Week in review 6/23/12

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

News from the IPCC

The IPCC’s latest efforts to bolster credibility are to increase the use of gray literature, and to adhere to strict geographic quotas for participants.  For commentary, see

The Science 2.0 article hits hard.  My first reaction to the use of gray science is that it is a really dumb move by the IPCC; one of its main claims to credibility was the use of peer reviewed journal articles.  My second thought is to wonder whether only gray articles from green advocacy groups are allowed here, or they will also allow blog science and commentary.

With regards to the geographical quotas for participants, I have a forthcoming post on Climate for Corruption, which will discuss this issue.

Rio +20

What to make of this?  It seems that expectations were very low going on, and the expectations were then exceeded on the low side.    A few reactions:

The Guardian:  “Protest erupted in the Rio+20 conference centre on Thursday as civil rights groups carried out a “ritual rip-up” of a negotiating text that they condemn as a betrayal of future generations.

Financial Post: “The “failure” of Rio+20 is a cause for celebration, even if you can’t afford the champagne and foie gras that ecocrats served themselves as their hopes for “Sustainia” retreated into the policy fog.”  

For background and context, Andy Revkin has a series of articles at dotearth.

Royal Society

Kudos to the Royal Society and Geoffrey Boulton’s committee for their recent released report Science as an Open Society.  The whole report is well worth reading, there are many gems in it.  The main recommendations are:

  • Scientists need to be more open among themselves and with the public and media
  • Greater recognition needs to be given to the value of data gathering, analysis and communication
  • Common standards for sharing information are required to make it widely usable
  • Publishing data in a reusable form to support findings must be mandatory
  • More experts in managing and supporting the use of digital data are required
  • New software tools need to be developed to analyse the growing amount of data being gathered.

New data from Siberia

NSF has a press release (reported at WUWT) entitled “Remote Siberian Lake Holds Clues to Arctic and Antarctic Climate Change,”  on a paper published in Science this week.  This is very interesting.

2.8 Million Years of Arctic Climate Change from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Russia

Melles, Brigham-Grette, et al.

Abstract.  The reliability of Arctic climate predictions is currently hampered by insufficient knowledge of natural climate variability in the past. A sediment core from Lake El’gygytgyn (NE Russia) provides a continuous high-resolution record from the Arctic spanning the past 2.8 Ma. The core reveals numerous “super interglacials” during the Quaternary, with maximum summer temperatures and annual precipitation during marine benthic isotope stages (MIS) 11c and 31 ~4-5°C and ~300 mm higher than those of MIS 1 and 5e. Climate simulations show these extreme warm conditions are difficult to explain with greenhouse gas and astronomical forcing alone, implying the importance of amplifying feedbacks and far field influences. The timing of Arctic warming relative to West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreats implies strong interhemispheric climate connectivity.

Published online by Science, link to [abstract]

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/claim-fates-of-polar-ice-sheets-appear-to-be-linked/#more-66062

468 responses to “Week in review 6/23/12

  1. With respect to the Royal Society; I could not download the report. But to quote

    “Greater recognition needs to be given to the value of data gathering, analysis and communication ”

    Honestly, why on earth should this need to be said? Surely it is basic Physics 101, that, nearly 60 years ago, I had drummed into my thick skull at Cavendish Labs Cambridge. I suspect this just shows how far this magnificent organization has fallen in it’s quest to sell the religion of CAGW.

    I just bow my head in sorrow.

    • Latimer Alder

      +1

      No data = no science. Simples

      Maybe, though, we will discover that the Beastie Boys of Climatology haven’t been ‘hiding’ their data at all. They have instead been attempting to conceal its total absence. Perhaps It was never there in the first place?

      Difficult to explain why they’ve spent so much effort and credibility on fighting an unwinnable war otherwise. Unless it is a complete failure to understand their strategic position.

      • See my reply to Jim below. The data issue is a general one in science today. It is not about climate. It is big and far from clear. Publishing a journal article is one thing, but publishing data is much harder.

      • The sad truth is just this, and nothing less: Lack of analytical data or research funds are techniques used to promote a scam.

        The AGW scam has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with Earth’s global climate. It is all about building a tyrannical, one-world government to protect world leaders and society from possible destruction by “nuclear fires”.

        See: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-142

        Key References:

        03. George Orwell, “1984″ (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc, 1949, First Signet Classic Printing, 1950, 328 pages):
        http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

        08. Earth Summit Agenda 21: United Nations core publication on action plans adopted in 1992 to be taken globally, nationally, and locally on the environmental impact of humans): http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

        11. O. Manuel, “Scientific Genesis: The Global Warming Scam,” video (2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3VIFmZpFco

        PS – I am not personally opposed to a one-world government that is controlled by the people. George Orwell correctly described the dangers of a government that distorts information to control people.

        http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

      • Lol. They are asking for more data managers and new software and enhanced data sharing to handle the ever growing amount of data collected.

      • Yes, the costs are potentially huge, and presently unmanaged.

      • Latimer Alder

        $100 billion on ‘climate research’ was a pretty big chunk of change to pour down the toilet with very very little useful to show for it. A tenth of that to store the data that already exists would be a much better deal.

        I accept that it is not an easy problem…but if you really wanted to do it, it could be done.

      • What, in relative terms, are the opportunity costs of not doing it?

      • David Wojick

        The problem is that most data is not worth storing. More importantly, the human effort is huge and subtracted from the research effort. And what we have spent on climate research is irrelevant. Are you proposing a new $10 billion data storage program? Dream on.

      • @David Wojick
        The problem is that most data is not worth storing.

        Are you including in this, the data and code used in journal articles ?

      • @David Wokick
        the human effort [of data storage] is huge and subtracted from the research effort.

        Data storage is an integral part of research. How can anyone stand on the shoulders of those who come before them, if the shoulders are not offered up?

      • You’ll end up with palace-style data centers, and then there will be the expose where they announce nobody has ever used it.

        All you because you knuckleheads can’t figure Climategate was about as insignificant as Billygate.

      • Climategate was very significant. But it was not about date per se. It is all about the interpretation of data.

      • David, Climategate was about manipulation of experimental data and observations.

        Social and economic systems are in collapse, at least in the formerly “Free West” block of nations, and the root problem seems to be loss of contact with “Reality,” “Truth,” “God,” etc., caused by manipulation of data and observations.

        http://dingo.care2.com/cards/flash/5409/galaxy.swf

        From my perspective, leaders of nations lost contact with “Reality” out of fear of the “nuclear fires” that destroyed Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945:

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/ ; http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

        The battle to restore contact with “Reality” in modern homo sapiens will be as formidable as historic battles against the forces of darkness, described in the

        a.) Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 1) on the field of Kurukshetra
        b.) Bible (1 Samuel, Chapter 17) in the Kingdom of Judah.

        Thank you, David, for your efforts.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • @JCH
        you knuckleheads can’t figure Climategate was about as insignificant as Billygate.

        Right, so hiding data from people you suspect might check your work a little too closely, is insignificant then. I never realized that. I guess it’s ok if you have god and/or political correctness on your side

    • tempterrain

      Even so it won’t be verifiable, falsifiable and repeatable, will it? They’ll never be able to do that!

  2. Judith you say with respoect to Rio

    “What to make of this? It seems that expectations were very low going on, and the expectations were then exceeded on the low side.”

    On the contrary. Break out the champagne!!! My expectations were exceeded on the high side. The greater the failure, the better off the world will be; particularly the world’s poor.

  3. “…really dumb move…”

    Really??

    Best practice in systematic reviews demands the inclusion of relevant grey literature.

    • Latimer Alder

      You said that before.

      Care to explain, or do you claim to be Moses with some bits of stone you’d like us to look at?

      • It’s a basic feature of systematic reviews. Not including grey literature is a negative. Likewise unpublished studies should be looked for to reduce the effects of publication bias.

        The word ‘systematic’ is the giveaway.

        The real question is why people who know nothing about it keep saying this kind of stuff.

        You could say it’s “really dumb”.

      • I agree. Peer review is the false face the IPCC has been hiding behind.

      • The portrait of Dorian Grey literature. Hide it in the attic: Top Secret.
        =========================

      • Yet Dorian grows old and dies. I expect the next IPCC report to be ignored, just as Rio+20 was. Enjoy.

      • Latimer Alder

        I am confused.

        If they are unpublished, how do you know they exist?

        Would the unpublished studies you look for be peer-reviewed unpublished or un-peer-reviewed unpublished?

        And if they are un-peer-reviewed unpublished how do you know that they are any good? Because we have long been loudly assured that only peer-reviewed published material is any good. Surely non-peer-reviewed unpublished stuff is about as far from that ideal as it is possible to get?

      • Ask.

      • David Wojick

        The issue here is that the published, peer reviewed journal literature is just a fraction of scientific communication. For example, one of my projects publishes many of the research reports that follow every Federal research project. See http://www.science.gov. They have an estimated 50 million pages of non-peer reviewed science. Peer review is basically a combination of editing and ranking. It is not a certification of truth.

      • Michael and the IPCC are thinking of the output of WWF and GP, so dark a greenish-red it almost looks grey.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Wojick: For example, one of my projects publishes many of the research reports that follow every Federal research project. See http://www.science.gov. They have an estimated 50 million pages of non-peer reviewed science.

        That is interesting. Full stop.

        But what is a workable standard for IPCC? If their criteria are made inclusive enough, the works can not all be read, and the reports can never be written.

      • Matt, the IPCC is an exercise in CAGW justification. They never have read all the science, so adding more will not matter.

      • David W.;
        Thanks, I think. Science.gov is a huge source. An excellent tracker of policy memes currently in vogue.
        A search for “climate disruption” turned up some fascinating stuff. The EPA is really throwing lotsa bux at saving us from it! E.g.: Webinar Integrating Science, Smart Growth Planning, and Local Government Decision Making: The Maryland/Chesapeake Story
        The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is threatened by rapid land use change, especially urbanization and climate disruption including sea level rise and extreme weather events. Development of comprehensive tools that can adequately predict future impacts of land use decisions are needed to advise decision makers and the public on the consequences of land use decisions. Econometric models that integrate economics, demographics, transportation and resulting environmental effects) are a key component of these tools. …

      • Hey Michael!

        Did yah hear the bad news? No? Well, as you know, male/Westerners are “out” now in the world of science and so our ol’ pal Webbie just got handed his walkin’-papers. I mean, like, they escorted his protesting butt off the premises big-time, I understand–quite a scene, they say. Martha is his replacement.

        Incidentally, I understand that Martha made a personal appeal for you, Michael, to be retained as science’s sole, token, male/Western punching-bag. As she put it: “If we have to have one of those male/Westerner useless-eaters at all, then let it be some doofus, harmless, non-threatening, weenie little wimp, like Michael!” And the empowered, non-Western man-haters, running the show, bought into it. Congratulations, guy!

      • Loquacious and pointless…..a stellar combination.

      • Hey Michael!

        Schadenfreude time, guy. It seems the hive, in the aftermath of the Rio fiasco, is in a Darwinian dither over the prospect of a looming, big-time Catastrophic Anthropogenic Trough Loss. And so, Michael, me boy, your betters are picking over their flunkies and deciding who’s expendable and who’s a keeper for the lean times ahead.

        Well, MIchael, ol’ pal,–sorry I’m the one to have to break the bad news to you–but I regret to inform you that the hive has decided you’re the wrong gender and color, my good friend. And you know what that means, right, Michael? I know I should be more sympathetic, Michael, but, really, like, you know, as far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving, no-longer-useful, white-boy, lefty tool. And you thought–like the doofus screw-up you are–that your hive-mates were your friends and all, didn’t you, MIchael? Jeez.

        I mean, like, the revolution has begun eating its own and you’re right at the top of the menu, Michael! (I’m afraid you’re next lolwot.) Poor baby. Too bad, so sad.

      • I’m sure your insults have them quaking in the sand-pit……..

      • Mike, When the popular perception of these “Never let a crisis go to waste” denialist pseudoscientists is such that they find themselves at risk of physical assault whenever and wherever they show themselves in public, we can slack off.

      • lolwot:

        Yr: “…When the popular perception…”

        I’m sure, lolwot, your last comment is hive-speak for something or other. Exactly what, though, is elusive.

        Perhaps, lolwot, you are warning us “deniers” that the hive, perennially hopped up on its watermelon-flavored kool-aid, will, regardless of setbacks, maintain its unremitting, come-back pursuit of the good-ol’-gulag days. And will do so until such time as “deniers” are forced to give up the pedestrian life-style option out of fear of mayhem in the streets. You know the subliminal images you’re invoking here, lolwot: Flash-mob. “Generic Pissed off Old White Guy Denier” down with kicks to the head. A carnival-like trash-talkin’ hub-bub. In other words, lolwot, good lethal, lefty fun like that, right, lolwot?

        Or, lolwot, you might be simply playing one of those off-the-wall “I feel threatened!” cards you lefties always produce when you’re in a jam. If so, you might want to check out youtube for the “10:10” video and google: “Huffington Post Tea Party Zombies Must Die Video”, if you want to see what real incitement to violence looks like. And I especially commend the Huffington Post article since it includes numerous comments by typical lefty barf-bags–your kind of people, lolowt–boastfully delighting in the giddy pleasure they derive from the virtual slaughter of Sarah Palin, New Gingrich, Rick Santorum and a “Generic Pissed-Off Old White Guy” (liked that last), among others.

        And speaking of “white-guys”, lolwot, didn’t you get the memo–the hive-masters have declared white-boys, like you, lolwot to be reactionary, counter-revolutionary scum-suckers. I mean, like, lolwot, you’re a write-off, guy. I mean, like, your lefty, white-boy ass, from now on, doesn’t know jack about squat. I mean, like, anyone wants to know the score, they ask one of the empowered, pale-face phobic man-haters, thank you very much. History is on the march, lolwot, and it’s left you honky, girlie-man ice-people wannabes behind. Get used to it, lolwot. That, and quit wasting our time with your no-account, idle chit-chat–you complete neo-nobody!

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Michael, do you have a definition of “relevant”? Would you include Willis Eschenbach’s and Steve McIntyre’s blog work?

      My guess is that the inclusion of grey literature will produce endless argumentation about what to include, and reduce the credibility of IPCC overall.

      Willis, I should note, usually makes his data and code available, and if you have trouble, he will respond to a polite request for help or clarification. (had MBH done this after their 1998 paper, everyone would be better off now.) Without demeaning WWF overall, I think Willis’ work is more relevant to this discussion than most WWF grey literature, which I find biased and alarmist. He is just one example of work on the web that is better than some of the grey literature included in AR(4).

      IPCC would be much better off if they stick with the peer-reviewed literature.

  4. Dave Springer

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/22/green-drivel

    James Lovelock calls global warming a religion.

    And more…

  5. JIm, this is a broad issue that is not about climate. I did staff work for the US Interagency Working Group on Digital Data (Google on IWGDD). Data is a big issue. On one hand building a data set is generally not considered scholarly. On the other hand, data is considered IP. In between, data curation and communication are difficult and expensive. In fact most of these recommendations are familiar but unrealistic.

    • Latimer Alder

      Ahh..poor dears….to have to do something ‘not considered scholarly’ must be sooooo beneath their ever so finely-honed sense of their own exalted dignity.

      I guess they think that personally cashing the paycheques we give them is also beneath them and would prefer us to send a uniformed minion with the cash on a silver salver in clean notes only.

      Its a real tough life being an academic. First the public expect you to provide some reasonable proof that you did anything at ll with their money. Then they want you to show that you actually did the sums you said you did. And now the ignorant peasants want to be able to have enough data to check that you got them right.

      ‘How dare the jumped up little upstarts question my work? They do not have a PhD in Radiative Physics and I am a Climate Scientist’ said a prominent member of the Guild of Climatology.

      I strongly suspect that they’d be happy enough to make the datasets if their paycheques depended on it.

      • Latimer – ‘How dare the jumped up little upstarts question my work?’.
        Are you talking about Gergis? :-)

      • Indeed, the big question is who is going to pay for data curation and communication, which is difficult and expensive, and takes away from research. But I see you do not take the issue seriously.

      • Latimer Alder

        @david wojick
        It is not that I don’t believe in the issue being serious. I do.

        But I do not take academic excuses of avoiding something as ‘unscholarly’ seriously. They reinforce my impression that many academics have an enormously overinflated sense of their own importance and dignity.

        I don’t doubt that data curation is difficult and expensive. I have managed large data centres in the past, so am reasonably aware of some of the difficulties. But just because academics find it uncongenial is not a reason to let them off the hook. Universities could, for example, create their own teams dedicated to doing this for all the scholars in their employ. They get an enormous productivity benefit form using computers…the money saved could be used to pay for the data curation department.

        If the ‘scholars’ really wanted to make this happen, it could be up and running within a year. It would also be a great advertisement that they had learnt the lessons from past mistakes and are happy to embrace the digital future with open arms. But they won’t. Instead they will provide masterly inaction because it is ‘unscholarly’.

        Anybody would think that they were working on next week’s menu in the student’s cafeteria – or something equally trivial, rather than ‘the most important problem humanity has ever faced’.

      • David Wojick

        Latimer, you say “…the money saved could be used to pay for the data curation department.” Where is this money? I have not seen it go by.

        Research is a zero sum game, so building data centers and requiring researchers to document data that may never be used is potentially a waste of valuable resources. Of course the data center managers like you are all for it.

      • Latimer Alder

        @david wojick

        I have absolutely no desire to run any data centres any more. Too many headaches. Got my bronze handshake and I’m off!

        But I take issue with one point. Requiring researchers to make their data public is not only done because somebody will use it, but because they might want to. And could publicly show any problems. It is a way of keeping researchers honest.

        Just like requiring public companies to publish independently audited accounts. The audit itself is not the only purpose…it is the threat of the auditors finding any discrepancies that makes it a powerful technique.

        If the technique is considered to be sufficiently powerful to be necessary for my local (excellent) Chinese takeaway, it sure as hell should be used on ‘the most important problem humanity has ever faced’.

        Or, if you don’t agree, please justify why not.

      • See Latimer’s comment below about “productivity benefit”. The flip side of that is the opportunity cost/waste which current practice causes. Consider for a moment the amount of pointless trivial duplication of effort in Climate Science because All Data Is Proprietary is the default assumption.

      • Latimer Alder

        Why not just change the grant requirements so they get it in two bits.

        First for collecting the data and publishing it in such a form that anyone can access it and secondly for analysing and slicing and dicing it into papers. Problem fixed.

      • ferd berple

        Personally I think the issue of data storage is a load of bull. Million dollar proposals chasing $100 solutions. Data storage costs are so close to zero that Internet companies give it away for free. A $10 memory stick holds more data than all but the largest projects struggle to fill.

        The problems comes when you look make a “centralized solution” a condition of the solution. All that is required is a standard, not a data center. Publish an article, put the article and the dataset up on the web, in a standard format. Problem solved.

        Standards, not data centers are the solution to data archiving. Once the standard is in place, store the data in the cloud. Competition will take care of the rest. The cost of data storage is so close to zero that it is effectively free.

      • Latimer Alder

        @fred berple

        Of course it has to be a centralised solution. It has to be controlled and managed and homogenised and have passwords and approvals and authorisations and database administrators.

        Otherwise it’d just be pretty chaotic like the interweb thingy. Full of grubby little non-academics who couldn’t be trusted to act in a scholarly and reverential fashion. Who might try to find something wrong with ‘Prof’ Jones data…and that would never do!

        Remember all the trouble the climate guys got into when that guy McIntyre got near to their stuff? We must make sure that nothing so demeaning ever happens again. Academic niceties must be observed!

        /sarc

      • “A $10 memory stick holds more data than all but the largest projects struggle to fill.”

        Satellite data sets are running at upwards of 10 Gigabytes of data per day. Climate simulation output stretches well into the Terabytes. If you can get that for $10, let me know where.

      • Latimer Alder

        @nebuchadnezzar

        Here’s 250 GB for £33 – say $50. 20 cents a gigabyte. 200 dollars a terabyte.

        http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=250+gigabyte+hard+drive&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8579334592891737388&sa=X&ei=LPzmT_jUEcTQ8gOa8dmQBA&ved=0CGMQ8wIwAQ

        And if you only want it occasionally you can stick it on an offline storage medium somewhere. Commercially available tape libraries (eg IBM TS3500) can store up to 100,000 Terabytes under software control and bring it back in less than 10 seconds.

        Storage is cheap.

      • Dave Springer

        Is data curation and communication more or less expensive now versus when the only storage mechanism was paper?

        Gimme a break. It’s not like they have to record the data on clay tablets. Sheesh.

      • Actually, cuneiform tablets have an outstanding record for long-term readability unmatched by magnetic tape or other digital media. But the cumulative repetitive motion injuries from tera-pinching clay might outstrip our production capacity for analgesics.

    • David, you write “On one hand building a data set is generally not considered scholarly.”

      Therein lies the problem. If science has sunk so low that collecting data and building a data set is not considered scholarly, then science is in serious, and I mean REALLY SERIOUS, trouble. Good grief!! The world has spent $20 billion on the LHC in order to collect the necessary data to provide proof that the Higgs boson exists.

      If you are right, and I sincerely hope you are not, then scientific acedemia needs a really major revision in it’s priorities.

      • Latimer Alder

        +1 again.

        For a Cambridge man you speak a lot of sense :-)

      • David Wojick

        Jim, I have no interest in discussions that begin with the premise that all of science is screwed up. As things stand, we only collect data when it is needed to solve a scientific problem. Scholarly recognition comes from solving the problem, not collecting the data. This seems right to me.

