Climate change: no consensus on consensus

by Judith Curry

The manufactured consensus of the IPCC has had the unintended consequences of distorting the science, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by the consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC.

Our paper has just been accepted for publication.  A link to the final manuscript is provided here [consensus paper revised final].  Below is a ‘reader’s digest’ version of the main arguments made in this paper

Introduction

The United Nations initiated a scientific consensus building process with the objective of providing a robust scientific basis for climate policy, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). The key IPCC consensus finding from its latest assessment report is this statement:

“Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

The IPCC consensus findings on attribution have been echoed in position statements made by many scientific organizations. The IPCC consensus is portrayed as nearly total among scientists with expertise and prominence in the field of climate science. The idea of a scientific consensus surrounding climate change attribution has been questioned by a number of people, including scientists and politicians. Much effort has been undertaken by those that support the IPCC consensus to discredit skeptical voices, essentially dismissing them as cranks or at best rebels, or even politically motivated ‘deniers’.

Students of science are taught to reject ad populam or ‘bandwagon’ appeals, a sentiment is articulated by the motto of the UK Royal Society: ‘nullius in verba’, which is roughly translated as ‘take nobody’s word for it’.  How then, and why, have climate scientists come to a scientific consensus about a very complex scientific problem that the consensus-supporting scientists themselves acknowledge has substantial and fundamental uncertainties?

Consensus and dissent

The debate surrounding the consensus on climate change is complicated by the complexity of both the scientific and the associated sociopolitical issues.  Underlying this debate is a fundamental tension between two competing conceptions of scientific inquiry: the consensual view of science versus the dissension view.  Under the consensual approach, the goal of science is a consensus of rational opinion over the widest possible field.  The opposing view of science is that of dissension, whereby scientific progress occurs via subversion of consensus in favor of new experiments, ideas and theories.

When is it reasonable for a person to conform to a consensus and when is it reasonable to dissent?

With genuinely well-established scientific theories, ‘consensus’ is not discussed and the concept of consensus is arguably irrelevant.  For example, there is no point to discussing a consensus that the Earth orbits the sun, or that the hydrogen molecule has less mass than the nitrogen molecule.  While a consensus may arise surrounding a specific scientific hypothesis or theory, the existence of a consensus is not itself the evidence.

The issue of challenges to the IPCC consensus statement on attribution is not analogous to Galileo-like revolutionaries.  Rather these challenges are associated with a concern about the oversimplification by the IPCC of a complex issue in the interests of policy making.  How to reason about uncertainties in the complex climate system and its computer simulations is neither simple nor obvious. Scientific debates involve controversies over the value and importance of particular classes of evidence as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence. The IPCC faces a daunting challenge with regards to characterizing and reasoning about uncertainty, assessing the quality of evidence, linking the evidence into arguments, identifying areas of ignorance and assessing confidence levels.  An overarching concern is how the issue of climate change is framed scientifically and how judgments about confidence in complex scientific arguments are made in view of the cascade of uncertainties.

Given the complexity of the climate problem, ‘expert judgments’ about uncertainty and confidence levels are made by the IPCC on issues that are dominated by unquantifiable uncertainties. It is difficult to avoid concluding that the IPCC consensus is manufactured and that the existence of this consensus does not lend intellectual substance to their conclusions.

Consensus and bias

If the objective of scientific research is to obtain truth and avoid error, how might a consensus seeking process introduce bias into the science and increase the chances for error?  ‘Confirmation bias’ is a well-known psychological principle that connotes the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations, or an existing hypothesis. Confirmation bias usually refers to unwitting selectivity in the acquisition and interpretation of evidence.

Princeton philosopher Thomas Kelly provides some insight into confirmation bias, arguing that a prior belief can skew the total evidence that is available subsequently in a direction that is favorable to itself. Kelly also finds that individuals tend to be significantly better at detecting fallacies when the fallacy occurs in an argument for a conclusion which they disbelieve, rather than for a conclusion in which they believe.  Kelly identifies a further source of confirmation bias in the consensus building process, whereby as more and more peers weigh in on the issue, the higher order psychological evidence of what others believe can eventually swamp the first order evidence into virtual insignificance.

With regards to the IPCC, cognitive biases in the context of an institutionalized consensus building process have arguably resulted in the consensus becoming increasingly confirmed in a self-reinforcing way, to the detriment of the scientific process.

Role of scientific consensus in decision making

The mandate of the IPCC is to provide policy‐relevant information to policy makers involved in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  Based upon the precautionary principle, the UNFCCC established a qualitative climate goal for the long term: avoiding dangerous climate change by stabilization of the concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases. The IPCC scientific assessments play a primary role in legitimizing national and international policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The main practical objective of the IPCC has been to assess whether there is sufficient certainty in the science so as to trigger political action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This objective has led to the IPCC assessments being framed around identifying anthropogenic influences on climate, environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change, and stabilization of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

This relationship between expertise and policy is described as the linear model of expertise, or ‘speaking truth to power’, whereby first science has to ‘get it right’ and then policy comes into play. The influence of science on policy is assumed to be deterministic: if the scientific facts are ‘sound,’ then they have a direct impact on policy. In the linear model, the key question is whether existing scientific knowledge is certain enough, or there is a consensus of experts, to compel action.

Dutch social scientist Jeroen Van der Sluijs argues that the IPCC has adopted a ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach that sees uncertainty and dissent as problematic, and attempts to mediate these into a consensus.  The ‘speaking consensus to power’ strategy acknowledges that available knowledge is inconclusive, and uses consensus as a proxy for truth through a negotiated interpretation of the inconclusive body of scientific evidence. The ‘consensus to power’ strategy reflects a specific vision of how politics deals with scientific uncertainties and endeavors to create a  knowledge base for decision making following the linear model of expertise.

The linear model of expertise works well for ‘tame’ problems, where everyone essentially   agrees on both the problem and the solution.  Successes in managing tame problems are evident in the domains of engineering and regulatory science.  Climate change has been framed by the UNFCCC/IPCC as a relatively ‘tame’ problem that requires a straightforward solution, namely the top-down creation of a global carbon market. However, climate change is arguably characterized better as a ‘wicked problem’ or a ‘mess’. ‘Messes’ and ‘wicked problems’ are characterized by multiple problem definitions, methods that are open to contention and solutions that are variable and disputed, and  ‘unknown unknowns’ that suggest chronic conditions of ignorance and lack of capacity to imagine future eventualities of both the problem and the proposed solutions.

Unintended consequences of the IPCC consensus

The consensus approach used by the IPCC has received a number of criticisms. Concerns have been raised about the need to guard against overconfidence and overemphasize expected outcomes. The consensus approach being used by the IPCC has failed to produce a thorough portrayal of the complexities of the problem and the associated uncertainties in our understanding, in favor of spuriously constructed expert opinion. Further, concerns are being raised that the IPCC’s consensus claim is distorting the science itself, as scientists involved in the IPCC process consider the impact of their statements on the ability of the IPCC to defend its previous claims of consensus.

While the IPCC’s consensus approach acknowledges uncertainties, defenders of the IPCC consensus have expended considerable efforts in the ‘boundary work’ of distinguishing those qualified to contribute to the climate change consensus from those who are not.  These efforts have characterized skeptics as small in number, extreme, and scientifically suspect.   These efforts create temptations to make illegitimate attacks on scientists whose views do not align with the consensus, and to dismiss any disagreement as politically motivated ‘denialism’. The use of ‘denier’ to label anyone who disagrees with the IPCC consensus on attribution leads to concerns being raised about the IPCC being enforced as dogma, which is tied to how dissent is dealt with.

The linear model of expertise places science at the center of political debate. Scientific controversies surrounding evidence of climate change have thus become a proxy for political battles over whether and how to react to climate change. Therefore, winning a scientific debate results in a privileged position in political battle, hence providing motivation for defending the consensus. As a result, it has become difficult to disentangle political arguments about climate policies from scientific arguments about the evidence for human-induced climate change. The quality of both political debate and scientific practice can suffer as a consequence.

The linear model of expertise ‘speaking consensus to power’ tends to stifle discussion of alternative policy approaches. The IPCC has framed its assessment around the UNFCCC policy of stabilizing greenhouse emissions, focusing its scientific assessment on the attribution of climate change and the sensitivity of climate change to greenhouse gases. The narrow focus on issues of attribution masks major political implications, marginalizes issues around adaptation and development, and fails to engage with alternative approaches and to generate ideas to inform its ‘solutions’.

While the public may not understand the complexity of the science or be predisposed culturally to accept the consensus, they can certainly understand the vociferous debates over the science portrayed by the media.   Further, they can judge the social facts surrounding the consensus building process, including those revealed by the so-called “Climategate” episode, and decide whether to trust the experts whose opinion comprises the consensus.

In summary, the manufactured consensus of the IPCC has arguably had the unintended consequences of distorting the science, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by the consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC.

Ways forward

The linear model of climate science expertise conceals uncertainties, ambiguities, dissent and ignorance behind a scientific consensus. The most important actions that are needed with regards to climate science – particularly in context of the IPCC assessment reports –  are explicit reflection on uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance (both known and unknown unknowns) and more openness for dissent in the IPCC processes.  Greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations. In the context of iterative risk management, policy makers need insight into the rate of learning, as well as what is known and unknown.

Moving forward requires a reassessment of the ‘consensus to power’ approach for the science-policy interface that has evolved in the context of the IPCC and UNFCCC. The challenge is to open up the decision making processes in a way that renders their primary nature more honestly political and economic, while giving proper weight to scientific reason and evidence.

There are frameworks for decision making under deep uncertainty and ignorance that accept uncertainty and dissent as key elements of the decision making process.  Rather than choosing an optimal policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.  Robust strategies formally consider uncertainty, whereby decision makers seek to reduce the range of possible scenarios over which the strategy performs poorly.  Flexible strategies are adaptive, and can be quickly adjusted to advancing scientific insights.

Conclusions

The climate community has worked for more than 20 years to establish a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.  Perspectives from multiple disciplines support the inference that the scientific consensus seeking process used by the IPCC has had the unintended consequence of introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes. The IPCC scientific consensus has become convoluted with consensus decision making through a ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach.  The growing implications of the messy wickedness of the climate change problem are becoming increasingly apparent, highlighting the inadequacies of the ‘consensus to power’ approach for decision making on the complex issues associated with climate change. Further, research from the field of science and technology studies are finding that manufacturing a consensus in the context of the IPCC has acted to hyper-politicize the scientific and policy debates, to the detriment of both.  Arguments are increasingly being made to abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate of the arguments themselves and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulate local and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues of climate change, land use, resource management, cost effective clean energy solutions, and developing technologies to expand energy access efficiently.

JC comment:  The paper has been published in a new online journal, CAB Reviews.  http://www.cabi.org/cabreviews/.  My reasons for publishing in this journal are that CAB Reviews invited me to write the article and suggested the topic, it exposes me to a new audience, and it avoids the partisan sniping of publishing a paper like this in a climate-related journal.  I have to say that I was enormously pleased by the editorial handling of this manuscript, and the reviews contributed to improving the paper.  One reviewer self identified as a historian of science, and the other seemed to be in the field of science and technology studies; both had substantial familiarity with the topic of climate science.  Interestingly, the most controversial sections in the opinions of both reviewers were the Introduction and section on Consensus and the Philosophy of Science.

I’m experimenting with a new format for blogging about my published papers, by providing a reader’s digest version, let me know if you think this is effective (I hope that some of you will read the entire paper).

This is a technical thread; please keep your comments relevant.

 

1,324 responses to “Climate change: no consensus on consensus

  1. My first reaction is also to criticize the introduction:

    The key IPCC consensus finding from its latest assessment report is this statement:

    “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    I have said it before and I say it again. In my view attribution is not the key finding. I think so, because IPCC was not created to present attribution but to estimate the significance of climate change that was expected to occur before there was any basis for attribution at all. Attribution is, of course, one tool in performing the task for which IPCC was set up but it’s not the key finding.

    • What would be the key finding? politically this is the one that seems to matter. Also, it is used as the litmus test for supporting the IPCC consensus.

      • The task of IPCC is about future, not about past. Thus attribution may be one of several key findings but not the key finding.

        If only one or very few key findings are considered they must be about future.

        Concerning the attribution I don’t think that the relative shares of natural and anthropogenic are important, the absolute size of the anthropogenic is because that affects projections to the future. The absolute rate of anthropogenic warming and the relative shares are certainly closely related but they are not not equivalent, because even the overall warming has uncertainties and can be defined in many ways.

        It’s unfortunate that factually most important issues may differ from those that have most political weight. IPCC should concentrate on those issues that are most relevant for making informed policy decisions. Others may then bring up the arguments that may be most effective in promoting the policies. That’s not a task of IPCC:

      • Well, if humans haven’t caused any of the recent past warming, then there will be little motivation to do much about AGW.

      • You believe that?

      • Pekka, this is the key finding because policy debate is driven by the assertion of warming from anthropogenic influences, and that without curtailing human-induced emissions, disaster will befall. Remove the anthropogenic finding, and there would be little interest in or politicisation of the warming issue.

      • I tried to make it clear that attribution of recent warming is one very important issue in estimating what we expect to happen in future. How important it is in comparison with other approaches is an issue for science to find out, but it’s not known for certain that it’s the most important. Therefore it is not the key finding.

        I understand very well that it’s also the easiest argument to explain to non-specialists, but my view is that IPCC should not put particular weight on this argument. This view is certainly contrary to those of many “alarmists”, perhaps even more than it’s contrary to the views of moderately skeptical people. I would like to see an IPCC that emphasizes objectivity more than power of direct influence which means that [IPPC] must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts as Stephen Schneider formulated the requirements set for scientists.

        When it’s obvious that the influence of CO2 is growing with increasing concentrations it’s perfectly conceivable that it has been less than half of the past warming but will soon dominate and perhaps cause major damage. Studying this possibility (it’s likelihood and it’s consequences) is the task of IPCC. The key findings are those that tell about the future irrespectively the answer about the past.

      • ‘its likelihood and consequences’. Pekka, when the IPCC has seriously and systematically understudied natural processes, thus failing attribution, and seriously and systematically emphasized the possible negative outcomes of warming instead of its obvious vast benefit, you have to ask yourself: How did the IPCC get tasked so mistakenly?
        ================

      • Kim,

        1) IPCC does not do science. It reports on science.

        2) What makes you think that the natural processes are not studied or that IPCC does not report on those studies?

      • 1. Silly diversion, beneath you, Pekka.

        2. Failure of their predictions, projections, what have you. They missed the obvious boat, and, apparently deliberately.
        ===========

      • 3. What about their Frankenstein characterization of the effects of warming. If nothing else, this is a huge fail. How was it not deliberate?
        ============

      • Kim,

        1) It’s not silly, because it’s based on the fact that the climate science community is wider than IPCC community.

        2) You only make those claims. Try to substantiate them. Actually all climate science is about natural processes, there’s nothing to study besides them. All climate model development is based on research of natural processes and so is everything else climate scientists study.

      • Pekka, that’s pretty sad. You’ve talked around, but not addressed my argument. The models, the IPCC, have failed. Maybe it’s for the reasons I propose, ya think?

        This isn’t even my thesis, it’s an emergent phenomenon of the debate. Wha hoppen? You don’t seem curious.
        ===============

      • Kim,

        I don’t agree with your assertions. When that’s combined with the complexity of the issues, I cannot give answers that you accept.

        I don’t agree that IPCC has failed in an obvious way although I do agree that it has not been particularly successful in the areas covered by WG2 and WG3, because the IPCC model is not good when there’s as little solid science as there’s in many fields covered by those WG’s.

        WG1 has perhaps outlived it’s usefulness. The WG1 reports are, however, pretty good (although nothing is perfect). The problems are not principally with the WG1 reports, but they are often misused and claimed to support something they do not really support. Some other approach would almost certainly be better in future also for covering the physical science basis. A heavy report every 5 years or so is not the best way.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        The dodge that the IPCC does not do science is tired and cynical.
        Pre-climategate they were held up regularly as the gold standard of climate science. Their well documented editing process is designed to falsify information and mislead people. Their multiply documented suppression of doubts, ignoring of warnings of mistakes and publishing of untruths is overwhelming to all but extremists.

      • “1) IPCC does not do science. It reports on science.”
        I concur with you IPCC does not do science. But it also reports on psedo-science that favors AGW BS only. So are those CAGW promotors selected by IPCC as co-authors, they do not do science. They only promote CAGW propaganda to cheat the general public funds and taxes. IPCC directs the CAGW promotors to produce false science to achieve its goal.

      • Pretty pusillanimous, Pekka(hi moshe). Dodging good questions doesn’t make them go away, and you are taking up the habit.
        ==================

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Pekka, how does a body report on science without studying it ?

      • Pekka

        It’s pretty clear to most readers of IPCC AR4 that the key paradigm supported by this report is a) the attribution of “most” of the warming past ~1950 to increased human GHG concentrations and b) the mean climate sensitivity of 3.2C (the two pieces if the same “consensus” paradigm, that must be defended against all dissenting views).
        .
        If this paradigm is broken, IPCC can fold up. It is its “raison d’etre” – therefore it must be defended at all cost.

        Pretty simple, actually.

        Max

      • .. or perhaps the key misconception.

      • I agree with you, Pekka. The report by Curry and Webster seems to follow two paths. One is the “consensus findings” of the IPCC regarding the role of greenhouse gases on warming over the past century, and the other is a review of philsosophical views of consensus in science. While the role of greenhouse gases in warming over the past 100 years is somewhat relevant to the issue, the real issue we face is: For various future scenarios of world energy consumption by sector and fuel, what are the expected environmental consequences? Assuming that the more the future resembles business as usual, the environmental impacts are greater, what is the technical feasibility and cost of shifting from future scenarios with greater environmental impact to scenarios with lesser environmental impact? Is there a consensus that we know the answers to these questions? I think not.

      • a.) Legitimate consensus comes from attraction, not promotion.

        b.) Contentious consensus comes from promotion, not attraction.

        The UN’s IPCC mistakenly followed path (b.) and led world leaders astray.

      • I wonder why WG1’s reports have been misused?

        Maybe because key scientists involved talk to the media about eg a future humanity forced by heat to live underground. Maybe becasue key scientists involved throw around absurd fossil fuel denier tropes to dissenting opinions. What do you expect the average person listening to make of this?

        With all the professors paid to study “how to communicate climate issues” it is a wonder nobdy has yet discovered this simple fact – non-scientists (and the media especially) will always seize onto a colorful narrative but will skip over caveats.

        When you put all the caveats in footnotes, or none inside the bold text conclusion statement, this is only reinforces this habit – It’s the McDonalds food of science. This is why Dyson called it “bending over backwards” to communicate how your results could be wrong.

    • Actually the introduction was criticized mainly because i mentioned the NIPCC

      • Hank Zentgraf

        Judith, why did the reviewers criticize your mentioning the NIPCC?

      • Probably because NIPCC refused to follow lock-step consensus opinions from the United Nations’ IPCC. A tyrannical one-world government can not function if skeptics are allowed to challenge Big Brother.

      • NIPCC = Not-the-IPCC

        The purpose of the IPCC report is to accurately summarize the most up-to-date state of climate science research and understanding. The NIPCC wouldn’t even exist if the IPCC weren’t saying there was a current and increasing climate problem due to CO2 and other GH gas emissions.

        The NIPCC’s brief is to argue there isn’t. They are acting in the same way a lawyer would, having been engaged to make the best possible case for his client,

      • Just to continue with the above.

        If anyone doubts this, they might just like to consider what may happen if a group of scientists reported that climate sensitivity was around 1 deg C. That’s a little lower than even the lowest of the consensus estimates but, subject to the usual process of peer review, the paper would be accepted. Indeed such papers have been accepted by the IPCC.

        The paper would almost certainly be also be accepted by the NIPCC and the groups who were behind them like Heartland and the CSCDGC. 1 deg C is just about low enough to receive their tick of approval. But what would happen if they’d come up with a higher figure? Or what would happen if they wanted to revise that figure later? Downwards would be no problem of course. But they certainly wouldn’t be allowed to revise it upwards no matter what new scientific evidence they might present.

        That’s the difference. The NIPCC isn’t rational or scientific. They are only interested in selective evidence to help their case.

      • tempterrain wrote: The NIPCC’s brief is to argue there isn’t. They are acting in the same way a lawyer would, having been engaged to make the best possible case for his client,

        Unlike politics or law, science doesn’t rely on the adversarial system in its search for “truth”. Although there may be violent controversies, most scientists don’t have the time or desire to audit the work of others (as McIntyre does). As Schneider said, scientists are ethically bound “to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts”. Feynman describes these obligations more fully in Cargo Cult Science. Auditing should be a relatively unproductive activity under these circumstances.

        By failing to follow the ethical tenets of science to fully disclose doubt, uncertainty and counter-argument, both the IPCC and the NIPCC have written reports unworthy of being called “scientific reports”. If their reports don’t qualify as science, they could be termed “propaganda”. The first sentence of the Wikipedia article on propaganda says: “Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument.” Unfortunately, the dictionary definitions are substantially different.

        When climate scientists testify in front of Congress and present only one side of the story, they are acting as policy advocates and harming the authority of all other scientists who appear before Congress. This is particularly true when scientists spend their time arguing rather than laying out areas of mutual agreement and disagreement.

      • “That’s the difference. The NIPCC isn’t rational or scientific. They are only interested in selective evidence to help their case.”

        This is exactly the case with the IPCC also.

        The IPCC isn’t rational or scientific. They are only interested in selective evidence to help their case. IPCC is a body of motivated activists with an agenda.

      • “They are only interested in selective evidence to help their case. This is exactly the case with the IPCC also.”

        Not so. There are many examples of papers accepted by mainstream science which have presented arguments and evidence helpful to the so-called skeptical position. You should know what they are and who wrote them- you’ve probably cited them yourself often enough.

        But is there a single example of an organisation like Heartland ever accepting a ‘paper’ which hasn’t been helpful to their position? Has the NIPCC ever given due weight to anything they might consider ‘warmist’?

      • It is the alarmist scientists who publish an endless stream of nonsense papers, like the various hockey-sticks. These papers, having passed pal-review, get prominent space in IPCC reports, including the iconic graph on it’s cover.

        The skeptical scientists don’t publish that many papers, first because the difficulty getting them approved by journals, due to the same foe-review process, second – because you can’t write many papers on a non-phenomenon, on something that isn’t there. You can’t prove a negative, or write papers about it.

        The bottom line: the IPCC acknowledges only alarmist papers, as per the activist bias of it’s authors.
        The authors are also selected on basis of their pre-existing acceptance and agreement with the IPCC stated mission: that of proving AGW, and highlighting the negative consequences.
        (Does any positive consequence of warming ever get mentioned in any IPCC report ?)

      • I encourage readers to read the actual NIPCC Reports. See the 2009 Front Matter for the purpose. e.g.,

        Before facing major surgery, wouldn’t you want a second opinion? When a nation faces an important decision that risks its economic future, or perhaps the fate of the ecology, it should do the same. It is a time-honored tradition in science to set up a “Team B,” which examines the same original evidence but may reach a different conclusion. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was set up to examine the same climate data used by the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). . . .We hope the present study will help bring reason and balance back into the debate over climate change, and by doing so perhaps save the peoples of the world from the burden of paying for wasteful, unnecessary energy and environmental policies.

        It includes alot of published science ignored by the IPCC.

      • David L. Hagen

        Judith
        Please update your references to the NIPCC reports.
        Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Eds. Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2011. ISBN-13 – 978-1-934791-36-3, September 2011

        Craig Idso and S. Fred Singer, Climate Change Reconsidered: 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2009. ISBN-13 – 978-1-934791-28-8 June 2009

        (PS You cited an earlier 2008 summary by Singer, not the 2009 or 2011 NIPCC reports.)

      • David L. Hagen

        tempterrain
        Do not confuse readers with false definitions.
        NIPCC = Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

        The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is what its name suggests: an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because we are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, we are able to look at evidence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ignores. Because we do not work for any governments, we are not biased toward the assumption that greater government activity is necessary.

      • tempterrain

        You have it slightly wrong, so let me correct you.

        The purpose of the IPCC report is to promote and defend the “CAGW” paradigm with the claim that most of the warming since ~1950 was caused by increased human GHG concentrations and that the mean 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is 3.2C.

        The purpose of the NIPCC report is to question the above “CAGW” paradigm by presenting dissenting views.

        IPCC scientists are publicly funded with billions of dollars of taxpayer funds, while NIPCC relies on private donators and, as a result, has a much more limited budget.

        Max

      • I think you nailed it with this one, Judith. Your line of argument has been getting increasingly focused and concise over the past two years of blogging. I think you could actually nail about 95 of these to a door somewhere.

      • You sure about that? I thought it was getting somewhat more uncertain myself.

  2. Judith, your write up includes two statements which I would like to try and put together. These are as follows.

    @@@@@
    With genuinely well-established scientific theories, ‘consensus’ is not discussed and the concept of consensus is arguably irrelevant. For example, there is no point to discussing a consensus that the Earth orbits the sun, or that the hydrogen molecule has less mass than the nitrogen molecule. While a consensus may arise surrounding a specific scientific hypothesis or theory, the existence of a consensus is not itself the evidence.
    @@@@@
    Given the complexity of the climate problem, ‘expert judgments’ about uncertainty and confidence levels are made by the IPCC on issues that are dominated by unquantifiable uncertainties.
    @@@@@

    Getting on my hobby-horse, I would argue that the reason that there is no need for a consensus on well established theories, is because the empirical data supporting those theories is overwhelming. It is just that simple.

    So this brings up the importance of what you write in the second quote. namely “unquantifiable uncertainties.” In other words there is no empirical data to support the IPCC consensus. Again, I feel it is just that simple. I would suggest that you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    • Well, it is not that easy to define the IPCC consensus out of existence. I am trying to argue that explicit consensus seeking on a complex wicked problem is a bad strategy

      • Yes, and that “explicit consensus seeking” puts the lie to your temporizing: “The manufactured consensus of the IPCC has had the unintended consequences of distorting the science

        Distorting the science was vital to achieving the consensus. It was not “unintended”.

      • Judith, you write “Well, it is not that easy to define the IPCC consensus out of existence”

        IMHO, it IS that easy. But then disagreements are what good discussions are all about. Incidentally I should have written “insufficient empirical data”; not “no empirical data”.

      • @ Jim Cripwell,

        “IMHO, it IS that easy”

        You’d have to be either a simpleton or a genius to think that !

      • TT you write “You’d have to be either a simpleton or a genius to think that !”

        Why? IF, and it is an enormous IF, but if the IPCC had sufficient empirical data to prove that CAGW was real, then there would be no debate going on. Climate Etc. would not exist; nor would WUWT. The scientific issue would be completely and utterly settled. There would have been a Michelson/Morley type measurement made, and we would know, from actual measurements, what the numerical value of total climate sensitivity was.

        It is only becasue the IPCC does NOT have sufficient empirical data that it has to resort to subterfuge. It has to pretend that the output of non-validated models is the equivalent of empirical data, and rely on meaningless, hypothetical numbers like no-feedback climate sensitivity.

        The fact of the matter is that the IPCC cannot prove that CAGW is valid, simply because it lacks the necessary empirical data to do so.

