your reading naturally tells you where a visual/vertical/breathing space would be useful.

        Notice where you naturally breathe and see if it matches where there can be a slight pause in the sense of your writing.

        The breaks will probably feel a) unnatural b) unnecessary c) disruptive.
        You might also feel that the chain of thinking is ‘broken’ and that therefore a reader at that point will be ‘lost’.

        However, if you read through a few more times, you might start to feel that a few breaks enhance and structure your thinking and your message. Without your writing having to become clinical and dry [as I am being in this comment, for contrast :) ]

        My guess is that what is distinctive about your thinking (and therefore your writing) will remain. In other words you will still write long flowing paragraphs that are almost impressionistic in their effect. They’ll just make clearer, and more convincing pictures.

      • Anteros

        My right brain keeps kibitzing on what my left brain is doing; hence, the left gets distracted and overlooks basic mechanics.

        As there are a number of conversations going on in my head at any one time I try to focus as best I can.

        The image of horizontal comes from traveling West on Interstate 80 in Eastern Colorado and the unending ribbon of highway, straight as an arrow, with mile markers as the only guide to progress.

        In my travels I frequently stop at diners to eat and speak with the locals, frequently about the weather. “It’s colder than last year. The snow was really deep last year, not like this winter. Grandpa says….” I look out the diner’s window and make a comment. I usually get a response. On my computer, I look at a map which demonstrates drought, extreme drought. Why, I had just been there last week, no body there seemed to mention it.

        Impact, adaptation, and a sense of history I mull over on my journey. Respect for my own observations helps my left brain concentrate although the right continues with the color commentary.

      • RiHo08 –


        Not only interesting, but effortless to read :)

    • Peter Davies

      Hopeless to read. You need to use paragraphs and shorter sentences if you want people to read your comments.

  12. I was told that fortune cookies can be made better by adding two words at the end of the fortune: in bed.

    Ken Lay at Enron said all the wonderful things and was in demand re corporate ethics–but the unstated adder was [in the service of Enron] or [unless in an emergency].

    Peter Gleick’s pronouncements can be better understood with an adder: [in the service of climate alarmism and policy activism].

  13. “Our job as scientists is to seek the best understanding of the world around us and to communicate that understanding to the public.”

    ‘job’ implies work for pay. I wonder how many scientists have these two items in their official job descriptions. I wonder how many scientists agree with this informally. The first part is probably close enough to be taken for granted; ‘understanding’ is okay, but the ‘world around us’ is rather general for most individual scientists. The second part is new. Since when did scientists feel this was their job, or role, or duty? Not most scientists, and not to the general public. I doubt we can agree that it even should be so.

    • Personally, I think science works best when the scientists are disinterested. They should be curious, but caring too strongly about outcomes creates a bias.

      • Sorry but you sound like you would also be an unsuccesful waiter.

      • Agreed, much like a doctor shouldn’t be the one to operate on her child. At very least verification has to happen by someone not invested in the results – or ideally behind a double blind.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        ‘Our job as scientists is to see te best understanding of the world around us and to communicate that understanding to the public’

        Yes, and the public have got something to communicate to you.
        Science should not be a means, science should not be the cause, science should not claim superiority, science should not be a societal class.

        I am but an observer of the plight of climate science. Although I have only been looking thru the window for the last three months, I have recognized a stark difference from the scientists that I learnt about at school and met during my university years.

        What have you modern scientists done with the passionate one, tinkering away in a workshop simply for the love of inquiry and knowledge? Beautiful people, engrossed in appreciation of the liberation afforded to mankind by their dedication to science.

        Now, prima donna scientists seeking celebrity abound. Passionate for recognition, without a love of the instrument that gives them acceptance. They use and abuse science for their self-gratification or for ulterior motives.

        Ethos in an antithesis to science but it id what science is now based on. Theoretical physics, especially in an immature field like climate science should not be used for political policies. Especially when the basis for it is from proxies and a improvable consequence of ‘back-radiation’. Someone left the door open for Lyensko to walk in and he has been running amok.

        Science Wars? Keep getting into joe publics face and you just might see one.

      • I am but an observer of the plight of climate science. Although I have only been looking thru the window for the last three months, I have recognized a stark difference from the scientists that I learnt about at school and met during my university years.

        A young man looks at a number of pillars of salt that he is told have been white for thousands of years. He agrees they look white.

        Forty years later it appears to him that they have all turned green. He dismisses all those who continue to tell him they have been white for thousands of years and insists that the truth is that they have all turned green.

        From his standpoint their claim is ridiculous. It is obvious the pillars of salt are now green.

        There are a couple of explanations.

        One is that in fact they have turned green.

        Another is that his deteriorated eyesight is now playing tricks on him.

        What are the odds of his accepting the latter explanation?

        It is human nature that those odds are extremely low.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        I work with a bloke just like that. Virtuous and passionate about science.
        He reinvented a wheel Vaughan and made them the best in the World. Unlike you, he is humble. Unlike you, his eyes are wise.

        Have you got the courage to admit your wrong Vaughan?

        Nice wheels eh!

      • @Vaughan Pratt | February 27, 2012 at 1:47 am |

        A young man looks at a number of pillars of salt […] Forty years later it appears to him that they have all turned green. […] What are the odds of his accepting the latter explanation?

        Personally, in the spirit of Science, I’d start by performing a few experiments:

        * Examine a few other things (e.g. rocks) that were white forty years ago to see if they’ve also turned green.

        * Examine the surface of these “pillars of salt“, perhaps with a magnifying glass or microscope, to see whether the green is on the surface or throughout the (presumably translucent) salt.

        * Scratch off some of the surface to see whether it’s white underneath.

        * Examine these “pillars of salt” with a spectroscope to see if there’s a strong peak in the green wavelengths.

        A good scientist should certainly be willing to entertain a hypothesis of change in the observer, but such changes could certainly be tested scientifically.

    • Diag,

      If he said:

      “The normative, social justification for science is to move toward the best understanding of the world around us”

      I would have no problem. But the characterization of individual scientists is ridiculous.

      People need to distinguish between the function of social institutions and the individuals who inhabit them.

      • > People need to distinguish between the function of social institutions and the individuals who inhabit them.


        Let’s bear that in mind when reading what lies between the first and the second sentences of Judith’s commentary.

      • go doodle in the margins

      • There’s something to read between the third sentence and the fourth one too.

        INTEGRITY(tm): Because Feynman Says So

      • still doodling willard.

        leverage, grasshopper, you need to apply the right leverage at the right time.

      • “When I think of integrity in science, I think of Richard Feynman’s reflections on the subject, from his Cargo Cult Science talk:”

        hmm. Not because Feynman says so. because Feynman said it so well.
        It’s not true because he said it. It’s true because its true, and he expressed that truth well. So, quote him.

        Any way more distractions from the fringe. Sometimes you border on knight move thinking. get the knight to the center of the board. A knight on the margin, at the edge of the board loses half its power

      • Knight on the rim is dim.

  14. Horgan’s argument is circular: he starts with the assumption that Gleick was a saint and therefore has a halo and everyone with a halo is a saint therefore Gleick is a saint.

    • At least 50% of climate science logic is circular in this way. I won’t say 100% since I agree with their conclusions even if not with their reasoning. It is extremely difficult to arrive at correct conclusions when 100% of your reasoning is circular!

  15. Judith, I continue to be nonplussed at the scope and scale of the climate fight. Your student was right, it is a war. But why? Reputable scientists in both camps probably agree on 95% of the science of global warming. Everyone agrees that H2O, CO2, CH4 and other polyatomic molecules can re-radiate long-wave radiation and effect the “greenhouse” phenomenon. The major dispute is sensitivity or amplification. The warmist believe that increasing atmospheric CO2 will amplify the signal by a factor of approximately 3 via non-condensing H2O, whereas the skeptics predict a factor of approximately 0.5 via cloud reflection. It seems to me that the war is about who might be right with respect to sensitivity. If the warmists are correct, we have Venus, and if the skeptics are right we have slightly more food than we have now and more pleasant worldwide weather. My observation is that empiric evidence of satellite temps indicate that the models overestimate the synergistic ability of CO2 to amplify the re-radiation of longwave radiation by water vapor.
    It seems to me that the crux of the argument is reminiscent of the way pharmacologists estimate whether two drugs, when combined, are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic to each other. This is usually done by a technique called isobolographic analysis. Basically, this is done by measuring the effect of Drug A and B at iso points ( e.g.the ED50 on the linear portion of a semi-log dose response curve. You then run the experiment by constructing a dose response curve of Drug A in the presence of increasing individual doses of Drug B. So you end up with the dose response curve of Drug A alone, and a series of curves depending on how many doses of Drug B used. If the two drugs are additive, the curve will shift along the X axis in a parallel fashion. If the drugs are antagonistic the curves will be displaced to the right of the Drug A alone curve. If there are synergistic, Drug B will not only shift the dose response of Drug A to the left, but will also defect the slope of the curve upwards. If you drop a line down to the x-axis at an “iso” point (e.g.ED50), and then plot Drug A effect vs Drug B effect, you get the three possibilities, namely 1. Straight line indicating additivity, 2. convex rectangular hyperbola indicating antagonism, or 3. convex rectangular hyperbola indicating synergism
    So I see the war where the warmists suggest synergy between CO2 and water, and the skeptics see it as additivity. I think if some enterprising young scientist could construct either an in vitro or in situ experiment using CO2 as Drug A and water as Drug B the resulting data might prove interesting in terms of climate sensitivity..

  16. You did take your med’s today, did you ss.

  17. Sentence by sentence, I wonder what lurks between the lines. A great deal of rhetoric lies there, between the lines. I found this final sentence arresting:

    “Short-term political or economic advantage must be trumped by our collective responsibilities to protect public health, the environment, and our national security…”

    This is a value statement, plain and simple. I translate it as follows: ‘Public health, the environment and national security are lexically prior to other concerns as far as collective decision making goes.’ That is, no decrement to (say) public heath outcomes should be tolerated regardless of the size of any increment to (say) private consumption of goods.

    What does that have to do with any sort of definition of integrity?

  18. And not only that, but he felt that HI was going to devise an evil education platform!

    Well what they want to do is nothing compared to the Russians’.

  19. Gerard Harbison

    I must protest this complete inversion of Immanuel Kant’s thought. Kant argued that lying was always a moral wrong. Horgan clearly knows nothing, and understands less, about Kant’s moral reasoning.

  20. Gerard Harbison

    Even with a possible Kantian justification for Gleick’s actions

    There is no such justification. PLEASE take a few minutes to understand Kant’s complete rejection of deception, before reproducing Horgan’s ignorant bleatings on the subject.

    Even the Wikipedia page on the Categorical Imperative is a start. Page down to the section on deception.

    • Gerard ‘sympathetic magic’ and ‘appeals to authority’ are pretty much all they have. Horgan uses Kant as his authority figure and (mis)uses Kants analysis to support the ignoble, criminal actions of Gleick.

  21. Ted Carmichael

    My sense of what Horgan is trying to say is a bit different from those who have argued that Gleick acted to benefit himself. I think the key of Gleick’s intention is whether he believed he was acting selfishly or not. And I would guess that he did not perceive himself to be acting merely for his own benefit.

    As others have pointed out, ego probably played a role, and personal animosity, etc. I’m not excluding those as factors, and there are plenty of ancillary benefits one could identify that – had his ploy been successful – would have accrued to Gleick. But did this truly motivate him? No.

    The problem with people like Gleick is this: they deeply believe the CAGW theory, and it is this belief that propels them to violate core principles of ethics and ignore scientific rigor. Whether they stack the deck on funding, or give a pass on paper reviews, or gloss over their friends’ failings, or use public, ad hominem attacks on people that have a different view … to people like Gleick these things are acceptable, even noble, because they are trying to save the world.

    Gleick is, I believe, deluded. I believe this because – to use Feynman’s phrase – he has shown through his writing and actions a great propensity to fool himself. He is no longer using scientific rigor nor scientific methods in his writing or his analysis. He is not “bending over backwards” to point to any potential flaws in the AGW theory. He is not an honest broker.

    And now, because Gleick and others like him are already convinced, they have moved past the scientific debate. They are in a different realm, one where they must now win the political debate. This means that most papers – from “luke warm” to 100% critical – are ignored by Gleick and the like-minded, and their authors are attacked, and the motivations of these authors are ascribed – publicly or privately – as the worst imaginable. And it means that many pro-AGW papers are written with exaggerated consequences and sloppy analysis – some purposefully so and many accidentally. And they hurt the institutions of science because they still couch their arguments in the language of science, even as they abandon scientific principles.

    And that’s a shame. Because there are many researchers out there – the vast majority, I believe – who strive to do good work, and who are as careful as can be not to bias their results. And there are people on both sides of the debate who do NOT give a pass on ethical failings, and they call it as honestly as they can. But for the most part in climate science, the criticism – in whatever form – is ignored, and the side that is being criticized is paramount.

    And this is what we have now. This is what it means to poison the debate. Everyone is now categorized as being on one side or the other, and their actions – papers, research, essays, etc. – are judged not by the quality of the content, but by the end result: the message. And if the message is wrong, then the motivations of the author are immediately called into question, or minor flaws are blown out of proportion, or the details of the work are simply ignored.

    Ultimately, it does not matter who started poisoning the well. Many complain that the other side “did it first.” So what? One could trace back animosity and grudges for hundreds of years if one wanted to. The only thing to do in such an environment is to insist, whenever possible, on high standards and ethics, for yourself and for others. Those that don’t usually self-destruct, as Gleick has done, and expose their own failings as a lesson to us all.

  22. The Kantian defense of Gleick is bankrupt. It is a stretch to say that Gleick was acting for the “good of mankind.” Indeed, the best hypothesis is that he was seeking personal revenge for an argument at Forbes where he was clearly bested by a Heartland Fellow. This incident will result in negative consequences for climate science, even though one might argue that the disappearance of Gleick’s scientific influence is a good thing. If in fact, he is this unethical, it calls into question all his work. People like Schmidt recognize this. If anything, it will help the sceptics. It is strange that Horgan presents this to his students the way he does.

    I agree with Judith’s take on Gleick’s testimony. Subsequent events have shown him to be worst kind of hypocrite. The incident concerning the review of Donna’s book about the IPCC is another instance of dishonesty. In 2007, the Democrats had just taken over the Congress and the hatred of the Bush administration as being “anti-science” was very intense and partisan. Elite scientists like Gleick, being mostly left wingers, wanted to take the opportunity to pile on and make sure there were no thoughts of a return to the terrible Bush policies. In particular, they wanted Congress to put an end to those policies as soon as possible.

    It would be a disaster for elite scientists to capture public policy. As Morrison described intellectuals during the 1930’s: Polarization being a weakness of intellectuals, many young scientists believing that capitalism was finished turned to the popular ideologies of the day, Communism and Fascism. While the Fascists were more powerful, the Communists were more numerous.

    As Democrats would do well to remember, the President who they celebrate every year in Jefferson Jackson day dinners, Andrew Jackson, believed that any ordinary citizen was equally fit for any public office. In fact Jackson hated the Whig elites of his day and particularly its embodiment in the Bank of the United States. It is probably true that in general ordinary people have a rather good sense for when they are being talked down to and that is usually a sure sign of deeper problems. Gavin Schmidt, are you reading this?

    One need only think of the twin intellectual hydras of the late 19th and early 20th century, social Darwinism and eugenics, to realize how the intellectual elites can have little sense and a bad influence on public policy. Unfortunately, this sordid history is covered up and lied about in the modern era. Communism was likewise a supposedly scientific approach to history and mankind that was later proven to be a total disaster. And of course, racism found ready intellectual support in these supposedly scientific doctrines.

    • “It is probably true that in general ordinary people have a rather good sense for when they are being talked down to and that is usually a sure sign of deeper problems.”

      This reminds me of the very funniest William Buckley quotation:

      “I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.”

      Still hilarious after all these years, whether you agree with the sentiment or not.

  23. Gerard Harbison

    The Kantian defense of Gleick is bankrupt

    The Kantian defense of Gleick is like the Einsteinian theory of the ether. It’s not just a fantasy, it’s a travesty and complete inversion of the man’s thought . Kant was not a utilitarian. Kant was as far from being a utilitarian as it is possible to be. Kant disallowed lying even under the most exigent circumstances.

  24. The general public reacts strongly to hypocrisy. That is why tele-evangelists who consort with hookers are beloved by the media.

    While Gleick is not in the tele-evangelist class he is a true hypocrite. He once enjoyed delivering pompous lectures on “Scientific Integrity” and now he has become the poster child for scientific fraud:

  25. Judith,

    You must notice that the closer you get to the heart of this matter the more vicous the personal attacks come. For example:

    “settledscience | February 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Reply Just who do you think you are to preach to anybody else about ethics?

    Over and over you lie to these people, mostly to portray your betters in the scientific community as liars, no less! Here is just one example.”

    You have upset many apple carts. The cargo cult scientists and ideologues are getting more and more angry almost like Gleick out of control. The following is one way of summing these angry responses up!

    The quotation “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, scene II. The phrase has come to mean that one can “insist so passionately about something not being true that people suspect the opposite of what one is saying.”

    “Methinks settledscience doth protest too much” He may need to attend an anger management training course before he joins Gleick on the world’s dumbest criminal show.

  26. Stephen Singer

    Seems to me that all his complaints in the last paragraph before the Summary are being done mostly by his colleagues in the AGW(Climate Change) clan.

    As for the specific recommendations the first and last should be combined into just one recommendation.

    The other specific recommendations are being trampled by the current administrations lackey’s in several government agencies; i.e. EPA and Dept. of Interior for starters and his science adviser Mr. Chu(?). These recommendations are also being trampled by his colleagues at the UEA CRU, and several elite US Universities: Penn State, Washington, MIT, Berkeley, Texas Tech, Texas A&M are just a few off the cuff.

    When the anointed leaders of the AGW(Climate Change) view will not attend events where they’ve been invited to debate the scientific issues I place them on a much different pedestal than the one they have adopted for themselves.

  27. Horgan concluldes:

    I’ll give the last word to one of my students. The Gleick incident, he said, shows that the “debate” over global warming is not really a debate any more. It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.

    I’d argue that the United States has been in the midst of a Cold Civil War between the Red and the Blue for some time now, and that climate change is only one front of that war. This is sad and unfortunate, but I don’t see any way around the fact of it.

    This means that the current debates won’t be settled by reason and civility but by political muscle and external events.

    The Gleick affair has not chastened the orthodox, but brought the nature of their war to the surface. Note the open celebration of Gleick as a hero and these bald discussions such as Horgan’s that maybe it’s OK to lie, cheat and steal in the cause of climate change.

    • “This means that the current debates won’t be settled by reason and civility…”

      Or, we might add, erroneous attributions to dead philosophers. You can argue strongly with Kant’s total prohibition of deception on philosophical grounds. But as G. Harbison has pointed out, Horgan’s got this bass-ackwards.

      • The climate debate will be decided in elections, as it should be, since it was political at its inception.

      • NW: Horgan’s riff on Kant didn’t sound right to me either. The Categorical Imperative would seem to foreclose that path. I’ll check with a lawyer friend with a philosophy degree.

      • “By a lie a man throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a man.” Immanuel Kant

      • The climate debate will be decided in elections, as it should be, since it was political at its inception.


        (Teenage patois for “Ok, but why are you bringing this up now?”)

        The 2010 elections declared the Tea Party as the future of America.

        This November we’ll see if there’s been any shift in that sentiment. And also whether HADCRUT3VGL is going down or up compared to 2011.

        Both are fascinating to watch.

      • Chief Hyrologist

        ‘Stay tuned for the next update (by March 10th, or earlier – ICOADS appears to be less threatened for now) to see where the MEI will be heading next. La Niña has staged a comeback similar to 2008-09, and consistent with expectations formulated right here well over a year ago: big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer. Based on current atmosphere-ocean conditions, I believe the odds for this La Niña event to continue right through early summer (June-July 2012) are just about 50%. Beyond that, it is worth noting that four of the ten two-year La Niña events between 1900 and 2009 ended up as a three-year event, so I would put the odds for this to occur in 2012-13 at 40% right now. The remaining six cases all switched to El Niño, leaving not a single ENSO-neutral case. The year 2012 promises to remain “interesting”. If and when something new transpires on the fate of ICOADS and the MEI, I will communicate it right on this webpage.’ Claus Wolter –

        Whether 2012 is cooler than 2011 depends almost entirely on ENSO. Well don’t look at me – I don’t know. I’d give it 2 to 5 on cooler based n the law of small numbers – i.e. not much better than a guess.

    • I believe that the Red side is at least smart enough to understand that the Blue’s, as a percentage, are much more likely to possess firearms and therefore fully understand that it is only by utilizing the inherent force of government that they have any chance of imposing their view of society.

      Fortunately all attempts to address that problem have met with abject failure.

  28. By what standards do we evaluate scientific integrity?
    By Gleick’s -the ends justify the means based on Darwinian “might makes right”?

    Or by the highest standard of the Founders of the USA who
    appealed to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions?

    The modern science and the West were founded on principles from the Bible. See Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book that made your world.
    See also Science and Christianity: conflict or coherence? by Henry F. Schaefer III
    To find objective truth by science still requires operating by the foundational principles of transcendent truth and conduct.

    Until we examine the foundations and presuppositions of assumptions, hypotheses and evidence, and return to a solid foundation, we can neither understand nor restore the integrity of science, nor of climate science.

    • DH: Or by the highest standard of the Founders of the USA who
      appealed to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions? The modern science and the West were founded on principles from the Bible.

      Just a suggestion, David, but you might consider turning in your driver’s license before driving through another intersection. If you’re seeing any mention of God or the Bible in the US constitution, god only knows what you’re likely to see in the intersection.

      While you’re at it, turn yourself in too. They have people who can help.

      • Vaughan,

        I think he’s thinking about the Declaration of Independence, which does have that mumbo-jumbo about rights deriving from a Supreme Being.

        Just saying.

      • C’mon guys

        Even as a 14 year old at school in England I had to learn this by heart. And was examined on it.

        ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’

        And doesn’t it say ‘In God We Trust’ somewhere on your currency?

      • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” U.S. Constitution, First Amendment, proposed 1789, ratified 1791.

        In a remarkable development today, archeologists have uncovered evidence that the Founders thought religion had something to do with some heretofore unknown person commonly referred to as “God,” though the editorial board of the New York Times remains unconvinced.

        In further news, the original constitution of the State of Virginia, penned by men reputed to have been founders of the United States of America (including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison), included the following language:

        “SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”

        Rumor has it that the terms “Creator” and “Christian forbearance” bear some as yet unknown relation to this previously named “God” person. Investigation continues into these remarkable developments.

      • Dr. Pratt,
        You are making an ass of yourself trying to discuss US history. You might consider sticking to snarking about climate instead.

