JC interview

by Judith Curry

Oilprice.com has posted a fairly lengthy interview of me.  So if you have ever wondered what I thought about the following issues/questions, check out the interview.

Here are the questions I was asked:

OP: What are your personal beliefs on climate change? The causes and how serious a threat climate change is to the continued existence of society as we know it.

OP: You have said in the past that you were troubled by the lack of cooperation between organizations studying climate change, and that you want to see more transparency with the data collected. How do you suggest we encourage/force transparency and collaboration?

OP. Do you feel climatologists should be putting more effort into determining the effect of the sun on our climate? As the IPCC primarily focuses on CO2 as the cause of climate change – Is the importance of CO2 overestimated and the importance of the sun is underestimated?

OP: You are well known in climate and energy circles for breaking from the ranks of the IPCC and questioning the current information out there. What do you see as the reasons for the increase in skepticism towards global warming over the last few years.

OP. What are your views on the idea that CO2 may not be a significant contributor to climate change? How do you think such a revelation, if true, will affect the world economy, and possibly shatter public confidence in scientific institutions that have said we must reduce CO2 emissions in order to save the planet?

OP. There has been quite a bit of talk recently on geo-engineering with entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson pushing for a “plan B” which utilizes geo-engineering to manipulate the environment in order to cool the atmosphere.
Geo-engineering could be much cheaper than reducing emissions, and also much quicker to produce results and scientists are lobbying governments and international organizations for funds to experiment with various approaches, such as fertilizing the oceans or spraying reflective particles and chemicals into the upper atmosphere in order to reflect sunlight and heat back into space. What are your thoughts on geo-engineering? Is it a realistic solution to solving climate change or is it a possible red herring?

OP. You have been noted to criticize the IPCC quite openly in the past on several topics.
Even going so far as to say: “It is my sad conclusion that opening your mind on this subject (climate change controversy) sends you down the slippery slope of challenging many aspects of the IPCC consensus.”
Do you believe that the organization as a whole needs to be assessed in order to better serve progress on climate change? What suggestions do you have on how the organization should function?

OP. Would renewable energy technologies have received the massive amounts of funding we have seen over the last few years without global warming concerns?

OP. What do you believe are the best solutions to overcoming/reversing climate change; is a common consensus needed in order to effectively combat climate change?

OP. I saw an interesting comment on another site regarding climate science that i thought i’d get your opinion on as it raises some very interesting arguments:
Climate science has claimed for 30 years that it affects the safety of hundreds of millions of people, or perhaps the whole planet. If it gets it wrong, equally, millions may suffer from high energy costs, hunger due to biofuels, and lost opportunity from misdirected funds, notwithstanding the projected benefits from as yet impractical renewable energy.
Yet, we have allowed it to dictate global policy and form a trillion dollar green industrial complex – all without applying a single quality system, without a single performance standard for climate models, without a single test laboratory result and without a single national independent auditor or regulator. It all lives only in the well known inbred, fad-driven world of peer review.

OP: Do you believe that the language used in papers and at conferences is a problem? The public just wants straight answers to questions: Is the climate warming, By how much, and what will the effects be? Scientists need to step out from behind the curtain and engage the public with straight answers and in their own words. Is this achievable, or is climate science too complex to be explained in laymen’s terms? Or is it because even climate scientists can’t agree on the exact answers?

OP: What resources would you recommend to people who wish to get a balanced and objective view on climate science and climate change.

Go to oilprice.com for my answers.  As I’ve stated on a previous energy-related post, I am working with oilprice.com to promote better dialogue between the climate science and energy communities.

337 responses to “JC interview

  1. No salvation for you. You are a skeptic, Dr. Curry.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      This is going to be a exciting thread. Lots of respect for your Dr Curry.

    • No salvation for you. You are a warmist, Dr. Curry;


      OP. What do you believe are the best solutions to overcoming/reversing climate change; is a common consensus needed in order to effectively combat climate change?

      JC: The UN approach of seeking a global consensus on the science to support an international treaty on CO2 stabilization simply hasn’t worked, for a variety of reasons. There are a range of possible policy options, and we need to have a real discussion that looks at the costs, benefits and unintended consequences of each. Successful solutions are more likely to be regional in nature than global.


      The false narrative of AGW existing embedded throughout the interview. What is your primary language plazeme? The usual obtuse warmist radical claim without any evidence at all.

    • Any scientist who is not a skeptic is not really a scientist. No salvation for them.

    • Thank you, Professor Curry, for having the motivation and the talent to grasp the complex issues behind AGW and the courage to speak your convictions.

      A word of caution: Complex issues like climatology, cosmology, economics, environmentalism, infinite multiplication to sustain fission chain, psychology, and solar physics are fertile fields for “guidance” by those who might want to use “science” for personal gain or power.

      The vaporization of Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 apparently united power-hungry politicians and scientists together into the force that gave us Al Gore’s, “An Inconvenient Truth” and similar distortions in the UN’s IPCC reports.

      They had sixty-four (2009-1945 = 64) years to solidify their alliance before emails and documents exposed their mode of operation in Nov 2009. The have clearly demonstrated an unwillingness to relinquish any power since.

      Efforts to rewrite the history of Hiroshima’s destruction intensified after the release of Japanese secret wartime documents.

      One side reports: “The sobering conclusion is that Japan may have been just weeks behind the US in the race for the bomb.”

      Professor P. K. Kuroda’s autobiography seems to me to support this view:

      Greenpeace helped promote another view of the Hiroshima bombing: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7706-hiroshima-bomb-may-have-carried-hidden-agenda.html

      Again, I appreciate your efforts to unravel this historical minefield!

      • They had sixty-four (2009-1945 = 64) years to solidify their alliance before emails and documents exposed their mode of operation in Nov 2009. They have clearly demonstrated an unwillingness to relinquish any power since.

    • Salvation for you Judith, you’re balanced and sane.

      • PD,

        There is no middle ground on fraud and political deception which is the essential of the AGW movement. The blogs are a buzz with the JC comment that suggests the IPCC might and I emphasize “might” not merit a renewal.

        So “skeptics” continue to play by the same toady rules and protocals warmers and the “consensus” players dictate to them. It’s pathetic. Maybe Bernie Madoff can come up with an investment newsletter and gather a following as well?

  2. Looks like you’re working with oilprice.com to boost their daily visits too

  3. Judith,

    Can’t change science when the consensus has created their own and do not want anyone fiddling with it.

  4. It will be fascinating to see how the predictions of the solar folks turn out. One of those is the $10,000 bet two Russian solar physicists made with modeler James Annan that 2012-2017 would be cooler than 1998-2003. We are now two months into the six year end game.

    Richard Mackey published the following article in 2007, predicting a weaker solar cycle 24, and global cooling for decades. My prediction is that this article will make some people’s heads explode.


  5. Judith,

    You seem to indicate that among professional climate scientists there is significantly more skepticism towards the IPCC consensus than I would have imagined. Who are these people? I hate to say it, but if there are many that really believe this, where are their voices in the public debate? This issue matters significantly, and as you’re well aware the skeptics are treated by the media as a small, relatively unimportant group of scientists. If there are truly a significant number of skeptics, they need to let their voices be heard.

    • It’s taboo to admit skepticism about AGW. It takes balls and freedom. Now, we are seeing some positive steps in this regard. When a brave man (or woman) takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.

      • Edim –

        Dr. Curry certainly has balls.

        If there is a ‘silent majority’ in the scientific community who are skeptical of AGW, then they should know that there is a delicious tingle of honesty desperately searching for a spine to run up.

    • Unfortunately Jeff, as much as people on both sides want to know this answer, I don’t think it’s coming any time soon.

      • The data is being gathered. It will soon show the things we need to know to prove a reasonable theory that can be accepted as correct and prove current Consensus Theory to be Wrong.

      • There is quite a bit more behind the scenes skepticism than you may realize. I have received quite a few emails from scientists on the matter over the years.

      • Jeff is right. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes skepticism of AGW.

        Imagine a successful space scientist whose research career floated through the space age on a generous stream of NASA grants. If so, research applications and publications made no mention of the data summarized on this page:


        Data that falsified the 1967 Bilderberg model of the Sun as a steady H-fusion reactor (in equilibrium) were verboten at NASA !


        It is not surprising that such scientists keep quiet after documents and emails released in late Nov 2009 showed that experimental data on the unstable nature of Earth’s heat source were manipulated, hidden, or ignored in order to Unite Nations against imaginary anthropologic global climate warning (AGW):

        Today the economy is sinking and political leaders and leaders of the news media and scientific organizations in the formerly “Free West” group of nations [US NAS, UK RS, UN IPCC, PNAS, MNRS, Science and Nature] cling desperately to vestiges of power that were used to:

        1. End the arms race
        2. End the Apollo space program
        3. Unite Nations against global climate change, and
        4. Manipulate computer models and science 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 will, like the Sun, meet future energy needs

        Scientists that kept quite earlier will remain behind-the-scenes until the entire scientific edifice collapses.

      • The link to the Bilderberg Sun is reluctant to enter the limelight


    • ceteris non paribus


      Let me let you in on a little secret… Most scientists are, in fact, skeptics.

      If their voices are not loud and shrill, and do not attract the attention of your media outlet of choice, perhaps it’s because they have found that, even after skeptical inquiry, the preponderance of data supports the current scientific paradigm.

      Perhaps they also know that merely doubting something is not the same as having shown it to be false. The first is easy and scientifically worthless, the second takes hard work and usually involves quantification of some sort.

      Oh, I know this is a boring, ball-less, freedom-less, thing to say, and that such conformist claim won’t win any broken-taboo, Galileo-of-the-day awards, but there you have it.

      • cnp,
        The logical question your point raises is who kidnapped so many of the scientists out of climate science?

    • I get the impression that many dissenting scientists don’t come out of the closet until they retire, and no longer have to depend on grants for their work and pal review to publish continuing work

  6. During the Interview.

    JC: ‘ Because of the IPCC and its consensus seeking process, the rewards for scientists have been mostly in embellishing the consensus, and this includes government funds.’

    Now there’s a pithy comment. Hammer meet nail. WHAM.

  7. Dr. Curry,

    Now you’ve gone and done it! Await Chris Colose’s accusation that you’re now in cahoots with oilshrill.com. It won’t be long in coming.

    • And with it that insistence that you remove yourself immediately from teaching responsibilities, academia generally and public life. Heretic! Free-thinker!

    • cui bono,
      What is amazing to me is that Chris Collose doesn’t consider how his childish, pretentious and rude behavior might impact his education future. who would want to be an advisor to such a shallow tiwt? Who would want such a reactionary prejudiced person as a grad student? His rationalization of Gleick implies strongly that when results are not as he wishes, they would be subject to “modification”. If a competing grad or doc/post-doc was getting results he did not approve of, would it be too big a stretch for Chris to ‘adjust” those results? If a poor undergrad lab tech was not toieing the ideology line properly, would Chris think it too much of a stretch to forge a document to show how that tech really thinks about things?

      • Couldn’t agree more, h. I don’t know Chris Collose and am unlikely to ever come across him but jeez, have I ever made a mental note never to hire anyone with that name. He’s very foolish to be so nutty so publicly. By all means be as silly as you like with your hottercoldermeltyfreezy alarmism in private but to put it all out that, publicly, for all to see, is not bright IMHO.

    • Chris Colose and people like him who think that they have a moral obligation to break the law and forge documents have lost the right to tell anyone else what they should or should not do.

      • The law is not the ultimate arbiter of morality. I can accept an argument in the form of “I am morally obliged to break the law.” Gleick and Colose are wrong not because they condone breaking the law, but because, in this case, the law was right. Stealing private, confidential information and then forging a document to incriminate someone simply because they disagree with you is an immoral act because it makes it harder for us, collectively, to reach the truth. That is true both in the instant case and in other matters that are subject to public dispute.

      • andrew adams

        steven mosher,

        Please provide evidence that Chris Colose either believes he has a moral obligation to break the law and forge documents or has condoned other people doing so. Here is a quote from Chris as RC

        we should never condone the illegal obtaining of documents (or falsification of documents if this happened). The actions by Peter Gleick were immoral, irresponsible, and possibly illegal. They should not serve as a template for future “debate tactics.”

  8. The fact that there are those who find Dr. Curry’s views avant garde is more of a testament of the Green-Left/ AGW Orthodox religion and says little about what is important in the actual debate.

    That the would-be warming cartel has a tizzy fit in reaction to Dr. Curry is a statement about their fanaticism.

    What is this similar to historically? Idiotic armchair socialists in England arguing among themselves about what was “best” for Russia in 1918. “Social Revolutionaries vs. Bolsheviks”, “Mensheviks vs. Lenin” etc. etc. Real solution, land two Allied divisions at Archangel in 1918, Lenin’s head on a pike in Moscow that summer. Estimated life savings about 100 million people, possibly WWII avoided.

    The idea that what is going on between the AGW radical left core and Dr. Curry as the center of debate is nonsense. The spineless skeptics honed here are of little importance either. Climate Depot, Inhofe, Dr. Lindzen and James Delingpole rude as it may appear to AGW radicals are much closer to what is important in the debate.

    This is an late 19th century English armchair site and moderator.

    • “This is an late 19th century English armchair site and moderator.

      Nonsense. Judith is an academic who has taken a position that has had a direct impact on her professional position within the climate community. It would have been much easier and more lucrative to have just kept quite and gone-along-to-get-along. She’s very much “in the trenches”.

      A site like Judith’s has a large impact on scientists that no one will probably ever hear about, but who will make changes that will be reflected in their work and teaching.

      Everyone has a role to play.

      • Jim,

        AGW is on the way to the dustbin of history, where it belongs. Dr. Curry is part of the AGW preservation society. Her issue with the warming radicals is just a distraction and side topic.

        Another 25 years of excess funding this junk science? I don’t think so. Dr. Curry a skeptic hero? Not likely.

        There are more politically correct taboos on this site then you can count. When you’re ready to discuss it let me know.

  9. Judith

    Great interview responses!

  10. Very good interview. But those folks really need to change the name of their site. Oilprice :) Did anyone read this and not think – tools of the fossil fuel industry!!

    • What was your first impression of “The Oil Drum”?

      • the malthusians of the right

      • Got milk?


        science and their damn 5-Year-Plans…

      • MasterResource (www.masterresource.org) is the antithesis of the Oil Drum’s neo-Malthusianism. Oil Drum has a big following, but the frac revolution has really hurt their case for ‘peak oil’ and ‘peak gas’.

      • The guy who started The Oil Drum, a professor of mineral engineering name of Dave Summers is a HUGE skeptic of AGW. He runs another blog called http://bittooth.blogspot.com where you can see his posts in the topic and links to all the climate change skeptic sites.

        Enough to make your head explode, eh?

        ” OP. Would renewable energy technologies have received the massive amounts of funding we have seen over the last few years without global warming concerns?”

        Yes, as it’s a boost to oil depletion worries just as Curry replied. Summers and Curry share the same concerns.

      • hey web, my issue with TOD is the commenters, they’re nuttier than the ones here. well, than most.

      • “hey web, my issue with TOD is the commenters, they’re nuttier than the ones here. well, than most.”

        Having commented there and commented here, they are totally different sites. Something like 90% of the blog readers don’t read comments at TOD.
        The Oil Drum commenters are boring and they tend to drone on about some personal interest such as a new wood stove or a recombent bicycle they bought. Tell me one recent person that is a nut over at TOD as I would be interested in knowing what they are saying that is so nutty.
        From what I understand, the real doomers inhabit the message boards.

      • Anyone who believes we are at peak oil is nutty by definition. They are only missing the “Repent sinners – The end is near” signs.

    • Malthusian central planning, peak oil left as a matter of fact Jeff.

      Do you think Dr. Curry would show up otherwise?

  11. Good interview Judith. Thanks for being willing to continue to do this, as you are undoubtedly going to get roundly criticized for who knows what things that you said.

  12. David Springer

    @Dr. Curry,

    “We are seeing some positive steps in this regard. Government agencies that fund climate research are working to develop better databases.”

    Yes but the problem is that you generally can’t go back in time and improve observations already taken. You’re stuck with the limitations in place when the data gathered (again generally speaking). All you can do is pencil whip the extant data and in my profession (systems engineering) we call that pencil whipping and it’s frowned upon.

    A second problem comes up in that no matter how much better new observations become it will be decades (at least) between when you’re observing weather and when you’re observing climate. The satellite record is the only reliable global temperature record we have. The rest of the instrument record is primarily northern hemisphere, land based, and mostly confined to US and Europe in or near populated areas.

    So as far as the earth’s average temperature over a span of time long enough to call it climate change is at best whether you’re willing to call 1979 to 2012 the climate rather than the weather. It’s dodgy when we know from what little solid information we have that there are cyclical oscillations in Atlantic ocean surface temperature spanning 60 years from end to end and we only have about 3 of those cycles to look at from Atlantic ocean crossings and where 3 is a small sample size.

    Then when we arrive at proxy records some of the most indeniable ones like apple and cattle farming Greenland 1000 years ago and the Thames frozen solid 500 years ago speak to even longer cycles that cannot conceivably be driven by anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

    Long before BEST results were pre-announced I had driven a stake in the ground at WUWT that there would be essentially nothing new in BEST as they would be taking the same raw instrumental record (which shows no temperature increase, by the way) and continue to pencil whip it with a time of observation bias adjustment and then SHAP which makes it a record with an increasing temperature trend.

    The following is a lovely graph showing what happens to the instrumental temperature trend with each adjustment.

    The problem Dr. Curry, isn’t that non-climate scientists like me don’t understand the data. The problem is we DO understand it. It isn’t rocket science.