      • So what sort of experiment would you suggest? What would the ‘Cripwell Experiment’ be?

      • There isnt 100% proof so deniers can operate the gap. Look at creationists. The existence of science deniers tells you nothing.

      • TT you write “So what sort of experiment would you suggest? What would the ‘Cripwell Experiment’ be?”

        I cannot suggest an experiment. If I could, I would have done so years ago. So far as I can see, there is no chance of doing such an experiment in the foreseeable future; the atmosphere is too chaotic and unpredictable for one to be contemplated.

        But here is the issue that you refuse to address. CAGW is an extremely plausible hypothesis. But it is still just a hypothesis. It will remain a hypothesis unless and until enough empirical data is produced to turn it into either a theory or a law in physics. The IPCC and the proponents of CAGW have carefully ignored the problem that not enough empirical datra exists to prove that CAGW is real. That is the issue.

        Until people like yourself acknowledge that the IPCC has not provided enough empirical data to prove that CAGW is true, we will continue to have this sort of discussion. The proponents of CAGW can go on hiding their collective heads in the sand for ever; we deniers can never prove that CAGW is wrong. But the IPCC has not proved that it is right; and can never prove that it is right until they provide enough empirical data to do the job.

      • tt

        You should know that Creepwill has no idea of what kind of experiment would have to be done to change his mind. That is because his mind is not changed by empirical fact

      • I seem to have attracted Steven Mosher, tempterrain and lolwot. So, let me take the opportunity to ask a question to any or all of you, based on your definition of what “empirical data” means. Is there sufficient empirical data to support the conclusion that “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”?

      • Jim Cripwell,

        So you’re saying that you can’t actually think of what scientists need to do to confirm that adding ever increasing amounts of GH gases is very likely to cause serious climatic problems?

        Furthermore, you don’t think its even possible for them to do more?

        And, as you’re convinced that restriction of GH gas emissions is undesirable, you’re quite pleased to be able to claim that their efforts just aren’t good enough?

        Look, Jim, why don’t you carry on living in your own fool’s paradise. You obviously don’t understand what empirical evidence is, and even if you did, no doubt it would never be good enough for the “proof” you require. You’ve made this point so many times. If anyone missed your first comment on the topic , its unlikely they missed your next thousand!

        Some of us like the atmosphere as it is, or rather as it was. We don’t want GH gas concentrations to rise any further than they have. Ideally we’d like them back at something like 350ppmv. If you think higher levels are safe, why don’t you provide the proof?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        lolwot: Look at creationists.

        For climate science, that is a bad strategy. Look to the science. There are new books and peer-reviewed publications nearly every day. The assertion that CO2 will cause global warming is based on the assumption that CO2 will change the climate from one (approximate?) equilibrium to another. Yet nothing in the system is ever in equilibrium, nor even in steady-state. Temperatures everywhere on earth, in the ocean, and in the lower troposphere are caused by the processes of heat transfer at the particular conditions present at particular times and places, and the effects of CO2 increases on those processes are unknown everywhere.

      • TT you write “Look, Jim, why don’t you carry on living in your own fool’s paradise. ”

        Thank you very much indeed for this message. I seem to have struck a nerve somewhere. I have no intention whatsoever just going on “living in my own fool’s paradise”. I will continue to write about the physics as I understand it, and I hope, but dont expect, that the proponents of CAGW will respond their version of what they think the physics is. I think my physics is correct.

        But personal attacks such as this one are very encouragiung indeed.

      • tempterrain and Steven Mosher

        I think you guys don’t understand exactly what Jim Cripwell (and many other rational skeptics of the CAGW premise) are saying.

        It doesn’t have to be a “repoducible experiment”. Any empirical scientific evidence will do. If you are in doubt what that means, check Feynman.

        It’s what’s lacking for IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        That’s why the IPCC CAGW premise is not “science”.

        Quite straightforward actually.

        Max

      • @TT:

        You seem to be laboring under the false premise that science is capable of answering every valid question. Worse, you seem to be laboring under the false premise that science is capable of answering every valid question NOW.

        The unfortunate truth is that most questions cannot be answered by the scientific method, now or ever. My bet is that climatology can be, someday, but that’s just a bet. Unless you can produce a proof that a solution exists, you’re now arguing outside your beloved epistemology.

      • max and qbeamus

        Thanks for the support. I asked a question, which I think may be unanswerable by the proponents of CAGW; though I think it is a perfectly reasonable question. Namely :-
        Is there sufficient empirical data to support the conclusion that “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”?

        I think if the answer is either yes or no, I can show that the answer makes no sense. I doubt if Steven, tempterrain or lolwot will touch the question with the end of a barge pole. But we will see.

      • Feynman is dead. There is no way to ask him. There is no way to know what his answer would be. Those who think they know are just guessing. They are incapable of thinking in the way Feynman thought.

        Ask a brilliant somebody who is alive.

      • The messiness of the problem is not the driver of conflict between policy/science in *This* situation; It is a refusal to appreciate the time scale over which it occurs.

        Take the quintessential low-info, high stakes, etc etc example: Asteroid coming at Earth, you have 6 weeks to save the planet. Here, resources go to the Consensus method, no? Let’s just hope the UN is not involved.

        Despite claims to make AGW into a similar situation (“we’re already past the tipping point”), the +.2C/decade will not trouble us for awhile. In the meantime, we’ll know alot more about what happens to this temperature plateau, which if sustained, will pretty much rule out AGW.

        There is no rush to give a definitive answer, becasue 1. we can’t for sure currently, 2. we can’t change the outcome currently, 3. we’ll know more in the future.

      • SUT,

        “1. we can’t {know?] for sure currently, 2. we can’t change the outcome currently, 3. we’ll know more in the future.”

        Does this ‘logic’ just apply to climate change or is it useful with other things too? So you are saying it’s never a good idea to do anything? Its always better to postpone any decision indefinitely? Because, the longer it is postponed the more will be known?

      • SUT,

        The messiness of the problem is not the driver of conflict between policy/science in *This* situation; It is a refusal to appreciate the time scale over which it occurs.

        True. But there is also another reason for conflict. It is that the CAGW alarmists are strongly advocating policies that suit their ideological beliefs. These policies are impracticable, nearly useless even if they could be implemented, and economically irrational. They would be very damaging and make no real difference to the climate.

        The fact that the CAGW alarmists are advocating such stupid policies, and advocating policies that are based on their ideological beliefs, discredits them (the proponents of such policies – CAGW alarmists).

      • Judith:

        It’s easy to define the IPCC consensus out of existence when this consensus is represented to be a “scientific” consensus. The claims of IPCC Working Group I reference no statistical population. It follows that the claims of Working Group I are not refutable by reference to observed events in this population. Thus, these claims lie outside science, by the definition of “science.” There is not a scientific consensus because the consensus is not scientific.

  3. Judith I’ll start by congradulating you on your paper having been published and on the evolution of your public conclusions on the state of climate science.

    While I agree with what Judith has written in her paper, I am confused as to why such a paper would have to go through any type of peer review process. It does not provide any new scientific conclusion, it provides a simple common sense analysis of of the tactics employed by the IPCC and what happaned as a result.

    • This paper is not a science article, but a paper on the sociology and philosophy of climate science. There are entire journals devoted to the philosophy and sociology of science. If you read much of the literature on the sociology of climate science, it seems mostly about analyzing denialism. So our paper is a contribution to that body of literature

    • “congradulating” Blow your nose before you attempt to say that. It’s “congratulating”.
      Same with “happaned”. It’s “happened”.

      As for peer review, this article can be regarded as part of the world’s ongoing forensics about what happened to “climate science”. Crimes have been committed.

  4. Russell Klier

    There is a typo…”The consensus approach used by the IPCC has received a number of criticisms. Concerns have bee raised”….

  5. “Concerns have bee raised about the need to guard against overconfidence and overemphasize expected outcomes.” I read this sentence several times, trying to parse it. Leaving aside the obvious typo, I think I understand it to mean that concerns were raised about two needs: (1) the need to “guard against overconfidence,” and (2) the need to “overemphasize expected outcomes.” Is this the intended meaning? That there are two more or less universally acknowledged needs, and some people are concerned about them? Or does it mean instead that some people feel that scientists should guard against overconfidence, and that scientists should not overemphasize expected outcomes?

    (I’m a linguist, so this counts as a technical comment from me :-).)

    • Mike, read the full paper, and let me know if this got lost in translation for the readers digest version (I think it did)

      • I should have done that in the first place!

        I think this sentence in the RDV comes from this sentence in the FP:
        “Oppenheimer et al. [48] warn of the need to guard against overconfidence and argue that the IPCC consensus emphasizes expected outcomes, whereas it is equally important that policy makers understand the more extreme possibilities that consensus may exclude or downplay.”

        Another way to say this in a short version might be “Concerns have been raised about the need to guard against overconfidence, and to consider/ discuss a variety of possibilities, not just a/the consensus outcome”; or “…and to consider/discuss not just the consensus outcome, but also more extreme/ other possibilities.”

        Is this the intended meaning? Or am I erring by not including the further discussion in the remainder of the paragraph (or maybe the following couple paragraphs) of the FP?

        It is hard to write unambiguously, esp. when people may be reading with a pre-biased opinion!

        BTW, I think you were very brave to quote Michael Crichton.

    • I suspect it means “overemphasizing expected outcomes”. I.e. guard against that too.

      • David Springer

        I think anyone who couldn’t figure that out, and who also thought it noteworthy they could ignore the “n” left off of “been” without thinking the message was about an insect or spelling competition, probably isn’t up to understanding the debate itself.

  6. Dr. Curry, considering the fun stuff happening in court rooms in the future, do you claim to have won a Nobel award?

  7. While the “reader’s digest version” is a great idea, in this case the paper has quite more meat than you guess from the “reader’s digest”. Which, as some have said, looks like just common sense with too many words. But the entire paper is not.

    Suggestion: Edit in PDF the “reader’s digest”.

  8. An excellent paper that is thought provoking and contributes to the intellectual debate of one of the major issues of our time. If only some of the major networks would present this kind of analysis of socio-political elements of climate change rather than the much easier off the shelf advocacy pieces that is their standard operating procedure. The public would benefit greatly over the pablum they are presently given.

    • You are a scientist.

      “If only some of the major networks would present this kind of analysis of socio-political elements of climate change rather than the much easier off the shelf advocacy pieces that is their standard operating procedure. The public would benefit greatly over the pablum they are presently given.”

      Who is the mother of ten-thousand things, you need answer first.

  9. Professor Curry, you have done more to advance science and a return of integrity to government science than I imagined possible. Congratulations!

    You are a skilled communicator.

  10. Rather than throwing out the consensus that the warming by the end of the century will be 3-6 degrees C, we should be planning around that. I don’t agree that when there are a few dissenters, the consensus should be thrown out. Rather, each dissenting view should be examined closely for its evidence of correctness, which is the current approach. Yes, there is uncertainty because CO2 isn’t the only thing happening, but that alone leads to 3-6 degrees that can be enhanced or reduced by other less predictable factors, which is why that is where the planning should start, not with the assumption that we know nothing, or that everything is equally possible, which is not a realistic view of our knowledge.

    • Yawn. Another lame attempt to invoke the Precautionary Principle. Since “planning around that” leads inevitably to incurring insupportable costs and severe and murderous economic abuse of the world’s poorest, the recommended “precautions” are worse than the event itself.

      Fail.

      • What kind of planning do you have in mind that would do that? You are making assumptions. More sensible things can be done than doing nothing.

      • Brian H,

        So you think there is something wrong with the “precautionary principle”? You don’t believe in taking precautions? I don’t like to pry into your personal life, but I’m just wondering how many kids you have :-)

      • The precautionary principle is (1) a falacy and (2) not the same thing as “taking precautions.”

        I’ve heard the precautionary principle expressed in a number of different ways, but if we’re going to talk about it, let’s define it. Wikipedia mentions a number of those formulations, but the first one is, “If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.”

        The falacy arises because no account is made for the plausibility of the potential harm, and because no weighing of competing costs is made.

        It is easily revealed by applying the principle to another familiar case, which CAGW believers can be expected to reject. “Should one accept Christ as their savior?” Applying the precautionary principle, the answer is, obviously, yes. No scientific evidence exists, or can exist, that one’s soul will not live in eternal torment for failing to take this action, and doing so is clearly not harmful, so it would be incumbent upon us to take this action, under the precuationary principle. (One might argue that following the dictates of Christianity is harmful, because it requires giving up actions that feel good. Never mind trying to answer the diffuclt question of how we are truly best off to live; that line of argument equally well defeats all of the policies advanced by CAGW advocates.)

        “Taking precautions,” on the other hand, is more akin to the “no regrets” policy options Judith sometimes advocates. Implicit in the meaning of the term is a weighing of the plausibility of the harms and of the competing costs of our options. Trivially costly options that provide a small chance of a large payoff might well be sensible ways to “take precautions.” But the preferred policy choices of CAGW advocates do not qualify. Which, of course, is why they are forced to produce spurious logical devices like the precautionary principle.

      • The most relevant formulation for climate policy is that of the 1992 Rio declaration:

        Principle 15
        In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

        The requirement of cost-effectiveness is part of this formulation. Everyone may still have her or his interpretation on the meaning of this formulation.

      • I’m afraid the Rio ’92 formulation just begs the question. Once we’ve agreed that a measure is “cost effective,” we’re not likely to disagree that we ought to do it, are we? It does nothing to advance our consideration of a proposed policy.

      • qbeamus,

        You are right that this formulation does not tell what to do but leaves that for further considerations. That’s exactly the point.

        No UN decision supports absolute precaution, IPCC hasn’t even considered that as it doesn’t fall within its tasks. Requirements to take very strong actions in absence of all proof of cost-efficiency have been presented by some individuals and some organizations, also by representatives of some governments. Such requirements have been presented in UNFCCC conferences but not accepted beyond the Kyoto protocol, which was not ratified by USA.

    • Jim D, 3-6 C by the end of the century? Where did you find those consensus numbers at?

      • Figure on 2-4.5 degrees per doubling and 1-2 doublings of CO2.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Jim,
        “1-2 doublings” means you think CO2 ppm will go from 560 – 840, or 560-1120?

      • Don’t say 560 – 840, or 560-1120 (ppm CO2), you’ll give Bill McKibben apoplexy! On the other hand, carry on. Hehe.

    • JimD, You say that “each dissenting view should be examined closely for its evidence of correctness”, whilst simultaneously making the assertions that “the warming by the end of the century will be 3-6 degrees C” and “but that [CO2] alone leads to 3-6 degrees”. You first need to apply your test of evidence to your own assertion, and that does not mean an appeal to consensus, but hard, empirical evidence.

      The whole point about examining the consensus is that assertions like these are not waved through because of political need, but severely challenged by the scientific method that demands repeated attempts at falsification. To falsify, you have to construct multiple independent experiments that remove all trace of coincidence or third party factors, so that the prime suspect doesn’t just unequivocally remain as the cause, but has a strong explanation for being so. For the supposed relationship between CO2 (and specifically man’s emissions) and global temperature, which is the heart of the IPCC’s case, this has not been done. Indeed, it is laughable that the IPCC says that because they don’t know what is causing the warming, it must by default be CO2.

      To then promote the precautionary principle as a response to the untested and unsubstantiated (by empirical observed evidence) is a far greater error than even dong nothing. You only have to look at one of the major policy responses across the world, that of energy supply, to see the havoc wreaked to national economies and personal finances, pushing millions into fuel poverty and denying further millions access to cheap electricity, the supply of which is the one thing that has done more than anything to improve living, health, and even environmental standards.

      As well as Dr Curry’s new paper, for which I for one and very thankful she has written, you should also read the “..Delinquant Teenager…” book by Donna Laframboise, a Canadian journalist. It is a damning critique of the IPCC and many of those in it. There is a logical conclusion here: as the IPCC is not the scientific body it purports to be, but a political product for political goals, it’s promotion of the concensus must also be political, therefore not scientific, and so not worth the paper it’s written on.

    • Jim D

      The problem IS the forced “consensus”.

      You have missed the whole point of Judith’s article.

      It is not true that “CO2…alone leads to 3-6 degrees that can be enhanced or reduced by other less predictable factors”.

      That’s the “consensus” paradigm all right, but that does not make it correct at all.

      Is it a “forced paradigm” view?

      Is IPCC open to other views?

      If evidence for other explanations were presented, would IPCC accept this evidence – or would itbe rejected out of hand to defend the “forced consensus” paradigm?

      Think about the above questions before you answer.

      Max

      • It is not forced consensus. Other factors are taken into account. Natural variability could be as much as 0.2 degrees C when averaged over decades according to all their papers. Some invoke negative feedbacks that are not supported by decreasing cloud-cover in decades of warming. We have seen the other explanations. They don’t stand up to data.

    • David L. Hagen

      Jim D
      Before getting too distraught, may I encourage to you reexamine the major assumptions involved and their consequences.
      First, see Lord Monckton:

      Since the premium greatly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure.

      Secondly, on the technical side, see the major correction to future probabilities identified by Ross McKitrick:
      Cheering Up the Dismal Theorem, DISCUSSION PAPER 2012-05, MARCH 16, 2012

      The Weitzman Dismal Theorem (DT) suggests agents today should be willing to pay an unbounded amount to insure against fat-tailed risks of catastrophes such as climate change. . . .
      The structure of the model requires use of ln(C) as an approximate measure of the change in consumption in order to introduce an ex term and thereby put the pricing kernel into the form of a moment generating function. But ln(C) is an inaccurate approximation in the model’s own context. Use of the exact measure completely changes the pricing model such that the resulting insurance contract is plausibly small, and cannot be unbounded regardless of the distribution of the assumed climate sensitivity.

      Thirdly, research into alternatives is much more cost effective at this stage than premature massive expenditures on mitigation.

      • Science consensus should be separated from cost-benefit analyses. If people agreed on the next century’s warming rate first, that would be a step forward, but we are not even there yet. I think that some policymakers are actually seeing the warming effects now, so this might be happening by default. The Arctic sea-ice is the canary in the coal-mine here that something is changing, possibly even faster than expected.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D
        The next glaciation is also due in about 1500 years! What confidence is there climate models that anthropogenic global warming will be sufficient to overcome natural cooling?
        Why has the last 16 years global temperature d trend been about flat compared to the warming of the previous 16? Which models predicted it?
        Despite great “confidence”, until we quantify, verify and validate ALL the major natural as well as anthropogenic, we stumble on with very dim sight.

        Could models, which consistently err by several degrees in the 20th century, be trusted for their future predictions of decadal trends that are much lower than this error?

        Credibility of climate predictions revisited, G. G. Anagnostopoulos, D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Efstratiadis, A. Christofides, and N. Mamassis (2009)

      • if you prefer to think in terms of analogies, the past climate serves as a good reference. We last had these kinds of CO2 levels 30 million years ago, about when Antarctica became the first major glaciated region. The Cretaceous had 600 ppm over 65 million years ago. We know the Cretaceous was an iceless hothouse. The next ice age wasn’t due for 20k to 50k years, but CO2 levels such as now, would prevent that just through analogy with 30 million years ago. Skeptics/contrarians haven’t yet explained the paleoclimate with alternate theories to the already consistent GHG theory, and until they do, they will have trouble with getting their theories accepted.

      • “The mid-Cretaceous was characterized by geography and an ocean circulation that was vastly different from today; as well as higher carbon dioxide levels (at least 2 to 4 times higher than today). This indicates that the mid-Cretaceous climate system was different from that of today or any we might have in the future. Explanations evoking ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns radically different from today have been proposed to explain the climate of the mid-Cretaceous; however, there is no scientific consensus on how the Mid-Cretaceous warm climate came about.”

        From the skeptics at the NOAA.

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/cretaceous.html

      • Do they say anything about the even warmer earlier periods that had higher CO2 levels, or would that just be coincidence? Wikipedia is more up to date on the Cretaceous climate, but you should also look for Prof. Richard Alley’s talk at the AGU as a leading paleoclimatologist.

      • And our knowledge of co2 levels millions of years ago is probably on par with knowledge of temps inthe Middle Ages, a subject of controversy

      • Interestingly they can look at fossil stomata to indicate that CO2 levels were high enough to have significant effects on plant physiology.

      • I’m sure the paleo department at the NOAA will be depressed to learn that you think they have less credibility than Wikipedia. Even if I thought CO2 was the primary temperature driver and even if I had confidence in paleo reconstructions from that far back, I wouldn’t think that could tell us much about today’s climate. Heat transport matters and it matters regardless of what drives temperature. As far as a coincidence that co2 and temperatures match, that is based on this chart?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png

        or this chart?

        http://deforestation.geologist-1011.net/PhanerozoicCO2-Temperatures.png

        I’m going to go out on a limb and guess there is no consensus that such a coincidence exists.

      • steven, the last ‘cold’ period was the end of the Permian, that had ice caps and temperatures more similar to now, and coincidentally low CO2 levels too. This was 250 million years ago. The NOAA thing is anonymous without references for further information, but I guess the NOAA name is enough for some to believe because it is the government after all. I would be more inclined to look at what Richard Alley has to say, or anyone who puts names to their words.

      • I don’t mean to diss NOAA, but that page was last modified in the Bush administration when government scientists had to be careful what they said to the public, and had the White House looking over their public statements for approval.

      • Jim, they have contact information. You can write them and ask if they were forced to word it that way. Of course if they change it now I will have to assume it was because of pressure from the Obama administration.

  11. Moving forward…

    Fixing the IPCC is easy.

    J Curry should be appointed to run it, replacing the current incumbent who can retire to India.

    Apologies, if strictly speaking the above is considered off topic.

    • Great idea, but the powers who control the IPCC want to keep their “convenient idiot” as he does their bidding without question. Dr Curry would knock over all the jam jars, resulting in the loss of a cosy gravy train for many people.

    • “Fixing the IPCC is easy.”

      Yes. Close it down.
      If it refuses to close, ignore it.
      It has a purely negative impact. (Intended or unintended…)

      • Its parent, the UNFCCC, is the organization that wrote the charge to the IPCC, that it provide support for the assertion the CO2 is the bete noire thus enabling massive wealth transfers. Ending the IPCC is not enough. The UNFCCC must also go.

    • Fixing the IPCC is easy.

      How about the IPCC be given one last chance to do what they are told or otherwise they’ll just be closed down and the job given to someone else.? I’m sure Heartland would be able to come up with something much more palatable, and for a fraction of the cost, too.

  12. Might want to think about why so much acrimony on the issue. Is it a deep concern for the planet or something more crass? IMO, “follow-the-money” is the fundamental driver behind the IPCC and their supporters.

  13. Is there a no consensus about the non-consensus about the consensus?

    • Steven Mosher

      lets start a betting pool for which position Judith will take in the Romney administration.

      • Off topic

      • The head of North Dakota’s emergency management agency: NDEMA.

      • I’ve had my nominations on the floor for awhile, now, but you’ll have to read the blogs.
        ============

      • Scott Basinger

        NSF Director would be amusing.

      • Perhaps as head ofFEMA?

        > FEMA also helps states and local governments repair or replace public facilities and infrastructure, which often is not insured,” the CBPP report explained. “This form of discretionary federal aid would be subject to cuts under the Ryan budget. If it were scaled back substantially, states and localities would need to bear a larger share of the costs of disaster response and recovery, or attempt to make do with less during difficult times.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oqXk5XxHKx8

        Moshpit will arguably indulge into denizens’ fantasy outing here. Keep them coming!

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        The one thing we know is that under Ibama’s sequestration plan, which he signed into law, huge cuts in Federal spending are coming January 1st.
        Speculation by way of Obama-esque misinterpretations and misrepresentations of what Romney plans is fun, but avoids reality. Sort of like the current President.

      • Neva-ud-it.

      • How about we start a pool to see if there is consensus on whether Mosher is a Gavin -type Stockholm Syndrome choke hold.

  14. Everything I have read indicates to me that the IPCC was formed with the prior understanding that anthropogenically produced CO2 was likely the main cause of temperatures rises; its mandate was to determine the magnitude of the impact AND what to do about it. While it might be more correct in a legalistic way to suggest that the mandate was to determine if “likely” was correct, and then determine the magnitufe of the impact, I think not: if so, then one possible outcome would have been to deconstruct the IPCC. That was never in the cards.

    Let’s consider well this point in the context of the task of the IPCC: was there a possible outcome of any work such that the IPCC would cease to exist? I suggest the answer is “no”, and so your conclusion is unavoidable: the IPCC was created not to determine the correctness of the “problem”. And note that the problem is not just that temperatures would rise with more manmade CO2, but that large detrimental planetary consequences would unavoidable result through the rise.

    The Malleus Mallificarum, the witchfinder’s manual of 1496 ( thereabouts, I forget which year it came out) was the result of a mandate to two clerics. The mandate was investigative, but based on the premises that a) witches exist, b) are active and c) cause social damage. Chapters were devoted to determining who was a witch and then what to do about them. It was inevitable that witches would be found, bound and burned because the investigative techniques were designed to find that which was presumed to exist.

    The AR series of investigations have been exactly like the MM. Its work looks for the signal that is presumed to be present. And like the MM, their very existence – indeed, the very existence of the IPCC – cements the existence of the condition it is said to be looking into.

    Consensus management has been a theory for businesses. Having been part of companies in which this theory was being promoted, I can tell you that consensus management involves consensus to the views of the top management. It is not a system that generates consensus from the bottom up and informs the top, but the other way around. An ill-defined set of beliefs is espoused at the top, send down and work is done to defend them, which comes back up and is seen as technically-based confirmation. It is not. Unless the line of reasoning is so flawed it defies laws such as gravity, the work is directed at confirming the initial expectation. And I can tell you that intelligent, educated people can find apparently rational arguments for supporting the irrational.

    It might be of value to you to send your thoughts to existing and former management gurus and their victims on the IPCC and its drive for consensus. This is, after all, what Kennedy was dealing with in the Cuban missile crisis. Fortunately for all of us, he recognized that some had the end result as a premise for their thoughts, not as a possible outcome of their thoughts and so turned the other cheek.

    • Doug
      For background, see:
      IPCC History and Mission

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization for the purpose of assessing “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate-related data. It bases its assessment mainly on published and peer reviewed scientific technical literature.” [1] The goal of these assessments is to inform international policy and negotiations on climate-related issues.

      To understand “human-induced climate change”, it is essential to equally understand “natural climate change

      One major political problem is the UN’s equivocation in the FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE, Article 1, Definitions:

      2. “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

    • Yes. Well said, Doug. The comment on “consensus management” is particularly apt.

    • Excellent post, Doug. My experience in government accords with yours in business.

      • Doug, thank you for causing me to search ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ ; the description in wikipedia made me smile:
        The main purpose of the Malleus was to attempt to systematically refute arguments claiming that witchcraft does not exist (&) discredit those who expressed skepticism about its reality…,

        Apparently the M-M also claims that witches were more often women than men – I naively thought that all witches were women, so I searched ‘male witches’ and came across a book that challenges the marginalization of male witches by feminist and other historians
        :-)

  15. Congratulations and thx, Judith, on your cogent assessment of problems
    of the IPCC regarding consensus and confitmation bias.

    I like yer salutory, ‘While a consensus may arise surrounding
    a specific scientific hypothesis, the existence of a consensus
    is not itself the evidence.’