      • You get an F (the lowest possible grade) for reading comprehension, Mr. Pratt.

        DH: “The modern science and the West were founded on principles from the Bible.”

        Your inane reply: “If you’re seeing any mention of God or the Bible in the US constitution, god only knows what you’re likely to see in the intersection.”

        I don’t believe he said the Constitution was founded on specific Bible passages. He clearly talked about principles, as opposed to quoted words. “Thou shalt not kill” is a Biblical princple, but I don’t see any murder statute in the U.S. that states “thou shalt not kill” as the legal wording of that principle. Yet there is no doubt that the one is the basis for the other.

        Seriously, Pratt, what you said was simply embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that the Declaration of Independence, which provided the principles upon which the country was founded (as opposed to the Constitution, which defined the mechanics) specificially mentions a creator.

        In this comment I’m not agreeing with or disagreeing with DH’s claim, I’m simply reacting to one of the silliest literalist interpretations of a comment I’ve ever seen.

      • Vaughn,

        I dunno, Vaughn, no “mention” of God in the U. S. Constitution? You sure, Vaughan? So, Vaughan, what about this part of the Constitution:

        “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of Our Lord…”

        I mean, Vaughan, doesn’t the phrase “Year of Our Lord” kinda, sorta qualify as a “mention” of God? Remember, we’re only talking about a “mention.”

        What do you think, Vaughan?

      • Vaughan Pratt
        Re: “turning in your driver’s license before driving”
        You appear to explicitly advocate breaking the law without any basis in higher law. Your appear to advocate lawlessness that is directly destructive of our foundations of a constitutional democratic Republic and the Rule of Law. With such contempt for law, by what standards do you appeal to by which to establish science as an objective discipline seeking truth, or restore the integrity of climate science?

        Re: “If you’re seeing any mention of God or the Bible in the US constitution”
        You raise a red herring since I did not mention the United States Constitution. As a matter of law and civics, I was referring to USC The Declaration of Independence – 1776 – the founding Organic Law of the United States of America.. Note that all States mutually required that their constitutions

        shall always be republican in form and shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the Declaration of Independence

        See 48 USC 2 Alaska and 48 USC 3 Hawaii.
        Re: “god only knows what you’re likely to see in the intersection.”
        I am likely to see pavement, usually with three other streets leading in. There will likely be one or more traffic signs controlling access to the intersection. There is a substantial probability of seeing other vehicles in the intersection. You will likely find supporting evidence for these in the drivers’ manual of most States. Thus you statement appears to be logically and scientifically invalid.

        There appears to be no redeeming value to you comment. Perhaps you could try rational logical statements, hopefully with some constructive value.

        As for what God knows, see 1 Chronicles 28:9

        acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

        PS Besides the Constitution being signed “in the Year of Our Lord”, it appeals to the”Blessings of Liberty”. The First Amendment also preserves the freedom of religion which infers God. When I consider the four laws of nature, I find therein no basis for either “Blessings” nor “Liberty”. Consequently the source of those must be from transcendent law, and thus infer God as its source.

  29. Kant: The father of post-normal science. Goes hand in hand with AGW.

    • Because they are equally absurd?

    • Jim S,

      I agree with that attribution of post-normal and post-modern science to Kant.

      Well done to identify that.

      Kant’s philosophy was a purposeful derailing of the basis of science.


  30. I think we are like the frog in gradually warming water. How on earth can Gleick being the ethics committee chair of a major science organization not be inducing *major* soul searching? Even before this whole scandal, how could he be placed there? We have a giant problem in science, and it isn’t limited to climate science – it is systemic and so deep it seems normal.

  31. Scientific American seems to be treating us to a short course called Situational Ethics 101:

    “Kant said that when judging the morality of an act, we must weigh the intentions of the actor. Was he acting selfishly, to benefit himself, or selflessly, to help others?”

    By that reasoning Timothy McVeigh must be judged a moral man. He did not seek to profit by his actions and he believed what he did was beneficial to society although not to the hundreds of immediate victims of his atrocity.

    “But another philosopher my students and I are reading, the utilitarian John Stuart Mill, said that judging acts according to intentions is not enough. We also have to look at consequences. ”

    Well, we haven’t had any more Waco-like incidents since Okahoma City so it looks like McVeigh passes both litmus tests!

    ” … the ‘debate’ over global warming is not really a debate any more. It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.”

    So that’s where abusing dead philosophers by the morally confused leads us???

  32. Venter | February 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    “As Kim said, the answer is plain to every high school student. Test the hypothesis against the observations. If it fits, it’s validated. if not, throw out the hypothesis.”

    So there’s a hurricane way out to sea, and some computer program says it’s heading your way and it’s big? Test the hypothesis against the observations. Hold your finger to the wind. Nah – open another can.

    We can do better.

    • “Test the hypothesis against the observations. If it fits, it’s validated. if not, throw out the hypothesis.”

      If only it were that simple. It’s not 1920s Vienna folks… there’s been a lot of elaboration of philosophy of science since then. See for instance Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” Jeez I’m getting pedantic in my old age.

      • And has any of the ‘elaboration of the philosophy of science’ been any frigging use to anybody outside academe? Has it helped us to design better buildings or make better medicines or find out radically new stuff?

        Or have you all just been playing intellectual games at public expense?

      • Latimer,

        It’s of great friggin’ use for grokking the shifting ground of scientific debates. Some very high fraction of commentary here and on other climate blogs is pretty tedious, due to the fact (and it is a fact) that people adjust their auxiliary (read–tacit) background assumptions to explain ex post failures of predictions. Volcanoes, aerosols, etc. Same as it ever was. That is actually real workaday science–webs of belief that get adjusted here and there to accommodate the messy reality of data.

        I’m pretty skeptical of all these epicycles, but I know very well that this is how science progresses, messily. The notion of critical experiments is stupid and ahistorical.

        We could all be spared a lot of indignant certitude about theories and falsification around here and elsewhere, and still have a good discussion.

      • @NW


        What is it and why should I care about ‘grokking the shifting ground of scientific debates’?

      • Latimer,

        Sorry. I will lapse into my-generation-speak from time to time.

        “Grok” is a verb from Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Roughly, it means “deeply get it” or “really appreciate” or “thoroughly understand” or somesuch. In the novel, “grok” had no suitable English translation.

        Just substitute “appreciating” or “understanding” or “sympathizing with” for “grokking.”

      • It’s a term from “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinleim. Grok means to see or understand on a deeper level. But its a confused science fiction novel that I read in the desperation of my wayward youth.

      • It might be very useful for ‘grokking’ debates. To understand the debate qua debate.

        But falsification is extremely useful (indeed the only way) to test whether actual theories are right.

        Unless you have reinvented Aristotle who just ‘knows’. Or you use Phil Jones idea that ‘his intuition’ will tell him if a paper is right or wrong. Perhaps we could go back to Delphi and ask the frigging Oracle.

        Or perhaps we could do some real science and some experiments. And test the answers of the experiments against our theories.

        But this old-fashioned idea seems to be against every tenet of climatology. So they’ll carry on relying on the Jones method, With outbursts of certainty from Aristotle Gleick and Mike (call me Delph) Mann.

      • Latimer could no more grok the frigging ground than he could frig the grokking ground because his frigging fingers have been glued to his keyboard since October. He needs to get out more and grok the scenery on his frigging bicycle.

      • @vaughan

        Thanks for the idea.

        Did a good 50 miles biking around London yesterday. Probably just twenty today as I have likely to work tonight on the buses.

      • Latimer,

        You have a scientific hypothesis nominally framed in this way:

        H implies C.

        For instance, H = “If current CO2 emissions continue at their present rate”
        and D = “Global temps will rise by X degrees per decade”

        In reality, though, the hypothesis H is dependent on a lot of auxiliary hypotheses, H1 and H2 and… Hn. For instance: “H1 = aerosols do not increase along with CO2” and god only knows what H2 to Hn might be.

        So there can be no critical test of H implies C, because human creativity is boundless when it comes to the ex-post naming of hypotheses H1 to Hn that have been violated in the meantime.

        What reasonable scientists do is continue their studies as to the possible influence of the auxiliary hypotheses H1 to Hn that might have been violated. In the short run they may revise upward their belief in the plausibility of any one (or some) of auxiliary hypotheses H1 to Hn, as well as revise downward their belief in the original hypothesis H. But there is NOTHING LOGICALLY REQUIRING the latter, since beliefs about H1 to Hn can always be adjusted to accommodate unexpected results.

        There will come a time when such revisions in “webs of auxiliary beliefs” (changes in posterior probabilities of H1 to Hn) becomes untenable, but it should be clear that this would take a potentially great amount of research into the status of auxiliary hypotheses H1 to Hn. It might not happen in our lifetimes.

        This is pretty straightforward. It is usually known as the Duhem-Quine problem though Duhem thought it was a lot more limited than Quine did.

        A huge big lot of debate on these climate blogs sounds (at least to me) like many people don’t “grok” the Duhem-Quine problem at all, and imagine that 1 or 2 or any finite number of observations are sufficient to refute H. That is not logical life, as Quine made crystal clear.

      • @NW

        Seems to me that your argument can be summarised as saying that a complex hypothesis rests on a certain set of assumptions…and that those assumptions should be tested first.

        I agree.

        If you are going to build a tall building you start with the foundations. And dig them deep and strong. You may have interior designers worrying their little nuts off about the precise shade of puce to use in the washroom on the 250th floor and the architect musing about which minor celebs to ask to the opening ceremony. But if Joe the structural engineer and Bill the guy with the earthmover and the hard hat haven’t got their bit right, then you won’t have a building at all – you’ll have a very embarrassing heap of rubble.

        One of the ‘principles’ of climatology is that increased CO2 will cause global atmospheric temperatures to rise. You;d imagine that this would have been the most tested part of the hypothesis. Rock solid proofs. Unquestionable science. Agreed by all without reservation. Because without that proof, the rest falls.

        And it was to look at that proof that I first got interested in the topic a few years back. I said ‘Gee they must have done some really neat science to have proved that…clever guys ….I must understand it better’

        I’m still looking.

        Lots of people subscribe to the idea that it *must* cause it to warm because of their understanding of the radiation. Because their theories tell them so. But when we look at the temperature data itself, it doesn’t show anything of the sort. CO2 goes up. Temperature goes up, goes down, stays the same. Historically the relatinship seems to be the other way around ..temperature goes up, followed by CO2.

        So whether you believe in ‘grokking the debate’ or advances in the philosophy of sceince or whetever, until you can really show that fundamental relationship between CO2 and temperature actually holds in practice, you don’t even have the beginnings of the foundation of a building.

        And a good way to show that you have actually cracked that problem is to make teatable models that are shown to make reliable predictions.

      • David,

        Starship Troopers was much better in my opinion. The movie didn’t do it justice.

    • Nick: This claim of: since the unknown “could potentially” be bad/very bad/ catastrophic, we accept anything that our theories/models isnt exactly science and essentially amounts to: Trust US. This claim and the urging to take actions that have serious impact on our economies and livelihoods is apparently a climate science exception, Created by and for the climate scientists. Igonre for a minute you will really be laughed out of a conference if you made such claims in other disciplines of science/engineering that I for example work in. But beyond that there are far more catastrophic outcomes which are way more unpredictable and way more sudden that we live with and dont take drastic actions towards, such as earthquakes. Right at this very moment the city I live in is predicted (with great certainty based on the periodicity of the earthquakes of a certain kind from the past, due to the type of fault nearby) to have a massive earthquake (9+) anytime in the next 150 years. When that happens there is no warning of any kind and no way to know ahead of time, unlike the global temperature or sea level rise situations, all of which can be measured every day/month/year and we can figure out if things are getting progressively worse and thus use them as warning. And whan the quakes do happen, they cause massive damage (likely in human lives as well). All you can do is prepare for these events so we somehow limit human toll and revive after the fact. Even that is completely uncertain. Yet I havent seen anybody vacating the city or any seismologist recommending/taking actions that have massive economic impact on the citizens of the city, based on these predictions which are themselves based on _certain_ past earthquake events. And we dont take these actions, even in light of what seems to be a certain catastrophic event but with a long uncertain window of timing. So please stop using the impending “model predicted doom” as an excuse for your inability to match the trajectory of various global climate parameters with predictions. Here is all you have to do make your models/theories an accepted science and make people take action:

      1) Show us the past literature where clear discernible, unambiguous predictions about the trajectory of all important climate variables such as “global temperature”, “global sea level”, “global rain fall”, “global severe weather events” and other key “global climate” parameters were made. whatever global means in these cases. If you want us to believe your 100 year predictions about these parameters, put down at least 20 year predictions from the past.

      2) For each variable predicted, show us how well the observed trajectory of those variables for the 20 years matches the predictions for those 20 years.

      3) If the margin of error is within 10% (very high and wont be accepted for any model in the areas that I work in) then you can expect us to believe your 100 year model projections. If not you get to work hard on it and tell us when your models achieve 10% or less margin of error. And stop calling everyone who cant see the match between the two, deniers while you work hard on creating models that actually, you know, make predictions that match observations.

      4) Evne in the case when your 100 year projections are right, show us data that the catastrophic change could be completely avoided, if humans take action to reduce carbon emissions. In other words, given a variety periodic cycles that have caused serious climate change in the past without any Anthropogenic input, how certain are we that actions take by us alone would avoid catastrophic changes predicted by our models?

      5) if you manage to do 1-4 successfully, congratulations: Now you can legitimately lay claim to your theories/models being valid ones and then we can begin the assessment of what policies can achieve the end result with as minimal impact on our collective economies.

      6) and please put your data out on the table and get out of the way so the general public at large can debate the policy choices with the information you provided. And as scientists please dont do any advocacy, even if the planet is going to hell in a handbasket.

      That should be straightforward, if the science is settled, shouldnt it?

      • @shiv

        Don’t bother asking. They will *never* do any of the things you ask.

        And it is an absolute requirement of the Climatologits Creed that no prediction made can be testable within a human lifetime. Too dangerous to have somebody remember what you said.

        Hansen got caught with his remarks about the flooding of NYC and nobody has ever done anything similar since.

        Instead you are supposed to ‘Trust Us, We’re Climate Scientists’, and just frigging BELIEVE…..

    • I go with open another can – except I prefer bottles. And as I get older, it becomes more likely to be uncork another bottle or pour me another double.

      I find it very entertaining to watch news reporters standing on a beach or boadwalk as a hurricane hits land and talk about how danagerous it is. Poll anyone growing up along the SE Atlantic coast and I’m betting you find a large percentage who at least once in their lives enjoyed a hurricane welcoming party.

  33. Andrew Russell

    “The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.”

    Easy to reconcile. Who was in the White House when Gleick proclaimed his “commitment to integrity”? Who is it – that the liberals who proclaim Imminent! Global! Catatrophe! Unless We Adopt State Socialism – hate with such foaming at the mouth passion?

    Who is it that claims they are being “censored” by Evil Republicans – all while they are traveling the world in first class, making speeches everywhere there is a fat honorarium to be had?

    Does the phrase “the ends justify the means” ring a bell?

    • I agree Andrew that the political background cannot be ignored. The hatred of George Bush was very intense and partisan and that hatred was particularly virulent amoung intellectuals, including a lot of scientists.

    • “making speeches everywhere there is a fat honorarium to be had?”

      I get my flight and hotel paid for. Still waiting for fat honorariums. :)

      • I don’t know about you, NW, but Al Gore gets $100,000 for an appearance (from a public university, no less). And he bans the press and is never forced to answer any difficult questions or submit to a debate. It’s great work if you can get it. But the big money comes from those evil oil companies – not!

        Al Gore, $100,000 man
        stipulates that no press be permitted

  34. moderately off topic but, in terms of communicating, worth mentioning. The 2012 Weblog Awards were announced this evening. The winners in their categories were Jo Nova in Australia, Roger Tattersall in the U.K., Steve McIntyre in Canada and Anthony Watts in the U.S. including a lifetime achievement award for WUWT.

    • A splendid and well-deserved list of winners.

      Did no heavily-moderated on-message authoritarian CAGW blogs win anything? Oh dear, what a shame, tsktsk, better luck next year, keep your pecker up, smite those sceptics, must be those evil bastards at heartland with the wellfunded big oil denier machine…..

  35. The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.

    Judging from the tone on just about every climate blog on this planet and the next, there’s a lot of anger about the lies the other side is telling. Western civilization literature (for starters) is full of case studies of the positive feedback between anger and irrationality.

    Every now and then someone snaps. Joan of Arc was my example for Latimer (who feigned jolliness after a very convincing display of anger) but she’s by no means an isolated example. Gleick snapped, and like JofA is burning at the stake now for that.

    No doubt the relevant church will step in in a decade or so with its misgivings about the whole affair and beatify him, as did the Catholic Church a decade after her burning. Cold comfort (so to speak) for those burned at the stake.

    It’s a good question why there aren’t more examples of this sort of thing. Do most people catch themselves in time, or what?

    • No feigning jolliness on my part, Vaughan.

      I have been giggling since it all blew up in the arrogant smug lecturing bastard’s face. Maybe it’s different in the US, but there is an intense dislike in UK of arrogant smug lecturing bastards, and we delight in seeing them brought low – especially when it is by their own stupidity.

      The fall from grace of our ex-PM gordon brown is yet another example. He too felt that he was a master of the universe and that his words and actions were infallible. And he too is now a non-entity, unfit for anything more challenging than the local council.

      • @vaughan

        I forgot ‘hypocrisy’. Which undoubtedly applies to gleick. Perhaps not to brown.

    • Dr, Pratt: I’ve read four biographies of Joan of Arc and most of her recorded words. She did not “snap” as you put it. Her story is complex and challenging but rewarding for those willing to make the study.

      Joan is not easily explained. Vita Sackville-West, a lover of VIrginia Woolf and a member of the progressive Bloomsbury Circle, had no love of Christianity but in writing a biography, Saint Joan of Arc, Sackville-West was forced to conclude:

      …the strange career of Joan of Arc, on the other hand, remains a story the conclusion of which is as yet unfound. I do not claim to have found it in this book. I take the view that many years, possibly hundreds of years, may elapse before it is found at at all.

      In any event Joan of Arc has little bearing on Peter Gleick, who is simply a straightforward and petty, true-believer-type.

    • Hmmmm => “the relevant church”

      Methinks perchance you may possibly be painting another target upon yourself ?!

  36. Chief Hyrologist

    Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
    as she came riding through the dark;
    no moon to keep her armour bright,
    no man to get her through this very smoky night.
    She said, “I’m tired of the war,
    I want the kind of work I had before,
    a wedding dress or something white
    to wear upon my swollen appetite.”
    Well, I’m glad to hear you talk this way,
    you know I’ve watched you riding every day
    and something in me yearns to win
    such a cold and lonesome heroine.
    “And who are you?” she sternly spoke
    to the one beneath the smoke.
    “Why, I’m fire,” he replied,
    “And I love your solitude, I love your pride.”

  37. It is simple really:

    Gleick has some big commitments in his life, he is committed to integrity in science (bizarre though that may seem), even more he is committed to the notion that he is a genius and knows better than the rest of us, but most of all he is committed to the cause and that commitment overrules and blinds him to the fact that he is duplicitous and stupid in perpetrating the Heartland heist.

  38. I have posted the following at Horgan’s blog:

    Should global-warming activists lie to defend their cause? Absolutely not. There are no shades of grey here – either you are committed to honesty and integrity, or you are not. You say that “my students and I agreed that in certain situations lying is excusable,” but do not give any convincing scenarios in which there might be grounds to lie.

    You note that “Kant said that when judging the morality of an act, we must weigh the intentions of the actor. Was he acting selfishly, to benefit himself, or selflessly, to help others?” The volition of the actor is of course crucial; but it must also be accompanied by knowledge, wisdom and insight. That is, the actor should have strong grounds for believing that his action will benefit others. However, we are talking here about policy responses to possible dangers from any anthropogenic global warming. Even if you accept that such warming is occurring, the policy response is not something within the realm of climate scientists. If actions proposed have severe economic consequences worldwide, if it may be that the best way to deal with any warming is to maintain economic and technological growth and therefore increase our capacity to deal with and adapt to any warming, then this is a matter for broad debate from politicians, voters and experts in many fields other than climate science. A climate scientist can not be judge and jury: the fact that Gleick may have been “defending a cause that he passionately views as righteous” does not make his deceit, lying and data theft a moral action.

    You say that “Gleick himself sounded contrite.” Many believe that he sounded self-serving, and continued to deny concocting the critical strategy document which appears to many to be his own work. And inserting a reference to himself into the document showed he was acting with delusions of grandeur rather than selflessly. Perhaps he saw himself as a hero, the action was to feed his ego rather than serve humanity to the best of his ability. The only solid point he made was that “a rational public debate is desperately needed” – yet he is trying to undermine one side of the debate, a side which has far fewer resources than the pro-warming side. Gleick said that “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.” Almost all the resources, all of the attempts to conceal data and prevent debate – remember the spurious mantra that “the science is settled?” – are on the CAGW side.

    In my view, the highest goal for each individual is spiritual development. Such development depends on seeking truth at the deepest level, understanding the nature of reality so as to be able to act in a way which is best for oneself and for others. This requires an absolute commitment to truth and honesty. Anything else is harmful.

  39. Judith: Although I love the quote from Feynman you cite, Steve Schneider’s infamous quote does an excellent job distinguishing between scientific integrity –

    “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts”

    and policy advocacy –

    “And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

    The biggest problem with climate scientists, including Schneider, is that they confuse these two roles. If IPCC reports are scientific documents, they would include all of the caveats etc., not restrict themselves to some sort of pseudo-consensus. I’d love to read Schneider’s passage and then ask climate scientists appearing before Congress if they are appearing as scientists or policy advocates. I’m sure their written testimony with provide plenty of embarrassing passages illustrating that they are not conveying what Schneider describes as science.

    In politics, “integrity” means sticking to your core beliefs, not retreating in the face of adversity (temperature rising less than expected, Climategate, over-selling the hockey stick, Solyndra), and ignoring public opinion. Sometimes it even means ignoring the current facts and waiting for events to move in your direction.

  40. I’ve constructed an informal scale of peoples’ views on the global warming issue. In regards to integrity on this issue, I believe that people closer to the extremes (1,2,7 or 8) are in the most danger of compromising integrity. I believe that many of the “elite” or noted climate scientists are solidly in the 2 category. It appears that Gleik may have crossed the line from a 2 to 1. I would pigeon-hole myself as a 5. IMO the only people worth listening to are in the 3 to 6 range.

    1. People willing to use threats, violence or criminal behaviour to push policy decisions to curb CO2 emissions and oppose sceptics to save the world from global warming disasters or global climate disruptions.