        BTW I think the LHC cost $4 billion. You may be thinking of the ITER fusion project. But LHC is an engineering project, not science per se. It is an instrument. In fact it shorted out when they fired it up. It does have one of the most extensive data sharing networks in existence, linking thousands of researchers worldwide to the instrumental data. The cost is enormous, which is one of the reasons we started studying the data management issue.

        Climate science is a special case, a unique case of politicization.

      • Latimer Alder

        So outsource the data collection and data publication part. There’ll be plenty of commercial companies interested. Problem fixed.

      • So I am supposed to pay you out of my grant? To publish data nobody wants, just on case they do some day? Why should I do that?

      • Depends on what you people to do with the data. If it recommends policy, it should be a requirement in order to use it to implement policy. If not, nobody cares.

      • Make that “expect people”.

      • Latimer Alder

        @david wojick

        ‘So I am supposed to pay you out of my grant? To publish data nobody wants, just on case they do some day? Why should I do that?’

        Why should you do that? Same reason that a public company has to pay for external independent audit of their accounts.

        To demonstrate to the grant authorities, other scientists and the public that you have been honest and above board. It’s the cost of being in the game.

        It used to be called ‘show your working’.

      • Latimer, what problem are you solving? Are you going to pay half the scientists in the world to stop doing research so they can audit the other half? Individual studies are not that important. If something really important comes out people do try to replicate it.

      • PE, in the US we already have a law that data used to justify regulations has to be publicly available. Policy on the other hand is too vague a term to support such a rule, unless the research is specifically funded by a policy making body.

      • Latimer Alder

        What problem am I solving?

        Trying to restore some public credibility to climate science. A quality that they have largely self-destroyed by their failure – indeed to actively resist – such measures in the past. If a bunch of guys are hell bent on not showing you their working it is a sensible working hypothesis that their methods (and they themselves) are as bent as a corkscrew. The way to avoid such suspicions is to be open and upfront from the getgo. Secrecy in any walk of life opens the door instead to sharp practice, to obfuscation and eventually to corruption. My suggestion provides a mechanism for avoiding this.

        And it does not need one half of the scientists to audit the other half. Any more than a tax inspector needs to publicly audit every tax return. That even a few are done should be enough to ‘encourager les autres’. Many studies show that it is not punishment per se that discourage worng doing..it is fear of getting caught at all.

      • The stink is Augean; the solution not a matter of course.
        ==============

      • Latimer, we have been talking past each other. I am talking about the whole of science, via the Royal Society report. I said several times that this is not about climate science, which is a unique case of politicization of science.

        But even for climate science your proposed regulations are unrealistic.

      • Latimer Alder

        @david wojick

        ‘even for climate science your proposed regulations are unrealistic’

        Like to put some flesh on the bones? Why are they unrealistic? What other way(s) would you suggest to fix the climate science credibility gap?
        What proposals are already on the table and when will they be implemented?

      • Latimer, if you are proposing an audit trail requirement on all climate research, I would start with the following obstacles, just off the top of my head.
        1. There are not enough people who see this supposed gap to get the legislation passed. It will take a super majority in the Senate.
        2. The climate change community you want to reglate cannot be defined for regulatory purposes.
        3. All of science will rise up against this proposal, as will the universities.
        4. The cost is huge and the benefits are negligible at best.

      • As for alternatives, the problem is not data related, it is ideological. The greens control the $2 billion a year USGCRP. That has to change.

      • ferd berple

        “On one hand building a data set is generally not considered scholarly.”
        =========
        Because building a data set is not considered scholarly, most facilities over estimate the quality of their data by 1 or two standard deviations.

        As a result, scholars (and businesses) build vast theories on top of mountains of garbage data. And like the foundations, the results are also a mountain of garbage.

    • Tell that to Phil “I don’t know how to use Excel” Jones.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      David Wojick: On one hand building a data set is generally not considered scholarly.

      On another hand, planning and carrying out a research project may qualify for a PhD thesis, even if the results are disappointing, and the data sparse; this is especially true if the first result is that the experiment is harder to carry out than envisioned. I think your statement is a true statement in some fields, but they have a limited definition of “scholarly”. To them, Perrin’s nobel prize winning experiments, Hodgkin and Huxley’s work, or Balmer’s data series would not qualify as “scholarly”.

      As I read through the report’s recommendations, I think they were trying to push against the attitude that you refer to.

      • No one is saying that data collection is not fundamentally important. The issue is with the folks who think data is free and easy.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Wojick: No one is saying that data collection is not fundamentally important.

        David Wojick: On one hand building a data set is generally not considered scholarly.

        You seem to have shifted your ground.

      • Not really Matt. Sorry you cannot understand. Getting data is fundamental, but if you get no results then you get no credit. Science is about results. Data is not a result.

      • John Kannarr

        If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results.

        – Feynman

  6. Grey Literature. Perhaps the privileged 50000 who got the freebee in Rio can all be made to watch a loop tape of Ed Begley Jr screaming “peer reviewed” over and over again.

  7. Dave Springer

    re; Russian ice cores

    The biggest mystery about them is why there’s ice there to core in the first place. For most of the earth’s history it was too warm for ice to accumulate. Something changed a few million years ago that began an ice age which persists through today. Before that the earth was in persistent stable state for tens of millions of years much warmer than anytime in the most recent few million. Why?

    • Moon? It could be so many things: tidal, orbital, solar…

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      David,

      re: Russian “ice” cores.

      What are Earth are you talking about? These were not ice cores in the study that Judith referenced, but sediment cores they were studying.

      • steven mosher

        David is unhinged ever since somebody praised Willis

      • I like Willis, and moshe, and Bob Tisdale & more.
        =================================

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        And this young man apparently likes Santa, the Wizard of Oz, and the Tin Man:

      • I like Mama Bear’s porridge better than Baby’s or Papa’s.
        ===========

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        And apparently a little nip into Papa Bear’s whiskey now and then. Papa Bear is known to drink a bit too much:

      • Latimer Alder

        The bear was not drunk. He was just wandering around in perplexment because he’d found out that the SeaLevel Research Centre is in Boulder, a mile high and about as far away from the sea as its possible to get.

        Which is pretty stupid even by climatological standards :-)

      • Dave Springer

        There’s no accounting for taste.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Well, he should stop foaming at the mouth and do a bit of actual reading of the research before he spouts off. :)

      • Dave Springer

        The study linked NH and SH climate, dufus, over millions of years. This is not possible with NH ice cores as none are old enough. The Russians have the record for oldest SH ice core when they cored through to Lake Vostok. I’m sorry if I presumed you knew that. I’ll try not to overestimate you again.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Anything to save face, eh David? Rather than just admit that you didn’t really read the article that Judith posted about the SEDIMENT cores, now you want to backtrack rather than just admit your mistake. Else, why even start your post:

        re: Russian Ice Cores

        When nobody was talking about ice cores at all.

        Your ego so large that you can’t just admit your mistake?

      • Dave Springer

        In light of you and Willis subsequently going at each other in comments in this thread:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/comparing-ghcn-v1-and-v3/

        I find your jab at me amusing in an ironic sort of way.

        As to you and Willis in that thread, it’s two pompous asses lecturing each other. Conflict is inevitable. It’s like Spy vs. Spy only in this case it’s more like Dumber vs. Dumber. You can thank me for saying Eschenbach is dumber but not by much. Pass the popcorn.

    • ditto what Gates said. Plus, paleoclimate generally accepts the decline of temperatures from the Cretaceous as CO2 levels went down due to natural sequestration processes. During this decline, first 35 million years ago Antarctica became glaciated driving a further cooling from its albedo increase. Later over 10 million years ago Greenland’s ice sheet formed further reducing albedo, and anchoring the new phenomenon of Arctic summer sea-ice, and later a few million years ago the ice ages started. So it was all part of a progressive decline. This sequence will play out in reverse as CO2 levels rise back towards Cretaceous levels (double CO2), but won’t keep pace with the CO2 change.

      • David Wojick

        How nice of paleoclimate to accept that. Have we met? I do not remember him, or her, or it. Sounds like an agreeable chap. Very accepting.

      • Dave Springer

        That’s such a just-so story. Incredible.

        Keep going Jim. Make up another chapter describing the natural CO2 sequestration processes, what triggered them, and why they won’t sequester anthropogenic CO2.

      • And the amplification of sequestration as CO2 levels rise.
        =============

    • Dave Springer

      Russia doesn’t do ice cores? Wow. Someone better call Vostok and tell them they’re flying the wrong flag.

      You people are ridiculous.

      • ‘You people’ is stylistically challenged. There is(are) a lot of ‘us’.
        =============

  8. Judith writes [re IPCC and gray lit]

    My second thought is to wonder whether only gray articles from green advocacy groups are allowed here, or they will also allow blog science and commentary.

    IPCC’s task group on this (lead by AR5 WG1 Co-Chair Thomas Stocker) were way ahead of you on this!

    In Apr/May 2011, when they decided to “disappear” the then extant [but very rarely practiced] “rule” to the effect that grey lit was not only permitted, but to be integrated into the list of Chapter references with the notation that such material be flagged as “Not published”, they specifically excluded blogs and other social media (along with newspapers and magazines) as “acceptable” sources. For all the gory details [some of which were cited in Donna’s TDT ;-)] pls see:

    When task group says let’s “disappear” a rule, IPCC agrees and:

    IPCC’s use of grey literature: To flag or not to flag, that is the question

    Needless to say, the “new rules” are “silent” on the appropriateness of material generated by the BIG green elite!

    And as an amusing side-note – if not signal as to what one might have expected from the IPCC – on the metamorphosis of the acceptability of grey lit, wherein during a mere six months, Pachauri took non peer-reviewed material from his “dustbin” to someone else’s “drain” – with a brief stop at neutral en route, pls see:

    Pachauri defends shoddy shades of gray

    • There is a broadly accepted definition of grey lit and it doesn’t include the ranting of loons on blogs.

      • Nice slime on Judith, Steve McIntyre, Jeff ID, Lucia, and the rest; but wishful thinking on your part.

      • I don’t know about Emperor’s or Penguins, but the King just found some stylish clothes to wear, modeled by Steve McIntyre.
        ==================

      • Yes, I suppose one does have to give the IPCC credit for having the good sense to exclude the fact-free “content” of pseudonymous twits such as yourself.

      • and they certainly get kudos from me for that!!

      • Michael Larkin

        Oh, good. We’ll not be seeing your rantings there, then.

      • Michael,

        RE: comments and wildlife noise:

        Why don’t you help by reducing the braying of jackasses?

  9. On today’s http://www.solarham.net/ there is one lonely, very small sunspot, 1511. We are supposedly coming close to maximum activity in SC 24. I am not at all familar with what happened during previous sunspot maxima, but my instinct tells me that today’s picture of the sun is highly unusual.

  10. Let me motivate everyone with my favorite article by Hill & Stone.

    YOU WERE BORN A CHAMPION

    Have you ever thought about the battles you won before you were born? “Stop and think about yourself,” says Amram Scheinfeld, an expert on genetics. “In all the history of the world there was never anyone else exactly like you, and in all the infinity of time to come, there will never be another.”

    You are a very special person. And many struggles took place that had to be successfully concluded in order to produce you. Just think: tens of millions of sperm cells participated in a great battle, yet only one of them won — the one that made you! It was a great race to reach a single object: a precious egg containing a tiny nucleus. This goal for which the sperms were competing was smaller in size than the point of a needle. And each sperm was so small that it would have to be magnified thousands of times before it could be seen by the human eye. Yet it is on this microscopic level that your life’s most decisive battle was fought.

    The head of each of the millions of sperms contained a precious cargo of 24 chromosomes, just as there were 24 in the tiny nucleus of the egg. Each chromosome was composed of jelly-like beads closely strung together. Each bead contained hundreds of genes to which scientists attribute all the factors of your heredity.

    The chromosomes in the sperm comprised aft the hereditary material and tendencies contributed by your father and his ancestors; those in the egg-nucleus the inheritable traits of your mother and her ancestors. Your mother and father themselves represented the culmination of over two billion years of victory in the battle to survive. And then one particular sperm – the fastest, the healthiest, the winner – united with the waiting egg to form one, tiny living cell.

    The life of the most important living person had begun. You had become a champion over the most staggering odds you will ever have to face. For all practical purpose you had inherited from the vast reservoir of the past all the potential abilities and powers you need to achieve you objectives.

    You were born to be a champion, and no matter what obstacles and difficulties lie in your way, they are not one tenth so great as the ones that have already been overcome at the moment of your conception. Victory is built in to every living person.

    http://bit.ly/MKIsxn

    • Actually, that’s prettied up considerable. Many sperm find the egg, but die attempting to penetrate its “corona radiata”. Finally, enough of the protective layers have been broken through (killed) in one spot or another that one makes it to the cell wall. As soon as one makes it inside, that wall toughens so that no more are admitted.

      So the race goes not to the swiftest, but to the one willing to sacrifice enough of its companions first. Or just lucky enough to happen along when enough foolish ones had already rushed in and paid the Ultimate Price. Or …

      • Brian H, pretty much everything you have written is completely wrong.
        The actual role of sperm within sperm competition theory is both interesting, species specific and hugely complex/unknown.
        Where on Earth did you get this story line from?

      • Idiot. Here, for example:

        http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/martini10/chapter28/custom3/deluxe-content.html
        Secondary Oocyte at Ovulation

        A woman usually ovulates one secondary oocyte each month, totaling about four hundred during her reproductive years. Ovulation occurs before completion of oocyte maturation, and the secondary oocyte that leaves the follicle is arrested in metaphase of the second meiotic division during which time metabolism has been discontinued. To develop further, the secondary oocyte must await stimulation by fertilization.

        Fertilization is complicated by the fact that the ovulated secondary oocyte is surrounded by intercellular materials, including a thin transparent gelatinous layer of protein and polysaccharides called the zona pellucida and several layers of cells called the corona radiata, the innermost of which are follicle (granulosa) cells. The corona radiata protects the secondary oocyte as it passes through the ruptured follicular wall and into the infundibulum of the uterine tube. The process of fertilization requires only a single sperm to contact the oocyte membrane, but that spermatozoon must first penetrate the corona radiata.

        Besides assisting in the transport of sperm, the female reproductive tract also confers on sperm the capacity to fertilize a secondary oocyte. Sperm undergo maturation in the epididymis and are motile upon arrival in the vagina. Experiments have shown, however, that freshly ejaculated sperm are infertile and must remain in the acidic environment of the female reproductive tract for at least seven hours before they gain the ability to fertilize a secondary oocyte. The functional changes that sperm undergo in the female reproductive tract that enable them to fertilize a secondary oocyte are known as capacitation. The sperm cell has an organelle called an acrosome that forms a cap over the head. Capacitation is not fully understood but, during this process, the acrosome presumably secretes a trypsin-like enzyme that digests protein (proteinase) and hyaluronidase that digests hyaluronic acid, which is an important constituent of connective tissue

        Acrosome Reaction

        When a sperm encounters a secondary oocyte in the uterine tube, an acrosomal reaction occurs that exposes the digestive enzymes of the acrosome and allows a sperm to penetrate the corona radiata and zona pellucida. Dozens of spermatozoa must release hyaluronidase before the intercellular cement between the follicular cells in the corona radiata break down sufficiently to permit fertilization.

      • Excellent example of Brian’s point.

        Thanks captain.

  11. Definition of liberal Utopia: A place where the Left could raise the same amount of ‘revenue’ they seek from licensing CO2 production with a tax on hot sauce.

  12. Here is something new:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSO.htm
    Explanation, anyone?

    • Easy. Take their peaks in sequence. The Earth’s mag field drives the solar cycle which drives land temps which warm the ocean.

      See? Once you understand temporal causality …

      :D

    • Hi Vuk

      The polar annular modes exhibit regime behaviour with a common period of about 22 years as roughly some other ocean, temperature and hydrological regimes one can think. Regime is a hydrological term that indicates secular change. What causes changes in the polar annular modes are changes in the warmth of the stratosphere resulting in changes in sea level pressure in the polar regions. The climate dog SAM shows what happens when these sea level pressures change. Higher pressure and storms spin off the polar fronts into lower latitudes – and vice versa. This also influences ocean currents. In the south with higher pressure less water flows through Drakes Passage between the Antarctic Peninsula and the Cape Horn and more flows northwards in the Peruvian Current. This cools the surface layer allowing more deep water upflow in the area of the Humboldt Current – which is the origin of La Niña. In the north there is more or less same process in the Californian Current allowing more or less upwelling in the region of the PDO. There is also an influence on water temperature in the North Atlantic. These 2 – ENSO and the PDO – have the same regimes and operate together as the Pacific decadal mode. A cool PDO is associated with more frequent and intense La Niña – and vice versa. The period is commonly said to be 25 years but with the state of data and feedbacks 22 is close enough. Together the polar annular modes and the Pacific Decadal Mode determine most nearly all climate variability on decadal scales.

      So the question is what causes stratospheric warming and cooling in about 22 year regimes? The answer is of course UV changes in the Hale cycle warming and cooling ozone above the poles. UV changes much more than SW irradiance and is associated with changes in the solar magnetosphere. This changes with the rotation of the solar barycentre around the centre of the Sun in a grand music of the spheres.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      • Thanks for the reply.
        I entirely agree with everything you said, except not so keen on the UF factor (has an 11 year cycle, temperatures have minimal 11 year response).
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH-SH.htm
        In the Arctic area atmospheric pressure is an excellent advanced indicator particularly for the AMO, which I consider to be a global event, but with particularly enhanced response in the North Atlantic (reason: tidal mixing again).
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/theAMO.htm
        I think there are more plausible reasons then UV for the effective polar amplification. Despite the image I project with lot of my posts and graphs, none of these exoteric ideas (they are just fellow travelers or useful proxies e.g. gmf, solar cycle ) have much of a chance to do what is observed.

      • It has a 22 year year period with one Schwabe cycle less intense than the previous following.magnetic reversal.

      • ‘According to the variation pattern of the solar magnetic field polarity and its relation to the relative sunspot number, we established the time series of the sunspot magnetic field polarity index and analyzed the strength and polarity cycle characteristics of the solar magnetic field. The analysis showed the existence of a cycle with about a 22-year periodicity in the strength and polarity of the solar magnetic field, which proved the Hale proposition that the 11-year sunspot cycle is one-half of the 22-year solar magnetic cycle. By analyzing the atmospheric temperature field, we found that the troposphere and the stratosphere in the middle latitude of both the northern and southern hemispheres exhibited a common 22-year quasicycle in the atmospheric temperature, which is believed to be attributable to the 22-year solar magnetic cycle.’

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/144/1/6;jsessionid=CB5055C89E22664C4C5C27F87AB1196D.c1

      • Yes, correlation is obvious from my graph too
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH-SH.htm
        but that isn’t enough.
        two points about ~22 year cycle
        -GCR is slightly stronger in the alternative SS cycles
        -Solar polar field lines up with the Earth’s in the alternative SS cycles.
        Neither apparently is strong enough to do much, however there is a natural ~ 22 year cycle I wrote about nine years ago:
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm
        and I used, for up to date successful, extrapolation of the SSN
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm
        but all that may be just a coincidence.
        I am putting few more bits together for a short article.

      • There is of course a physical connection to stratospheric warming – remember that strotospheric warming or cooling leads the NAM and SAM – in ozone/UV interactions.

  13. David L. Hagen

    In the interests of “transparency” (to avoid embarrassment), the UN has no “classified” the Rio negotiating text! See:
    UN Censorship: Rio Earth Summit text is now secret — Senior official of ‘transparent’ UN admits Rio negotiating text is classified
    What are they trying to hide?
    Why are they preventing access to We the People?

    It is known that the Rio text includes several items dropped from the Durban text, including proposals for the UN to levy a 2% tax on all financial transactions worldwide, which would cripple the financial markets by imposing costs many times the profits on each transaction. . . .
    3. Delegates wishing to complain about the secrecy at the Rio conference had to make their complaint to the UN offices at the Rio conference center. The UN offices, however, were in a building for which special “secondary passes” were required. Delegates from non-government organizations were not entitled to secondary passes unless there were exceptional circumstances.

    4. Copies of the negotiating text could be released at the request of a government delegate. However, for the first time, access to the plenary session at which the negotiations are taking place is also restricted. Accredited representatives of non-government organizations are not permitted to attend the plenary sessions.

    Catch 22!

    Exclusive: UN Climate Draft Text Demands ‘New International Climate Court’ to compel reparations for ‘climate debt’ — Also seeks ‘rights of Mother Earth’ & 2C° drop in global temps

    A new International Climate Court will have the power to compel Western nations to pay ever-larger sums to third-world countries in the name of making reparation for supposed “climate debt”. The Court will have no power over third-world countries. Here and throughout the draft, the West is the sole target. “The process” is now irredeemably anti-Western.

    Ø “Rights of Mother Earth”: The draft, which seems to have been written by feeble-minded green activists and environmental extremists, talks of “The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature”. Also, “there will be no commodification [whatever that may be: it is not in the dictionary and does not deserve to be] of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose”. . . .

    Ø A new global temperature target will aim, Canute-like, to limit “global warming” to as little as 1 C° above pre-industrial levels. Since temperature is already 3 C° above those levels, what is in effect being proposed is a 2 C° cut in today’s temperatures. This would take us halfway back towards the last Ice Age, and would kill hundreds of millions. Colder is far more dangerous than warmer.

    Ø The new CO2 emissions target, for Western countries only, will be a reduction of up to 50% in emissions over the next eight years and of “more than 100%” [these words actually appear in the text] by 2050. So, no motor cars, no coal-fired or gas-fired power stations, no aircraft, no trains. Back to the Stone Age, but without even the right to light a carbon-emitting fire in your caves. Windmills, solar panels and other “renewables” are the only alternatives suggested in the draft. There is no mention of the immediate and rapid expansion of nuclear power worldwide to prevent near-total economic destruction.