    You raise the issue of the IPCC mandate. Seems that confirmation bias
    was built into the IPCC ‘mission’ statement.

  16. “I am trying to argue that explicit consensus seeking on a complex wicked problem is a bad strategy.”

    Agreed. So one must take a step back and ask why seek it in the first place. It’s a corruption of the way science is supposed to work, and is as far as I can see nothing but a naked desire to influence policy… and arguably to amass and consolidate power.

  17. .” If, however, consensus is aimed at by the members of the reference group and arrived at by intent, it becomes conspiratorial and irrelevant to our intellectual concern. ”

    I like that sentence, which would be equaly relevent to many political arguments.

    Yes. I read the paper which makes the points like the above very clear, but avoids entering into the errors made by the IPCC in attribution. I believe they made two fundamental mistakes: they ignored climate change before the middle of the 20th century and the transport delay of the oceans in percolating the pre-1940 heat to the rest of the world. See my website.

  18. “Princeton philosopher Thomas Kelly provides some insight into confirmation bias, arguing that a prior belief can skew the total evidence that is available subsequently in a direction that is favorable to itself.”

    Of course the faithful will scornfully call it my own confirmation bias at work, but this phenomenon looks to me to be much more relevant for them. Many truly seem incapable of accepting any arguments against…or any real world data that does not support…. CAGW. I get a perverse kick out of hanging around Revkin’s site…mostly a rank swamp of warmist propaganda to read the majority of commenters. I call them climate zombies. They can read and write, but they can’t think. Intellectually undead. Sad.

  19. About Consensus and Facilitation
    http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/~consensus.htm

    What’s Wrong With Consensus
    http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/acf003.htm

    What American Citizens Need to Know About Consensus and Facilitation
    http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/acf004.htm

    The Delphi Technique — What Is It?
    http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/acf001.htm

    The Delphi Technique — How to Disrupt It
    http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/acf002.htm

    The InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a Political Process intended to achieve Political Consensus.
    Supposed “Scientists” are only there as a “Priesthood” intended to give blessing to the pre-ordained Political Agenda.

    The deemed consensus articulated by IPCC then is quoted as “a source of authority” to justify the political agenda.

    The whole purpose of the IPCC is to produce a summary which ca be “labelled” as a consensus. The option of articulating that there may be “no consensus” (a result which is very plausible in a strict scientific sense) will not even be considered.

    all the best
    brent

  20. “If you read much of the literature on the sociology of climate science, it seems mostly about analyzing denialism.”

    In other words propaganda, whether intentional or not, masquerading as science.

  21. The beginning reads to me like–e.g., the manufactured consensus had the ‘unintended consequences of ‘ causing the global warming community to circle the wagons and refuse to admit any fact that would undermine the original liars. I get it but I don’t see the cause and effect. Blaming serial lying on a the failure of the consensus meme is like blaming the terror attack on the American Embassy in Libya on an obscure video that no one ever saw.

  22. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Readers of Climate Etc can verify for themselves:

    • PUBMED review articles on “Consensus”: 4,894 articles

    • Fraction of these “consensus” article referenced by Curry and Webster: 0.0%

    Hmm … zero-percent coverage of the literature on the processes by which scientific concensus is achieved.

    Has the climate-change community ever seen a more egregious case of cherry-picking than Curry and Webster’s analysis?   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

    To pre-suppose that climate-change consensus is uniquely different than other forms of scientific consensus … well … that presumption is pretty obviously just plain wrong, eh?   :?:  :?:  :?:

    Conclusion: The Curry-Webster survey “Climate change: no consensus on consensus” so sparsely covers the existing literature relating to scientific consensus, as to contribute little to the debate relating to the scientific study of climate-change.

    • I went through the first 100 of the referenced 4894 abstracts referenced. They are all from the medical literature and all these target rather obscure issues of medical, physiologic or biochemical issues. None of them are “meta,” ie none refer to the value and process of forming consensus, or the hazards therein. Many of the medically-related consensus statements of very recent years have been discredited or revised,as more information becomes available. The appropriate use of a pubmed search in the Curry-Webster discussion would be “o.o%.”

      Rick

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Restricting to the keyword “difficult” yields dozens of outstandingly cogent examples, eh Rick?   :)   :)   :)

      • The word “hockey” will get you quite a few articles about that sport…

      • Steven Mosher

        fan has pointed to a pile of literature he probably has not read and cited it as a source for you to sort through. It’s rather like a freshman who turns in a paper with one reference 1. GIYF.

        fan is well meaning. I suspect he works in a field where he is not subject to tough questions from people who simply refuse to take his word for it.

    • Fan yet again smiles on October 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm.

      On October 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm, Rick reports having “went through the first 100 of the referenced 4894 abstracts referenced.”

      That is all.

  23. Gareth Williams

    “Key words: climate change, consensus, consensus, decision making under uncertainty”
    Is the repetition of “consensus” a typo?

  24. Joy, your conclusion is worthy Joshua himself. All I can say is “Huh?”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      It’s not complicated pokerguy!

      The scientific literature includes many thousands of articles that affirm explicit consensuses in regard to problems both wicked and messy.

      The Curry and Webster article does not recognize any of this literature, and neither is any reason given for ignoring it.

      That’s not good science. It’s “cherry-picking”, eh?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        A concrete meta-example of consensus construction, relating to scientific issues that are “messy” and “wicked”, is provided by Alla et al. Spreading the word on sports concussion: citation analysis of summary and agreement, position and consensus statements on sports concussion.

        The available scientific evidence suggests (but does not prove) that high-school athletes suffering mild concussions are at-risk for neurological complications — Alhzheimer’s disease for example — that may emerge 50-70 years later.

        The long time-scales, and uncertainty of the science, and the severity of the potential downside, all certify concussion policies as a “wicked, messy” problem.

        The problem becomes especially “wicked and messy” when Sally and Bill *strongly* desire to stay in the game, eh?

        Because (being teenagers) Sally and Billy have little regard for adverse consequences that are decades in the future … adverse consquences that are purely hypothetical.   :eek:   :oops:   :eek:

        For Curry and Williams to wholly ignore (without giving any explanation!) the immense scientific literature of consensus-creating methods for grappling with this class of “wicked messy problems” … is just plain wrong, eh?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • Hey Fan

        You said

        “For Curry and Williams to wholly ignore (without giving any explanation!) the immense scientific literature of consensus-creating methods for grappling with this class of “wicked messy problems” … is just plain wrong, eh? ”

        Judith suddenly started writing with someone else?
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        You are entirely correct climatereason … the authorship is “Curry and Webster” not “Curry and Williams”. Doh! ;)

      • Another example more familiar to people would be Mad Cow disease. This may take decades to develop (they still don’t know) after eating the affected meat, but preventive action was swift based on just seeing a few cases, and knowing what caused them, rather than waiting for the full scope to play out.

      • Steven Mosher

        I’m sorry fan. I didnt see any METHODS described in the selection of literature you provided.

        Long ago we ask CRU for there station data. They pointed to a huge pile and said ‘its in there”. The ICO found that this type of response was non responsive.

        So, if you have anything on “methods” for creating consensus ( delphi type stuff would be instructive for example ) then that would be a much better pile to point at. Or, rather, since the IPCC has employed a consensus creating “method”, you could always go to their bibliography and point to the literature they used to justify their method.

        That’s probably your best bet. Point to the literature the IPCC used to justify their approach…

        opps. thats going to be really easy or impossible

      • Blows to the head and concussions damage the brain? Boxing is associated with Parkinson’s? This is not exactly a wicked, messy problem. Seems pretty straight-forward to me :):):);0

    • pokerguy –

      Have you ever stopped to consider why you’re so obsessed with me?

  25. …*of* Joshua.

  26. Well Joy, my inclination would be to ask professor Curry. I’m confident she’ll be able to answer your question, though of course not to your satisfaction. I suspect the issue is one of semantics.

  27. “Dutch social scientist Jeroen Van der Sluijs argues that the IPCC has adopted a ‘speaking consensus to power’ approach that sees uncertainty and dissent as problematic, and attempts to mediate these into a consensus.”

    I must say again, this is a mischaracterization of the whole IPCC/consensus debacle.

    The consensus climate scientists are not speaking anything TO power. They are speaking FOR power, to the powerless (except of their annoying ability to vote). The IPCC and its apparatchiks were appointed by, empowered by, funded by and answer to, the progressive governments of the Western world. Including the US, which hasn’t had a genuinely conservative administration since Reagan.

    All these former 60s protesters can’t get over the fact that THEY ARE IN POWER. They are the willing mouthpieces and propagandists for the most powerful people in the world.

    The consensus sees uncertainty and dissent as problematic because the powerful always see dissent as a problem. They are not the poor, under funded independent voices of reason trying to get through to the awful overlords of government. They are the means by which those governments are seeking to consolidate, and increase, their power over their subjects.

    It would be laughable, if it weren’t so sad.

  28. And on another point, what is this business about “trying” to “arrive” at a consensus?

    When was there not a consensus among government funded scientists regarding globalclimatewarming change.

    When was there a debate among “climate scientists” about the need to centrally plan the energy economy?

    When were the papers that argued against CAGW published. and by whom?

    To these simple eyes, the “consensus” was born as a fully grown, ravenous adult, when Hansen monkeyed with the thermostat in the congressional hearing room in 1988.

    Are we really going to pretend that there has been some careful, considered “critical analysis” of the various legs of the CAGW chair? Paleo-climate, climate models, temperature series, attirbution studies, that resulted in the current “consensus?”

    When did that debate happen?

  29. Underlying this debate is a fundamental tension between two competing conceptions of scientific inquiry: the consensual view of science versus the dissension view.

    Holy false dichotomy, Batman!

    • Steven Mosher

      practice charity.
      ah nevermind, you have no idea how that works

    • Steven Mosher

      It would be a false dichotomy if the subject said that there were only two competing conceptions. Absent that claim, you don’t have a false dichotomy.
      You have an observation that there are two conceptions ( there could be more) of science that are in competition here. Not exactly a fallacy. Not a false dilemma.

      Joshua, you need to work a little harder at understanding your opponent.
      Of course hit and run is fun. I know. I do it. But you might consider adding other tools to your bag of bias.

      • Joshua,

        Reading whole paragraphs is a good tool to add.

        See for instance, with our emphasis:

        The debate surrounding the consensus on climate change is complicated by the complexity of both the scientific and the associated sociopolitical issues. Underlying this debate is a fundamental tension between two competing conceptions of scientific inquiry: the consensual view of science versus the dissension view. Under the consensual approach, the goal of science is a consensus of rational opinion over the widest possible field. The opposing view of science is that of dissension, whereby scientific progress occurs via subversion of consensus in favor of new experiments, ideas and theories.

        Arguably, two opposing views might not be strictly incompatible. But opposing views are usually seen as, well, opposite.

        Moshpit’s right: absent the expression we just emphasized, there would be no dilemma. Notice how he never precluded the possibility that there was none. Just that you have not shown it. You hit and run.

        Not enough charity, perhaps.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The debate surrounding the consensus on climate change is complicated by the complexity of both the scientific and the associated sociopolitical issues. Underlying this debate is a fundamental tension between two competing conceptions of scientific inquiry: the consensual view of science versus the dissension view. Under the consensual approach, the goal of science is a consensus of rational opinion over the widest possible field. The opposing view of science is that of dissension, whereby scientific progress occurs via subversion of consensus in favor of new experiments, ideas and theories. The third view of science, questions the entire notion of scientific progress”

        Why does this moshpit altered paragraph make sense?
        Well, it makes sense because the writer hasnt asserted, as one does in a false dichotomy, that there are only two alternatives. Typically, false dichotomy functions by saying There are two choices A or B. B is illogical for the following reasons. Therefore A. That is the structure of an argument from false dichotomy. Im a sophist, trust me.

        I actually think Judith has it wrong. I dont think there are two notions of science underlying the debate. There are two characterizations of science used in the debate.. broadly speaking myths we have about actual science behavior. They are stories we tell ourselves and each other about science upon reflection to win arguments. For the most part when people are doing science, they are just doing it.

      • Steven Mosher said:

        “There are two characterizations of science used in the debate.. broadly speaking myths we have about actual science behavior. They are stories we tell ourselves and each other about science upon reflection to win arguments. For the most part when people are doing science, they are just doing it.”

        The most honest comment about science I have seen for months. Period. Thank you.

      • Moshpit,

        I mostly agree with your characterization of science.

        Quite frankly, I could not care less to parse Judy’s post furthermore. Joshua obviously should have meant dichotomy simpliciter , and not false dilemma. There’s no such thing as a true dichotomy.

        In any case, if Joshua ever wanted to formulate a constructive criticism to Judy, he could have taken a different stance than the one he did. His despair of conversing with Judy is arguably justified.

        ***

        Nevertheless, you have to admit that:

        > Holy false dichotomy, Batman!

        was funny. I don’t think it’s my youngest spends half of his awaken hours dressed in Batman (he even mimicks his somber, tragic gaze) alone explains why I still find it funny.

        In fact, it’s more than funny. Please recall that Robin’s biggest talent was to invent such superlative:

        http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/12/28/holy-batman/

        This has the potential to become a very amusing meme machine.

      • David Springer

        Holy Copycats, Batman!

        David Springer | September 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply

        Holy canned editors, Batman!

      • David Springer

        I have grandchildren too old to be wearing batman costumes.

        I watched the original b/w broadcasts of Batman and was old enough at the time to think it was pretty stupid. I watched mostly because we only had two channels. The “Holy Whatever, Batman!” line was an instant classic however.

        I never liked comic books much either vastly preferring Reader’s Digest in pre-teen years. I’m Am Joe’s Fond Memories.

      • Springer –

        Holy Copycats, Batman!

        I never read your post. You’re actually not the center of the universe.

        Once again, you draw a mistaken conclusion based on insufficient evidence.You really have a habit of doing that, don’t you?

      • David Springer

        Yeah sure you didn’t read it. You go ahead and keep on telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, coward.

      • Steven Mosher

        ya the comment was funny.
        Yes Joshua is frustrated in his attempts to have a dialog with Judith.
        I put that down to his unreflective use of appeals to “motivated reasoning”

        One thing is clear. To establish, via test, that human perception and cognition is subject to bias from motivational structures, presupposes a position outside these influences to even set up the test. That is, we have to posit that there is a point of view free of bias to establish that there is bias. This is fundamental for example in constructing a test where two tribes watch the same play and judge the rightness or wrongness of a particular call. Somebody has to pick the test material.
        Why does this matter? It matters because underlying the science of bias, is the tacit assumption that there is a bias free viewpoint.

        In all of Joshua’s interactions with Judith he never grants her the benefit of the doubt. He never works from the assumption that she might actually be in possession of a relatively bias free viewpoint, or a view point where she has made a diligent effort to control for her bias.

        The attribution of bias to a partner in dialogue is often justified. But ordinarily we justify it after granting the other side the benefit of the doubt and excluding all other possible explanations for why they hold the position they do. After I have exhausted all other explanations, for lets say, Dave Springer’s unwillingness to reason together, I might explain it to myself in terms of his bias or his motivated reasoning. This is an explanation for his behavior not a statement of fact. That explanation would give me reason not to discuss things with him anymore.

        But if I start my dialogue with Judith or anyone else, expecting them to be biased by their motivations, I get no where. It colors every response even the responses to the charges of bias. I hold out the explanation of bias as a consequence of my interaction not as a pre requisite. To be sure, if you expect to find bias, you will most assuredly find it.

      • steven –

        One thing is clear. To establish, via test, that human perception and cognition is subject to bias from motivational structures, presupposes a position outside these influences to even set up the test. That is, we have to posit that there is a point of view free of bias to establish that there is bias.

        Even if that were true, and I don’t think that it is, my contention with Judith and others is that her (and their) arguments are based on an assertion of a “vast asymmetry” in either the degree of bias or the impact of bias on the different sides of the debate. Such an assertion might be valid, but to be stated as a viable conclusion the assertion needs to be backed up with verified evidence. Such validation is lacking.

        If you want to engage in a discussion with me about the impact of motivated reasoning, then we should do so in the appropriate context. It’s all well and fine for you to throw down some criticism without grounding it in something that I’ve actually said – but we won’t get very far if you continue in such a vague manner.

        Let’s look back to what I said in this particular thread that relates to the notion of motivational reasoning:

        Judith first wrote a post basically misrepresenting Kahan’s study of motivated reasoning in the climate debate by focusing not on the significant findings (that more expertise tends to propel people further down the path of their original orientation) but on the insignificant findings (that “skeptics” tend to be more science or math-literate – as imperfect as that measure was in their study).

        And then she went on to dismiss the notion of the influence of motivational reasoning as an influence on “skepticism” without any scientifically or evidence-based analysis to back up her argument.

        And now she has gone on to selectively comment on the the influence of “confirmation bias” (a related concept) on the “consensus” viewpoint on climate science, again without any scientific approach to validating her argument. If she takes the notion of confirmation bias seriously it is illogical for her to dismiss the influence of motivate reasoning, and even more invalid for her to so consistently note a substantial influence of those factors when discussing the opinions of those she disagrees with. Anyone who takes motivated reasoning or confirmation bias seriously has to acknowledge the universality of those influences in how we reason – unless they can prove in some way some asymmetry both from a theoretical standpoint as well as in an evidential standpoint.

        So maybe instead of focusing the argument on me personally, you might engage with the argument that I’m presenting. I know that you’re very loyal to Judith and apparently therefore think that I should grant her some special dispensation that I wouldn’t grant anyone else. That doesn’t work for me, however, because I am a skeptic.

        But ordinarily we justify it after granting the other side the benefit of the doubt and excluding all other possible explanations for why they hold the position they do.

        IMO, it isn’t a matter of granting anyone the “benefit of a doubt.” I am asking Judith to address, with some level of seriousness, the flaws I see in her reasoning.

        He never works from the assumption that she might actually be in possession of a relatively bias free viewpoint, or a view point where she has made a diligent effort to control for her bias.

        I don’t think that anyone has a “bias-free viewpoint.” That is why I am a skeptic. I think it is theoretically possible but not likely and certainly not frequent. But regardless, whether or not I grant anyone the benefit of the doubt w/r/t having a “bias-free viewpoint” is not germane to the validity of Judith’s arguments. The validity of her arguments stands outside of my perspective on her arguments, whether my perspective is the product of my biases or not.

        So if you really want to stick up for her, do so by adding validating data or evidence to her arguments. Explain, for example, why it is valid for her to focus so selectively on the influence of confirmation bias on the “consensus” viewpoint, even as she specifically considers the question of the related phenomenon of motivated reasoning affecting the arguments of “skeptics” to be only so much bulls–t?

      • Sorry for taking a break to prepare my house for Sandy. Please excuse, but this if the first break I’ve had in two days.

        I say it’s a false dichotomy because the caricatures that Judith creates don’t exist in reality in any significant sense. She creates straw man caricatures of “consensus” and then knocks them down, and she creates idealized pictures of “the dissension” view so she doesn’t have to consider the flaws of many “skeptics.”

      • Hi joshua

        hope you and your family stay safe during the storm. unfortunate that it seems to be coinciding with a very high tide.

        tonyb

      • David Springer

        Attaboy Joshua! Ride that storm!

        Best of luck to ya. If you drown I hope a tree knocks you unconscious first so you don’t suffer much. That’s about as much charity as I can dredge up for you. Sorry, you’re just way too big of a putz for sympathy. It’s like wishing a child molester gets a fair trial. You know it’s the thing to wish for but you really wish the other inmates in the prison gut him like a fish.

      • thanks, tony.

        Not to jinx anything, but thus far it’s not too bad at my house – power not out (lights flickered a couple of times), not much water in the basement – just a minor leak, no trees down yet, although I’ve got some huge ones and they’re whipping around like crazy. Winds are just reaching their peak now (gusts up to 65 mph) and should be there ’till about 4-5:00 AM. We aren’t expecting that much more rain. Even if I lose the power to run my pumps, and the ground gets saturated, I have hope that I won’t have more than 4′ or 5 ” in water in my basement. That much or less I can handle w/o too much trouble. I may come through this in much better shape than last year’s storm “Irene.”

        Here’s the best way to get the picture:

        http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.03354&lon=-75.1749671&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical

        My partner’s parent’s house in Northern Jersey just got hit by a tree that broke through the bedroom wall – sounds pretty major, they’re getting up in years and not in great health but they have two children that live nearby so they’ll be OK although their house isn’t.

        Looks like NY and other coastal areas are getting slammed pretty bad. Just heard that cars are floating around in the East Village. This is one storm that may just come close to living up to the hype.

      • Wow! Gusts in NYC up to 80 mph.

        The economic cost of this storm should be substantial. Interesting to watch federal government haters like Christie singing a different tune asking for fed help. Let’s hope that Romney, if he gets elected, doesn’t maintain his ant-FEMA policies (of course, he has changed on virtually all his other stances so he may well do so on that issue also).

      • Joshua,

        the caricatures that Judith creates don’t exist in reality in any significant sense. She creates straw man caricatures of “consensus”

        Are you denying that the CAGW crowd are not continually telling us that there is a consensus of scientists that CAGW is real and the consequences are likely to be serious bla bla bla fill in the dots – e.g. a real threat to all we have and even to life on Earth.

        Are you denying that climate scientists don’t repeatedly state there is a consensus of climate scientist who believe the climate scientists (or however you want to say it)?

      • Peter

        Are you denying that the CAGW crowd are not continually telling us that there is a consensus of scientists that CAGW is real and the consequences are likely to be serious bla bla bla fill in the dots – e.g. a real threat to all we have and even to life on Earth.

        No.

      • “because the caricatures that Judith creates don’t exist in reality in any significant sense” – Joshua.

        My thoughts exactly – Judith is shadow-boxing with caricatures.

      • This being the case, what kind of caricatures do you think you two most resemble Michael?

      • Joshua

        I see David Springer is very concerned for your safety as well….

        Let us know how you get on and the situation with your parents house. All the best

        Tonyb

      • David Springer

        Your “partner”. Well that explains the misogyny. I suspected as much.

        Here’s a clue for you. Christie has an obligation to request federal money because the citizens of New Jersey have already paid for the aid. It’s the only way they can get part of the their money back and they deserve to get it back. The problem is bureaucrats in Washington take a cut of the money for doing nothing so the states don’t get back what they put in after they pay the salaries, perks, and generous retirement plans of the federal employees who manage the funds. Federalists like me believe it’s better to let states determine how they want to tax and spend their own citizen’s money. It’s called state’s rights and is spelled out in the US constitution’s Bill of Rights where it says The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        Write that down.

      • Springer –

        Your “partner”. Well that explains the misogyny. I suspected as much.

        Getting you to jump through hoops is like playing with a well-trained seal.Throw you a little cyber-fish and you jump through right on command.

        I usually use the term girlfriend but in this case used partner because knew that you’d go a jumping, and formulate yet another conclusion with insufficient evidence.

        It seems that you are inexhaustible. Don’t you ever get tired of proving my point for me?

    • I actually think Judith has it wrong. I dont think there are two notions of science underlying the debate. There are two characterizations of science used in the debate.. broadly speaking myths we have about actual science behavior.

      Actually, I wrote my comment above (7:37) before I saw the 6:01 comment from you and the follow-on exchange with willard. I think that between the two of you, you have covered the points I was trying to address.

  30. Warmist Stephan Lewandowsky resurfaces: Now he writes an unreviewed blog post suggesting that we shouldn’t trust unreviewed blog posts

    It also explains why climate deniers expend considerable effort to negate the existence of that consensus, using the usual array of deceptive techniques such as pseudo-experts, or pointing to unreviewed blog-posts as “evidence” for their contrarian positions.
    http://tomnelson.blogspot.ca/2012/10/warmist-stephan-lewandowsky-resurfaces.html

    Hilarious :)

    • Brant,

      Laughter is good for the soul.

      I agree that Lew’s post is un-pier-reviewed. That said, I’m not sure if this matters much:

      > There are a number of interesting aspects to the results, and I am highlighting three that I find particularly noteworthy or intriguing.

      Lew’s post is more a shoutout than a commentary.

      • willard,

        Interesting that you seem to have such a canny sense of “Lew’s” state of mind together with an unexpected, stand-up, stick-up-for-Lew!, quck-draw reflex . Hmmm…

        So, willard, just thinking out loud:

        -Lew is perhaps some sort of gee-we-sure-had-some-real-blow-out-wild-and-crazy-grab-ass-good-times-together-in-that-can’t-get-a-date-leper-colony-dork-pit-fraternity-of-ours!–didn’t-we? good-buddy of yours for whom you’ve retained an enduring, frat-rat, palsy-walsy regard? Warm?

        -Or, alternatively, Lew is perhaps a doofus-screw-up, idiot brother-in-law of yours whom you grudgingly help out as the need arises for the sake of your poor sister who, against everyone’s advice and warnings, married the moronic bozo anyway? Warmer?

        -Or, just possibly, Lew and you, willard, are Siamese twins? Warmist?

      • mike,

        Thank you for the kind words and the intriguing conjecture.

        Perhaps there’s a simpler explanation. Basic familiarity with reporting might suffice to understand of what Lew does in that post.

        Have you read it yourself?

      • Steven Mosher

        see willard practice charity. he does so selectively.

      • see Moshpit targets me. he has little else.

      • David Springer

        Douchebag vs. Douchebag

        Very fine entainment. Gentlemen my hat is off to you.

      • And Springer makes it a “ménage à twat”

      • And Howard…?

      • Steven Mosher

        I actually like the principle of charity. I like when you practice it. I’m amused when you don’t. Think of this as an object lesson. on any given day I can come to a willard comment and chances are he is not practicing what he promotes

        How is this this related to the topic at hand.

        Its simple … come on..

      • My own charity is not related to brent’s comment.
        Something else might be at work here.
        Arguably something quite threatening.

      • willard,

        Yr: “Arguably something quite threatening.”

        You know, willard, your comments often leave me with the slightly eerie and uncomfortable feeling that I’m dealing, in you, with some sort of Krell-like, higher intelligence and that us useless-eater denier-helots on this blog are like your lab-rat equivalents in some one or another of your Ascended-Master, Philosopher-King experiments and that fan is like your “Igor”-inspired, really-creepy, cyborg-gofer, lab-assistant creation and that lolwot is, like, your Robbie-the-Retard-Robot, private-joke sidekick.

        And, in that regard, I somehow can’t shake the further feeling that more often than not your comments have no rational content but are intentionally obscure, provocative, and equivocal nonsense. Almost, even, as if your comments might be, like, you know, a bunch of super-sophisticated, mind-freaking, verbal-Rorschach-ink-blot-like, zinger-assaults on the very sanity of us tacky, un-illuminated, anti-science Morlocks who think Michael Mann is a litigious, pudge-muffin, Mr. Smarty-Pants crybaby and that he has recently made a complete, Nobel-laureate-wannabe, freak-show fool of himself to our immense, vulgar-peasant hyper-amusement.

        But my sense of the matter might be misguided, I realize.

      • Steven Mosher

        I see nothing threatening at play willard.
        What I see is simple.
        I see a reader over reading Dr. Lew’s post.
        I see you point that out and give a good alternative reading. It’s just a shout out.

        I think your observation is apt wrt dr. Loo.
        I note that you rarely take this charitable approach to others.

        That is all.