    2. People who are close-minded and are convinced that human induced CO2 emissions will generate serious climate disasters world-wide and serious rise in sea-levels. Those who disagree or question this conclusion are “deniers”. Action to curb CO2 emissions is desperately needed.

    3. People who believe that human induced CO2 emissions will probably generate serious climate disasters and/or sea level rise, but recognize that there are significant uncertainties in these predictions and that further study is needed. They believe that action to reduce CO2 emissions may be needed or probably are needed.

    4. People who believe that human induced CO2 emissions probably contributed to a measurable increase in global temperatures, but this effect will not likely generate serious climate effects and/or sea level rise. Action to reduce CO2 emissions will not likely be necessary. Adaption to climate changes should be sufficient.

    5. People who believe that human induced CO2 emissions MAY have contributed to global warming, or that global warming MAY just be predominantly the result of natural variations. Action to reduce CO2 emissions will not likely be necessary. Adaption to climate changes should be sufficient.

    6. People who believe that significant temperature changes are mostly the result of natural variations such as variations in solar activity. Adaption to climate changes should be sufficient.

    7. People who are absolutely convinced that human activity has no effect on climate. Climate variations are only due to natural processes. There is nothing that humans can do about it except to adapt. Scientific arguments are only sparsely used to justify this position. Justification is mostly based on ad homonym attacks on those that disagree.

    8. People who are willing to use threats, violence or criminal behaviour against policy makers and/or climate scientists who promote action to curb CO2 emissions.

    • Good categorisations

    • Sean2,

      You miss completely one dimension. Actually the beliefs about likelihood of very significant warming and about the seriousness of the worst scenarios that must be taken into account are not strongly correlated. Many scientists consider it very possible or even likely that nothing very serious will happen in foreseeable future, but maintain that it’s also possible that warming will lead to very severe damage and that this possibility is significant enough for being the main reason for action.

      This group looks at the issue from the same point of view as someone who buys an insurance knowing well that the likelihood of needing that is much less than 50%. The group that I have in mind is not very far from your group 5, but their conclusion is different. They don’t believe that adaptation is sufficient.

      This is not the only example and my point can be stated more generally:

      The views cannot be put on one line and the deviation from any single line are important, even essential. The discussion cannot be understood, if that has not been realized.

      • Hello Pekka Pirilä,

        You’re probably right, but I will reiterate that I said it was an informal scale. I’m sure that most people can’t be pigeon-holed into one of these categories. Most would have mixed elements of two or more. The example you cite seems like a group that would be open minded and willing to honestly debate this issue in pursuit of truth.

        The scale I presented is probably an over-simplification conflating two issues. How serious is the problem (if any) is likely to be and what should we do about it?

        However, I still believe that people who are at either extreme will not be useful in really resolving these issues.

  41. While I think it is presumptuous for anyone to claim to understand a person they have not even met, there are some general comments about how people are ‘hoist on their own petard’ that might apply in this context.

    Common scenarios involve ‘family values’ politicians and fundamentalist religious figures who are found to be privately living at odds with what they publicly espouse. Some are merely cynical, peddling what their public wants to hear while privately living by a different code. Others are wrestling with their demons in their strident denunciations – closeted homosexuals who rail against homosexuality are in this category. I think that ‘noble cause corruption’ is a bit different from either of these.

    It seems unlikely that Gleick’s behaviour was cynical, or that he secretly longs to cross over to the other side.

    Noble cause corruption stems from feeling threatened. After all, if you are secure in your views and position, why lie? The Climategate emails revealed that the united and imperturbable front being presented by the principal players was a mask for some serious concerns, which required sometimes drastic and unethical action to shore up the facade.

    Interestingly, this included reinforcing the belief system within the group as well as outside it by dishonest means, such as glossing over problems in research being produced for public consumption.

    After a time, these behaviours become embedded as norms within the group. It is always a shock when someone opens the curtains and light is shed on the chicanery for outsiders to see. Phil Jones was genuinely freaked out when external standards were (briefly) applied to his group, and I daresay Gleick is in a similar state.

    I don’t think that scientific professional ethics, or scientists, are special. Indeed, while doctors bury their mistakes, and lawyers – well, let’s not go there – the great thing about science is that if you lie, and it is important, sooner or later you will be found out.

    Oh, and characterising your particular issue as a ‘war’ to justify lying is a sophomoric trick that should be seen for what it is. It is the sort of hyperbole beloved of politicians – ‘the war on X’ – which rarely, if ever, leads to good policy, and is a purely rhetorical device.

  42. Judith,

    I have been studying the world wide art of averaging for temperature data and then hypothesis rise from these.
    Averaging means the sun then is 24/7 around the WHOLE planet as scientists try to take out radiation averaged reflections. Absolutely no calculations for no radiation on the dark side of the planet as it has been averaged and played with.

  43. “The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.”

    There is nothing to reconcile here; he’s a hypocrite. What he says and what he actually does are two different things.

    People have integrity or they never did. A person of integrity doesn’t have “lapses”, that’s just the standard excuse of every hypocrite who’s ever been found out. If you go over their backtrail, you’ll usually find out more than a few other “lapses”.


  44. Integrity of the Feynman type is at the heart of the scientific process. There has always been enough of that to make science progress, but the progress the faster the better scientists follow those guidelines. The more integrity of that type scientists have the less often others are misled by errors of one and the less they need spend time in looking for extra errors due to lack of integrity.

    The trust to any other scientist should, however, never become too strong as even the best make errors while maintaining integrity, and all have also their lapses in integrity. It’s important that scientists trust also their intuition and fight through obstacles although it may be impossible to judge objectively, when that turns to wrong self-confidence and to a question of integrity. The issues surrounding scientific breakthroughs may violate rules created having more common situations in mind. People making those breakthroughs are often exceptional personalities in other ways as well.

    • Mostly agree. I like this excerpt from Thomas Gold:

      “I will start very naively by a definition of what a scientist is. He is a person who will judge a matter purely by its scientific merits. His judgment will be unaffected by the evaluation that he makes or the judgment that others would make. He will be unaffected by the historical evaluation of the subject. His judgment will depend only on the evidence as it stands at the present time. The way in which this came about is irrelevant for the scientific judgment; it is what we now know today that should determine his judgment. His judgment is unaffected by the perception of how it will received by his peers and unaffected by how it will influence his standing, his financial position, his promotion – any of these personal matters. If the evidence appears to him to allow several different interpretations at that time, he will carry each on of those in his mind, and as new evidence comes along, he will submit each new item of evidence to each of the possible interpretations, until a definitive decision can be made. That is my naive definition of a scientist.

      I may have reduced the number of those whom you think of as scientists very considerably by that definition. In fact, I may have reduced it to a null class. But, of course, we have to be realistic and realize that people have certain motivations. The motivation of curiosity is an important one, and I hope it is a very important once in most scientists’ minds. But I doubt that there are many scientists to whom the motivation of curiosity about nature would suffice to go through a lifetime of hard struggle to uncover new truths, if they had no other motivation that would drive them along that same path. If there was no question about appealing to one’s peers to be acknowledged, to have a reasonably comfortable existence, and so on, if none of this came into the picture, I doubt that many people would choose a life of science.

      When the other motivations come into the act, of course the judgment becomes cloudy, becomes different from the ideal one, from the scientific viewpoint, and that is where the main problem lies. What are the motivations? If there are motivations that vary from individual to individual, it would not matter all that much because it would not drive the scientific community as much to some common, and possibly bad, judgment. But if there are motivations that many share, then of course that is another matter; then it may drive the whole scientific community in the field in the wrong direction. So, we must think: what are the communal judgment-clouding motivations? What is the effect of the sociological setting? Is our present-day organization of scientific work favorable or unfavorable in this respect? Are things getting worse, or are they getting better? That is the kind of thing we would like to know.

      The pace of scientific work continues to accelerate, but the question is whether the pace of discovery will continue to accelerate. If we were driving in the wrong direction – in the direction where no new ideas can be accepted – then even if scientific work goes on, the progress would be stifled. This is not to suggest that we are in quite such a disastrous position, but on the other hand, I am not going to suggest that all is well.”

      • When the other motivations come into the act, of course the judgment becomes cloudy, becomes different from the ideal one, from the scientific viewpoint, and that is where the main problem lies.

        This part is essential and it’s particularly essential in case of climate science and also many other fields where applications outside science are close.

        The university where I have studied and also worked as scientist and teacher is a technical university (Helsinki University of Technology during that time, now Aalto University). Technology research is close to applications and even the basic research in physics and mathematics had closer links to applications than in some other universities. That has led some people to become active in the area of ethical issues of science. In this case the main ethical issue of concern has not been the scientific integrity but the influence of the results of research on society. Some people don’t want to be involved in anything related to weapons, some may feel uneasy with nuclear energy as well, some reach other conclusions from such pondering.

        It turns out that ethical integrity of scientists is not restricted to scientific integrity. That same issue has become part of climate science. Scientists believe – rightly or wrongly, but they believe – that their ethical integrity requires reacting to the results of science. They feel that they must make known and accepted the ideas that they feel to be right and important. Stephen Schneider discussed this in his widely misinterpreted text.

        There are no easy solutions to these questions. One set of ethical arguments is put against another. Schneider ended his test saying that he hopes that’s possible to satisfy both requirements of ethic.

        The public discussion has got polarized because there are so differing views on what are ethical conclusions on policy. While most people agree what is ethical from the point of view of science alone, they disagree violently on what’s ethical when the other factors are included as well.

    • I don’t buy the implicit mystique of scientists which is pervades much of the discussion. Scientists are human beings, and for every paradigm-breaking genius there are at least 10,000 working stiffs.

      There is an old and valuable legal principle, which transcends several cultures and civilisations: ‘hard cases make bad law.’

      If you enter a profession or milieu which is governed by certain standards, whether it be medicine, law, science, the military, public service etc – part of the deal is that there have to be very exceptional circumstances for you to break the rules. Very, very exceptional circumstances – and a personal conviction that you are saving the world is not one of them. If that is what you truly believe, the honorable thing to do is to resign and pursue your cause from the outside. The reason is that otherwise you are simultaneously deriving status from being part of a trusted entity while sabotaging it.

      As a long time public servant and subsequently a consultant in (inter alia) public sector ethics, I have seen many examples of people who think that their personal agendas represent, or are identical to, a public good. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in democratic societies.

      There is a big difference between ‘whistleblowing’ about entrenched corruption or malfeasance, and being unable to accept that your personal views are not the last word on what is right or wrong.

      Like everybody else, Western scientists are free to hold whatever views they like, and to campaign for them. They can change their employment, and they can certainly expose genuine fraud or malfeasance. But, they are not the conscience of society, any more than historians or philosophers or veterinarians are.

  45. Not much science in this topic Judith? I would prefer that we all look more closely at the science!

  46. The global warming bandwagon would never have formed if scientists had had the balls to say to the politicians “Sure I can give you scary predictions about the world warming so much that civilisation is destroyed, but if I did that I would no longer be a scientist”. That would have been the proper, ethical scientist’s approach.

    • In other words why did climate scientists decide to present their case as a scam? Beats me. But that is the core problem.

  47. Gleick and Oresky (?spellling) put great stock in independent advisor boards or perhaps an authority who is widely perceived as trustworthy e.g the surgeon general on the risks of tobacco.

    These advisory boards would presumably play a role for policy-makers analogous to the gate keeping function of the editors of scientific journals and the the peer review process.

    Sound like a wonderful idea to depolticize climate science. I doubt that is one that would meet Dr. Feynman’s approval.

  48. Perhaps some climate scientists have learned through observation that the real power lies in Washington and that being untruthful works well there.

  49. “…such actions act to damage if not destroy the role of science at the science-policy interface”


    Ease up on the hyperbole…….or there’ll be none left when the rest of us want some.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      ‘Bill McGuire is professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes is published by Oxford University Press.’

      ‘The signs are that this is already happening. In the detached US state of Alaska, where climate change has propelled temperatures upwards by more than 3C in the last half century, the glaciers are melting at a staggering rate, some losing up to 1km in thickness in the last 100 years. The reduction in weight on the crust beneath is allowing faults contained therein to slide more easily, promoting increased earthquake activity in recent decades. The permafrost that helps hold the state’s mountain peaks together is also thawing rapidly, leading to a rise in the number of giant rock and ice avalanches. In fact, in mountainous areas around the world, landslide activity is on the up; a reaction both to a general ramping-up of global temperatures and to the increasingly frequent summer heatwaves.’

      Dr Curry ‘such actions act to damage if not destroy the role of science at the science-policy interface’

      Michael ‘Ease up on the hyperbole…….or there’ll be none left when the rest of us want some.’

      Tom ‘Biblical, very well said Michael.’

      Peter Davies ‘Not much science in this topic Judith? I would prefer that we all look more closely at the science!’

      Is this the type of science you would like to look at Peter?

  50. Dr. Curry,
    I hope you take a moment to read the comments on John Horgan’s post. He is being deconstructed and criticized roundly and specifically.

    It will be hard to use more hyperbole than the AGW believer community has used over they years. “Death trains”, “Manhattan under water”, “runaway greenhouse”, “melting Antarctic and Greenland”, “Himalayan glaciers gone by 2035”, “war crimes trials”, “mass extinction”, etc. etc. etc.

  51. Biblical, very well said Michael.

  52. David Springer

    Markus Fitzhenry | February 27, 2012 at 12:51 am |

    “Ethos in an antithesis to science but it id what science is now based on. Theoretical physics, especially in an immature field like climate science should not be used for political policies. Especially when the basis for it is from proxies and a improvable consequence of ‘back-radiation’. Someone left the door open for Lyensko to walk in and he has been running amok.”

    Actually the consequence of back-radiation is eminently provable and is a fundamental underpinning of thermodynamics. Millions of electronic CO2 sensors that control ventiliation fans in high occupancy buildings use the consequence of back radiation at a resonant frequency of CO2 to determine concentration in the ambient air. People like you is why climate boffins think all skeptics are science illiterates.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      ‘People like you is why climate boffins think all skeptics are science illiterates.’

      David, you have shown yourself to be just that. You have argued from a particular circumstance to the universal application of it, Well done.

      Don’t you mean ‘radiation’ rather than back-radiation?

  53. “But does all this add up to saying anything about the integrity of science? I would argue that (mostly), it does not”

    Then Judith Curry goes on to select a quote from Feynman talking about a principle of scientific thinking that Gleick would not disagree with and she makes no actual argument.

    Still, while the Feynman quote is not about individual behaviour or what counts as responsible conduct and Curry makes no actual argument that shows how Gleick failed to say anything about the integrity of science (nothing at all?), it is easy enough to see her concerns.

    But let’s understand when things are a matter of focus, rather than real difference, and learn to discuss one thing without ignoring everything else. Science is an activity at the individual, institutional and social levels and as such, scientific integrity is a feature of all three.

    We know what Gleick would say (and do) about Koch industries’ direct influence on silencing science. What would Feynman say? Does it help with ‘first principles’ that Koch outspends almost everyone to influence government on climate change policy? You see, Feynman’s 1974 address raises good questions but requires updating.

    Curry’s dated beliefs reflect Feynman’s free-spiritedness but amount to very lazy analytics.

    At the level of personal integrity that is often Curry’s main concern, one has to assume that it is for purely rhetorical purposes that she tends to discuss it as something absolute rather than a human quality that does not preclude mistakes or failures.

    • In Martha’s world ‘Koch outspends almost everyone to influence government policy on climate change’.

      • A good example of the collectivist narrative in use. Government spending is good, private spending and interests are bad.

        I expect no less than Martha and her ilk.

      • Matha says –

        Ooooh, link please!

    • Martha
      When everything is slipping through your fingertips and all seems lost and your entire belief construct has gone headlong into reality, I understand this sense of bitterness and desperation. Look on the bright side, in a couple of decades all your hypotheses will be completely obliterated from scientific observations and the angst will be gone and you will have seen the light. I feel your pain.

    • randomengineer

      Does it help with ‘first principles’ that Koch outspends almost everyone to influence government on climate change policy?

      The problem with the BAU argument is that it presumes that a ready to go replacement for petrol exists (thus allowing for evil corporatists to be able to suppress said replacement.) The reality of BAU is that evil oil interests needn’t spend a dime convincing anyone of anything because you can’t drive to the store without petrol.

      If there were even the slightest merit to your BAU argument Koch would be better off investing in the replacement tech and using his/their megazillions to own the processes and equipment needed for the replacement tech.

      Owning the mechanism to make cash on every ml of unicorn fart yields more money in the long term than blowing the cash on political influence on a fading tech.

      If you’re going to go to the trouble to invent an evil spectre in Koch could you be kind enough to at least make them have an average IQ?

    • As I’ve said before, AGW is too much of a shape-shifting monster to be nailed.

      But from Gleicks self-defenestration, to Colose’s rudeness to Dr. Curry, and the spittled rabid hatred of ss, many of it’s proponents may remove themselves from their self-declared war by blood pressure issues, cardiac arrests, strokes, jail or institutionisation.

      Sceptics should heed the advice of an old wartime poster recently resurrected here in the UK.

      “Keep Calm And Carry On.”

    • Martha,

      Here is some reality for you. The Kochs and ExxonMobil are pikers compared to this guy.

      According to Matt Nisbet.
      Julian Robertson gave more than $40 million to the Environmental Defense Fund between 2005-2009 to support their effort to pass cap & trade.

      To place these sums in context, Robertson’s support for EDF is equivalent to the combined total given by Koch-affiliated foundations and ExxonMobil to conservative groups opposing action on climate change during the same period.

    • Martha,
      These postcards you send in from your alternate universe are wonderful.
      Please, however, occasionally let us know how the food is, if they let you also use the phone, and if you get to walk the grounds on a regular basis.

    • Martha,

      I hope you are referring to some other source than the recent Heartland doucments with regard to your comment about the Koch brothers outspending anyone. Because if you are not, then you have just set yourself up to look foolish. Not only was the contribution small ($25,000 I think), but it was specified for health care issues, not climate science.

  54. How do you reconcile Gleick’s words and actions? You condemn it as hypocrisy — unless you’re a moral relativist. But if you’re a relativist then there’s really no objective Truth. Therefore you can’t justify anything you do because there’s no standard for comparison. It’s just obfuscation all the way down.

    • As I’ve many times and many layers patiently explained to moshe and Al, both in objective and relative truth, it’s metaphors all the way down, hardshelled, soft-bellied. The Beast of Bartholomew’s Backs.

    • Damn the turtles, full speed ahead!

  55. This is what happens when too many “highly educated” people get involved in what really is a very very simple, not in the least unusual or rare matter.

    Gleick committed wire fraud. Gleick is a self confessed thief. Gleick is a liar.
    All thieves and liars come up with reasons why they did/do what they do.
    “Educated” people can psychoanalyze this all they like. They can try to soften the crime as much as they like. They can evoke bullshit about good intentions all they like.

    Fact remains, Gleick the self confessed thief and liar, hopefully soon to be no more than a common criminal, did his side of this fraudulent con game called Climate Change a whole bunch of harm, and I thank his sorry ass for it.

    • Baa Humbug,
      The most humorous version of what you describe is when believers claim it could not have been so bad, because it is so difficult to rationally understand it.

  56. “Preserving the true (Feynman) integrity of science in the face of politics (including the politics of science) and the desire of policy makers for information that simply cannot be provided by scientists is the greatest challenge, both for the integrity of science and integrity at the science-policy interface.”

    Gleick writes;

    “Work by partisan organizations has been substituted for work by non-partisan scientists.”

    Gleick and the general climate community are largely Green, partisan and agenda driven from inception. Dr. Lindzen was right all along, they had made up their mind before the first IPCC ever happened or report drafted.

    Dr. Curry must leave the fantasy, unicorn world where she tries, endlessly, to strike the false balance of talking about “ideology” without defining exactly what any thinking person knows about climate science by in large.
    It really isn’t a truthful argument but many skeptics here subsidize this untruth.

  57. Today Wikileaks published a dump of information hacked by the group ‘Anonymous’ from the Texas-based Stratfor intelligence think-tank.

    Wikileaks says “The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods,”

    I don’t know anything about Stratfor, and am not entirely sympathetic towards Wikileaks or Anonymous (they released all the donors names and credit card details as well).

    However, one must assume that this is just the sort of fuss Gleick wanted to achieve, and then everyone would forget about ethics.

  58. Fred from Canuckistan

    “The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.”


  59. “The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.”

    Lenin defined morality as whatever helped the revolution. Apparently, Peter agrees.

  60. MetOffice vs Guardian
    War! this time inside the AGW camp.
    Mr Garvey
    I am a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre and also a lead author with the IPCC (NB. the opinions I express here are my own though – I am just telling you that for context).
    I would ask you to refrain from bringing my profession into disrepute by advocating that we act unethically. We already have enough people accusing us, completely incorrectly, of being frauds, green / left-wing activists or government puppets. A rabble-rousing journalist such as yourself telling us that we should “fight dirty” does not help our reputation at all. “Fighting dirty” will never be justified no matter what tactics have been used to discredit us in the past.
    Inflammatory remarks such as yours will only serve to further aggravate the so-called “climate wars”. People’s reputations are already being damaged, and we know that some climate scientists get highly distasteful and upsetting mail through no fault of their own. If people like you continue to stir things up further, it is only a matter of time before somebody actually gets hurt, or worse.
    Please keep your advice to yourself, we can do without it thank you very much.
    Richard Betts (Prof)

  61. Gleick’s recommendations, none of which I would disagree with, are the negative commandments’ — the ‘thou shalt nots’ for the most part — which in religious terms are the bare minimums of expected behavior.

    Dr. Curry point to the ‘better way’ — the intentional positive pro-active ‘Thou Shalts’.

  62. E.M. Smith verbalized a useful tool to decipher AGW motives:

    “IF there is a New World Order and it is out to control the world by all the nefarious means . . . then what it fears is made visible by what it attacks.”

    That logic, not verbalized earlier, helped me see that Climategate emails and documents released in Nov 2009 were only the latest in a five decade effort to obscure quantitative information on the composition, origin, and source of energy of the Earth-Sun system.

    That logic also helped me understand Dr. Peter Gleick’s attack on the Heartland Institute and his alliance with the American Geophysical Union and the US National Academy of Sciences – institutions that had actively obscured quantitative information on the origin, composition and source of energy of the Earth-Sun system at the AGU National Meetings in Washington, DC in April 1956 and April 1976.


    Thus recent events described in AGW denier’s blogs are following the same pattern of strange events in the past, including the effort to hide xenon isotope data from the 1995 Galileo probe of Jupiter:


    It seems increasingly evident that a NWO (New World Order) is “out to control the world” and will not admit that every atom in the world was formed and life itself is sustained by nuclear forces that NWO failed to grasp and certainly cannot control: Neutron repulsion:

    Thanks, Professor Curry, for having the courage to challenge abuse of science for political purposes.