    Ø The new CO2 concentration target could be as low as 300 ppmv CO2 equivalent (i.e., including all other greenhouse gases as well as CO2 itself). That is a cut of almost half compared with the 560 ppmv CO2 equivalent today. It implies just 210 ppmv of CO2 itself, with 90 ppmv CO2 equivalent from other greenhouse gases. But at 210 ppmv, plants and trees begin to die. CO2 is plant food. They need a lot more of it than 210 ppmv. . . .

    Ø The West will pay for everything, because of its “historical responsibility” for causing “global warming”. Third-world countries will not be obliged to pay anything. But it is the UN, not the third-world countries, that will get the money from the West, taking nearly all of it for itself as usual. There is no provision anywhere in the draft for the UN to publish accounts of how it has spent the $100 billion a year the draft demands that the West should stump up from now on.

    For a flavor of what is included, see the previous 138 p working draft: FCCC/AWGLCA/2011/CRP.38 7 December 2011 Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention
    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2011/awglca14/eng/crp38.pdf

    This reenforces the impression that Rio is a political effort driven by radical environmentalists who seek to impose their position by centralized government controls and taxes.
    Centralized government that is unaccountable to We the People is proven to be the greatest danger to humanity – e.g. in the 20th century, more than 100 million people were killed by their own governments in totalitarian regimes unanswerable to the people. e.g., See The Black Book of Communism: Crimes Terror Repression

    Thirty three democracies succumbed to dictatorships during the 20th century for failing to uphold their constitutional protections – including Germany, Russia and China!
    Imposing centralized control by unaccountable bureaucrats capable of mandating taxation and activities is the greatest danger of Rio. The poor will suffer even more from the consequent corruption and waste of resources.

    • David L. Hagen

      UN Reaps Sustainability Pledges Worth $513 Billion in Rio

      The United Nations obtained pledges worth $513 billion from governments and companies for projects aimed at reducing the strain on the planet’s resources, the biggest accomplishment at a meeting that world leaders and environmentalists assailed for not setting strong enough goals. . . .
      About $280 billion was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The London research group has counted more than $1 trillion of funds for projects in wind, solar, biofuels and geothermal energy since its records began in 2004.

    • OMFG.

      A few countries saying, “You and whose army?” should pop this bubble.

      The being made barking mad part has clearly been achieved. Now for the rest of it, please!

    • Pooh, Dixie

      David L. Hagen

      Centralized government that is unaccountable to We the People is proven to be the greatest danger to humanity – e.g. in the 20th century, more than 100 million people were killed by their own governments in totalitarian regimes unanswerable to the people.

      I don’t have access to the book you referenced (Livre Noir Du Communisme: Crimes, Terreur, Répression). But I agree. Rule by unelected bureaucrats with enormous power (“Climate Court”) is a novel form of tyranny. The death toll (if any) of the warming version of “Climate Change” is small potatoes compared with that of “Tyranny”. Here are a couple of supporting summaries.

      White, Matthew. “Twentieth Century Atlas – Most Evil Dictator.” Necrometrics, September 1999. http://necrometrics.com/tyrants.htm

      White, Matthew. “Twentieth Century Atlas – Worldwide Statistics of Casualties, Massacres, Disasters and Atrocities.”, September 2010. http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm

  14. The amount of data in that research from NE Russia (by Melles et al) is incredible. The temperature record via isotope proxy clearly aligns with the Vostok core but goes on for 6 times as long. It is much longer than any Greenland core. This is the comparison to Vostok:

    What I find most astonishing about typical climate skeptics is their thought process.

    They think that funded climate science is a hoax if it has anything to do with AGW research. When the climate scientists don’t predict some aspect to their satisfaction, they tee off even more. The typical complaint starts with a lecture about the fact that climate is irreducibly complex or that the climate scientists are incompetent. The skeptic argues that there is no point in pursuing this path of GCMs and simulations, since the natural complexity overrides anything man is capable of understanding (remember that point). They then assert that all the money spent is robbing the taxpayer.

    On the other side of the coin, these same skeptics are also routinely against some aspect of green technology, such as alternative and renewable fuels research and development. They have a reaction against wind turbines and photovoltaic technology because they think it has to do with planning for carbon reductions. They also assert that wind turbines and photovoltaics (among others) are loser technologies because they don’t have the efficiency that they desire and that would then make it a suitable candidate for energy substitution.

    This side of the coin is linked to the other side. It is pretty obvious if you realize that science is always rationalized as part of the funding and proposal process.

    Let me explain. Everyone knows that fossil fuels are a finite resource and the supply won’t last forever (first oil will go, then NG, and so on). Many scientists also realize the connection between our environment as a potential source of renewable energy, and the need for replacements of fossil fuel. Although each potential renewable technology can only supply a fraction of what fossil fuel is capable of, taken together they do hold more promise than any individual source. From the aforementioned wind turbines and photovoltaics, we also have hydropower, geothermal, heat exchanger, passive solar, energy storage, hybrids, biofuels, tidal energy, smart grids, and others to be considered.

    Again, each of these alone is not much but taken together the jury is still out on how substantial the cumulative impact may be. And there could be more efficiencies yet to be gained. You see, many of these technologies depend on the climate and the earth in one way or another and may be improved if we understand the climate and earth sciences better. Again, the same complaint that the skeptics have against climate scientists as to the hopelessness of their pursuit, is actually considered perfectly acceptable as a research and development (applied R&D) topic when directed at trying to perfect renewable sources of energy from our environment. No one ever said this would be easy, and nature *always* fights us. It was Charles Darwin who said: “If Mother Nature can, She will tell you a direct lie.”

    So one man’s problem (banging the head against the wall trying to understand the long-term climate) thus becomes another man’s opportunity (someone could incidentally figure out how to predict wind speeds more accurately). This illustrates the hypocrisy of complaining about climate science funding, because above all else, this is a useful research area to be involved in. Since the seeming complexity is evidently hurting our ability to extract energy more efficiently, why not put extra effort into the climate science domain? One then has the objective of understanding climate change alongside the spin-off potential to find something novel relating to renewable energy sources. That was for years the side rationale for the space program, which did yield technology benefits.

    That’s why when a scientist writes a research proposal they impress on the potential funding agency that the work they do can have a substantial impact on practical technology. This is usually boiler-plate stuff, but has merit just the same. So the connection is that if we as scientists understand climate better, it has all sorts of potential applications, not only in better understanding the variability in wind speeds and the availability of sunshine, but the old standards of agriculture, shelter, and basic day-to-day coping with our environment, whether it be cold spells or hurricanes, shipping or commuting — this is all good stuff to better understand and potentially apply.

    That’s why I don’t understand the skeptic mindset. The rationale for climate science is more than a single-minded pursuit , as it is no different than funding in any other research topic, which is to find some breakthrough that has benefit for humankind.

    I have understood this from day one, yet don’t understand why so few climate scientists spend time advertising this broader objective. They must think it blindingly obvious, but as the crowd that they are dealing with includes reactionaries, cornucopians, dominionists, and the occasional Luddite, they need to do extra work selling their wares.

    • Web, we don’t think physics is a hoax, we think the climate scientists are idiots :)

      The Antarctic and Arctic would experience much larger extremes in temperature than the tropics. Without moisture to regulate the internal enthalpy, there would be greater temperature change for an equivalent energy change. It’s thermo

    • David L. Hagen

      From your Russian/Vostok temperature comparison, global temperatures typically oscillate 2C between tepid and glaciation.
      The impending global cooling to the next glaciation is a far greater threat and a little warming. Can we avoid it? To do so, we will likely need all the anthropogenic “global warming” we can get.

      On science, for perspective,Robert Brown refers to “Feynman’s rather famous “Cargo Cult” talk:” http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

      One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results. . . .
      I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government
      advice. . . .
      If your answer happens to come out in the direction the government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish it at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.

      Since fossil fuels are finite and are being depleted, long term we must transition to solar fuels and thus must make them cost effective and deployable on a scale large enough to supply global needs.

      • 2C, yep, the freezing point of salt water is -1.9C the melting point of fresh water is 0C, the climate swings between salt water and fresh water control points, those elusive strange attractors.

        Science is supposed to be about simplifying the complex, not complicating the simple.

      • David L. Hagen

        capt. dallas
        Excellent explanation for the “control points” on the temperature range observed in climate variation. (e.g., The Arctic summer temperature remains within a few degrees of melting.
        Do you know of any papers quantifying these 0 C and -1.9C limits?

      • Potential energy wells have boundaries on each side. There could be a latent boundary on the cold side, sure. What is the one on the hot side? Obviously radiative loss, and that does a really good job of limiting excursions.

      • Web, to conserve water, the latent heat of evaporation is the upper boundary for the moist air envelope. Outside of the moist air envelope, it is radiant because that is the radiant envelope. Different envelopes, different physics.

      • Know of any papers? No, I am just doing my own thing figuring out how many ways there are to prove that Hansen should have stuck to Astrophysics where no one really cares how wrong he is.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/06/not-forth-coming-ice-age.html That is a very simple energy balance model that gives the range of temperatures.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/06/what-does-average-global-surface.html

        That basically explains why “average” global surface temperature is misleading.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/06/how-to-bound-open-system.html

        That is a basic explanation of the model, real complicated ain’t it :)

        For the more math oriented, Kimoto has a neat equation dF/dT=4(F/T)= 4(F1+ F2+F3+…Fn)/T which if modified to T*dF/dT= a*F1+b*F2+c*F3+…zFz), where a to z are the energy specific flux coefficeincts, and you can do a line by line, conduction to radiant, super trick, kick some hiney calculations and get the same answers :) But Lucia don’t understand the math.

      • One day she may, but I’m not holding my breath and turning blue.
        ============

      • Microwaves, but that’ll heat the Earth. Oh, wait.
        ==============

      • These don’t count even if the watts do exist…

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

        & they can’t tell us where they all go because then we would know.

      • Kim writes in such short phrases because that’s all the time there is between tokes on her joint.

      • Latimer Alder

        That is the first genuinely amusing remark you have ever made. Keep it up!

      • Don’t Bogart that joke, my friend.
        ==========

      • Hand it over to me. (old song)

      • If you’se a viper.

      • “The impending global cooling to the next glaciation is a far greater threat and a little warming. Can we avoid it? “

        David,
        Fortunately all the research into climate science and GHG theory will pay off large dividends here. There are extremely potent greenhouse gases that can be pumped in the atmosphere as a last resort, should the earth go into some sort of cooling shutdown mode. Those GHG’s are all those largely inert molecules with many different rotational modes that can intercept a broad range of outgoing infrared wavelengths. It’s a last resort because these same molecules won’t condense out any time soon either, so the effect is powerfully effective. No one will dare do that trial now because we don’t want to get cooked.

        Compare that with the geoengineering to combat warming. Only aerosols and particulates can reflect the incoming radiation, and these don’t have much persistence and so will eventually precipitate out. Massive amounts of aerosols have to be pumped into the atmosphere to combat warming, and this has to continue for as long as the excess forcing is present.

        The hypocrisy is that we wouldn’t have understood this unless research went into climate science. The blatant hypocrisy is stunning and ongoing, which is why I wrote that comment. According to the typical skeptic, apparently the only time to do research is when the problem is breathing down our neck. All I am doing is providing the boilerplate rationale that the anti-science contingent refuses to understand.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        Remind me of all those greenhouse gases whose effects weren’t known in (say) 1970 ‘before we went into climate science’. IR spectroscopy which identifies such molecules was in common use many years before that, and a standard bit of bench apparatus when I was an undergraduate. There can have been few serious Chemistry labs that didn’t have – and routinely use – such a device.

        I don’t think that your claim that we needed to study climate to stick a gas in a spectrometer (standard bit of chemistry) stands up to scrutiny.

      • Latimer says to get rid of all research, as scientific advancement ended in 1900. So of course we don’t need to validate any of the climate models either, as the effects are well known and not worthy of further study.

        The hypocrisy knows no bounds.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘Latimer says to get rid of all research, as scientific advancement ended in 1900’

        Latimer, of course, says nothing of the sort.

        But Latimer does question the value of further ‘climate research’, given the spectacular failure of the last 30 years to come up with anything useful, nor any indications that it ever will.

        Webbie, rather than providing concrete examples of useful stuff , waves his hands wildly, makes bland generalised statements about ‘basic research’ and totally invents things that I have not said.

        That he feels the meed to do all this strengthens my conviction that even he has nothing positive to say about climate research.

      • Latimer needs a whipping-boy to feed his hatred for basic research, so goes after climate science.

        I believe basic climate science research won’t go away soon as it has lots of practical applications for renewable energies, agriculture, and just about anything humans do outdoors.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        ‘[basic climate research] has lots of practical applications for renewable energies, agriculture, and just about anything humans do outdoors’

        So you keep on saying. But when I ask you to actually name even one and describe how climate research contributes to it, you can’t manage to do so.

        There’s an old joke sign common in UK pubs that says ‘Free Beer Tomorrow’

        Will tomorrow be the day that Webbie comes up with a description of A practical use of basic climate research? It’s getting a bit tedious waiting.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        And I have no ‘hatred for basic research’. But I’m not keen on chucking firehoses of public money at projects that have completely failed to come up with anything useful.

        Every project has to rejustify its stewardship of public funds periodically. Seems to me that climate research can point to very few successes to help in that justification.

      • Oh yes, I have lots of evidence. Do you want to see work that I have done in the spin-off climate science realm, or the work of others?

        I can also give you lots of examples where people wanted to see direct evidence of successful results according to the original research objectives, but had to ultimately satisfy themselves from the spin-off areas.

        Artificial Intelligence: For the longest time (and still), critics considered AI research a failure as it didn’t completely demonstrate what it set out to prove. Yet, when all was said and done, plenty of spin-off technology was silently absorbed into the software of today. That was research dollars.

        GaAs technology: This was up my alley. For the longest time, researchers were looking for ways to substitute the electrically superior material Gallium Arsenide for the ubiquitous Silicon. It wasn’t always successful, and critics pointed to GaAs as “the technology of the future, and it will always be”. Yet the spin-off benefits of GaAs are widespread, as it finds use in cell-phone technology and CD/DVD where silicon can’t cut it. That was research dollars.

        Internet: Need I say more? What did ARPA have in mind with funding this? Then college professors started applying it in various ways, and it took off. Of course, the often misquoted Al Gore pointed to his backing the ARPANet funding (not inventing it).

        NASA tech Wikipedia maintains a list.

        That’s what research is all about, the unexpected , unanticipated results.
        I can sell this all day long. Alas, you get your crabby Luddites poking a finger in your eye.

        As this should whet your appetite, do you want to see all the spin-offs from climate research?

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        ‘As this should whet your appetite, do you want to see all the spin-offs from climate research?’

        Yes.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        In case it is not abundantly clear by now, (the blog is called ‘Climate Etc FFS!), I am interested in climate stuff. Not GaAs or cordless vacuum cleaners or ARPANET.

        Climate.

      • Latimer, So you want some climate science spin-offs?

        Cluster computing, weather prediction, discovery of potent GHG molecules to fend against potential earth cooling :), use of halo-alkanes in other areas (look it up), and fluid circulation (for cardio-pumps) .

        That last one is compartment modeling, dam it, which I also used for my shock model of oil production, dam it, yes!

        Direct spin-off to energy is in modeling the entropic nature of wind and attaching that to smart-grid technology for power balancing.

        Finally there are the long term economic benefits to reducing dependence on fossil fuels, which wouldn’t have been as obvious if people didn’t spend so much time thinking about all that excess CO2 going into the atmosphere.

        “I am interested in climate stuff. Not GaAs or cordless vacuum cleaners or ARPANET. “

        And I have a direct one relating to climate. I have been looking at the dispersive transport of amorphous semiconductors, used predominantly for photo-voltaic technology, and have the novel transport equations described in my book (which you won’t open up, I know). This spun-off my interest in dispersion.

        I am sure you will now apply the fallacious argument of “raising the bar”, but like a wolf killing a deer, I know that is in your nature, so it should not bother anyone.

      • Poor Latimer, buried so long in The Office of mundane IT that he never got a chance to experience the world of basic research, where there is a spin-off in every corner. I have a great one that I am working on right now that took my graduate work and am applying it to robust vehicle modeling. The connection is so bizarre that it would be lost on you. But that is the beauty of mathematics, as it transcends boundaries.

        Ta ta, loser.

      • Latimer Alder

        Thanks Webbie. With seven years of Chemistry behind me I think I can work out what a haloalkane is, thanks. They used to be called alkyl halides.

        For non Chemistry readers, a haloalkane is an alkane – a simple hydrocarbon like methane or propane but where one or more hydrogen atoms has been replaced by a halogen (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine)

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

        But I am surprised that you attribute their use to climate research. They have been known for centuries, and were common on lab benches well before climatology took off.

        Similarly cluster computing. Though this technique is undoubtedly used in climate modelling, this is by no means the only – or the first – application. It was invented in about 1967.

        You say ‘discovery of potent GHG molecules to fend against potential earth cooling :) ,

        Which molecules please? Would they really not have been discovered without climate research?

        Doesn’t leave much on your list.

        But I am puzzled

      • WebHubTelescope

        Of course you are puzzled.
        It’s like the Harlem Globetrotters taking on the hapless Washington Generals.
        You have zero skills but believe you can match up.

        Thanks for debugging my arguments. I essentially use these discussion groups as a test area for my narratives, and get free advice as an outcome. Most of this stuff is in the can.

        Buh-bye.

      • Let’s deconstruct this Tubhead sociopathic nonsense.

        ‘Of course you are puzzled. It’s like the Harlem Globetrotters taking on the hapless Washington Generals. You have zero skills but believe you can match up.’

        Tubhead thinks: ‘I will just start off with a gratuitous insult to divert attention from my nonsense.’

        ‘Thanks for debugging my arguments. I essentially use these discussion groups as a test area for my narratives, and get free advice as an outcome. Most of this stuff is in the can.’

        Tubhead thinks: ‘You were right and I was wrong. I tend to throw out rubbish off the top of my skull and will know not to make the same mistake twice unless I think I can get away with it. I do most of my thinking on the can.’

      • Team Skeptic is all upset that they can’t control the advances being made in alternative and renewable energy as a spin-off of all the interest in slowing the halt of AGW. It just drives them berserk as if they have lost control of their bodily functions.

        The war that most of the clueless Heartlanders are fighting now is against two fronts. They apparently believe that they are fighting the old war against classic environmentalists, but don’t realize that the new front is against those that are dedicated to basic sustainability and searching for alternative energy sources to replace that of dwindling oil (and after that NG and coal).

        Sustainability has nothing to do with protecting nature per se, but on making sure mankind has enough resources to thrive. Unfortunately for Team Skeptic, the POV that greens, sustainers, and other ordinary folk share is that they realize that everyone needs to work with the environment instead of considering it a foe that needs to be defeated. And sustainability is peripheral to climate change, which is obviously an important issue to consider and one that the oddball Heartlanders (not the ones in that linked NY Times article) would rather concentrate on because of its underlying uncertainty (i.e. an issue that feeds FUD).

        Bottomline is that behind every climate skeptic team member I see is someone that is knee-jerk opposed to making any progress in:

        photovoltaic technology
        geothermal technology
        wind energy technology
        hydropower technology
        conservation ideas
        recycling technology
        solar thermal technology
        wave energy technology
        tidal energy technology
        biomass energy technology
        low-level human power
        smart-grid technology
        battery technology
        fuel-cell technology
        localized energy sources
        gravitational storage technology
        energy balancing technology
        heat exchanger technology

        Sure we can also look at nuclear and biotech and space-borne ideas but the thrust needs to be on all fronts.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        So you’ve given up on the ‘climate change/global warming/AGW/CAGW’ schtick then?

        Wise move. It’s lost all its traction and you’re just getting kicked all over the park.

        Let’s see if you can do any better with your latest cult…………..

      • “So you’ve given up on the ‘climate change/global warming/AGW/CAGW’ schtick then?”

        Thanks for your interest, Team Skeptic. I have been involved technically in environmental modeling for the last 8 years, before that it has always been in the back of my mind.. I wrote the book because the topic is interesting, and split it into two volumes, the first volume is called Decline and the second volume is called Renewal.

        Volume 1 discusses aspects of oil depletion and the potential downward trajectory with respect to fossil fuel energy availability we have found ourselves on.

        Volume 2 discusses positive aspects of this crisis. What we can learn from studying oil depletion we can apply to potential new opportunities in renewable energy and in interacting with our environment.

        Those are the themes in a nutshell, and I think that the spin-off potential of any kind of analysis is always there. The positive theme of the second volume, that of renewal, spans all of our environment, obviously including the climate. You invest in analysis and that spins off into something else. It can keep cascading if you are interested in multi-physics and cross-disciplinary science.

        “Wise move. It’s lost all its traction and you’re just getting kicked all over the park.

        Let’s see if you can do any better with your latest cult…………..”

        It’s all interlocking puzzle pieces. You don’t understand that about environmental modeling. You lose.

      • Latimer Alder | June 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm commented: ”Remind me of all those greenhouse gases whose effects weren’t known in (say) 1970 ‘before we went into climate science’’

        Latimer, you are wrong, again! In the 1970’s CO2 was promoted as: will produce Nuclear Winter by year 2000; because of its ”dimming” effect!

        Before we even defrosted from their nuclear winter for year 2000, they turned 180degrees, into GLOBAL warming, instead.

        CO2 does create dimming, intercepts part of the sunlight high up, where cooling is much more efficient = cooler days. b] than at night, because of proportion in difference of temperature between the ground and upper atmosphere – CO2 slows cooling. THOSE TWO FACTORS ”CANCEL EACH OTHER!”