      • David Springer

        I didn’t nickname him Creepy Willard for nothing, pal.

      • Moshpit,

        Fair enough.

        I dig that you’re on that charity mission and
        will take the point, because it’s an ideal that has value.

        Please do not mistake mischievousness for unkindness.
        I try to keep my doodles sanguine and constructive,
        (a combination which seems to mesmerize mike)
        if only because I agree with The Benshi:

        > [B]ut who wants to read through all the off-topic dreck and frequent belligerence.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/1204304526

        Enough of me for the evening
        And in fact for a while: my neverending audit
        nears its end: 3333 posts
        ought to be enough.

        Too much to do, so little time.
        Science is corrupt.
        Yup.

        PS: I hope Bart R will tag me at Judy’s after my “David Rose Lies on the Mat” serie.

      • David Springer

        Howard | October 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

        “And Springer makes it a “ménage à twat””

        Props where props are due I always say.

        +1

      • David Springer

        So on your planet “never” comes along in about three years?

        http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com

      • David Springer

        http://web.archive.org/web/20100114142333/http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/

        The first time neverendingaudit was crawled (1-14-2010) there are ten quotes on the page. Three of those quotes belong to Mosher.

        Is there bromance in the air or is this yet another sad tale of unrequited love?

        Tune in next Monday to “Two and a Half Douchbags” to find out!

        .

      • David,

        Here’s a nice story for you (I hope Tom pays attention):

        > While living at Walden, a visitor one day asked Henry David Thoreau did he read the story in the paper about the man in Concord who committed suicide. “I don’t need to read the story”, he answered, “I understand the principle.”

        http://www.theawl.com/2012/06/how-silence-works-trappist-monks

        Replace “suicide” with “character assassination”, and you get what I believe is the main game being played, including here.

        (And no, Mosphit, there is no double standard: my tumblog never had the intention, nor the impact, nor the weaponry. It’s only a computer model, so to speak.)

        You could say that it took me three more years than that other David.

        There is also this quote I stumbled upon recently, by a guy who wrote many other things than twisted Oliver’s **1984**:

        > Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/34541152967

        I hope one day you’ll realize what it is to live without this sense of impotence.

        Due diligence,

        w

      • David Springer

        I hope someday you can learn to not take yourself so seriously.

      • A more plausible possibility, David, would be my need to stay in character, who is both terse and turgid; for whom language is a social art, and for whom style matters, a value that has currency on the Internet, a process that approximates eternity.

      • David Springer

        mike | October 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

        willard,

        Yr: “Arguably something quite threatening.”

        You know, willard, your comments often leave me with the slightly eerie and uncomfortable feeling that I’m dealing, in you, with some sort of Krell-like

        …..

        Awesome. It gets better every time I read it.

      • David Springer

        I’m sticking with my initial assessment that your “character” is that of being not wrapped too tight. But whatever. I don’t pretend to understand the mentally unbalanced. I just try to avoid them which I was doing quite well in your case until you decided you needed to focus your attention on me. That was a mistake on your part.

      • Springer,

        I believe that you’re the one Standing so close to me. And when I say “I believe”, that means I could document it. Please look up “Archivist” in the Flame Warriors roster.

        And now you’re denying dropping off the glove first. I offered a fair warning and you still wanted to instigate a brawl. I tried my best to stay gentle while threading on you, as the poet implored.

        Don’t you think you’ve had enough? There’s nothing in it for me. At least Peter Davies enjoyed it.

        You’re not a Big Dog, and perhaps never will. The best you could target is to become an affectionate troglodyte. Please mind your manners. Just a bit.

        Goodbye,

        w

      • mike,

        When I was talking about something “threatening”, I was alluding to a pinteresque comedy of menace:

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

        Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    • Yeah, that’s it: the Auatralian/American Chemical Society of India Pale Ale Guzzlers deserve so much respect for endorsing modern trends in the use of pseudo-science in the Western world to forward the socio-political goals of the Left and the Governmental-Education Complex.

    • brent | October 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm said: ”It also explains why climate deniers expend considerable effort to negate the existence of that consensus.

      Brent, if somebody ”denies” that climate is changing; he needs a shrink! Big / small / localized / global climatic changes are constant. Climate never stopped changing for one day in 4 billion years =========== Confusing climatic changes with the phony GLOBAL warmings – is the root of the crime. ”Denying” GLOBAL warmings is one thing; – because they are concocted lies, ”denying climatic changes is the sick / expensive / ignorant / destructive joke.

      Warmist branded the nutters as: ”Climate Change Deniers”. to show to the world that, they are a common sense deficient loonies. Same as branding somebody a ”denier” that the moon is spinning around the earth – because those loonies cannot distinguish between ”the universe spinning around the earth”, from ”the moon is spinning around the earth”. Can you get it? one is real, the other is not;
      http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/climate/

    • David Springer

      brent | October 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply

      Warmist Stephan Lewandowsky resurfaces: Now he writes an unreviewed blog post suggesting that we shouldn’t trust unreviewed Real Climate, Skeptical Science, Science Blogs.*, etc. blog posts.

      After fixing that for Big Lew I agree completely!

      Throw in pal reviewed journals, liberal media, and old Europe too then me and Big Lew will have reached a consensus.

  31. If the objective of scientific research is to obtain truth and avoid error, how might a consensus seeking process introduce bias into the science and increase the chances for error?

    Interesting, Judith, that only seem to think that confirmation bias only affects the IPCC. Also interesting that you think that motivated reasoning doesn’t pass at est ofyour BS meter, but that here you talk about confirmation bias.

    When will you ever stop being so selective in how you apply criteria, Judith?

    • This is even less coherent than usual, anonymous Joshua; too much Sunday dinner wine, perhaps? It is, however, consistent with your unrelenting animus against Judith. But honestly, man – if that’s what you are – do you have nothing more to contribute?

    • Steven Mosher

      have you stopped beating your wife. practice charity Joshua. Show us you understand Judiths perspective.

      • John Carpenter

        More like has he stopped beating his dead hobby horse. Joshua chooses not to understand her perspective… it is a concerted effort on his part. If he chose to understand her perspective, he would lose out on beating his hobby horse to death again.

    • Joshua, when did you stop beating your wife? If you wonder why I would ask, re-read your post!

    • David Springer

      I Am Joe’s Misogynistic Anonymous Coward

  32. The J. A. Curry and P.J. Webster paper said,

    The manufactured consensus of the IPCC has had the unintended consequences of distorting the science, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by the consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Judith Curry,

    Your ‘readers digest’ version still was ‘over-verbiaged’ to the detriment of inhibiting clear understanding.

    That said, I philosophically like very much the thrust of your research that seems to find that the only real approach that an open and free society will ever voluntarily accept is an open and transparent pursuit of and debate on the totality diverse inclusion of all the climate science community.

    Thanks for your efforts to bring debate and openly transparent science out.

    John

    • John, if you’re going to chide Judith for her prose, why say

      “…to the detriment of inhibiting clear understanding.”

      when you could have said

      “…to the detriment of its clarity.”? – which would have been both grammatically correct, less verbose and, um, clear?

      And what on earth does “…transparent pursuit of and debate on the totality diverse inclusion of all the climate science community.” mean?

      eeesh…

      • tomf0p,

        You are correct. My wording / grammar was goofy as is sometimes the case. I knew it two seconds after pressing the comment submit button. Should have corrected it. The US baseball world series game 4 distraction was not an excuse. : )

        No disrespect to Judith meant by my lax prose.

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had a person proofreading before we send?

        John

      • Judith Curry,

        Your ‘readers digest’ version still was ‘over-verbiaged’ which I think inhibits clear understanding.

        That said, I philosophically like very much the thrust of your research. You seem to say that the only real approach that an open and free society will ever voluntarily accept is a vigorously open and transparent climate science process that includes of all the climate science community.

        Thanks for your efforts to champion both the debate and more openly transparent climate science.

        John

      • NOTE: That comment is a revised version of a previous comment @ October 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm . The revision is based on editorial like comments by tomf0p @ October 29, 2012 at 1:39 am. Thanks tomf0p!

        John

  33. The manufactured consensus of the IPCC has had the unintended consequences of distorting the science.

    The IPCC climate science was distorted by smoothing out the multidecadal oscillation in global mean temperature before 1970 and claiming the warming phase of the multidecadal oscillation after 1970 is man-made as shown.

    http://bit.ly/OaemsT

    This is the hockey stick for the climate of the 20th century. Before 1970, the multi-model mean represented the secular GMST. However, after 1970 the multi-model mean represented the warming phase of the multidecadal oscillation. The handle of the hockey stick is the secular GMST before 1970. The blade of the hockey stick is the warming phase of the multidecadal oscillation since 1970.

    This distortion allowed to exaggerate the climate sensitivity by the ratio of the trends after and before 1970 by 0.2/0.06 = 3.3, which gives true climate sensitivity of 3/3.33 = 0.9 deg C for doubling of CO2.

    This is distortion of science.

  34. Reproduceable results to testable hypotheses.
    That is all.

  35. “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century” WOW!

    should state: ”most of the IMAGINED increase in global average temperature”

    1] nobody knows what is ”the average temperature” One cannot compare one unknown with another unknown. Nobody knows what was last year’s temp; how can one know what was the WHOLE GLOBAL temp 60y ago?

    IPCC shouldn’t be blamed – demand controls supply of bullshine. 1] Without knowing what’s the temp on the WHOLE planet – but calling it GLOBAL; temperature, should be enough proof of dishonesty. 2] monitoring on few places, B] only the hottest minute, but ignoring the other 1439 minutes = prove of the scam. 3] the monitoring places are NOT evenly distributed; if between two monitoring places is 100km, and temp goes up by 2C, but between next two monitoring places distance is 1500km, and temp goes down by 0,5C -> statistic would show increase in temperature; even though is decreasing. 4] the S/H has less than 25% of the monitoring places – N/H 75% … what a science… what a scam… 5] thermometer can monitor room temp, but one thermometer for 50000km2… what a sick joke…Unless the two hurdles are crossed = the whole conspiracy is the biggest crime ever::: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/unavoidable-two-hurdles-to-cross/ .
    THE TRUTH ALWAYS WINS ON THE END

  36. Judith,

    The use of ‘denier’ to label anyone who disagrees with the IPCC consensus on attribution leads to concerns being raised about the IPCC being enforced as dogma, which is tied to how dissent is dealt with.

    I’m just wondering if you’ve ever discussed this with Prof Lindzen whenever you’ve been discussing tactics in your Republican climate team?

    He likes the term ‘denier’. He prefers it to ‘sceptic’. Listen to just after 9:30 on:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p009yfwl/One_Planet_Climate_change_pot_plants_and_small_frogs/

    • When you are losing on the science just go below the belt. Sad. Really sad. On the other hand a tried and tested tactic to divert attention from losing the intellectual battle.

    • dennis adams,
      ??

      Was this meant as a reply to the above or did you post this here by mistake?

  37. Dang, should I read Judith’s short paper first or the centralising-government style 320-Page White Paper on “Australia in the Asian Century.” Mmm, hard choice …

    • Faustino,

      I reckon I may be able to help you with that choice. Here is a short article on the 320-Page White Paper on “Australia in the Asian Century.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/meaningless-promises-replete-with-pure-spin/story-fng5k1ek-1226504883718 . Once you’ve read it I reckon you will focus on Judith’s paper instead.

      It is behind a paywall so I hope it is acceptable to post it in full. The connection to this thread is that it shows how spin is being used to win elections instead of focusing on good policy –climate change politics is also being spun and used for political advantage.

      Meaningless promises, replete with pure spin

      THE Gillard government white paper on Asia is a fraud. On every level, it is a con job. The government is having a lend of us. Its only admirable quality is its chutzpah.

      No Australian government since that of Billy McMahon has done less to increase the level of Asian engagement it inherited when coming to office than the Gillard government.

      Some of the white paper is conceptually confused and silly. Is there another nation in the world that so frequently tries to make out lists of the nations most important to it?

      This pathetic and obsessive list making is a sign of a deep intellectual insecurity. It’s also a sign of government failure.

      Much of the paper itself, and many of Julia Gillard’s statements regarding it, are banal recitations of the obvious. By golly, Asia will have a big middle class by 2025 and that middle class will have a lot of money to spend. We hope they spend it in Australia.

      But beyond these windy cliches and vague generalisations, we are entitled to ask of this government: where’s the beef, Jack? The answer is, there is no beef.

      Much more important than what it says, is what the government does.

      The white paper, and the Prime Minister herself, make much of the need for Asian education, and specifically for Asian languages.

      Yet the Gillard government has overseen a catastrophic decline in Indonesian language study at school and university, to take one example. There are in absolute numbers fewer Year 12 students studying Indonesian today than there were in the last years of the White Australia policy.

      Altogether a truly dismal 6 per cent of Year 12 students study an Asian language in Australia, and a vast number of these are ethnic Asian students studying their homeland tongue.

      The Rudd and Gillard governments have progressively cut funding for Asian languages. And what is the white paper solution? The magic fool’s gold of the National Broadband Network, for God’s sake.

      When Gillard was asked at her press conference why there was no funding for Asian language studies in the paper, she replied that there wouldn’t need to be actual teachers at actual schools. Australian kids will get access to Asian languages through the NBN. If that is the case, why should we bother to have English, history or maths teachers at schools either?

      The white paper is full of such meaningless promises and measureless metrics. One-third of corporate board members and senior public service leaders will have deep experience of Asia by 2025, it tells us. This will presumably mean introductory Chinese in infants’ school, NBN chats with a high school in Tokyo and a holiday in Bali. It’s as good a measure as any offered in the white paper.

      The paper airily talks of new embassies in Mongolia and diplomatic missions in Thailand and eastern Indonesia. Any funding for that? Nope.

      And what is the actual record? The last budget cut between 100 and 150 positions from the Foreign Affairs Department. We have the smallest diplomatic service of any G20 nation and one of the smallest, per capita, in the developed world.

      Gillard and most of her ministers have a very poor pattern of travel throughout Southeast Asia. Our diplomatic resources are in shocking decline. Our consular workload has ballooned. We will now have to provide two dozen odd new positions to staff our meaningless presence on the UN Security Council, but with no serious new resources for DFAT. Our aid budget has exploded beyond $5 billion while our diplomatic network is strained beyond reason.

      Why? Because every aid announcement gives the government a positive effect in the 24-hour news cycle. The hard slog of diplomacy gets no such dividend. So the hard slog is ignored. The fairy floss is everything.

      The lame, bowdlerised section on regional security misses one vital reality. In 2009, the government, in a solemn commitment in a much more serious white paper, pledged to resource the Australian Defence Force, based on a deep understanding of the regional security outlook. It pledged a hard funding commitment to match that. What happened? This year’s budget cut defence by 10 per cent, producing the lowest defence spend as a proportion of national wealth since 1938. You think the region didn’t notice that?

      This white paper is pure spin. It is an emperor whose nakedness is epic.

      • Yes, Peter, I’d read Sheridan’s take on it.

      • Pater, a Peter Smith in Quadrant suggested that “A simple rule for governments to follow is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to produce things that other businesses or people will be prepared to pay their hard-earned cash to buy. All economic policies should be measured against this “good economics” benchmark.” The White Paper eschews this advice.

      • Faustino,

        I expect the latest government White Paper on Asia integration does make many apparently sensible statements like the one you mentioned.

        However, there is a big difference between including such statements in a ‘White Paper” and demonstrating by their actions they believe and are genuinely committed to such polices.

        It is very easy to take pieces of good advice and dress them up in spin and call them a policy. However, I find it hard to trust them given the history of the White Papers produced by this government so far? They are basically ‘spin’ documents. Here are two examples:

        First, the Government’s white paper on Energy assumes 75% of Australia’s electricity will be generated by technologies that do not currently exist or are unlikely to be viable in the foreseeable future.

        Second, the Government produced a white paper on Australia’s Defence in 2009. It was well regarded. It committed to 3% pa real growth in defence spending for several decades. It was for new submarines, ships, aircraft, army, electronic weapons, communications and interoperability with our allies. However, in the 2012 budget the government made massive cuts to the Defence budget and back tracked on everything. It cut back Australia’s Defence budget as a proportion of GDP to levels it was at in 1938, before the start of WWII (when everyone believed in peace and pacifism). The government used the money it extracted from Defence budget to hand out as welfare payments and bribes to like the carbon tax.

        Payment Advice – Household Assistance

        This advance lump sum payment will help you prepare for the introduction of the carbon price …

        Given all this, and given that every government in trouble tries to sdistract the electorate by rolling out a new vision for our integration with Asia, I can’t see the value in spending time on this 320 page document of what will inevitable be pure spin and just a rehash of all the previous White Papers on integration with Asia, or whatever they are called.

  38. JC,

    I like this readers digest. Its great.

    Arguments are increasingly being made to abandon the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate of the arguments themselves and discussion of a broad range of policy options that stimulate local and regional solutions to the multifaceted and interrelated issues of climate change, land use, resource management, cost effective clean energy solutions, and developing technologies to expand energy access efficiently.

    ‘Yes’ to that.

    Rather than choosing an optimal policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent. Robust strategies formally consider uncertainty, whereby decision makers seek to reduce the range of possible scenarios over which the strategy performs poorly. Flexible strategies are adaptive, and can be quickly adjusted to advancing scientific insights.

    And ‘Yes’ to that too.

    Next steps:

    IPCC AR4 be totally open and honest – admit to their BS and confess all their past sins! :)

    Royal Society, and all the various Academy of Sciences dump their policies advocating CAGW and confess their sins

    Australian Government – dump the Carbon Tax and ETS and dump their wasteful and economy damaging policies of subsidising renewable energy and mandating it so consumers have to subsidise it (by tow to ten times the cost of conventional power.

    Australian governments and local governments – dump their policies that have seriously damaged people’s wealth but virtually making their houses worthless in places where the local council has proclaimed projected sea level rises preclude development, and effectively preclude sale of their houses – in many cases they are their life’s savings.

    • Peter,

      Even the readers digest “Rather than choosing an optimal policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.” is a loaded statement. It presumes a (pro-AGW?) consensus from which there is dissent. Surely the position we want is that of no consensus whatsoever, so an open scientific debate and continued discovery can be conducted.

      • Ilma,

        Surely the position we want is that of no consensus whatsoever, so an open scientific debate and continued discovery can be conducted.

        Yes, I take your point. My opening sentence should have said:

        “I like this readers digest format. It’s great.”

        While agreeing with you on that specific point, I do believe the author should be given a great deal of credit for her ability to communicate with many climate scientists and for highlighting the consequences of the consensus approach on climate science and the effect it is having on the policy debate. Judith has been doing this. She should be given credit and support.

        I agree with this part of Judith’s statement you quoted:

        “decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.”

        Judith is doing a good job of making scientists aware that the policy prescriptions many of them and IPCC have been advocating are not appropriate.

        If AR5 is less biased towards promoting economically irrational and impractical policies than AR4 was, Judith should be given credit for her role in such change. We can only hope. In the meantime we can keep supporting progress towards better policies.

  39. The BASICs of denialism?

    Declare Variables (something is happening) .etc……
    10 (Nothing is happening) IS TRUE
    20 IF (Something is happening) IS TRUE, THEN (but it’s natural) IS TRUE
    30 IF (Something unnatural is happenening) is TRUE, THEN (but it’s good) IS TRUE
    40 IF (Something bad was happening) IS TRUE, AND T > 1998 THEN (Something Bad is no longer happening) IS TRUE
    45 IF (something bad is happening) IS TRUE, THEN (Who cares about polar bears anyway) IS TRUE
    50 IF (Something bad is happening) IS TRUE, THEN Remedial Cost >> Affordable Cost
    60 On ERROR ((Something bad) could be happening or not happening) [REM SYNTAX uncertainty] GOTO 10

  40. Judith: Off-topic, but I would be interested in hearing about the reliability of predictions that Sandy is about to make a sharp turn to the west and make landfall at an unprecedented manner (perpendicular to the New Jersey coast, perhaps 30 miles inland from where I live.) A day later it is projected to turn north and return to its previous course. In the mid-Atlantic region we usually experience fairly straight northerly tracks that bend towards the east that seem very different from those in the tropics. Are the forces that steer hurricanes this far north the same as in the tropics? The predicted course changes are attributed to a major front moving in from the west, a phenomena that may not be common in the Gulf or Caribbean.

    • Frank, my company CFAN makes hurricane predictions. We predicted the formation of Sandy on Oct 16 and have pretty much had the correct track since Oct 23. We have been conducting briefings for the energy/power sector (our main clients). We have also been predicting the large size and large storm surge for the past week. This storm has been pretty predictable. The track has now started its turn. The track is driven by the atmospheric circulation patterns, so once the storm makes it to the higher latitudes, it is subject the whims of the midlatitude weather patterns. We also do see fronts affecting the Gulf storm; a classic example this past year was Debby, which originally looked like it would track into the Gulf, but then turned right across Florida.

  41. It is difficult to avoid concluding that the IPCC consensus is manufactured and that the existence of this consensus does not lend intellectual substance to their conclusions.

    Insiders evidence for the above statment:

    First let me say that in general, as my own opinion, I feel rather unconfortable about using not only unpublished but also un reviewed material as the backbone of our conclusions (or any conclusions).
    I realize that chapter 9 is including SRES stuff, and thus we can and need to do that too, but the fact is that in doing so the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results.

    The softened condition that the models themself have to be published does not even apply because the Japanese model for example is very different from the published one which gave results not even close to the actual outlier version (in the old dataset the CCC model was the outlier).

    Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes. I think this will set a dangerous precedent which might mine the IPCC credibility, and I am a bit uncomfortable that now nearly everybody seems to think that it is just ok to do this. Anyways, this is only my opinion for what it is worth.

    http://bit.ly/ultFkQ

  42. lemiere jacques

    well, i don’t agree with the fact that the earth orbits the sun , i d better say a frame centered on the sun makes the desctiption of motion of the planets more simple, then, the eath orbits the sun… for any terrestrial inahbitant, it is obvious the sun orbits the earth!

    And well please prove me that sun orbits the earth is more false(!) then earth orbits the earth!

  43. Sorry but I think you are all crazy, scientists and all .. arguing about consensus, we should put it in the hand of businessmen and we’ll get something done, instead of petulant arguing. Don’t you believe the data are you blind, have you lost your minds ? even civil engineers and risk management have accepted AGW. Its a fact accept it get over it… You think scientists are special or something ..get real

    • We are cooling, Bob; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
      ===============

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Bob,
      The reinsurance industry is making billions off of high storm loss premiums. They also fund the studies that justify the rates. For starters.
      Shallow declarations like ‘you are all crazy’ are just a lazy guy’s way toignore the evidence.

      • Hunter

        If an insurance company was actually making the sums that you suggest, then another insurance company would offer insurance at a slightly lower cost and increase their market share.

      • Two economists are standing on the street together, and one of them sees a $20 bill in the gutter. He says, “I’m going to go get that $20 bill lying in the gutter.” The other economist says, “That can’t be a real $20 bill. Someone would have already picked it up.”

  44. Denial functions to protect the ego from things that the individual cannot cope with. While this may save us from anxiety or pain, denial also requires a substantial investment of energy. Because of this, other defenses are also used to keep these unacceptable feelings from consciousness. We know that climate change is hard to accept because it is complex, long drawn out, challenging to our world views and without a clear external enemy.

    • Are you denying all climate change but anthropogenic climate change?
      ================

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Bob,
      I would suggest you are deomonstrating ego protection rather well.

    • Steven Mosher

      denial also functions to keep your hand out of my wallet.
      Now, perhaps we should discuss AGW in terms of anxiety disorder.

      Psychologizing ones opponents is a stupid pet trick. bad dog.

    • Bob, you get to win every argument you have if you get to give both sides. Moreover claiming people who don’t agree with you are somehow en masse mentally defective smacks of fanatacism of the first order.

      You clearly have no idea what “deniers” are denying. It most certainly isn’t climate change, in fact if anyone is denying climate change in this debate it’s those who seem to believe that it has never happened before and therefore must be unnatural and caused by evil humans.

      There probably isn’t a sceptic alive who denies climate change, yet you pontificate on their mental state in being in denial of climate change.

      The argument isn’t about whether humans cause the climate to change it’s about how much they cause it to change and whether it will be catastrophic when it does. My own position is that we have no convincing proof that the rise in temperature at the end of the 20th century was caused mostly by human emissions. But even if it was we are looking at a rise of 1C for 560ppm.

      In any event, I don’t believe that CO2 output will be reduced anytime soon because out here on planet earth we have India, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa pulling millions of people out of abject policy and they’re not going to cut back on emissions on the basis of catastrophic doom-laden forecast when their lives are already worse than the forecasts.

      As for the “prophecies and prophets” (all religions have them), Let’s see what they say about their abilitiy to forecast the future:

      “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

      IPCC Working Group I: The Scientific Basis, Third Assessment Report (TAR), Chapter 14 (final para., 14.2.2.2), p774. (h/t JunkScience).

      There you are in their own words, they cannot predict the future and you tell us that anyone who doesn’t believe this is mentally ill.

      • Please don’t overstate your case. Plenty of skeptics at least doubt, and surely some deny, that climate change is presently happening–and some do so for good (if not thoroughly sufficient) reasons. At this point, there are sufficient reasons to question the quality and integrity of the underlying temperature data to at least remain agnostic on what we have observed. Furthermore, what we have observed is insufficient to convincingly prove much of anything about “global average temperature.” Investigation of ocean heat content will greatly improve our knowledge and understanding, I expect, but the other side of that coin is a confession that there is room to greatly improve them.

  45. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Modes of Denialism in Climate-Change Risk Assessment

    Abstract  Neglect of the existing scientific literature relating to the evolution of scientific consensus is a pernicious mode of climate-change denialism.

    —————–

    Background  A PUBMED search for scientific review articles containing the keywords “consensus” and “smoking” finds 217 examples.

    Example  Exemplary of this consensus-related literature is the “wicked, messy” scientific problem of tobacco addiction:

    Fighting tobacco smoking —
      a difficult but not impossible battle

    Abstract  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco-related disease is the single largest preventable cause of death in the world today, killing around 5.4 million people a year–an average of one person every six seconds. The total number of death caused by tobacco consumption is higher than that of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

    Unlike other communicable diseases, however, tobacco-related disease has a man-made consensus vector–the tobacco companies that play an active role to promote tobacco consumption, which directly heightens the disease morbidity. Any public health policy designed to curb smoking behavior has to prepare for opposite lobbying actions from tobacco companies that undermine the effects of the health measures.

    Another unique nature of the tobacco epidemic is that it can be cured, not by medicines or vaccines, but on the concerted actions of government and civil society. Many countries with a history of tobacco control measures indeed experienced a reduction of tobacco consumption. As most of these governments launched a range of measures simultaneously, it is hard to quantify the relative merits of different control strategies that contributed to the drop in the number of smokers.

    These packages of strategies can come in different forms but with some common features. Political actions with government support, funding, and protection are crucial. Without these, antismoking efforts in any part of the world are unlikely to be successful.

    Conclusion  The “wicked messy” problems associated to scientific consensus in regard to tobacco addiction evidences striking parallels with the “wicked messy” problems of scientific consensus in regard to climate-change.