    • The latest Greenland Ice Core Data is supposed to go back 150 k years.
      When that data is analyzed and made available, it will show when the snow fell that caused the last major ice age.
      That data will prove the Maurice Ewing and William Donn’s Climate Theory was right and that the current Consensus Climate Theory is wrong and the Solar Theories are wrong.
      The fact that Ice Core Data in Greenland does go back for 150 k years does say that the snow fell during the warming and cooling of the last major ice age and not during the long cold part.
      We do need to see the data, but this, IMO is a slam dunk.

  13. Harold H Doiron, PhD

    In order to measure a paradigm shift regarding where the Scientific Concensus is right now, I suggest a survey of readers at this site who agree or disagree with the answers Dr. Curry provided in her Oilprice.com interview. I could’nt find any answers I disagree with. Well done, Dr. Curry!!!

  14. David Springer

    “the climate system is not easily understood”

    Hogwash. This is nothing more than the expression of the false notion that only experts dedicated to the topic can even hope to have sufficient understanding. Weather is hard due to butterfly effect. Climate is easy due to it being an equilibrium system with two great attractors (largely ice covered or largely not ice covered) and where which state is dominant is all about albedo because with a relatively constant solar output albedo is the only thing that greatly effects the energy budget at the surface.

  15. Dr Curry
    My sincere congratulations for the interview.
    Some people would like you to be on one side of the discussion, others would like you to be on the other side.
    But you can only be in the middle of it all.
    ¡My gods you are brave!

  16. Judith, I love your reply about the IPCC. It seems to me that the IPCC has painted itself in to a corner, and will have enormous difficulties with the AR5; see Prof. Rawls comments. In the last 5 years there has accumulated a lot of data which shows that the certainty that the IPCC preached in the TAR and AR4 is just plain wrong. And you have been front and center in this debate.

    So the IPCC is going to be damned if they do,and damned if they dont. If they admit that the uncertainly is greater than they promised in previous reports, then these previous reports are going to be seen to be nonsense. But if they try to pretend that CAGW is as certain as they have always claimed, then the hard data now available will prove them to be wrong.

    What to do, what to do.

    I would also like to point out that Project CLOUD was delayed for a long time because of lack of funds. This lack of funds, I believe, was becasue the results might show that CAGW is wrong. I sincerely hope that research on solar effects will not be so affected in the future. And I hope you will use your influence in this regard.

  17. Judith, please could you do a post on your recent PNAS paper
    “Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall”
    and the media response to it.
    Anthony Watts reports one classic headline as
    “Global warming is making the world colder ”
    though sadly the paper that wrote that one has since changed it.

    • Paul,


      Dr. Curry – Richard Black at the BBC is using this to push the AGW case all over the news in the UK. I would very much like your more considered opinion on what it means.

    • “Global warming is making the world colder ”
      YES! NOAA Data clearly shows that it snows more when the Earth is Warm and The Arctic is Open!

      • HAP – So this is a major negative feedback. Do the existing models take account of this, to your knowledge?

      • According to Consensus Climate Scientists that I have talked to, they consider Ice Albedo only as a positive feedback. Therefore, the existing models do not take this into consideration. They say that all the ice will disappear in the Arctic. That cannot happen with massive snowfall.

      • Indeed. AFAIK, there are very few negative feedbacks programmed into the GCMs, and those that are, are emasculated with very low weightings. It wouldn’t do to have the climate show itself to be self-regulating!!

  18. David Springer | February 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

    with a relatively constant solar output

    Now about those solar magnetic fields and their influence on cosmic rays and cosmic ray variation due to galactic position…..

    • David Springer

      Yes, the sun wanders above and below the galactic plane and doesn’t travel in horizontal synchronicity with the spiral arms. The long and the short of that is that GCR flux predictably rises and falls with stellar density in sol’s neighborhood. This however is generally only a concern over hundreds of millions of years because the drift relative to spiral arms makes glaciers look like speeding freight trains. Less predictable is extra-solar events like supernova explosions in earth vicinity that collectively generate GCR flux. These are exceedingly rare events in effective proximity to earth and are only statistically more likely with higher stellar density and so can turn on a dime in the short term. Combine this with general lack of understanding in solar weather. We understand solar climate, stellar evolution, reallly well but the day to day details remain elusive with regard to what’s typical and/or cyclical with regard to solar magnetic field strength which serves as a throttle on how much GCR flux impacts the atmosphere. There’s still more known that unknown but, that said, the empirical evidence correlating sunspot activity maximums and minimums with European temperature departures from the average is hard to wave off as coincidental. Correlation is not causation but it’s still a good indicator of a causal relationship. In fact there’s very little to indict anthropogenic CO2 as causing temperature departures other than what has the patina of a manufactured correlation along with a well proven but modest ability of the non-condensing greenhouse gas to raise surface equilibrium temperature a bit closer, over land but not water, to that of a perfect black body. The manufactured correlation with CO2 is also falling apart due to continued increase of atmospheric CO2 in the past 15 years with no statistical increase in temperature commensurate with it.

      I believe the panic in the climate boffin community is mostly setting in because the globe isn’t warming anywhere near the rate needed to be alarmed about and there’s nothing they can do about that. Theory doesn’t trump reality. Expect an increaingly smaller contingent to become increasingly shrill over it as they go through the five stages of grief over the death of their dogma: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I think we’re up to depression. Bargaining literally ended with the collapse of carbon exchange market. This is a dangerous period for the rest of us because depressed animals are dangerous animals. The depressed animal feels it has nothing left to lose and thus takes risks (cough cough gleick cough cough) it wouldn’t undertake with a healthy mind at the helm.

  19. David Springer

    “treaty on dangerous climate change in 1992 was formulated and signed before we even had ‘discernible’ evidence of warming induced by CO2”

    It’s worse than you think. They failed to ask and you failed to fill in the uncertainty in whether CO2 induced warming is a good thing or a bad thing.

    The evidence points to it being a good thing. The evidence is that it has a greater effect over land than over water, it has a greater effect at higher latitudes than lower latitudes, it has a greater effect on nightly lows than it does on daytime highs, it has a greater effect in warmer winters than it does in warmer summers.

    In point of fact these are, with few exceptions, desirable changes. We would wish it was happening if it were not. In fact circa 1970 when the trend had been northern hemisphere cooling for a few decades a global cooling panic was getting wound up. Of course that before the TOB and SHAP adjustments came along and changed the story to a warming story beginning in 1950.

    Sea level rise is the only plausible worry and that won’t be a real problem for any living things except this one species that built great permanent concrete and steel habitats all over the place right on the shore. So let’s put that in proper perspective. Sea level rise adversey impacts the very thing that environmentalists hate the most – the concrete jungle. The cognitive dissonance this should cause to rational objective minds should be intolerably uncomfortable.

    Sea level rise is difficult to understand because of interdependent things that effect it over long time spans. Land rises and falls due to weight of glaciers being added or lifted and the deformities are not even due to difference in crust structure, depth, and where those deformities continue to relax for eons in some cases. Human activities such as drawing down aquifers as far back as Rome cause local tide guage changes that have nothing to do with the tide. Then there’s rather poorly understood or characterized shorter term changes between land ice volume and ocean ice volume to sort out before we have our variable of interest (thermal expansion/contraction) isolated enough to discuss. Once again the actual observations don’t really show anything out of the ordinary happening in recent decades with regard to sea level and certainly nothing unusual without pencil whipping it inside the uncertainty bounds.

    • Dave Springer –

      I agree with much of what you say. For those of us with our faces pressed close up to the issue of ‘climate change’ one of the hardest things for us to imagine is that for the vast (>99%) majority of humanity, it will be best described as ‘not noticeable’. I agree that on balance, warmer is preferable to colder, but we are so much more climate-immune in our goretex, waterproof, windproof, centrally heated, air-conned world, that the vagaries of the weather are becoming less and less impactful.

      I take the point that the one major phenomenon that might have a noticeable relevance to significant portions of humanity is sea level rise. But despite what Al Gore tries to portray, it isn’t going to happen overnight!

      • But hopefully Al Gore’s beachside palace will eventually fall victim..

      • All those horrendous concrete jungles of our cities never last more than 50-80 years. So, if sea level rise ever happens, it will be just in time to tear down and renew (on higher ground) the buildings of the cities. Even Al Gore and Joe Romm admit that the time scale of sea rise is hundreds of years rather than dozens. But the life-expectancy, or usefulness of our buildings is at most a few decades.
        So, even sea level rise if no problem at all.

  20. Dr. Curry,
    Great interview. Well communicated, clear answers.

    • Hunter,

      The questions are contrived and not even close to the essential of what drives AGW which is politics. Politics of a well known kind that Dr. Forthright refuses to identify in conversation or when asked.

      Why subsidize the farce with praise?

      • cwon14,
        Please. Lose the antagonism towards our hostess. This is an incremental process. The movement towards sanity, which more or less started in late 2009, is quite dramatic. This interview would have been unthinkable in summer of 2009. The climatocracy is on the retreat and defense on every front. Politically AGW is a zombie movement. Governments are rethinking or outright abandoning nearly every AGW policy demand. More scientists are critiquing the consensus and without fear of reprisal.
        Dr. Curry has been remarkable in her commitment to turth and ethics.
        AGW did not become an out of control social mania overnight, and it will not end overnight. Be patient.

      • David Springer

        Dr. Curry IMO is experiencing cognitive dissonance and has a lower pain threshold for it than a majority of her peers. I find it charming and uplifting. There’s hope for this one.

      • Hunter,

        Appeasement fails.

        It isn’t antagonism, it’s honesty. Who cares what consensus (or former) members or has-been former members of the Supreme Soviet might be ready to accept? Justice should have been served years ago and it hasn’t.

        Dr. Curry stills supports the basic framework of AGW, likely for political reasons since there is nothing in science to support mitigation efforts (which she also supports rhetorically).

        Your “incremental process” = science Vietnam

  21. David Springer

    “JC: With regards to geo-engineering, there are two major concerns. The first is whether the technologies will actually work, in terms of having the anticipated impact on the climate. The second is the possibility of unintended consequences of the geoengineering.”

    Good answer. Illuminating too at several levels. The general lack of enthusiasm towards technology engineering solutions is due to this “debate” being driven on the alarmist by desire for social engineering solutions. There are too many people in the world. Price of energy effects how many people can be fed. Easy access to cheap energy creates wealth and with it social inequality. The alarmists generally desire a utopian dream where there are fewer people all living in harmony with one another, equal, and happy. Ain’t gonna happen. Human nature won’t allow it. We didn’t rise a species to the position we’re in now by being content with the status quo. Greed, desire, and ambition never disappear nor does the rationalization that the ends justify the means (cough cough glieck cough cough).

    As to unintended consequences… you bet. Take for instance the successful effort to eliminate acid rain which had the unintended consequence of removing a source of anthropogenic cooling. If we were burning fossil fuels as God intended rather than scrubbing out the sulfate particulates we would likely be having some cooler climate in the U.S. at least. Actually, given that warming is generally a good thing for the biosphere in the midst of an ice age, the unintended consequence of was a good thing. Now the environmentalists want to undo the good that happened. Then there’s the unintended consequence of the earth worshippers 50 years ago making nuclear power into an evil thing which of course gave fossil fuel burning electricial plants a new lease on life. So yeah, you betcha the law of unintended consequences is something to worry about.

    • Re Acid Rain: EPA. “SO2 Reductions and Allowance Trading Under the Acid Rain Program.” Governmental. Clean Air Markets, April 14, 2009. http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progsregs/arp/s02.html

      This page provides an overview of how reductions in SO2 emissions are to be achieved under the Acid Rain Program.

      The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 set a goal of reducing annual SO2 emissions by 10 million tons below 1980 levels. To achieve these reductions, the law required a two-phase tightening of the restrictions placed on fossil fuel-fired power plants.

      Really convenient phasing (Phase 1, 1995; Phase 2, 2000). Just about the time that the EPA realized (from the models IMO) that SO2’s effect was cooling.

  22. “Global Warming is Making the World Colder”

    As someone already pointed out at WUWt, they’re beginning to lose the plot line. Too funny. So assuming it’s true (hah!), what does that do to the rest of their foundational predictions re global ahem, warming?

    Seriously, I see this is evidence of their extreme desperation and as such very good news indeed.

    • pg – umm, one of the authors of the paper which sparked that loopy headline is Dr. JC herself!

      • Ah well, not the first time I’ve put my foot in it! However I stand by my main point, which is that this is at the very least getting so convoluted it’s getting to be damaging to the warmists.

      • That is certainly true. It’s like being a rat in an Escher maze…

      • yeah you did put your foot in it

        also the paper doesn’t claim “Global Warming is Making the World Colder” where the f**k did you get that from?

      • lolwot – it was the original headline before they made it more innocuous. Visit WUWT for details, unless this is against your principles.

      • “The” original headline?

        Trying to pass off a headline that warmists didn’t write as the product of warmists rather than addressing the actual issue?

        Nice try.

  23. David Springer

    “JC: I think there are other issues that are driving the interest and funding in renewables, including clean air and energy security issues and economics, but I agree that global warming concerns have probably provided a big boost.”

    This is the only useful thing to come out of it IMO is more focus on alternative energy. The downside is we need cheaper alternatives more than we need cleaner alternatives and global warming alarmism reverses those priorties to the point of being counter productive. Again that’s because it isn’t really about techonology it’s about limiting the growth of human population and limiting the production and accumulation of wealth in the U.S. which has enough fossil fuel to keep growing and growing and growing for centuries. That scares a lot of the world and leaves a lot of the left in the U.S. drowning in guilt which renders them IMO irrational.

    • David,

      Once you drink one form of kool-aid, it’s hard to stop. Renewables are another perfect example;


      Wood and Hydro are the largest “renewables” by far. Rotting trash another.

      Wind, solar and geo? Pipedreams of the green left but somewhat populist. Massive malinvestments.

      The “left” never feels guilt for being wrong, it’s not in the wiring. They only feel guilt for being wrong in a smaller way and would always choose to be wrong in a much bigger way with more authority and control on second thought.

      “Renewables” are Utopian promises that can’t be realized by markets at a given moment. therefore an excuse to expand government authority, exactly what has happened. In short, social rot.

    • Like most things in life the benefit (and who pays the costs) of a Smart grid is dependent on a few specifics as noted in a recent report-
      Smart grid feedback report-
      “Results from Recent Real-time Feedback Studies”
      This report summarizes the results of recent, large-scale real-time feedback pilots and experiments in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland. It builds upon a previous meta-review by ACEEE of small residential feedback pilot studies, and was undertaken to further investigate the range of savings found in the earlier report in light of recent large-scale pilots conducted in the U.S. and Europe. The studies reviewed here tested various combinations of interventions, but we have limited our discussion to savings from interventions providing direct, real-time feedback on residential electricity consumption and prices through in-home displays, web interfaces, and prepayment meters. Residential electricity savings from real-time feedback in the nine pilots reviewed here ranged from 0 to 19.5%, with average savings across the pilots of 3.8%. The largest savings came from the replacement of pre-existing prepayment meters in Northern Irish homes with new prepayment meters having a real-time display. The smallest savings were observed in two pilots, which found no aggregate effect of real-time feedback on overall electricity consumption. One of the most promising results is that a small percentage of households in several of the pilots had large savings of up to 25%. We propose calling this group the cybernetically sensitive, because they seem to respond more readily to feedback.”

    • My modified agreement with the above:

      “This is the only useful stupidest thing to come out of it IMO is more focus on alternative energy. The downside is we need cheaper alternatives more than we need cleaner alternatives and global warming alarmism reverses those priorties to the point of being counter productive very destructive. Again that’s because it isn’t really about techonology it’s about limiting reversing the growth of human population and limiting reversing the production and accumulation of wealth in the U.S. which has enough fossil fuel to keep growing and growing and growing for centuries. That scares a lot of the world and leaves a lot of the left in the U.S. drowning in guilt which renders them because it is IMO irrational.”

  24. David Springer

    “JC: I agree that there is lack of accountability in the whole climate enterprise, and it does not meet the standards that you would find in engineering or regulatory science. I have argued that this needs to change, by implementing data quality and model verification and validation standards.”


    You want engineering standards?

    You can’t handle engineering standards.

    Doctor, we live in a world that has to be housed and fed. And those things have to be created by geeks with pocket protectors. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Dr. Curry? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the environment and you curse the engineers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that consuming natural resources, while tragic, saves lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that engineering workstation. You need me on that engineering workstation. We use words like safety, durability, scaleability, and cost… we use these words as the backbone to a life spent creating and improving things. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a soft science practioner who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very technology I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a calculator and invent something useful. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

    ROFL – best chance to use that rant EVAH!

    • 1+

    • I’m not sure Dr. Curry has ever shown any animus towards engineers, but it would be a good idea to put the engineers in charge! They might have something to say about the error bars produced by billion-dollar models.

      • Engineers are not a panacea. As for error bars, I would not trust an engineer with them. I’d consult a statistician.

      • Steve–an engineer would ensure that whatever error bar was initially utilized, that the model matched observations before it was used. That concept seems foreign to Chris Close and Gavin

      • Rob Starkey

        You said.

        “Steve–an engineer would ensure that whatever error bar was initially utilized, that the model matched observations before it was used. That concept seems foreign to Chris Close and Gavin.”

        Surely the observations will be changed to match the models?

        I am currently reading a Phil Jones/Camuffo book on early instrumental records in preparation for a future article and made the following note;

        “The research papers detailing the systematic correction of early temperature records are invariably found to be ‘warm biased’ and subsequently adjusted downwards, as they did not agree with the model expectations.”