        Prof, Hubert Lamb was one of those promoters for nuclear winter; now the Warmist’ building in East Anglia university is called Hubert Lamb Building; welcome to the circus

      • Pooh, Dixie

        The EPA has it covered. No danger at all of SO2 creating aerosols that would increase a cooling cloud cover and perhaps rainfall or even snow. :-)

        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.

        It is always the fault of fossil fuels, isn’t it?

    • Latimer Alder

      @ Webbie

      I really don’t think you understand very much physics at all. Did they do it at your school on a day you were absent with the croup?

      For it seems that you have some naive belief that wishful thinking and ‘more research’ will somehow get around some real physical constraints of what can achieved in solar and wind power. Things that ain’t going to go away just because you throw dollars at them

      Lets take solar. On a clear day at noon with the sun directly overhead, at on the Equator the total amount of solar radiation arriving (the solar constant) is about 1360 Wm-2. Moving away from any of those parameters reduces this. If you are at high latitude reduces it, if the Sun is lower in the sky reduces it, if it is cloudy reduces it…and if course if it is dark reduces it yet further. No matter how many research dollars you use or how many climatologist create wonderful models or however many conferences in Rio you hold or however quick the oil is running out, you will never, repeat never, get any more energy out than 1.36 Wm-2. This is a physical constraint. Not ‘deniers’ wanting alternative energy to fail. Just simple physics.

      Windmills are pretty lousy things for all sorts of reasons..mostly becuase wind is variable and the energy density within it is very small. To capture a decent amount of energy, you have to make big windmills. That’s why current designs are 400 feet high. But you get a nasty problem. The tip of a windmill blade 400 feet in radius will break the sound barrier at only 30 rpm. (Do the sum and you will see this…radius 130m, 2 pi r, speed of sound abt 320 m/s). This gives a limit on the size and speed that a windmill can be built. Take into account turbulence effects and the limits they place on interwindmill distances and you find that windmills are an incredibly bad use of scarce land. Again. no matter how much you spend you ain’t going to fix this.

      So please understand these physical limitations before opining that more research, and especially ‘more climate research’ will somehow fix them. They won’t.

      • Latimer, Efficiency improvements are incremental. Scientific advancement is incremental.

        Again this shows the blatant hypocrisy of the fake climate skeptics. They are absolutely certain that no amount of effort by climate scientists will actually lead to any useful predictions of the effects of CO2, and that it is all wasted effort. By the same token, any effort to study climate to take advantage of gained knowledge and apply that to practical technology is wasted effort.

        This reeks like an infestation of Luddites. The fact that I point this out makes the Luddites very, very angry.

        “I really don’t think you understand very much physics at all. “

        Ooooh, tough words.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        Please give me an example (even a hypothetical one will do) where you would suggest how gaining a knowledge of climate can be applied to practical technology.

        You also say:

        ‘They are absolutely certain that no amount of effort by climate scientists will actually lead to any useful predictions of the effects of CO2’

        Well…history would seem to bear out that view, and since I haven’t got a money tree growing at the bottom of my garden, there are lots and lots of other valuable projects that come way higher up my list to spend $100 billion on than more ‘climate research’.

        After the first $100 billion it is not unreasonable to see what value we’ve all received for our ‘investment’. And there is just about none at all. :Lots of employment for climatologists, lots of conferences, hot air by the cubic kilometre, papers by the skip load. Wailing and gnashing of teeth by the mouthful, statements of intent by the international shindigful. But not a single practical useful result.

        It seems to me that it has all been a total waste of time and effort.

        Persuade me otherwise.

      • “Please give me an example (even a hypothetical one will do) where you would suggest how gaining a knowledge of climate can be applied to practical technology. “

        I did give you an example, but here is another one. Use the entropic nature of wind to plan out smart grids. I won’t belabor this as I have that and others more described in my book.

        You also should read the polymath David MacKay’s book “Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air” for some ideas.

        “Well…history would seem to bear out that view, and since I haven’t got a money tree growing at the bottom of my garden, there are lots and lots of other valuable projects that come way higher up my list to spend $100 billion on than more ‘climate research’. “

        “my list”. Oh, so now it is all subjective.

        “After the first $100 billion it is not unreasonable to see what value we’ve all received for our ‘investment’. And there is just about none at all. :Lots of employment for climatologists, lots of conferences, hot air by the cubic kilometre, papers by the skip load. Wailing and gnashing of teeth by the mouthful, statements of intent by the international shindigful. But not a single practical useful result.

        It seems to me that it has all been a total waste of time and effort.

        Persuade me otherwise.”

        And now it boils down to justifying research. There is nothing guaranteed in research other than having the knowledge that it has succeeded in the past.

        So that’s what your argument is reduced to? A pessimism towards research?
        No wonder you have Luddite tendencies.

      • Typically agmentative Webby without much cause. Funding is not infinite and social choices need to be made. It is a matter of research priorities. I cite for instance the Copenhagen consensus. The only rationale for government inervention is that the market does not or cannot operate. Malaria research might be an example. But energy is not typically an area where governments should intervene except at the margins. I would extend this to gases in the atmosphere. While there may not be a market for carbn dioxide – there is a market for food in which carbon sequestration is a primary goal. More organics in agricultural soils equals more productivity – mosly to do with overcoming the water limitation.

        The energy mix in 2050 is likely to be much different than what we have today. here is a role for cheap solar – and a number of developments along those lines seem promising. 4th gen. nuclear engines have been in development for 50 years are with us now. It is a matter of scaling up fuels processing to make it cheaper. But this is not an area where taxes and subsidies can make a reasonable contribution.

      • Kangaroo:

        “Funding is not infinite and social choices need to be made.”

        I suppose the choices will be made by a panel of government experts ?

      • Latimer,

        You ask:

        “Please give me an example (even a hypothetical one will do) where you would suggest how gaining a knowledge of climate [change] can be applied to practical technology.”

        There are some fairly hard headed people planning for all that right now. The forestry industry for example.
        http://www.forestry.gov.uk/climatechange

        Then there’s the insurance industry who would need to calculate risks of increased hurricane, and other storm, activity.

        And coastal planners will need to know what sea-level rise to expect in the coming decades. That will have a bearing on the building of a second Thames protection barrier for instance.

        I would have thought you could have answered this question yourself.

      • Latimer Alder

        @tempterrain

        Thanks for the remarks.

        I looked first at the Forestry Commission website. (For those who don’t know the FC is a UK government agency which manages some ‘farmed’ woodland on a commercial basis), I did not see any great practical applications of climate change research, but more a lot of the sort of green gunk that all government departments are required to provide after the Climate Change Act 2008.

        And like all good government agencies it overachieves on the scaremongering at the very beginning.

        Here’s what it says about temperatures (unattributed)

        ‘In the UK, mean annual temperatures are expected to rise by between 3ºC and 6ºC by the 2080s.’

        which comes as big news to this resident of UK. And to the IPCC. The rest is just boiler plate stuff about if its warmer we’ll have less snow and different insects, No actual application of climate research to new technology.

        Then I looked at the Thames Barrier stuff. The existing one was designed in the 1970s and is now expected to last until 2070. There is no great hurry for a new one. Interestingly, the original life was expected to be only until 2030, but it seems that the designers built in a good margin for ‘climate change’ even back in the 1970s before climatology got started. And that margin has allowed an expected life extension of 40 years. AFAIK there is nobody actively working on a design for a second barrier right now.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/31/thames-flood-barrier-london

        As a btw I visited it on my pushbike last year. Good place for a quick coffee. But a wee bit deserted and spooky.

        Thirdly – insurance. I hope the insurers are twirling down the rates for hurricanes, since we seem to have hit an all time low in frequency and intensity. Maybe they are using basic climate research….along with a lot of other things to set their rates. But, again, I hardly see this as a big justification for such research. And insurers are a bit more hard-headed than to believe everything/anything an unvaildated climate model tells them. I’d guess that, like everything else, they have their own models based on actual claims history not just on academic predictions.

        If the choice on who I’d believe is better at foretelling the future comes down to James Hansen or an established risk manager, Hansen comes a poor second

      • @Tubhead

        There were complaints recently about funding priorities in the US. I had a look at the list of publications and found some quite amusing – and I suspect more interesting than many arround here – but overall not something to get up in arms about.

        I did mention the Copenhagen Consensus – http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/Projects/CC12/Outcome.aspx – yes a distinguised panel including Nobel laureates. You don’t seem to stop long enough to actually read, cogitate and comprehend.

      • Latimer Alder

        @tempterrain

        ‘and coastal planners (do we have such people?) will need to know what sea level rise to expect in coming decades.

        How about using a simple rule of thumb. Take the existing rate which has been pretty stable for centuries, double it for safety and add 50%. Even if that is an understimate we still have plenty of time to put it right. You do not need $100 billion of climate research to do this calculation. A fag packet and a pencil will suffice.

      • LA,

        Where does your figure of $100 billion for climate research come from? It sounds like a made up number to me. Is that worldwide or just America?

        In any case, I would agree that there probably doesn’t need to be any expansion of climate research. Just doing more and more research isn’t going to change anything. The emphasis now needs to shift to engineering , and low CO2 energy production, rather than science.

        If scientists wanted to maximise their research grants, according to your theory, they’d be in much more agreement than they are with people like Judith. They’d also be saying just another few billion dollars, or whatever, would remove all the uncertainty. Similarly, engineers should be emphasising the “science is settled.” message. No need to spend your money on climate science, they’d be telling the politicians. Just give us $N billion and you’ll have all the green energy you want.

        Your theory doesn’t quite fit the known facts, does it?

      • WHT,

        Why have you left nuclear out of the mix? Thorium is a particularly interesting technology.

    • Steve McIntyre

      As I understand the Melles study at present, the series LR04 as shown in your graphic is NOT from Russian Lake E, but is an isotope series from ocean foraminifera.

      I agree that the coherence between the deep time Vostok isotope series and the foraminifera series is a success of deep time paleoclimate, but it has nothing to do with the Melles study.

  15. Here is something new:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSO.htm
    Explanation, anyone ?

    • It’s the penquins, stupid?

      • It’s the stupid, “penquins”.

      • Nope, it’s the solar, dopey… As the solar wind approaches the Penquin the wind will press up against the magnetic field of the Penquin.

      • There are no penguins in the Arctic. They got eaten by the polar bears. But in the SH it is definitely penguins – as in the instructional video. Watch for the penguin.

        There is a similar phenomenon in the NH. There it is probably driven by solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere. A lot of global climate variabilty comes from this source through an influence on the AMO, the PDO and ENSO.

      • That’s what Bill Gates said.

    • That looks almost like a synchronous bifurcation. I hear those kinda things could tip a system. Good thing the Earth is not wobbling, that kinda thing could trigger ice ages, geomagnetic reversals, all sorts of stuff not in the budget.

      • It could be irreducible complexity. Oh wait – that’s irreducible imprecision and applies to climate models. Perhaps he meant dynamical complexity – he is a confused boy.

      • Isn’t it irresistible complexity? The desire to complicate a process in order to enhansen one’s worth :)

      • Thanks for ‘penguin’ elucidation; ergo never ask a stupid question on any blog…
        For temperatures oscillations, may be it is a simple matter of tidal mixing, but for coincidence with two magnetic fields, planetary effects come to mind, sort of mini-Milankovic. (but let’s don’t go there)…
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH-SH.htm
        If my quick calculation isn’t badly wrong, there is more heat capacity in top 10m of ocean water than in whole of the atmosphere above (?).

      • It could be a random walk process with an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck reversion to the mean property.

        The time series is long enough to hopefully pin down what causes the fluctuations about the mean. People will be running cross-correlations against the data with whatever other historical time-series they can get their hands on.

        Clearly the Milankovitch cycle idea will get a severe test with the data. The Vostok core data was short enough that coincidental correlations could arise, but with a time series 6 times as long, any further alignment would only strengthen the case.

  16. Will dead and dying Europe tank? Of course. There is no way out. Europeans will never admit they’ve been wrong. Global warming alarmism is only a symptom of the problems that bring them to the brink of bankruptcy. They will blame America if that helps avoid facing the truth. The same can happen here. The Left blames Bush to avoid addressing the real problems that seekers of liberal Utopianism have created.

    http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/the-country-is-not-too-big-to-fail/

    • tempterrain

      Have you ever been to Europe? Of course, if you did you’d know that European countries are run very well by world standards and you’d see, even in the less affluent countries like Greece, plenty of people who look like they are doing very nicely. Yes, the Europeans are having economic problems at the moment. Who isn’t? But they certainly aren’t bankrupt or even anywhere near it. Bankruptcy doesn’t happen just because of debt. Bankruptcy, as any accountant will tell you, happens when debts are much greater than assets, and so, before there is any loose talk about bankruptcy there needs to be a thorough discussion of European assets too.

      We can’t of course choose where we are born, but if we could, where would any sensible person choose? Australia would have to be the top of the list of course! But also on the list would be the European countries. Even if you weren’t lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family you’d still be guaranteed a living standard which would be well above the world average, good health care, free education and every chance of earning enough money afterwards to grumble at the cost of filling your BMW or Merc with petrol!

      • America is supposed to be around to bail Europeans out of their next fit of hubris, right? The writing is on the wall for dead and dying Europe. America wil be watching them try to bring down Western civilization down with them. IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS AND CALL A CLIMATIST.

        http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/hot-world-syndrome/

      • tempterrain

        I’ll take your answer as a “no” then , shall I? You’ve never actually been there. If you had you would know that Europe isn’t actually a single country. So the title of your article should be in the plural, or you should replace the word “country” with continent.
        You aren’t this person are you by any chance?

      • tempterrain

        Not only have I “been to Europe” – I live there.

        Switzerland is is the very heart of Europe, but its population has wisely avoided entering the fiasco that is now the European Union, let alone agreeing to scuttle its Swiss Franc for the now-troubled Euro.

        Yes, by “world standards” European nations – even Greece – are well managed (as compared to Zimbabwe, North Korea, Venezuela or Myanmar, for example).

        And yes, the health care systems are also better than in many other parts of the world, but in many European countries the socialized (i.e. rationed, mandatory one-system) health care is not ideal (Switzerland has a better system based on private insurance companies).

        The Euro was doomed to fail from the start, as there is no single monetary policy across the EU. In addition, the social welfare systems of each country vary greatly and they are locally financed, rather than centrally. If one nation’s government chronically overspends until it is swamped in debt there is no automatic “safety net” to keep it from going under, as there is, for example, if a US state gets into the same problem..

        Germany has been the engine of Europe. Its people work hard, retirement age has been raised (to 67, I believe). It has, undoubtedly benefited economically from the Euro, although most people do not feel that the Euro has brought them a higher standard of living. The big benefactors from the EU and Euro were the people of the less developed nations, such as Spain and Greece, which suddenly found themselves with a standard of living approaching that of Germany – but unfortunately, this standard of living was not sustainable and could only be financed through increasing debt, especially once the global financial crisis and resulting recession started. France’s new socialist government wants to spend its way back to prosperity with higher taxes and a lower retirement age, which is highly unlikely to solve its debt problem.

        But back to our topic here. CAGW is no longer the big buzzword here, tempterrain, even though politicians still give it the obligatory PC lip service. The Germans (and Swiss) are more frightened of a Fukushima/Chernobyl event than of CO2 emissions, and are waking up to the fact that solar/wind will not supply their needs, so coal and gas-fired power plants are again being considered. France is merrily pushing on with its nuclear program. England doesn’t yet have a clue what to do, but the AGW frenzy of the Brown days (“50 days to save the planet”) is gone. And there is no united European energy policy. In fact (except for France) there is NO energy policy at all.

        And CAGW is no longer writ big even among the mainstream media, government functionaries and politicians, let alone the general public.

        [Sic transit gloria.]

        Max

        PS But, yep – I’m glad I do not live in Zimbabwe.

  17. Regarding Revkin on Rio … Sorry, but his green-tinted “reporting” on (for example) Gleickgate, in which his journalistic “ethics” seem to have precluded any verification before publication, leave me less than confident in the balance one might expect from his reporting from a distance.

    His treatment of Gergisgate, in which these same “ethics” required him to “confirm” with Karoly the contents of an E-mail Steve McIntyre had posted, but did not require him to even mention in an update to his article an E-mail he subsequently received from McIntyre but merely to post it as a (now buried) comment leaves me even less “confident” in his reportage.

    Add to this Revkin’s (IMHO inexplicable) tip o’ the tumblr to a heretofore unknown Chemistry/Physics prof and director of “Environmental Studies” at Brooklyn College, who happens to be a Holocaust survivor who had written a (very pricey, ergo far from accessible) book supposedly about climate change. But his own publication record – and professed areas of expertise – give no reason to suggest that this book should be considered as authoritative.

    For reasons probably best known only to himself, Revkin decided to accord this person his 15 minutes of blogfame. However, as I had noted in my comment on Kloor’s more recent thread on this, there is no reason to give this man a free-pass on his use of the d-word merely because of his personal history. As a Holocaust survivor he – more than most – should be acutely cognizant of the perils inherent in such inflammatory, unnecessary and disgraceful labellng.

    All of the above is by way of preface to suggest that Reason‘s Ron Bailey’s reporting offers, IMHO, a less green-tinted perspective than Revkin :-) Pls.see: Report from Reason at Rio.

    My first take on the Rio outcome: Rio – the final score: climate change 22, sustainable 400.

    • The 5 stages of grief:
      1) Denial
      2) Anger
      3) Bargaining
      4) Depression
      5) Acceptance

      The 5 stages of grief according to climate “skeptics”:
      1) Holocaust Denial
      2) Anger
      3) Bargaining
      4) Depression
      5) Acceptance

      • David L. Hagen

        Repugnant & despicable denigration of the murder of 13 million people.

      • Dictionary definition of Denial: “a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality”
        http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/denial

        Climate “skeptic” definition of Denial: The word denial can only ever refer to holocaust denial.

      • You put the ‘dick’ in ‘dictionary’.

      • you put it somewhere else

      • Somewhere in there is a ‘Richard the Lyin’ Hearted’ joke.
        ==============

      • Come back from Rio,
        Putschin’ to the Samba Beat;
        Keep it Top Secret.
        ============

      • Latimer Alder

        Your argument would have a lot more force if all your references (downthread as well) were to to the adjective or noun ‘Denier’.

        But they are not. They are to the abstract concept of ‘Denial’.

        You are just playing clever-clever smartypants..and it shows.

        When in hole – stop digging. When attracting strong enemy fire – stop waving.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        re LIA etc.

        A simplification:

        When a plant grows it is doing chemistry…turning sunlight and CO2 into sugars. Chemical processes in general go faster the warmer it is (*). If it is cooler they grow more slowly. So, for a given length of day and amount of sunlight, a plant will be able to do more growing if it is hotter than if it is cooler.

        And you can see this all around you. The jungles of luxuriant growth and huge variety of species are in the *Tropical* forests, not in the Arctic Circle. Cold blooded organisms (example fish) slow down and stop as the temperature drops…the goldfish in my pond just about hibernate in the winter, coming back to life as the temperature rises in the spring.
        When a hedgehog wants to hibernate, it drops its body temperature to slow everything down…the same effect as causes death by hypothermia.
        And to grow plants better in Europe we put them in greenhouses where it is warmer.

        So Little Ice Ages are bad things because the crops in general can do less growing in the growing season You get a lower yield. Conversely warmer growing seasons in general produce more abundance. The chemistry goes faster.

        * Basic equation of reaction kinetics (speed of reactions) is given by our old friend Svante Arrhenius – he of the first – and remarkably accurate – greenhouse predictions.

        k = A e^{{-E_a}/{RT}}

        which shows that as T increases, k, the reaction rate also increases and vice versa. And yes, I am happy to talk you through this in tedious detail about activation energies and Boltzman and kinetic theory if you wish. But you might like to get up to speed here first

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

      • Latimer Alder says:

        “the goldfish in my pond just about hibernate in the winter, coming back to life as the temperature rises in the spring.”

        He is trying to take over the role of Chauncey Gardner from Herman Alexander Pope, mixing in thirds of Mr. Bean and Mrs. Bucket. Ooh the righteous indignation as I make fun of his goldfish, his cat Tiddles, his finches, and his pushbike. It is fun watching you feed every stereotype known to the outside world.

      • Denial – A Symptom of Alcoholism?
        As Alcoholism Progresses, So Does the Denial
        http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa050797.htm

        What a sick attempt by the anti-drink lobby to equate drinkers with holocaust deniers!

        Don’t we all agree? If you call someone a denier it MUST BE a thinnly veiled attempt to link them to holocaust denial right?

      • David L. Hagen

        lolwot
        Like Bain, you degenerated to shameful ad hominem rhetorical attacks. I apply to you Robert Brown’s classic description of such action:
        A response to Dr. Paul Bain’s use of ‘denier’ in the scientific literature
        Let us know when you come back to civilized society and have valuable concrete matters to discuss about climate etc., if you can return to the sunlight realms. Until then, your CAGW case is “Not Proven” for lack of evidence, lack of model validation and lack of applying the scientific method.

      • Deniers pull this “we accept AGW” card out in cases like this to defend themselves. It’s just another trick.

        Deniers don’t accept AGW. The Cathedral of Denial, aka WUWT, certainly doesn’t. WUWT will push any idea so long as it runs against AGW. WUWT will even question GW.

        If deniers really accepted AGW they wouldn’t be predicting global cooling or making absurd claims that CO2 is a marginal driver of climate.