  63. “The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.”


    For a long time I have felt that you err on the side of treating “climate science” as if it were honest but maybe mistaken. It isn’t, it is fundamentally dishonest in so many ways. You might as well ask how Nixon reconciled the integrity of the White House with his role in the Watergate break-in and coverup!

    We all know the list. We also know that many CAGW proponents must know that list as well. They are not so stupid as to work in the field and not know just how shakey its foundations are – they simply choose to turn a blind eye.

    I feel the only role for senior scientists such as yourself is to make it clear at every possible opportunity that the subject is corrupt.

    • David,

      Unfortunately government-funded climatology is little, if any, more corrupt now than astronomy. astrophysics, cosmology, ecology, nuclear, particle planetary, solar and space physics.

      The problem is that a “scientific-technological elite” took control of policy and research funding that President established to protect us during the Cold War.

      He specifically warned of that danger in 1961, but it happened anyway:

  64. What is to be done?

    I’m particularly concerned about the AGU, where Peter Gleick just “resigned as chair of AGU’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics,” and is Linda Gundersen, Director, Office of Science Quality and Integrity, USGS, has taken over as the new chair of AGU’s Task Force on Scientific Integrity (Ethics/ Integrity was the name change intentional?).

    It seems to me that there is a serious conflict between two following AGU Position Statements:

    •AGU Supports Free and Open Communication of Scientific Findings

    •Human Impacts on Climate

    I urge you to read them both if you aren’t familiar with them already.

    The first expresses a commitment to free and open communication and a responsibility to the public, but of particular concern is the part where they say this should be done “objectively, professionally, and without sensationalizing or politicizing the associated impacts.”

    This seems in conflict with the rather breathless claims in the second Position Statement on climate. Here we find a long list of climate components that “are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century.” This is followed by the claim that to avoid things like reduced agricultural production and several meters of rise in sea level, “our net annual emissions of CO2 must be reduced by more than 50 percent within this century.”

    Above, sean2 defined eight positions on the climate change issue, with 1,2,7, and 8 being the extremes. The AGU’s position seems closest to position number 2, too close to be in accordance with the first Position Statement on free and open communication.

    Back to my original question: What is to be done?

    I think a return to the Royal Society’s old maxim,

    “…it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always
    adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject,
    either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”

    This would not exclude groups of society members from publishing position statements and signing them. But more importantly it would leave the society as a whole to objectively administer the first position statement on free and open communication, particularly to insure that scientists with deferring positions on critical issues have the ability “to present their findings to the scientific community, policy makers, the media, and the public without censorship, intimidation, or political interference is imperative.”

    What is to be done?

    • Tom Blanton, you ask “What is to be done?”

      Sooner or later, someone who really matters, and is now a proponent of CAGW, like our hostess, is going to come out with a clear and unequivocal statement that CAGW is wrong, fraudulent, corrupt, etc. Then the dam will burst, and a lot of VIPs in the scientific world, will have egg all over their faces.

      • I don’t think that would be enough. The believers in the second referenced Position Statement have been entrenched too long.

        I think it’s going to take a movement by a substantial portion of the membership which would include support from proponents of (C)AGW of varying degrees, like Judith Curry, who nevertheless still have enough integrity to recognize the conflict between the two referenced Position Statements.

    • “…deferring positions…” ?!?!

      Try “..differing positions…”

  65. Some edits:

    1. In the first paragraph, “and is Linda Gundersen” should read “and Linda Gundersen.”

    2. In the last paragraph, “to objectively administer” should read “to administer objectively.”

    3. In the last paragraph, strike the final two words “is imperative.”

    Sorry about that. Please excuse any others slips.

  66. A bit OT, but relevant to the issue of when someone is a “whistleblower,” as opposed to a thief…or spy?

    “Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth

    The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.

    The Espionage Act, enacted back in 1917 to punish those who gave aid to our enemies, was used three times in all the prior administrations to bring cases against government officials accused of providing classified information to the media. It has been used six times since the current president took office.

    Setting aside the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst who is accused of stealing thousands of secret documents, the majority of the recent prosecutions seem to have everything to do with administrative secrecy and very little to do with national security.”

    Progressives who love leakers in Republican administrations, prosecute them as spies in their own. But don’t worry, it’s all for the children.

  67. Just to point out: Kant also taught that lying was always, always wrong. (Google: The Murderer at the Door). So trying to use Kant to justify lying is a non-starter.

  68. There’s a couple things going on in this thread that are interesting.

    First, jcurry raises a point about Gleick’s inherently contradictory statements and behaviors. She limits herself to his observations on scientific analysis and debate. In this post she does not comment on his science. Within this construct she is as a matter of public record, correct in her assertion that his statements and actions are inherently self contradictory over time. Since Gleick’s arguments and actions in this area are a matter of historical/legal proof rather than scientific proof, “questioning of the witness” (or in this case his record) is appropriate. We (the jury) will eventually have to decide what this means in considering the “testimony” of the expert witness (Gleick).

    Her assertion is then inaccurately perceived by responders as a lecture in morality. The clear thrust of her point is to impeach the expert witness by summing his own contradictory statements and activities. A couple of the responses clearly ad hominem and irrelevant. These represent the sound of “true believers.” It doesn’t matter what side of the argument they are on. Their sound is very much the same regardless of which pole it originates from and contributes nothing to the debate.

    I am beginning to suspect that climatology is going to undergo a very serious degradation in the perception of it’s value and predictive abilities, mostly because of the character of arguments offered by ss and others of similar ilk on both sides of this issue.

    If I held that AGW and perhaps Cabon Forcing derived from adequate mathematics and sufficiently consistent observation, I would run far far away from arguments of the structure and character offered by settledscience. In my opinion (i.e. my vote as a juror in the matter of Gleick vs. his record), I would also abandon Gleick. I would assume that losing an expert witness here or there would not ultimately compromise my position. Otherwise, I would be inclined to abandon the position and all associated expert witnesses.

  69. Judith Curry asks, “The enduring question re Peter Gleick is how to reconcile his apparent commitment to the integrity of science with his behavior in the Heartland affair.”

    Let me preface what comes next with an unequivocal assertion. What
    Peter Gleick did was wrong, and if it included forgery, the transgression is magnified. That’s not in question.

    What I’m inclined to question, though, is whether our judgments about “integrity” always make appropriate distinctions about what type of integrity is at stake, and why. It has been argued that scientists should never lie. Is that always true?

    Well, it’s true in my opinion that scientists should never lie about science. They should never falsify data; falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism are the three cardinal sins in science. But does that mean that they should never lie about other things?

    Not necessarily, and I would emphasize the word necessarily. The obvious example, although somewhat far-fetched in this case, would be a scientist/spy – by day, a renowned researcher uncovering the secrets of nature, and by night, a stealthy infiltrator uncovering the secrets of the enemy through subterfuge and impersonation.

    Unfortunately, however far-fetched that scenario, I think Peter Gleick may have fantasized that he was such a noble warrior, with disastrous consequences. In general, I doubt that renowned scientists should apply to the CIA for espionage operations, but if they do, they should be prepared to spy on real enemies, not merely political adversaries. And they shouldn’t be incompetent and get caught. However, my main point is that even if what Peter Gleick did was wrong – and it was – that shouldn’t be taken to mean that his scientific integrity was lacking. One can fault his societal integrity for spying on a legal, non-criminal organization operating within the rules of a democratic society, but judgments about that shouldn’t be extrapolated to conclusions about the integrity of scientists within science, even though it’s tempting to do that.

    Nathan Hale, before being hanged by the British for spying, is reported to have said, “I regret that I have but only one life to give to my country”. Gleick’s statement, that he had suffered a “lapse in judgment” was not quite as eloquent, but even so, I don’t think Gleick’s bumbling should be allowed to give dishonesty a bad name.

    • @fred

      Sorry, but I don’t buy it at all. Integrity cannot be compartmentalised into differing spheres of influence. You sacrifice it once, its gone forever.

      Gleick will be remembered as a small-time crook with big ideas about his own infallibility. And as a complete incompetent. His disappearance from public life (whether voluntary or legally enforced) will cause us no loss.

      I hope that true scientists will now go back through all his previous work with rather more thoroughness than is normal with ‘pal review’ and estimate exactly when his fall from grace started.

      • Latimer – I don’t know what planet you live on, but one of the striking features of politics – at least American politics – is the striking disparity between the personal morality of some of our leaders and the virtuousness of their public efforts. It happens in both directions, and there’s often an inverse relationship, so I have to interpret your statement as a philosophical wish rather than an accurate observation of fact.

        It really wasn’t at the heart of my comment, though, which was that lying may be reprehensible in some contexts and virtuous in others, and this should be evaluated on a case by case basis.

      • OK Fred

        As you suggest, I have re-evaluated Gleick’s lying on a case by case basis.

        And the result of my evaluation is that I have determined him to be a small time crook with big ideas about his own infallibility, but little competence. He can’t even do a passable forgery. His disappearance will cause us no loss.

      • Fred, it is a mistake to think that politics can be blamed for morality, deficit or surplus. To paraphrase your words, it is the not striking disparity between the personal morality of most humans and the virtuousness of their public efforts.

      • messed that one up… take out the “not; In “not striking”.

        Just meant to say, nothing unique about politics, as one other expression of human behavior.

    • Fred, you were a biochemical researcher, so there is a far simpler route for you.

      Should ‘animal rights’ activists be allowed to break the law to stop researchers using animals in their experiments?

      Many think that animal research is wrong, and so for the greater good, they disrupt the work of scientists, harass them, harass their families, harass their suppliers, bomb or burn their labs, and even kill scientists.
      Does their devotion to animal welfare mean that they do not have to operate by the same laws of society?
      Does political passion excuse one from both law and common humanistic behavior?

      • Doc- Without addressing each of your points individually, I would say that I pretty much agree with your opinions. I was simply arguing that even if we judge Gleick or someone else to have behaved in a way we disapprove of from the perspective of citizenship in a democracy, that’s separate from whether he has compromised his integrity as a scientist. The latter can be judged only on how well he conforms to the requirements of acceptable scientific conduct.

    • Fred

      When the case of cAGW is built upon models and somewhat shaky long term temperature evaluations (I won’t say records) and depends so much on the public trusting those delivering the message, doesn’t the message carriers being shown to be unethical liars make accepting the message all the more difficult.

      As a hypothetical- What would it take for you change your view and believe that the rate of warming will be much lower that the IPCC forecasted? What would it take for you to believe the rate of warming will actually be closer to 1- 1.5 C?

    • Fred –

      “…even if what Peter Gleick did was wrong – and it was – that shouldn’t be taken to mean that his scientific integrity was lacking.”

      I agree that the one does not necessarily follow from the other, but…

      As he has breached his societal integrity in pursuit of his AGW advocacy, would you not agree that we should be at least suspicious of his scientific integrity in matters touching on AGW? If I were a scientist in his field I would now be busy checking any work of his on which my own work relied.

    • Fred,

      Seriously? Scientist / spy? I’ll give you the benefit of doubt and assume you are considering adding novelist to your poet / songwriter activities.

      Regarding a differentiation between scientific and societal integrity – one can carve out a very small distinction and show that Dr. Gleick’s science research has not shown any lack of integrity. However for someone to lecture on the subject, consider himself to be an expert on it and to be named to several boards, committees and organizations based on that – Dr Gleick’s actions are damning and unreconcilable.

      • timg56 – My point was not to defend Gleick’s actions, but to point out that they don’t impugn his scientific integrity. In that sense, in answer to Dr. Curry’s question in her post, I see no conflict and no hypocrisy in Peter Gleick emphasizing the need for scientific integrity while acting in a manner that we can agree is wrong, but was not part of the conduct of science. Certainly, it did his reputation no good, but I was really focusing on how we think and behave rather than how Gleick behaved.

        Not to take too theological a view of it, but we’re all sinners, and some of us do good things along with the sinning. In my view, when we do wrong, we should expect to be penalized, and when we do good, we should expect, if not always rewards, at least credit. If we penalize someone (condemn him, force him out of positions he holds, sue him, perhaps even charge him with a criminal offense), that may be appropriate, but if we also try to take away credit for things he has done well and honorably within science (as best we know), we are penalizing twice for the same offense, and impugning Gleick’s scientific integrity fits that description.

        I believe Pete Rose deserves to be admitted to the baseball Hall of Fame.

      • Fred,

        I’ll agree with you in so far as I take it seriously when praying to the Lord to “forgive me my trespasses, as I will forgive those who trespass against me”, I still see it as playing little word games with trying to say that Dr Gleick’s actions in an arguably political arena should not detract from all the other aspects he is involved in. Does what he did now mean he is no longer one of the more knowledgeable scientists on water issues? I would probably say it doesn’t. Do his actions mean he is no longer a crediable voice on the issue of scientific integrity? Most certainly. As my dad told all of his son’s “Three things you boys never want to give cause for people to call you – a liar, a thief or a cheat.” If you think that is poor advice, I’m very interested in hearing why.

        As for Pete Rose belonging in the HoF – I’ve generally been a bit torn on that. I certainly believe his achievements should be recognized, but as to his being elected – first he broke what is the biggest rule in baseball, second he lied about doing it and thirdly he has pretty much refused to show any true contrition about it. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over him getting in, but I also wouldn’t vote for him.

        PS – When I pick my baseball heroes, I go for guys like Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson, Frank Howard, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken, not Pete Rose.

    • Fred, I disagree though not violently. Integrity is not something that has compartments in people’s brains. I do think this calls into question all his work. But on the other hand, he is not beyond redemption. However, the first step must be to come fully clean and I think he is not doing that. He is trying to use legalisms and the best partisan lawyers and spin doctors to get him off the legal hook. If he continues much further down this path, he is out for good as far as I’m concerned.

      • “Integrity is not something that has compartments in people’s brains”

        David – knowing something about human nature and our failings, I would say that your statement sounds nice but I probably disagree with how it relates to real world behavior. As I said, we’re all sinners, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have integrity in some areas under favorable circumstances while falling short otherwise.

        I actually had a second point, though. It was that dishonesty within science signifies a lack of scientific integrity, but subterfuge and impersonation in areas where one is dealing with a potentially dangerous enemy does not necessarily mean a lack of integrity. In that sense, I fault Gleick for treating his Heartland venture as a spy mission into enemy territory, but if his perception in that regard had been legitimate, I wouldn’t fault his integrity.

      • Fred, Fred, Fred, When dealing with a potentially dangerous enemy? Give me a break. Dangerous to whom? Gleik picked this fight because of being bested badly by a skeptic on Forbes who was associated with Heartland. His behaviour fits a pattern of lying and deception in the public square. You no doubt recall the IPCC expose book he claimed to have read. His tweet exchange with Tansim Edwards shows similar character faults. But perhaps Fred in your world, she is a “dangerous enemy” because she chooses to converse civilly with skeptics. Fred, you are a poor judge of human nature. If you think that Heartland was a dangerous enemy, you yourself might have a character fault involving not understanding the first amendment and the marketplace of ideas. Gleick obviously is more flawed than most people. I do question his science as well because perhaps he was thinking about the dangerous enemies of science when he wrote his papers.

      • Dammit, David, you need a remedial course in reading comprehension. It’s inconceivable to me that you could have read and understood what I wrote and then so completely misrepresented it in your comment. Where in the world did you get the idea that I thought “Heartland was a dangerous enemy”, to quote your interpretation of my thinking?

        As to what Gleick thought, I’ve speculated, but not being one of the many mind readers on this blog, I haven’t announced it as established fact. I suspect though that his motivations were multifactorial.

      • Sorry Fred, I did misread your post. While you did not say it, thinking Heartland is a dangerous enemy is probably pretty common in the environmental movement.

    • Fred, I think that you are half right.

      If a scientist transgressed in an area outside the scope of his/her work – faked credit cards, burgled someone’s house, injured or even killed someone in a bar-room brawl – that would mean squat about their scientific work, one way or the other. Scientists are just human beings, with all the associated virtues and failings.

      However, when a scientist commits an offence of dishonesty or worse directly connected with their work, as in this case, then surely the default position is that their work is under a cloud. What we have is a person who has crossed a line related to their work in one sphere, and must therefore be under suspicion on work related matters across the board.

      • Thanks, Johanna. There’s no doubt that Gleick is “under a cloud” of his own making. Your statement that his offense was “directly connected” to his work is a matter of judgment about how direct the connection was. I’m not excusing him, though, but merely hoping that we don’t prejudge his work. If his work is consistent with scientific integrity, and it might be, he should have the credit for that even if he is condemned for falsifying his identity. I’d be less forgiving if he turns out to have forged a document, but even then, it’s a serious lapse of integrity outside of the conduct of science.

        My larger point is: Gleick aside, we should penalize transgressors for their transgressions, but not subtract credit from the good they have done.

        Do you know who Pete Rose is? If you don’t follow American baseball, you don’t, but wikipedia and other sources have material on him. He’s one of the greatest baseball players who every played the game, denied admittance to the Hall of Fame because he gambled in violation of the rules. He paid a price – lifetime banishment from the game he considered his life. That was appropriate. Should he be denied credit for the greatness of his baseball career?

      • All these various ways of claiming that integrity is “compartmentalized” is just moral relativism by another name.

        Everyone who thinks that someone can be completely dishonest in one area of life, and yet be trusted to be honest elsewhere, is simply naive as hell. “We are all sinners” is the mantra of the moral relativists. It is a truism that tells us absolutely nothing about morality.

        Most people who make that argument are thinking of the times they have been dishonest in their own lives, and rationalizing that they are still people of integrity because they haven’t lied in another areas of their lives. They are fooling themselves.

        When someone decides to lie, they are demonstrating their belief that the end they are seeking justifies the immoral means they are using. Unless they demonstrably demonstrate that they recognize this fault, and intend to correct it, there is no basis for trusting them again.

        There is a fundamental difference between someone who lies, and then says – “I lied, I was wrong and I am sorry.” vs. someone like Gleick who lies, and forges, then refuses to be honest about the extent of what he did, while also trying to rationalize his conduct.

        Put another way, it is one thing to say “Smith has lied but repented, so maybe we can trust him again.” It is entirely different, and naive bordering on idiotic, to say “Smith has only lied about A so we can still trust him about B.”

        I cannot tell you how many people I have represented over the years who have come to me after getting in difficulty (financial or otherwise) by relying on someone they knew to be dishonest in one area yet expected integrity in another. “Yeah, but I never expected he would do that to ME.” Oh please.

        You either have integrity, or you don’t.

      • “demonstrably demonstrate.” Editing is our friend.

      • +1, and mercifully brief and to the point.

      • To be clear I am referring to Johanna’s point.

      • “Should he be denied credit for the greatness of his baseball career?”

        Yes. It’s called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Statistics. It’s an honor and he threw it away by doing something in direct conflict with the integrity of the game. All of his records still exist. There’s where his career gets credit. I mean really, you can’t see that?

        Gleick had the opportunity to practice what he preached and he failed. As someone mentioned, he didn’t write a bad check. That would be unrelated to the science. He showed a willingness to break moral rules (that he preached about) to further his career and his point of view in a scientific dispute. That’s completely related.

  70. Jim C. writes: “Sooner or later, someone who really matters, and is now a proponent of CAGW, like our hostess, is going to come out with a clear and unequivocal statement that CAGW is wrong, fraudulent, corrupt, etc. Then the dam will burst, and a lot of VIPs in the scientific world, will have egg all over their faces.”

    I agree in principle, Jim. It’s always been my contention that this can only break apart from the inside. This thing is so polarized there’s simply nothing in the way of argumentation that will ever penetrate. But rather than one central figure, it will I believe be a steady exodus of lesser lights. This process is already under way.

    Here’s one thing for you alarmists to consider. Can you name a notable skeptic who’s gone over to your side? And Professor Muller doesn’t count. As far as I know all, or at the very least the overwhelming majority of the defections have come from the alarmist side. What are we to make of that?

    Dr. Curry is a shining example. Although she doesn’t consider herself an official “skeptic,” surely she is one in the best sense of the word. At the very least, she’s retreated substantially from the standard acceptance of the partly line. And you’re right Jim, about how important that single defection was (though we need many more). How else to account for the intense hostility directed toward her from the usual suspects?

    I do believe she’s been accused of everything from being on big oil’s payroll
    to having become mentally ill. Nice, how they play isn’t it?

    • pokerguy (and Jim C),

      I agree with the sentiment expressed by both you and Jim C, but I don’t think Jim’s “someone who really matters… com[ing] out with a clear and unequivocal statement,” or your “a steady exodus of lesser lights” (this has already started) will make much difference.

      I do agree with you that “this can only break apart from the inside.” Enough members from both sides have to recognize the lack of integrity between a commitment to avoid “sensationalizing or politicizing the associated impacts” and claiming that “our net annual emissions of CO2 MUST [emphasis added] be reduced by more than 50 percent within this century.”

      If the AGU were forced by its membership to take down or significantly modify the climate position statement, the impact on the public debate would be huge. I think members of “the team” know this and would fight it with every tactic available to them (which apparently aren’t limited by ethical considerations).

      The topic is integrity. If you are a dues-paying member of the AGU, and you recognize the glaring lack of integrity between the AGU’s Free and Open Communication position statement and the one on Climate, do you not have an obligation to speak up to maintain your own integrity?

      Billions are being spent on the basis of statements like the AGU’s climate position statement. Is that right at a time when the money is so desperately needed for other things?

    • pokerguy, I do not think it a good idea to set up a ranking system as to the integrity of people we don’t know, have not met nor have under investigation.
      We can judge particular statements, or series of statements, but please let us not dehumanize individuals.
      Let us not have mirroring of ‘some’ peoples behavior. That some individuals behave unethically should make us look to ourselves first, given the number of slippery slopes.

      • Agree, Doc. People like Al Gore who have put themselves out there as public figures are fair game. But attributing motives to people about whom we know nothing is wrong and foolish.

        I have no doubt that there are people on the ‘skeptic’ side whose personal ethics wouldn’t stand up to much scrutiny either.

  71. I do declare that I would dearly love to make a movie entirely based upon the contents of this wondrous, thoughtful, witty and drama laden thread! And thank you all of having soothed my hang over. No sympathy please as it was caused by too much time spent with Jupiter, Venus and The Moon (and some red wine). But boy oh boy this thread did reinvigorate me.

    • Some titles for your movie…..”Some Like It Hot” or “Apocalypse Now” or perhaps “Fantasia”.

  72. I’m not sure whether other people have made a connection to this, but there is a fascinating exchange of tweets between Peter Gleick and Tamsin Edwards here – – about the title of Tamsin’s new blog.