      • Tony

        A couple of points.
        1. Imo, people tend to over state the reliability of the paleoclimate record and ignore the probable margin of error

        2. The folks you reference have commented that when the models do not match current observed conditions that we should believe the models and that the observations are unreliable. gavin seriously wrote something to that effect. It is beyond my ability to understand. normal practice would be to adjust the model and rerun it and evaluate it again

      • Rob

        As you say, it is normal practice to re-evaluate the model and run it again..I don’t know if there are any other industries whereby the observations would be changed to match the model; it explains a lot

      • Steve- It sounds like we could use a few modern day Deming’s to sort out climate science. Jack Ganssie “The Non-Quality Revolution” sure hits home for me.

        “Sixty years ago Deming taught that improving quality would lead to improved productivity and lower costs. The Japanese eagerly listened and embraced this philosophy. Those of us with lots of gray hair remember how “Made in Japan” was a synonym for “junk.” Thanks to the quality revolution, the opposite is now true.”


        and what has gone wrong seems about right to me-

        “Quality is no longer job one. Software has derailed Deming’s vision.

        And that’s a damn shame.

        Changing to a quality culture for software will be expensive, just as it was for making cars. Detroit scoffed at the idea for years till they learned that the up-front costs yielded massive back-end savings. The same is true for the code.

        One thing is clear: if a nation (or perhaps even a company) starts a software quality revolution, like Japan they will corner the market for their products.”

      • Rob:
        The engineer would apply a safety factor that considers the theory, the observations, and the error bar. Engineers never know all there is to know about their design assumptions. They just don’t build the project unless they are willing to accept the risk posed by what they don’t know.

        Rainfall, snow load, windspeed, temperature range are all best guesses based on local historical data. This whole climate debate has added little to design process, and I wonder if it ever will.

      • David Springer

        I don’t know of Curry dissing any engineers either but I was willing to overlook her innocence for the opportunity to repeat Jack Nicholson’s famous rant in “A Few Good Men” with some humorous modifications.

      • David Springer

        Mark M | February 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

        “The Japanese eagerly listened and embraced this philosophy. Those of us with lots of gray hair remember how “Made in Japan” was a synonym for “junk.” Thanks to the quality revolution, the opposite is now true.”



        I got the gray hair and recent experience with Japan manufacturing quality control as well. In 1993 Dell Computer hired me to write embedded diagnostic firmware (called ediags) for their first serious entry into the laptop market. This was the very first of the Latitude line which endures today. I was also the principle firmware engineer for the Inspiron laptop line begun a few years later. Sony was our manufacturing partner for the first Latitude. The diagnostic firmware I wrote resided in a protected flash segment on the laptop motherboard and communicated with a test bed (a bed-of-nails if you know what those are) on first powerup of the motherboard. It was hugely successful. Sony had nothing like it and wanted it for their own. The moral of the story is that Japan may have embraced the concept but we were still the ones who showed them how to git ‘er done.

      • David,

        A few years after your experience in Japan, I had the opportunity to work with a few different development teams (1 US, 2 Japan, 1 UK) to find a way to scale up a bio engineered bug (GMO) to make a product (enzyme) that we needed for the reagent part of a medical device. My firm owned the IP rights to the base patents (we purchased the commercial rights to the IP from very bright fellow at an Ag university in the Far East). The biochemists, chemists and engineers from one of the Japanese teams were by far the most cohesive and effective group that got the job done (even with our design requirements changing throughout the development process- moving targets (finalizing spec’s for all intense and purposes) seems to happen a bit when you do concurrent development).

        I enjoyed letting the UK team/firm (who had previously supplied us a rather inferior and expensive substitute of the GMO enzyme) that based on our rating matrix their scores did not place them in the preferred supplier position for the new enzyme: one of the Japanese firms got that position. By the way our electronic device that read the real time happenings in our chemistry membranes matrix used a system check similar to your design at start up. In our case we tied the self diagnostics into an algorithm for overall system performance of our hardware. Once a few limits where hit the device would not allow for any evaluations to be done until a few corrective actions were completed.

      • Mark M.( http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/28/jc-interview/#comment-178494 ) 3:46pm: “Sixty years ago Deming taught that improving quality would lead to improved productivity and lower costs.” and ““Quality is no longer job one. Software has derailed Deming’s vision.”

        The word “Quality” was then considered to be “Meets Requirements”. The UNFCCC defined “Quality” as “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference“[1}]. Dr. Ravetz identified “Quality” as an inherent characteristic of Post Normal Science, and what could be more “Democratic” than the UN?

        These concepts steered the models into the reef. Atmospheric water was beyond control; methane was largely uncontrollable and temporary. Nitrous Oxide has a very small radiative forcing and Ozone is actively encouraged (CFCs banned). The wonderful advantage of CO2 as the villain was that it under-girds the industrial west. Control CO2 and control society.

        Time for a new captain and a new course. Like science.

      • Sorry. [1] UNFCCC. United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change. United Nations, 1992. http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf

      • Pooh, says: “The word “Quality” was then considered to be “Meets Requirements”. The UNFCCC defined “Quality” as “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations……”

        From the perspective you laid out I agree. On the other hand I think Dr. Deming would of gagged over the “meets requirements” focus as his focus was-

        “If I had to reduce my message for management to a few words, I’d say it all had to do with reducing variation.” http://www.economist.com/node/13805735?story_id=13805735

        The first part of reducing variation is to figure out where it- the variation- comes from.

        I think he would of been a signer of the ” No Need to Panic About Global Warming -There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

  25. Dr. Curry,

    What, no question about how global warming is going to cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes?

    “Climate change is set to shake the earth”


    The money quote:

    “Could it be then, that if we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to rise unchecked and fuel serious warming, our planet’s crust will begin to toss and turn once again?

    The signs are that this is already happening.”

  26. Judith,

    You got a standing ovation from moi.

    I have a thematic comment about your responses to the ‘Oilprices.com’ questions.

    I am assuming you have had some thoughts about a more voluntary way to look at the body of climate science and to openly /transparently summarize and integrate it into an understandable unbiased/objective context. So, if that assumption of mine is applicable, what are your thoughts?


    • You got a standing ovation from moi.

      And from moi, aussi! As I noted when I blogged some excerpts today, this was such a refreshing change after reading all the apologia for Gleick yesterday. Not to mention the comparison with TIME’s Bryan Walsh on Mann, today:

      “well-funded climate skeptics” […] are “street fighters and we’re Cub Scouts,” says Mann. “The Cub Scouts are going to lose this fight if we don’t become more wily.”


      So watch out for the wily Cub Scouts, folks!

  27. Way too much common sense to fit in with the “consensus”. I guess Fred and Chris Close will be busy preparing a rebuttal :)

  28. O/T, but a passing thought.

    Isn’t it lovely and peaceful on this blog without Joshua constantly breaking everyone’s chain of thought. :-)

    • And where is Joshua? His last engagement afaik was about a week ago. It’s not like him to take a vacation without his internet, but who knows?

      • Joshua has shut himself down since he was confronted at R Pielke Jnr’s site. He failed to respond to a direct question if he is Josh Rosenau of NCSE or not. See Comment #85 on Reality is not good enough thread.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Put your detective hat on. Is our little joshy this Josh Rosenau character?:

        from the blackboard:
        “more ideas (Comment #92208) February 28th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        Sue, great observation re: Epson scanner & NCSE.

        I believe some have speculated that the frequent poster “Joshua” may in fact be Josh Rosenau of NCSE. Comments on Judith Curry’s blog note that he has been unusually silent since the Gleick story broke. He was the “interim climate guy” at NCSE.”

        Could our own little troll be the scanner? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • David Springer

        Don Monfort | February 29, 2012 at 1:04 am |

        Steven Mosher,

        Put your detective hat on. Is our little joshy this Josh Rosenau character?:


        It fits. I’ve been tangling with NCSE for years in the intelligent design wars. They have a no holds barred modus operandi. NCES head honcho Eugenie Scott got caught red handed conspiring with Smithsonian Institute employees to punish Rick Sternberg (editor of a Smithsonian Journal) for allowing an article written by a Discovery Institute Fellow to be published in the journal. It was quite the scandal. A congressional inquiry followed which found the Smithsonian Institute guilty of creating a hostile workplace for Sternberg but the investigators had no authority to implement any sanctions.

      • If it were to be confirmed somehow that “Joshua” is in fact Joshua Rosenau of NCSE then I would ask; Why would he have commented anonymously for so long as an IPCC centric supporter of CAGW when under his real identity openly in public he had views were that were exactly the same as his anonymous views?

        A simple explanation why he had an anonymous identity is so he could act without ethical and professional restraint on skeptical blogs while expressing views which were the same as his public views. That reason would be consistent with his behavior wrt his HI fraud.


      • John Whitman,

        You are correct. Joshy is a cowardly little snake in the grass. Yet there were many here who were sucked into endless circular threadjacking discussions with the little rat penis inspector, as if they thought he were here to engage in honest discussion.

      • Apologies to Joshua (whoever you are).

        Here is a correction to my comment @John Whitman | February 29, 2012 at 10:45 am | . The correction is in bold emphasis.

        A simple explanation why he had an anonymous identity is so he could act without ethical and professional restraint on skeptical blogs while expressing views which were the same as his public views. That reason would be consistent with his behavior wrt his moral defense of Gleick’s HI fraud.


      • steven mosher


        Different guys.

      • For all those with the craziest of conspiracy theories, remember to check for the most elementary of facts.
        Those who allege that Joshua must be Josh because he disappeared directly after being asked if he was Josh Rosenau should count the hours between Joshua’s last visit to R Pielke’s blog and the question being posed. I make it 52 hours.

        So, Joshua says he’s going away for a bit. He goes away. Two days later, someone ‘asks him’ something on a blog. His lack of reply convinces at least one or two inebriates that he is therefore someone else in disguise. Brilliant.

    • cui bono

      Where is joshua?

      • PGS = Post Gleick Syndrome for Joshua.

        You need to get the big bucks to shill for warming these days.

      • Joshua disappeared from all climate blogosphere from 23rd Feb when he was directly asked at Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog if he was Josh Rosenau of NCSE. Till that time he was infesting the Glieck thread in RPJ’s blog with his usual obfuscations. Moment that question was asked, there has been total silence from him and he seems to have not posted in that blog or here, his usual haunts.

        So you can make your own guesses about his identity.

      • Fits the profile, tax-payer funded eco-left moonbat. A complete sterotype.

      • I think I will show up at the little rodent penis studier’s next public appearance and ask him if he is our little hypocrite religious bigot troll, joshy. And I will inquire if his trolling activities represent the policies and philosophy of the lame NGO that he toils for.

    • He did say he was going to be away for a bit..

    • It was just a thought. I hope he’s all right, wherever he is.

      • Have you also noticed the absence of a certain ‘idiot’? It’s reduced the occurrence of expressions like ‘denier’ and ‘liar’ by a factor of about 20.

      • Do you mean Web? LOL

      • Anteros – I know what you mean, but in that case I checked his blog and it’s still active. Check out his prediction for a big El Nino this year or whatever.

        AFA Joshua, good to know he told somebody. He was really ramping up his blogospheric contribution, here, at RPJs, Tasmin’s, Collide-a-scape – the word “fame” was used. So maybe he’s decided to take advantage of his newfound fame and hole up in a cabin somewhere to write his book.

        Or not. Think K-Pax.

      • Ah, apparently he was called out by RPj as this chap…
        ..and has gone quiet ever since.

        Apparently he’s an expert on rats dicks (no,really), and his bio says:

        “A graduate student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas by day, an activist by dinnertime. Progressive politics, neat biology, and whackings of wackos.”

      • Ringo, Can’t be me, cuz I never use the d-word except when forced to in naming StefanTheD. So that would make you A Liar.

    • I told you that joshy looks very much like gliecko, from the wire rimmed goggles down to the Birkenstock sandals. Maybe gavin has revoked his RC drone privileges, for getting caught.

      • Well, this Josh Rosenau of NCSE character could very well be our own little joshy. Same obsession with thwarting irrelevant Creationists. And look at this, from his bio:


        “He researched the evolutionary relationships between Philippine rodent species based on phallic morphology as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago.”

        Looks like something that in which our joshy would have an intense interest. Especially that “based on phallic morphology” part.

        See photo: Give him a perm, wire rimmed goggles, and Birkenstocks, he’s a dead ringer for gleicko.

        You can hire him to speak at your lodge meeting, or bar mitzvah, for a $300 honorarium.

    • Long time lurker here.
      THANK GAIA for this Joshua-free environment!!
      You know how they say that if you don’t like someones posts, just don’t read them? Impossible with this guy, he was all over the place all the time…

      • I’ll always remember Joshua insisting both he and the science “consensus” were and are “non-partisan”. What a joke on both fronts;


        Noble cause defense for Gleick.

        Joshy profile;

        Joshua Rosenau spends his days defending the teaching of evolution at the National Center for Science Education. He is formerly a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas, in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. When not battling creationists or modeling species ranges, he writes about developments in progressive politics and the sciences.////////////////

        In short exactly the sort of sterotype I and others long mocked him for being.

  29. EWING and DONN – Warm Ocean, Open Arctic = More Snow

    • HAP – yes, hence my question above about models. If this is true, the models are pretty much all cr*p, aren’t they? The Earth doesn’t need “saving”, it can pretty much look after itself (as if we hadn’t guessed).

      We seem to have two examples in as many weeks of possible major negative feedbacks: this, and the reduced height of cloud cover over the last decade which reduces heating.

      The warmists are not going to like it. Climate sensitivity may finally have to be reduced to something more in agreement with the facts.

      Meanwhile, gotta love Richard Black:

      “Various computer simulations have generated a range of dates by which the Arctic might be completely ice-free in summer and autumn, ranging from 2016 to about 2060. A few years ago, one projection even showed 2013 was possible, though this now appears unlikely.”

  30. “..though this now appears unlikely.”

    Ya think Richard? And yet I get the feeling he’s still holding out hope.

    • pokerguy –

      That’s a feeling I get too – frequently.

      It reminds me of Phil Jones hoping for a really serious El Nino – “to wipe the smiles off the faces of the sceptics”.

      • Funny how they all root for big el ninos to prove agw. I can’t count the “super el ninos” that Hansen has incorrectly predicted over the last couple of decades. Still waiting for some wild and crazy MS reporter to ask him about his many failed predictions.

        And yet let the globe cool a bit during la nina and it’s only “natural variation”. Yah, it’s cooling, but it really doesn’t count.

        Heads I win, tails you lose.

        But your other point is perhaps just as damning. They’d have us all fry if it would prove they were right. I love Al Gore and his oh so pious “I really, really hope I’m wrong.”

        I don’t think so, Al.

  31. You’re right about the Arctic! This year there will be some recovery, much like 2008 picked up about 300sqKm of “recovered” (PI) ice over the record open 2007. Yet warm inflow between Spitsbergen and Norway continues to nibble away at the multiyear ice, and subsequent years will see spectacular erosion of the summer floating ice. The 2 meter deep multiyear ice that used to cover the entire Arctic Ocean at the turn of this century is GONE! It took just one decade, having disappeared in 2010, and it is NOT coming back!

    Of course, the other (snow) shoe will drop, and it will do so in the form of earlier snowfall and later snowmelt around the Arctic from the “ocean effect” driven by polar easterlies and lows around the collapsing Northern Jet at summer’s end. The land based snow albedo increase that drove the 15 year temperature flatline will further cool the polar high, and the rest should put the final nail in the climate coffin. Ewing-Donn is a decent primer – learn from the great minds of the past!

  32. OP. What do you believe are the best solutions to overcoming/reversing climate change; is a common consensus needed in order to effectively combat climate change?

    Until the degree of human influence is determined, isn’t “overcoming/reversing” or “combating” climate change getting a little ahead of the game? And a related question, if it’s mostly natural, what impact will decarbonizing have?

    The question begs the question.

  33. I love the first question–i.e., how serious a threat is climate change to the continued existence of society as we know it?

    Rather dramatic when after Linzen’s slide show you have to consider that, “one can see no warming since 1997. As Phil Jones acknowledged, there has been no statistically significant warming in 15 years. However, there are uncertainties in the above data, and small adjustments can result in negligible warming or cooling over this period. In the polarized public discourse, this leads each side to claim the other side is lying. However, Jones’ statement remains correct.”

    • ““one can see no warming since 1997. As Phil Jones acknowledged, there has been no statistically significant warming in 15 years.”

      Very misleading. Phil Jones was not speaking about “since 1997” was he? He was speaking about “since 1995”

      That little “modification” does make all the difference. It allows you to keep on citing Phil Jones and 15 years without acknowledging that “skeptics” got it wrong. Warming didn’t end in 1995 as they tried to tell everyone.

      • incandecentbulb

        It was 10 years when Phil decided to be honest for once and now it is 15 years. Facts are facts. As Lindzen says, all the rest is dogma.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Lolwot, you are a climate illiterate.

        It has been warming since the last glacial. The rate of increase since 1998 has slowed from the previous period 1979 – 1997.

        The rate of warming was suppose to increase under Hansens CO2 theory. It hasn’t. The rate has slowed down.

        Logic should tell you something about that. Dogma disallows you reasonable thought. I don’t really feel sorry for you because you were born with a brain like the rest of us but refuse to use it.

        Where do you get your science from, Realclimate?

      • Do you believe that Gleick was justified in lying?

      • “It has been warming since the last glacial.”

        Silly silly sentence.

        “The rate of increase since 1998 has slowed from the previous period 1979 – 1997.”

        Wrong. Trace the line forward:

  34. “The IPCC assessment reports do not contain any mathematical analysis based on the laws of physics to support their formulae or hypothesis. We are reduced to statistical correlation [like MBH98, aka ‘the hockey stick graph which is a proven scientific hoax] between the CO2 content of the atmosphere [The data coming from the site of an active volcano and measured by a father and son team who have turned falsification of data into a cottage industry] and the average global temperature [which is an intensive variable which cannot be meaningfully averaged and has no meaning in the real world] …“According to the satellite data, since 1979 there has been no significant increase in global temperature.