        All you demonstrate is that deniers give lip service to accepting AGW when convenient – ie when they want to appear reasonable. It’s all deceitful tricks. Just like how deniers will try to associate the label “denier” with holocaust denial.

      • Proving yet again that the Left has turned English into a liars languange. We know where the ‘denier’ meme came from and what it means but global warming alarmists can never admit a single fact–like the mindset of criminals — and never stop with the propaganda — like the mindset of liberal fascists — and, they all work for government — like the mindset of … schoolteachers. The pattern is clear.

      • Warmists are climate change deniers.

      • Okay David L. Hagen, defend this. If you can.

        You cited Dr. Robert G. Brown who, at the platform of WUWT, is supposedly speaking for most skeptics. So lets look at one of his arguments shall we?

        Dr Brown: “Let me tell you in a few short words why I am a skeptic.First of all, if one examines the complete geological record of global temperature variation on planet Earth (as best as we can reconstruct it) not just over the last 200 years but over the last 25 million years, over the last billion years — one learns that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures!”

        Dr Brown clearly thinks “CAGW” expects *current* temperatures to be “remarkable” compared to the last 25 million years, and thus that they aren’t is a reason to be skeptical of CAGW.

        Now explain to me how he managed to get things so wrong, and why skeptics between them can’t spot his mistake? I spotted it, how come you didn’t?

        In case you need it spelled out: No, “CAGW” doesn’t require 2012 temperatures to be remarkable compared to the last 2012 years.

        What are you guys smoking? You pretend you want discourse but your “best and brightest” can’t even logically address the issue. Total joke.

        You know the only reason “skeptics” justify “skepticism” is through little sillies like this. A proper analysis leads to the conclusion that CAGW is correct.

      • lolwot,

        Yr: “It’s all deceitful tricks”

        Hate to burst your bubble, guy, but “deniers” have no need for “deceitful tricks”, if for no other reason than they have all the good arguments on their side (read through Latimer’s comments on the last half-dozen posts or so, for a start)–though they are also invariably, highly ethical and so, for ethical reasons, as well, avoid “deceitful tricks”, unlike you greenshirts with your non-stop, tricky-dickhead intriques on behalf of your noxious, hidden, watermelon-agendas.

        And, for the same reasons, lolwot, “deniers” do not employ scurrilous terms like “denier”–an odious, repugnant term, subliminally resonant with “holocaust denier”, wielded by repellent loser-lefties for cheap agit-prop advantage on behalf of their inhuman CAGW eugenics scams. And, yes, I’m talkin’ to you lolowot.

        But since you eco-parasites have taken such a shellacking lately, lolwot,–witness the Rio fiasco–I’ll give the hive a little competitive tip that’ll keep you good-comrades in the game and good sport just a little longer. If you stamp your feet and hold your breath until you turn really, really, really, blue, lolwot, then everyone will fall for your little hustles and your tax-payer rip-off, carbon-piggie hypocrite, little, gravy-train good deal will be safe forever. Though if you don’t turn blue enough, lolwot, then your little spoiled-brat, temper-tantrum wish won’t come true. Give it a shot, lolwot.

      • hush mike, your style of insults gives your age away

      • lolowt,

        Something you might consider as you contemplate the future:

        “Old age ain’t for sissies”–Bette Davis (my kind of lady!)

      • Steven Mosher

        lolwot.

        I agree it’s funny to watch skeptics who think that the current warming has to exceed all past warming for Agw to be true.
        However, mann and others did have a tiny bit to do with spreading the stupid “unprecedented” meme.
        That was done deliberately to increase the sense of urgency and the confusion it has caused far outweighs the hoped for rhetorical benefits

      • Steve,
        Skeptics are simply pointing out that AGW promoter’s incessant claims of unprecedented and ‘worse than predicted’ are junk. lolwot and the other trolls have run out of ideas and so are sadly trying to blame skeptics for the problems their revealed apocalyptic mania is facing.

      • Steven Mosher | June 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm |

        That should teach scientists to not throw terms around before consulting marketing experts.

        They should have had some focus groups before releasing their findings. :D

      • Mosher, you got it backward. It’s necessary for warming to be unprecedented for all the “tipping point” stuff to kick in. IOW, it’s pretty much necessary for CAGW, not meh-AGW. Who’s all wound up over meh-AGW?

      • It’s necessary for warming to be unprecedented for all the “tipping point” stuff to kick in

        Actually a small reduction in surface irriadiance would be sufficient for bifurcations to enable,the present location in the s curve Ghil 2001,Zaliapin and Ghil 2010 is very close to the singularity where it is turtles all the way down…

      • Oh nose. I forgot about the terrapin effect. And the post turtles in prominent positions in the climate science world.

      • Steven Mosher

        Bart R.
        They did consult marketing experts. You obviously never read through all the documents in the climategate files. There were more than mails.
        The problem is the experts were stupid. It happens.

      • Steven Mosher | June 24, 2012 at 2:39 am |

        Possible we differ on what constitutes a marketing expert. ;)

        My definition excludes, apparently, the sort of person who would choose “unprecedented” when they could use the less easily disputed “precedent-setting”. Or even “epochal”.

        Epochal. Nice ring to it.

      • I agree Steven Mosher, although even the reconstructions today suggest the 20th century warming is unusual – even if they only go back 2000 years or so and not the 25 million years Brown requires.

      • lolwot says:

        “although even the reconstructions today suggest the 20th century warming is unusual – even if they only go back 2000 years or so and not the 25 million years Brown requires.”

        The first half of the 20th century is before AGW (consensus) and it’s almost the same slope and duration like the second half (AGW). So, it’s very USUAL – it happened just before the mid-century cooling/flat period!

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘Unusual’ things happen every day. There are three goldfinches on my seed feeder – normally only two. And, unusually for a Sunday, there are trains running on the railway at the bottom of my garden. Normally they are digging up the line today.

        But ‘unusual’ doesn’t have a scary scary feel to it. ‘Unprecedented’ is a much better way to scare the proles since it sounds sort of official and legalistic and also has the background of some Dickensian clerk poring over dusty ledges to come up with the verdict. Hides the reality of a bad scientist trying to make a name for himself by statistically torturing some dodgy data in a cruel and unusual way and then hiding his work from scrutiny for 10 years.

        For another day we can discuss the use of the scaremongering and misleading ‘ocean acidification’ instead of the entirely correct and descriptive ‘ocean neutralisation’.

      • In every 2000 year reconstruction I’ve seen the 20th century looks unique.

        The best you can argue is that the reconstructions are wrong, or that 2000 years isn’t long enough and perhaps the 20th century is usual on 10,000 or longer time periods.

      • I would say that temperature reconstructions do suggest that 20th century warming is unprecedented in the last 2000 years, because the 19 other centuries don’t show such a jump in temperature.

      • lolwot,

        It seems likely that the 20th century differs from the 2000 year history, but the data on earlier centuries is so much poorer that we don’t really know. Changes of similar magnitude might be smoothened out in the reconstructions, which are of rather little value on decadal scale.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        I have had a 50% increase in the number of goldfinches on my bird feeder since yesterday. There is a major increase in the number of trains running on the railway since last Sunday.

        I really really really find it hard to worry myself stupid about a temperature rise from 287.1K to 287.9K over a hundred years. I am pretty certain that had we not gone looking for it, we would have seen no changes in our world that would have led us to believe anything at all different had occurred. It is an unusual – but essentially trivial – change. Just like my goldfinches.

      • It seems you need English lessons as well.
        There’s a huge difference between saying someone’s “in denial” and calling someone “a denier”
        But I suspect you already knew that

      • I am pretty certain that had we not gone looking for it, we would have seen no changes in our world that would have led us to believe anything at all different had occurred. It is an unusual – but essentially trivial – change. Just like my goldfinches.

        Perhaps so, perhaps not – difficult to tell afterwards.

        Whatever the answer to that, climate change came to politics at a time most scientists agreed that nothing observable had happened up to that time. Hansen gave his testimony in 1988 but even most considered the observed evidence very weak. The idea of AGW originates fully from theory, one could say only from theory. Empirical observation help gradually in estimating the strength of the effect. Even now we are not very far in that pursuit according to IPCC and even less far according to skeptics.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Seriously, what is about this trivial temperature rise that scares you so much?

        Between the middle of the day and the middle of the night, the temperature here even in moderately-climed UK varies by 15C (i just checked last week’s figures). Everything carries on as normal – being quite happy in this environment. It all survives a temperature range measured in multiple degrees per hour without harm. Taken over a year the range is nearer 70C (-35 coldest to +35 hottest) and nothing much happens differently. . The ‘environment’ in all its manifestations responds to the temperature it finds itself in at the time and survives.

        So what exactly is it that makes you believe that a change of 0.8C measured over a century will have disastrous effects? No organism cares about ‘global average temperature’. It cares about its temperature right now. You can say that the speed of change of global average temperature is unusual…and maybe you’re right. But 0.8C in 100 years is still about 1.3 MILLION times slower than the completely unremarkable daily changes that we don’t even notice.

        I just checked with the local weather station across the river. Since we began this exchange, the temperature has risen by 3C. My goldfinches haven’t keeled over in a faint. The chestnut tree outside is still there. The sun has come out (at last) and we’re in for a sunny but blowy afternoon. It’ll probably go up another 3C before reaching a peak.

        So please tell me, in detail, why I should worry about 0.8C in 100 years. Vague handwaving about ‘unprecedented’ doesn’t really cut the mustard. Specifics please.

      • “Between the middle of the day and the middle of the night, the temperature here even in moderately-climed UK varies by 15C”

        Oh Lati!

        Did you really trot out that old nag?

        Desperate times………

      • Latimer Alder

        @michael

        Oh Mikey – is that the best answer you’ve got?

      • Lati,

        it’s dead, stop whipping it.

      • Latimer writes: “Between the middle of the day and the middle of the night, the temperature here even in moderately-climed UK varies by 15C (i just checked last week’s figures). Everything carries on as normal – being quite happy in this environment. It all survives a temperature range measured in multiple degrees per hour without harm. Taken over a year the range is nearer 70C (-35 coldest to +35 hottest) and nothing much happens differently. . The ‘environment’ in all its manifestations responds to the temperature it finds itself in at the time and survives.”

        Meanwhile we have Hagen and other skeptics claiming that glaciation would be truely catastrophic, causing billions of deaths due to starvation.

        That is glaciation, a 5 or 6C drop in global temperature. According to you though this is nothing as temperature in the UK varies by 15C

        You need to get your stories straight.

      • lolwot, you do have trouble getting things into context, don’t you!

      • Latimer Alder

        I can see that covering the country in a thick sheet of ice if it were to get cold for ever is likely to be bad news.

        But there is no such similar effect as it gets warmer. There is not an ‘anti-glaciation’ effect.

        Your analogy is defective.

        The argument about ‘unprecedented warming’ is not that the world hasn’t been hotter in the past …we know that it has. But that it has never changed so quickly. That it is the *rate of change* of temperature that is the crucial variable that causes the problems, not the temperature itself.

        My discussion was merely to question this assumption given the daily temperature swings that we experience as part of our normal weather. And your rather silly argument about glaciers does not address that point at all.

        Do you want another go?

      • Okay lets try again. You are basically saying look at the fluctuations in weather, so how can a change in climate matter? The key is that weather is not climate.

        Recall that many “skeptics”, perhaps including yourself, warn that global cooling back to a little ice age would cause crop failures and kill millions. You know, the old “global cooling is what we have to worry about, not global warming” line? But that’s only a ~1C decrease in global average temperature.

        Do you really think the following would be a valid argument against that?

        “I just checked with the local weather station across the river. Since we began this exchange, the temperature has risen by 3C. My goldfinches haven’t keeled over in a faint. The chestnut tree outside is still there. The sun has come out (at last) and we’re in for a sunny but blowy afternoon. It’ll probably go up another 3C before reaching a peak.”

        Crops would be fine in a return to the little ice age because goldfinches can survive the afternoon?

      • lolwot, that’s very optimistic of you – assuming that one can appeal to logic with the deniers.

        I think even Lati knows how specious an argument this one is.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        I do not recall ever having discussed the likelihood of another LIA.

        Crops would not survive a Little Ice Age not because it is cooler but because the land gets covered in ice. You will notice that most glaciers are vegetation free, even if the surrounding countryside is covered in Edelweiss and the rest of natures bounty as Julie Andrews reminded us in the Sound of Music. Yet again your analogy fails.

        But why concentrate your discussion on an Ice Age that you do not believe will happen? I am not arguing about Ice Ages either.

        Please provide an argument related to what you do actually believe…that the GAT will soon have increased by one or two degrees. What is there that causes you to be so frightened by such a trivial change at such a trivial rate (about 0.1C per decade: or 1.1 x 10-6 K/hour).

      • Latimer Alder

        @michael

        You claim my argument is ‘specious;. Earlier you likened it to an old nag.

        But I note that in neither case have you been able to provide any refutation. And, sad though it must be, argument from authority by those who call themselves ‘lolwot’ and ‘michael’ don’t cut no mustard.

        Do you have any better arguments than your own assertions?

      • Yeah right Latimer, as if you don’t know what the little ice age was.

        “Crops would not survive a Little Ice Age not because it is cooler but because the land gets covered in ice.”

        What a load of bull. Was the UK and US covered in ice during the little ice age?

        I am done with you. But don’t dare let me catch you claiming in futrue that global cooling will harm crops. I have your absurd finches argument bookmarked.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Glad you’ve bookmarked my discussion about goldfinches….it will come in useful later in your career as you re-evaluate your position.

        But apart from you calling it ‘absurd’, and ‘Michael’ calling it ‘an old nag’ and ‘specious’, I note that neither of you have provided any actual concrete argument against it. Strange….

      • So numbnut bookends a long nest with smug and frankly silly claims.

        It seems to me that the denial of science is yours numbnut. If you have a look at – http://www.whoi.edu/main/topic/abrupt-climate-change – you will find that the WHOI seems to be one of those who suggest along with most sensible scientists – such as judith Curry – who suggest that climate surprises are entirely likely.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Hope this gets to the right place this time

        re LIA etc.

        A simplification:

        When a plant grows it is doing chemistry…turning sunlight and CO2 into sugars. Chemical processes in general go faster the warmer it is (*). If it is cooler they grow more slowly. So, for a given length of day and amount of sunlight, a plant will be able to do more growing if it is hotter than if it is cooler.

        And you can see this all around you. The jungles of luxuriant growth and huge variety of species are in the *Tropical* forests, not in the Arctic Circle. Cold blooded organisms (example fish) slow down and stop as the temperature drops…the goldfish in my pond just about hibernate in the winter, coming back to life as the temperature rises in the spring.
        When a hedgehog wants to hibernate, it drops its body temperature to slow everything down…the same effect as causes death by hypothermia.
        And to grow plants better in Europe we put them in greenhouses where it is warmer.

        So Little Ice Ages are bad things because the crops in general can do less growing in the growing season You get a lower yield. Conversely warmer growing seasons in general produce more abundance. The chemistry goes faster.

        * Basic equation of reaction kinetics (speed of reactions) is given by our old friend Svante Arrhenius – he of the first – and remarkably accurate – greenhouse predictions.

        k = A e^{{-E_a}/{RT}}

        which shows that as T increases, k, the reaction rate also increases and vice versa. And yes, I am happy to talk you through this in tedious detail about activation energies and Boltzman and kinetic theory if you wish. But you might like to get up to speed here first

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

      • Speaking of marketers:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nu6iY4eozM

        The tar sands people are developing a bit of a reputation for suppressing information about tar leaks. Talk about hiding the decline. Losing the data. And look, they even call it Northerngate themselves.

      • Processed Oil = Lots of Natural Gas + Tar Sands

        Natural Gas is cheap up there and subsidizes the processing of the tar sands. Possibly the most CO2 produced of any fossil fuel, since all the natural gas is burned to separate the oil from the sands, and is not used for any practical work. The EROEI becomes barely north of unity.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        Not my problem if you are buried so deep in your computer basement that you have lost all touch with external reality. I just write about my everyday experience and try to use those experiences to bring the scientific arguments to life a little.

        Whether you approve or disapprove of my style is really a matter of great indifference to me. You are already beyond rational help

      • The point, rather bluntly made by lolwot, is that Denial is an accepted term in psychology. Nobody complained when Kubler-Ross came up with her 5 stages of grief. Psychologists aren’t afraid of using it, or intimidated by others when using this word.

      • The globe is cooling, Jim D; for how long even kim denies knowing.
        ==============

      • Climate deniers only hate the word because it so clearly spells out what they are doing. Their appeals to the holocaust are a sick trick to get the label abandoned.

      • I like when you use the label, lolwot. Please keep doing it. I’d try to explain why, but why waste the energy? Besides, I’m too busy running around denying there’s a climate.

      • lolwot,
        You are the bestest friend for skeptics lately.
        Please continue.

      • No, no, no. He’s nowhere near as much of a bestest friend for skeptics lately as Fanny. I think Fanny’s secretly working for Karl Rove.

      • If you really wanted me to keep going why would you tell me that?

        You really think such “reverse psychology” isn’t obvious?

      • Yes, it’s totally feigned outrage used as a tactic.

        And to top it off they claim to lament the disrespect shown to the victims.

        That’s dialing up the hypocrisy to 11.

      • Projection is an accepted term in psychology.

      • Jim D,
        AGW hypesters twisted “denier” as they have nearly everything else in the language, in support of their shabby obsession. Bain is a big time PhD psychologist. He did not use lolwot’s transparently contrived rationalization for a reason.

      • Except that the wot-bot’s recitation – and accompanying distortion – of Kubler-Ross’ formulation conveniently and disingenuously (if not intellectually dishonestly) ignores the historical context and chronology of d-word usage.

        Her book was written in 1969 – back in the days when Holocaust deniers were a very small and virtually unknown assortment of rag-tag anti-semitic fools beyond the fringe – and way beyond the radar of any reputable writers.

        In the 70’s and 80’s, these fringe characters tried to dress-up their fact-free ramblings by appropriating for themselves the undeserved label of “revisionist scholars”. Thereby debasing the coinage of what had always been a perfectly legitimate practice on the part of genuine historians.

        In 1993, the historian Deborah Lipstadt first published Denying the Holocaust: The growing Assault on Truth and Memory. In her book, Lipstadt clearly demonstrated that (inter alia) these self-declared “revisionists” were far from “scholarly”. As the Cambridge historian, Richard J. Evans noted in Lying about Hitler: History, Holocaust and the David Irving Trial:

        Lipstadt’s book did not pull any punches when it came to convicting deniers of massive falsification of historical evidence, manipulation of facts and denial of the truth.

        As an aside, I find it more than slightly ironic that those who “argue” most vociferously – when insisting that their use of the d-word label does not equate the views of those who do not subscribe to the “tenets” of the IPCC to Holocaust deniers – often use a very thinly-disguised variation of Evans’ formulation above as part of their “argument” and/or smearing, denigrating mantra!

        As anyone who followed the extensive media coverage of Irving vs Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt in 2000 is well aware, the faux-historian, David “free speech for me but not for thee” Irving succeeded in performing an act of virtual self-immolation which resulted in a resounding judgment against him.

        By this point, however – in no small measure, I suspect, thanks to this libel trial launched by Irving – Holocaust deniers had definitely moved beyond the fringe of mainstream consciousness and attention.

        The little wot-bot and others of his ilk also repeatedly fail to acknowledge that in Feb. 2007 – on the heels of the publication of AR4 and its highly publicized – but unexamined – trumpeting of impending catastrophe (viz IPCC-nik, Andrew Weaver’s claim that AR4 would reveal climate change to be a “barrage of inergalactic ballistic missiles”) – it was Ellen Goodman, a widely syndicated Boston Globe columnist, who declared, in no uncertain terms, as part of the “reframing” exercise of the week:

        Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future

        In the succeeding years, it has become glaringly obvious that Goodman’s rallying cry did not fall on deaf ears.

        And it has become equally obvious that – as quite often seems to be the case in the lofty lingo of those who exercise “climatic licence” to redefine that which is no longer working to their advantage – that these self-appointed arbiters of “scientific truth” seem to want everything both ways.

        Bains’ recent “defense” of his egregious use of the d-word is a perfect example of this – as is the wot-bot’s attempt to “redefine” that which is no longer working for the acolytes and lesser-lights in the camp of alarmism.

      • Denier denier, pants on fire.

      • Latimer Alder

        @michael

        Thanks for injecting your usual level of maturity and wisdom into the discussion. Your contributions always meet my expectations.

      • I do my best to fit in.

  18. David L. Hagen

    Galloping icebergs!US experts predict higher sea level rise: study

    By 2100, the NRC estimates that global sea levels will rise between 20-55 inches (50 and 140 centimeters). The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s projection in 2007 had predicted a fraction of that, at seven to 23 inches (18-59 centimeters) worldwide.

    Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future (2012) 275 pp
    http://dels.nas.edu/Report/Level-Rise-Coasts/13389
    For free pdf see http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13389

    When will we have validated models?

  19. Dr. Curry, I think there is going to be a rush on your thermodynamics book pretty soon :)

  20. For 15 more years, no warming => http://bit.ly/MFCEr3

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      9 out of 10 of the warmest years on instrument record occurred during those years, with 2011 as the warmest La Nina year on record. Odd to have all these records and still “no warming”?. Might someone be eating those hallucinogenic cherries again? Girma, step away from that bowl of cherries!