    The big eye-opener to me is the gulf between Richard Betts of the Met Office applauding the title (and saying scientists need just to be honest) and Gleick who is in a state of near paranoia that the forces of evil will deliberately misuse the title of the blog to further their nefarious purposes and condemn the planet to a hot and premature end.

    In retrospect, the signs of derangement and meltdown were evident many weeks ago.

    • It is all about ones philosophy as to what models are and what they are for. V=IR or P=TV are quite nice models, and are given special status, but are still wrong.
      Most models do quite well over an order of magnitude, less well over two, and not very well over three.
      As long as they are rules of thumb, they are great. Trying to hard and you get very pretty rubbish.
      Think on atmospheric chemistry, individual rates for the reactions of nitrogen oxides and oxy-radicals can dependent on concentration, atmospheric pressure, temperature, light flux, liquid water levels, silicate surface (from dust) and ‘unknown unknowns*’.
      If you have a system that is complex, with a number of irreversible reactions that give rise to sinks, modeling is impossible; i.e. light flux changes during the course of the day, as does temperature, pressure at each elevation. Moreover, anytime where you have a significant difference in the kinetics of a process moving from non-aqueous to aqueous you have to measure partition coefficients and volume ratios, in real time, at different heights.
      So you can guess reasonably the amount of NOx/ozone above L.A. on a sunny day, based on phenomenology and modeling, but you will not get the ‘right answer’. A model that is within 1 order of magnitude is quite good, within 5% damned good and to within 1%, better than I have ever managed.

      *The decay of peroxynitrite at neutral pH is different now than in the past. In the good old days people would double distill their water and also use dichromate to oxidize organic matter. As dichromate generates CrCl3 a carcinogen we don’t do this anymore. Now we all use deionized water and deionized water in London (that has passed through 7 sets of kidneys) give a faster decay rate than water from Essex. The water drawn from Shreveport gives a slower decay rate than does water from NYNY. ‘unknown unknowns’.

  73. From all the foregoing, as I see it, Peter Gleick was simply being inept in his deception (i.e., he got caught doing it). And, there was some poor secretary at the Heartland Institute who was being gullible and naïve (I hope she still has her job). All of this falls in the category of dirty-pool politics that has a long established tradition dating back to the early days of recorded time. After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.

    It is only when one is preaching for some emphatic course of action, and then gets caught doing something that is to the contrary. This creates that undesirable circumstance and appearance of hypocrisy. Take for example all those not-so-infrequent cases where politicians and televangelists have stridently preached ‘family values’, and then got caught doing the wrong thing at the wrong address. Blatant hypocrisy is the inevitable result.

    The art of deception is a very common strategy, as in sports and war. Deception is to be found in the tool-bag of every investigative reporter and police detective. We’ve got your fingerprints (somewhere on file), so you might as well tell us why you did it. In poker, it is called bluffing, which is not considered being dishonest. But then, people also do have a sense of fair play – so there is some gray area beyond which heavy handed deception becomes viewed as unsportsmanlike conduct. This is to be differentiated from all those activities that are explicitly illegal, such as breaking into Watergate, hacking into Sara Palin’s e-mails, or the hacking and posting CRU e-mails. But duping Sara Palin into thinking that she is getting a call from the president of France, or duping Governor Walker of Wisconsin into thinking that he is having a private chat with his funding benefactor David Koch – those would seem to fall in the category of political pranks, producing a laugh, and perhaps some degree of embarrassment.

    What Peter Gleick has been preaching, and may continue to preach, on the threats to the integrity of science has actually been on target, but his effectiveness as a compelling messenger on this topic may now have been compromised and diminished by having been found to be practicing some unbecoming deception that doesn’t equate well with the ideals of scientific integrity that he has been promoting.

    In his 2007 congressional testimony, Peter Gleick was specifically referring to the nasty heavy handed political censoring of climate science that was being practiced by certain political appointees at NASA. These political PR types were very unhappy with the scientific results that NASA scientists were finding with respect to the effects of increasing CO2 on the global climate. Under the Bush administration, climate science was being censored, and climate scientists were being threatened with ‘dire consequences’ if we persisted in ignoring the censors. Fortunately, this political nastiness was splashed on Page 1 of the New York Times, and was also publicized in Andy Revkin’s dotearth blog, embarrassing NASA and the Bush administration to the point where they had to relent in their overt efforts to continue censoring climate research.

    I am quite familiar with this unfortunate bit of political nonsense, having been at GISS while all this was going on. For those interested in further details of this politically motivated censoring of science, a full description can be found in Mark Bowen’s excellent book Censoring Science.

    When shooting the messenger for bringing unwelcome news becomes the self-delusional political expedient, it is no longer the integrity of science that is the main concern. There is nothing less than national security and national survival that is being put at risk by this kind of ostrich-brained thinking. Potential adversities, be they from changing climate or foreign terrorists, need to be faced head-on. We need all available information on the looming global warming threat in order to able to respond intelligently and effectively to whatever the specific details of this threat may be. Adopting the ostrich-brained policies of ignoring the problem is not the American way of doing business.

    As for the Heartland Institute – it seems that Peter Gleick went and hit his thumb while hammering. Hopefully the unsavory character of the Heartland Institute (and its think-alikes, the Cato Institute and the George C Marshall Institute) will remain in the public spotlight despite the negative attention that is being focused on Peter Gleick.

    There really was no need for these internal Heartland Institute memos to see that the real objective of the Heartland Institute is to undermine climate science, and most definitely not to promote any kind of science integrity. This is all very clear from reading the slick and impressive looking 856 page anti-IPCC document (Climate Change Reconsidered) that was published by the Heartland Institute in 2009. I have read some of it. Scientifically, it is shoddy, misleading, irrelevant, and erroneous.

    Napoleon supposedly cautioned not to ascribe to conspiracy what can equally be ascribed to stupidity and incompetence. I don’t think that the individuals at Heartland are stupid and incompetent. That would suggest then that their efforts to undermine climate science and to spread disinformation in the public domain has a deliberate and more sinister motivation. This needs to be clearly understood by the public that the Heartland, Cato, and George C Marshall Institutes have a common objective (and common funding source) to undermine climate science and to spread disinformation about global warming/

    Climate science is very robust and can easily fend off the unfounded criticisms of fossil fuel lobbies and other global warming deniers. However, the “climate hoax” hysteria that is being promoted by some misguided individuals in public office is of more concern since this does tend to undermine the public support and perception of the integrity of science.

    The physics is very clear that CO2 is the principal greenhouse forcing gas, and that atmospheric water vapor acts as a feedback magnifier that enhances the terrestrial greenhouse effect. Observations are also very clear that atmospheric CO2 is still steadily increasing at the rate of about 2 ppm/yr. There can be no doubt that all this is the result of human industrial activity. (Fossil fuel inventory data show that the equivalent of seven cubic km of carbon are extracted from the earth every year. And all of this stuff gets burned to produce CO2).

    Climate science is fully aware that there are uncertainties in how the climate system responds to the radiative forcings that drive current climate change. This is part of the ongoing research. But climate science is also aware of the certainty of some of the consequences that the continued increase in global warming will bring with respect to the global environment, ecology, and rising sea level.

    • “it seems that Peter Gleick went and hit his thumb while hammering.”

      I think he hit a softer more vulnerable part

      • It’s all figuratively speaking. Peter would have been smarter to get somebody else do his “hammering” of Heartland for him.

      • really, and add conspiracy to the charges.
        please leave crime to the criminals.

        HP hired PIs to do their dirty work. It didnt help them

      • Maybe A Lacis is right and Gleick was trying to be a comic genius. He just tried to punk’d the H Institute but got caught.

        A Lacis claims he read the HI’s document but doesn’t give any examples or references of what is “shoddy”. This is much like Gleick methods. He has not actually seemed to have read it.

    • A. Lacis writes “That would suggest then that their efforts to undermine climate science and to spread disinformation in the public domain has a deliberate and more sinister motivation”

      Shades of Tom Lehrer’s Vatican Rag. “First you get down on your knees…… and genuflec, genuflec, genuflec, genuflec”.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      ‘But climate science is also aware of the certainty of some of the consequences that the continued increase in global warming will bring with respect to the global environment, ecology, and rising sea level.’

      The science is settled.

      • It all depends on what you mean by “The science” and “is settled”. We know and understand some things quite well, others less so, and still other hardly at all. And as Don Rumsfeld has explained, there may even be things that we don’t know that we don’t know.

      • Andy.

        One thing you dont know is the law.

      • “The” “Science” and “Settled” all seem pretty clear, so I guess this comes down to what “is” is.

    • A. Lacis writes “The physics is very clear that CO2 is the principal greenhouse forcing gas, and that atmospheric water vapor acts as a feedback magnifier that enhances the terrestrial greenhouse effect. Observations are also very clear that atmospheric CO2 is still steadily increasing at the rate of about 2 ppm/yr. There can be no doubt that all this is the result of human industrial activity. (Fossil fuel inventory data show that the equivalent of seven cubic km of carbon are extracted from the earth every year. And all of this stuff gets burned to produce CO2).”

      I cannot disagree with this; we all know it is true. The devil is in the details. How much does the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere affect surface temperatures? That is the key issue. And the hard, measured data shows quite unequivocally that there is NO CO2 signal in the global temperature/time graph. None whatsoever. So the hard data proves that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. And CAGW is just plain wrong.

      • Very true =>
        “The devil is in the details. How much does the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere affect surface temperatures? That is the key issue. And the hard, measured data shows quite unequivocally that there is NO CO2 signal in the global temperature/time graph”

        We’ve been looking for the data to show otherwise for a long time & thus for a direct link between human activities, including industies, & overall climate change. It seems that the question may not just be “how much” but more accurately how & to what extent.

      • Jim,
        I hope your are not trying to suggest that the global temperature time graph is a flat line like the EKG of somebody long since expired. But first you have to know what the global temperature signature of CO2 might look like. And also you would need to know how to differentiate the global temperature signature of CO2 from the global temperature signature of all the other radiative forcings. If the global temperature changes by a degree, how do you know who to blame?

        To decipher all this you need a climate model – one that can accurately calculated the radiative forcings for everything that changes within the climate system. Then you need the climate model to respond accurately to all these radiative forcings, and by taking full account of the heat capacity of the atmosphere, land, and ocean, to produce a time trend of the global temperature. You can then re-run the model with, or without, specified forcings and thus identify what the global temperature signature of CO2 would look like. All this has been done. Check the scientific literature. You can start with the IPCC Report.

      • A. Lacis writes “If the global temperature changes by a degree, how do you know who to blame?”

        That is precisely what I am saying. How do you know whether any of the change in global temperatures that have been observed was caused by additional CO2 in the atmosphere? Models dont tell you anything at all. If you claim they do, then obviously you dont understand models and modelling. You need hard, measured data. You need to do classic signal-to-noise ratio analysis, and MEASURE the CO2 signal against the background of the noise from natural variations. No-one has even attemped to do this, simply because it is absolutely impossible to prove that it is the additional CO2 that is causing any of the change in temperature which has been observed.

        We know there is already a signal of a linear warming of around 0,06 C per decade, which has been going on ever since records became available about 150 years ago. But there is no other signal in the global/temperature time graph. None whatever.

      • A Lacis | February 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm, said:|

        I hope your are not trying to suggest that the global temperature time graph is a flat line like the EKG of somebody long since expired…”

        Yet that’s exactly what the original “hockey stick” was created to pass as the truth – that the past temperatures were flat, and the only “unprecedented” temperature rise started with the industrial revolution.

        It’s been changed to show there really WAS a MWP and a LIA – times where the climate changed more than today.

        To paraphrase an old saying, “those who forget extreme weather events of the past are doomed to state that current weather extremes are unprecedented”.

    • Dr. Lacis, very succint post. Thanx. Being a lukewarmer, one question in all sincerity, if we wait for another 10 – 15 years to see if this bit of “cooling” continues or not before we aggresively attack our CO2 emmisions if needed, would the earth in your opinion be beyond help at that point?

      • DeHihilist,
        It is highly unlikely that we are headed for some sort of “climate cliff” in the next 10-15 years. Expect more of the same. The increase in global warming is putting more thermal energy and also more water vapor into the atmosphere. This, as climate models suggest, and what seems to have been happening in the climate system, is to produce a more energetic hydrological cycle, resulting in more extreme weather conditions – more severe droughts, more sever floods.

        The CO2 that keep putting into the atmosphere has a very long lifetime – hundreds, if not a thousand years. So, if we keep delaying to fix the problem, we just keep digging a deeper hole that will be more difficult to fix the longer that we delay in fixing it.

      • Dr. Lacis,

        Did you draw the short straw for doing damage mitigation?

      • Thank-you Dr. Lacis

      • Damage control?

        A wide door has just been opened. He has no idea. They have not got their messaging clear yet.

    • Scientific integrity resides in the practitioner and can only be threatened by those who act in its name. Some climate scientists made a fateful decision several decades ago when they decided to create a nexus that combined their views of climate science; their personal political agendas; alliances with politicians, journalists, and NGOs that shared those agendas; and a prodigious funding stream for government-sponsored research. Each leg of the nexus resonated with the others. Did you notice what was happening and did you stop to consider what the effect on scientific integrity was likely to be?

      • Bob K.,
        Climate science and what to do about global warming are two totally separate issues. Our job as climate scientists is to do our job, and to put our scientific results in the public domain. It is also part of our job to explain as best we can what the implications are of our scientific findings and how they may affect the affect the global temperature, global and regional climate, environment, sea level, etc. It is also part of job to explain as best we can the time scale over which various climate impacts are likely to occur, and what the uncertainties associated with these impacts might be. That is what the IPCC Report was designed to describe.

      • Dr. Lacis,
        The problem is that far too many of your colleagues do not agree with you.
        And the bigger problem is that far too few of you aggressively make your point and challenge your ideological colleagues.
        And then, in your case, you come in and try to make a ha-ha out of Gleickgate. If your community ahd aggressively and properly dealt with cliamtegate, none of this would have happened, frankly.

    • “This is to be differentiated from all those activities that are explicitly illegal, such as breaking into Watergate, hacking into Sara Palin’s e-mails, or the hacking and posting CRU e-mails. ”

      WRT the liberation of CRU mails.

      1. It would only be a crime if the person who copied the mails did not have
      authorized access to the computer system. Without the identity of
      that person, the only crime would be the hacking into RC. Posting
      the mails broke no law. Copying them, may have been a crime.
      Regardless, the actions were not justified.

      2. The hacker in the Palin case was convicted of obstruction of justice. He
      destroyed evidence. In the Gleick case that is still an open question.

      3. It may be that Gleick committed several offensives, the clearest
      one being wire fraud. I won’t count the defamation/libel against
      Heartland with malice.. but that’s in play.

      Finally, reporters do use deception, but they never pose as a real person.
      There is a reason for that. See if you can join up two brain cells and figure out why. Imagine Gleick had not included the fake memo. Imagine that heartland went on to blame the person whom Gleick impersonated.
      That requires you to think ahead and apply sound reasoning. Are you capable? In any case watch this space. You have just stepped into something. And you don’t even know it.

      • “Imagine Gleick had not included the fake memo. Imagine that heartland went on to blame the person whom Gleick impersonated”

        Well, with little imagination, I can imagine how the poor secretary who fell for Gleick’s Phish must feel.

        You can lose your job for breaching security.

      • and rightfully so

      • Nobody on the CAGW side of this debate has stopped to think more than one move ahead. They are in reactive mode. Right now they are trying out talking points. It’s a big struggle. It will get worse.. in due course.

        The right leverage at the right time

      • Steven,
        Surely this is a matter for the lawyers to sort out. And it would not surprise me if they turn it into some sort of political jousting match. When things become political, then ethics, legality, and the appearances of fair play get delegated to the back seat.

        The evidence is quite compelling. I don’t see much profit to doubt that atmospheric CO2 has been (and is) increasing. Just Google “NOAA CO2” – they make very accurate measurements. We also know how to calculate the radiative effects of CO2 – check the IPCC Report. It explains a lot about what is happening in the climate system, including a discussion on uncertainties that you seem to be worried about.

      • > See if you can join up two brain cells and figure out why.

        INTEGRITY ™ – It Only Takes Two Brains Cells.

      • INTEGRITY™ – Hacking Is Liberation (Except When The Wrong People Get Hacked)

      • still in the margins willard. Applying no leverage at the wrong time. The anonymous cannot apply leverage on the theme of integrity. Simple.

      • > The anonymous cannot apply leverage on the theme of integrity.

        This has been played before:

        Leverage brokers apply leverage.
        Margin doodlers doodle in the margins.

        Leverage brokers need timing.
        Margin doodles doodle when they want.

        Najdorf players need meticulous
        book keeping to survive their opening.

        INTEGRITY ™ – Never Look Back

      • A Lacis | February 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm:

        “The evidence is quite compelling.”

        Not really.

        It is undeniable that it is warmer than it was in 1850 and it is undeniable that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen since 1850. But is that proof of causation – no, merely correlation.

        How much of the warming since 1850 was caused by the additional CO2?

        50%? 70%? Nobody knows.

        How much of the warming since 1850 was caused by land use changes (cutting down trees, asphalt, concrete, buildings, cities, air conditioners heating, etc.).

        25%? 50%? Nobody knows.

        How much of the warming since 1850 was caused by black carbon changing the albedo of snow?

        10%? Nobody knows.

        How much of the warming since 1850 has been caused by changes in the solar input to Earth?

        Nobody knows.

        How much of the warming since 1850 has been caused by changes to the sun’s magnetic field? And its effect on cosmic rays and their effect on low cloud formation?

        Nobody knows.

        How much of the warming since 1850 would have occurred anyway, due to the natural long term trend in place since 12,000 years ago – which caused 50 meters of sea level increase, of which only 2% is blamed on humans?

        Nobody knows.

        The physics shows that CO2 will cause additional warming, both directly (about 1C) and indirectly (that is what everybody is fighting about). However, nobody knows and therefore the evidence is just not that compelling.

      • Dr. Lacis,
        certainly you are not suggesting that CO2 is responsible for Peter Gleick’s crime?

    • A. Lacis –

      It’s bad enough having all your excuses as to why the stupid toy models are diverging from the real world of facts, but spare usl your excuses as to why Gleick diverged from the real world of sane law-abiding citizens.

    • Dr Lacis,

      You raise some good points, however my personal opinion is you risk having them discounted in your attempt to soften what Dr Gleick did and by your obviously personal dislike of certain libertarian organizations.

      Dr Gleick’s actions are not some sophmoric prank. He possibly faces criminal & civil charges. And as much as you may disagree with the philosophies of organizations like Heartland, they are but one of many such organizations, spanning the political spectrum, who operate within the law, which cannot now be said by Dr. Gleick.

    • “After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.”

      A classic description of the amorality, sometimes dressed up as situational ethics, of progressivism. To paraphrase one of the paragons of leftist moral relativism, it all depends on what the definition of “moral” is.

      Being a man (or woman) of integrity is like being pregnant. You either are or you aren’t. If someone tells you that his morality depends on the circumstances, keep him far away from your wallet and daughters.

      No one with real integrity will tell you his integrity depends on the circumstances.

      I find this comment disgusting. All the more so for its ready acceptance by so many.

    • Oh, and as to the Bush administration censoring science, I was following the politics of that struggle long before the climate debate exploded over the internet. What the Bush administration fought was the issuance by progressive apparatchiks in the bureaucracy of political statements dressed up as science.

      But since morality is just a product of culture and circumstances, who has the right to complain about the conduct of any one else anyway?

    • Andy, As much as I like you, you can do better than this. Your doctrine of relative ethics and morality is rather primitive and fitting of your typical corrupt Roman Emperor. The Judeo-Christian idea is that “you shall have one law for the stranger and yourself.” Gleik might have been a fine corrupt Roman petty official, but he’s a terrible modern scientist. Deception, as you speciously call it, is heavily constrained by the criminal law. It’s called fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, forgery, and in extreme cases espionage and in some cases conspiracy to destroy evidence or perjury. Gleik is about to find out about the latter two crimes. Morally, its clear that Gleik’s purpose in doing the leak was likely personal and intended to mislead others. It’s likely he forged the strategy document.

      Now to the issue of executive branch “interference in science.” In so far as we are talking strictly scientific findings, I agree. However, there is a fine line that one can cross into political advocacy. For example, Hansen has committed crimes, perhaps misdemeanors even though I haven’t researched it, and in most cases that qualifies as a firing offense. Especially as those crimes were deliberate and intended to intimidate. But, I guess its in a “noble cause.” The issue of nondisclosure of outside income is also a serious problem. It does raise the issue of whether Hansen expects special treatment based on his reputation. It does lower my opinion of him. Even in scientific settings, he has a track record, it seems to me, of always erring on the side of catastrophy. Is it OK for people to blog from their government computers? I don’t care, but what I see here is an arrogant assumption that whatever a righteous public servant thinks is right must appear so to everyone else. This gets into the problem of the “elite” mentality that will backfire in the modern world.

      I also find the phobia of Heartland hypocritical. I guess Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund are fine with you even though even more secretive and with much larger budgets. And WWF even provided the source for a rather big error in the AR4 concerning Himalayan glaciers. They seem to me to be putting out very bad science as well.

      As to whether “climate science is unaffected,” I think climate scientists such as yourself need to do some soul searching. You are losing credibility with the public. The main cause of this is the obvious political agenda and the arrogance. My suggestion is that you do a better job of self policing and distance yourself from the more extreme elements, just as APS did with Gleick. Desmogblog and even the Guardian are your worst enemies and you need to respond as Richard Betts did. These idiots are doing you fatal damage. You need to do it quickly before the record is frozen in stone.

      By the way, I don’t put you in the arrogant category, as you seem pretty humble and fundamentally honest. I’m speaking about those mentioned earlier in this post.

    • “The art of deception is a very common strategy, as in sports and war. Deception is to be found in the tool-bag of every investigative reporter and police detective.”
      The ‘art’ of deception? As soon as I read that, the rest of your post was pretty predictable. And your assertion that ‘every’ investigative reporter uses deception is untrue. It violates every mainstream journalistic code of ethics, and is a firing offence at reputable journals. It is, however, the kind of practice that several News of the World reporters and their associates have recently been arrested for. In your worldly-wise, lads-all-together view of ethics, surely the worst thing they and Gleick did was just to be not very good at the ‘art’ of deception?

      Your sophistry is matched only by your naivete in trying to run this line on a thread about ethics at this blog.