    We have had 20 years of increasing temperature and 10 years of decreasing temperature, while the CO2 content has shown a uniform increase. Hence there is no correlation. If there was, I would ask the question: ‘Is the CO2 causing a temperature change or is the temperature change causing a CO2 change?’” (Barry Moore)

  35. JC: “The sun is receiving increased attention (and funding)”

    So, just who is this “sun” and who funds it? Up to no good I’ll wager.

  36. Dr. Curry, in all seriousness I enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for providing us with the link.

  37. “The question begs the question.”

    Indeed it does. Most scientists, even pretty enthusiastic warmists, will not go so far as to say “the science is settled.” But the MSM makes the presumption that it is. Hence, the question is not whether CAGW is real, but how best to “combat it.”

    I personally find the whole notion of mankind declaring “war” on climate a fantastical absurdity. Dr. C. talks with much wisdom about the law of unintended consequence.

    The so-called “war on drugs” is a handy exemplar.
    Just take a look at Mexico. Lat I heard, something like 45,000 people have been killed since the current President (name escapes me) declared this latest war. Most of them innocents. Any sane person has to ask himself, what good has this carnage done? Heroin addicts are the most peaceable people in the world as long as they can get their drug of choice at a reasonable cost.

    Given the choice between say 10 percent of the population peacefully nodding their lives away and not hurting anyone on the process, or slaughter in the streets, what would a reasonable person most likely choose?

    • pokerguy,

      “I personally find the whole notion of mankind declaring “war” on climate a fantastical absurdity.’

      That reminds me of the very wise Professor Irwin Corey, world’s foremost authority. When he was asked what he thought about the the war on poverty, he said it was terrible. Trillions being spent in the war on poverty, and the poor people got nothing to fight back with.

      • :)

        Interviewer: “What do you think of the dope problem?”

        George Carlin: “Definitely, I think we have too many dopes.”

  38. I have printed this series of questions and answers because this is the sort of material that should be taught in schools and publicised in as many newspapers and magazines as possible.

    It is the most balanced and objective assessment of climate science and climate politics that I have ever seen. Kudo’s to oilprice.com for the questions (someone has actually asked the right questions for a change!) and in the words of John Whitman: “You(Judith) got a standing ovation from moi.”

  39. Dr. Curry,

    Very nice interview. Thank you for your determination and effort on this.

    • Bob,

      Sounds like our very own josh-troll:

      “In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Josh presents the “Three Pillars of Creationism”, the beliefs and claims of creationists. He describes their rhetoric and propaganda, and the setbacks they cause for science, from legal cases to creationist theme parks.”

      It’s the theme parks that really piss him off. Where are the theme parks for CAGW science? Oh, the humanity!

    • So I guess we should be honored that we were getting trolled by a pro.
      As tot he NCSE’s rent seeking alarmism over creationists, please. Not one science paper, not one grant, not one classroom has been in reality effected by creationism. It is as if a group was using UFO belief as a reason to raise money in order to fight it.

  40. No gun smokes & bangs harder:

    “lost opportunity from misdirected funds”

  41. “JC: […] The sun is receiving increased attention (and funding) […]” http://oilprice.com/The-Environment/Global-Warming/The-IPCC-May-Have-Outlived-its-Usefulness-An-Interview-with-Judith-Curry.html

    The funding is severely misdirected. For example, why is funding going to people promoting a solar-terrestrial-climate narrative that is strictly inadmissible under the data? This is a serious question that deserves serious answers. The response to incisive questions will almost certainly be what admins do best: Build in delays.

    Paul L. Vaughan, B.Sc., M.Sc.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      ‘For example, why is funding going to people promoting a solar-terrestrial-climate narrative that is strictly inadmissible under the data?’

      Vaughan, you need help. It’s the Sun, stupid.

      Markus Peter Anthony Fitzhenry
      BB.L., B.Phil. (Hons)

      • Attempts to maintain the current “uniform 0.1K” solar-terrestrial-climate narrative (e.g. of J. Lean, L. Svalgaard) will turn out to be futile. The functional numeracy deficiencies &/or deception of any proponents can be made nakedly clear by capable parties with sufficient time & resources on the basis of absolute logic.

        If deviant political & financial forces are looking for a way around this, I can suggest the easiest avenue:

        Remove the pattern from LOD & AAM data.

        That could be done in a few minutes by someone who intuitively understands the complex cross-scale morphology of the data.

        Then it would just be a matter of defending the changes administratively (e.g. via stone wall).

        Defense will be more sustainable in the long run if the functional numeracy of the general population is watered down by further sabotage of mathematics education.

        Watchdog Suggestion:
        Regularly save copies of AAM & EOP data so that data manipulation can be tracked rigorously.

        We’ll at least be able to document any changes to past data, but it’s important to recognize that we’ll be blind to changes made prior to release of future data.

        I sternly suggest that NO funding be issued to parties refusing to acknowledge the conceptual transformation demanded by the landmark findings I reference below.

        From the pool of all Climate Etc. & WUWT commenters (including Dr. Curry), I’m aware of only 1 other commenter who presently understands the conceptual implications: Piers Corbyn.


    • What does “strictly inadmissible under the data” even mean? I’ve heard of inadmissible decision rules (in statistics) and inadmissible evidence (in law), but neither of them depend on the data in question.

      • Neither mainstream nor eccentric conception of solar-terrestrial-climate relations is presently consistent with seminal, robust, empirical findings:

        1. Le Mouël, J.-L.; Blanter, E.; Shnirman, M.; & Courtillot, V. (2010). Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day. Geophysical Research Letters 37, L15307. doi:10.1029/2010GL043185.
        2. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/vaughn1.png
        3. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/image10.png
        4. ftp://ftp.iers.org/products/eop/long-term/c04_08/iau2000/eopc04_08_IAU2000.62-now
        5. ftp://ftp.iers.org/products/geofluids/atmosphere/aam/GGFC2010/AER/

        The mainstream’s “uniform 0.1K” solar-terrestrial-climate narrative is strictly inadmissible under the data.

        Since no one’s conception of solar-terrestrial-climate relations was correct, the landmark finding forces not only conceptual correction but whole paradigm shift.

      • Paul Vaughan,

        After looking at the data, I’m a little puzzled about the point you are making. In the conclusions, the authors list a large number of papers and ideas about solar/gcr/etc links to climate, but the manner of the discussion doesn’t look overtly critical to me: Indeed it looks (to me) as if they are saying “We found something exciting here and think our work, along with that of others, suggests that more research on these matters is warranted.” For instance, their final paragraph:

        “If the solar cycle can influence zonal mean‐winds, then it may affect other features of global climate as well…The cause for this forcing likely involves some combination of solar wind, galactic cosmic rays, ionosphere‐Earth currents and cloud microphysics.”

        So, why exactly are you upset with JC for saying that the sun is getting more attention and funding? In what way does this paper imply that it should not? Please advise and help us learn. The physics in the paper is beyond me but I’ll bet you can explain the issue to us in words, if you truly believe this paper is so damaging to all research pushing a solar-climate linkage.

      • Paul Vaughan

        NW (February 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm) wrote: “[…] if you truly believe this paper is so damaging to all research pushing a solar-climate linkage.”

        It appears that both NW & Markus Fitzhenry (February 29, 2012 at 12:35 am) have misunderstood my comments (most likely due to lack of familiarity with the misguided “uniform 0.1K” narrative).

        Solar-terrestrial-climate linkage exists. This we know with absolute certainty.

        The problem is that funding is being directed to “researchers” whose abstract conception of solar-terrestrial-climate relations is INCONSISTENT with hard fundamentals (symmetry & constraints) rigidly encoded in EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters, not to be confused with earth orbital parameters).

        This is very serious.

        Diagnosing the functional numeracy roots of each individual’s abstract misconceptions is messy & inefficient via text-based online communication.

        If the funding goes to people who don’t understand the cross-scale spatiotemporal structure of the solar-terrestrial signal, those people will BLINDLY WASTE the money FURTHER CONFUSING the picture. In effect, money will have been invested in ENSURING ongoing OBSCURITY.

        I’m convinced there are people angling for exactly that outcome.

        And I’m certain that ALMOST NO ONE possesses sufficient understanding of the cross-scale nature of the spatiotemporal solar-terrestrial signal to ensure efficient channeling of research funds.


      • Paul Vaughan

        NW & All Others,
        I’ve elaborated further in a thread-tree commencing here:

  42. Judith Curry

    A great interview covering a host of issues related to climate science and policies, with very insightful answers and comments from you.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.


  43. Sorry if OT (great interview by the way), anyone would like to comment on the ENSO development? La Nina over?

    • David Springer

      I sure hope it’s over. We need the rain here in Texas. The La Nina pushes the jet stream more north than normal over the continental US and this pulls storm systems farther north along with it leaving Texas high and dry. You can bank on the effect. El Nino does just the opposite. Sigh. If only El Juster Righto would take over…

    • David, I heard about the drought in Texas. We had a very similar situation in the Balkans last year, but it’s going in the opposite direction now. The masive February snow is melting now and it’s already getting a bit too wet, which could cause masive floods. That’s life, it’s almost never El Just Righto. How about some rain dance?

  44. Markus Ftzhenry.

    For all you kinds out there, here’s a summary of the carbon cycle.


    What’s missing?

    Maybe a few inconvenient measurements.

  45. Judith Curry asserts in this interview that scientists have reached a consensus ( rational agreement) in order to hype up and receive government funding.

    It’s a familiar talking point on this blog and I’m surprised that no one ever asks for the evidence and observations to back it up.

    In the past decade, government funding for climate science has overall declined and is in fact about the same as it was in 1991, in the United States. See the U.S. government’s Climate Change Science Program site for actual funding information across many agencies and institutions for an historical and current overiew. While the recent stimulus package may have added a few dollars, it was literally nothing compared to what others received.

    So maybe the gravy train for all those climate scientists is toot tooting into the private sector. Well, if it is, it’s not the oil companies that are helping climate scientists make the big bucks; and if it’s the wind companies, one needs an explanation for why they don’t employ climate scientists or appear anywhere on the top 500 lists of moneymakers.

    I recommend that if a climate scientist wants to make money and have job security, they should join Wall Street or go into pharmaceuticals.

    • Martha

      She said that some “claimed” that a consensus had been reached- not that there actually was one

    • Not what I said. Here is what I said:

      OP: You are well known in climate and energy circles for breaking from the ranks of the IPCC and questioning the current information out there. What do you see as the reasons for the increase in skepticism towards global warming over the last few years.

      JC: Because of the IPCC and its consensus seeking process, the rewards for scientists have been mostly in embellishing the consensus, and this includes government funding. Because of recent criticisms of the IPCC and a growing understanding that the climate system is not easily understood, an increasing number of scientists are becoming emboldened to challenge some of the basic conclusions of the IPCC, and I think this is a healthy thing for the science.

      • David Springer

        So the concensus emerged before any scientists started to leverage it for funding?

        “Embellishing the consensus” would be more aptly put by the phrase “polishing a turd”. Then we could have applied the truism “you can’t polish a turd” and saved ourselves a whole lot of counter-productive activities.

    • “She said that some “claimed” that a consensus had been reached- not that there actually was one” Rob Starkey

      Rob, my comment is in relation to: “Because of the IPCC and its consensus seeking process, the rewards for scientists have been mostly in embellishing the consensus, and this includes government funding” Judith Curry

      You would like to say that she is saying there is a consensus-seeking process and rewards to embellish the consensus that she says does not exist ? Go right ahead. Whatever.

    • Martha do you believe that Gleick was justified in lying?
      Is it ok to lie?

      • Steven,
        Questions about deception are ethical and require everyone to reflect on themselves and also consider broader concerns and issues.

        As someone concerned about the reality of how the likes of Heartland and Cato influence decision-making in a democracy, I admit I am at least a little emotionally tempted to see how I might justify Gleick’s actions.

        At the same time, I am honestly and rationally unsure when I think the ends justify the means in any given situation, and I need time to sit with this particular instance. I’m not a purist because that is not how the world works: I’m a pragmatist, especially in this highly bureacratized, power-divided world. So, I will take the necessary time to see what happens next. You can’t hurry me.

        Gleick’s actions were arguably intended to support the public good, and have already observably resulted in people talking and thinking about the oppressive nature of the structure of American politics, and e.g. the Kochs. However, in the end, I will not be surprised if at this time I decide I think his actions were a mistake – despite my ability to do the possibly positive political math.

        You see, I believe leadership is everyone’s responsibility and that leadership is a collective, not individual, quality. So I’ll have to get back to you, O.K.?


      • They’re remaking Being John Malkovich, a movie based on the premise of actually entering into the head of the actor. The sequel will take us into Martha’s head. Word is it will be one of the scariest movies of all time.

        I will not be surprised in the future if at this time in the present I decide that I can’t make a decision because leadership is a collective activity.

        The horror! The horror!

      • Martha –

        Could you clarify?

        It seems that you are saying: ‘His ends might justify his deception, but I can’t support or condemn Gleick’s actions yet because the rest of my leadership collective hasn’t yet decided if it looks better to support or condemn’.

        That’s so silly that it can’t be right, but I can’t easily interpret your comment in any other way. Are you really waiting on public opinion? Do you really allow the opinions of others to sway your ethical beliefs?

      • As someone concerned about the reality of how the likes of Heartland and Cato influence decision-making in a democracy, I admit I am at least a little emotionally tempted to see how I might justify Gleick’s actions.


        are you concerned with how the likes of labor unions, Greenpeace and other advocacy organizations “influence decision-making in a democracy”?

      • steven,
        Thank you for getting Martha to state her case in support of corruption so clearly.

      • Martha-“Gleick’s actions were arguably intended to support the public good,…..”
        No, they” were arguably intended to support (his interpretation of) the public good”….
        That is the slippery slope since those are value judgments made by each person and we can get into all sorts of rationalizations to defend our actions in support of our ideas of the public good. Many would see no public good from his most lofty aspirations.

      • Martha,

        You are unsure about whether it is ok to lie or not?

        I believe that says it all. Why should I believe anything you say about anything, if you cannot get that simple question right.

        If you believe it is ok to lie for the greater good, then how can I trust you to judge what the greater good is? If you can’t say whether lying is ok or not, how can I trust anything you say. Simply, any reasonable listner or reader will now have to figure out when you speak or write whether there is some greater good ( in your mind) lurking in the background justifying the lies that come out of your mouth. If you think lying is ok, or if you don’t know, how can I even take your comment about lying seriously? Perhaps, you think it is ok, but you are lying about not knowing.

        Don’t slash your own rhetorical tires. It’s no fun for us that way

      • I think we’re witnessing the beginning of a complete epistemological meltdown of the alarmist AGW fringe.

      • Don Monfort

        In joshie’s absence, martha will have to do.

    • Martha,
      As always, thanks for the post cards from your alternate reality.
      They are always entertaining.

    • Martha:
      See http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/FY12-climate-fs.pdf for the latest numbers. A 20% increase is proposed for 2012. In actual dollars the numbers keep going up. Please note that this does not cover all federal and non-federal funding sources available to climate scientists.

      • Bernie,

        I think you miss the point . The point, as a counter-argument to Curry’s assertion and similar assertions, is that the ‘consensus’ or rational agreement among scientists regarding GHG/AGW that emerged is clearly not due to the U.S. government gravy train. On the contrary, there was low funding and a conservative attitude about climate change. That is the point. The facts do not evidently support the assertion.

        And yes, Obama was elected on a climate change policy agenda so in that regard, anyone seriously concerned about democracy can say it’s about time his administration followed through on the expressed will of the public and industry and increased spending on this.

      • In response to Martha at 12:07.
        My point was limited. The funding had been flat and is now going up. Is this not true? I am being as specific as I can be.

      • Bernie,
        Notice that Martha is not influenced by mere facts, but dissembles back to her increasingly strange rationalizations.

      • Martha | February 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm | wrote: “And yes, Obama was elected on a climate change policy agenda so in that regard, anyone seriously concerned about democracy can say it’s about time his administration followed through on the expressed will of the public and industry and increased spending on this.”

        Martha, The United States is not a democracy. Democracies are short-lived (Federalist 10). It is a representative Republic. The representatives killed cap-and-trade. Kudos. The EPA decided to go for “command and control”. That is authoritarian Diktat.

        Finally, he did not run on climate change. He ran on “Hope and Change”. That has not turned out well.

    • Martha,

      Is it easier to get funding from agencies if you say what they want to hear? Yes or no.

      • It is extremely lazy analytics to avoid specifics and pretend funding goals do not vary dramatically, including open and co-operative goals.

    • US funding for the USGCRP has not declined, certainly not to 1991 levels. The program started in 1990 with one billion. It grew under Gore to just about two billion, where it remains today. The new Obama request is for a 5.6% increase. Not likely. This is a very large program, run by CAGW devotees. The GCRP reports make the IPCC look skeptical. CAGW is official US policy and the funding reflects this bias.

  46. Here is my apropos comment re Judith’s statement “The IPCC might have outlived its usefulness. Let’s see what the next assessment report comes up with. But we are getting diminishing returns from these assessments, and they take up an enormous amount of scientists’ time”. It was originally posted over at Bishop Hill’s blog.

    If the IPCC bureaucracy is difficult to eliminate, it is easy to make irrelevant.