      • Here are my calculations => http://bit.ly/MrsEl3

      • David L. Hagen

        Gates
        Such scaremongering should have no place in providing scientific advice to policy makers.
        Your “9/10 warmest” is inconsequential. See Robert Brown’s observation:

        . . .if one examines the complete geological record of global temperature variation on planet Earth (as best as we can reconstruct it) not just over the last 200 years but over the last 25 million years, over the last billion years — one learns that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures! Seriously. Not one human being on the planet would look at that complete record — or even the complete record of temperatures during the Holocene, or the Pliestocene — and stab down their finger at the present and go “Oh no!”. Quite the contrary. It isn’t the warmest. It isn’t close to the warmest. It isn’t the warmest in the last 2 or 3 thousand years. It isn’t warming the fastest. It isn’t doing anything that can be resolved from the natural statistical variation of the data. Indeed, now that Mann’s utterly fallacious hockey stick reconstruction has been re-reconstructed with the LIA and MWP restored, it isn’t even remarkable in the last thousand years!

        e.g. see: Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in paleoclimate reconstructions, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, Vienna, EGU2010-14816, European Geosciences Union, 2010.

        The Hurst-Kolmogorov behaviour, also known as long-term persistence, has been detected in paleoclimate reconstructions of both ice-core and sediment origin, dating back up to 3 million years.
        All reconstructions indicate high values of the Hurst coefficient, H (approx. 0.98) . . . the standard deviation, estimated by HKS, (Hurst Kolgomorov statistics) is approximately double that of the CS (conventional statistics) estimation.. . .

        In context, the earth has been generally cooling since the Holocene Climatic Optimum towards the upcoming next glaciation. That would be truely catastrophic, causing billions of deaths due to starvation.
        If anything, Roy Spencer’s 4th order polynomial fit to the entire satellite record since 1979 could equally infer that we are about to enter into global cooling.
        The major issue is can we avoid descending into that glaciation?

      • “absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures!”

        bzzzzt strawman

        What if global temperatures rose another 2C? That would be remarkable.

        So in short Brown is skeptical that 2C warming will be catastrophic because we haven’t seen 2C warming yet.

        Doesn’t sound so clever condensed does it?

      • “In context, the earth has been generally cooling since the Holocene Climatic Optimum towards the upcoming next glaciation. That would be truely catastrophic, causing billions of deaths due to starvation.”

        And the odds of that happening in the next 200 years?

        Whereas the effects of human CO2 emissions will happen in the next 200 years.

        Again more trite crappy arguments from climate “skeptics”.

      • David L. Hagen

        lolwot
        Until you have a validated model that accurately predicts both the ONSET and the END of each glaciation, you can only hope that it will not happen in 200 years.
        More importantly is generational equity where parents should plan and act wisely for future generations.
        You appear to advocate burying resources in the ground out of fear with no benefit. Jesus described such action as “wicked”! Mt 25:14-30

      • “Until you have a validated model that accurately predicts both the ONSET and the END of each glaciation, you can only hope that it will not happen in 200 years.”

        We’ve had thousands of years of human civilization without a glaciation, what’s the odds that glaciation would happen to occur exactly between 2000 and 2200AD at exactly the same time of maximum CO2 emissions? You can’t be serious.

        Not to mention the Earth is currently at one of the warmest points of the holocene and ice cores show glacial cooling doesn’t happen in merely two centuries anyway.

      • lolwot, climate always shifts from warming to cooling at maximum atmospheric CO2. Always.

      • So why when CO2 was at interglacial maximum (~300ppm) did the world warm over the 20th century?

      • David L. Hagen

        lolwot
        It has already been 11,715 years since the end of the last glaciation, the Wisconsin Ice Age. We past the Holocene Climatic Optimum about 8000 years ago. Earth has been cooling towards the next glaciation.

        Tzedakis et al.(2012) warn that “current period of warmth should be ending within about 1,500 years.” Their models suggest that CO2 emissions may prevent glaciation. However, reports of climate sensitivity vary by more than an order of magnitude between empirical evaluations and modeling estimates (0.4 C to 7 C/doubling). Current climate models have not been validated and cannot be relied on to determine what is required to stave off the next glaciation.
        P.C. Tzedakis, J.E.T. Channell et al., >Determining the natural length of the current interglacial, Nature Geoscience, Letters 8 Jan. 2012 | DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1358

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David,
        Dr. Brown stated in his rebuttal to Bain:

        “The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome.”

        _______
        Now this statement IS worrisome, but not not for the reason the the good Dr. posits. It’s worrisome because it is so wrong, and the the logic that flows from it is so terribly wrong. Seriously, does Dr. Brown even know less than an intermediate student of the subject of climate? Would he go to a policymaker and tell them that “The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome.”

        With all due respect to the good Dr. Brown, this is rubbish. Every intermediate student knows that the 8.2 ky event was the coldest point in the Holocene, so please Dr. Brown, do not go around with your “worrisome” “facts” about the LIA being the coldest point.

        But the good Dr. Brown isn’t content with spreading this falsity, No, he then must attack the climate models for not being able to do something they were never intended to do. He states:

        “The truth of this is revealed in the lack of skill in the GCMs. They utterly failed to predict the last 13 or 14 years of flat to descending global temperatures.”

        For the good Dr., with all his knowledge, to attack GCM’s on this point displays complete lack of understanding what the GCM’s are designed to do. This is the basic school-boy ploy of deniers (yes, deniers) because true skeptics don’t resort to such lies and deceptiveness, as a true skeptic “has no horse in the race”. They simply want to understand the truth and don’t have to twist (or create) facts to make their point. I would highly suggest that the good Dr. Brown visit:

        http://allmodelsarewrong.com/

        For a grown-up conversation about GCM’s, and if you, gentle reader, would take a few moments to do the same, you’ll quickly understand why the good Dr. Browns criticism of the models failure to “predict” what the climate was going to do over the past 13 or 14 years is so absurd, and why it is disturbing that he would use it as a basis for anything.

      • David L. Hagen

        Gates
        Take the 8.2k up with Brown. That was a rapid response from memory not a thoroughly researched document.
        Re “last 13 or 14 years of flat” – “lack of understanding what the GCM’s”
        The IPCC excluded ocean oscillations, resulting in 0.2 C/decade mean that is ~ 45% to hot compared to the 0.138 C/decade since 1980. IPCC has tuned the climate sensitivity too high.

        Models by Scafetta are able to forecast/hindcast based on half the historic data. The IPCC’s models cannot. It appearsits anthropogenic attribution may be an argument from ignorance. That is a big deal.

      • ALL of my tallest years have been since I was eighteen.

      • My ten skinniest years have occurred since the miracle – an abrupt metabolic change. I eat like a pig and I get skinnier.

  21. “one of its main claims to credibility was the use of peer reviewed journal articles”

    Incorrect Judith and you of all people should know better. The IPCC claims this but as Donna LaFramboise so brilliantly illustrated in her book, the claim doesn’t not match reality. All the previous IPCC reports are littered with staggering amounts of non scientific literature being fobbed off as real science.

    The IPCC is corrupt and useless, a waste of time, money and effort. The IPCC is to science what Scientology is too religion.

    But what would anyone with more than two working brain cells expect from the even more useles UN.

    • Fred,
      The sad reality, as you point out, is that not only is the IPCC institutionally corrupt, they are prideful and tenacious in their corruption and have no intention of atually pursuing any internal reform or willingly accepting any plans for reform, either.
      Donna pegged the IPCC and time has only underscored the effectiveness and accuracy of her work.

  22. The IPCC has finally jumped the shark. I think most rational observers can agree that the decision to include “grey literature” severely weakens the claim that the IPCC is the scientific “gold standard.” The mystery to me is how can they think this is a good idea.

    From the outside looking in it sure has the appearance of clueless arrogance, with tonal similarities to Pachauri’s claims of “voodoo science” re the calling out of the ridiculous Himalayan glacier prediction. Which of course was taken from as I understand it, some sort of magazine article.

    Personally, I think it’s good new all around. If it were up to me, I’d let Pachauri keep the IPCC car keys as long as he wants.

  23. On the subjects of credibility and uncertainty, may I suggest “A response to Dr. Paul Bain’s use of ‘denier’ in the scientific literature” by Robert G. Brown, a physicist at Duke University? His strong argument includes a quote from Richard Feynman’s (1974) commencement address at CalTech, which is posted as “Cargo Cult Science at:

    Feynman’s essay should be on my own annual reading list. IMO, it is required reading for anyone who claims to do science.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Dr. Brown got at least one fact seriously wrong in his response. A fact which makes a huge difference in the logic which followed. He stated:

      “The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome.”

      How can it be worrisome Dr. Brown, since your statement is not true! Of course any intermediate student of climate ought to know the LIA was not the coldest point in the entire Holocene as it was easily eclipsed by the 8.2 ky event.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.2_kiloyear_event

      What is worrisome therefore, is not this “systematic cooling” of the Holocene, but rather, Dr. Brown’s characterization as such with his direct statement that the LIA was the coolest coldest point, when in fact, it was not. How could he miss such an important event in Holocene climate history as the 8.2.ky event?

      • OK, recent Holocene. And my God, how Nature can vary temperature and climate. Yikes.
        =======

      • Gates,
        Is it not amazing that scientists if they disagree with you are always wrong.
        I would submit that you, lolwot, are simply full of sh*t on this and will never acknowledge that your ridiculous faith is a contrived steaming pile of what you are full of.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Hunter,

        I’ve got no “horse in the race” related to “believing” or not in the truth of AGW. Real honest skeptics don’t. But such emotional outbursts and use of profanity would indicate to me (and should to you) that you’ve a horse in this race. You seem emotionally attached to it in a way that twists your ability to be objective. This is quite anti-scientific and certainly anti-skeptical. It is the mindset of True Believing warmists and AGW deniers do. Now, do you have any factual data that would provide some proof that AGW is not occurring. (short term tropospheric temperature charts or anecdotes about 14th century heat waves in Europe or submarines coming up in Arctic polyna don’t count).

      • andrew adams

        hunter,

        Would you be so kind as to point out the factual error in R. Gates’s comment, otherwise some of might wonder exactly who it is who is full of sh*t.

  24. All use of gray literature is problematic. In case of IPCC reports gray literature has little if any role in the WG1 report but peer reviewed literature does not cover even nearly all of the issues of interest for WG2 and WG3. It’s clear that this is one reason for the errors made in WG2 report and for many severe problems in trying to find out, how objective WG2 and WG3 are in those parts that are not plagued with outright errors.

    Richard Klein wrote the following clarification in the New Scientist discussion thread

    Response From Richard Klein

    Fri Jun 22 17:48:18 BST 2012 by Julian Richards, deputy online editor
    http://newscientist.com

    Fred Pearce contacted me before writing this article but two issues he raises require clarification.

    First, the article conflates membership of the IPCC Bureau with IPCC authorship. The decision on geographical ‘quotas’ refers to the composition of the Bureau. The selection of authors has always been based on a combination of expertise, geographical balance and, increasingly, gender, and this is unlikely to change. But that’s not what the decision was about.

    Second, Fred Pearce chose to ignore my clarification of what constitutes grey literature, which may have led to misunderstandings among those surprised by IPCC’s decision. Here is what I wrote to Pearce:

    “The discussion about grey literature often takes place without making clear exactly what constitutes grey literature. Perhaps as a result of the Himalaya error in AR4, some people seem to assume that grey literature refers only to NGO publications (and also that all NGOs are activist NGOs). Grey literature basically refers to everything that hasn’t been published in peer-reviewed journals, including edited books and monographs, PhD theses and other university publications, publications by international organisations such as OECD, IEA and the World Bank, as well as those of think tanks such as IIASA IISD and SEI. In fact, IPCC reports themselves are grey literature, as is, for example, the Stern Review on the economics of climate change.

    The nature of IPCC Working Group I is such that there’s very little need to rely on grey literature; most, if not all, of the science that needs to be assessed by WGI is published in peer reviewed journals. For WGs II and III this is often not the case, and assessments by these working groups benefit from being able to refer to professional publications (e.g. insurance journals) and reports from international organisations such as the ones I mentioned. The Inter-Academy Council recognised this and did not recommend banning the use of grey literature by IPCC. Instead, it recommended tightening the procedures that are to be followed by authors who wish to refer to grey literature in IPCC chapters. This recommendation has been followed up by IPCC and author guidance to this effect is now in place.”

    I hope that this comment serves to clarify why the IPCC has decided not to ban grey literature, as opposed to feed online controversy based on innuendo.

    Kind regards,

    Richard Klein

    • ‘Grey’ literature, but I guess it depends on whether it’s English or not. How many colors of gray beyond the whiter shade of pale are there? Truth is curious, not chiaroscuro.
      ==================

  25. Could be wrong, but it seems to me the denizens, while hot on the IPCC’s embrace of “right-answer!” grey literature, are, at the same time, showing a bit of skittishness in addressing the IPCC’s contemporaneous plan to use geographical/gender quotas in its recruitment of their scientists. Two ways to look at this matter, it seems to me:

    The IPCC has recruited its scientists, in the past, not on the basis of scientific merit, but despite that merit so as to systematically exclude superior woman and/or non-Western scientists. If so, then the IPCC, needs to come clean and name names. Who in the IPCC is engaged in such malicious discrimination–by name?; who are the second-rate male, Western scientists who were pushed ahead of more meritorious female and/or non-Western scientists–by name?; and who are the female and/or non-Western scientists of superior merit who were bumped in favor of the hack male and/or Western scientists who are now (and in the past) turning out second-rate climate science for the IPCC–by name? I mean, like, the IPCC is funded, in part, by tax-dollars from around the world and if they are not using those rip-off tax-dollars to buy the best science available, because of their gender/geographical biases, then all men and women of good will want to know just what’s what and want something done about it. So spill the beans, guys.

    On the other hand, if the IPCC’s new gender/geographical quotas are just a post-modern maneuver to re-define “science” so that there is now a boy-science and a girl-science and an Asian science and a South American-science etc. then I’d say we’ve pretty much abandoned “science” in any meaningful sense of the term and have morphed our notions of “science” into one where “science” is nothing more than a game of political coalition-building in the service of this, that, and another make-a-buck/make-a-gulag agenda. And, of course, a gender/origin quota approach to “science” allows astute “biggies” to better play little communal groups of “scientists” off on one-another to produce the “right answer!” and thereby facilitate our betters’ divide-and-conquer assaults on our liberties on behalf of their brave-new-watermelon, useless-eater free, wannabe hive-heaven.

    And, oh by the way, quotas that discriminate against meritorious men/Westerners, in favor of less-meritorious “others”, are sexist tools of personal management and those that employ them are sexist-pig, man-hater, anti-Western bigot-scum of the first order. And any woman/non-Westerner who would accept employment in an institution that promotes his/her second-rate services ahead of those of men/Westerns of higher scientific achievement deserve the universal contempt of humanity. As, indeed, would a man/Westerner, if the situation was reversed.

    A final question for the PC crowd on this blog–Should polar bear studies be conducted only by Inuit-scientists? Or better yet–women, Inuit-scientists?

  26. David L. Hagen

    China reducing rate of CO2 growth! (Be careful what you wish for).

    Rohan Kendall, the senior analyst for Asian coal at Wood Mackenzie, the global energy consulting firm, said that coal stockpiled at Qinhuangdao port had reached 9.5 million tons this month, as coal arrives on trains faster than it is needed by power plants in southern China. That surpasses the previous record of 9.3 million tons, set in November 2008, near the bottom of the global financial downturn. The next three largest coal storage areas in China — in Tianjin, Caofeidian and Lianyungang — are also at record levels, a Chinese executive said.

    Chinese Data Mask Depth of Slowdown, Executives Say Keith Bradsher | June 23, 2012

    Hong Kong. As the Chinese economy continues to sputter, prominent corporate executives in China and Western economists say there is evidence that local and provincial officials are falsifying economic statistics to disguise the true depth of the troubles.

    • Nawww, really? You mean sorta like the “nobody fails” policy at certain universities and colleges in China? Might make an official look bad? I remember a conversation with a Canadian CIDA worker trying to teach the Chinese how to manage feedlots. The “party line” was much more important than doing what actually produces results. Oh, that reminds me of something else. “Climate science”? Yeahhhh….

      • David L. Hagen

        They probably learned it from “No child left behind”. (PS only allowing one child to grow will cause: China’s Workforce to peak in 2013

        The old-age dependency ratio – calculated by dividing the number of people aged 65 and older by the number of persons who are between the ages of 15 and 64 and are in the working population – will rise from 11.9 percent to 42 percent by the middle of the century, the bureau said.

        US old-age dependency is 49%)

    • David L. Hagen

      Conversely, see: Coal: The Rising Star Of Global Energy Production

      Energy expert Robert Bryce says, for example, that the cleanest U.S. coal-fired electricity plants now exceed all traditional Environmental Protection Agency pollution standards. . . .
      BP’s annual statistical review reports that global coal production increased 6 per cent last year, twice the celebrated rate of increase in global natural gas production. This most notorious of fuels now accounts for 30 per cent of global energy consumption – the highest percentage since 1969. It will almost certainly account for more in the years ahead. It is, after all, one of the cheapest primary sources of energy in the world. . . .
      Using 2005 as a base year, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports that U.S. net coal exports increased 70 per cent in 2007, 107 per cent in 2008, 71 per cent in 2010 and 49 per cent in 2011. (In 2009, the year of the market meltdown, exports fell by a relatively restrained 23 per cent.)

  27. The IPCC’s latest efforts to bolster credibility are to increase the use of gray literature..

    Huh. I’d think the IPCC moving to recognize the explosion of climate literature outside of the — let’s face it, much criticized on all sides — narrow peer-review arena would be a good way to get discussion and debate going sooner and better without the influence of a handful of publishers and editors.

    How far Climate, Etc. has come, if now peer-review is the only standard of literature that will be accepted by its denizens.

    • Peer review is not a guarantee of correctness and lack of peer review is very often due to other reasons than low quality. Having been published in one of the best known journals of the field of research and having survived a year or two without being shown to be wrong provides already much better evidence. That’s the most important difference between a journal article and a piece of grey literature that no-one cares to contradict openly.

      The most serious problem of WG2 may be that it is to a significant extent based on research that’s not motivated by scientific interest but by motives that are inherently biased. They are not biased so much by conscious decisions than by the unavoidable asymmetries in the interests of those who ultimately decide what will be studied and what not.

  28. Okay, this is just too funny,

    Here is the funny part.

    Borrowed from Lucia’s

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/video-as-bad-as-any-agw-video-out-there/

  29. David L. Hagen

    Dispatches from Rio and Nepal: Knife Fights Over Firewood

    The violence at this spectacular, top-of-the-world setting was jarring—the wood they were fighting over was for our evening’s cook fire.

    What will happen when oil depletion overtakes development?

  30. Mike wrote: “I could be wrong, but it seems to me the denizens, while hot on the IPCC’s embrace of “right-answer!” grey literature, are, at the same time, showing a bit of skittishness in addressing the IPCC’s contemporaneous plan to use geographical/gender quotas in its recruitment of their scientists.”

    Just more of the same pointy headed, fuzzy minded, pc obsessed, ideologically driven silliness that spawned and then kept alive all this climate hysteria in the first place. Gender quotas and the like have nothing to do with science, obviously, and in this case serves only to remind people of the fact that they are first, last, and always a political body. BY definition then, they are not to be trusted.

  31. A great round up.
    Rio fails, as expected, yet AGW hype and promotion staggers on.
    But at least this parasitic movement is staggering closer to the dustbin of history.
    Lake E in Russia shows that the biosphere is much more tenacious and adaptable to climate volatility than the AGW movement would have us believe, not to mention that the AGW climate consensus actually has no useful models to explain the past. The implications for their (in)ability to offer anything useful about the future are clear and compelling.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Hunter,

      Your certainty that the AGW “movement” is staggering to the dustbin of history is quite revealing. This story is far from over, though Chapter 1 is drawing to a close. The final paragraph in the chapter will be end end of the IPCC as we know it today. But, as accept as provisionally true that AGW as both a reality and a “movement” will with us for quite some time…

      • Gates,
        AGW, the social movement that you and so many other extremists have embraced cannot trot off to the refuse pile fast enough.
        AGW has no more to do with climate than eugenics did with evolution.
        And both movements have been shown to be equally filled with nasty little minded bigots.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Hunter,
        Then you fully admit that the “denier” label suits you. You do seem to wear it well. We of the skeptical side of things are not nearly so certain of the future as you true-disbelievers are.

    • A new paradigm emerges in the context of an anomaly. With AGW it is the anomaly of a failure to warm. Although I note that Gatesy resorts to the idea of the warmest La Nina ever or the warmest decade ever. Paradigms die hard and these rationalisations grow ever more desperate. But there is little doubt in science that climate shifts are a reality and that we are in a cool mode for another decade or three.

  32. It seems that I enterred urls in my comment incorrectly. They are:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/a-response-to-dr-paul-bains-use-of-denier-in-scientific-literature/ for Robert Brown’s reply to Bain’s disparagement of skeptics and http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm for Faynman’s “Cargo Cult Science.”

    I hope this offering works and apologized for the confusion my error caused.

  33. In reading through this thread,I didn’t see a link to the original Science paper by Melles, et al so I am providing same:

    http://www.geo.umass.edu/lake_e/Mellesetalscience2012.pdf

    New climate models are needed to explain warmth and sea levels. Funny, greenhouse gases lower than today. Maybe “far field influences” need to be elucidated. Current Global Climate Models suffer from having CO2 as a driver of climate. It may well be something else. It might be worthwhile to find out before going any further re: mitigation politics.

  34. “Improvements in connectivity and alternatives to internet access, such as the International Panel on Climate Change’s DVD data distribution for climate datasets”

    Intergovernmental? They should have got this stuff blog reviewed.

