by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye this past week.
It has been a very busy two weeks for me, next week is also very busy, hopefully by September things will settle down (for a month, anyways). I haven’t been able to keep up with what is going on elsewhere in the blogosphere, or to develop any new content, but here a few things to stimulate discussion over the weekend. I would like to thank those of you who have been sending me links via email
The adventures of Michael Mann
Over at Bishop Hill, I have been following the latest on Michael Mann’s lawsuits, particularly the pending suits against CEI and Mark Steyn/National Review. Also over at Bishop Hill (also WUWT), they are discussing the latest tranche of emails obtained by CEI.
I am trying to figure out what Mann is trying to accomplish with these lawsuits. I guess he is hoping to intimidate people into not saying negative things about him? It seems to be backfiring, since his suits and threats of suits don’t seem to be slowing people down from criticizing him. I imagine that CEI would relish a lawsuit and all the info they could obtain on discovery. All this must be costing Mann a fortune, but I guess the Climate Scientist Defense Fund must be doing well?
I just spotted this new post over at RealClimate, written by Mann, entitled “Language Intelligence,” about a new book of this title by Joe Romm. An excerpt:
The book is a de facto field guide for recognizing and assimilating many of the key tools of persuasive language and speech, something that is ever more important to science communicators who face the daunting challenge of having to communicate technical and nuanced material to an audience largely unfamiliar with the lexicon of science, sometimes agnostic or even unreceptive to its message, and—in the case of contentious areas like climate change and evolution—already subject to a concerted campaign to misinform and confuse them.
Well I haven’t read the book (don’t intend to), but it sounds like lessons in propaganda to me.
Climate science as culture war
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has a length article entitled Climate Science as Culture Wars. Subtitle: The public debate around climate change is no longer about science—it’s about values, culture, and ideology. The material here is familiar territory for Climate Etc. regulars, but it provides a well written and comprehensive overview. And it only uses the word ‘denier’ in the context of a discussion on recognizing the power of language and terminology. The article is worth reading.
Climate change and Catholic guilt
The catholic culture blog has a very interesting article: The Moral Downside of Climate Change. The whole article is well worth reading, but I particularly like the closing paragraphs:
In any case, it will take far more study, with far more accurate and universally respected results, over a much longer period of time before our limited human comprehension can form a true picture of what is happening, why it is happening, whether it is a source of long-term concern, and whether there is anything particular to be done about it. Under these circumstances, making climate change into a moral priority—that is, a guilt trip—is extraordinarily imprudent. It will serve as more than a distraction. Like many a cause célèbre before it, climate change will become an excuse to ignore the damage done through human relationships that are sadly based on a rejection of God and the natural law.
As many a pundit has said in other contexts: It’s not the heat, it’s the humility. Or at least it ought to be. We could place greater trust in researchers who recognize this. And if all the rest of us could recognize it too, and so stop our endless rebellion against the real moral law, even the environment would benefit.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humility. Quote of the week.
Tropical Storm Isaac
Sometime next week i will do a post on Isaac, describing some new developments in extended range hurricane forecasting. For those of you living on the Gulf Coast, our current forecast is for Isaac to develop into a hurricane (most likely weak), at landfall at most a Cat 1 (probably a TS). In terms of landfall location, our forecast has been consistently tending westward of the National Hurricane Center’s forecast. Our cone of uncertainty is starting to narrow, with the track distributions centered around Pensacola FL and Mobile AL. Looks like Mitt Romney and co are off the hook for a Tampa landfall.
Arctic sea ice
Blogs are atwitter with discussion of a possible record low Arctic sea ice extent this year. The Arctic Sea Ice Graphs site keeps track of all available sea ice data and analyses. Depending on which data set you look at, the Arctic sea ice extent is approaching or has surpassed the record minimum extent (for the period since 1979) in 2007. There are even predictions of an ice free Arctic Ocean by the end of Sept. I’ll do a post later in Sept on “what is going on and what does all this mean.” But in the mean time, here is highly confident prediction: the Arctic Ocean will NOT be ice free by the end of Sept. In fact, nearly all of thin and loosely consolidated ice has already melted (helped along by the big cyclonic storm in early Aug). The remaining ice is consolidated near Greenland and the Canadian archipelago, and is at high latitudes where the autumnal cooling is well underway. So I would suspect that there will be an earlier than usual sea ice minimum this year, with the minimum not getting much lower.