    The best way the IPCC irrelevancy is assured is to support the ongoing displacement of its functions caused by the obvious growth of the open marketplace of independent scientific discourse. The IPCC displacement by independent processes that is already occurring happened with little funding and no media support yet it has brought the IPCC to a position where it is already openly doubted in serious public and scientific discourse. The fledgling voluntary scientific self-evaluation and integration requires no media campaigns or political support. Already only those emotionally committed to certain ideologies PRed by some activist NGOs listen to the biased UN supported IPCC.


    Feb 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM | John Whitman

    I suggest, on the current independent science growth trajectory, simply displace IPCC irrelevancy. The free marketplace forces acting on independent scientific processes and organization simply cannot be matched by an inept UN bureaucracy like IPCC.


    • I suggest, on the current independent science growth trajectory, simply displace IPCC irrelevancy. The free marketplace forces acting on independent scientific processes and organization simply cannot be matched by an inept UN bureaucracy like IPCC.

      I cannot figure out what are the issues or activities of IPCC that the above comment refers to. My view is that IPCC has never performed and has never been supposed to perform such activities that I can connect to the comment.

      • Pekka Pirilä | February 29, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply

        – – – – – –

        Pekka Pirilä

        Thanks for participation in my dialog on alternate evolution of voluntary vehicles displacing the relevancy of the IPCC .

        To answer your question; it is the selection, integration and assessment of climate science that is being displaced; except without needing the presumptive AGW focused mandate that is the basis of the UNFCCC’s charter for the IPCC.

        The evolving voluntary displacement vehicle is not restricted at all to the clumsy UNFCCC’s ‘framing’. In fact it can voluntarily be augmented do many more open source things.; things like including a provision of a separate QA vehicle of independent verification by second and third party volunteer science orgs. Independent QA has been emphasized as being a failure point wrt IPCC’s substantial opaqueness in AR4 and increased opaqueness in AR5. QA and opaqueness are not consistent with each other.


      • John Whitman,

        Based on the additional explanations that you give, I think that your ideas bear some similarity with what I have written one year ago (and in August 2010 in Finnish)


        While there are similarities I don’t claim or think that there were not also differing ideas.

      • Pekka Pirilä | February 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

        @John Whitman,

        Based on the additional explanations that you give, I think that your ideas bear some similarity with what I have written one year ago (and in August 2010 in Finnish)

        – – – – –

        Pekka Pirilä,

        Thanks for that link to some potentially similar ideas.


      • John;
        I suddenly got a flash of Daleks trundling about zapping deniers, blaring “Extrapolate! Obfuscate! Extrapolate! …”


  47. The OilPrice’s hardball question: “How serious a threat [is] climate change?”

    JC’s softball answer: “The threat does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century”


    What a disappointingly flabby beginning to what could have been a substantial interview! The OilPrice folks should have asked a more pointed question: “How serious a threat [is] climate change on the time scale of the Third Millennium?” Just to give the thermal reservoirs time to equilibriate! :)

    A vigorous JC answer would have been a quantitative estimate of the probability P_{\text{CAGW}} that the physics chain GHG \Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW \Leftrightarrow CAGW extends to completion on millennial time scales.

    An adequate JC answer would have been “We don’t know enough even to sensibly bound P_{\text{CAGW}}.” And this would amount to a common-sense appreciation that “Climate change must be regarded as a serious threat.”

    Regrettably, JC’s answer instead exemplifies that class of scientific assertion that is “not even wrong” — which is of course the feeblest variety of science.

    • That is not how I interpret her statement. Unfortunately existential is an unusual and vague term. I presume not-e means not serious, or not extremely serious, or some such.

      • My own interpretation is punchier.


        Per the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, the chance of a 65-year-old heavy smoker developing lung cancer in the next decade is P_{\text{cancer}} \simeq 9\%.


        The OilPrice’s hardball question: “Supposing that we burn existing stocks of coal, oil, and gas, is the probability P_{\text{CAGW}} over the next millennium larger, smaller, or comparable to P_{\text{cancer}}?”


        This is a hardball question because to assert that we know P_{\text{CAGW}} \ll P_{\text{cancer}} is no form of rational skepticism.

      • It means “a threat to survival/existence”. True, but still flabby. “Not discernible” would have been better and more honest.

    • “Suppose we burn existing stocks of coal”.

      Please define existing stocks of coal.

      Currently in the US we have approx a 120 day supply of coal ‘in stock’. The Chinese have about 30 days. The Indians about 14 days.

      I hardly think burning existing stocks will present a long term climate challenge.

      If by ‘existing stocks’ you mean the coal currently residing in mines that are actively being mined then we have about 17 years of coal left in the US and some smaller number in other areas of the world.

      If you are referring to ‘existing stocks’ as ‘economically recoverable reserves ‘ then we have 108 years left at current extraction rates
      I would note that ‘economically recoverable is defined as extracted for less then the current market rate. It does not take into account that a substantial portion of the ‘economically recoverable’ reserves are so far from major population centers that the transportation costs make burning it prohibitively expensive.(There are 7 billion people on the planet…the largest pile ‘inexpensively extractable coal left in the world is in Wyoming, population 538,000).

      If you are referring to how much coal geologically exists then we couldn’t burn in all in 10,000 years if we tried.

      • Try: supposing we sustain the planet’s energy demand for a century, with the present mix of CO2-creating sources, and assuming a 3-5% annualized growth rate. In essence, suppose that we treble planetary CO2 levels, relative to early 20th century values. Then to repeat:


        The OilPrice’s hardball question: “Supposing that we burn existing stocks of coal, oil, and gas, over a time-span of order one century, to induce an approximate trebling of CO2 levels, then is the probability P_{\text{CAGW}} over the following millennium larger, smaller, or comparable to P_{\text{cancer}} \sim 9\%?”


        The point being, that ducking tough questions forms no part of rational skepticism or strong science … the JC interview is disappointing in this regard.

      • Physicist,
        I think the difficulty in the question is trying to extrapolate 1000 years into the future. Our recent observations are inadequate to forecast even a century into the future. Her answer is less of a ducking the question, than answering based on how far into the future we can project. I would maintain that projection to the year 2100 are highly uncertain, and that we would be hard pressed to make a statement out to 2050.

      • A Physicist

        You state:

        The OilPrice’s hardball question: “Supposing that we burn existing stocks of coal, oil, and gas, over a time-span of order one century, to induce an approximate trebling of CO2 levels, then is the probability [of CAGW occurring] over the following millennium larger, smaller, or comparable to [the 9% probability a heavy smoker has from contracting lung cancer]?”


        The point being, that ducking tough questions forms no part of rational skepticism or strong science … the JC interview is disappointing in this regard.

        This is not a tough question IMO.

        It is a rather contrived rhetorical question, for the following reasons:

        1. The 9% probability of a heavy smoker contracting lung cancer is based on empirical data derived from a large number of clinical trials and case studies; no such empirical evidence exists to estimate the probability of CAGW actually occurring (in fact, this is the key weakness of the CAGW premise itself). Is the probability 0%, 0.0001%, 0.001% or 0.01% – who knows, but it is definitely several orders of magnitude lower than the 9% cancer probability rate for a heavy smoker, so cannot be compared.
        2. Coal, oil and gas resources are estimated to be large enough to last us for at least two centuries, even at projected increased usage rates.
        3. Projected future fossil fuel usage rates vary all over the map, but most forecasters agree that the rapid population growth rate of the recent past (1.7% per year CAGR) will drop dramatically (to around 0.2-0,3% CAGR over the 21st century), so that this will impact fossil fuel usage growth rates.
        4. When the optimistically estimated total fossil fuel resources (WEC 2010) have ALL been used up completely (if this ever happens in REAL life), CO2 levels will have increased to an absolute maximum ever hypothetically possible level of around 1060 ppmv (or 2.7 times the present level), i.e. “that’s it”, and there will be no more fossil fuels to burn in the “next millenium”. I believe that the practical maximum level is probably around 750-800 ppmv, or roughly twice today’s level.

        So the question is a non sequitur.

        Finally, there is the “cost of the prevention”.

        A heavy smoker only needs to stop smoking. This may be slightly annoying for a few months, but is neither costly nor painful.

        The “preventions” being proposed to avoid CAGW have either been taxes (which will have zero impact on our climate – no tax ever did) or empty pledges by politicians to “hold global warming to no more than 2C” or “cut back CO2 emissions to X% of those of year Y by year Z”, with only very few specific actionable proposals, all of which show essentially no change to global climate at an exorbitant cost.

        In effect, the conclusion so far is that we are unable to change our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw at it”..

        So this is a silly question from just about any standpoint one wants to consider


      • A physicist

        Try: supposing we sustain the planet’s energy demand for a century, with the present mix of CO2-creating sources, and assuming a 3-5% annualized growth rate.

        We have 108 years of ‘economically recoverable coal’ left in the world.
        About 25% of that is located in places where the cost of transportation is excessive. India has some nice coal reserves…but it is in the mountains and inaccessible by rail. Transporting coal by rail costs 3 cents/mile. By truck is probably 10 times that. A good chunk of Russian reserves are in Siberia…etc…etc..etc

        IMHO we have 75 years left at current extraction rates.

        According to the DOE.
        The levelized cost of new nuclear in the US is about 12cents/Kwh.
        The levelized cost of new coal capacity is about 10 cents/Kwh including a fuel price of about $2/MMBtu.(2 cents per KWh).

        The price of ‘thermal coal’ delivered to Western Euopean ports, Chinese ports and Indian ports, Japanese ports, South Korean ports is about $5/MMBtu.

        That add’s 3 cents/Kwh to the US DOE levelized costs. So the levlelized cost of a ‘new coal’ plant for most of the world ends up being about 13 cents/KWh. (Using US construction costs)

        New Nuclear is cheaper then ‘new coal’. The notable exceptions being the US Midwest and Australia.

        On a ‘Global Basis’ coal hasn’t been the ‘cheapest’ form of energy production since about 2008. Of course in 2008 everyone was blathering about how the price was just a temporary spike. It’s not a spike…it’s here to stay.

        It takes industry time to adjust to new economic realities.

        It also takes time for ‘climate activists’ to realise that the idea that a ‘global carbon tax’ is required to slow the ‘increase’ in emissions is completely unecessary. The Cancun and Durban Climate meetings blathered on about ‘technology transfers’ which I can’t imagine means anything other then. Nuclear power plant technology.

      • A physicist

        Further to my previous post.

        Fossil fuel resources of our planet are limited.

        A recent WEC estimate suggests that there are “inferred possible total recoverable fossil fuel resources” on our planet, which would last us 350 years at current usage levels. [Note that this estimate is NOT the “proven reserves”, which are only a fraction of this amount.]

        This means that of all the fossil fuels ever existing on our planet, we have used around 12% to date, and still have 88% still in place.

        At estimated future usage levels these resources would theoretically be used up in around 200 years or so, all things being equal.

        BUT, “all things are NOT LIKELY to be equal”.

        Remember that in the late 19th century city planners in London, New York and even Manchester were fretting about the ever increasing number of horse carriages and the predictions of inevitable inundation of the cities by two meter high piles of horse manure by the mid 20th century.

        It never happened because of new technology.

        Just as the scenario you paint will also never happen due to new technology.

        Quite apart from conventional nuclear technology today there are fast breeder reactors using thorium being tested, nuclear fusion is a possible new technology and there will undoubtedly be others we haven’t even thought of today. Wind/solar will probably remain insignificant parts of the total, due to inherent reliability (or “on-line”) problems.

        IMO fossil fuels will gradually lose importance as primary energy sources as they become increasingly difficult to extract and costlier and will eventually be used principally for higher added-value end uses such as feedstocks for petrochemicals and fertilizers, etc. , being replaced by other lower-cost primary energy sources along the way.

        As far as looooong range forecasts are concerned, it is totally absurd to predict anything several centuries in advance. Just imagine how preposterous it would have been for someone in Napoleon’s day to try to predict the energy demand and source for the city of Paris by 2010.

        IPCC can’t even predict one decade in advance (as we see from the past decade). Why in the world should we believe that IPCC can predict several decades or even centuries in advance?

        Answer: we shouldn’t, because they can’t.


    • The arguments of the preceding posts amount to “Any probability that we cannot estimate accurately must be zero.” This was a flabby argument back in the 1960s, when tobacco companies used it regard to P_{\text{cancer}}, and it is a flabby argument today, when carbon-burning companies use it in regard to P_{\text{CAGW}}.

      • A physicist

        You write:

        “The arguments of the preceding posts amount to “Any probability that we cannot estimate accurately must be zero.”

        This is not correct

        Dr. Curry has testified that we know AGW exists but do not know its magnitude.

        So the “probability” of some temperature increase from AGW is high – it’s just the magnitude and eventual (good or bad) impact that are very uncertain.

        As far as the probability of a threat from “catastrophic” AGW is concerned, Dr. Curry has testified:

        Based upon the background knowledge that we have, the threat does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century, even in its most alarming incarnation.”

        This is about as definitive an answer as anyone could give.

        To ask, “what about the next millenium?”, or “…the next million years?” is so absurd that no meaningful answer can be given.

        There is not “zero probability” that we will be wiped out by an asteroid strike, either, but it is silly to fret about it.


      • Captain Kangaroo

        A d..khead,

        We really have been patient with you. You egregiously insult our host and what’s worse insult out intelligence with an argument that the risk of catastrophic climate change is non-zero under some unspecified scenario. I agree – the potential for abrupt and rapid climate change exists.

        ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        But I doubt that you have anything as concrete as actual data or mechanisms in mind but simply millenarian scenarios to support to the usual collectivist, anti-business, resource limited, negative growth dreary horror that aggregates under the banner of anthropogenic climate change.

        With respect to recent warming – we have decided from the science that this is at most 0.1 degrees C/decade. Thus we have made a policy determination that this is no great ‘existential threat’ in the 21st century and so it is business as usual for the human race. The no great ‘existential’ threat, as I explained somewhere before to someone very like you, is a matter of life and death – rather than relating to the philosophical quandary of being in itself or being for itself. Hungry people don’t tend to give a rat’s phallus (hi there Josh old buddy) about fine philosophical distinctions.

        Yours concerns have been noted and may be addressed in due course. In the meantime we will try to keep civilisation afloat for the rest of the century with economic development, scientific progress and promotion of our common human heritage of the enlightenment goals of freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law. As you can appreciate – we have a busy time ahead but will endeavour to get to your minor objectives. It may be possible and preferable to pursue multiple objectives as outlined in the Breakthrough Institute climate pragmatism paper – but we will have to see how that works out. The well of goodwill has been so poisoned by pissant progressives that any mention of carbon reduction no matter how sensible is reflexively howled down.

        Yours in utter contempt
        Capt. Kangaroo

      • Manacker asserts: “To ask, “what about the next millenium?” is so absurd that no meaningful answer can be given.

        Manacker, it is a matter of record that the builders of Pantheon, of the great cathedrals of Europe, and even of America’s own Jefferson Library, all disagree with your statement. And these great builders would be right.

        That is why it was dispiriting to see Judith’s answer reflect not the millennial vision of the great builders of human civilization, but rather short-sightedness and even narrow-mindedness.

      • “the millennial vision of the great builders of human civilization”

        Wow. I think I might want to go to an an art museum later. Except for civilization happened one small step at a time. Bummer.


      • Google’s wonderful NGRAM Viewer shows us that the once-common phrase “build for centuries” has become notably less common in the English language, in the decades since 1960.

        It’s regrettable that Judith’s short-sighted OilPrice answers are consonant with this growing short-sightedness regarding the future of our nation, our culture, and our planet.

      • False analogy alert!

      • A physicist

        Paul Matthews asserts: False analogy alert!

        With respect, Paul, America’s founders understood that the following enterprises are the closest of kin:

        (1) planning for future centuries,
        (2) building for future centuries, and
        (3) conserving for future centuries.

        Judith’s essay on the OilPrice forum, in denying the possibility of foresight extending beyond our century, stands in ill-considered opposition to these wise principles of America’s Founders.

        That this plain common-sense Founders’ wisdom should arouse rancorous opposition is surprising, eh?

      • Peter Davies

        A physicist

        The political reality in most countries today is that politicians have very short time spans as far as building for future generations is concerned. They are more concerned with getting re-elected.

        In times past the great monuments spoken off were built with public funds and the decision-makers could afford to be more statesmanlike in planning for the far distant future.

        Nowadays private enterprise has to step up to the plate and it is doubtful that they, either, could afford to take the long term view that you speak of?

      • Physicist,
        Your statement about, “denying the possibility of foresight extending beyond our century,” seems to reek of hypocrisy. Much of the climate projections have been made out to the year 2100. Very few go beyond that time frame. This seems to be the limit for climate projections, as many far short of this time frame. Calling statements which extend 88 years into the future “short-sighted,” seems a little ridiculous.

      • No

        My argument isn’t that the ‘probability that we could accurate estimate’ emissions isn’t zero.

        My argument is that the emissions estimates by the WEO(World Energy Organization) which are footnoted in the IPCC AR4 by ignored are for all intents and purposes accurate.

        You are doing the equivalent of asking equivalent question in the year 1900 of ” ow deep the horse manure will be on city streets in the year 2000.”

        Horses had already reached the point where they weren’t the ‘most economic’ for of transportation.

        The WEO expects fossil fuel consumption to peak around 2030. Not because there won’t be anymore, but because the cost of extraction will be higher then the cost of alternatives.

        To get to 3-5% growth for 100 years you have to assume constant or declining extraction costs. Something no one in the fossil fuel industry believes will happen.

      • A physicist,
        Pointing out that academics are (as some pro-life advocates predicted years ago) now endorsing “post-birth abortion” (mruder) has at least as much to do with the ethical state of academics in general as your quibbling about tobacco has to do with climate skepticism.

    • A Physicist, that does not even own a TV?