  35. “The potential loss of trust in the scientific enterprise through failure to recognise the legitimate public interest in scientific information was painfully exemplified in the furore surrounding the improper release of emails from the University of East Anglia.99 These emails suggested systematic attempts to prevent access to data about one of the great global issues of the day – climate change. The researchers had failed to respond to repeated requests for sight of the data underpinning their publications, so that those seeking data had no recourse other than to use the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) to request that the data be released.”
    ouch.

  36. “Except in those areas where immediate release has become the norm, researchers should have a well defined period of exclusive access to give them time to analyse and publish their results, including negative results.”

    So in the case of Gergis et al, they have utterly failed to publish anything negative to the expected theory of AGW. And even then they botched it.
    The tax payer funded data is still not available.

    WTF?

  37. “Access to data that fulfils the requirements of accessibility, intelligibility, assessability and usability is important for citizens’ involvement in science and their pursuit of scholarship through data which, after all, for publicly funded science they have paid for through their taxes.”

    Indeed.

    “The growth of the citizen science movement could turn out to be a major shift in the social dynamics of science, in blurring the professional/amateur divide and changing the nature of the public engagement with science.”

    My conclusion:

    Citizens’, with greater data access, are now providing a new form of “peer review”, checks and balance, exposing systemic bias by challenging results, and are now even eroding public confidence in science professionals, since non professionals are beating paid academics with scientific progress in many cases.
    Thus, the citizen science network (blogosphere) and it’s melting pot of pro bono speculative theories and ideas’, is a potential threat to the academic way of life, since, by its very nature, it is “more scientifically open”, and in a way the traditional scientific process will never be able to compete……the blogosphere and citizen science has nothing to lose, so is “fearless”.

  38. SAM never seemed to get his leash wrapped around the South Pole. That was not very believable. And there was nothing about the positive feedback about penquings taking the heat from their hot black backs to the ocean depths where Trenberth is still looking for it.

  39. Alright, a penguin walks out of the ice bear’s den and walks ten miles south, ten miles east and ten miles north and is back at the den. How many points on earth can be the location of the den?

    It’s not white and it’s not one.
    =====================

    • A penguin, a rabbi and a polar bear walk into a bar. The rabbi says “I’m buying”. The penguin says “is that your Bar Mitzva”?

    • You mean the bear’s den?

    • kim | June 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

      While at the North Pole, one can indeed describe an equilateral path due south, then due east, then due north, there are also infinite points such that the longitudinal leg of the path circumnavigates the South Pole an Integer number of times exactly, that satisfies the conditions of such a path.

      If there are unstated excursions from the described path, as kim is wont to leave out relevant considerations, then again infinite possibilities exist. As such, we can resolve the issue that bears do not reside in the Antarctic (except in fiction), nor do penguins inhabit the Arctic. Also the perambulation has the problem that such a trip over the Arctic ice is unlikely to be possible physically, given the broken ice conditions. And we haven’t even considered depth beneath the surface, a la Jules Verne.

      I’d suggest the penguin and ‘ice bear’s den’ are part of some video game kim plays, with a region called ‘earth’. As such, the puzzle is insoluble except in kim’s fantasy world.

    • At the North Pole, or at any point 15 miles from the South Pole.
      Where do I collect my prize?

    • An Irishman, Penguin and Polar Bear stagger out of a bar. They stagger 1.5 miles south to the southernmost point. Where are they and what week of the year is this actually legal?

  40. Don’t mind conservaion and rehabilitation of forests – don’t mind paying for it.

    Want results and opportunites – not graft aand corruption.

    http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/connect-asia/australianfunded-deforestation-scheme-total-failure/963692

  41. Considerate thinker

    Just musing to myself, if all those cashed up foundations and tax exempt pressure groups trying to influence this debate, had to contribute first to building university libraries and data centres. That might be the first great step to having data and research papers and code FREELY available to all at the touch of an internet button, no paywalls Then the Governments and taxpayers only have to pay for the initial research, seed money to get things going.

    Maybe a dream

  42. Hardly a week in review without taking note of the current state of the Arctic.

    Oh look, another record low sea ice extent and volume.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2012/06/sea-ice-tracking-at-record-low-levels/

    So. Interhemispheric sea ice influences.. literally the longest possible climate teleconnection.. do they run both ways? Will the Western Ice Sheet degenerate faster because of summer sea ice loss at the North Pole?

    Is CO2 a transmissive amplifier of this positive feedback, I wonder?

    If the average height of the point of radiation loss to space in the atmosphere is rising linear with temperature rise, doesn’t that mean the volume of the shell of atmosphere is rising as a cube, and the surface area of the polar ice regions is becoming smaller as a ratio of the available energy?

    Well, that’s an exponential relationship between driver and feedback.. I seem to recall something about those from Chemistry. Oh. Yeah. *BOOM*

  43. “However, mann and others did have a tiny bit to do with spreading the stupid “unprecedented” meme.
    That was done deliberately to increase the sense of urgency and the confusion it has caused far outweighs the hoped for rhetorical benefits.”

    Don’t see the downside in terms of their paycheck.

  44. I pity the IPCC having to make these tricky decisions. it’s difficult being an academic, particularly if yr an endemic.

  45. I’m surprised there is so little balanced or critical reporting from Rio+20. Ron Bailey has several articles: http://reason.com/people/ronald-bailey/all

  46. Who could have guessed the topic of enhancement by the IPCC of the most basic equality processes to further include a range of expertise and views, could be so triggering here at ClimateEtc.?

    Or that the striving of the IPCC for even better processes of transparency and critical assessment in regard to continued (contrary to Ms. Curry’s comments, not new) inclusion of high quality grey literature from e.g. farmers and indigenous people, could also be so triggering here at ClimateEtc?

    Since Ms. Curry seems to be wondering… the answer is ‘no’, ClimateEtc could not be considered grey literature since it does not set a basic standard for quality required to be grey literature.

    • Martha,

      Discrimination by race, creed, color, and/or national origin is bigotry–not an “equality process.” It’s not hard to figure, Martha. The U. S. has no business funding a repugnant organization openly practicing quota-based discrimination based on gender and geography.

      In that regard, Martha, since you may have knowledge in this area, has the IPCC practice discrimination by gender and geographical origin so that meritorious women and non-Westerners have been passed over for selection by the IPCC in favor of less-deserving men/Westerners. If so:

      Who, by name, in the IPCC was/is responsible for such discrimination?–please provide names.

      Who, by name, was harmed by the IPCC’s policy–again, please provide names.

      Who, by name, was the unfair beneficiary of any anti-woman/non-Westerner discrimination and, please, offer an estimate of the inferior climate science review products produced by the IPCC, to date, due to its preference for men and Westerners of a lesser ability rather than the best at their business.

      The IPCC’s climate science reviews should be only of the best, and if the IPCC has not been using the best resources–personnel and otherwise–then we deserve to know that and why and demand change. And, of course, gender and national origin bigot-quotas are not a method that will ensure the best possible climate science reviews either.

      Others have addressed the grey literature issues, so I’ll no go there.

  47. There are Australian farmers at Rio who can help small land holders – who produce 70% of the worlds food supply – to double production. The world is increasing food production and sequestering carbon in the next green agricultural revolution. About 15% of Australian farmers are conservation farming and the number is growing rapidly.

    Real progress is emerging from people power. Much in the polycentric mode of the lamentedly late Elinor Ostrom. These people to people networks are far more signifcant than green groups or governments.

    The best thing you could do Martha is to lobby your government to meet the Millenium Development Goal committments spent on Copenhagen consensus priorities. The IPCC is a failed project – and the thing to do with failed projects is to cut your losses.

  48. ” … basic standard for quality required to be grey literature.”

    And what would that standard be, Martha dear ? Exactly …

  49. Beth Cooper

    Latimer 23/06 11.54am:
    ‘Windmills are pretty lousy for all sorts of reasons….To capture a decent amount of energy you have to make big windmills.’

    ‘What giants?’ said Sancho Panca. ‘Those whom you see yonder, with their immense extended arms.’ said Don Quixote. ‘Some of that detested race have arms that reach two leagues across the land.’

    Time machine to the twenty first century:
    Picture your typical wind farm, towers more than two hundred feet high supporting a turbine housing, or nacelle, the size of a bus. Sweeping the sky, three rotor blades, one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet long, …say, listen to that thrum!

  50. Beth Cooper

    Martha, June 24th,1.15am:
    Don’t yr think that statement smacks of casuistry, Martha?

    Anxious enquirer: Say, who sets the standard for acceptance of grey literature?
    IPCC: We do.
    AE: What is that standard?
    IPCC: Something (intangible) that Greenpeace has but you don’t.

    • IPCC using grey literature should encouraged. What should the objection should be is it’s use of scientific literature.
      IPCC like the UN’s human rights commission, should ignored.
      We should be throwing less money at the UN and IPCC. But whether should or not, it seems we will throwing less money at it.
      The UN is a hopeless embarrassment, which does not seemed to helped in any way throwing billions of dollars at it. I think the onlt chance left for the UN is to give it less money. It’s had too much money and it’s hopeless corrupt because of it.
      Half the world is poor. The UN should be poor also. Members ditch ditches for few months every year. Maybe they all have have same uniform. Or wear blue jeans and T-shirts.
      The UN should in opposition of all the rich tyrants in the world, rather try to act like them.
      The UN should housed in the biggest poorest nation in the world- the poor should in their face.

    • There aren’t any standards that guarantee the correctness of any publication be it grey or be it published in the most prestigious peer reviewed journal. Each article must be judged on its own merit and each scientific result based on the overall evidence that has been collected to confirm and to contradict that result.

      In some cases the evidence is very straightforward and simple. Those results may be considered reliable based on one well performed and reported study. This is, however, an exception rather than the rule. The rule is that results gain reliability from multiple and independent studies that confirm them directly or indirectly. The indirect confirmation is very often a side effect of further studies that go deeper or extend the original study as simple repetition is not considered worthwhile unless the issue is of particular interest or subject of major controversy.

      Publication in a high profile journal is of significance as that results in much wider scrutiny of the paper by other scientists who read such journals. The peer review alone provides some assurance against obvious errors and poor reporting but only further research adds essentially to the certainty that the work is correct within its stated limits.

      Grey literature contains much additional information that may be equally important than that of peer reviewed papers but that has not been processed in the same way. In some cases the grey literature may report on work that has been done with very strict quality controls and may be even more reliable than a typical journal article, in other cases its reliability is much more questionable. Usually the results of grey literature will not be looked at by as many other scientists and even if others notice a clear error the may be less interested in reporting that in public.

      It’s always questionable to base conclusion on a single study or studies of a single research group. That’s true for peer reviewed work but that’s even more true for grey literature. The user of the results is the one who must judge, whether the evidence is sufficient for his needs or how to weight pieces of contradicting evidence. The science community provides material for that, but the science alone does not give the final answers.

      The IPCC continues to use only peer reviewed science that covers the issues considered as it does for almost whole WG1 report. For WG2 and WG3 that’s not realistic, and that has led to major problems in interpreting the significance of the WG2 and WG3 reports as well as some special reports that extend these reports.

      • We don’t need no steenkin’ peer review.
        =====================

      • Some mechanism will always be used by scientists and others interested in science to choose what they are going to read. It’s also very useful to get outside critique on the manuscripts as that improves often greatly their quality of presentation and also reduced stupid errors.

        For these two tasks no better methods have been presented.

        There’s no doubt that peer review has problems but the alternatives seem to have more severe problems.

      • Peer review appears to work in many fields. In climate science, it stinks. As peer review and the grey literature have been argued and used in climate science has been the worst of both worlds. This is keeping your cake and consuming it, too, but the cake is poisonous, as will be the keeping and the consuming.
        ====================

      • I don’t think grey literature has been used much in climate science. It has been used in IPCC WG2 and WG3 but neither of those is on climate science.

      • Climate science is just the tip of the iceberg kim.

      • Donna blows raspberries at you, Pekka, cross the Western Sea. And look at the junk they do use. Phah.

        Edim, full speed behind.
        ===========

      • Latimer Alder

        @pekka

        Seems to me that the IPCC got itself into a heap of big trouble last time around by using grey literature ‘under the counter’. Do you really believe that formalising the process that let them down will enhance its already battered and tattered credibility?

        And if this self-created deliberate own goal is the best idea that the greatest and goodest of the climatology mafia can come up with, then my minimal respect for their common sense drops yet further.

        They may be great academics (though I reserve the right to doubt that too) but they are f*****g useless at anything else that matters in public discourse.

      • IPCC has its starting point in climate science, but even a much better understanding of climate science than we have doesn’t determine policy conclusions without knowledge on the impacts, adaptation and possibilities for mitigation. That led to the creation of WG2 and WG3. Those who first proposed WG2 and WG3 hardly knew, how poor the science is in these areas. They didn’t necessarily guess how dependent these areas are on grey literature and even worse sources of information. That may have led to some unfortunate formulations in the guidelines, but that led certainly also to unjustified expectations.

        Now we have several visible climate scientists who are not experts on impacts or mitigation, but who are personally convinced that the situation is very bad. They choose to believe rather the views presented in the Stern Review than those of other environmental economists whose estimates are not at all as clear.

        There are certainly major issues in the climate science proper, but those are not so different of major issues in other fields of science of complex systems. Only few of those other fields are, however, seen as equally important for policy decisions.

      • Pekka

        You write:

        IPCC has its starting point in climate science

        This is not exactly correct.

        As a UN agency, IPCC had its starting point in politics.

        It was given the brief to establish what human impacts on our climate might be, how these might be potentially harmful and what mitigating actions might be considered.

        So the political “agenda” came before the “science”.

        Max

      • Max,

        Without the preceding science there was nothing to link to politics.

        IPCC is “Intergovermental” and that tells certainly that politics was involved as well, but the scientists who developed the basic theory of atmosphere and of AGW did that as scientists, not with politics in mind.

      • ‘not with politics in mind’ he says. Snicker.
        ===================

      • Time to exhale Kim.

      • Not Snickers. $100,000 bars.

  51. IPCC to “bolster credibility” by relying more heavily on “:gray literature”?

    Hmmm… Seems this was precisely one of the things that caused major screw-ups last time.

    But it is unlikely that IPCC will be able to regain the credibility it has lost, no matter what it does. When 70% of the general public are convinced that climate scientists are fudging the data, the trust seems to be lost.

    And lost trust is very hard (if not impossible) to re-establish.

    Rio.

    Another boondoggle with politicos and environmentalists jawboning about “sustainability” and “the future of the planet”, and ending up with no result.

    A German summary: “Ausser Spesen, nichts gewesen” (except for expenses, nothing happened).

    Not a good week for the CAGW cause.

    Max

    • Latimer Alder

      Reminds me of the quote from (I think) Groucho

      ‘Sincerity…now that’s a tough one. If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made’

  52. Time to Choose Again has a monster good post and thread over at Jeff Id’s with many of the usual suspects.
    ==================

  53. Actually, grey lit is used in this field in pretty much the same way it is used in engineering science, agricultural science, health science, etc. Ms. Curry and the rest of you with an interest in education and public participation in decision-making are disempowered by not knowing this.

    There have been entire international conferences devoted to the topic of grey literature in science and many other fields, with guidelines. Grey literature includes many kinds of documents, such as conference reports, theses, working papers, etc., in addition to what I already suggested, that serve to keep a knowledge base both current and diverse.

    Someone asks, ‘how do I find this literature’? You can start with your Library or web resources.

    And since IPCC reports are among the few compilations of grey literature in climate science, and the quality is high (the overall standard of high quality grey literature was confirmed by the IAC report on IPCC processes and the IPCC is striving to make this standard even higher) this would increase, not decrease, public knowledge and the general usefulness of these reports.

    Unless of course one prefers to know less, not more, about the world around you.

    Casuistry?

    No need to put the 17th century Jesuit spin on things. It does not necessarily have a devious meaning.

    If you are trying to say that IPCC processes for public dialogue reflect the general ethical perspectives of pragmatism and utilitarianism, and values such as gender and racial equality – correct and no one is pretending otherwise at the UN or IPCC. Perhaps it is the case that you personally prefer that action be guided by other ethical perspectives or value considerations. Fair enough. What did you have in mind?

    • This is precious.

      The CAGWers have ridiculed skeptics since the start of the climate debate about how the only thing that matters is the peer reviewed literature.

      But now, they have lost their stranglehold (despite their best efforts) at controlling who and what got published. On top of which they are losing the political debate (the one that matters) badly.

      So all of a sudden, non-peer reviewed sources are fine. And skeptics are troglodytes for pointing out the hilarious self contradictory contortions of this latest mammoth sized flip flop.

      Plus, I am betting the IPCC decided it needed to have some responses to recently published skeptical articles, and found there was not enough time to go through the normal publishing process. SO now they can just repost Real Climate op eds.

    • “And since IPCC reports are among the few compilations of grey literature in climate science, and the quality is high (the overall standard of high quality grey literature was confirmed by the IAC report on IPCC processes and the IPCC is striving to make this standard even higher) this would increase, not decrease, public knowledge and the general usefulness of these reports. ”

      You have to be kidding!!

    • The IAC recommended a 1 year term for the IPCC chairman. Who’s the current chairman, Martha?

    • Martha,

      Yr: “…gender and racial equality”

      I think we can safely imagine, Martha, that your seemingly anodyne phrase, above, boils down to two things: The empowered, watermelon-bigot man-haters at the IPCC are now making their big-move on the IPCC trough, with their politically-reliable, lefty-stooge, girl-friend networks deployed and poised, as we speak, to seize that lucrative objective. That, and “The white-boys are out!”

      So, Martha, I take it that the IPCC has selected second-rate, white, male, Westerner hacks (wouldn’t that be a big surprise!) in the past to do its dirty work in lieu of the best and brightest–the best and brightest being among those who just happen to fit, in the main, a non-white and female profile. And since that must be the case, Martha, why don’t you clue us in on all the defective work those bad-boy whities have inflicted on the IPCC’s climate science review products. You know, the screwed-up, honky stuff the IPCC has been peddling as the “gold-standard” of “settled” climate science.

      Let’s be honest, Martha. The IPCC is a big, obscene, pig-sty sinecure for well-connected, loser, greenshirt parasites whose association with that boondoggle, creep-out organization guarantees them a lubricious wad of noisome, trough-sucking, carbon-piggie hypocrite, windfall good-deals of Biblical proportions–all at the tax-payer expense, of course. And to a certain type of eco man-hating chauvinist, I’m sure it must seem unfair that it’s the goof-off, useless-eater white-guy, IPCC buddy-boys, with their tacky, blow-out, tail-gate party mentality, who disproportionately scarf up all the in-your-face, non-stop fun and goodies the IPCC has to offer. So, from that perspective, I can see why the IPCC’s empowered, sexist-pale-face-phobes are all geared up to frog-march the “ice-people” bubbas off the IPCC feed-lot and turn the whole swill-fest entirely over to their good-comrade gal-pals and girlie-man cronies of color on a bigot-quota basis.

      I mean, like, one free-loader and blood-sucker is pretty much like another, right?–I mean, like, we can all agree with that, right? So scientific qualifications and demonstrated scientific merit hardly matter, when it comes to selecting the IPCC’s workforce, right?–I mean, like, what sort of qualifications and demonstrated merit does a good-lefty, party-line flunky leech really require, anyway? So why not take care of good-ol’-girl clique of color and screw the white-boys, right?

      So what do you say, Martha, have I caught the spirit of those “gender and racial equality” values the IPCC is now pushing? I think I have. But I could be wrong.

      Oh! Brave new world!

    • (the overall standard of high quality grey literature was confirmed by the IAC report on IPCC processes

      Hmmm … I must have missed that “confirmation”. Could you pls. cite the specific page in the IAC’s report where they indicated that they made such a comment.

      To the best of my knowledge, the IAC’s recommendation (p. 35 of Final version pdf) was:

      The IPCC should strengthen and enforce its procedure for the use of unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature, including providing more specific guidance on how to evaluate such information, adding guidelines on what types of literature are unacceptable, and ensuring that unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature is appropriately flagged in the report. [emphasis added -hro]

      YMMV, but, to my mind, such recommendations do not exactly tally with your notion of confirming an “overall standard of high quality grey literature”. Nor does the discussion which preceded this recommendation:

      Moreover, a search through the Working Group
      reports of the fourth assessment found few instances of information
      flagged as unpublished or non-peer-reviewed. Clearer guidelines and
      stronger mechanisms for enforcing them are needed.

      Certainly there is no indication that the IAC actually examined any of the grey literature; therefore I find it highly unlikely that such an assessment of the “overall standard” exists … except, perhaps, as a figment of your imagination.

    • John Carpenter

      “And since IPCC reports are among the few compilations of grey literature in climate science, and the quality is high (the overall standard of high quality grey literature was confirmed by the IAC report on IPCC processes and the IPCC is striving to make this standard even higher) this would increase, not decrease, public knowledge and the general usefulness of these reports.”

      Martha, you speak of a ‘standard of high quality’, so….what is the standard? You say the IAC confirmed a ‘high standard’, what standard did they use? You see, if you speak of a ‘standard’, that means someone has taken the time to write what the requirements are to meet the ‘standard’. I am not aware of any grey literature ‘standard’, if you know of the one you say is used to ensure ‘high quality’, then please share. My guess… there is none, cause their is no standard for ‘peer reviewed’ literature either. Why would one write a standard for lower level grey literature when no standard has been written yet for ‘higher level’ peer reviewed literature. See this is the problem when lay people, such as yourself, bandy the word ‘quality’ about with the word ‘standard’. For those remotely familiar with ‘quality control’ of products or ‘quality systems’ in general, they will immediately recognize how dismissive your above statement is.

  54. Beth Cooper

    Wagathon, 23/06 10.41 am: ‘Its the penguins,stupid.’