    Evaluation  The article Curry-Webster analysis “Climate change: no consensus on consensus” (2012) is inexplicably derelict in its assessment of the existing consensus-related literature, and for this reason the Curry-Webster analysis is an insubstantial contribution to the climate-change debate.

    ————

    Comment  The preceding is a tough criticism of Curry-Webster (2012), yet hey … the Curry-Webster neglect of the scientific literature is plain-as-day, eh?   :shock:   :eek:   :oops:   :?:   :!:

    • “The preceding is a tough criticism of Curry-Webster (2012), yet hey … the Curry-Webster neglect of the scientific literature is plain-as-day, eh? ” –

      Sadly, yes.

      • Well frankly you put forward a very weak argument. My paper is on the philosophy and sociology of science, not on the agreements made by medical doctors on treatment procedures, which is what virtually all of these papers refer to. In medical treatments, consensus represents negotiated agreement on the best available treatment, with many replicable examples related to the effectiveness of the treatment.

        Trying to make an analogy between medical treatments and the science and policy associated with a very complex wicked problem, fraught with disagreement, large uncertainties and substantial areas of ignorance, well frankly it is not useful or illuminating particularly with regards to the science.

        In any event, my argument stands alone based upon logic, it does not require published research from the medical field as ‘evidence’

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Judith Curry asserts: “Trying to make an analogy between medical treatments and the science and policy associated with a very complex wicked problem, fraught with disagreement, large uncertainties and substantial areas of ignorance, well frankly it is not useful or illuminating particularly with regards to the science.”

        Your opions are novel, Judith!

        … that medical judgments are, somehow, *not* scientific judgments?

        … that the process(s) of arriving at medical consensus are, somehow, *not* relevant to climate-change consensus?

        Because these views are scarcely self-evident, perhaps you (and your coauthor) might give some account as to how you justify them?

        After all …

        Ars longa, vita brevis

        Vita brevis,
        ars longa,
        occasio praeceps,
        experimentum periculosum,
        iudicium difficile.

        (Life is short, the Art is long, opportunity fleeting, experience perilous, and decision difficult)

        As with the science of medicine, similarly with the science of climate-change, eh Judith?

        To refuse the teachings of fellow scientists, is to refuse all learning!   :)   :)   :)

      • David Springer

        Welcome Back John Sidles!

        You are as irrelevent, impotent, disconnected, dishonest, and tangential as ever I see.

        Please come back again when you can’t stay so long!

        Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. You know the rest.

      • Professor Curry,

        You challenge the world’s most sophisticated propaganda artists, now using public funds and Stalin’s techniques to control the entire globe instead of just the USSR.

        The Climategate emails that emerged in late Nov 2009 were the tip of a sixty-four year cancerous growth on government science after the United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945.

        Continued funding of the AGW campaign, without debate in the election campaign, shows your opponents concern for public opinion.

        Here’s a brief summary of the challenges ahead: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1581

      • “The preceding is a tough criticism of Curry-Webster (2012), yet hey … the Curry-Webster neglect of the scientific literature is plain-as-day, eh? ” – JC.

        No.

        There are significant uncertainties – the differences in disease progress, individual genetic differences in response to both disease process and response to interventions, our incomplete knowledge of the complex reality of the human body , not to mention the range of evidence available to support specific treatments.

        Systematic reviews are one of the most effective ways to deal with the latter……which is what the IPCC reviews are in essence.

        You could label Cochrane reviews and the like as ‘manufactured consensus’, but you’d be wrong.

        I’ll take a systematic review any day, over a personal view which ignores much of the relevant literature and indulges in pop-psych babble and pop-culture references.

      • Interesting how this allegedly egregious omission slipped by CAB Reviews:

        A peer-reviewed reviews journal, complementing the subject coverage of CAB Abstracts, by focusing on animal science, global health, veterinary medicine; applied plant sciences; agriculture; nutrition and food science; natural resources and environmental sciences. CAB Reviews provides scientists and students in these fields with timely analysis on key topics in current research. It is an authoritative resource that highlights cross-cutting themes.

        Their purview includes some aspects of medicine. They apparently understand the difference here between consensus based medical treatment protocols and climate science/policy.

        If you are going to insist on the analogy, then reflect on this for a moment. Consensus medical treatments and their establishment have a strict protocols and regulatory environment. Go read Andrew Montford’s latest book to understand how very far climate science and the IPCC process is from anything like this.

      • David, is Fan the self-proclaimed healer of warriors?

        http://faculty.washington.edu/sidles/FRIAS_2011/

      • Michael,

        Speaking of our brilliant Bishop’s analysis, here’s how his previous political hit job ends:

        It is clear that the public can no longer trust what they have been told. What is less clear is what we, as ordinary citizens, can do in the face of the powerful, relentless forces of corrupted science, to set things right. Awareness, however, is the essential first step.

        Truth to power, Michael. I’m sure Lord Lawson and other right-wing populists snickers when they read this [1].

        Yup.

        [1] http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/2799273653

      • C&P error in my post above.

        The quoted part should have been;
        “In medical treatments, consensus represents negotiated agreement on the best available treatment, with many replicable examples related to the effectiveness of the treatment. ” – JC.

      • Judith,

        Not sure who your 10:24am response is directed towards…..or what it means? Though the answer to the first may clarify the latter.

      • “Interesting how this allegedly egregious omission slipped by CAB Reviews:

        A peer-reviewed reviews journal, complementing the subject coverage of CAB Abstracts, by focusing on animal science, global health, veterinary medicine; applied plant sciences; agriculture; nutrition and food science; natural resources and environmental sciences. CAB Reviews provides scientists and students in these fields with timely analysis on key topics in current research. It is an authoritative resource that highlights cross-cutting themes.” – JC

        Yeah, I’m sure “Strategies for the Early Weaning of Piglets”, likewise got a testing review.

      • wonder if there is a consensus on weaning of piglets. let me know what you find out

      • If there is, I’m sure CAB Reviews will be leading with it: weaning of piglets being only slightly lower on their priorities than consensus in climate science.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Judith Carry wrongly asserts: “Consensus medical treatments and their establishment have strict protocols and regulatory environment.”

      Judith, please let me suggest that a review of present-day consensus-building best-practice will substantially augment your post’s overly-simplified appreciation of real-world scientific consensus-building!   :)   :)   :)

      (note: possibly the above NIH link is down-by-hurricane)

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        fan of ever more bs,
        Please do continue your impersonation of the naked emperor.

    • Wow. Talk about cherry-picking.

    • Steven Mosher

      Fan fails.

      Searching on the word consensus.

      Roll tape on a random sample of his googling

      BACKGROUND:
      Tobacco use has significant adverse effects on oral health. Oral health professionals in the dental office or community setting have a unique opportunity to increase tobacco abstinence rates among tobacco users.
      OBJECTIVES:
      This review assesses the effectiveness of interventions for tobacco cessation delivered by oral health professionals and offered to cigarette smokers and smokeless tobacco users in the dental office or community setting.
      SEARCH METHODS:
      We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group Specialized Register (CENTRAL), MEDLINE (1966-November 2011), EMBASE (1988-November 2011), CINAHL (1982-November 2011), Healthstar (1975-November 2011), ERIC (1967-November 2011), PsycINFO (1984-November 2011), National Technical Information Service database (NTIS, 1964-November 2011), Dissertation Abstracts Online (1861-November 2011), Database of Abstract of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE, 1995-November 2011), and Web of Science (1993-November 2011).
      SELECTION CRITERIA:
      We included randomized and pseudo-randomized clinical trials assessing tobacco cessation interventions conducted by oral health professionals in the dental office or community setting with at least six months of follow-up.
      DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:
      Two authors independently reviewed abstracts for potential inclusion and abstracted data from included trials. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. The primary outcome was abstinence from smoking or all tobacco use (for users of smokeless tobacco) at the longest follow-up, using the strictest definition of abstinence reported. The effect was summarised as an odds ratio, with correction for clustering where appropriate. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I² statistic and where appropriate a pooled effect was estimated using an inverse variance fixed-effect model.

      Strike 1

      Pulmonary Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (PLCH) is a relatively uncommon lung disease that generally, but not invariably, occurs in cigarette smokers. The pathologic hallmark of PLCH is the accumulation of Langerhans and other inflammatory cells in small airways, resulting in the formation of nodular inflammatory lesions. While the overwhelming majority of patients are smokers, mechanisms by which smoking induces this disease are not known, but likely involve a combination of events resulting in enhanced recruitment and activation of Langerhans cells in small airways. Bronchiolar inflammation may be accompanied by variable lung interstitial and vascular involvement. While cellular inflammation is prominent in early disease, more advanced stages are characterized by cystic lung destruction, cicatricial scarring of airways, and pulmonary vascular remodeling. Pulmonary function is frequently abnormal at presentation. Imaging of the chest with high resolution chest CT scanning may show characteristic nodular and cystic abnormalities. Lung biopsy is necessary for a definitive diagnosis, although may not be required in instances were imaging findings are highly characteristic. There is no general consensus regarding the role of immunosuppressive therapy in smokers with PLCH. All smokers must be counseled on the importance of smoking cessation, which may result in regression of disease and obviate the need for systemic immunosuppressive therapy. The prognosis for most patients is relatively good, particularly if longitudinal lung function testing shows stability. Complications like pneumothoraces and secondary pulmonary hypertension may shorten life expectancy. Patients with progressive disease may require lung transplantation.

      OPPS no consensus Strike 2

      Abstract
      OBJECTIVES:
      Relatively little evidence is available in the published studies on the prevention of penile cancer and premalignant conditions of the penis. The present review examined the current evidence available in preventing penile cancer and pathologic subtypes of premalignant conditions and their treatment. The recommendations made in the present review formulate the basis of the recent 2009 International Consultation on Urologic Disease Consensus Publishing Group.
      METHODS:
      The association of human papillomavirus subtypes and penile cancer is well-established, although the etiology, natural history, and treatment of premalignant lesions have mainly been reported in retrospective case series with short-term follow-up. The exact pathologic role of chronic inflammatory conditions, such as balanitis xerotica obliterans in the etiology of penile cancer remains largely unknown.
      RESULTS:
      Some of the potential strategies for the prevention of penile cancer could include circumcision, reducing the risk of transmission of penile human papillomavirus infection with male vaccination, early treatment of phimosis, smoking cessation, and hygienic measures. Implementing some of these measures would require extensive cost/benefit analysis, with significant changes in the global health policy.
      CONCLUSIONS:
      Owing to the current levels of evidence from published studies, firm guidelines cannot be formulated for the treatment of premalignant conditions, although preventative measures, such as reducing human papillomavirus transmission, could become strategic health targets.
      Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

      Arrg. dick jokes, strike 3

      basically fan, you would do well to actually cite something that was relevant about the METHODS for generating consensus. You know, go to IPCC literature and look for the authority they cited

      • SRs look at what there is evidence for, ie what the consensus is.

        What are you having trouble with exactly??

      • Steven Mosher

        As i said if the cites exist produce them. or you can continue to steal pages from the skeptic playbook and wave your arms.

      • Steven, you just reproduced some of them above.

        What point do you think you are making???

  46. Laframboise and McKitrick on the IPCC provide an interesting
    biography of the IPCC ‘Insiders’ Club,’ a self selecting group,
    many allied to activist environmental organizations such as
    Greenpeace and WWF.

    http://www.ecofascism.com/review27.html to environmental organizations
    and WWF.

  47. “The use of ‘denier’ to label any one who disagrees with the IPCC consensus on attribution leads to concerns being raised about the IPCC being enforced as dogma, which is tied to how dissent is dealt with.” – JC.

    Urgghhh.

    Fascinating to see a piece on the science so chock-full of unsupported opinion.

    A fine piece of manufactured dissent.

    • Right out of the Merchant of Doubt playbook.

      You might like this example: There is a youtube of Dessler debating Lindzen. Lindzen pointed out that Dessler had used the change in weather balloon velocity instead of actual temperature data sets. Dessler pointed out that Lindzen smoked.

      Or perhaps: Schwartz pointed out that following the 97/98 El Nino that the temperature decay curve, an indication of sensitivity, suggested that sensitivity is approximately 1.1C per doubling. Schmidt and Annan rebutted with, can’t be! That disagrees with the models :)

      So thanks to MoD, Lindzen=smoker, Schwartz=model infidel, Spencer= Evangelist, Christy=hangs out with Evangelist, the sum is denier, denier, denier…

  48. Ahem … Michael, if yer take a look at the IPCC fast track
    ‘Insiders Club’ Who’s Who, yer might jest discover ‘a fine
    piece of manufactured consent.’

  49. Unfortunately the essay that heads this thread and many of the posted replies are rendered irrelevant by a fundamental and egregious mistake.

    Consensus is a property of the scientific research findings, NOT the scientists, or the IPCC or all the scientific organisations that have endorsed AGW.
    The consensus of the scientific data is merely reflected by the scientists, groups and media.

    • > Consensus is a property of the scientific research findings […]

      Just like “being a consensus” is a property of consensual sex.

      • David Springer

        Are you wasted already today or just still half looped from last night?

      • I did not know you were interested in ontoclimatology. But since you are, you should wonder how sex can happen without any agent involved. Or instead of answering, perhaps you should ask Joe Sixpack what “consensus of the scientific data” means to him.

        No, please don’t ask him about his conception of consensual sex.

        Please mind your answer, there are ladies reading.

      • David Springer

        Ah. I guess I should wait until you’re sober before asking you a question.

        I understand that may not be easy. Is there some time of day and day of the week that is more likely? I’m thinking you might have to sober up for weekly visits to your probation officer, for instance.

      • David,

        We’re in an e-salon. Even if I was to be as charitable as Moshpit, I honestly don’t think you have the stuff. Please focus on Judy’s post for your upcoming comments.

        Consider this a fair warning.

      • Steven Mosher

        Dave, just a clue, willard will not be bullied. You actually have to think. He’s not in this debate with you. he’s above it.

      • David Springer

        Mosher

        Gag me with a spoon…

      • David Springer

        re; willard won’t be bullied

        Have you ever seen an anonymous coward who could be bullied? That’s one of the benefits of anonymity. Duh. Nothing personal or lasting is on the line for them. Like the little bitches they are they can let their hair down and feel brave without reserve.

      • David Springer,

        My name is my honor, even if it’s a pseudonym, and perhaps even more so: I take more time to ponder, to be prudent and to stay in character than in real life, where I sincerely hope you are a considerate, decent human being, and that you only come here to cleanse yourself from otherwise unsustainable fantasies.

      • Steven Mosher

        willards refusal to be bullied has nothing to do with his secret identity. He simply refuses to play your game. That takes discipline. and commands respect.

      • David Springer

        Fascinating. What game am I playing?

      • David Springer

        The problem with your characterization is I never lose control. Control is my middle name.

      • Bestiaries are only imperfect images of the real beasts, David.

        Speaking of control:

        > In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.

        — Lao Tzu

        All denizens should keep that one in mind.

        Yes, David, you can remind me of that second sentence.

      • David Springer

        Entertaining link though. But you see, Willard, I’ve been a flame warrior for 21 years and counting now. I fit no particular pigeonhole in that list. I invented many of those styles and use them at will. You’d get far more insight about me by examing the categories I avoid rather than the ones I adopt.

      • David Springer

        I’m of British descent. Lao Tzu doesn’t impress me. We conquered China in that era with a few wooden ships. Keep that in mind.

      • David Springer

        Repeatedly using my first name is pretty affected by the way. It only comes across as a weak attempt change the dynamics. I’m not your friend. I shudder at the thought. Playing the familiar won’t get you anywhere.

      • David,

        You do seem a natural, but I’m willing the possibility that it’s an acquired skill you are so mightily diplaying (in which case mike could certainly learn a few tricks from you) that it’s quite possible you might be the one who invented most of these archetypes and that your English lineage can make you feel you have once upon a time conquered China, but please bear in mind that these are archetypes, which means they’re not all exclusive (e.g, one can be a Philosopher, but also indulge into being a playful Big Cat), nor are they “greedy”: you don’t have to share all the traits of a Big Dog to act as one most of the times; and no, Dave, in case you I don’t think you’re a Big Dog, I don’t believe you act like on, since the impact of your comments do not feel like it.

      • Springer,

        In case you wonder, of course.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      izen,
      That is why it is called “manufactured consensus”.
      Sorry you missed that part.

    • Steven Mosher

      err not so fast.

      You need to follow the argument.

      “consensus” is an appeal made in the broader public debate over AGW.

      schematically, it goes like this.

      A: The science says GHGs cause warming.
      S: But scientist X disagrees. look a squirrel.
      A: X, is an exception, the consensus of experts is that GHGs cause warming.

      It really only functions in the public debate. Hansen doesnt believe in AGW because all his peers agree with him. Mann doesnt believe in AGW because all of her peers agree with her. No scientist who believes in AGW believes in it because of the consensus. Consensus, as a reason for belief, is an appeal that is restricted to those who cannot evaluate the science on their own. This appeal, of course, backfires because there are many who cannot evaluate the science, but think that they can. They are smart enough not to buy the appeal to consensus, but too dumb to challenge the science.

      • Since you brought “her” up, there are many not in the consensus that think “she” is too dumb to provide the science and that “she” is not an isolated example. There are even some that look at simple things like say, diurnal temperature range, and say to themselves, “Self. That is a bit peculiar.” Since a decrease in diurnal range is typically associated with increasing humidity, an increase in diurnal temperature range would be a PD odd feedback for increasing CO2 concentration. You know, it almost screams, “Look here!”

        Since everyone is too dumb to challenge the science, what’s a skeptic to do?

      • Steven Mosher

        Oops. Not so fast, yourself.

        Judith expressed a slightly different process, which is closer to the reality here.

        IPCC forced a consensus process in order to promote what an insider group of scientists had agreed was the paradigm:

        “most” of the warming past ~1950 was “most likely” caused by increased human GHG concentrations and the mean 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is 3.2C.

        Any paper or scientific finding, which contradicted this paradigm was rejected by the consensus process.

        Max

  50. I think most sceptics accept the fact that there is some evidence of AGW being partly responsible for the ~0.7degrees C rise in global temperature over the past 150 years.

    The problem is the IPCC is unequivocal that this rise in temperature is solely due to the increase in the amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. All the following are equally likely to have same level of contribution to the past 150 years’ temperature rise; however they are routinely ignored or derided by the IPCC and its contributors.

    1. The effects of the huge increase in irrigation over the past century.

    2. The use of temperature data, which routinely underestimates the Urban Heat Island effect.

    3. Changes in solar radiation – all stars are ‘variable’, our Sun is no different, the amount of radiation it emits varies over time.

    4. Natural climate cycles caused by the eccentricity of our planet’s orbit around the Sun.

    5. And last but not least, the continual and persistent downward manipulation of historical temperature data by many national climate/weather centres to ‘prove’ the recent past was much cooler than today. Without exception, whenever there is an adjustment in the official temperature records, the recent past gets cooler.

    Finally, the Global Warming Industry has become a hugely expensive gravy train. Once you are on the gravy train, it is in your own self-interest to maintain the status quo. So AGW, a mildly interesting non-problem, has morphed into CAGW, a really scary problem for which there is no scientific justification or evidence and always requires more research.

    Like all my geologist colleagues in the private sector, I believe the concept of CAGW to be a complete hoax and condemn the IPCC for perpetuating this myth.

    • Peter Miller

      All the items you list are factors.

      Some would argue that co2 derived AGW is of little consequece as one item amongst many that is lost in the loud noise of natural variability and the other impacts man is having.

      I once did some research on the irrigation aspect and was staggered as to the amount going on and the threoretical impact it could have, Also undoubtedly UHI has a large practical impact, as urban areas are where most of the planets population live. The up to 4/5Degrees C temperature difference urbanisation can make dwarfs the co2 signal.

      Can co2 enhance the effects of rain/storms/hurricanes/temperatures etc? No doubt some here will argue it has a huge effect. I can’t see it in the historic record and await others to make a definitive argument that the physics proves it must.
      tonyb

    • you are talking BS phillip miller.

      Lets take the “problem” you start with: “IPCC is unequivocal that this rise in temperature is solely due to the increase in the amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere”

      Utter bull. There are at least three falsities in that single sentence. It’s as if you haven’t even read the IPCC report summaries let alone the actual report.

      1) The IPCC doesn’t claim anything about attribution is unequivocal.

      2) The IPCC doesn’t claim the rise in temperature in the last 150 years is soley due to man.

      3) The IPCC doesn’t even claim all the warming caused by man is due to CO2.

      Yet you’ve managed to claim all three!

      You then say: “All the following are equally likely to have same level of contribution to the past 150 years’ temperature rise”

      Just isn’t true. That might be your level of ignorance but climate scientists have a better grasp of those subjects than you are willing to give them credit for. Even I do. I can see your list is certainly not comprised of things that “are equally likely to have the same level of contribution…”. In fact some of the things on the list show you are markedly naive.

      “Like all my geologist colleagues in the private sector, I believe the concept of CAGW to be a complete hoax and condemn the IPCC for perpetuating this myth.”

      And you’ve obviously done such sterling research to come to that conclusion. Keep up the good work! Nice nod to “private sector” so we know where your obvious ideological bias derives from.

      • Wow!

        Definite case of “Toys out of the Cot.”

        So let’s start with the fundamental basic concept behind the CAGW hoax:

        Do you agree that rising temperatures cause increased global humidity levels and therefore more clouds, which trap heat and lead to runaway global warming, or CAGW?

        I assume you are employed by government, or a student, and therefore do not care if your taxes are totally wasted on unreliable, expensive ‘renewable’ energy projects and subsidies.

        But anyhow, nice tantrum, very impressive.

      • Not liking taxes is no excuse to make up strawmen to give that view a fake aura of scientific justification.

  51. The science of patterns, mathematics, indicates a global warming of only about 1.5 deg C by 2100.

    http://bit.ly/TIVGEJ

    This pattern is established by the enormous heat capacity of the oceans and their fixed cyclic pattern since 1880.

  52. David Springer

    Reader’s Digest should be capitalized.

  53. David Springer

    I Am Joe’s Stomach Throwing Up a Little Into Joe’s Mouth

  54. Don’cha git sick and tired of closed -society -centralized –
    bureaucracy and their shamen preaching top down control
    … by expert committee?
    I do. ( sigh )

    O/t

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NYMgHKx3Wc.

    See how the second girl and the male dancer capture the spirit
    of the dance! : )

    • “Don’cha git sick and tired of closed -society -centralized –
      bureaucracy and their shamen preaching top down control
      … by expert committee?”

      Nah. Never. Can’t get enough. I expect it. Like Schweik possibly, I embrace being ground down into an inconsequential pulp. The nice thing about being a pessimist is that there is always fresh material! And because there is always fresh material… well one can be optimistic!

  55. John Carpenter

    “For example, there is no point to discussing a consensus that the Earth orbits the sun, or that the hydrogen molecule has less mass than the nitrogen molecule.”

    Judith, just a bit of a pedantic correction wrt to terminology. It may be better to refer to hydrogen and nitrogen as ‘elements’ and not molecules in the context of mass comparison. I understand hydrogen and nitrogen naturally occur as dimers and as such are ‘molecules’. But from a mass comparison basis, one should speak about the differences between the two in their elemental form as this reduces them to their most basic level.

    FWIW

    • John Carpenter

      “…or that hydrogen has less mass than nitrogen.”

      I suggest this instead. Again, I know this is quite pedantic.

      • David Springer

        You didn’t even get the pedantic part right. Maybe think twice about telling an atmospheric physicist the correct way to refer to atmospheric gases.

  56. You cannot simply substitute the consensus for fact.

    Not so fast. Science is not a democracy. The head count fallacy has been recognized as irrational since Aristotle. Even if science were a democracy, for every scientist who supports the notion of human-caused global warming, there are more than ten who consider that notion pure vanity, and they have made their names public…

    That is not science, but it has been the official line ever since. No science, just bureaucratic conclusions contrary to science, an excuse for a brand new tax… Both Galileo and Einstein were famous deniers of centuries-old theories. They were right. The consensus was wrong…

    As Dr. John Christy told us just last week, having lived among the world’s poor, their lives there are brutal and short. Those who kick the poor in the teeth while pretending to soak the rich do not merit the votes from either.
    ~Mr. Linder (Hearing On Protecting Lower-Income Families While Fighting Global Warming, Thursday, March 12, 2009, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Washington, D.C.)

  57. The Left seems very comfortable with consigning the developing and Third World to an energy-deprived future. The most amazing thing is that some refuse to admit global warming has become a Left vs. right issue. Does anyone still believe it is about science?

    That is why it is referred to as the Great Warming HOAX.

  58. “The IPCC process by which it arrives at its conclusions lacks balance, transparency and due diligence. It is controlled by a tightly knit group of individuals who are completely convinced that they are right. As a result, conflicting data and evidence, even if published in peer-reviewed journals, are regularly ignored, while exaggerated claims, even if contentious or not peer-reviewed, are often highlighted in IPCC reports. Not surprisingly, the IPCC has lost a lot of credibility in recent years. It is also losing the trust of more and more governments who are no longer following its advice. Until it agrees to undergo a root and branch reform, it will continue to hemorrhage credibility and trust. The time has come for a complete overhaul of its structure and workings.”

    (Dr Peiser)

  59. @- Wagathon

    Whatever critique there may be of the IPCC methods it is merely reflecting, however inelegantly, the overwhelming consensus in the scientific research. It is the observational data and the logical inferences that can be made from that information from which emerges a consilience or consensus of the research. Individual scientists and groups like the IPCC only express that common message in the data, they do NOT manufacture it.

    The tide, if not tsunami of research that contributes to this knowledge concensus can be seen here –

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/

    If you want to see the papers that do not conform to the common story then the few that have appeared are discussed here –

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/anti-agw-papers-debunked/

    • But then I can go to the list of hundreds of papers that are not on the debunked list which raise enough questions that any clear thinking individual has to wonder about the consensus position

    • And you are from the planet Zarg or Zorn?

      It is self-evident ‘Climate science research’, as practiced by the contributors to the IPCC, is an unsustainable gravy train, supported by manipulated data, distorted conclusions and individuals who routinely abuse the name of science. As evidence, take a quick peep at Patchy’s lifestyle and ask who ultimately pays for him to live like a Marharajah of yesteryear.

      The methodology used by the high priests of ‘climate science’ to milk the faithful is indistinguishable from those who run the pseudo-christian, far right, cults of America’s Bible Belt. Very simply, it is: “Be one of the chosen who has seen the light, but first give me lots of your dough.”

      And please don’t use the classic alarmist ploy of mixing the non-problem of a little AGW with the unsubstantiated hoax of CAGW.

  60. I was going to write a blog post along the same lines concerning the IPCC, but I haven’t been able to do it as that thing called life has been getting in the way. I was having a nice back and forth with a friend and fellow musician who is a retired physics professor at my Alma Mater about the validity of the 2003 Soon / Baliunas paper. (was it a “game changer”… no, but, as a meta-analysis, it was good enough). It was criticized to a higher degree than the typical meta-analysis because it was in conflict with the IPCC “consensus”.

    The conversation about this presented another thread relevant to the IPCC. Has there ever been another organization created that has had such dominance and control over what is considered the “consensus” when examining a particular field of science.? The AMA and ADA lay out some guidelines and offer services in regard to the associated fields of science, but they are not so concerned with consensus building. Though psychology does have the DSM, they really don’t have an organization that pushes consensus like climate science and the IPCC. Can anyone else come up with a branch of science that is so centered around one specific organization?