      “What a disappointingly flabby beginning to what could have been a substantial interview!”

      Do you ever read the knewspapers? Why not set up your own ‘knows’ paper? Save the whole world at the same time, by always giving the public the full truth as it is known on a story. Get facts straight, for a change.

  48. Doc. C,

    Joe D’Aleo, highly respected long range private forecaster and now a principle I believe in the start up firm Weatherbell,has a put up a rebuttal to new paper tying melting artic ice to cold and snow …

    I’m thinking he might make an excellent guest poster. He’s quite a brilliant fellow and represents the hard nosed, practical approach that you might expect of a guy who must be right much more than he’s wrong in the highly competive private forecast business.

    He’s a skeptic of course. But consider, if global warming were a factor driving weather, he’d be crazy not to use it. And yet year afte year, season after season he puts out reliable forecasts considering natural drivers only.

    Hope you’ll consider asking..


  49. “OP. I saw an interesting comment on another site regarding climate science that i thought i’d get your opinion on as it raises some very interesting arguments:
    Climate science has claimed for 30 years that it affects the safety of hundreds of millions of people, or perhaps the whole planet. If it gets it wrong, equally, millions may suffer from high energy costs, hunger due to biofuels, and lost opportunity from misdirected funds, notwithstanding the projected benefits from as yet impractical renewable energy.
    Yet, we have allowed it to dictate global policy and form a trillion dollar green industrial complex – all without applying a single quality system, without a single performance standard for climate models, without a single test laboratory result and without a single national independent auditor or regulator. It all lives only in the well known inbred, fad-driven world of peer review.
    JC: I agree that there is lack of accountability in the whole climate enterprise, and it does not meet the standards that you would find in engineering or regulatory science. I have argued that this needs to change, by implementing data quality and model verification and validation standards.”
    Dr Curry: I applaud your position on implementing standards for science. Much of the criticism on the web of the scientific community comes from people with experience in engineering and industry that have worked to achieve standards of excellence. Could ISO type standards work in the scientific community? http://socratesparadox.com/?p=216#more-216

  50. Kch

    What I was trying to say is that what is right or wrong can be considered in the social context and is advanced socially rather than by just a few individuals, so I like to consider that — but this is not identical with the concept of public opinion, which is often shaped and controlled through PR and media. I’m talking more about an approach that supports ethical competence and increases public deliberation, in a democracy.

    I don’t rely so heavily on pragmatics that I have no particular ethical perspective or do not see pragmatic inconsistency. Quite the opposite. But as I said, I want to take more time to assess the implications and reflect.

    • Martha –

      Okay, that’s clearer, but…

      You have a good point about taking direction from public opinion, but why would you accept social context as guidance for right/wrong? We have ample examples from history of social contexts that have allowed/encouraged/demanded horrific things.

      I believe ethical competence is best arrived at (and taught) by having a basic foundation to work from. I cannot imagine allowing myself to substitute a social context for my own beliefs on ethics. That I am occasionally forced to admit my own failings is a price I pay, but I feel this is at heart more honest than hiding behind societal ethics.

      • kch?
        The correct understanding of what I said implies the opposite. It involves changing oppressive or wrong social structures when the social context tells you that is what you are dealing with; also, this would be part of personal responsibility-taking, not separate or instead of it.

        Ethical principles do not tell anyone what to do: we still have to decide what is more right or wrong in a given situation based on what we know as well as what values and principles seem the most important in that situation. Unfortunately, the values we hold will often conflict with one another and that is why deciding what to do in anything but the simplest or most straightforward situations can be difficult.

        I suggested to you that in a democracy, society advances through its structures and institutions. This is how the public gets to participate and decide things. If only you get to decide, it’s called a dictatorship. ;-)

      • “Ethical principles do not tell anyone what to do: we still have to decide what is more right or wrong in a given situation based on what we know as well as what values and principles seem the most important in that situation.”

        Ethical principles that “do not tell anyone what to do” are not ethical principles. Whether she knows it or not, Martha has zoomed right past situational ethics into a world with no ethics at all.

        Of course, that’s what flexible terms like “social justice,” “fairness,” and “for the children” are all about. Each progressive gets to decide on every occasion what he/she thinks is the proper course, unhindered by silly constraints like objective moral norms.

        All of which is just peachy so long as she lives in a world that includes others sufficiently tied to objective morality that they join the military, police force, and others who protect her right to live in unleavened intellectual vacuity.

        Pompous progressives would not fair very well in the Hobbesian world that would result if their hair brained pronunciations on moral relativism ever became the norm.

      • Martha –

        “The correct understanding of what I said implies the opposite. It involves changing oppressive or wrong social structures when the social context tells you that is what you are dealing with; also, this would be part of personal responsibility-taking, not separate or instead of it.”

        Re-reading what you wrote, and with the above in mind, I can now see what you’re saying (I think). Would it be fair – or even close – to say that you could not directly answer Mosher’s question because you had not fully parsed the entire situation – the societal context, his responsibilities, your personal ethical structure? (Please note: I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, I just find that you can write in a nebulous academic style that I find difficult to extract meaning from.)

        Also, how do you determine when a social structure is ‘oppressive or wrong’? It seems to me that this must derive from ethical principles, and ones that do dictate our actions. In seeming contrast to this view, you write:

        “Ethical principles do not tell anyone what to do: we still have to decide what is more right or wrong in a given situation based on what we know as well as what values and principles seem the most important in that situation. Unfortunately, the values we hold will often conflict with one another and that is why deciding what to do in anything but the simplest or most straightforward situations can be difficult.”

        Ethical principles must at least tell us what we *should* do. Other values (comfort, family, etc.) can be more important in any given situation but should not give us pause in seeing the right and wrong of a situation. That we will compromise our principles merely makes us human – ‘saint’ is a word frequently used in relation to those who will not compromise their ethical structure.

        In general, your views on ethics seem to be far more situational than I personally could ever be comfortable with. I believe that anyone’s ethics become too flexible to nail down, that is when they cease to have any meaning as ethics and simply become convenience.

        “I suggested to you that in a democracy, society advances through its structures and institutions. This is how the public gets to participate and decide things. If only you get to decide, it’s called a dictatorship.”

        I would counter that in a democracy, society is *supported* by its structures and institutions. We create them to mirror what we are, not to lead us someplace new. Advances come through individual effort and innovation, taken up by society through the institution of elected governance.

        Lastly, as a libertarian, I *always* get to decide…but only for myself. A collectivist society is far more dictatorial than an individualist society.

  51. Martha Dear, You could write a books.

  52. The Gleick affair has certainly dug up a good amount of the “hate” found in the AGW community, Martha being a perfect example;


  53. I see that “a physicist” is acting consistently with his “Be First with the Baseless, Slanderous Accusations and Repeat Them Over and Over Again in an Attempt to Derail the Conversation.” philosophy on this thread.

    It’s good to see other commenters here pushing back against his Big Lie technique.

    • We [American] build for centuries, for remotest generations, carrying the associations of the present far beyond the recollections of living witnesses, into the furthest future ages.”

          The Arts of Design in America
          by Asher Benjamin (1841)

      CTL, please let me commend this foresighted wisdom of America’s founders, both to your attention and to Dr. Curry’s.  :)

      • A physicist

        And as a followup, CTL, it is inspiring to learn that many of Asher Benjamin’s buildings are intact and treasured today, two centuries after they were conceived:

        “From a poor boy unaided by friends, by his indefatigable industry and talents in a few years he raised himself to the first rank of his profession.”

        Aye, now *that’s* the kind of foresight that America used to acknowledge, respect and even treasure — and even today still should acknowledge, respect and treasure — in our engineers, business folks, designers and scientists!

        Judith, now’s a good time for you to start looking farther ahead!  :)

      • David Springer

        A physicist | February 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply

        “We [American] build for centuries,”

        The best laid plans of mice and men oft times go astray. I’m thinking New Orleans. Not many centuries there. Doesn’t really seem wise in hindsight to build a city on sinking land on the shore of a rising ocean.

      • A P,
        What does spending vast resources onAGW policy demadns have to do with prudency, long alsting construction or stewardship in general?
        Do you think that covering the landscape of America in large windmills, for instance, is going to be something future generations will look at with admiration and appreciation?

    • A physicist

      David Springer says: I’m thinking [of a submerged] New Orleans Washington DC \Leftrightarrow Galveston TX (inclusive).

      David, your post is fixed now.

      And indeed, their destruction is a mighty sobering thought, for all who cherish America’s great cities, and who cherish too the enterprise that imagined them, the creativity that designed them, and the labor that built them.

      • New Orleans has not been submereged for awhile. You might not have noticed, but for the people living there or with family and friends in the area, it was a notable event.
        Galveston is doing just fine, when I was there a couple of weeks ago. Have I missed anything new?
        As to DC- I am betting DC will go underwater about the same time as when Hansen predicted Manhattan would go under water.
        And with the same level of reality.

  54. Beth Cooper

    Martha 29/12 @ 12.34 pm.

    Sorry, Martha, equivocations all the way down.

  55. theendisnighnot

    Climate High Command to A Physicist:
    Since Joshua has done a “Lord Lucan” and is off searching for the “missing heat” you now carry the torch. So far so good albeit your wanderings into US Architecture have us somewhat confused?

    Having said that we really are going to have to have a “word” with that Colose fellah, perhaps you could talk to him and advise that his petulant, childish outbursts are doing us no good at this sensitive time. I mean imagine if you’ve just come to argument and you have no cross to bear and hear what he’s saying? At least Joshua’s second in command Martha can put a spin on her comments so those not as bright as Mosher don’t understand!

    Anyway “onwards and upwards” (temperature we’re hoping) Your next task should you choose to accept it (don’t even think about not!) is to put some meat on the bone of the Right Reverand Greg Ladens obviously well thought out theory of Moshers sting operation on PG.

    Oh by the way Dr Curry some neat answers to the questions asked and thanks for sharing.

  56. theendisnighnot

    A Physicist….. I did but am still none the wiser what this has to do with… er… actually anything let alone CAGW! If your saying “we should build with the future in mind” I don’t disagree… how could anyone? However if your saying let’s build for a future with all the associated cost where the “oceans boil’ etc etc etc I say nay nay and thrice nay! Show me the evidence for your scary scenarios please? PS I don’t include GCM’s as evidence given their record of reliability

  57. theendisnighnot

    Climate High Command to A Physicist…. enough already with the architecture thing focus focus focus…. if you need reminding “Big Oil Denialist Stinking Scum Child Killing Whores of Koch (ou er missus). YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

  58. A physicist

    “theendisnighnot,” please see another simple answer above.

    The foresight of America’s founders was not “flabby” and neither should be our foresight regarding climate.

  59. theendisnighnot

    A Physicist….. what is with you and warmy types re tobacco? I am fast approaching 50 years of age and frankly have known since i took my first puff of Players No 6 behind the bike yards at school that it will end up killing me! So what? It’s my Life not yours and similarly with the climate stop trying to change something you can’t. Why do i believe smoking will kill me? Simple really it’s been shown beyond doubt to be so by experiments not computer programmes. Show me beyond doubt that our contribution to Greenhouse gases will change the planet beyond recognition in 25, 50 or hundred years or don’t bother trying to tax the producing sector (I>E> not government) into oblivion. Why don’t you warmy types deal with actual enviromental problems not imagined ones?? I guess there’s no money in that these days!!!

    • Naomi Oreskes is probably most responsible for the ‘tobacco meme’. It may interest a researcher someday to track down the origins of the ‘flat earth meme’ and the ‘creationist meme’ as applied to global warming skeptics.

      The constant repetition of these three painfully incorrect memes was one of my early clues to the cognitive dissonance at work in the alarmist camp.

      • Maybe skeptics need better memes? If we don’t, we will all be eating tofu burgers or paying bacon taxes :)

      • Warmer is better than colder. Biodiversity increases with warming. There is enough energy available, terrestrially and extraterrestrially to sustain a human population much greater than at present in a style to which we would all like to become accustomed.

        See? No cognitive dissonance.

      • the reason why climate skeptics have a connection to the pro-smoking lobby is because it’s all part of the “don’t give a sht about stuff that doesn’t affect me” doctrine that governs them.

      • A physicist (and hunter)

        A physicist wrote:

        For the Heartland Institute to continue to publicly post statements like “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard ” is simply unconscionable, given current scientific knowledge.

        The full statement in a 1999 op-ed by Joe Bast of Heartland should be quoted here:

        Moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard, nor is second-hand smoke, and the number of deaths caused by heavy smoking is far fewer than the 400,000-a-year figure cited by some observers. More likely the true number is below 100,000, according to research by Robert Levy and Rosalind Marimont.

        To my knowledge Heartland has not actively lobbied for direct smoking (which is known to increase the risk of contracting cancer and, hence, death in heavy smokers). But they have argued that smoking is an individual choice that each smoker makes, and have taken a stand against the ban of “secondhand smoke”, where the individual usually does not have an active choice regarding exposure..

        A California lobby group against secondhand smoking tells us:

        Secondhand smoke kills tens of thousands of Americans every year and causes serious life-threatening illnesses to thousands more.

        Another lobby group estimates that as many as 53,800 people die every year from secondhand smoke exposure.

        Even if these numbers are greatly exaggerated, shame on Heartland! They have lobbied for “death”.

        For years Greenpeace and WWF have very successfully led the active lobbying effort to ban the use of DDT worldwide.

        As a result some 2-3 million people died of malaria each year. Since its ban 30 years ago, it is estimated that 30 to 60 million have died from malaria world-wide, which would not have died if DDT had not been banned. Unlike direct smokers who contract lung disease, these individuals, usually in poorer countries, had no choice.

        Both lobby groups have recently backed off of their anti-DDT stand, as criticism has mounted, partly by Heartland!

        Finally, the World Health Organization and USAID have lifted the ban on DDT for household spraying, and malaria deaths are dropping sharply.

        South Africa’s DDT household-spraying programme cut malaria rates by 80% in 18 months, with no harmful environmental effects. Mozambique, Zambia, Madagascar and Swaziland slashed their malaria rates by more than 75 % within two years. The countries were then able to treat a much smaller number of seriously ill patients with new artemisinin-based drugs, and slashed malaria rates by over 90% in just three years!

        So, in this case, Greenpeace and WWF were the “merchants of death” and, in this case, Heartland was the “white knight” who has helped save millions of lives by lobbying against the DDT ban.

        Roles change.

        But anyone who attacks Heartland for its stand on “secondhand smoke”, should be just as tough on Greenpeace and WWF for their past lobbying against worldwide DDT use (which has arguably caused several orders of magnitude more deaths than “moderate smoking” or “secondhand smoke”).


    • A physicist

      theendisnighnot asks: what is it with tobacco?

      Its simple: my children will never know their grandmothers, who both smoked, and who died of lung cancer and emphysema respectively.

      That is the heartfelt reason that our family has zero regard for claims that “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard”, which in light of the existing evidence, are irresponsible and short-sighted to the point of being morally senseless.

      When similar claims by similar people are made that “climate change is not a proven hazard to our nation or our planet,” we similarly reject those claims utterly, as being similarly irresponsible, short-sighted, and morally senseless.

      Is that a sufficiently clear explanation, “theendisnighnot?”

      • Climate change is natural. CO2 is plant food, and may benefit the earth by warming it a little. My descendents will thrive in a warmer world, only held back by ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and Madnesses of the Crowd’.

      • A physicist, I do not smoke I raised my children to not smoke. Their grandparents did not smoke but died when my children were young. Who should I blame?

      • A physicist

        hunter asks: Whom should I blaim [for smoking mortality]

        Hunter, there is no need to “blame” anyone. It’s enough to teach your children the common sense judgment that those who assert quibbles like “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard ” are in no wise to be trusted. And teach your children similarly to apply that principle to the climate change debate … because that’s common sense and good citizenship too.

      • A physicist –

        Wait a minute – you say that Bast’s statement is a ‘quibble’? The implication is that he’s right, but that it’s a small detail in a larger picture. Would you care to expand on that?

      • With respect, KCH, at America’s service academies quibbling is by no means considered “a small detail in a larger picture” but rather is a serious Honor Code violation, that is grounds for reprimand and even expulsion, and for which there is a strict zero-tolerance policy.

        With regard specifically to the quibble that “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard”, as considered in light of the abundant strong medical evidence to the contrary, it is fair to assess this quibble as being irresponsible, short-sighted, and morally senseless.

        Is that a sufficiently clear explanation of why quibbling is wrong?

      • A physicist, that is a pretty impressive reduction in the hazard ratio for those Korean guys.

        Now if we can get Americans to lose a little weight and cut out sodas and herbal teas, they my live longer.

        Whoda thunk herbal tea is worst than regular tea for the obese?

      • Opps! It appears Livestrong is promoting herbal teas for diabetics!


        And after the Journal of Obesity already has published statistically significant results that herbal teas increase the hazard ration for obese type II diabetics

        . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8978213

        It looks like herbal teas need to be regulated. Or maybe an herbal tea sin tax would be appropriate?

        A whole new cause in the works.

      • A physicist –

        Thanks for the link. Interesting reading.

        A couple of points,though:

        I wasn’t looking for an exposition on the the place of quibbling in the service academies. Really, I don’t care how they deal with it – I think my take is the fairly common one.

        I also think it’s rather odd to accuse someone of being “…irresponsible, short-sighted, and morally senseless…” on something they said in 1999 when you use as your evidence a study released in 2008. Find me something solid from *before* 1999 and I might agree with you. If you can’t, you’ll have to admit that Bast’s lack of precognition is a poor basis for an ad hominem assault.

      • KCH, the Heartland Institutes’ assertion that “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard” is on-line right now. It should never have been issued in the first place, and it should be retracted now.