      • johanna,

        It’s certainly true that the revelations of phone hacking showed that journalists can go to far in using dishonest means to obtain a story, although even then I think people’s views would be more mixed if similar methods had been used to expose genuine wrongdoing rather than celebrity tittle-tattle. There are also the more recent revelations of improper payments to police officers and other public officials which I think are far more serious and would be difficult to justify in any circumstances.
        OTOH, if you are in the UK you will no doubt be aware of Mazher Mahmood, the “fake sheikh”, who has used undoubtedly deceptive means to uncover high profile stories. Or you may have seen last week’s Dispatches programme on Channel 4 which exposed dubious practices by secondary ticket sellers Viagogo and Seatwave. This involved journalists getting jobs with the organisations concerned, obviously under false pretences, and secretly filming inside their offices.
        And of course there was the MP’s expenses story, one of the biggest political stories in years, which resulted from the unauthorised release of confidential information. And “climategate”.
        So I don’t see how it’s possible to say that obtaining information by deceptive means is always acceptable or always wrong. Well I guess you can, as long as you are absolutely consistent, but I don’t think either extreme is desirable. Personally I tend to keep the arguments about the information itself and the way it was obtained separate – if I think that making information public is genuinely in the wider public interest then generally I’ll welcome its release (I guess there would be exceptions if the methods involved were really extreme) but at the same time recognise that the people responsible have to recognise and accept that there may be consequences for their actions.

      • Andrew Adams, the fact that deception by reporters (I don’t call them journalists) uncovered wrongdoing in the cases you cite doesn’t make what they did right. If the police do that, it’s called ‘entrapment’ and thrown out of court. I repeat, it violates the code of ethics that real journalists and their employers theoretically subscribe to in Western democracies.

        Using deception such as misrepresenting your identity to get a story, or information that you are not otherwise entitled to, is wrong and potentially illegal. To say otherwise is to condone corruption, whether it be of the Noble Cause variety or just the pursuit of circulation at any cost.

      • The difference being, of course, in most of the proper cases cited, they did not assume another persons identity but a completely fictional identity. The latter is perfectly legitimate, the former a criminal offence (most basically ‘identity’ fraud) which good journalists do not indulge in and do not need to indulge in. There’s no parsing, here.

      • andrew adams


        I disagree, I think in the cases I mentioned the actions of the reporters were justified and not necessarily in violation of journalistic ethics. Obviously there is a line which journalists should not cross and that line can be somewhat fuzzy but I don’t think they did so in this case. Similarly with the police and entrapment – undercover work can be a legitimate means of obtaining evidence and this will often involve a certain amount of deception, although cases have come to light recently in the UK where this has gone too far.
        If you take the view that any kind of deception or unlawful activity is never justified in pursut of the wider public good then you’re perfecty entitled to take that view but you have to then accept that certain information which should come to light will not do so, and you have to be absolutely consistent, which means condemning the release of the climategate emails.

      • andrew adams

        Lewis Deane,

        For it to legally constitute “identity fraud” you have to do more than use someone else’s name. I agree that journalists would not impersonate a real person but whatever the legal position I don’t personally see much difference from a moral perspective – if you obtain information to which you are not entitled by using a false identity why is it ethically better or worse if you use a real or a fake name? Apart from if there were repercussions for the person whose name you were using, where there were not in this case.

        But anyway, I’m not arguing that because journalists sometimes use deceptive means to get a story it means that Gleick’s actions were acceptable, merely that deception can sometimes, in particular circumstances, be justified.

      • andrew adams

        …although I would add the caveat that the people concerned have to recognise and accept the possible consequences of their actions.

    • @A Lacis

      I see that in your long defense of Gleick’s behavior you fail to mention the inconvenient truth that the key strategy document was a fake and did not originate at Heartland. This reinforces the perception that GISS* climate scientists and their colleagues choose the data that gives them the results they seek. This lack of integrity in your work is why it must be audited before any rational observer can accept it.

      * I have tentatively accepted your claim to have been at GISS but that would also require an audit.

    • Wow.

      They ARE all alike.

    • This “comment” misses the point which seems to be fairly typical of the sort of apologia rationalising/justifying/excusing/cheering Peter Gleicks actions post facto. Why on earth Mr Lacis raves on about the ins and outs of the technical issues under discussion in the area of climate science / global warming when it is the issue of the ethical and legal aspects of Gleick’s actions that are the immediate issue. Lacis’s nonsense is akin to rationalising a war crime because one of your own committed it and therefore was justified, i.e. because he was one of the good guys.

      This comment says nothing new or of interest about the climate science debate but says it all about the dysfunctional ethics of another prominent AGW proponent. And from the number of his comments in reply he just cannot shut up. He appears to me like some petulant teenager raving on at his parents over the slightest contradiction of the latest teen nonsense.

      Who is a “denier” now and is anyone really surprised?

    • Gleick was not simply inept, he broke both US and State of California criminal laws. It is specifically illegal to misrepresent oneself using a computer under California code and as Steve McIntyre points out, the action seems to clearly violate US code as well – specifically committing “wire fraud.” He will not even have the “whistle blower” defense, since he is not an insider with Heartland Institute, and more significantly, he did not reveal anything that constituted an actionable pattern of behaviour by HI or it’s donors. More over he has confessed this publicly, and the sole “defense” he can invoke is the “lapse in judgement” which might be pushed as temporary insanity. That is clearly a very weak denfense since the emails he used to commit the fraud are arguably evidence of considered and deliberate acts. In fact, unless you want to reduce “science” to the level of “political pranks” and also argue that there is no call for either ethics or honesty in politics, he has given all science, not just climate “science,” a black eye that it will have an extremely difficult time recovering from.

    • If you consider that deception is acceptable behaviour then you have no concept or understanding of professional behaviour.
      The Fiddlestick Team were involved in deception.
      The Fiddlestick Team are so called Climate Scientists
      All Climate Scientists are deceitful?
      Are you a Climate Scientist, whatever that means?

    • A. Lacis

      After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.

      You appear to advocate the “law of the jungle” that “might makes right”. By “Peter Gleick was simply being inept in his deception”, you appear to promote lawlessness and criminal activity. See US Dept. Justice Criminal Resource Manual, Sect. 942 The Scheme and Artifice to Defraud

      “[T]he words ‘to defraud’ in the mail fraud statute have the ‘common understanding’ of ‘”wrongdoing one in his property rights by dishonest methods or schemes,” and “usually signify the deprivation of something of value by trick, chicane, or overreaching.”‘” Carpenter, 484 U.S. At 27

      See Steve McIntyre’s Feb. 28, 2012 review of 18 U.S.C. 1343 on Wire Fraud. McIntyre cites the US Supreme Court:

      “In Carpenter v. United States 484 U.S. 19, 27 (1987), the U.S. Supreme Court directly and clearly stated that an organization’s right to confidential and exclusive use of business information is a “property” right within 18 USC 1343.

      Your statements seem to destroy the foundations of the Rule of Law. You appear to directly oppose the foundational principles of the West as shown by Vishal Mangalwadi. You rhetoric appears equivalent to Parliament’s denying the foundational rights under constitution as secured by the Magna Carta (1215). Those breaches of objective law led the Founders to appeal to the higher transcendent law “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” in USC The Declaration of Independence 1776.

      Re: “This is all very clear from reading the slick and impressive looking 856 page anti-IPCC document (Climate Change Reconsidered) that was published by the Heartland Institute in 2009. I have read some of it. Scientifically, it is shoddy, misleading, irrelevant, and erroneous. . . . global warming deniers.”
      Your charge that I “deny” “global warming” is a fallacious slandrous defamation.
      Can you rise above rhetorical gutter politics of insinuating that I am a holocaust denier? There is no serious question that the global temperature has been rising since the Little Ice Age. Human society obviously clears forests to farm. The USA fuel use grew 9.1%/year for 60 years from 1980 to 1940, and then 3.3%/year from 1945 to 2005 – that undergirded our economic growth with consequent CO2 production which causes atmospheric warming.

      Your accusations that “I have a common objective (and common funding source) to undermine climate science and to spread disinformation about global warming” are flat out false. I received no payment for my voluntary review. I seek to restore the integrity of climate science, not “undermine” it. And I am seeking to spread facts about “global warming” AND THE LARGE UNCERTAINTIES in climate science, to counter your disinformation and equivocation.

      The issue is not IF global temperature is warming but HOW MUCH is the contribution of anthropogenic causes? Is it 90% or where in between?
      Having assisted in the 2009 review, I know I worked hard to review the available scientific literature, especially that ignored by the IPCC. Quantitatively cite published science to show where it was erroneous, don’t shoot the messenger.

      See Lindzen’s Seminar at the House of Commons for details on the numerous fallacies in your rhetorical arguments. You focus on minor issues and ignore the greatest uncertainty – clouds.

      Re: “atmospheric water vapor acts as feedback magnifier”
      How do you quantify and validate the global magnitude of impacts (INCLUDING CLOUDS) or even whether they are positive or negative? You have the burden of proving that anthropogenic causes are quantitatively distinguishable from the null hypothesis of natural variations and cause > 50% of all the global warming seen.

      Can you rise to professional scientific discourse instead of rhetorical ad hominem attacks?

    • “The physics is very clear that CO2 is the principal greenhouse forcing gas, and that atmospheric water vapor acts as a feedback magnifier that enhances the terrestrial greenhouse effect.”

      Only someone blinded by their own self interest that sits on an academic pedestal could possibly make such a statement. Please do point me to the definitive correlation of predictions made by your fabulously accurate atmospheric models to the actual reality measured over the past 20 years. Oh and the operative word here is prediction, not “fitting” after the fact.

      Magnifier in a physics textbook, attenuator in that damnable reality called our atmosphere.

      Yet another example of a progressive, ends justifies the means scientist that I as a taxpayer am obligated to pay a salary….

    • Those who exercise situational ethics actually have no ethics at all, and therefore no credibility. Deception practiced for the “common good” is not a valid excuse for violating professional standards of behavior, or violating state and federal law. Your melodramatic (and obtuse) defense of the indefensible conduct of Peter Gleick actually reveals your own similar lack of ethical standards, and thereby you reveal yourself as one whose opinions and work product should not be taken seriously.

    • “After all, deception, ethics, and morality are all relative, depending on one’s culture, circumstances, and purpose at hand.” Absolutely not, truth is truth, honesty is honesty. It’s amazing that anyone involved in climate science could not have grasped this in the last three years, given the damage to their cause from their revealed lack of honesty and integrity.

      In my personal and professional lives, I have never stooped to the level of behaviour which you, and too many of your colleagues, seem to think “normal.”

    • manifest moral turpitude when one’s standard of virtue is ‘not getting caught’ being dishonest.
      it’s manifest shallowness when one’s fear of hypocrisy relates only to the appearance – getting caught out.
      now they are an incestuous cesspool of corruption, spreading poison everywhere they go. they have nothing else to offer and can do nothing else, for they are what they are: cowards, liars, cheaters. thieves.
      they are mock scientists doing counterfeits of science and draining our pockets and eating out our substance.
      revolutions have been started for less.
      people have been hanged for less.
      if i ever catch a lacis so much as trying to speak to one of my children, there won’t be enuff diffenbachia to shovel down his lie hole.

  74. Yes, we understand that “no doubt” is permitted. It’s just that your paltry evidence (that you won’t show us) keeps us doubting.

  75. A Lacis,

    Earth’s surface is cooled mostly by non-radiative processes (convection, evaporation). The radiative cooling is secondary (in average). Even if atmospheric CO2 does increase the resistance for thermal radiation, it doesn’t mean that the overall heat transfer is decreased. It simply doesn’t.

    • Edim you write “Even if atmospheric CO2 does increase the resistance for thermal radiation, it doesn’t mean that the overall heat transfer is decreased. It simply doesn’t.”


      • Infrared radiation, which is how an IR camera senses the temperature of objects, is not like X-rays. IR is wimpy. It can’t penetrate a single piece of paper. Even window glass is opaque to infrared.
        –Tony Kordyban, More Hot Air p166

    • Edim,
      The energy exchanges at the Earth’s surface are indeed a complicated mix of sensible, latent, and radiative energy fluxes. But they are all included and fully accounted for in climate model simulations. The prevailing climate at the Earth’s surface is established as the result of what is called a “boundary value problem” in physics. The relevant boundary for the Earth’s climate system is at the top of the atmosphere where the energy exchange between incoming solar radiation and outgoing thermal radiation is strictly (100%) by radiative means.

      There is also an important boundary at the Earth’s surface that is important in the climate system energy balance. That boundary is the ocean with its very large heat capacity. Changes in ocean circulation, which are loosely coupled to the atmospheric energy exchange, can produce substantial year-to-year variability in global temperatures (e.g., El Nino and La Nina events). But this is a variability about some equilibrium values and does not affect the long-term trend that is being imposed on the climate system.

      • Apparently not.
        Your confidence is not warranted, it seems.

      • I’m backing Hunter on his challenge there.

        NB If it’s all indeed accounted for can you tell Trenberth where the missing hotspot is ?

      • A Lacis, thanks for your reply. I am not convinced that they are all fully and properly accounted for in the models. ENSO has trends on multidecadal time scales – it’s not only year-to-year variability.

        I have to go now, I wanted to post a comment about the Earth energy budget, maybe later.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        One model problem is verisimilitude – including relevant physical processes.

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic forcings are strongest at global equilibrium scales of 107 m and seasons to millennia. Fluid mixing and dissipation occur at microscales of 10−3 m and 10−3 s, and cloud particulate transformations happen at 10−6 m or smaller. Observed intrinsic variability is spectrally broad band across all intermediate scales. A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’ James McWilliams

        We have limits in both understanding the multi-scale interactions and in the depth of data available for the multiplicity of processes.

        ‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial. The large-scale climate, for instance, determines the environment for microscale (1 km or less) and mesoscale (from several kilometers to several hundred kilometers) processes that govern weather and local climate, and these small-scale processes likely have significant impacts on the evolution of the large-scale circulation (Fig. 1; derived from Meehl et al. 2001).

        The accurate representation of this continuum of variability in numerical models is, consequently, a challenging but essential goal. Fundamental barriers to advancing weather and climate prediction on time scales from days to years, as well as longstanding systematic errors in weather and climate models, are partly attributable to our limited understanding of and capability for simulating the complex, multiscale interactions intrinsic to atmospheric, oceanic, and cryospheric fluid motions.’ Hurrel et al 2009

        The other problem is the divergence problem where necessary but non-unique choices in initial and boundary conditions result in ‘sensitive dependence’ and ‘structural instability’ in the models.

        Andy’s other statements relate to the characterisation of ENSO both as strictly involving energy transfer between the oceans and atmosphere and as a stationary oscillation.

        The evidence seems to suggest cloud cover is inversely related to sea surface temperature. This has been used in for instance in Dessler (2010) and in Claus Wolter’s derivation of a multi-variate ENSO index.

        Here are some other references.

        ENSO as well is non-stationary and non-Gaussian as can be seen in this 11,000 year proxy record. The drying of the Sahel 5000 years ago and the demise of the Minoan civilisation 3,500 years ago can be seen in this record.

        There are evident decadal shifts in ENSO that have had major impacts on the evolution of climate in the instrumental record. There are shifts in the intensity and frequency of ENSO events on multi-decadal scales.

        ‘One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s [Graham, 1994]. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern. The shift was accompanied by sea-surface temperature (SST) cooling in the central Pacific and warming off the coast of western North America [Miller et al., 1994]. The shift brought sweeping long-range changes in the climate of Northern hemisphere. Incidentally, after ‘‘the dust settled,’’ a new long era of frequent El Niños superimposed on a sharp global temperature increase begun.’ (Tsonis et al 2007 – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts)

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of NH climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts have been identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.’

        There is too much science missing from the simple narrative that Andy presents.

  76. You were off to a good start A Lacis (a very good start), with admirable balance, but by the end you drifted back into the same hackery that infects many of your colleagues. (With that depending somewhat on the exact meaning of your usage of the word “deniers”. Although, as someone who seems interested in genuinely communicating, you should be smart enough to avoid the use of that loaded term and still make your point.)

    Changing topics, there are only two possiblities for us non-climate scientists out here (some with other scientific training) as to what to think of this whole topic:
    1. We have enough science background and understanding to look at the evidence and decide for ourselves if it is convincing. For many of us, it simply is not.
    2. If you insist we don’t have the specific training and knowledge to evaluate the science properly then our only other recourse is to judge the professionalism and trustworthiness of those who tell us they are the experts in the field. And from what we’ve seen, and the intellectually thuggish behavior that many of them have displayed, our trust in them has been nearly destroyed. So, again, we are not convinced that we are getting accurate, reliable information. And nothing Peter Gleick has done is going to build that trust.

    You’ve had 20 years to clean up your science and the ethics it’s conducted with. And you’ve dropped the ball. The reason we’re skeptical of your pronouncements is because you’ve done so many things to earn our distrust. The biggest mistake you as a field ever made was to let James Hansen poison the well by dragging climate science into the political arena where it didn’t belong. If you’d maintained your integrity, or dealt with the problem directly once it was manifest, then you’d have a lot more people listening to you these days because you’d have earned it. But when you showed conclusively that you couldn’t police your own (including the climategaters to this day) then it’s hard to take anything you say particularly seriously. You may be the self-proclaimed experts, but we don’t trust you because you haven’t earned it.

    • kcom,
      Climate is, unfortunately, a scientific problem that is going to impact all people directly and politically everywhere on Earth. Obviously, the level and degree to which different people understand what exactly is happening with the climate system is very wide. There are very few people in the world who understand climate as well as Jim Hansen. Jim Hansen has over three decades of state-of-the-art climate modeling experience with dozens of top-level scientific publications on this topic. Most people will not have read them all, but they are all available from the GISS web page. Moreover, all of these papers have withstood full peer review and the test of time in that no one has been able to dispute the scientific accuracy of these publications. That is an example of the real integrity of science. These papers are there as a target – you are more than welcome to prove anything in error, And should you find something amiss, that will generate no animosity, as it would be an improvement of the science.

      Jim Hansen has not only been writing scientific papers, he has also been explaining the results, and the meaning of these results, to the public. That is an important part of his job as a scientist. Climate change and global warming is a problem that will directly affect the general public, and the public has the right to know what is going to happen with the climate. It is but a small step from explaining to the public how the climate will change as the result of global warming due to increasing atmospheric CO2, to explaining what can and what needs to be done to counteract the global warming. At least Jim Hansen knows what he is talking about. He is just putting his mouth where the scientific facts are.

      I can certainly understand why those who do not have as clear an understanding of the climate system as Jim Hansen does would want to be more ambivalent with respect to advocating action to counteract global warming since, this has very significant economic implications.

      But consider also the global warming denier folks at the Heartland Institute (and elsewhere) who are loudly proclaiming that there is no global warming happening. They have not done any reasonable climate modeling. They have not published any climate science research papers in accredited scientific journals. In short they really don’t know what they are talking about – and yet they are making loud proclamations that global warming is nothing to be concerned about. Would you not consider that as “poisoning” the public discourse on climate change?

      • Andy, Hansen’s track record is not as good as you seem to be implying. I believe his 1988 testimony used a model that was rather too sensitive and that you at GISS have improved. It’s not a trivial difference. One must also say that he was pretty badly wrong about the portion of emissions that would remain in the atmosphere. Of course, this led to dramatically alarmist predictions of temperature under a “business as usual” scenario. I’ve read all the rationalizations and they are not balanced. I seem to recall some rather overblown predictions about the West Side highway being under water that were pretty extreme. Hansen is a senior scientist and has a somewhat mixed record. That’s fine, even geniuses make mistakes in science. People don’t point out the errors because he’s on the right side of the political divide. Whereas Lindzen is given no such benefit of the doubt (see the later thread on Lindzen’s testimony) and taken out of context, for example on the faint sun paradox where Chris Colose and Jim D just misquote him.

      • “It is but a small step from explaining to the public how the climate will change as the result of global warming due to increasing atmospheric CO2, to explaining what can and what needs to be done to counteract the global warming.”

        Will change? That’s pretty strong language for a phenomena that is supposedly only “very likely” even in the IPCC’s own parlance. How seriously would the Apollo mission have been taken if they announced they understood gravity well enough that it was “very likely (greater than 90%)” that they’d be able to calculate the position of the moon for the landing.

        And the step you dismiss as small is, I think, a very large, complex and multidimensional one that is far less simplistic than you imply. Pretending otherwise is naive, which is what I was refering to in regards to actively dragging the science into the political arena. One of the unfortunate side effects of which was that (and this is not necessarily your field’s fault in the direct sense) every two-bit environmental activist, campaigner, and pressure group took it as license to fully politicize the science with naive and exaggerated claims about the “effects” of global warming (apparently it’s responsible for everything), or where the “tipping point” was (30 years, no 20 years, no 10 years, etc.) or how quickly we could “de-carbonize” our economy (50% reduction in 40 years, no 70% in 30 years, no 90% in 15 years). It was like a bidding war to come up with ever more extreme numbers but none of it was based on real world conditions. It was reams and reams of political blather and pure naivete dressed up as science, including Al Gore’s pontifications (with documentation of multiple errors on his part), but far from trying to reign that in James Hansen and other scientists seemed to egg it on. Honestly, the reason the reputation of climate scientists is so poor among a large chunk of society is they seemed to check their scientific integrity at the door when they abandoned themselves to the politics. I’ve read so many comments from scientists from other fields who say what you guys claim is normal (and robust) would simply never be allowed in their fields. You guys seem to operate with your own set of rules that are distinct from other branches of science (no doubt due to the messianic fervor of being deep in the political arena). To borrow a word from Trenberth, it’s a travesty. And the sad thing is, it didn’t have to be that way. You could have taken the high road and left the politics to the politicians but way back at the beginning the decision was made, for whatever reason, to follow a different, more Gleickian, path. And you’ve reaped what you’ve sowed.

      • Andy,

        It may be a small step for an individual to go from explaining how the climate will change to explaining what steps can be done to stop it, but the the knowledge basis for being to go from one to the other is quite wide. Understanding how the climate is changing does not mean you know and understand it will impact other natural processes, let alone the impacts – whether from a changing climate or any remedial actions taken to counteract it – to energy, economic or political systems.

        Even as the most knowledgeable climate scientist alive today, Dr Hansen can hardly be an expert in any of the other areas. On energy alone I may be more knowledgeable than both of you combined, and I’m hardly any sort of expert.

      • No, climate is a natural system that does not care what our science says.
        there is no reason at this point to believe that climate science has well described the system, much less understands it well enough to make predictions and especially now well enough to manage the climate.

      • Mr Lacis;
        Can you provide any evidence of the claim you made; ” But consider also the global warming denier folks at the Heartland Institute (and elsewhere) who are loudly proclaiming that there is no global warming happening. ”
        or are you the one ‘poisoning the public discourse’ by making unsupported accusations?
        What is the role of poisonous labels like ‘denier’ in civil discourse?
        I have the impression that you think Gleick’s actions would have been OK if he hadn’t gotten caught. Is that the way you live your life? Does your scientific work reflect this ethical mentality?

      • Heartland’s documents (obtained by fraud), shows they received 4.6 million from their sources.