    • Good point. I know of no parallel in the whole of science, which makes this a good measure of the unique degree of politicization that has befallen climate science. Note that two of the three IPCC working groups are not even looking at the science, rather they assume CAGW.

      The precedent for the IPCC was the massive report that supported the Montreal Protocol on stratospheric ozone, but that was an ad hoc advocacy measure. It worked so well that the UN created the IPCC, with some of the same people, like Robert Watson.

      • The subject becoming politicized has nothing to do with the IPCC.

        The reason it became politicized is because science discovered something about how the climate works that is inconvenient for right-wing libertarian ideology. Much as how biology found out something about the origin of species which was inconvenient for religious fundamentalist ideology.

        Both groups have politicized the respective issues by defining it in terms of them vs us. So the climate skeptics see it as a Leftist conspiracy and the religious fundamentalists see it as an atheist/secular conspiracy. Both groups hate the fact there is a consensus (but can’t decide whether to pretend it doesn’t exist or admit it does exist but pretend it’s because of corruption). Both groups feebly try to rationalize the intellectual might against their position by claiming all them scientists only accept the idea because of group-think/losing their funding/money or being atheists/leftists.

        And that last one is a self-fulfilling prophesy, because which groups are going to tend to weigh in to defend the science the strongest when it’s attacked by right-wing ideologues or creationists? Yep leftists and atheists respectively. It also helps of course that political and religious extremists are largely in a minority, so their opponents will almost always by “coincidence” be in the “enemy camp”.

        If the IPCC didn’t exist, if Al Gore didn’t exist, the scientific knowledge would still exist and some other body instead would be asking, investigating and reporting the inconvenient science. Similarly if Richard Dawkin’s and the NAS didn’t exist there would still be that inconvenient theory of evolution.

        The calls by climate skeptics for improvements to the IPCC are as fake concern trolling as creationist calls for “better teaching” in schools. Both groups actually seek the reduction of prominence, possibly the complete eradication from the public sphere, of an area of science that inconveniences their ideologies.

      • The subject becoming politicized has nothing to do with the IPCC.

        Really? Consensus is a political mechanism, not one of science. If an organization such as the IPCC were around supporting, say eugenics or the use of the lobotomy, I guarantee it would have been much much harder to to push back against the scientific consensus agreed to in such an organization. The IPCC does not enhance the work of science, it hinders it.

  61. Before the subject of climate change became controversial during the 2000s, the great scientific/social dispute in the United States was over evolution. While this causes much frustrated hand-wringing and hair-pulling among scientists, I never heard one (from inside a graduate evolution program) play the ‘consensus’ card. The argument was always made from known facts, not majority rule. The very playing of the consensus card makes my skeptical sense tingle. When you have to reach for rhetorical ploys to make your argument, you show a lack of confidence in your position.

    • Lookup “project Steve”

      • David Springer

        Great comeback re; evolution and project Steve. It appears to be an “own goal” though as rather than impeach the warmists you instead impeach the darwinists, hoisting both (and yourself too) with the same petard.

  62. Leonard Weinstein

    Why do you think the US still uses English units rather than metric? Why do you think the positive terminal of voltage is still used when the electrons go the other way? These are just a few of the facts that show once a position is entrenched, it is very hard to change. The IPCC blew it, but governments and the press have run so hard with the positions they took, that they can’t turn around in the face of facts that disagree with them. They are hanging on hoping the issue will fade away so they do not look like the mistaken people they probably are.

    • What “facts” disagree? When did they come to light?

    • Your example is 180-degrees out of phase.

      English units are more intuitive as they relate to the scale of things people use in the real world of everyday life and dirty-filthy commerce on a regular basis. Also, carpenters work more efficiently using fractions. In other words, we still use English units for practical reasons, not to flaunt our traditions at Frenchification.

      Red hot positive and negative ground are as easy to remember like lefty-loosy-righty tighty. Everyone knows that nothing fails more than British motorcar positive ground electrical systems.

      These are examples of common sense “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

      IPCC consensus is an example of common bureaucratic newspeak “it’s broke, so lets form a Blue Ribbon Task-Force to tell us everything we have done is AOKAY.”

      • David Springer

        We still use English units of measure for four reasons.

        1) because we can
        2) because it pisses people off
        3) too many signs and labels would need to be changed
        4) 47% of Americans don’t have the IQ to grok two systems at once

      • Alexej Buergin

        Howard
        how much is 1 ft 1 inch divided by 3?
        and how much is 1.1 m divided by 3?

      • Alexej Buergin

        There are no “English units”, there are actually 2 systems: In one “pound” is the unit of mass, in the other it is the unit of force.
        And when electricity comes along, even the US goes metric (A, V, W).
        Hope this does not make Howard’s blood pressure go up to whatever it is in the “English units” he pretends to use.

      • David Springer

        Alexej Buergin | October 30, 2012 at 4:52 am | Reply

        Howard
        “how much is 1 ft 1 inch divided by 3?”

        4 1/3 inches. Easy peasy.

        ” and how much is 1.1 m divided by 3?”

        Ouch. 0.3666666666666666666666666666666666666666667 meters and I needed a calculator to get it.

      • Alexej Buergin

        1) Well done, David. Now show me 4 1/3 inch on a ruler.
        2) The second answer is wrong. The correct answer is 0.367m or 367mm. That is about the precision a carpenter can get. Re-read Howard’s second sentence about the scale of things in the real world (and think about the relation between the real world and what is shown by a calculator).
        Rule of thumb: Use the correct digits plus the first one that is questionable.

      • David Springer

        Holy Blown Fuses, Batman! I wasn’t aware anyone was dumb enough to use a positive ground electrical system. That must play hell on sourcing electronic components in a modern vehicle. Probably makes no difference in the time just past horse and buggy where everything in the electrical system was resistive, like light bulbs, and didn’t care about which way the current flows.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Actually it would not matter. All electronics would be built accordingly. It is just conveniant that everybody does it the same way, and that is why car parts are usually metric, batteries have 12 V, and one drives on the right side of the road.

  63. The art in the sciences comes with making broad connections using discrete pieces of information. These pieces come with caveats, nuances and limited applicability, accompanied by uncertainty. Into this vacuum steps expert panels, assembled and charged by some payer, these panels, in their collective wisdom are to provide consensus statements.

    The payers, the assemblers of the expert panels, then charge the individual experts with going out and spreading the consensus meme.

    It has been said on this blog months ago, experts may make less accurate predictions than someone off the street, who knows little or nothing about the topic, will more likely than not give a gestalt opinion which proves more accurate. How is this so? Expert panels may loose the perspective of how the information has nuances, caveats and limit applicability. Expert panes may lack a step back perspective; i.e., providing the view on whether or not their consensus makes sense. Does their consensus fit into a broad context? The art of the artisan, uniquely fitting the discrete pieces together, gets lost in the very process of expert panel consensus building. For instance, behold the camel: a horse assembled by a committee.

    Push back comes when the dromedary enters a horse show, spits in the eye of the judges, and otherwise sullies the expert panel’s consensus.

    Now, the payer cares not a whit for art. After all, the payer had assembled and charged those who others said were experts, to come to a consensus, an actionable consensus. Art is for art’s sake. However, in the case of the climate science consensus, the creature created, may not be fit for purpose.

  64. Curious why it “has” to be a left-right issue?

    I’m so far left that I can’t see any significant differences between what is supposedly the two parties in the US, and I’m quite unconvinced by arguments which focus on absurdities like globally averaged temperature changes induced by a “greenhouse effect” driven by fractional changes in a trace gas.

    I find the paper itself interesting though, actually doing some writing for a class on the different manners of handling issues like this in social and natural sciences.

  65. Pingback: Transterrestrial Musings - Mann’s Hockey Stick

  66. quote re IPCC
    “…It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate-related data. It bases its assessment mainly on published and peer reviewed scientific technical literature.”
    unquote

    The error was made right there: after an assessment of the current science, the IPCC is in the best position to recommend areas of study which might improve the science. Instead it merely mentions, report after report, that the science is deficient in its understanding of e.g. aerosols, clouds etc. By now we really should have addressed these. Simply reporting deficient science is not enough.

    Live with uncertainty is all well and good if nothing can be done about it. That, however, is not the case here.

    JF

  67. Reading fourteen pages on what CONSENSUS means was a chore but I had to know it. You have made an excellent survey of what is available and I completely agree with your suggestions that are mostly implied, timidly. You are just too mild in making suggestions, no doubt because you think it is an enterprise worth salvaging because there must be some truth in the anthropogenic aspect of climate change.Unfortunately there is none which puts me squarely in opposition to your assertion that “The issue of challenges to the IPCC consensus is not analogous to Galileo-like revolutionaries.” Frankly, I think the IPCC consensus is evil for science and whether you admit it or not this article is in opposition to it. Remember that Galileo did not start out as an opponent of Aristotle but his heliocentric views developed over time. His statement that “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual” pretty much sums up where I stand on the consensus issue. And it is not simply because some of my work directly contradicts it but also because it has a mind-killing influence on those who take it as revealed truth. Let me explain. I wrote a paper on Arctic warming that proved two things: first, that laws of physics excluded the greenhouse effect as its cause, and second that North Atlantic currents started to carry warm water into the Arctic at the turn of the twentieth century. It was based on experimental observations of Kaufman et al. who showed that the warming started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century, and of Spielhagen et al. who directly observed the influx of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic at the present time. My abstract put it this way: “It is likely that the cause of this warming was a relatively sudden rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the century…” I sent a PDF to a physicist who had written about climate for his comments and got this one back: ‘It may well be that there was a “relatively sudden rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the century that directed warm currents into the Arctic Ocean” but you have no proof of this assertion…’ I told him to tell me what he thought the explanation was if I was wrong. “I don’t think you were wrong. I think you made a conjecture…” was his way of wriggling out. But he had written a book called “The Climate Debate” and checking his book I found this quote from Scholaski: “The branch of the North Atlantic current which enters it by way of the edge of the continental shelf round Spitsbergen has evidently been increasing in volume, and has introduced a body of warm water so great, that the surface layer of cold water which was 200 meters thick in Nansen’s time, has now been reduced to less than 100 meters in thickness.” I told him to apologize but have not heard from him since. But this was not all. He also told me that “Spielhagen et al. believe that Arctic warming entirely due to greenhouse gases. They are just as sure of their opinion as you are of yours. Kaufman et al. do not come out and say it but they evidently believe the same thing – braying incessantly about the warmest decade in 2000 years.” And this is where that consensus comes in. He cites them as some kind of authorities when in fact they are mindlessly regurgitating the consensus view. They both produced valuable experimental evidence and by rights they should have published first except that their thinking processes go on hold as soon as something contrary to the consensus comes up. I actually wrote to Kaufman about the possibility of ocean currents but was simply ignored. When thought is missing you don’t have a scientific process any more, you have just highly skilled technicians who produce valuable data they simply do not understand themselves. And this is not the only case where consensus has suppressed real science.

    • Arno

      I am currently writing an article on arctic sea ice extent during the period 1918-1949

      I do not know for sure about the warm Atlantic water influx you describe, but it is clear that the IPCC literature- and as represented by Hadley and Chapman and Walsh-underestimate the extent of the warming 1918-1940. The apparent stability of the ice extent can be seen here;
      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/more-cherry-ice-from-joe-daleo/

      Science moves on and one of the problems with the recent historic record (until 1950) is that Russian sea ice has largely been excluded. Also due to the methods of collection of data the ice extent at the time tended to be mapped as solid, rather than calculated to reflect the many gaps and channels it tends to have in late summer. We are also missing- for obvious reasons- the 1940-1945 data, some of which included warm years and saw the Russian Northern route convoys established.

      I suspect that the minimum ice extent in the warmest years 1918-1949-was around the levels seen in the early 2000’s but not as large as the drop we saw in 2007.

      This warming-possibly due to warmer currents-seems to be a regular occurence.I wrote here about the arctic melting that commenced around 1816

      http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice-tony-b/

      The methods of collecting data from modern satellites raises question about what they see as ‘ice’ and what they see as ‘water,’ as water can sit on top of the ice in late summer. That is not a subject I am currently pursuing but hope to write about in a future article.

      tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        “The methods of collecting data from modern satellites raises question about what they see as ‘ice’ and what they see as ‘water,’ as water can sit on top of the ice in late summer. That is not a subject I am currently pursuing but hope to write about in a future article.”

        That’s basically why you look at both area and extent.

        area measure is going to be sensitive to water on the ice and open areas within the pack. extent is not. you can also look at the ratio between the two to get an index of “concentration”

      • Hi mosh

        Will you be appearing on WUWT TV? Didn’t see your name in the invitees.

        Tonyb

      • David Springer

        There isn’t a studio in the world big enough to fit Willis Echenbach’s and Mosher’s head in it at the same time. Since Willard is some kind of mental case that Tony Watts feels obligated to humor and enable we can pretty much count on Mosher’s exclusion from that particular party. No big deal. Mosher is accustomed to it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wuwt tv will be an interesting animal. My current work is probably too specialized and boring. small town suhi

      • Mosh

        I am concerned that the production standards of WUWT shoud be good-If it should come over as amateurish it would suffer against Gores efforts . The little i saw of that last year came over as quite professional..Mind you Ive yet to see virtually any climate person from either side of the debate come over well on tv.

        I do worry that much of the stuff could be esoteric-like yours probably is- and also that Anthony is preaching to the choir.

        However, he is a smart man and a media professional so I am sure he has thought this through. Its very enterprising and I wish him luck.

        tonyb

  68. Very observant. I would rather die (figuratively) than change my opinion about the policy advocates who are masquerading as climate scientists and corrupting my profession (science). For the record, I’m not a Tea Partier, a church-goer, or a creationist. Unfortunately, possibility of devastating climate change concerns 6 billion people (including my children), not just me.

    The problem with abandoning the consensus approach comes when climate scientists are forced to admit that they are asking people to purchase an insurance policy against the possibility of devastating climate change. The developed world probably can afford to pay for insurance, but will be reluctant to pay large amounts without a clearer idea of the costs and benefis. The developing world can’t afford it (unless alternative energy becomes much cheaper).

  69. Well I don’t need a consensus. I have looked at the evidence myself and I am quite satisfied with the key conclusions (to date) that the IPCC have published so far as reflecting what the evidence is telling us.

    That to my mind is that human activity is very likely going to dominate global temperature changes in the 21st century and a significant warming taking us to a period of unparalleled heat for possibly millions of years.

    It is useful though for people who don’t have time to look at the evidence to inform them that most climate scientists accept certain things and let them then consider the matter from a “lots of doctors say X so what should I believe?” approach.

    So yes there is a consensus. Is it important? To me, no. To others who don’t have the time to check, probably.

  70. Consensus? How about the 31,000 scientists (9,000 of them PhDs) who have signed the Project Petition?

  71. Which evidence is this that supports the consensus?

    What sort of hypothesis favors a consensus over evidence?

    I’m curious as someone who has read all of the major (and many minor) reports from the IPCC over the years intermixed with my general science and mathematics studies. Never seen any evidence that a global average temperature actually has any physical validity, much less that one calculated from a few thousand datapoints biased heavily towards northern hemisphere locations, much less the urban influences.

    Do go on though, I’m curious if you can also help me with this annoying issue regarding the Navier-Stokes equations, since they are apparently trivial matters if done by climate modeling groups, winning a prize for proving their non-singular nature would be nice.

    • It’s a good question about the Navier Stokes equations. What is known is not indicative of high accuracy. Models are still required to be verified by test data by the FAA where public safety is involved. Same for medical procedures or drugs. There is a good reason for this.

  72. Tonight, eight days before the election we live in interesting times:

    1. I see the problem as a tyrannical one-world government

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1615

    2. Porter Stansberry has another interpretation of the election

    http://pro.stansberryresearch.com/1210THIRDLIA/LPSINA38/

    We agree the upcoming election is anything but boring !

    With deep regrets,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  73. Judith,

    …..a sentiment is articulated by the motto of the UK Royal Society: ‘nullius in verba’, which is roughly translated as ‘take nobody’s word for it’.

    But aren’t you saying that action on reducing CO2 emissions is unnecessary at the moment? That the costs outweigh the benefits? And that the scientific uncertainty justifies this stance?

    And you’re asking us to take your word for it?

    • I don’t think she said that.

      • David Springer

        No she didn’t but that won’t stop tempterrain and his cowardly anonymous ilk from putting words in her mouth. What consequence is there to an anonymous handle on the internet to being caught in a lie or looking stupid other than changing to a different cowardly anonymous name that has no history behind it?

    • Hey, tempterrain, are you asking us to take your word for that?

      “Take nobody’s word for it” means be rationally skeptical and insist on “empirical evidence” rather than just “somebody’s word”.

      Too bad the RS drifted away from its motto.

      Max

  74. Huffington Post (today): In Hurricane Sandy’s Fury, The Fingerprint Of Climate Change

  75. HOLD ON YANKEES, BE BRAVE; WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU.

    Australians know what cyclone can do, Hurricane is same beast, different name. A week from now, you will look back and laugh at it.

    No electricity, no transport for few days; the hurricane is giving you a good example of what the CO2 molesters from BOTH CAMPS intend to force on the western countries; to be regular occurrences. No fossil fuel to be used / no new power stations built – by increasing of the population, will be regular ‘’blackouts’’

    The nutters from both sides of the sandpit, as Carbon Bashers are equally guilty, for every future blackouts and transport disruptions

  76. The IPCC was set up by a politician and staffed at the top levels with political lackeys. It’s mission is to show the effects of global warming. They have to show this or fail their mission, which is why they so blithely fudge the data and use grey material to build their reports. Their findings are a foregone conclusion and thus their reports are a product for one purpose only, to support Agenda 21, the takeover of the world by the UN. The IPCC was never set up to be scientific, only to appear scientific. Why else would virtually ever reputable scientist eventually quit the IPCC’s ranks?

  77. Don’t agree with the consensus? Maybe you can pick up a few tips from these guys.

    http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/

  78. Princeton philosopher Thomas Kelly provides some insight into confirmation bias, arguing that a prior belief can skew the total evidence that is available subsequently in a direction that is favorable to itself.

    Feynman’s example of “confirmation bias”:

    We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a little bit off, because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of the electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

    Why didn’t they discover that the new number was higher right away? It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of–this history—because it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something must be wrong–and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number closer to Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that. We’ve learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don’t have that kind of a disease.

    http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

  79. Scientific debate should never be decided by consensus. It should be “decided” by empirical evidence that vaidates, or otherwise, the hypothesis in question.

    Joseph Postma’s new paper (22 October 2012) looks for empirical evidence of a GHE, and finds none. He puts forward cogent arguments as to why this lack of evidence is to be expected. All should read this ground-breaking work, which also cites my paper (March 2012):

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Absence_Measureable_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

    Doug Cotton

    • Thank you for the link. Like I have said many times before, nearly every week a paper is presented that should make a reasonable person question the consensus. This is another paper that does just that. Little by little the chips are falling away.

      • This is standard skydragons stuff. They don’t believe there is any downward infrared flux affecting the surface temperature despite how easy that is to measure. It even has a spectrum. Look at MODTRAN to see the spectrum. This is all well understood physics, not even climate science per se.

      • No Jim – you misunderstand. Read my paper published in March, or my comments quoted in Postma’s new paper on pp 47-49. We never said the backradiation is not there. What you can never prove is that the net rate of transfer of thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere can be affected by such backradiation. Why? Because we can show why, and also why the non-radiative cooling accelerates to compensate and thus nullify any effect. There’s far more to it than just measuring the backradiation.

        Postma goes far further and, with solid empirical evidence, shows that carbon dioxide cannot have any effect whatsoever on climate. All climate change can be shown to be linked to natural cycles. (The MWP was just as warm as the present – as recent research has shown.) Please read my previous post.that got promptly deleted from SkS because they have no valid contra argument.

      • I have had arguments with various of the “slayers” before, and I don’t think it is worthwhile to pursue. If you think in terms of net radiation at the surface it is upwards, but less so with GHGs. This is where your argument against energy fluxes goes wrong. Think of why the surface cools less on cloudy nights. CO2 has that kind of blanketing effect. I think some of the quotes towards the end of this paper make very entertaining reading, but not because of any reasonableness in them.

      • A quote from Postma (p51) that I find entertaining.
        “It is a travesty that the scientific institution would
        have ever accepted through review and promoted the pretense that the atmosphere provides twice
        as much heat as the Sun, just because a bunch of ideologues agreed for it to be so. If this brand of
        ideological speciousness is allowed to continue to be passed off as science, then without a doubt this
        has marked the end of the evolutionary development of the human mind and what lies ahead for
        humanity is a slow decline back into a permanent dark age of unconsciousness. Alarmism based on
        the atmospheric greenhouse effect really is just that depraved, and is one of the absolute worst
        psychological conditions that the human mind has ever developed. The atmospheric greenhouse
        effect is one of the worst analogies that has ever been created, and given the degree of alarm and
        expenditure of monies and an entire field of specious alarmist science that has been justified on its
        pretext, one of the most damaging to human fecundity.”

      • “Postma goes far further and, with solid empirical evidence, shows that carbon dioxide cannot have any effect whatsoever on climate. All climate change can be shown to be linked to natural cycles.”

        And that would be where Postma went over the deep end. The Earth is like a thermodynamic onion of interacting layers. You can’t generalize that any thing has no impact “whatsoever” just like the modelers can’t say that all temperature change requires external forcing without specifying the time frame.

      • It’s a thin little blankie, probably not adequate in the long run, but better than nothing. And the plant pets like it.
        =======================

      • David Springer

        captdallas2 0.8 +0.2 or -0.4 | October 30, 2012 at 8:58 am |

        You’re a lot smarter than you look.

      • David Springer

        It’s not quite as simple as being thin. Those goofy “space blankets” that fit in a package the size of a book of matches can be extremely effective. But if you’re already adequately insulated they do almost nothing more.

        When there is a liquid water surface the temperature pretty much rises until the shade from clouds balances the heat from the sun. That’s about 70% cloud cover empirically speaking. In that environment add a bit more CO2 and you get more negative feedback from clouds. But not everywhere. Over land, and especially over frozen land, liquid water is in short supply and the shade producing clouds don’t form. Under those conditions CO2 is more effective. Even space blanket thin.

      • David Springer, Yep, even a space blanket full of holes has an impact and the colder you are the more you appreciate the impact. That is the non-linear problem, CO2 regulates but doesn’t dominate.

        The other problem is time constants. Solar has an 11 year cycle with a longer decay. So you have cumulative impact with thresholds. Pretty wicked problem.

      • David Springer

        I like to illustrate the fallacy of the tiny amount of CO2 can only have a tiny effect with the following example.

        Take one black car and one white car, identical except for color, sitting in the sun. Measure the surface temperature difference. You will find it to be quite large. Yet the difference between the two vehicles is just a few grams of black pigment in the paint.

        CO2 works like that black pigment.

        Now park both cars in the shade so they don’t get any direct sun. Now you will find little difference in the surface temperature. CO2 works that way too. In nature clouds provide the shade and negate the effect of CO2 when they are there.

        The GCM debacle was predictable enough. They don’t model the water cycle well. They’re great on radiation but the surface energy exchanges are dominated by latent energy in the global average and hugely dominant over tropical oceans where most of the energy enters and exits the system. The north pole is a minor detail and only becomes important as a staging area for continental glaciation when the orbital parameters of the planet conspire to give ice formation the advantage.

    • David Springer

      Principia Scientifica is a sham. It’s a privately owned website created very recently pretending to be a legitimate publisher.

  80. With regards to the IPCC, cognitive biases in the context of an institutionalized consensus building process have arguably resulted in the consensus becoming increasingly confirmed in a self-reinforcing way, to the detriment of the scientific process.

    Example:
    http://bit.ly/OaemsT

    In IPCC’s multi-model mean, where is the multidecdal oscillation after 1970? Has the multidecdal oscillation stopped to exist after 1970?

    Why did not the multi-model mean represent the warming phase of the multidecdal oscillation from 1910 to 1940?

    Why did not the multi-model mean represent the cooling phase of the multidecdal oscillation from 1940 to 1970?

  81. “. . . and decide whether to trust the experts whose opinion comprises the consensus.”

    constitutes!

  82. JC

    This is an excellent article.

    You have taken the side of Feynman.

    You will have a clear conscience on this issue when the exaggeration is exposed in the next five years.

    Thank you.

  83. U – biqu – it – us arrows
    one – way – streets,
    highway,
    low
    way,
    mis – nomered freeways,
    go right – go left – look up –
    look
    down.

    Carl Gaussian thinking on
    un – CERTAIN – ty
    by the I – P – C – C …

    further yer – travel – – – away
    from the CON – SENS – US
    more pre – cip – it – us
    the increase in speed of
    declining odds …

    Lets yer ignore out – liers,

    lets yer ignore possible
    ( impossible? )
    visionary and black swan
    out – liers,
    ( out – liars ? )

    Random thoughts from a random person
    ( with help from Nassim Taleb.)

  84. tempterrain –
    Google on “Project Petition” and it will take you to the website describing the petition, naming the signatories, etc.

  85. JC
    I have found a typo if you want to publish somewhere your “reader’s digest” version.

    Delete “the” in the following:
    “….IPCC has had an intended consequence of introducing biases into [the] both the science and related decision making processes.”

  86. Jim and others.

    There are now dozens of members of Principia Scientific International, and numbers are growing significantly each month. So it’s hardly appropriate to refer to the original eight or so who called themselves the Slayers. PSI is far, far bigger now.

    In your posts above you show no indication of having understood the (new) points being made, in particular by Prof Claes Johnson, Joseph Postma and myself. There is a summary of my points on pp 47, 48 & 49 in Postma’s October 2012 paper. If you had even read that, or my paper published back in March (both on the PSI website) then you would realise your statement about net radiation is way off track as far as our explanation of what is really happening. There’s no point in your reiterating “standard” stuff from the well-propagated hoax. We’ve all studied it, probably better than yourself. What you haven’t done is come to grips with what we are explaining – and why it is the true reality.

    Doug

    • David Springer

      Those papers aren’t published. They’re posted. Stop abusing the term publish. Principia Scientific has all the publishing credentials of a blog. You act like it’s owned by Nature or Springer-Verlag fercrisakes. Please stop. Have a shred of dignity for a change.

  87. And Jim … I wonder why you quoted the above from Postma, without quoting his logic that led to that conclusion. So I will quote it for others who have not yet read at least pp 47 to 49*

    “Greenhouses do not create heat; they simply trap heated air…air which is heated through contact with objects that are heated by sunlight. The atmosphere does not trap heated air because it isn’t a physically rigid barrier – it is a gas and so it naturally flows and cools heated objects.
    Greenhouses do the opposite of what the open atmosphere does. The atmosphere does not cause heating via its back-radiation because there is no evidence that this occurs, and this is not how a real physical greenhouse functions in any case. If a real physical greenhouse cannot heat by backradiation, then neither can the atmosphere. Trapped radiation cannot heat itself up and increase its own spectral temperature; radiation with a spectral temperature of -180C will always be radiation of a -180C spectral temperature, and this radiation cannot induce heating above its own spectral
    temperature nor can it interact with itself to increase its own “Wein-peak” frequency. This is probably related to a fundamental restriction from the Laws of Thermodynamics. Radiation cannot increase its own temperature, nor the temperature of its own source.”