        Any other action amounts to … well … quibbling, eh? And deserves to be named as that harsh and shameful thing.

      • A physicist –

        “It should never have been issued in the first place…”

        Again I ask: show me why and I might agree. Your say-so just doesn’t cut it on this…

        “…it should be retracted now.”

        Well…possibly a disclaimer that studies and/events have subsequently shown this to be incorrect. Kind of like all those wrong statements/predictions/ideas of Hansen, Erlich, Flannery and Gore – they have been disclaimed or retracted, haven’t they?

        To be clear, I do think that people should acknowledge when they have been wrong – it injects honesty into the discussion. I do not think that incorrect statements should be consigned to the memory hole – they are a part of the record of the discussion.

        As an aside, check out this paper:


        I think it’s rather more to the point on moderate smoking risks. Of course, it’s still from 2005, but Bast’s precognitive powers wouldn’t have had to work as hard to pick this one up…

      • A physicist,
        Likewise I teach my children that those who engage in deception and fraud to accomplish their goals are in no wise to be trusted. Especially scientists who hide declines, compromise peer review and engage in wire fraud and forged documents to make cases. And I especially teach my children to not trust trolls who alwasy seek to derail conversations about one topic by confusing it with another.
        Sort of like you.

      • As to your answer of my question, perhaps I was not clear: My children’s grandparents did not die of smoking related illnesses. But, you might have noticed, grandparents do die. It is always something.Having your sort of reaction about something your children’s grandparents did of their own volition is actually sort of disturbing. Whatever HI may have said at some point regarding smoking, I will bet you good money your parents or inlaws did not refer to those claims to justify their decisions to smoke.

      • KCH, the officers of the Heartland Institute did not need precognitive powers to appreciate (in 1999) the sobering implications of medical surveys like Epidemiology of bladder cancer (1992).

        Yet no amount of strong evidence suffices to stop quibblers, eh?

      • A physicist in reading the link to the HI letter you constantly refer to, you are a bit deceptive. It is not a science letter. It was a personal letter talking about politics.
        What was said,
        “In April you sent me an article regarding a jury decision in Portland, Oregon, ordering a tobacco company to pay $81 million to the family of a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer in 1997. I have great sympathy for you and your wife [a heavy smoker suffering from emphysema]. But we do disagree on this issue.

        Interfering in someone else’s life, even with the best of intentions, is always risky. Our intervention may undermine the liberty and autonomy of the person we are seeking to help.

        Our attempt to help inevitably creates a small hole in the shield of rights that protects a person’s self-sufficiency and privacy. While our own intervention may be beneficial or at least harmless, we have little control over who or what will pass through that same hole after we’ve finished our work. Will the next intruder do good or harm? Will he make the hole just a little bigger? Will he be followed by another intruder, and then another, and still another?

        These difficult questions most often arise when we doubt the competence of the person making the choice (a child, say, who is not yet able to decide or care for himself, or an addict whose judgment we see as being compromised); when we cross the line between offering aid to the needy and imposing it on them; and when we move beyond spending our own money or time providing assistance to using tax dollars or police powers to intervene.

        I do not grant that smokers lack the judgment to decide how often to smoke. Too many smokers have quit–half of all long-term smokers–to say they don’t weigh the risks with the benefits and act accordingly. (I should say “we,” because I continue to smoke, though in moderation.)

        Our choice isn’t necessarily irrational: Moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard, nor is second-hand smoke, and the number of deaths caused by heavy smoking is far fewer than the 400,000-a-year figure cited by some observers. More likely the true number is below 100,000, according to research by Robert Levy and Rosalind Marimont. ”

        Is nothign unreasonable, and the stat he refers to about moderate smoking is one I would disagree with, but it is an OPINION.The majority of hte letter is about the libertarian view towards issues like smoking. Not suprisingly, they come down in favor of personal choice. Just like those who push for marijuana legalization and abortion rights. You just don’t like certain types of choices.
        That yo utrue believers golm onto opinions and deliberately confuse them with facts, and then claim the confusion gives you the right to seek to curtail others you don’t like is an emerging pattern of your guys that is very annoying.

      • A physicist

        Hunter, please let me refer you to RICO Convictions of Major Tobacco Companies Affirmed.

        The tobacco companies were found guilty, under the Racketeer Influence Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, of 150 counts of a “pattern of racketeering activity” with the “specific intent to defraud.”

        The Heartland Institute has argued vehemently, for years-on-end, that these tobacco-industry RICO convictions were improper.

        For our family, and for the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved-ones to tobacco-caused early death, the Heartland Institutes’ two decades of position papers on this topic amount to one shameful quibble.

        Not that one expects quibblers to appreciate this.

      • a physicist,
        So what if they disagree with the civil RICO convictions. There have been more than afew cases where people have decided RICO was abused.
        But it will be interesting, when more people wake up to how AGW promoters have behaved like tobacco companies, to see if RICO is pursued on Gleick, Hansen, romm, etc.
        As to the verdict: Did your family get any relief from it?
        And, with all due respect, clear warnings regarding the dangers of smoking were on cigarretes since the 1960’s.
        I doubt if you or your family received one dime of settlement.
        As to position paper, you offered a copy of a personal letter from Bast.
        But as usual with trolls, you cannot argue the actual issue- Gleick’s defrauding of HI and forging of papers in a deliberate attempt to harm them.Instead you seem seem to suffer from the common believer delusion that tobacco causes AGW.
        AGW true beleivers are increasingly dominating that special space in the public square once holding UFO abductees and 911 truthers.

      • A physicist –

        At last ! A reference that doesn’t require precognitive powers! Let the quibbling commence!

        To start, let me ask if you have brought this to the attention of Joe Bast? From his letter, he seems to be a reasonable man. Perhaps he was unaware of this research? Perhaps he knows of other research that counters it? Perhaps he will admit that you might have a point and be willing to add a disclaimer to the letter. Perhaps he’s totally forgotten what he wrote 13 years ago. Perhaps he believes that what he wrote then has no real bearing on what he says now. Who knows, unless you ask?

        Again, an aside: The abstract of that review article does look interesting. Do you know of a link to the actual article? I can’t find one, but my ineptitude at google searches is a family legend. And really, bladder cancer? I had no idea. Glad I don’t smoke…

      • A physicist

        KCH, a free on-line PUBMED search finds 56 medical articles referring specifically to “moderate smoking” (22 articles before 1999, 34 articles subsequently). For the officers of the Heartland Institute to fail to grasp the implications of this medical literature, they would have to be:

        (1) willfully ignorant, and/or
        (2) quibblers.

        My experience in life has been that willful ignorance is difficult to amend, and a predilection for quibbling nearly impossible.

      • A physicist –


        (3) basing their opinion on other studies you haven’t seen (or have, but discount)

        I’m with Hunter on this: Joe Bast is offering an opinion in a letter to a friend. He’s probably wrong – at least to some degree – but that alone hardly convicts him of *willful* ignorance. You’ll have to show me that you (or someone, anyway) has attempted to bring it to his attention and he gives no backing for his opinion better than ‘it fits my narrative’ for me to buy that charge.

        Or even:

        (4) not doctors and/or scientists, and therefore acting on the advice of people they trust on subjects they don’t know.

        Now that one reminds me of, oh, just about everyone.

        I heartily agree that willful ignorance is difficult to amend (look to Greg Laden as an example, or possibly BBD over at Keith Kloor’s place). As for quibbling, sometimes it’s just a way to amuse oneself on a boring day. Hell, sometimes you even learn something.

        Thanks again for the links on the cancer studies.

      • A physicist

        KCH arguesJoe Bast is offering an opinion in a letter to a friend.

        Uhhh … by posting that opinion to the public.

        On a corporate web site.

        And keeping it there for more a decade and more.

        While taking corporate money for products whose risks it deprecates.

        Although those positions contract medical science.

        And can cause harmful or fatal consequences.

        And that’s OK by your standards?

        KCH, perhaps you need to reflect on this word “quibble”.

      • Corporate website? wtfc?
        Again, it is a section out of a long letter.
        For that the entire HI is corrupt and wicked?
        And this wickedness somehow means Gleick was justified in his fraud and forgery?
        And this wickedness means that HI is not a legitimate organizatino and nothing they way is worth consideration?
        As to quibbling, I would suggest that to hijack a thread, to condemn an organization, and to avoid the topic over a letter is a much better quibbling effort than anything you so readily accuse others of doing.

      • A physicist

        Hunter, at least we agree that no amount of strong evidence suffices to convince quibblers, even in matters of life and death.

      • A physicist –

        Let’s take this in order.

        We all state opinions in public. Sometimes we are asked to back them up (as I asked you) and sometimes people just take umbrage without trying to clarify (have you yet contacted Bast for his reasoning?)

        It’s an *advocacy* website, no different from any other advocacy website (well, more coherent than, say, Greg Laden’s blog).

        They seem to keep all of their history on line. I would object if they discarded inconvenient opinions to the memory hole. You wouldn’t?

        Again, it’s an *advocacy* group. They all – left, right, green, anti-tobacco, vegan, pro-fur, whatever – take money from anyone offering it. Corporations give money to groups that can further a goal for them. Why does this horrify you?

        I seem to recall that there have been all kinds of studies showing all kinds of different results in seeming contradiction to each other. Which ones did he base his opinion on? I also think that Bast is probably wrong here, but without asking him for his basis I’m hardly eager to condemn him.

        No argument here – smoking kills and maims. In a country with enforced public healthcare (like Canada, where I live), it should be banned outright as a drain on my tax dollar. Then again, so should pot, hard drugs, hard liquor, rock climbing, hockey, driving cars, parachute and base jumping, skateboarding, the health scare du jour and anything else that might have an injury/death rate above the norm. Do you see where I’m going here?

        So no, I’m not OK with your take on this, at least not without the caveats listed above.

        Lastly, I have been, and will continue to reflect on any number of things, including ‘quibble’. In return, I would ask you to reflect on the notion that people can hold radically different positions to you without being evil.

      • Hunter –

        “As to quibbling, I would suggest that to hijack a thread…”

        To be fair, I asked him to explain his statement. The rest – on this sub-thread – has followed from that.

      • A physicist

        KCH, it is you and Hunter who are using words like “corrupt”, wicked”, and “evil” to describe the Heartland Institute and/or its CEO Joe Bast and/or that Institute’s tobacco-related activities.

        My own opinion is that criticisms like “quibbler” are plenty harsh, when it comes to matters of public health, respect for scientific knowledge, and foresighted policy-making.

        For the Heartland Institute to continue to publicly post statements like “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard ” is simply unconscionable, given current scientific knowledge.

        And I think there are very few folks who see it any different.

      • The deniers aren’t evil and corrupt, they are just incompetent

      • A physicist –

        Please don’t lump me together with Hunter – I doubt he wants to defend my positions.

        Of your list, I used the single word ‘evil’ as a projection of *your* view of Heartland/Bast. I based this on your previous statements that they are “…irresponsible, short-sighted, and morally senseless…” and “…are in no wise to be trusted.” My apologies if I added that up to mean ‘evil’, instead of ‘quibble’.

        As I see the angels gathering for the pin-head dancing, I think I’ll bid adieu for now. Besides, I have to fix dinner…

      • A physicist

        KCH, it requires no particular enterprise or effort to be “irresponsible, short-sighted, and morally senseless.” Heck, it’s a pretty good start to be ordinarily slothful and everyday-selfish!

        Whereas being “evil” is a whole lot more difficult … fortunately for all of us, there aren’t all that many folks who possess the necessary imagination, ambition, and dedication for it.

      • a physicist,
        I doubt if we agree on much, and I am sure you are going to quibble away like a good troll.

      • kch,
        You are doing a great job on your own. A physicist has reduced himself to quibbling as his primary weapon, followed closely by putting his words in the mouths of others.

      • physicist,

        So you are concerned about your kids? How about other kids, physicist? Do you think babies have the right to life?

        Well, physicist, two lefty monstrosities, recently published in the supposedly prestigious “Journal of Medical Ethics”, don’t think babies have the right to live (Google: “killing babies is no different from abortion Telegraph” and “killing newborn babies is perfectly logical Daily Mail”). And who are these cruel, sociopathic baby-killer defenders? Nuts right? Extremists right? Well not quite. One is a professor at the University of Melbourne and a former student at Oxford’s Uehiro Center for Applied Ethics. The other is a professor at Monash University and a sometime speaker at the Uehiro Center and Oxford’s Martin Center (that last institution is, you be pleased to learn, physicist, totally into the greenshirt “sustainability” deal).

        And then there’s the editor of the repellent rag in which the wannabe baby-killers published–a gent named Julian Savulescu (Google: “OCN Julian Savulescu”). No small fry this cull-friendly, eco-elite philosopher-king: Director of Oxford’s Uehiro Center for Applied Ethics; Uehiro Chair Professor, and Director of the Institute for Science and Ethics, the Oxford Martin School.

        And the good Professor Savulescu’s “cut” on the article in his magazine (he personally knows both authors, it is reported) advocating that babies have no right to life?–according to the Telegraph article, his blase response was “…arguments in favor of killing new borns were ‘largely not new'”. Not new?!! Well, the idea that suffing our babies’ lives is no big deal because they have no right to life is news to me, if not to you, physicist! But then, physicist, being as you are a hive-bound greenshirt and all, this will come as a shock to you–normal people don’t spend their working lives dreaming up justifications for killing babies and getting paid for it by the tax-payer. Really!

        But, hey!, that Savulescu dude is one pretty cool customer, huh? I mean, like, a breath of non-discriminatory fresh air for which lefty wannabe, baby-killer eugenicists everywhere can rejoice . Right, physicist?

        So tell me, physicist, do approve of the notion that babies have no right to life? Do you denounce such a doctrine as evil on the face of it? And do you disassociate yourself entirely and denounce the institutions whose publications and paid employees entertain and promote such inhuman notions of “sustainability”? And no quibbling, please.

        And lest we forget, physicist, the Universities of Oxford, Melbourne, and Monash are at the carmine core of the CAGW-scam, watermelon-world you lefties have planned for us “little people” and those of our babies you consider to be of no use to your brave-new-world grand designs. But I’m sure you’re expecting your kids will get a pass, in recognition of your lickspittle devotion to “the cause” and your many labors on its behalf. Right, again, am I physicist? On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that thanks to the likes of eco-stooges like you, physicist, we’ll at least be spared second hand smoke (the survivors that is–I mean, you can’t kid me, physicist-you lefties aren’t just aiming to kill babies and leave it at that–no?).

        P. S. I almost forgot, your soul-mate Savulescu was also the former Director of the Ethics Program at the Murdoch Children’s Research Unit, University of Melbourne. Doesn’t get any better than that. You freakin’ , kill-crazy lefties!

      • WTF?

        Mike, that was a great example of (in no particular order) an impolite, inappropriate, wrong site, wrong topic, rambling, incoherent, misdirected, unhinged and possibly worrisome piece of bilious crap.

        Kindly go take your long overdue meds and stop drooling venom on the floor.

      • kch,

        Yeah, I do kinda get worked up when the subject turns to “baby-killing.” Sorta pushes a button with me. You know, like second-hand smoke pushes physicist’s button.

        But, kch, let’s see what you’ve got:

        “Impolite”: Well, kch, just what is the appropriate etiquette when dealing with lefty baby-killer advocates? Incidentally, kch, do you think your comment was a model of politesse?–don’t quibble, please!

        “Inappropriate”: Sez who?

        “wrong site”: Again, sez who? And, oh by the way, what is the appropriate site. I mean is this the second-hand-smoke site only and the baby-killer site is somewhere else? You seem to be up on these sorts of things, kch. Help me out.

        “wrong topic”: Let’s see now, a thread that’s been “jacked” by a “tobacco-scientist” troll is off-limits to any further diversion from the topic of the post? Nice try, kch–but you’re no Joshua (not that even he could pull off a lame gambit like that). Sorry, if I kinda, just a little bit, messed-up physicist while he was on a roll and all. But, hey!, that’s me!

        “rambling”: I’ll give yah that one, kch. Not that I care.

        “inchoherent, etc. bilious piece of crap: Jeez, kch, you’re givin’ my “sez-who?” generator a real work out, tonight! Sez who?

        And then there’s your polite, appropriate, right-site, right-topic, concise, coherent etc., non-piece of bilious crap advice: “…stop drooling venom on the floor”. O. K. I’ll make you a deal, kch, since you thought it worth your while pursuing the physicist’s OT, tobacco-scientist rants, why don’t you be a good sport and show me how you deal, venom and drool-free, with the subject of greenshirts and their advocacy of baby-killing without regrets?

        You do think killing babies is wrong, don’t you, kch? Or not?

      • A physicist

        Smoking (especially heavy cigarette smoking) is bad for you. The medical profession usually bases the hazard on pack-years over a lifetime..

        Smoking is an individual choice.

        Heavy drinking of alcohol is bad for you. The medical profession usually cites four drinks or more per day, every day, as heavy drinking.

        Drinking is an individual choice.

        Both cigarettes and alcohol can become addictive for some individuals, but programs and methods are available for anyone who chooses to do so to break the habit.

        Anyone who dies from the effects of having smoked or drunk heavily has primarily himself/herself to blame.

        Do you see this differently?

        If so, how?

        (This is not a “trick question”. I’m just trying to figure out how you think about this.)


      • What I think is simple: the claim “moderate smoking is not a proven health hazard” is factually wrong; persons and institutions that persist in asserting that false claim are morally wrong; and no such factually wrong & morally wrong person or institution is trustworthy.

        And IMHO there are mighty few folks who think different.

      • A P,
        So what? Go to a cancer thread and have at it.
        Here, you are just another troll if you cannot talk about the issue.