    No Wagathon, I thought it was penguins too, but its not, seems its turtles.(See discussion above.)
    ‘What cause changes in the polar annular modes are changes in the warmth in the stratosphere, resulting in changes in sea level pressure in the polar regions.’

    What caused warming and cooling in the stratosphere? Seems it may be attributable to 22 year solar magnetic cycles. Seems UV changes above the poles are ‘associated with changes in the solar magnetosphere….and its relation to the relative sunspot number.’

    Turtles all the way down … or up.

  55. Beth Cooper

    Penguin jokes…hey, what did the penguin say to the polar bear?

    (Choose yer own ending.)

  56. jim2 “The IAC recommended a year term for the IPCC chairman. Who’s the current chairman, Martha?”

    I’m not sure why you think “the term of the IPCC Chair should be limited to the timeframe of one assessment”, refers to one year? Or did you mean to put ‘a six year term’?

    I’ll assume you know that one term is six years. The IAC did not recommend that the Chair, or any Co-Chairs of Working Groups, should abandon their current terms, which were well underway at the end of 2010 when the recommendations were made; or that the IPCC suddenly ignore past elections or procedures permitting two terms of service.

    Combined with other recommendations, the expectation was that the IPCC develop a strategic plan to address these recommendations in regard to management structure, for subsequent assessment periods.

    Guess what? The IPCC says it is limiting terms in the next, and subsequent, assessment periods.

    Were you looking for something else to happen?

    • Burrrr it must be cold out there and down under…

      http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/news/index.php?id=41

      but it is almost Summer.

    • Sorry, Martha, it was one assessment.
      “The IAC report makes several recommendations to fortify IPCC’s management structure, including establishing an executive committee to act on the Panel’s behalf and ensure that an ongoing decision-making capability is maintained. To enhance its credibility and independence, the executive committee should include individuals from outside the IPCC or even outside the climate science community. IPCC also should appoint an executive director — with the status of a senior scientist equal to that of the Working Group co-chairs — to lead the Secretariat, handle day-to-day operations, and speak on behalf of the organization. The current position of the IPCC secretary does not carry a level of autonomy or responsibility equivalent to that of executive directors at other organizations, the IAC committee found.

      The part-time nature and fixed term of the IPCC chair’s position has many advantages, the committee said, but the current limit of two six-year terms is too long. The IPCC chair and the proposed executive director, as well as the Working Group co-chairs, should be limited to the term of one assessment in order to maintain a variety of perspectives and fresh approach to each assessment. Formal qualifications for the chair and all other Bureau members need to be developed, as should a rigorous conflict-of-interest policy to be applied to senior IPCC leadership and all authors, review editors, and staff responsible for report content, the committee added.”

      http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/ReportNewsRelease.html

    • I wouldn’t be too suprised if this assessment turned out to be the last assessment.

  57. Losing Pachauri would be a blow.

  58. It is not really to be wondered but Martha and fellow travellers are much more interested in schoolgirl debating points than in a serious discussion of science and policy. When I suggest that the positives going into Rio are conservation farming, the Copenhagen Consensus and the Millennium Development Goals – thunderous silence. When I suggest that the energy mix in 2050 will be radically different to today’s – no response. The former operates on many levels – conservation and economic development, education and health, safe water and sanitation – these are the means to limit population growth. The latter changes according to costs and technological innovation. As for conservation farming – we are in course of doubling production and sequestering 500Gt of carbon dioxide.

    I suggest we can advance the process by meeting MDG commitments and achieving some or all of the Copenhagen priorities. Sadly – this is not the world that Martha wants. Her agenda is for ‘degrowth’, limits to growth, suspension of democracy and centralised control of economies. We – and I use the term to because there are popular concurrences that stem from our western enlightenment heritage – believe in freedom of the individual, democracy, the rule of law and free markets. You may think and say anything you like Martha as dismally incompetent as it is – that is again a fruit of our enlightenment heritage. But we need to maintain, rebuild and defend our institutions of freedom from the barbarians inside the walls.

  59. What the consensus used to think about grey literature:

    “On this site we emphasize conclusions that are supported by ‘peer-reviewed’ climate research.

    Put simply, peer review is supposed to weed out poor science.

    …un-peer-reviewed claims should not be given much credence….”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/peer-review-a-necessary-but-not-sufficient-condition/

    • …..it’s why it’ given a different name, you know ‘gray literature’, becuase it dosn’t have the same standard of checks and balances.

      RCs comments are spot on.

      OTOH, we have Judith and the denizens who’ve been moaning about peer-review and the exclusion of other sources, now moaning about the use of non-peer reviewed sources.

      Make up your minds!

      • RC comments are spot on.

        RC says un-peer-reviewed claims should not be given much credence,

        The IPCC intends to base the AR5 in part on un-peer-reviewed articles.

        Therefore skeptics are inconsistent.

        Yup, that’s the logic of CAGW.

      • In many fields of science including most pure (non-applied) science practically all good research is published in peer reviewed articles. In these fields it’s fully justified to give little weight on grey literature and other writings that are not part of peer reviewed science (or in some cases important enough to warrant full attention before peer reviewing has not yet been done but is expected to come).

        The above applies to climate science. Consequently the WG1 report is almost totally based on peer reviewed publication with very little use of grey literature. As RC is about climate science the emphasis on peer reviewed science is right.

        IPCC does, however, cover in its WG2 and WG3 reports a wide variety of issues that are not climate science and that are far from pure sciences. A lot of research is done in these fields but that research is to a very large extent less scientific and not as much of academic as of practical interest. Publications that report the results of such research are very often grey literature. RC may sometimes discuss these issues as well but they are certainly not in the core of RC activities.

        The WG2 and WG3 reports are genuinely problematic. The issues covered in these reports are important for policy decisions. They report on much high quality research, peer reviewed and grey literature, but they report also on issues where the level of understanding is very poor and it’s often difficult to see whether a particular chapter reports on a well studied or on a very poorly understood matter or whether essentially everything reported on some issues is highly biased views from authors who can certainly not be considered objective.

      • Take away WG2 and WG3, and the political basis for decarbonization disappears. (Every time some CAGW fanatic cries there is no C in CAGW, all you have to do is quote those sections of the AR4.) Which is why it is dressed up as science; particularly by the politicians like Pachauri who bleated endlessly how the AR4 was above reproach because it was all peer reviewed science.

        Until someone actually reviewed the damn thing and found out it wasn’t, not even close.

      • GaryM,

        Given it’s previous use, where’s the earth-shattering news?

      • Michael,

        Hypocrisy among the CAGW political activists? No earth shattering news there. Just fun to point out.

  60. Beth Cooper

    Tsk tsk .. posted my penguin joke on the wrong thread, (Science held hostage.) Like the polar bear its in the wrong place. (

  61. It’s very simple – grey literature is acceptable as long as it supports your predetermined findings and is politically correct.

  62. Re: Data Storage

    (1) Is it really so expensive?
    How much would it cost a journal to publish the data for the papers it publishes (on average) ?

    (2) Does it really need to be stored on a public site?
    Or does there just need to be some clear means of requesting it from the scientist in question? (This would need to be enforced by the threat of immediate and automatic ‘unpublishing’ of the paper should the scientist not oblige).

    • The extent and nature of data varies hugely. Therefore having some simple requirements for all data doesn’t make sense. The possibility of distributing with low cost even large amounts of date is rather recent. Therefore traditional practices of science do not cover sufficiently the issues of availability of data.

      Even now the effort of collecting data is often very large. People would be less willing to make that effort if they would not have privileged enough access to the data. If these privileges would end with first publication they would postpone publication of early results, which would be detrimental to the progress.

      It’s also common that the data cannot be organized easily to a well structured data set, but can still be used for a scientific purpose. The effort of making such data genuinely available might be many times larger than the value of the data.

      The recent technical development has greatly changed the balance to favor more openness for the data. Thus it’s right to require that all data is made available after a proper delay (or immediately when a delay cannot be justified) and to the extent that can be done without disproportionate effort. Not allowing for any delay or requiring availability in all cases would, however, not be good for science or in public interest. How to reach the balance may be difficult but that’s the right goal.

      Science is an area where libertarian type approach has worked rather well. By that I mean that the science is controlled mainly by voluntary and natural self-regulation. Scientists know from experience how they can find good science and what indicates that a paper is not of interest. Such self-regulated freedom of competition of scientific work leads all the time to errors in individual cases but given time it has led to the progress that we can see in retrospect. We should trust also in future to the power of self-regulation of science.

      While the science itself is most certain to progress when given freedom, the issues are often different in the use of the results of science. That’s very much true when there’s willingness to use results of science that still changing continuously, i.e. it has not essentially settled. This is the question behind the concept of post-normal science that has wrongly been ridiculed by many who have totally misunderstood the idea. For the use of science that has not settled, the science itself does not give the answers and many scientists have also totally misunderstood their proper role as scientists.

      • The root of the publication-of-data problem lies with the government funding agencies. If they made their grants conditional on publication of data on publication of article, the scientists would have no choice but to comply. It is the funding agencies that we should looking to reform.

      • The number of control freaks among denizens is amazing. All regulation leads to unwanted side-effects. Sometimes the advantages are large enough to justify regulation and the side-effects, but it’s not at all obvious that this is one of those cases.

      • That is a perfect comment. All regulations lead to unwanted side effects. the scientists wanting the most regulations are the least regulated. Perfect irony

      • Requiring climate scientists to be accountable to their benefactors is hardly “regulation”.
        And given the deep and widespread politicization/corruption of climate science, such accountability is precisely the sort of adult supervision that urgently needs to be brought to the profession now.

    • The extent and nature of data varies hugely. Therefore having some simple requirements for all data doesn’t make sense.

      I fail to see what the extent and nature of the data have to do with publishing it or not, especially given today’s cheap and easy internet access. If ‘traditional’ climate scientists have yet to wake up to the internet then it’s high time they did.

      If scientists want to self-regulate and hide their data as you suggest, that is one thing. But it is quite another when the science is used to inform government policy. For this, nothing less than total disclosure will suffice.

      • The nature of data is essential, because some types of data cannot be distributed as easily as others. The data is often almost meaningless without a lot of metadata, Interpreting the data as it has been stored for the use in the original work may be practically impossible for outsiders and providing sufficient guidance may be very cumbersome and not the best way of using limited resources.

        What you write about the use of scientific knowledge is exactly what people behind the concept of post-normal science have been pondering about.

        Certain requirements are optimal for the progress of science. They are not the same that should be used in applying the results of science. The distinction is important when the results are new and still likely to change to a practically significant degree.

      • Pekka
        I think everyone understands “data” to include metadata.

        And if the whole setup is too much of an undocumented shambles for others to easily pick up on, then how can other scientists efficiently check it or benefit from it ? And bear in mind that the likes of McIntyre are perhaps an order or magnitude more advanced in statistical methods and the like, than are the climate scientists whose work he examines.

      • Punksta,

        The idea is not that every study must be repeated or that others should always know all the details. Many papers that are not repeated and which have used data that others don’t know in full detail have contributed positively to the progress of science. They have not been verified as an individual paper but later independent studies have continued from their outcome and confirmed the results while they have also produced new results.

        That was the positive case. In some other cases the further studies have contradicted the earlier one and it has gradually become clear that the first one was in error. That’s all normal in science and that’s the main mechanism science has for providing more and more reliable knowledge. It doesn’t require auditing every paper and it’s often better that the new work collects independently it’s data.

        Of course it’s also very valuable that all research is done carefully and of course it’s often useful that the data collected with great effort is given also to others to use, but these points are not the most essential ones. They make the progress faster, but the progress is not dependent on them.

      • Pekka

        The idea is not that every study must be repeated or that others should always know all the details.

        That is still no excuse for hiding data. And it surely IS the idea that if someone wants to understand and see the details of some study, it should be possible. Knowing their every move is under the microscope is precisely what would keep scientists on their toes, and quickly expose errors, biases and blind alleys.

        All of this helps maintain standards, and hence I would say this (ie openness) IS an essential ingredient factor of progress in science.

      • Hiding the data is one thing, not doing a major effort to put in a form that can be made public is another.

      • Choose one from Column A and two from Column B.
        ==================

    • Perhaps we need a legal approach here. Make it a criminal offense for a scientist who fails to supply any publicly-funded data he has assembled and used in a paper.

      • You’d make a fine bureaucrat.

      • There is broad agreement that theft and fraud should be criminalized, and withholding from the public the data is had paid for is certainly in that ambit. But if you have a better way to get climatologists to behave properly, I’d be pleased to hear it.

      • Humor, stupidity and messiness should not be criminal unless it causes damage to others. I revel in my messiness and Web thinks I am stupid, so I would be jailed by the same regulation :) Just learn to laugh and don’t take ground breaking science too seriously until it passes the test of time.

      • Yes, yes, more rules, regulations, red tape, forms to fill out and generally everyone being told what to do and how………

      • Sloppy climate science has certainly got the potential for harm to others. But perhaps the blame lies more with those who base decisions on it, ie those in government. People like the EPA. And in the funding agencies, as mentioned above. These are the people who should perhaps be prosecuted for reckless endangerment of society.

        And Michael, your complete lack of any other way to get climate science back on an honest footing is duly noted. It’s almost as if you don’t *want* it to happen, since it may then cease producing the “right” results.

      • The EPA is a special case. When you give typically passive people authority and guns, the morph into monsters. No agency that proposes regulations should also be allowed to enforce the regulations. That is why in the US there are three levels of government with different powers. A simple system of checks and balance lost with warm and fuzzy logic.

  63. @pekka Regarding a scientist’s desire to hide his data so as to give himself first dibs at using it, does that explain Phil Jones’s “Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll only try and find something wrong with it” attitude ? Or, for that matter, all the other data-hiding exposed in Climategate ?

    If not, why has has the profession taken no effective disciplinary action against Jones and the others ?

    • Erica,

      I think the reasons were different in this case as the requests didn’t come from scientists competing in being the first to publish original papers based on the data. The data was also not typical, but had been obtained from many outside sources.

      The behavior of Phil Jones was certainly strongly influenced by old practices that were not good but that had not led to similar problems before a new class of people started to request data (skeptics doing detailed auditing rather than new research based on the data). An adversarial situation was formed very rapidly and led further to wrong reactions.

      Cultural differences between the two sides of Atlantic had their share in that as well. There was already a FOIA in UK as well but that was recent and unfamiliar to most, while similar legislation had a longer history in US at least (I don’t know about Canada).

    • On ongoing data-hiding, McIntyre has the following to say in his latest blog

      “It’s frustrating that, after all the controversy, climate journals don’t require authors to archive data and that IPCC authors continue to ‘lose’ data. “

  64. Judith –

    I have no idea where to post this, but I think you should find it quite interesting. You’ve expressed interest in how climate change will be taught in schools. Well, check this out. This is from a charter school curriculum that is receiving state funding in Louisiana.

    The whole thing is fascinating, but you may want to fast forward to around 1:35:

    Oh, and you may recognize quite a bit of the hand-wringing about environmentalists. It is identical to what you can read in the pages of your blog in post after post.

    Well – what do you say, Judith?

    Is it time, yet, for you to vociferously distance yourself from some of these elements in the “skeptic” community?

    • Hilarious. I skipped to the end to see if whoever produced this took “credit.” No joy.

      But the last clip is claimed to be a cut from a textbook at Bob Jones University. The somber voice over, reading a description of the Ku Klux Klan from the text, intones “In certain communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.” Whereupon the stentorian reading stops. The obvious intent of this cut, like the rest of this Monty Python level piece of investigative journalism, is to paint Bob Jones University.as racist for praising the KKK.

      (Un?)fortunately, the genius producers didn’t crop the page properly. So the following continuation of the text can be seen immediately following the portion read: “The 1924 Democratic Nat-….” (Maybe they should have contacted Michael Mann about the proper way of hiding unfortunate data.)

      For those oblivious to the real history of racism in the Democrat Party (meaning virtually all progressives, moderates and independents), this is an oblique reference to the fact that the KKK was formed by Democrats, to use terrorism to pursue Democrat Party goals, such as preserving Jim Crow laws, preventing African Americans from voting and other benign progressive policies of the day..

      One wonders why the producers decided to do an NBC style edit of the text.

      OK, not really.

      • You wanna laff, read Mencken on the 1948 Progressive Party Convention.
        =============

      • Yeah, I’m a HUGE fan of Mencken myself:

        I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready at hand, and it is inconceivable that the negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a negro. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.

        […]

        . .the negro, no matter how much he is educated, must remain, as a race, in a condition of subservience; that he must remain the inferior of the stronger and more intelligent white man so long as he retains racial differentiation. Therefore, the effort to educate him has awakened in his mind ambitions and aspirations which, in the very nature of things, must go unrealized, and so, while gaining nothing whatever materially, he has lost all his old contentment, peace of mind and happiness.

        […]

        [The Old Confederacy, Mencken felt, was a land] “with men of delicate fancy, urbane instinct and aristocratic manner — in brief, superior men. It was there, above all, that some attention was given to the art of living — a certain noble spaciousness was in the ancient southern scheme of things.”

        […]

        [the Union victory was] “a victory of what we now call Babbitts over what used to be called gentlemen.” But Mencken makes this caveat; “I am not arguing here, of course, that the whole Confederate army was composed of gentlemen; on the contrary, it was chiefly made up, like the Federal army, of innocent and unwashed peasants, and not a few of them got into its corps of officers. But the impulse behind it, as everyone knows, was essentially aristocratic, and that aristocratic impulse would have fashioned the Confederacy if the fortunes of war had run the other way.”

        Ah yes. What a brilliant mind. Someone who could understand that “certain noble spaciousness” of slave-holders.

        No wonder extremists libertarians love them some Mencken.

      • kim –

        Don’t you just love that “delicate instinct” of slave-holders? Doesn’t that “delicate fancy” and “urbane instinct” of raping. lynching, stealing children from their parents, selling humans in markets, just impress you to no end?

        Whenever I think of that, the first thing that comes to mind is “superior men.” I’m so glad to know that you share my admiration for Mencken.

      • I mean kim, It’s a crying shame that habit of paying attention to the “art of living” has been lost, isn’t it? If only those warmists and progressives would just go away, maybe we could get back to those better times, eh?

      • Look, if you want to ignore the demographic changes in the Republican and Democratic parties, knock yourself out, I’m not going to waste my time discussing that with you.

        But schools receiving state funding for vouchers will be using the A Beka curriculum. If you have information that contradicts that such a curriculum will be used, I’d be interested to see it.

        In the mean time, you can duck, but you can’t hide.

      • “demographic changes in the Republican and Democratic parties”

        Translation: the progressive revisionism by which they have rewritten history to blame their centuries long oppression of blacks on conservatives. Always stated as a truism, and never with a scintilla of actual facts.

        I love me some sucker progressivism.

      • Steven Mosher

        In certain communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.

        Google that.

      • Gee, a progressive netroots conniption fit. What a shock. Golly, has that ever happened before?

        I’ll see your Bob Jones text book excerpt and raise you the current progressive president of the United States, who wants to “fundamentally change the country,” and its constitution. As well as Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s fondness for using abortion to reduce the surplus (minority) population. “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

        But no, let’s obsess about Bob Jones University because of its massive impact on society.

        Google the current unemployment rate.

    • Steven Mosher

      ah yes, the tribalistic demand that she separate herself.
      what are your motives here Joshua?

  65. IPCC will selectively use the grey literature in support of its position with weight of numbers – numbers of papers, numbers of blogs, numbers of supporters, etc.

    Shame…..

  66. Beth Cooper

    Hmm … disappearing bird populations …A 2002 study in Spain estimated that 11,200 birds of prey, some of them endangered species,300,000 small birds and 350,000 bats are killed every year by wind turbines and power lines Seems there are some undesirable environmental siide effects to sustainable energy too. (E Rosenbllom, 2006 ‘A Problem with Wind Power’ p6)

    • Beth Cooper | June 26, 2012 at 6:18 am |

      Every year in the USA, domestic cats kill an estimated one billion birds.

      95% of the North American bat population has recently died off due, it is thought, to a single tourist carrying white nose fungus from Europe — likely Spain — to the USA.

      This isn’t to excuse wind turbines from being designed to reduce bird kill; indeed, as this is a problem of almost all tall man-made structures, it’s more pressing than the citation you use suggests, by several orders of magnitude, and easy enough to use a different color warning light on structures to — for example — reduce collisions by over 15%.

      Or are you one of those radical PETA greens who wants to see all human edifices torn down to save the birds, but won’t keep your invasive predatory housecat indoors? ;)

  67. Beth Cooper

    Rhetorical question, Bart, to which you know my response, therefore I won’t give it. :-) As you say, raising yer other issues’ isn’t to excuse wind turbines.’ Visualize the proposed installation of 400 plus wind turbines on the Thames Estuary … poor little emigrating penguins won’t stand a chance!

  68. Beth Cooper

    Human ingenuity’s so cool , Bart. I liked the do it yerself vertical axis wind turbine made from an empty oil barrel. Don’t know how noisy it would be.

    • Beth Cooper | June 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm |

      Artistically satisfying, loud as a bag of belled cats, and inefficient as all get-out. Vertical axis turbines are almost always indicative of a scam, or someone uninterested in economy at the least. (Less than half the working surface is facing the wind.)

      If it isn’t a propeller, or sled-kite (or traction foil) ladder or tension mill, then it’s unlikely to be very interesting. Wind’s already a sketchy enough prospect.

  69. Point taken, Bart )

  70. I noticed that another Professor Curry has written in New Scientist on an issue discussed on this site as well: on the open access publishing.

    As far as can judge this paper on freedom from paywalls is free from paywalls.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21937-set-science-free-from-publishers-paywalls.html

  71. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return
    the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!