    * http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Absence_Measureable_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

    • The Postma paper is simply wrong from from the basics on. His earlier papers have been discussed in length here before and the recent contains at least many of the same errors.

      A paper that gets all the basics wrong cannot compare in a meaningful way any empirical data with the theory. Such a paper is of no real value for anyone, it may only confuse those incapable of understanding the physics.

      The abstract start with the claim that “A contextual flaw underlying the interpretation of a back-radiative greenhouse effect is identified.” That means naturally only that Postma has a basic flaw in his argumentation. He does not know what he is talking about.

      • David Springer

        On this we agree. Hallelujah.

      • Prove your allegations with just one point – if you can. I seriously doubt that you have any understanding of radiative heat transfer and why radiation does not always transfer heat. Johnson and Postma are light years ahead of you.

        And their explanations are backed up by historic climate records. All climate is “controlled” by natural cycles (eg ~1,000 year and 60 years) and current temperatures are no warmer than those experienced 900 to 1000 years ago. In other words, long term cooling will set in probably within 100 years. Carbon dioxide levels have nothing to do with it.

      • That was done last time Postma’s paper was discussed here. It’s really unnecessary to repeat everything every time Postma or some other distributes BS one more time.

        The source of this text is the most certain distributor of “papers” that lack all real value. David Springer brought this up and a Google search of Principia Scientific reveals that to everyone who has followed climate discussion at all. Nothing worth further commenting is ever expected from that source.

      • It’s also impossible to prove anything to persons who don’t see themselves what kind of crap that paper is. By taking such a text seriously they have shown that they cannot understand or accept any proof even when it’s explained carefully.

      • Yes, well my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” has been published since 12 March 2012 here: http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

        In that time, to my knowledge, there has been no valid refutation of Sections 1 to 5 therein, nor of Prof Claes Johnson’s work upon which it was built.

        Now Joseph Postma has picked up on it, following numerous emails among the ever growing number of scientists joining Principia Scientific International – all with a common goal of exposing the fraud and hoax which AGW is.

        When you guys begin to argue with physics, rather than mere language, then this discussion may become fruitful – and you will learn why backradiation from carbon dioxide has no net effect on surface temperature, and never can have.

        Doug Cotton

      • Claes Johnson’s work was thoroughly refuted in the discussions of this site. Your abstract alone provides a full proof that you don’t know at all what you are talking about. You have no understanding of the Second law.

  88. If the BS freight train can escape exposure before the 2012 presidential election, they may be able to continue to deceive and enslave the public:

    For reasons given below, I don’t think they will make it.

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1595

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1615

  89. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Please allow me to recommend the outstanding National Institute of Health website NIH Consensus Development Program: FAQ.

    It is shocking and inexplicable (to me) that so many Climate Etc regulars — including Judith Curry herself  :oops:  — are speaking-out authoritatively regarding the infeasibility of “wicked messy” consensus-building … without ever having studied the hundreds of well-document instances, spanning many decades, in which scientific consensus *has* been achieved … even in facing-up to the “wickedest messiest” problems.

    Seldom has the Dunning-Kruger effect been more prominently in-evidence here on Climate Etc … those whose knowledge of scientific consensus-building is *least* are speaking-out with the *most* confidence.

    It is striking that the *less* folks know about *real-world* consensus-building, the *more* these same folks are adamantly yet irrationally certain, that the consensus-building is infeasible.

    Which is an utterly wrong opinion, eh? WUWT, indeed!   :eek:   :?:   :shock:   :oops:   :!:

    • Yep.

      Though I think some of it is explained by misunderstanding the difference b/n an individuals perspective and that of an entire field.

    • Fan, the difference between NIH and those promoting AGW propaganda as science is shown below, in bold:

      1. “NIH . . . conferences produce evidence-based consensus statements addressing controversial issues”

      2. Al Gore and the UN produced faith-basedpseudo-consensus statements and peddled them as science

      3. As the date approached for the people to vote on the wisdom of spending public funds to pinch off the tailpipe of the US economic engine in a sea of growing poverty, unemployment, and homelessness, the UN’s and Al’s messages UN were avoided in the presidential debate.

      Thanks again, Fan, for the link to the NIH website.

  90. According to IPCC’s multi-model mean, the mutidecadal oscillation has ceased to exist after 1970:

    http://bit.ly/OaemsT

    Why?

  91. Judith Curry

    Thanks for an excellent and balanced summary of how the IPCC forced consensus process has defended the prevailing paradigm against all other scientific viewpoints.

    It appears from the comments that many of your denizens on both sides of the debate have a problem accepting a balanced view – for one side, your argument doesn’t go far enough in condemning IPCC, others defend the consensus against any criticism.

    Max

    • Pearl-clutching over the word ‘consensus’ doesn’t have any effect on the evidence.

      • Not the word “consensus”, Michael but:

        > the IPCC forced consensus process

        which reminds me why I was alluding to “consensual sex” a while ago.

      • Maybe that is wine is so popular at COP events :)

      • David Springer

        I figured it was because you were a pervert. Who the f*ck else would connect science with sex?

      • Springer,

        Here’s what Ludwig Wittgenstein says in his **Philosophical Remarks**:

        > The meaning of a question is the method of answering it: then what is the meaning of ‘Do two men really mean the same by the word “white”?’ Tell me how you are searching, and I will tell you what you are searching for.

        Not that this should impress you, since it’s only an Austrian, a queer Asperger to boot.

        The meaning of “consensus” depends upon its uses. Looking at the many uses “consensus” will lead you to what “scientific consensus” means. There is something in “consensual sex” that is shared with “scientific consensus”.

      • Michael

        You are right.

        That is precisely the problem.

        There is no scientific evidence in support of IPCC’s “CAGW” paradigm (as willard knows).

        That’s why he changes the subject when that topic arises.

        Max

      • > There is no scientific evidence in support of IPCC’s “CAGW” paradigm (as willard knows).

        Actually, I believe that “CAGW paradigm” makes little sense, except perhaps as a strawman for sloganeering effect. I’ve said so many times, but manacker is thick as a brick. And the poet sheaths his pen while the soldier lifts his sword.

      • Willard, “Actually, I believe that “CAGW paradigm” makes little sense, except perhaps as a strawman for sloganeering effect. ” No doubt, but that is part of politics. The one side has merchant of doubt and fat tails, the other has a line in the sand.

      • Willard the waffler writes:

        Actually, I believe that “CAGW paradigm” makes little sense

        I agree with you Willard. It makes no sense at all (because it is not supported by empirical evidence).

        Max

  92. So Max feels violated by the IPCC?

    • David Springer

      Oh great. See what you did, Willard? You have all the other perverts feeling empowered now.

    • Michael

      Naw. Not really.

      IPCC has lost all relevance. They just don’t know it yet.

      Max

    • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

      So Max feels violated by the IPCC?

      Who here doesn’t? They “forced” the poor unwashed to accept the consensus, which is, of course completely fabricated, and without supporting evidence of any kind from observations or physical theory.

      Let’s see: Judith and her business partner, who sell forecasts, toss out some phil-of-sci word-salad, and then:

      It is difficult to avoid concluding that the IPCC consensus is manufactured and that the existence of this consensus does not lend intellectual substance to their conclusions.

      You see – The existence of a consensus cannot possibly have anything to do with the consilience of evidence and the convergence of expert opinion.

      I was amazed when Dr Curry selflessly stood up to advocate for scientific integrity.

      But now she’s offering free advice on the lending practices of “intellectual substance” to international scientific organizations!

      Is there ANYTHING about science that Dr Curry won’t deign to protect from other climate scientists?

      Or maybe the “IPCC consensus” just a competing business model?

      Curry and Webster – Needs more cowbell.

  93. Say, fan, Dunning and Kruger aren’t the last word on ‘experts’.

    In ‘The Black Swan Taleb examines ‘The Scandal of Prediction,’
    the ‘expert’ problem and tragedy of the empty suit. He cites a
    five year study of political and economic experts, involving about
    27,000 predictions. (Tetlock 2005) Turns out that experts’ error
    error rates were many times greater than they estimated and there
    was no difference in prediction error rate between PhDs and those
    with undergraduate degrees. Experts tend ter dig in on a theory and
    be prone ter confirmation bias.

    This on ‘certainty’ from Bertrand Russell:
    ‘One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel
    certainty are stupid and those with any imagination and under-
    standing are filled with doubt..’
    The quote seems more applicable ter the consensus confidence
    of the IPCC than ter doubting Thomas skeptics, couldn’t yer say,
    fan? By the way, do yer know the secret language of fans, fan? :-)

    • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound


      Experts tend ter dig in on a theory and be prone ter confirmation bias.

      Oh yes. That’s why I consult my friends at the office when trying to decide on which chemotherapy treatments should be performed on people who have been diagnosed by their amateur dentists.

      I invite you to take a flight with Common-Man Airlines. No experts allowed.
      The one-of-kind aircraft are designed by telephone sanitizers, and piloted by whichever dope-head happens to be at the airport first that day.

      • Glad to hear I’m an amature. I guess that makes me safe from failure to diagnose lawsuits.

  94. This is fer u fan.

  95. David Springer

    captdallas2 0.8 +0.2 or -0.4 | October 30, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    “Pretty wicked problem.”

    Weather is a wicked problem. Climate not so much. It only appears to be a wicked problem by the huge amount of obfuscation generated by a legion of over-thinking climate boffins who have a vested interest in making it more complicated than it is. In general all experts have a vested interest in making their area of expertise obtuse to outsiders. In the old days the experts controlled the literature in the art but that’s no longer true in the internet age and they have not adjusted to the new reality that anyone with a broad background can become an overnight expert in any particular subject. The new scientific genius is the generalist who can reach deeper on demand into any particular area. The specialist is quickly becoming obsolete.

    • Climate still has the “weather” issue on longer time scales. The main “wicked” problem is the internal transfer, just like weather. So you still have a complex problem with simplistic tools used to “solve” and overly simplistic definitions of the “problem”. It is a battle of semantics not science.

      So any real expect should say, “FIIK, but there are indications of this…” Which I believe is the “Italian flag” or “Monte Hall” school of decision making.

      • David Springer

        I still have to disagree. Small fluctuations that might effect the price of tea in China from time to time but overall it’s pretty predictable. Even the ice age takes predictably timed jaunts between only two semi-stable states. Most of the time, regardless of what else happens or whether sun is a young weakling or a strong 5-billion year-old middle aged star, the earth has no permanent ice at or near sea level. The continents are currently arranged so that under the right orbital parameters (warmer winters, cooler summers) permanent ice cover can gain a foothold on dry land and advance southward at an accelerating pace with a positive feedback effect from increasing albedo. The orbital parameters change like clockwork and so do the glacial/interglacial periods.

        So I really have no idea what it is you consider so wicked about any of that. The only wicked part is regional variation on the edges of the envelope. The envelope is mean annual temperature is lower in New York City than it is in Charleston, NC by the general rule of 3 degrees Fahrenheit for every degree of latitude. You can take that to the bank. The edge of the envelope is it won’t be exactly the same difference every single year. There is a butterfly effect but it’s a highly constrained effect.

      • ” The continents are currently arranged so that under the right orbital parameters (warmer winters, cooler summers) permanent ice cover can gain a foothold on dry land and advance southward at an accelerating pace with a positive feedback effect from increasing albedo. ”

        But the foothold and rate of expansion from that foothold are not the same. Conditions are set up to transfer more precipitation to land storage but there are a few billion new inhabitants that impact the “normal” cycle. Since that has never been the case, what will happen is not predictable. What new chain of events will result?

        Even the longer term cycle of glacials changes without that new variable. The Antarctic Circumpolar current more prominent now than it was .8 to 2.8 million years ago. The rate of ocean overturning changes, so a new solar orbital cycle increases in dominance.

        It is in many ways more predictable than weather because of the slower rate of change, but over a similar time scale, just as unpredictable. That is the difference, time.

      • David Springer

        Copout. Over longer timescales we can’t test predictions so you’re just speculating about instability. There’s no evidence of chaotic climate behavior in the past. It’s very stable and even in the most unstable state (the modern ice age) it flips back and forth between two stable states as predictable as orbital mechanics. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

      • Copout?

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fa_IDVMYqrM/UHBo7G5aA1I/AAAAAAAAESc/DW9qH5j3RSo/s912/past%2520few%2520million%2520years%2520of%2520tropical%2520ocean%2520temperatures.png

        If you pull a IPCC and make the range of projection wide enough, then you can claim predictability, that would be a copout I would think. If you narrow the range of what would be a useful projection?

    • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound


      …anyone with a broad background can become an overnight expert in any particular subject…
      The specialist is quickly becoming obsolete.

      Soon, everyone will be an expert climate scientist, just like Chris Monckton.

      Happy days ahead.

      Nuclear reactors everywhere will soon be remotely operated by a guy with a nervous tick named Bubba, and your medical prescriptions will be issued by ‘Charlize’ from the tattoo parlour. Aircraft carriers will be constructed from plans drawn up by local organic farmers.

      And don’t worry about your car – Drs Curry and Webster will have that transmission working by morning.

    • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound


      the new reality that anyone with a broad background can become an overnight expert in any particular subject. The new scientific genius is the generalist who can reach deeper on demand into any particular area. The specialist is quickly becoming obsolete.

      In the age of the internet, everyone’s a Monckton.

      BTW – don’t worry about your car. Consensus has it that Drs Curry and Webster will have that nasty transmission fixed by tomorrow.

  96. Manufactured AGW consensus faces a slight problem:

    The powerful force at the core of the Sun that
    a.) Made our elements
    b.) Birthed the world five billion years (5 Gyr) ago
    c.) Totally controlled Earth’s climate as life appeared 3.5 Gyr ago
    d.) Sustained life’s evolution into the most talented forms on Earth today
    e.) And now extends out from the Sun’s core, ~120 AU beyond planet Earth [Nature 489, 20-21 (2012)]

    http://www.nature.com/news/voyager-s-long-goodbye-1.11348

    Otherwise, Maurice Strong, Al Gore, the UN’s IPCC, world leaders might enslave the world with a post-1945 version of Stalin’s USSR directing us to UN’s Agenda 21 (UN’s own site is down for pre-election maintenance)

    http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/la21_198.html

    We have been blessed to be able to watch this classic drama unfold.

  97. Yer gotta read the chapter, Heinrich, lol. Distinctions are made about knowing how to … and knowing what will eventuate, predicting future events like stock market crashes or the length of wars. And failing
    ter note our low success rate.

  98. Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

    Beth –
    You might make sense to other people if yer jus’ tried composin’ yer wisdom in the form of sentences. Prolly too much to ask – but think of the re-wards…

    Anyway – I’m guessing that stock market crashes and the durations of wars are somewhat less directly constrained by the laws of physics than the planetary climate. Who knew?

    I’d insert a Russell or Feynman quote here – but I have been temporarily overcome with ennui.

  99. Pingback: New Study Confirms Global Warming Is Real - Page 3

  100. @tempterrain (far above)

    “Does this ‘logic’ just apply to climate change or is it useful with other things too? So you are saying it’s never a good idea to do anything? Its always better to postpone any decision indefinitely? Because, the longer it is postponed the more will be known?”

    Consider the following thought experiment: I have a time machine and go back 20 years. With my knowledge of the future, could I (with no training now) be a good doctor, pilot or policeman in the 1980’s? No.

    What about stock analyst or political consultant (again with no training)? I would be the best of the best in these fields – Buy Apple! Watch out for subprimes in ’08! Concentrate the ground-game on FL in 2000!

    -> In areas that forecast large systems, a little time is worth all the expertise in the world. The ability to wait for future experience to develop delivers huge returns on knowledge.

    Not going “all-in” for a Green economy now does not preclude the ability to adapt in the future. Consumption and industrial policy are quite malleable even in the short term when there is broad legitimacy for the change – think WWII in the U.S. However the costs of immediate mitigation are lost opportunities, with the possibility of delivering no tangible benefit in the future: either due to incorrect science, or uncooperative foreign nations.

    The inability of even our best and brightest to look into complex systems and make even decent predictions is what gives rise to the “high discount rate” associated with start-ups. It is ultimately this discounting for uncertainty (not just the time value of money) that tips the scales between (potential) current losses & (potential) future losses.

  101. g2-91a96892c9b157ef8c7ff35a46563741

    In what may go down as the high water mark of climate denial dementia Watts Up With That? has already begun denying that Sandy was a hurricane,

    • What in Willis’s comment was not accurate? He wrote that Sandy would no longer be a hurricane when it hit the coast. Was he correct?

  102. Sandy has just been described on the BBC as a post cyclone tropical stiorm. I thought it lost its hurricane status (category 1) some time ago?
    tonyb

    • At the time of landfall, it was a hybrid, was declared post tropical storm pretty much right at landfall. The wind speeds were equivalent to a category 1 hurricane. So this is semantics. But I’ve deleted the statement about being Category 1 at landfall.

  103. David Springer

    Note to Willard

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/filibuster.htm

    My toolbox overfloweth.

    Are we having fun yet?

    • For our context, I prefer Thick as a Brick. Goes well with the Can’t Get Enough Satisfaction algorithm.

      Still wondering how to plug in Don’t Stand So Close to Me.

      • Willard the waffler tosses out another senseless algorithm instead of plugging in his brain.

  104. Pingback: Psybertron Asks

  105. It may take a decade or so, but “consensus” is starting to swing the other way, I suggest. Principia Scientific International continues to add to its numbers scientists who know that carbon dioxide does not control our climate.

    On 22 October 2012 Joseph Postma published on the PSI site what must be one of the most comprehensive papers ever peer-reviewed on the topic. See …

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Absence_Measureable_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

    Prof Claes Johnson was the first to put forward computations supporting the now-established fact that not all radiation striking a target actually transfers heat to that target. Radiation is not a bombardment of photons that explode like hand grenades and heat anything they collide with. If the radiation comes from a cooler source it is merely scattered and, energy-wise, the result is similar to reflection.

    In my own paper published on PSI on 12 March 2012 I discussed Johnson’s work and the quantification of heat transfer by radiation. Postma has cited my paper and included a detailed summary I wrote – see pp 47 to 49.

    The main effect of backradiation comes from water vapour – perhaps 100 times more effective than carbon dioxide in slowing the radiative rate of surface cooling. However, this radiative cooling makes up less than 30% of all heat transfer from the surface to the atmosphere. The important point is that the rates of non-radiative cooling can accelerate to compensate for any slowing of radiative cooling, thus leaving no net change in the overall rate of cooling.

    Climate change follows natural cycles, most notably 1000 and 60 year ones. Recent research has established that there were world wide temperatures similar to this period about 900 to 1000 years ago. So it appears the world will reach a 1000 year maximum in the coming 100 years or so, if not already. The superimposed 60 year cycle has been declining since about 1998, but did cause alarm in the 30 years before that. The cycles were not so well recognised then, so the IPCC et al made the huge mistake of assuming that 30 year trend should be extrapolated upwards for ever.

    In a nutshell, carbon dioxide does not, and never will have any effect on world temperatures.

  106.  

    You are sadly mistaken, Pekka, but obviously not prepared to learn by reading beyond an abstract, which you have probably misinterpretted anyway.

    I seriously doubt that you have any idea of what the three of us are saying, along with support from many other scientists who are swelling the ranks of Principia Scientific International because they realise the whole carbon dioxide thing is a hoax at best, but more likely outright fraud.

    It’s your choice if you want to be a party to such. Perhaps I have a more questioning mind and a better “feel” for physics, based on my experience since the early 1960’s..

     

  107. It really isn’t rocket science. The vested interest of the UN/IPCC lies in advancing world governance.
    The main practical objective of the IPCC has thus been to ‘conclude’ that there is sufficient certainty in the science so as to trigger political action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  108. Perhaps we could all consider what sort of empirical evidence would in/validate and quantify AGW.

    How about being able to distinguish between originary radiation from the sun, and back-radiation from CO2 ?

  109. The CO2 radiation is infrared (vibrational) and probably some microwave (rotational). Incoming solar is much shorter–visible, UV. If you look closely at the conceptual model for the radiation balance (e.g., as described in ICPP 4) you should be able to find more detail and references. But that is a my generalist view from a 36000 foot level–a lot of folk here are much more into the stuff. I am happy with just that much. Great series, huh?

    •  

      This is so naive. Read Section 6 of my paper* and see the notches caused by carbon dioxide and water vapour as they absorb some of the incoming solar radiation in the 2 micron range and then send some backradiation to space. You are at a very early stage in your reading. You also need to study Postma’s October 2012 paper linked above.

      *http://principia-scientific.org/index.php/about/why-psi-is-proposed-as-a-cic.html

      Doug Cotton
       

      • newclimatechangetheory

        Can you read? I wrote

        “But that is a my generalist view from a 36000 foot level–a lot of folk here are much more into the stuff.”

        That was an intentionally’simple answer that pointed to other material and encourages reading–no more, no less. Note that Montalbano’s original question was:

        “How about being able to distinguish between originary [sic] radiation from the sun, and back-radiation from CO2 ?”

        Well, the most fundamental distinction is energy–frequency, wave length–distribution. Those are the observables available [used] and they do discriminate between incoming solar and IR radiations. At that simple–yes, even naive–level of discrimination it has nothing to do with either your or anybody else’s Rube Goldberg machine–excuse me, theory.

        So I am very pleased that I was so sufficiently naive with my answer. Thanks for the encouraging feedback. Because of your kind help it stresses me, however, to advise you that you might like to throttle that ego back a little. Honey attracts more flies. If you’ve got good suggestions, you can make them in a civil manner. Maybe someone would listen then.

        Aaah, a little more business on a couple of other things you wrote…

        “You are at a very early stage in your reading.”
        Well now, that depends on how much reading I intend to do on the subject. I may have completed my reading ;O)

        “You also need to study…”
        Oh, why?

        Regards, mwgrant aka Catarella

        PS If you want to provide a link to your paper then you should provide the correct direct link. Get a coach.

      • You are still limiting your thinking to radiation. See my post below, written before reading yours.

      • Hi Doug,

        Let me try different words. My interest in climate change really is peripheral and follows retirement from a career in other fields of environmental science. I may be one of the few people frequenting the climate blogs not trying ‘solve’ anything. I was giving Montalbano my most basic ‘chemical physicist’ answer to how can on to distinguish between the solar (UV/vis) radiation and GHG (IR) because the question was indeed how to distinguish between them. In addition, I am neither qualified nor inclined to extend my comments to the details of where my knowledge is at a conceptual level–I don’t work on the specific problem nor it it likely I will. So I have other priorities.

        So yes you are correct in that I am willfully limiting my thinking, but not because I advocate one approach (to CC) over the other–I don’t know enough for that. It is just that after decades of wrangling, cajoling, doing the right thing on my own time, to many times putting up with stupidity, I am just going to do/look at/enjoy the morsels of science that interest me. I pay my salary ;O).

        For the record I intuitively feel something is not right at a very fundamental level. This is largely because no one speaks with quiet confidence. And that is an important cue.

        You did come back and write more, though. I appreciate that (concurrent) response and will take a look at them.

        Regards mwgrant aka Catarella

        Sorry for the delay in response–Halloween duties.

      • Sorry – if using the above link, select “Radiated Energy” in the “Publications” menu. Or go directly here.

  110.  

    Those who still believe the carbon dioxide hoax need to come to realise that energy balance does not determine climate. It’s the other way round. Climate determines energy balance. Climate itself is determined by the incident solar energy which fluctuates in long term natural cycles probably related to planetary orbits.

    Earth’s surface temperature cools as heat from the Sun is transferred back to the atmosphere. This process is dominated by sensible heat transfer, not by radiation which accounts for less than 30% of such transfers.

    All that backradiation can possibly do (according to physics) is slow that 30% of cooling which is due to radiation. Meanwhile, the other 70% merely accelerates to compensate, thus leaving no net effect on the overall rate of cooling. What comes in from the Sun will get out again by one means or another. When there are long periods of natural warming there will of course be a build up of energy being retained. The thermometers tell us that, without even having to measure the energy balance. But the opposite is the case when cooling sets in.

    Backradiation is not the cause, because it cannot transfer heat to a warmer surface. It can only slow radiative cooling. See my peer-reviewed paper on PSI recently cited by Joseph Postma in his October 2012 paper.

    Doug Cotton
     

    .

  111. As a footnote, let’s consider what actually happens when radiation leaves a warm source …

    The EM energy in radiation from a warmer source is partly converted to thermal energy in a cooler target. However, that portion of it represented by the area under the Planck curve for the cooler body is not converted to thermal energy in that target, because it can resonate – as explained by Prof Claes Johnson. Instead, that portion of the energy is re-radiated as part of the cooler body’s S-B quota, and some of the energy in that new radiation will be converted to thermal energy iff it strikes a cooler body. The process continues until it reaches a target at absolute zero which cannot emit anything. This helps explain why the average temperature of emissions in space is between 2 and 3 deg.K.

    The fact is, that there can be no transfer of energy to a warmer target, because if there were, then that energy (now in the form of thermal energy) could escape by means other than radiation. No empirical evidence anywhere suggests that this happens.

    So, if to you the word “absorb” means that EM energy in radiation from a cool source is in fact converted to thermal energy in a warmer target, temporarily raising the temperature of the target even more, then I have to say that warmer targets do not absorb EM energy in this fashion. Instead, they use the energy in the incident radiation to create instantaneously some of their own S-B quota of outgoing radiation. Thus they don’t need to convert an equivalent amount of their own thermal energy to EM energy, a process which is more complex than merely “bouncing off” the incident energy. So, yes, the radiative cooling rate is slowed as I have agreed. But, the energy in the incident radiation was never converted to heat which could have caused sensible heat transfer. Hence rates of sensible heat transfer are not affected by backradiation from a cooler atmosphere. Yet the IPCC energy diagrams imply that they are, and also imply that far more heat exits the surface by way of radiation than is really the case.

    So, much of the observed radiation is not transferring heat from the surface, but instead “bouncing off” energy from the backradiation. So a much higher percentage of actual heat transfer must be due to sensible heat transfer than is implied by the IPCC diagrams. And the rate of cooling by sensible heat transfer is quite free to increase to compensate for any slowing of the much smaller proportion due to radiative cooling.

    If all this is not enough to make you and other readers question those energy diagrams, then I don’t know what would be.

    Doug Cotton
    Sydney
    Author of “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics”

     

    • NewClimate man
      So radiation from a cooler body cannot warm a warmer body.
      Does this imply that the warmer body somehow checks the source and credentials of radiation (photons?) before taking it on board?

      • Yes Vassily. You’ll find a comprehensive explanation of the process in Sections 2 to 5 in my paper published last March. The cited paper by Prof Johnson will also explain the resonating process for you. Then there’s also a page or so which I contributed to Joseph Postma’s October paper starting on p 47. You might also do well to read Clausius – written in 1850.

      • Well ok, but for the benefit of us poor lay people then :-
        – photons carry carry information of how warm the body that emitted them was ?
        – bodies (atoms?) approached by photons, effectively check this information, and reject/ignore photons that have come from a cooler body ?