        James Hansen’s Form SF 278 (required to be filed annually) was obtained LEGALLY (using FOIA), and revealed that Dr. Hansen received between $236,000 and $1,232,500 in outside income in 2010 relating to his taxpayer-funded employment.

        Are you SURE you want to use Hansen as a poster-boy for “real integrity of science”?

  77. Chief Hyrologist

    Andy Lacis is a ***JC BLEEP OUT***. We understand the science and the politics of ‘global warming’. It is understood without any possibility of doubt that climate model solutions diverge exponentially within the limits of data resolution. Prediction of climate in this way is impossible – this is even before consideration of Earth’s climate as a ‘spatio-temporal’ deterministically chaotic system. We are not really convinced that ‘global warming’ is an adequate meme in the context of abrupt climate change.

    The planet is not warming – and seems likely not to for another decade or so. Denying this is to simply ignore (deny?) the science on natural variability emerging from the Pacific and Atlantic especially. It is understood that background warming – after primitively removing natural variability – is about 0.1 degrees C/decade. This is not considered to be a pressing threat – much as ocean acidification or sea level rise seem to be issues that allow for a considered approach. The natural philosophy on climate change is becoming clearer with every passing year. Decadal variation involving oceans and clouds – and perhaps even solar UV – has been neglected and is now emerging in unmistakable ways.

    A considered approach is very different to what has been the leftist agenda of limits to growth, economic contraction and assaults on liberty, democracy and the rule of law. This really is the essence of the objection to the agenda – the green agenda is negative, fraught with the dangers of unintended consequences, condemns billions to a hand to mouth existence into the future, increases energy costs for the poorest, reduces economic growth, etc. They are enemies of freedom, progress and humanity.

    A considered approach has been discussed endlessly by Bjorn Lomberg, the London School of Economics and the Breakthrough Institute amongst others. But it seems to us that the puissant progressive left don’t really want to see progress made in humanitarian or technological arenas but simply have this other agenda of power and influence.

    As of now they have lost the battle for influence on policy – the world is cooling – they are objects of derision. Do they continue to dispute that the world is cooling? The Sun will soon commence a decline to the end of the decade, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans remain cool. So no warming for another decade or three. Most amusing – we have no reason to compromise at all. Any policy that includes the dimwitted ‘global warming’ meme is to be rejected on contact. It is a worthless distraction from the real issues.

    For the longer term – there are multiple opportunities to provide cheaper energy and limitless opportunity for humanity.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

    • Chief Hydro,
      You should be paying more attention to the actual temperature data to tell whether the Earth is warming or not. A “considered approach” is no substitute for physics. The world that we live in operates according to the laws of physics. That is what climate modeling is all about. We pay close attention to what physics tells us about the climate system and how it is changing in response to the increasing trend in atmospheric CO2. By the way, the solar energy output was mostly on the downswing of its 11-year cycle during the past decade.
      It is now on the upswing.

      • But the models should repeatably match observered conditions or it is evidence that the scientist and their model does not mimic the “physics” of the atmosphere properly.

      • Uh-huh. Let us all know how that prediction works out. Oh, wait, did you acknowledge that temp is related to solar activity? Did I read that correctly?

      • Markus Fitzhenry.

        ‘By the way, the solar energy output was mostly on the downswing of its 11-year cycle during the past decade. It is now on the upswing.’

        Based on Hansens’ fudged 1981 CO2 hypotheses computer models were assembled and used by the IPCC for economic predictions.

        I can assure you there are many more scientists have vastly more knowledge about climate than Jim. Here is one;

        And Chief Hydro is another.

      • Chief Hyrologist

        ‘You should be paying more attention to the actual temperature data to tell whether the Earth is warming or not. A “considered approach” is no substitute for physics. The world that we live in operates according to the laws of physics. That is what climate modeling is all about. We pay close attention to what physics tells us about the climate system and how it is changing in response to the increasing trend in atmospheric CO2. By the way, the solar energy output was mostly on the downswing of its 11-year cycle during the past decade.
        It is now on the upswing.’

        Andy – Judith is insisting I be polite. I, however, consider it to be a war for the future of humanity and anything really is allowable in a war for a good cause – as you suggest – and I am more than entitled to my characterisation of your contribution.

        By considered approaches I obviously had in mind economic and social responses by reference to Lomberg, the LSE and the Breakthrough Institute. It is ingenuous to suggest otherwise.

        The modelling comment referred to the intrinsic instability in the Navier-Stokes partial differential equations within limits of feasible values of input variables and boundary conditions. Try this one – – it is conceptually very dense but very rewarding once you understand.

        ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior. Plausibility criteria are qualitative and loosely quantitative, because there are many relevant measures of plausibility that cannot all be specified or fit precisely.’

        A priori formulation leaves as yet something to be desired. A posteriori solution behavior is an interesting one. Very small differences in inputs will cause the solutions to diverge in ways that are unknown and unexplored and the actual solution posted off to the IPCC is one selected on the basis that it meets qualitative expectations as to the outcome. Do you seriously expect us to take this at face value?

        There are, however, several interesting aspects of recent warming. First of all the rate of warming once some elements of natural variability are removed in a primitive and approximate fashion from the record.

        Another method is as Kyle Swanson suggested at realclimate – to remove the 1976/77 and 1998/2001 ENSO dragon-kings from the record as these are extremes that occur at periods of climate transition – an interesting idea in itself that you should look at. The residual is calculated as the trend from 1979 to 1997. Another method is to simply average over two periods of decadal variability. The result form any method is about 0.1 degree C/decade of residual warming.

        So if we assume that this willl continue – we make the deliberate policy decision that the risk of massive intervention in economic development and social systems is greater than the risk of climate change in the immediate future. Indeed I would find it hard to be convinced that the massive intervention in social and economic system envisaged by some can in any way be good for billions throughout the world. So it is a culture war – and each of us must decide if we are in the camp of humanity, limitless opportunity, individual freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law or are in favour of draconian state control.

        Another interesting feature of recent warming is causality. Clements et al 2009 used ISCCP-FD records and ICOADS to characterise cloudiness in the north Pacific – it is inversely related to sea surface temperature. Burgmann et al (2008) did the same thing for Pacific decadal variability. There are many others. The 2007 FD revision of the ISCCP-FD data shows quite obviously a change in less reflected short wave and more emitted infrared between 1984 and 1998. This is similar to the ERBS data in the latest – and hopefully last – revision of the data in Wong et al 2006. Even Dessler 2010 uses cloud variability in ENSO. So we are left wondering – if the data we have is good for one thing and it shows that cloud changes dominate – if the simple model of radiative forcing and warming is all there is.

        More interesting still is the ARGO, SORCE and CERES data as it allows us to close the simple energy budget.

        Energy in – Energy out = d(S)/dt – where d(S)/dt is the change in global energy content.

        Here is the von Shuckmann result for ARGO between 2003 and 2008.

        We are prepared to stipulate that d(S)/dt was positive for the period. So energy in > energy out.

        Here is the SORCE TSI – which shows cooling for the period. This implies that energy out declined even more such that d(S)/dt was positive and the planet warmed. You will note I hope that TSI will hang about at current levels for a year or so before declining for the rest of the decade. We pay attention to the data sources rather than repeat stuff we read on the internet.

        This implies that there was a strong net decline in outgoing radiation in the period which should show up in CERES – Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System.

        Unfortunately it all happened in the short wave. Pesky clouds. Makes me wonder what they will do next. As a hydrologist – I would happily predict much more summer rainfall in Australia, India, China, Indonesia and Africa for a decade or three more – based on patterns of sea surface temperature in the Pacific. The cool PDO and more frequent and intense La Niña especilly. Clouds inversely related to SST? Well perhaps we will see more cloud and lower temperatures for a decade or three as well.

        We pay close attention to what is actually happening rather than what we read in blogs. We have been reading the literature for decades. We have been pondering the meaning of abrupt change in rainfall regimes for a very long time and have spent years gazing at charts and graphs trying to discern pattern and meaning in nature as a natural philosopher. We don’t find that the simple radiative physics of greenhouse gases is even remotely the whole story of climate. We find your barely concealed passive/aggressive, patronising, superior, condescending attitude to be vaguely insulting – but don’t really give a rat’s arse – and that is as far as I can go with that line of thought because Judith is insisting I be polite.

        You are comprehensively wrong and we know the science well enough to insist with good cause on that point. You have lost the policy debate. The world is cooling from both TSI and ocean variability for the rest of the decade. Do you imagine that we will not take full advantage? You are irrelevant and should continue to be marginalised in any policy discussion. We obviously should take considered action. We can obviously make pragmatic choices to succeed where you have failed – but really you have so polluted the well that this must proceed without reference to greenhouse gases at all. This includes pursuing many obviously humanitarian objectives for their own sake as well as promoting our liberal enlightenment goals of free markets, maximum economic growth, democracy, the rule of law and individual freedom. If you have a problem with any of that – well tell someone who cares.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • pesky chickensh_t varmint done cut and run

        Andy – Andy – where have you gone? Come back – I didn’t mean it.

      • @rob starkey

        ‘But the models should repeatably match observed conditions or it is evidence that the scientist and their model does not mimic the “physics” of the atmosphere properly.’


        ++ Lots and lots

      • > I, however, consider it to be a war for the future of humanity and anything really is allowable in a war for a good cause – as you suggest – and I am more than entitled to my characterisation of your contribution.

        INTEGRITY ™ – A War for a Good Cause.

      • By considered approaches I obviously had in mind… The 2007 FD revision of the ISCCP-FD data shows quite obviously a change in less reflected short wave… We obviously should take considered action… We can obviously make pragmatic choices… This includes pursuing many obviously humanitarian objectives…

        You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • Chief Hydro:

        Please re-examine the SORCE data. It shows that while the TSI remained constant, portions of the spectrum varied widely. That alone could account for some of the warming. Until the SORCE data (the SIM) sees a full solar cycle, we may not know just how variable the Sun’s output is.

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Is this the right place –

        TSI drops a little in the 11 year cycle – as it always does and certainly does beteeen 2003 and 2008?

      • Chief Hyrologist and Captain Kangaroo:

        I was thinking more about this bit of info (from NASA):

        “…Some of the variations that SIM has measured in the last few years do not mesh with what most scientists expected. Climatologists have generally thought that the various part of the spectrum would vary in lockstep with changes in total solar irradiance.

        However, SIM suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did — while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall.

        The steep decrease in the ultraviolet, coupled with the increase in the visible and infrared, does even out to about the same total irradiance change as measured by the TIM during that period, according to the SIM measurements.

        The stratosphere absorbs most of the shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light, but some of the longest ultraviolet rays (UV-A), as well as much of the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum, directly heat Earth’s lower atmosphere and can have a significant impact on the climate…”

        It’s POSSIBLE that changes in the spectrum (increases in the visible and infrared wavelengths between 2004 and 2007) may account for SOME of the current warming.

        Why has nobody considered this?

      • Chief Hydrologist


        Captain Kangaroo had a crocodile wrestling assignment – but he left this with me.

        The reduction in solar UV in the last cycle has been noted. See for instance –

        You graph should be interpreted as a bigger than anticipated reduction on UV and a lower than anticipated reduction in other frequencies. The take home message is that UV changes a lot more in proportion than TSI. This has surprising ramifications for climate – as Mike Lockwood and colleagues discover above – as ozone in the stratosphere warms and cools with solar UV changes with presumed changes in sea level pressure around the polar vortices.

        When solar activity is high – the sea level pressure at the poles is low and storms are constrained to a tight circle at high latitudes. When solar activity is low – the pressure is high and storms spin off the vortices into lower latitudes.

        In the south low pressure at the poles increases the strength of the circumpolar current through Drakes Passage and constrain storms to the polar region – with significant implications for Southern Hemisphere hydrology. Conversely – high pressure pushes storms further north and cold water into the Peruvian Current. In the north – low pressure constrains storms to the polar regions. High pressure pushes storms over North America and Europe creating cold conditions and pushing cold water south in the Californian Current. The patterns of low and high pressure are monitored as the Southern and Northern Annular Modes.

        ‘The annular modes are hemispheric scale patterns of climate variability. Another more popular example of a large scale pattern of climate variability is the El-Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). But whereas ENSO owes its existence to coupled ocean/atmosphere interactions in the tropical Pacific, the annular modes owe their existence to internal atmospheric dynamics in the middle latitudes. ENSO is the most important (in terms of variance explained) pattern of large scale climate variability in the tropics; the annular modes are the most important patterns of climate variability in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere middle and high latitudes.

        There are two annular modes in Earth’s atmosphere: a Northern annular mode (NAM) and a Southern annular mode (SAM). Both annular modes explain more of the week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year variance in the extratropical atmospheric flow than any other climate phenomenon. For example: the NAM and SAM explain on the order of ~20-30% of the total variance in the geopotential height and wind fields of their respective hemispheres, depending on the level and timescale considered.

        The annular modes describe variability in the “anomalous” atmospheric flow, that is, variability not associated with the seasonal cycle. In the pressure field, the annular modes are characterized by north-south shifts in atmospheric mass between the polar regions and the middle latitudes. In the wind field, the annular modes describe north-south vacillations in the extratropical zonal wind with centers of action located ~55-60 and ~30-35 degrees latitude. By convention, the high index polarity of the annular modes is defined as lower than normal pressures over the polar regions and westerly wind anomalies along ~55-60 degrees latitude.’

        Not only are these modes important in their own right – but here is a fundamental mechanism linking solar variability in unexpected ways to major modes of climate variability. We may also have a fundamental link between the Sun and Pacific variability in the simple mechanisms of cold water pushing along the Peruvian and Californian Currents to major areas for cold water upwelling on the planet in the Humboldt Current and the region of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation – thus accounting for most of the rest of global climate variability. This provides a fundamental physical driver for the PDO and ENSO that has been missing thus far – and one that explains the periodicities and variability far better than any notion of Rossby waves.

        Congratulations, Henry, I think you may have stumbled across the key to linking solar variability with the major modes of global climate variability.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • “…Congratulations, Henry, I think you may have stumbled across the key to linking solar variability with the major modes of global climate variability…”

        Well, you give me too much credit.

        The main thing I’m stressing is the current meme “the sun can’t be causing the extra heating because it’s at minimum”.

        Using the TSI to show the sun’s activity is their benchmark, yet the SPECTRAL aspect is just coming into view. Once there’s enough data (a full solar cycle) of spectral data to bump things against (not just UV), we’ll probably see a LOT of the processes/cycles tie back to the sun.

        When scientists express comments like “…By the way, the solar energy output was mostly on the downswing of its 11-year cycle during the past decade. It is now on the upswing…”, means that he believes the total irradience is more of a driver than spectral variation.

        It seems that others are examining the data, and doing science.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      1.Well let’s see – I referred to the approaches of Lomberg, the LSE and… – that seems fairly obvious.
      2. That’s what NASA/GISS say – should be fairly obvious.
      3. We shouldn’t take action at all?
      4. We shouldn’t do humanitarian stuff with multiple pbjectives as in Lomberg, LSE and the Breakthrough institute.

      What the hell is not obvious.

    • Chief

      Be careful about believing that something has actually been won in the US. The court case going on this week with the EPA will have a major impact on what happens in the US relative to CO2

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi Rob,

        The response seems increasingly sophisticated – we are aware of the limitations in the science being presented. The planet won’t warm for the rest of the decade at least – and realy any post hos justification will be viewed with a great deal of scepticism. The warministas have therefore lost the auhority of science – in the eyes of the public – in simply overstating the case and getting too much wrong. People like Lacis seem to have glaring gaps in their understanding – and I can only think that this is a state of cognitive dissonance.

        I think we simply steamroller them in the court of public opinion. I think we need a positive narrative that involves humanitarian progress, economic development, sceintific accomplishment and social and intellectual resurgence.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • I think we need a positive narrative that involves humanitarian progress, economic development, scientific accomplishment and social and intellectual resurgence.

        I took the liberty of correcting one piece of spelling there Chief. Totally agreed.

  78. Something I have seen quite a bit of is people like Gleick bemoaning the corruption of science (or similar) but by this they mean that other people dare to disagree with them. They make the mistake of thinking 1) the science is absolutely settled 2) they are competent to evaluate things like ecosystem impacts, disease risks, engineering aspects of biofuels, and economics, and 3) science and science alone determines what is actually a political/social response, and that therefore everyone MUST listen to them or the world is doomed. So they conclude that a place like Heartland is corrupting science because they disagree with the conclusions or POV being presented, and corrupt people should not be allowed to influence policy. It is a very dangerous line of reasoning.
    So, the advice to Congress sounds reasonable out of context until you see how it is played in real life, and that Gleick was in fact outraged that HI should have any $ or influence at all or even exist.

  79. Gary M @ 12.26pm discusses Obama administration and the Espionage Act.
    Let us remember the 2nd Law of Shaminism:

    ‘Shaminism acts through the control of information through the atmosphere.’

  80. John Horgan has a provocative post with this title at Scientific American. Excerpts:

    Kant said that when judging the morality of an act, we must weigh the intentions of the actor. Was he acting selfishly, to benefit himself, or selflessly, to help others? By this criterion, Gleick’s lie was clearly moral, because he was defending a cause that he passionately views as righteous.

    – – – – – –

    John Hogan,

    Then how do you reconcile this Kant quote with your idea of what Kant said?

    By a lie, a man… annihilates his dignity as a man.

    Immanuel Kant

    I think Kant’s ethics is one of complete self-sacrifice to duty with no room in his ethics for the rational achievement of happiness . . . . . but he has some sound bites that sound nice in isolation . . . . like the above quote.


    • Just scan a few lines on ethics in any book by Kant at your local library.

      That stuff is anti-Aristotelian and anti-enlightenment.


    • The characterization of Kantian ethical thinking why I took the Horgan piece to be a joke. Starting from the viewpoint Horgan cites, Kant wrote several books explaining that the rightness of an act is not determined on a case-by-case basis but instead on how well the act adheres to a universal moral law.

    • This link sums up what is behind Kant’s concept of ethics as a form of duty.

      For this reason John Horgan’s post rings true wrt Peter Gleick. In truth Peter Gleick had absolutely nothing to gain personally from his transgressions.

      • Horgan’s post rings true wrt Gleick but not wrt Kant.

        Gleick (if successful) in reality had much to gain from his transgressions. Personal gain (per Kant) is what brings each individual pleasure be it money, fame, the destruction of one’s enemies,time with family or even clean air. Unless you wish to argue that Gleick is solely driven by a motive like love of money, his ‘apology” gives the appearance that he would have gained some measure of satisfaction from harming Heartland.

        BTW that’s so brief a sketch of Kant’s ethics that I was amazed it was as complete as it was. While Kant is rather verbose, the outline is only useful if you’ve read Kant. Motive becomes duty becomes altruistic duty becomes maxim becomes imperative. As Kant goes on and on and on (he is an awfully thick writer) he refines morality until he comes to the first type of imperative “I am never to act otherwise than to will that my maxim should become universal law,” anything before this is merely a stepping stone on the way to get to here, where he can define moral behavior..

    • By this criterion, Hitler’s actions were clearly moral, because he was pursuing a cause that he passionately viewed as righteous.

      Oops, did I just hit the Godwin button?


  81. Judith Curry

    You cite Richard Feynman’s excellent ‘Cargo Cult Science’ reflections on integrity in science. This brief paragraph tells us much more on “integrity in science” than Peter Gleick’s much longer testimony to Congress.

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool.

    It appears to me from Peter Gleick’s testimony and other behavior that he fell into this trap, rather than that he was proposing a CAGW premise, in which he really did not himself believe for some ulterior motive.

    IOW he started “fooling himself” that the CAGW premise was backed by enough supporting evidence to be “slam dunk” science.

    He obviously did not follow Feynmen’s advice regarding scientific integrity:

    I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

    Quite aside from the Heartland fiasco, it is clear that Peter Gleick did not display this “integrity” by rejecting and actively opposing any scientific opinions or data, which contradicted his belief in CAGW. [He is not the only climate scientist that has fallen into this trap, as was evidenced by Climategate.]

    IMO it is not Peter Gleick, himself, but the politically driven IPCC “consensus process” that is to blame here. It’s expression is easy to see in (what you have described as) the “bloated confidence of IPCC” and until it is abolished there will be others who, like Peter Gleick, will fall into the trap described by Feynman.


    • Markus Fitzhenry.

      You are correct Max.

      The lessons for all of us out of this terrible episode is that we must be true to ourselves before we pronounce truth to others.

    • “IMO it is not Peter Gleick, himself, but the politically driven IPCC ‘consensus process’ that is to blame here.”

      The vanity and dishonesty of the group in no way lessens the culpability of the individual for his own vanity and dishonesty.

      Gleick is solely and entirely to blame for his misconduct. I no more blame the IPCC for Gleick’s lies, fraud and probable forgery than I blame him for the dishonest conduct of Pachauri and other IPCC denizens.

      References to process and organization can help explain the psychology of poor conduct, or the motivation, but it is not relevant to the moral culpability (“blame”) for that conduct.

      • GaryM

        I’d agree with you about Gleick’s “moral culpability” for his role in the Heartland affair. But I was trying to figure out “why” he did something so stupid and dishonest.

        I believe it all started with Gleick “fooling himself” into believing that the IPCC’s CAGW postulation was backed by enough scientific evidence to be “slam dunk” science and that there were no more significant uncertainties.

        The next step was to “defend” his position against all conflicting hypotheses, rather than following Feynman’s advice to “bend over backwards” to try to falsify his hypothesis. This is where the IPCC “consensus process” came in and several climate scientists fell into this trap.

        The third step was to introduce the scientifically unknown concept of morality: his opinion was “good” and hence any conflicting opinions were “evil”.

        Once he’d gotten that far it only required a minor bit of personal moral turpitude to do the totally dishonest and utterly stupid thing he did – which has caused him his career and reputation.


      • Manacker,

        I just have trouble with phrases like “Once he’d gotten that far it only required a minor bit of personal moral turpitude to do the totally dishonest and utterly stupid thing he did.”

        I don;t think it was a mnor bit of moral turpitude at all. I think it was a great big honking bit of personal moral turpitude. He lied to get documents, almost certainly forged another, not to make a scientific point, but to support his attempt to destroy the reputation of Heartland and David Wojick.

        I do not agree that his motivation was to support his view of the correct science. That is his excuse.

        His actions were personal, directed at the personal reputation of another,m and based on his personal motivation of scoring points and redeeming himself from the embarrassment he was suffering at the hands of Heartland.

        I don’t know the source of his personal animus toward Wojick, but there was nothing impersonal or scientific about his attack.

        Your defense might be at least marginally applicable to Mann’s dishonesty with respect to the hockey stick, or Jones hiding data and deleting emails. But Gleick was profoundly and personally dishonest for primarily personal reasons. His immoral behavior was not targeted at the science, but at personal opponents.