      • some real heartland fanboys here.

        They are practically scrambling to change the subject.

      • lolowot,

        Hmm… HI questioned some aspects of the anti-smoking literature and/or the legal merit of some related litigation, a decade or more ago,–totally OT–and that is the burning issue with you and physicist. On the other hand, that you lefties are right now pushing, among your other noxious agenda items, something as monstrous as baby-killing is to you no big deal and anyone drawing attention to it is a “Heartland fanboy”.

        lolowot, leading greenshirts and one of their most prestigious publications, associated with the Universities of Oxford, Melbourne and Monash, either advocate or urge serious consideration of the monstrous doctrine that babies have no right to life. But such advocacy in no way discredits the above universities or individuals–right lolowot? But questioning some aspect of the anti-smoking sacred-cow, on the other hand, is enough to condemn Heartland to perpetual disgrace.

        I guess when you’re immersed in the “hive’s” full time and busy as a little bee working for “the cause”, you, lolowot, and physicist can make sense of all this. In the meantime, the rest of us normal people are satisfied to be shocked–shocked!–that killing babies is a current topic of polite greenshirt conversation, and of greater moment and a greater threat to the kids than second-hand smoke articles and the like of yore.

        But yeah, lolowot, I do want to change the subject. Do you condemn baby-killing? And if you do “understand” that sometimes babies just need a little killin’ who is it that you think are best suited to proceed with the cull?

      • The language of the posts above, which asserts that scientists collectively “advocate baby-killing” and “drool venom on the floor” is exemplary of the “Characteristics of Demagoguery.”

      • physicist,

        Thanks loads for that link to the article on demagoguery, physicist. I mean it even had a reference to Hitler! Good stuff, physicist. Very chastening.

        So now physicist that we’ve gotten your Hitler analogy out of the way, two leading Australian academics, empoloyed by the Universities of Melbourne and Monsh writing in a leading, prestigious ethics magazine, edited by an Oxford University Professor have sought to justify baby-killing–BABY-KILLING!, physicist.

        Now’s your chance, physicist. Show the world what a “demagogue” I am. Denounce “baby-killing” and those academics that espouse the doctrine that babies have no right to life and their enablers. Also, just as you’ve done with Heartland, make it clear that for allowing such a viewpoint to be aired,the Universities of Melbourne, Monash, and Oxford are permanently disgraced and henceforth forfeit all credibility when pushing the CAGW-scam, sustainability hustle.

        Again, physicist, I’m the demagogue, I’m the one who supposedly paints with too broad a brush. So embarrass me before the world with your sterling example and go where no lefty greenshirt on this blg, like lolowot, has dared go before and take this opportunity to denounce baby-killing and those individuals and institutions that harbor and espouse baby-killers and baby-killing. Do it guy. Otherwise, some “demagogue” might try to make out you’re dodging the subject of baby-killing and that silence gives assent and all. You know how those “Heartland fanboy” demagogues are, right physicist?

      • American history teaches that demagogic narratives centering upon conspiracy theories spread rapidly during economic downturns … awareness of that history helps prevent repetition of that history.

      • A physicist –

        “The language of the posts above…”

        Hmmm…I have been reflecting on this since my initial response to Mike, and you’re right. I should not have jumped at the bait in that fashion. It was extremely intemperate of me, and for that I would like to apologize to all for my infuriated response to Mike’s comment, regardless of my feelings. The proper person to decide on this blog’s etiquette is, as always, Dr. Curry.

        Mike –

        That apology is directed to you as well, in particular for the final sentence of my response to you.

        I would, however like to explain (but not absolve myself from) that response.

        My problem is that whilst I agree with you on this issue, your approach is so confrontational and full of rage that is is actively detrimental to your cause. I’m sorry, but you came off as a right-wing Occupier. I can only hope that the worst antics and incoherencies of that group were as deeply embarrassing to the liberal left as your rant was to me.

        When I do engage on this blog – which is rare – I try to do so in a reasonably polite and thoughtful manner. I ask questions, I listen to the answers. I’m not perfect at it, but I try.

        I’ve had several good discussions with others in which I’ve learned things, made my points, found areas of agreement and, most importantly, found why we disagree. I think I get far more across, and am taken far more seriously, than if I were to just rant at others. Maybe I’m wrong, but in my life I have always found that calm speech is thought about, where screaming makes everyone back away.

        In particular, screaming your views on one topic in a forum about something else entirely is just asking to be ignored on any substantive points you might have.

        So, I will amend my earlier comment. I still think this was a poor choice of forum on your part, and will still observe that your rant (and it was one) was impolite, not very coherent, rambling and misdirected. As well, if I had felt myself to be your target, I would have found it worrisome. I withdraw the rest.

      • physicist,

        Another link? What are you, physicist, a sausage factory or something? Hey, physicist, we’re not talking any conspiracy theory. Two greenshirt stalwarts writing in one of the hive’s most sacred journals have advocated guilt-free, penalty-free baby-killing for “the cause.” I gave you the references up-thread there. And those references offer us all a rare, unvarnished peek at how you lefties intend to grind up the mewling babes for your gulag-grade, “sustainability” sausage. Just the facts speaking for themselves, in other words.

        So now, your turn, physicist. Let me keep it simple since I can see you’re easily confused and diverted, physicist:

        -Do you denounce the infamous, “not new”, monstrous notion that babies have no right to life?

        -Do you denounce those who advocate that babies have no right to life?

        -Do you denounce those institutions that serve as enablers of and provide aid and comfort to those who advocate that babies have no right to life, like the Universities of Oxford, Melbourne, and Monash?

        -Do you consider that those individuals and institutions that have even, just once, been associated with an article advocating that babies have no right to life are permanently disgraced and their further contributions to the CAGW-scam, sustainability hustle are properly to be dismissed out-of-hand by all thinking individuals?

        P. S. If it helps you to stay focused, physicist, all I’ve done here is use your original Heartland/tobacco science and “for the kids” pitch as a template, but substituted big-shot lefty university/baby-killing for your little demagogic, hive fanboy, conspiracy-theory obsessions with Heartland/tobacco science/kids/grandmothers/deniers/etc. Get it?

      • A physicist

        KCH, perhaps you might want to reconsider using the terms “baiting” and “ranting” for one common-sense reason.

        Most folks appreciate that the narrative “First they took away our right to smoke tobacco, then they took away our right to burn carbon” is a potent meme for demagoguery. And most folks appreciate too, that the Heartland Institute specializes in spreading this class of memes.

        Asserting these simple & readily verifiable facts isn’t “baiting” and “ranting,” is it, KCH?

         … it’s simply truth-speaking, eh?

      • kch,

        No apology needed, but, while I don’t deserve one, I most certainly accept your apology.

        kch, you’re obviously a kindly person with a good heart and judge my exchange with physicist and lolowot and their ilk by the standards of the normal discourse between decent men and women of good will. And that does you credit, kch.

        And my exchange with physicist/lolowot fails your standards of temperate, rational discourse, I realize. But, kch, I respectfully recommend for your consideration that the professional and semi-professional greenshirt, thread-jacking trolls that regularly roll into this blog are not here for good-faith, give-and-take debate. Rather, they are hive-bots on a wrecking-mission. And my response strategy is to give rhetorical, jiu-jitsu flips to their agit-prop while highlighting the left’s many, well-known hypocrisies, special deals, double-standards, frauds, hustles, scams, and the like. Hence my deliberate vitriol. Maybe it’s working, maybe not–but I like to think my contributions, such as they are, are having a neutralizing effect on these doom-bot trolls to some degree.

        A physicist and lolowot,

        Us “deniers” are still waiting for you guys to denounce baby-killing, you know. Silence give assent, you know.

      • lolwot shows up to provide comic relief by complaining that those who point out that tobacco and Heartland Institute are topics the trolls have used to hijack the thread are themselves out of line for pointing this out.

        By the way, lolwot,: After Gleickgate came out, and reading the reactions of extremists like you, I became a donor to Heartland Institute. I don’t even agree with much of their political stand, but since they have caused your side to in many cases toss away their moral compass and become delusionally confused about tobacco and climate, I figure they must be doing something right.

        And here we have A Physicist doing a pretty good impression of Joshua, tossed in for free. Notice how studiously, just like Josh, A P avoids the actual topic and seeks to have a faux debate on tobacco A P’s position seems to be well summed by: “Tobacco bad. HI does not agree with me as to how bad, so nothing HI ever says or does should be listened to.” And then he lectures on how architecture is being added to the list of things damaged by AGW. Maybe AP is not simply doing an impression, but is pushing Josh’s schtick to new levels of inanity? I am sure we will soon find out.

      • A physicist

        With no disrespect or impoliteness intended toward those who hold differing opinions, this particular “greenshirt thread-jacking hive-bot on a wrecking-mission” has posted a response that is reasoned, factual, verifiable, and polite on another Climate etc. thread.

      • A physicist

        Uhhh … namely, here! :)

      • A physicist-


        I post an apology acknowledging my intemperate words, then go out to see a movie (Act of Valor – I enjoyed it, though not everyone would). On my return I discover that you seem to be using my latest words to try to leverage me to join you in condemning Joe Bast as a demagogue – or at least agreeing that he is one.

        And of course, based on yet another 14 year old document. One in which he actually makes a number of fair points (certainly for the time).

        Let’s be clear – I don’t agree with you. It appears to me that Joe Bast is conducting his political advocacy in a manner far more open and honest a fashion than many others. His only crime seems to be effectiveness.

        And that hardly calls for the vitriol thrown his way…

        Mike –

        I’m not really that kindly, nor do I have a particularly good heart (just ask the poor sods who work for me). I do, however, strongly believe that the vast majority of people operate with the best intentions, at least in their own view.

        It’s why I try to interact in a temperate, rational manner – I need to see *why* they are wrong before I can hope to make any points in contradiction to their beliefs. And, just occasionally, I find *I’ve* been wrong. I can’t do that by shouting.

        I do think your approach is self-defeating though – especially on this blog. There is a premium placed on temperate discussion here, and that is what is going to have the best impact.

    • theendisnighnot,
      Seeking to wonder off into tobacco is what is called “quibbling”.

  60. theendisnighnot

    A Physicist…. and by the way I’m “flabby” it’s what comes of my age and actually enjoying this precious gift called life… you should really lighten up and enjoy it before it’s gone too soon

  61. theendisnighnot

    A Physicist… whilst I naturally have sympathy for your familes experince how is this “apples with apples”? It’s like you imagine very single “denier”, “sceptic” whatever believes that smoking doesn’t kill? How absurd I’ve already told you i believe it does. How does this change the real world pray tell? I’ve has 3 relatives killed by motoring acidents do i want to ban cars? NO! With all due respect your tying yourself up in knotts. I had one Granfather who dies in agong in the sixties from cancer…. never smoked a cigarette or anything in his life didn’t drink my other Grandad was different to say the least he died of natural causes much later in life. What does this prove? Nothing tbh…..If some authority tells you something do you always believe it? I summise that you believe this CAGW guff becuase it fits in with your world view i.e. all corporations are inherently evil. a question ? would you agree therefore that the tax these “evil corporations” pay shouldn’t stain your movements/cause?

  62. theendisnighnot

    A Physicist…. and genuienly my heart breaks that your children will never know their Grandmothers, mine were both probably some of the biggest influences on my life.

  63. Captain Kangarooo

    Building things to last for centuries is a thing that we do routinely. Building a successful culture takes centuries. Most of that is building on the enlightenment heritage of science, free markets, small government, individual freedom and the rule of law. These are in truth the enlightenment principles on which America was built. In this century there is no greater need than for democracy and free markets to triumph to bring the benefits of science, health care and education to the rest of a struggling world. We face critical issues in food and water. We have an immediate history of tyranny and genocide. We are at a critical juncture in human history. We must choose now between a philosophy of abundance or an assumption of limits. The latter portends more great paroxysms, more death and more destruction of values and optimism. This is the century that we must choose growth and life over stagnation and death.

    The warming we have seen may be characterised as a rising trend on which is superimposed warming and cooling at natural origin. The residual trend is 0.1 degrees C/decade. This is not sufficient to be an immediate prime concern, is one amongst many problems and is one that is best addressed in the market and by technological innovation.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

  64. Chief Hydrologist

    Whoops – who was that masked man?

    • Chief Hydrologist


      ‘All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.'(1) I believe we at such a juncture where unless we are crystal clear about our social and cultural values then a descent into hell on Earth is inevitable.

      Thus the great moral challenge for our time renew the struggle for science, freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law. These are the great accomplishments of the enlightenment and a common human heritage. Only with these things can the promise of an unlimited future for humanity be realised.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      (1) ‘http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke

  65. Tomas Milanovic

    We are at a critical juncture in human history.

    Well mankind has been at it only for a few thousands years.
    And as it is its first try, it had to invent everything.
    During most of these few thousands years, mankind has been just a handful of individuals, living hard and dying young.
    The Nature has been successfully killing as many as who were born and so mankind was at a mercy of any inconvenient random event which would have wiped it utterly.
    Not that the Nature cares, it is also at its first try to produce intelligent organic compounds and noticed that it was really easy to do.
    Given 5 billion years left, it can redo the experiment about 10- 20 times and it will definitely do so if given the chance. It is written nowhere that Homo Sapiens has some superior right to be the first and last try at intelligent being.

    Now only 200 years ago came those pesky Europeans and invented the industrial revolution. Suddenly mankind took off and we are 7 billions today and counting. We live 80 years old instead of 30 and our children mostly survive instead of dying in a proportion of 4/5. So the “critical juncture” actually appeared in the 19th century..

    Is this good or bad?
    Given the for all practical purposes infinite space which is mostly available for expansion, there doesn’t seem to be any absolute limit to the growth of the (Homo Sapiens) population and its well being.
    Just go and terraform Mars-has anybody an estimation how many raw materials and ressources there are?
    And this is just a (small) beginning.
    In the REALLY great scheme of things, there is no planning over thousands or millions of years.
    We’ll just invent things as we go along, this seems to be what we are really good at.
    CO2 and second hand smoking are such insignificant ridiculous issues at the time scales that really count…

    • Captain Kangaroo


      All technologies are the offspring of our primary tool for creating and disseminating culture – which is of course language. We have been at that for perhaps 100,000 years. It is the way we remember the past and realise the future. So you have a vision of the far future – a million years of human history that are ours for the grasping one technological triumph at a time for the clever monkeys. But between the past and the future that is ours for the realisation lays a great fear and in that there is great danger – as Yoda said.

      The great society is to be built on the foundations of the enlightenment. This is not a European privilege but a common human heritage. You forget that great swathes of the human race lack the freedom and wealth we take for granted – they lack clean water and sanitation, health care and education. They yet lack these essential advantages that come from the great society built on the principles of freedom, free markets, democracy and the rule of law. If we forget that heritage – as ideologues of the left and right have now and in the recent past – then we risk it all. The last century saw great paroxysms, tyranny, genocide, murder and torture. This century the risk is not diminished but is amplified 100 times.

      I believe that we stand at a critical juncture in human history – and that we may flourish or perish. Thus now our ideas and our rhetoric must be equal to the task of inspiring a great flowering of the human spirit. We must be at least equal to past heroes of human freedom. So in my little way I try to make my words and thoughts every day a song, a poem, a paean to a limitless future for the human race. Perhaps it is enough.

      Robert I Ellison

      • Captain Kangaroo

        Oh – and you will see I have had a promotion to Captain. That and how’s bein’ a cowboy is a lot more fun than hydrology.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Captain- “So in my little way I try to make my words and thoughts every day a song, a poem, a paean to a limitless future for the human race. Perhaps it is enough.”

        Thanks for insights and they are the start- it’s what language and communication are all about.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Captain oh Captain.
        I have a much more detached and more optimistic view of things.
        In the great scheme when we talk about millions of years none of these considerations matters.
        What do the Chimpanzees miss that we have? A couple of tens of thousands years and they’ll invent the steam machine too.
        Or dolphins for that matter-arguably handicapped by a missing opposable thumb but then they live in water.

        Life and intelligence are irreversible on scales of billions of years.
        The hardest part for the Nature was to go from unicellular to multicellular. After that it was a walk in the park.
        There is nothing in this Universe short of a supernova that could get us back to unicellular. Even if you imagine some unimaginable cataclysm that eliminates every single higher vertebrae on the Earth, you ll have in an eyeblink (a few hundreds of milllions of years) intelligent octopi civilisations or whatever you want.
        We just barely won the race and it was arguably the Europeans who exponentially increased our population and well being 200 years ago.
        In the meantime everybody followed with different delays so that it is not surprising that some still live like the Europeans lived only a few years ago.

        Yes, our kind of monkeys has an exceptionnal ability to adapt which was increased by technology x fold. I think we are now virtually unkillable as a species. At least not by classical means. Nature could invent some new and deadly virus but even that would not be enough. Sure we could go down from the 7 billions to a few millions and be back in thousand years again.
        After all it takes only a few pairs to restart everything.

        Really when the question is about the far future, the only thing that can make me vaguely concerned and curious is when will we finish with Mars terraforming.
        Most of the rest is annoying and largely irrelevant for those time scales.
        In the meantime just live your life as you like and trust in future generations which will find surprising and unexpected things like they always did since some curious monkey got burned by a fire.

  66. Oilprice.com question re: “pushing for a “plan B” which utilizes geo-engineering to manipulate the environment in order to cool the atmosphere.”

    “JC: With regards to geo-engineering, there are two major concerns. The first is whether the technologies will actually work, in terms of having the anticipated impact on the climate. The second is the possibility of unintended consequences of the geoengineering.”

    Pooh: Hence, the need to include an “undo” button on any geoengineering scheme.