        Dr. Curry posted a link to a statement from the president of the AGU below. I take him at his word and agree. Gleick is an “AGU member who betrayed the principles of scientific integrity.”

        Maybe more, but certainly no less.

      • GaryM

        Don’t get me wrong – I am not defending Peter Gleick’s actions in any way. The blame for his conduct falls solely on him.

        I was just trying to figure out how an arguably highly intelligent individual would get motivated to do such an idiotic (and ethically reprehensible) thing, while proclaiming to support scientific integrity.


  82. Markus Fitzhenry.

    ‘But consider also the global warming denier folks at the Heartland Institute (and elsewhere) who are loudly proclaiming that there is no global warming happening. They have not done any reasonable climate modeling.’

    There is a very clear distinction between fact and rhetoric. Learn about it.

    Nobody says that there is no warming, nobody said there is no changes to climate. The consensus is that there is an miniscule Anthropogenic forcing.

  83. The AGU President has issued a statement:

    Note: “his transgression cannot be condoned regardless of his motives”

    Could be read as: “cannot be condoned regardless of his [bad] motives”
    Or: “cannot be condoned regardless of his [good] motives”

    Obviously the latter. I think the AGU President should resign.

  84. Mike McPhaden, President of the AGU has made a new statement

    • Mike McPhaden apparently disagrees with Andy Lacis, Fred Moolten and other CAGW denizens around here.

      “During the third week of February our global community of Earth and space scientists witnessed the shocking fall from grace of an accomplished AGU member who betrayed the principles of scientific integrity.”

      Well said.

      • I see nothing suggesting that Gleick will be expelled from the AGU. Plenty of hand-wringing, but nothing about professional censure, suspension or expulsion… Simply, the acknowledgment that Gleick resigned, surrounded by plenty of rhetoric.

        If the AGU doesn’t have the stones to impose penalties on Gleick, there will be consequences.

    • Interesting quote from McPhaden

      ‘Today’s students must learn, especially through the example of senior scientists, that adherence to high standards of scientific integrity applies in all that we do: from research practices, to peer-reviewed publications, to interactions with colleagues, and to engaging with the public and policy makers.’

      Note the topics:

      ..senior scientists
      ..research practices
      ..peer review
      ..interactions with colleagues
      ..engaging with the public

      I guess that’s as near as he can bring himself to condemn the behaviour documented in Climategate without being torn apart by his constituents. It should have been said immediately rather than waiting two years but better late than never.

      Maybe, just maybe, the honest scientists are beginning to fight back. We must hope it is not too little too late. And that is just a few rotten apples spoiling the otherwise good barrel, rather than the other way round.

    • AGU’s Integrity

      His concluding statement is “we must remain committed as individuals and as a society to the highest standards of scientific integrity in pursuit of our goals.”

      Does anyone else see an integrity problem between…

      the AGU’s Free and Open Communication position statement, which says that communication should be done “objectively, professionally, and without sensationalizing or politicizing the associated impacts.”

      and their Climate position statement, which claims that to avoid things like reduced agricultural production and several meters of rise in sea level, “our net annual emissions of CO2 must be reduced by more than 50 percent within this century”?

      • Tom Blanton

        Yes. I see a direct integrity conflict between the two.

        McPhaden threw Peter Gleick under the bus for his undoubtedly dishonest (and idiotic) actions without even addressing the real issue: the lack of “scientific integrity” in the AGU’s dogmatic (“the science is settled”) position on CAGW.


    • Judith Curry

      The statement by Mike McPhaden, President of the AGU, comes down pretty hard on Peter Gleick for having “betrayed the principles of scientific integrity” and thereby “compromised AGU’s credibility as a scientific society, weakened the public’s trust in scientists, and produced fresh fuel for the unproductive and seemingly endless ideological firestorm surrounding the reality of the Earth’s changing climate.”

      So Gleick is thrown under the bus but the main concern seems to be the fact that this event has given those who are skeptical of the IPCC (and AGU) “consensus position” on CAGW ” fresh fuel for the unproductive and seemingly endless ideological firestorm surrounding the reality of the Earth’s changing climate.”

      McPhaden should have left that “plug” for CAGW out of his official statement by scratching the whole last part of that sentence.

      It sort of sounds like ‘Golly,we’re sorry that one of our members “betrayed the principles of scientific integrity”, because this “”compromised AGU’s credibility as a scientific society”. But, what the hell, he was right in defending the “consensus position” against “the unproductive and seemingly endless ideological firestorm surrounding the reality of the Earth’s changing climate”, even if his methods were not.’

      His pledge to “remain committed as individuals and as a society to the highest standards of scientific integrity in the pursuit of our goals” sounds good, but I think it requires acceptance and specific mention by AGU that there are other, equally valid, scientific views.beside the politically correct “mainstream consensus” view as promoted by IPCC.

      IMO that’s what “scientific integrity” is all about (see Feynman).


  85. I read the above statements of opinion.
    A scientist will look at the evidence supported by research data, facts and observations.
    What is important?
    To feel right based on opinion or be right based on evidence.
    The bulk of the people allow emotions to dictate what is right or wrong and go with the flow dictated by News papers, Net, religion and politics etc etc.

    What I think is not important, what can be proven is.

    How many scientists in history have fallen from grace to later proven right. We should not close our doors on people who go on a limb.

  86. I think it gets down to the very simple fact that the man has a career and reputation and others’ expectations built on HIS statements about the science being settled. Anything credible to the contrary threatens his whole reason for being on earth, and for others to allow him that. Just way out on a limb and feeling very afraid. I’m sure there are others who have built their legends on wishful thinking. Keep shining light on the legends.

  87. Anyone else reminded of opera? I thought about Diederik Stapel. Google him. He made up research about power and hypocrisy, white racism, you name it… as long as it came to reliably center-left conclusions. Tilburg suspended him, and he returned his PhD to Amsterdam, probably under duress but who know

    • Yes, NW, I remember that.


      The Ideology Monster?

      • Tom Blanton said: “The Ideology Monster?”

        As P-Funk put it, you hit the nail right on the head.

        Personally I’m a lot more worried about ideology than funding. And I speak with feeling: I think that in my life as an experimenter and statistician, keeping my own ideologies in check is my greatest struggle. I use “ideology” rather broadly here, not simply economic or political or social ideologies, but scientific ideologies: The love of the theoretical virtues, such as simplicity and elegance for instance. Not that the more typical ideologies aren’t hanging around demanding attention as well.

        Some people in this thread (Fred Moolton comes to mind) try to defend Gleick’s science as separate from Gleick’s political activity. Fred gave the example of Pete Rose, who had a gambling problem but never gambled on games he was involved in. Fred thinks we shouldn’t denigrate Rose’s achievements as a baseball player because of his gambling problem. The trouble with this, to my mind, is that Rose’s gambling problem has no cognitive linkage to his activities as a baseball player: Or at least, Pete Rose was able to put the appropriate wall between the two since he never gambled on games he played in (or so we are told). But this isn’t analogous to the opera of Peter Gleick. Gleick was dishonest in a way that suggests his judgments within his own scientific studies could well have been clouded by his ideological commitments. Like I said earlier, I say this with feeling because ideologies have indeed been the monsters I must fight off while doing my own science. Not, I should add, the inducements of funding.

      • NW,

        I am glad you mentioned P-Funk. This is important stuff people:

  88. Speaking of trolls, anybody notice that ever since Joshua was asked a direct question in Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog to confirm if he was Josh Rosenau of NCSE, he has disappeared from infesting the blogosphere.

    • rodent phallus anyone?

      Maybe he’s gone back to his first love – rodent phallus’s. I find it hard to imagine how the hell you would explain in a bar that you’re the world’s leading expert in rodent phallus’s. I could pull it off though – it’s quite juvenile but I just like saying rodent phallus. It’s a thing of beauty that might replace rat’s arse in my lexicon.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Increasingly, all science is political science. From creationism/evolution to global warming or stem cells, scientific concepts are central to policy debates, but the public and policymakers rarely have the background to appreciate the scientific context of policy debates. My training as a scientist and my talent as a writer and speaker puts me in a position to help provide that essential context. I have worked with nonprofits, political campaigns, grassroots groups and the media, bringing my expertise and training to bear on public polling, media strategy and policy across a wide range of important issues. Five years from now, I hope still to be at the nexus of science and policy, helping people understand critical scientific issues in whatever way I can. – Joshua

      A paid troll.

    • If Josh was a pro, he was certainly one of the best ever.
      He could threadjack better than anyone I have ever seen. He is far better than the paid troll over at Jennifer Marohasy’s, Luke. Josh was able to suck you in with his faux tribalism and veneer thin reasonableness so well you could be out literally tens of posts before you realized Joshua was on a loop response system. It was impressive. But if he was with the NCSE, and evidence now shows the NCSE may have been a wee bit more involved than just having Peter hanging around, maybe his employer told him to bail. But that part is pure speculation by me.

      • Say it ain’t so, hunter. You think that little putz joshy is/was a pro? I knew one day he would flee from here with his tail tucked between his scrawny little legs.

      • What a sad sad little person he must have been.

      • If you’ll look, you’ll find that I called him the best sophist money could buy when he first arrived. What’s really sad for me is that he had pretensions to being a scientist, but couldn’t bother to involve himself in the science.

        He studied biology at the University of Kansas where he claims to have learned that it is political science. I wonder what kind of basketball they play there.

  89. Andy Lacis seems to have finished with his sermon on the religious beliefs of the proponents of CAGW. As I see it, Andy has an enormous amount of knoweledge as to how climate models work, but not much about anything else. With just my basic knowledge of physics, I seem to understand the science of the climate better than he does. I suspect he is used to preaching to the choir, and is not happy when people like myself dont buy in to his religious ideas.

  90. Dr. Mike McPhaden, President of the AGU, may want to:

    1. Commit himself and AGU to scientific integrity, before
    2. Claiming renewed commitment to scientific integrity

    AGU was formed by the Geophysics Section of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1919 to “promote the study of problems concerned with the figure and physics of the Earth, to initiate and coordinate researches which depend upon international and national cooperation, and to provide for their scientific discussion and publication.”

    How did they do? As AGU celebrated its 90th Anniversary, Climategate emails and documents revealed the questionable commitment to scientific integrity that my research mentor encountered when he presented the results of research at the AGU National Meeting in April 1956:


    And the late Dr. Dwarka Das Sabu and I experienced when we presented the results of our studies at the AGU National Meeting in April 1976:


    AGU does not need to remain committed to that kind of scientific integrity!

  91. Now we know why Lacis abstains from statistical analysis, its results conflict with his noble aspiration. For example, the LN trend of growth of GST in the BEST data from 1978-2009 is in fact negative and statistically significantly so, with a high but negative t-statistic, despite the ever-increasing growth of emissions.

    • Statistics is good, but it is no substitute for physics.

      • Hey Andy, I spent a lot of time above explaining how your initial post was pretty vapid. By the way, Steve McIntyre has a post demolishing it as well. Do you have a response? As I said above, I think you are pretty honest and humble, so I view you as capable of constructive interaction on these hot topics.

      • “Statistics is good, but it is no substitute for physics.”

        And that’s why we have the discipline of statistical physics, which obviates the need for the vapid views of David Young .

      • Web, I say again as I said many times before that the modern view of mechanics is that nonlinear dynamical systems provide a deterministic method that has a lot of evidence that it does model turbulence and perhaps includes statistical physics. Maybe 20 years of science is wrong, but I doubt it. Have you looked at the literature? Look for direct numerical simulation of the Navier-Stokes equations. It’s counterintuitive to people trained before about 1980, but its pretty convincing.

      • ‘Statistics is good, but it is no substitute for physics’

        And theories and models are no substitute for real life observations and experiments.

      • You need to demonstrate how Navier-Stokes modifies the energy budget. You need to demonstrate how diffusion is not a good approximation for convection and advection at the global level. Once you do this, it becomes a statistical mechanics exercise.

        That’s why Lavish is smiling, and telling you guys to not be so uptight. The energy budget argument is all you need, and the GCMs are window dressing.

      • David Young

        Weby, lets review.

        1. Global conservation of energy is a very weak constraint. You should at least conserve energy locally.

        2. Dynamics of course require conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. Dynamics are critical for feedbacks, which are critical in any oversimplified conservation of energy arguments.

        3. Dynamics are described by the Navier-Stokes equations and there is a concensus that they contain the statistics of turbulence. Maybe that should be challenged, but you have not shown anything that would be a cause to doubt it.

        4. The next time you are on an airplane contemplate the global energy difference between cruising in level flight and diving to your untimely appearance at the pearly gates You will see that the energy “budget” of these two situations is identical, but the dynamics is different. Your sorry rear end would find out soon enough the fact that conservation of energy is a very week constraint on your life expectancy.

        Any questions?

      • Don’t need Navier-Stokes to apply a heat sink model to the ocean and note a slow-down in the transient. The overall energy is still conserved.

        So it is indeed odd that you changed the argument from one of a steady-state solution to the dynamic, transient case.

        The effective diffusion coefficient is still applicable. Get rid of all convection parameters and change those to a random-walk diffusion term, and you will solve the climate transients without having to invoke chaos.

      • David Young

        Web, the climate is a time dependent system where dynamics are always present. What is this nonsense about the equibrium solution? There is no equiblrium at any time. The dynamics is the climate.

      • Perturbations to the steady state. This is how electronics works for one.

        Btw, I didn’t say equilibrium, you did. That was drilled in my head as part of my education, quasi-equilibrium, etc.

      • What do you know about physics?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Let me get this straight Webby – you are considering the case of heat diffusing into the oceans from the atmosphere?

  92. Andy Lacis, you’ve neither shown any expertise in law or statistics and trends but chose to pontificate about those. Given that law shows that Gleick’s behaviour is a criminal offence and given that the whole climate science sand castle is built upon dodgy models and statistics, it seems that you’ve not bothered to understand what you talk about.

  93. David,
    You have to maintain a sense of humor to keep life enjoyable. You guys are far too serious and obsessing too much about all this stuff to the point where you are in danger of losing your sense of proportion and your rational touch with reality. A little bit of humor will even make you understand things better.

    • Andy, It is true that humor is a requirement for sanity. Especially the ability to laugh at yourself. Gleick’s immolation may be of short term importance. I still claim that you should do what Richard Betts has done, viz., push back against the idiots who are justifying Gleick. These idiots are harming you and your credibility in my humble opinion.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      ‘I keep hearing you’re concerned about my happiness.
      All that thought you’re giving me is conscience, I guess.
      If I were walking in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none.
      While you and your friends are worrying ’bout me, I’m having lots of fun.

      Counting flowers on the wall,
      That don’t bother me at all.
      Playing Solitaire till dawn,
      With a deck of fifty-one.
      Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.
      Now, don’t tell me I’ve nothing to do.’

      I’m not interested in your friggin’ story or your friggin’ advice. If I wanted to be a climate scientist I wouldn’t be a friggin’ cowboy on a blue horse - – pretty ain’t he.

      I have it on good advice that lonesome is part of the iconic nature of being a cowboy. That an’ dodgin’ cougars – although at my time of life I’m havin’ to raid the old people’s home to find them. Havin’ said that – I am within a rat’s phallus (salutations to Joshua) of hauling off and really letting you have it mano o mano – but Judith is insisting I be polite.

      Still don’t think you guys have a sense of humour worth squat – you had a humour bypass – you were behind the door when God gave out funnies. For God’s sake you are the dreariest bunch of lentil eating, doom preaching, holier than thou, sandal wearing misfits ever assembled under one misbegotten cause. We have looked at the science – scratched our heads – and just don’t think it’s a big problem. We think you are a bigger problem – and while we might fondly fantasize about a denier final solution – fact is we’re pretty much committed to defending – as a cowboy should – science, individual freedom, free markets, the rule of law and democracy amongst the essentials of our enlightenment heritage.

      So no – were not here for no friggin’ fun.

      Captain Kangaroo

    • Dr. Lacis’ responses irt Heartland Institute raises the question of his and his peer’s integrity of work. How honest are they? If Gleick is just committing a prank, how many other pranks have they committed? How many papers needed a prank to make the peer review cut? How much testimony has a prank or two in it? How much data is corrected with a prank?
      How many other people with ideas Lacis and pals do not like have had pranks played on them? How about the money? How many pranks are being played with the accounting at GISS?
      The idea that wire fraud is a political prank opens huge doors for pranks in other areas.

      • “If Gleick is just committing a prank, how many other pranks have they committed?”… It would seem that that would all depend on when authority figures who teach us all about ethics, got their start.

        Not that that will mean anything to them though, they are smart too.

      • It was tax-payer money, moved to the UC higher-education-system, funded by the CIA, our cultured brain child from Ms. Swiss Roach… Just look at them all today… we sowed these seeds our ownselves.

      • Lacis and other consensus team members raise troubling questions what is actually going on in the name of climate science.

    • Thanks for your comment about humour I think you have given us all a good laugh, thanks very much.
      Global warming, floods, plagues of locusts, melting ice caps, dead polar bears, millions of climate change refugees. Ha Ha Ha
      If x= a lie
      Then what does 6 times x equal?
      It does not matter how often an untruth is repeated it still remains and untruth albeit just repeated many times.

  94. Michael Larkin

    Dr Lacis,

    I am quite frankly astounded by the ignorance you have displayed. Ignorance of the law, of journalism, of ethics, and of the Heartland Institute, which emphatically does not say that the world has not warmed, nor denies that CO2 may have have made some contribution to that. For crying out loud, five minutes with Google would show that – I suggest you check out the recent video with Joe Bast in which he very clearly states Heartland’s position:

    See from 2:45 where Bast is asked about, and explicitly explains the Heartland position on climate. You only need to spend a couple of minutes to verify this.

    Tell me, do you think Joe Bast is making up the Heartland position? That he actually secretly believes there has been no warming but is saying otherwise? What pray, based on Bast’s own words, can be claimed he is denying? He accepts global warming and a possible contribution to that by human activity. What he in the main denies is that that will necessarily lead to catastrophe – might indeed be on the whole beneficial.

    Why is this disinformation? All I can think you really mean is that it is an opinion that differs from yours.

    You had a chance to join this discussion and show us you were someone of integrity, and someone capable of checking his facts. You have demonstrated neither, and as such have merely added to suspicion about the integrity and even competence of climate scientists. If you can’t, or simply can’t be bothered, to check out simple matters of fact like what the Heartland position is, then why should I believe that you are capable of sufficient detachment to examine the worth of scientific opinions you disagree with?

    As Mosher indicated, you have no idea what you have stepped into, and don’t realise that you have only added another straw to the camel’s back. We have a saying in Britain (not sure if it’s used in the USA): “engage brain before opening mouth”. Time and again, we see climate scientists with flapping mouths who have left their brains at home and are running on autopilot, often making pronouncements about things far beyond their knowledge or competence. You have no idea how stupid and mendacious this makes their behaviour appear.

    • It’s certainly harsh, but is the pertinent paragraph which is amply highlighted by recent events & subsequent discussions of these =>

      “Time and again, we see climate scientists with flapping mouths who have left their brains at home and are running on autopilot, often making pronouncements about things far beyond their knowledge or competence. You have no idea how stupid and mendacious this makes their behaviour appear”

      • Hunter, Michael Larkin and Admrich, absolutely spot on. Dr.Lacis has not shown an ounce of honesty, preparation awareness of law and facts in this thread. And yet his entire pitch is based on ” trust me, I’m a scientist, I know what’s best ” meme. Incredible how dumb people can be. If you can’t even bother to read, assimilate facts and prepare yourselves for a debate before putting words to paper, why the hell should I believe your diligence, skills and integrity as a scientist?

      • Venter,
        Thanks. It is clear now, from Gleickgate, climategate, the Himalaya glaciers, the refusal of the IPCC to adopt reasonable levels of transparency, and then on to the reaction of far too many consensus players that climate science is not as represented by the AGW community.

  95. Andy,

    “The CO2 that keep putting into the atmosphere has a very long lifetime – hundreds, if not a thousand years.”

    I’m rusty on this and not a scientist, but in doing research several years ago my recollection is that out of 25 separate studies, the average was 7 years — with the IPCC figure being 200 years (a solitary figure waaayyy out on X axis).

  96. Another language co-op going on in the eco-left;

    Really trying to sell “Deniergate” to the MSM, will the peer bias flow through yet again?> As with AGW becoming “Climate Change” for example? I have yet to hear NPR use the word “fraud” or “Identity Theft” once in regard to Gleick, how come?

  97. Lacis:
    If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas. I assume you’re itching uncontrollably.

  98. The dogs sniff suspiciously; this barker’s got blatant buboes.

  99. Follow the money – why Heartland is a big threat

  100. Beth Cooper

    I am posting this on Gleick thread because its an issue of ethics and part of the global warming and you’re to blame meme, the ‘Guilt and maidens, let’s hate humans’ meme.

    In one of Australia’s main newspapers today, (The Age, March 2/12) there’s an article with this headline: ‘Killing new borns same as abortion.’
    ‘Two Melbourne academics have received death threats after writing a theoretical paper that argues killing a new born baby should be allowed in cases where an an abortion would have been granted.’

    ironic that academics from Melbourne University have received death threats and plan to sue, fearing for their own lives while advocating the murder of new born babies.

    To think my old University would peddle this garbage,.We had the usual Kuhnsian relativism when I was there but you could still read Popper on falsification, and attend history tutorials with a stalwart of enlightenment values, Professor Geaffrey Blainey.

    I ‘m in such a rage I think I’ll head offinto the desert to look at the stars and think about action. (Clear skies at night in the desert, lots of convection.)

    Hey Markus, read what you said on Jo Nova. Good on you..


    More starting to filter in. For a movement that jumped the shark long ago they keep digging their hole deeper in the rain.

  102. Heartland isn’t the only think tank involved in AGW debates. Another think tank produced this paper:

  103. AGW = GT. GT = Gravy Train.

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    • The Science debate has evolved and expanded into a serious threat to society, without the statesmanship needed to resolve and end the threat.

      It is time to accept Reality: Many fields of science were compromised after 1945 – astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, cosmology, . . . nuclear, particle, planetary, solar, theoretical physics, etc.

      1. Fear of nuclear annihilation drove this alliance of scientists and world leaders to deceive the public in 1945.

      2. Fear of retaliation now prevents them from admitting the structure of post-1945 government science was bent to hide the source of energy in cores of:

      1. Heavy atoms like Uranium
      2. Some planets like Jupiter
      3. Ordinary stars like the Sun
      4. Galaxies like the Milky Way

      Deniers cannot be defeated but they cannot win the battle. World leaders and their army of scientists cannot be defeated and they cannot win the war without destroying large segments of society and perhaps themselves.

      Can WE solve this dilemma?

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