      • It’s funny you say that, I thought the back-radiation effect was supposed to be due to the outgoing photons “checking” the incoming photons to see if they can “get by”, which then “requires” the warmer surface to increase in temperature before it can radiate “normally”.

        I don’t see why that makes any more sense than photons from one source being unable to further excite atoms which are already emitting more energetic photons.

      • Max,

        It’s funny you say that, I thought the back-radiation effect was supposed to be due to the outgoing photons “checking” the incoming photons to see if they can “get by”, which then “requires” the warmer surface to increase in temperature before it can radiate “normally”.

        All that is only your imagination. That’s not what back radiation is about. Photons interact with each other so weakly that these interactions have no influence on the incoming or outgoing radiation. (The interactions are important in a laser but in general not elsewhere.)

      • “All that is only your imagination. That’s not what back radiation is about. Photons interact with each other so weakly that these interactions have no influence on the incoming or outgoing radiation.”

        I seem to recall asking someone how a cold surface causes a warm surface to increase in temperature, given the issues with heat transfer in that direction, and was told roughly that “the radiation from the cold body prevents the warm body from radiating effectively, so the temperature rises to a new radiative equilibrium” or something along those lines.

        There was a vague allusion to an insulating effect, but insulation usually involves reducing thermal conduction or reflecting radiation from the colder body.

        Is there some reason why radiation emitted from a cold surface towards a warm surface would have a similar effect as reflecting radiation emitted from the warm surface towards the cold surface?

      • Max,

        Surfaces may reflect radiation but they do it usually very weakly for thermal radiation. Basically every surface radiates at an intensity determined by its temperature and absorbs almost all thermal IR that hits it. (Some rather exceptional solid or liquid surfaces reflect a significant share of thermal IR rather than absorb almost all of it.)

        When a cold surface and a warm surface can radiate towards each other, there’s always more radiation from the warmer to the colder than vice versa, because the temperature affects the intensity of emission. Neither surface can, however, influence the radiation from the other one (excluding the fact that they influence the temperature of the other by their radiation). What I wrote in this chapter is what the Second Law tells about radiative energy transfer between two surfaces.

      • “Surfaces may reflect radiation but they do it usually very weakly for thermal radiation. Basically every surface radiates at an intensity determined by its temperature and absorbs almost all thermal IR that hits it. (Some rather exceptional solid or liquid surfaces reflect a significant share of thermal IR rather than absorb almost all of it.)”

        Indeed, it was my understanding that temperature determines radiation, not the other way around.

        “When a cold surface and a warm surface can radiate towards each other, there’s always more radiation from the warmer to the colder than vice versa, because the temperature affects the intensity of emission. Neither surface can, however, influence the radiation from the other one (excluding the fact that they influence the temperature of the other by their radiation). What I wrote in this chapter is what the Second Law tells about radiative energy transfer between two surfaces.”

        Ok, you state that neither surface can influence the radiation of the other, except where they influence the temperature of the other.

        The heat flow between a warmer and colder surface already includes the radiative flux.

        Adding the radiative flux to the overall heat transfer is just a book-keeping error, as it is already included. That appears to be why an insulation-type effect is invoked… but I fail to see how an exchange of photons (rather than reflection of photons) could produce an insulating effect, what am I missing?

      • One mechanism of energy transport in atmosphere is that where GHG molecules emit radiation at one point and absorb at another. Adding more GHG’s makes the distance traveled by a photon before it gets absorbed shorter. Although more GHG’s means that more photons are emitted and absorbed, the reduction in the distance they travel before being absorbed leads to less net energy transfer. This corresponds to more insulation.

      • “photons carry carry information of how warm the body that emitted them was ” They certainly do – read my paper. Haven’t you noticed that the Sun’s rays warm you more than the Moon’s?

      • Max :
        Pekka seems clear that photon-on-photon action is minimal.

        And I believe there is no reason a photon from a colder body cannot warm a warmer body. This is still consistent with the overall photon traffic from warm-to-cold exceeding that of cold-to-warm going in the opposite direction.

      • photon-on-photon action? That is kinda stimulating in a geeky kinda way :)

        Net is used by most folks because of the back radiation issues. Photons are not the sharpest tacks in the box, they just flow until they run into something.

      • Photons do not equate directly to thermal energy, an exchange of radiation in one direction does not require an exchange of thermal energy in the same direction.

        I can see why someone unfamiliar with quantum mechanics may confuse the two, and might not see the importance of such a distinction.

        Indeed, the tendency to associate “infrared” with “heat” is understandable, but claiming “infrared from a colder surface heats up a warmer surface” is about as sensible as stating “red light from a colder surface heats up a warmer surface”, and it is only our inability to see infrared wavelengths directly that keeps this from being obvious.

      • Heinrich the Norwegian Elkhound

        Vassily:

        If I may: You are correct, and Max™ is wrong.

        A body that absorbs a photon does so independently of the temperature of the body that emitted the photon.

        A cold body emits fewer and longer-wavelength photons than a hot body – but the photons have no ‘memory’ of the temperature of the emitter.

        In fact – since any ‘cold’ object whose temperature is above absolute zero MUST emit photons, any other objects nearby that are not perfect reflectors MUST be heated to a higher temperature than they would have been if the ‘cold’ object were not there.

        BTW – Max™ – This has nothing to do with the details of quantum mechanics that you pretend to know so much about. It’s classical radiative physics.

      • When it is said that IR from a colder surface heats a warmer surface that is said relative to no surface, i.e. free space without any source of radiation. More energy comes to the warm surface when there is a cool surface in front of it that when there’s just free space there.

        Every photon carries energy. When it’s emitted the emitting body looses that energy, when it’s absorbed the absorbing body receives the energy. This is energy transfer and those processes occur in both directions between two bodies. The net energy transfer goes in one direction but that’s formed as difference of transfers in each direction. There may, of course, by other types of energy transfer as well but the radiative energy transfer is not directly influenced by that.

        Quantum mechanics is needed in some considerations but photons can easily be discussed also without it as long as the details of emission and absorption are not considered.

      • I agree with Pekka here, and photons are not necessary to explain the problem, it just complicates the problem. It’ basic heat transfer as in textbooks.

        “There may, of course, by other types of energy transfer as well but the radiative energy transfer is not directly influenced by that.”

        It depends on what you mean by directly. If a body (or a system) is not in outer space (or similar conditions) and other forms of heat (and/or energy) transfer is possible, they will for sure influence the radiative energy transfer. It’ basic physics.

      • Edim,

        I didn’t say that photons are not needed in the explanation. On the contrary, trying to explain what happens without photons gets really messy. It may be possible to explain the same physics without photons but that would be really complicated while photons make everything rather simple.

        What I said is that much can be explained without quantum mechanics. QM is also needed to explain the emission and absorption spectra like the fact that CO2 emits and absorbs strongly at 15 um and less at other wavelengths. Many considerations can, however, be presented before it’s necessary to take up QM.

      • “A body that absorbs a photon does so independently of the temperature of the body that emitted the photon.”

        Indeed, and the transfer of thermal energy between two bodies by photons is the radiation emitted minus that absorbed. Speaking of such exchanges per photon is just as nonsensical as if you look at the photons from one source alone.

        A body emitting at a given temperature will not absorb more photons from a colder body than the colder body receives from it. How exactly is an increase in the thermal energy of the warmer body supposed to arise from a heat flow towards the colder body?

        “A cold body emits fewer and longer-wavelength photons than a hot body – but the photons have no ‘memory’ of the temperature of the emitter.”

        I never claimed they did, but the overall flux which determines the transfer of thermal energy does depend on the temperature of both bodies.

        “In fact – since any ‘cold’ object whose temperature is above absolute zero MUST emit photons, any other objects nearby that are not perfect reflectors MUST be heated to a higher temperature than they would have been if the ‘cold’ object were not there.”

        Again note that you are explicitly describing an exchange of photons back and forth, while claiming it produces a transfer of thermal energy from colder to warmer surfaces.

        You are describing something like an insulating effect except rather than it leading to a reduced rate of cooling, you’re suggesting it actually raises the temperature of the radiating body when it warms the environment?

        “BTW – Max™ – This has nothing to do with the details of quantum mechanics that you pretend to know so much about. It’s classical radiative physics.”

        Considering a single side of an exchange of photons between two bodies can be better understood by examining the results of single photons being emitted from one of the bodies and absorbed by the other.

        It is useful to understand the result of each photon imparting energy upon the atoms of the other body, and the response of said atoms.

        Looking at it one photon at a time you can easily see that there is indeed energy transferred from the colder body to the warmer body.

        The actual mechanism by which that energy is imparted upon those atoms, and the interaction of those atoms with other atoms in the warmer body can be described in terms of kinetic, vibrational, and rotational motion. The net result of each individual photon on each atom is then averaged over the entire body, and the actual transfer of thermal energy can be distinguished from the individual contribution of a single photon.

        If a single photon can not decide the direction of heat flow, one can ask if photons in a single direction can do so?

        If a single side of the radiative transfer is not sufficient to describe heat flow, we can breathe a sigh of relief, because thermodynamics holds after all.

      • Max,

        Your comment is mostly consistent with standard thinking, but what do you mean by the words: “.. the actual transfer of thermal energy can be distinguished from the individual contribution of a single photon”?

        Those words make me wonder whether you still have some misconceptions about physics.

        Another remaining issue seems to be that you don’t see how close your thinking is to the main stream and how the differences are mostly more semantic than real.

  112.  

    Joseph Postma, author of the latest and most comprehensive PSI paper, has commented here – others may wish to read what he has written.
     

  113. If we look at Trenberth’s energy budget diagram on page 314 here we see 333 W/m^2 backradiation and only 396 W/m^2 for radiation from the surface to the atmosphere or direct to space. I would argue that, 333 of the 396 is merely scattered backradiation which, as explained in my earlier posts, does not transfer any (new) heat from the surface. So only 396 – 333 = 63 W/m^2 is transferring heat. Sensible heat transfer is shown as 80 + 17 = 97 W/m^2. Hence we have a total of 63 + 97 = 160 W/m^2 transferring heat from the surface. Of this, 97 / 160 = ~61% is transferred by sensible heat transfer. However, of the 63 W/m^2 of radiation we see that 40 W/m^2 goes straight to space. Hence carbon dioxide can have no effect on that cooling. That leaves only 23 W/m^2 being absorbed by the atmosphere.

    So, we have 23 / 160 = only14% of heat transfer from the surface can possibly be affected by water vapour, carbon dioxide and their colleagues, (whom I refuse to call GHG’s) and it is not too hard to imagine other cooling processes accelerating to compensate for any slowing of this 14% of all heat transfer from the surface..

  114.  

    “A body that absorbs a photon does so independently of the temperature of the body that emitted the photon.” I repeat, this statement is simply not correct. Read Johnson’s, Postma’s and my own papers which all explain why. I’ve given you the references above, and have no more time to waste explaining reality to you. Be careful you don’t get sunburnt by all that backradiation at night.

     

    • Be careful you don’t get sunburnt by all that backradiation at night.

      Cute comment.

      But “back”radiation is probably a bad description, since as I understand it, the heat first absorbed and then re-emitted by GHGs, is scattered elsewhere in the GHG, rather than being sent uninterrupted back to earth or out to space (other than above the altitude known as the Effective Radiation Level). Scattered GHG radiation warms the earth by warming the GHG, leading to slower conductive/convective earth-to-atmosphere cooling.

      (Preparing to be shot down in flames, I have my parachute at the ready)

      • Backradiation is a bad decription. Atmospheric radiation is better. The atmosphere gains its energy from the surface pre-dominantly by the non-radiative modes (direct contact) and secondarily by the net radiative exchange surface-atmosphere. This gained energy has to be radiated to space and only the so-called GHGs can transfer the heat to space. They look more like roof windows in a greenhouse.

      • Yes. Backradiation is, indeed, a bad term as it appears to imply that the radiation would be different from normal “forward” radiation. It’s “back” only by direction which is opposite to radiation from the surface. More precisely it’s that part of radiation emitted by the atmosphere that happens to reach the surface.

      • How could that work? All of the atmosphere has a non-zero temperature, and thus emits IR.

        I’m wondering why the atmosphere is described as heated from below almost exclusively though. The layers within a few meters of the surface are fairly directly heated by the conductive/radiative transfer from the ground, with convective/advective processes distributing energy upwards into the troposphere against the lapse rate.

        Just because the surface mostly emits IR doesn’t mean the sun doesn’t also emit IR. Solar IR contributes to the temperature of the atmosphere as well, not just the upward IR from the ground and direct ozone heating by solar UV.

      • Agreed. Back radiation is a perfectly good term if you know what the target is, but not in a noisy atmosphere.

      • Because the sun is so hot almost all energy emitted by sun is at wavelengths less than 2 um, i.e. visible, near IR, and UV. Sun emits also at longer wavelengths but much less and only insignicant amounts of that happens to hit the Earth.

        The Earth surface releases so much energy as IR alone that it would be much colder without something else in addition to the solar radiation that gets to the surface and is absorbed. That something else is IR from atmosphere.

      • Better than “atmospheric radiation,” in my opinion, is the term “vector irradiance in the IR band.” Under this usage, at a space point in a field of electromagnetic radiation the radiative heat flux is the vector difference between two vectors. One is called the “vector radiosity.” The other is called the “vector irradiance.” The vector irradiance is the vector sum of those Poynting vectors that are incident upon the referenced surface. The vector radiosity is the vector sum of those Poynting vectors that are transmitted through or reflected by the surface. The magnitude of the vector irradiance is the “irradiance.” The magnitude of the vector radiosity is the “radiosity.”

      • Terry,
        While your proposal is formally true, it’s not really useful due to the almost total lack of coherence in the radiation. The practical calculations require handling each photon without any coherence with the others. Under such conditions working with electromagnetic fields or Poynting vectors is only a major distraction.

      • Pekka (Nov. 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm):

        As the term “IR irradiance” is already in use ( http://www.espo.nasa.gov/tc4/docs/April07_meet/042507pm/Breakout_ER2/BBIR_Bucholtz.pdf ) and the term “UV irradiance” is also in use ( http://www.mps.mpg.de/homes/natalie/PAPERS/jasr_uv.pdf ) it seems to me that the term “IR vector irradiance” or something similar could profitably be used in place of the term “back radiation.” The latter term has the logically unacceptable characteristic of ambiguity regarding the direction of the associated vector with consequential violation of the law of non-contradiction.

      • “The Earth surface releases so much energy as IR alone that it would be much colder without something else in addition to the solar radiation that gets to the surface and is absorbed. That something else is IR from atmosphere.”

        Uh, the surface with the sun directly overhead would be hotter without the atmosphere, while the surface on the far side would be colder, like the moon, right?

      • I am beginning to get very irritated with some of you here. You’re supposedly scientists or interested in science and yet are incapable of getting the point I’m making and responding rationally to it.

        I am giving the TRADITIONAL physics teaching that it is THERMAL INFRARED HEAT from the Sun that we feel as heat from the Sun and which is what heats up matter.

        The phyisics of radiant heat is bog standard in thermodynamics. We cannot feel shortwave infrared as heat, because it is not a thermal energy. Thermal means “of heat”. That’s why the invisible infrared from the Sun is divided into categories, because some of the invisible infrared is not heat. Near Infrared is in the category of Reflective not Thermal energy, in the category of Light, not Heat. We cannot feel shortwave from the Sun. This is a real physics fact.

        Light, shortwave from the Sun, cannot move the molecules of matter into vibration which is what it takes to heat matter. It isn’t physically big enough, it isn’t physically capable of this. Shortwave from the Sun works on the electronic transition level on meeting matter, this does not convert to heat, it takes bigger more powerful heat from the Sun, thermal infrared, to move molecules of matter into vibration. That’s how real heat from the Sun heats land and oceans and us.

        Rub your hands together, that is mechanical energy causing the molecules of your skin to vibrate, heating up your skin, raising its temperature. This is what the direct invisible thermal infrared heat energy from the Sun is doing. Thermal infrared direct from the Sun penetrates several inches into our bodies, so heating us up internally as well as externally.

        What we have from you who claim the AGWScienceFiction fisics that “shortwave from the Sun heats the land and oceans and claim that thermal infrared direct from the Sun, doesn’t” is a claim that is gobbledegook in traditional physics. Really, gobbledegook. I’m making a very important point here.

        At least have the courtesy to pay enough attention to what I am saying to get the point I’m trying to make.

        You give two different versions of why the real direct heat from the Sun doesn’t play any part in heating the Earth’s land and oceans.

        The first is that “there is an invisible barrier like the glass of a greenhouse which prevents the heat from the Sun, thermal infrared, aka longwave, getting through from TOA”, and the second, “that the Sun produces very little heat and we get only a tiny bit of that and it’s insignificant”

        The Sun is radiating out heat from the millions of miles thick millions of degrees hot Corona, this is the heat we feel from the Sun. You obviously are completely oblivious to how stupid both your versions sound which claim this doesn’t exist.

        We know what radiant heat is. In traditional well known tried and tested and used in countless applications radiant heat physics. The third way heat is transfered, conduction and convection being the other two.

        You can continue to ignore my saying this, but if you are really scientists then you cannot ignore that this NASA page is giving traditional physics in saying that the HEAT WE FEEL FROM THE SUN IS THERMAL INFRARED, LONGWAVE.

        http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html

        “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.”

        “Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them.”

        IT CONTRADICTS YOU.

        DEAL WITH IT.

  115.  

    In conclusion, I quote from Prof Johnson and trust you know that “frequencies” relate to the temperature of the source … the immediate absorption and re-emission Johnson talks about is not the absorption to which you refer which involves conversion of EM energy to thermal energy. There is no heat transfer when the source is cooler than the target.

    “A blackbody thus absorbs and emits frequencies below cut-off without
    getting warmer, while absorbed frequencies above cut-off are not emitted
    but are instead stored as heat energy increasing the temperature.
    A blackbody is thus like a high-pass filter, which re-emits frequencies
    below a cut-off frequency while capturing frequencies above cut-off as
    heat.A blackbody acts like a censor which filters out coherent high-frequency
    (dangerous) information by transforming it into incoherent (harmless) noise.
    The IPCC acts like a blackbody by filtering coherent critical information,
    transforming it into incoherent nonsense perceived as global warming.”

     

  116.  

    Oh, and I nearly forgot. If all photons transfer heat, then plastic in your microwave oven ought to get hot with such high intensity radiation.

     

    • So what would be a sensible general commentary then?

      – all photons possess energy, of varying levels/wavelengths. Different substances are differently affected by different photons – all/some of : reflection, absorption, none (transparency). Any others?

      Q1: Can only IR photons cause a body to heat?

      Q2: Are there any effects of photon absorption other than heating?

      Q3: What is the specific effect of visible light photons on the land and oceans?

      Q4: What is reflection exactly? Instantaneous absorption and re-emission ?

      • Q1: Can only IR photons cause a body to heat?

        “To heat” is not well phrased, I assume you mean “to undergo an increase in temperature”, heat or heat flow is a process of thermal energy transfer which can only spontaneously take place from warm to cold bodies. To do otherwise requires work be performed on the system.

        IR photons can transfer thermal energy, as can photons of any wavelength, but IR photons from a cold body will not produce heat transfer to a warmer body.

        Q2: Are there any effects of photon absorption other than heating?

        I would say that photon absorption and emission involves a transfer of energy, and can take part in a heat flow between a warm and cold body.

        Q3: What is the specific effect of visible light photons on the land and oceans?

        From the sun? The same effect as the infrared and UV photons which reach the surface? Heat flows from the 6000 K~ sun to the 250~300 K land and oceans in the form of thermal radiation.

        Q4: What is reflection exactly? Instantaneous absorption and re-emission ?

        Reflection is usually found in bodies with low absorptivity (and thus emissivity) but it is easier to describe in terms of wave characteristics where the direction of propagation is altered, rather than the waveform being absorbed by the surface.

  117. “Your comment is mostly consistent with standard thinking, but what do you mean by the words: “.. the actual transfer of thermal energy can be distinguished from the individual contribution of a single photon”?

    Those words make me wonder whether you still have some misconceptions about physics.”

    You can treat a single side of a system undergoing radiative transfer as a single photon process, but you can not determine the thermodynamics of that in that manner.

    Discussing back-radiation in a way that suggests it transfers thermal energy from a cold surface to a warm surface can be examined by breaking it down to single photon events.

    The exchange of a single photon from a cold surface to a warm surface will impart a certain amount of energy per photon, which can then be extended to a calculation of the total energy transfer in the cold -> warm direction. Subtracting that from the warm -> cold direction gives the net radiative transfer, and that allows one to properly determine the heat exchange between the two bodies.

    It is then easy enough to see that the only manner in which one could conclude that a cold -> warm energy transfer led to an increase in the temperature of the warm body is if you neglect that the warm -> cold transfer already includes the cold -> warm portion and accidentally counted it again.

    “Another remaining issue seems to be that you don’t see how close your thinking is to the main stream and how the differences are mostly more semantic than real.”

    Not sure how this could just be a semantic difference, but I’m open to the possibility that the descriptions I’ve heard of back-radiation from cold -> warm bodies weren’t presented in a way that allowed me to grasp the principle behind it properly.

    • Max I think the point here is that the idea of back-radiation is confused to the point of being flawed. Heat radiated from the earth’s surfaces and absorbed by GHGs is mostly not sent back to earth, it is distributed elsewhere in the GHGs. Which would cause overall GHG heating, other things being equal. Which would cause the cooling of the earth to the atmosphere to slow down. Which would mean the earth ended up warmer.

    • Max,
      You understand better the physics than what people mean by the warming effect of backradiation.

      When someone says “backradiation makes the surface warmer” you must understand what they refer to by warmer. I.e., “warmer than what?” The answer is “warmer than the surface would be without the backradiation”. More specifically “warmer than the surface would be if it were heated by the same amount of solar radiation and it would emit as much as it’s temperature makes it emit but there would not be any IR from the atmosphere that would hit the surface”.

      You do agree that the surface would be colder in that case than it’s now, don’t you?

      • “More specifically “warmer than the surface would be if it were heated by the same amount of solar radiation and it would emit as much as it’s temperature makes it emit but there would not be any IR from the atmosphere that would hit the surface”.

        You do agree that the surface would be colder in that case than it’s now, don’t you?”

        I think this is where my problem arises, I don’t think the downward radiation from the atmosphere has a significant on the temperature of the surface, free atmospheric gases do not fit the properties of a thermal insulator.

        If downward radiation from the atmosphere influenced the surface temperature, then upward radiation from the surface should influence the temperature of the sun.

        I can’t see a way that such an influence couldn’t be used to produce a perpetual motion machine.

      • Max,
        Actually the radiation from the Earth does influence the temperature of the sun but so little that’s impossible to observe that.

      • Again, I don’t see how that wouldn’t produce a runaway feedback loop.

        I put a black bag near my lamp, the lamp heats the bag up, the bag emits IR, some of the IR from the bag makes it back to the several thousand K filament in the light bulb.

        If that raises the temperature of the filament, it should emit more radiation and warm the bag up further as well, right?

        Which should emit more IR back towards the filament, which decides to stop heating up because it’s convenient, or does it keep going?

        I was under the assumption that the IR from the bag emitted towards the filament is subtracted from the total flux towards the bag, I’m not sure why that would cause the filament to compensate by heating up or what-have-you.

      • A runaway situation requires strong positive feedback. We have here a positive feedback but not so strong.

      • I’m still not sure why I couldn’t take that effect and use the back-radiation heating a light bulb to counter the efficiency losses in a generic heat-engine-o-matic 5000, then once everything is running, simply plug the light bulb into the heat-engine-o-matic 5000?

    •  

      “The exchange of a single photon from a cold surface to a warm surface will impart a certain amount of energy per photon,” This statement is incorrect. and so what follows is also. You people need to read Johnson, Postma and my own papers to understand what happens in reality.

      The EM energy in radiation from a cooler source is never left in the target. It is immediately re-emitted and cannot be used by the target for any other purpose than immediate re-radiation.

      Hence the process is called “pseudo scattering” or in my paper I coined the term “resonant scattering” because of the resonance which Prof Claes Johnson describes. So stop making up your own ideas about what you think happens, because it doesn’t and most climatologists spread these incorrect assumptions among themselves and the public, so you all get misled.

      Try applying their ideas to one of those plastic bowls you put in your microwave oven. It does not get warmed in a 750 watt MW oven, but it certainly does in front of a 750 watt electric radiator. The radiation intensity is similar. But the big and only difference is the frequenciy of the radiation. In the MW oven low frequency radiation gets scattered by the plastic and some passes right through it following a random path of scattering. It then warms water inside the plastic bowl (not by atomic absorption but by rotating molecules and causing frictional heating) but it does not itself warm the bowl. The bowl only warms by conduction where it is in contact with some water that was warmed first. But it is quite a different story in front of a radiator. Think about it!

       

  118. Chief Hydrologist

    Sunburn is caused by UV. Microwaves pass through plastic but definitely heats food. Weirdly irrelevant argument but par for the course when you pull it out of your arse.

    • See post above. You are off the track and need to think a bit more about it all – as I have for thousands of hours.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        UV doesn’t cause sunburn and microwave radiation doesn’t heat food? And I am off track? To paraphrase Albert – be as silly as you need to be but no sillier.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The heat in the atmosphere is a measure of the kinetic energy of molecules. Very different to the small proportion of molecules that are actively absorping/emitting photons in the specific frequencies at any one time.

        http://www.atmos.illinois.edu/earths_atmosphere/index.html

        http://www.heliosat3.de/e-learning/remote-sensing/Lec7.pdf

        All heat comes from the sun – and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere doesn’t change the direction of entropy or even the rate of entropy production. The world does warm however as a result of a decrease in the mean free photon path.

        I say this without any real hope that you will see sense – but if you have spent thousands of hours on this you seem to have wasted your time.

      •  
        1. Can’t you take a joke about sunburn?

        2. Microwaves don’t heat food – they heat water molecules in the food.

        3. In the matters where you are correct you are not teaching me anything after more than 50 years’ of my involvement with physics.

        4. When are you going to read those papers?
         

      • I quote from your first link: “Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases) trap some of the earth’s outgoing (infrared) energy, which causes the atmosphere to retain this heat and warm. ” This statement is totally incorrect.

      •  

        When (if ever) you come to understand what Prof Claes Johnson (professor of applied mathematics) has proved (in comprehensive computations) that radiated EM energy is not converted to thermal energy in a warmer target, then you may realise that “a decrease in the mean free photon path” can have no effect. Where in all your considerations do you take into account the potential increase in the rate of sensible heat transfer which accounts for at least 60% of all heat exiting the surface and more than 85% of all heat transferring from the surface to the atmosphere – ie without passing through the atmospheric window? (See my calculations in a recent post above.)
         

      • Doug Cotton | November 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm said: ” This statement is totally incorrect”.

        +1

      • Chief Hydrologist

        1. yeah right

        2. you will find that most food is mostly water – and this is not anything to do with plastic not warming.

        3. I thought I was old. I have degrees in engineering and environmental science and decades of experience.

        4. I have read enough. Claes, yourself, Postma – I am not going to waste any more of my time.

        Your calc’s are pretty silly and your discussion more so.

      • So have I got this right? : Doug says that radiation is somehow conditionally tethered to its source, and if this source is colder than a destination body the radiation encounters, this tether will prevent the radiation from acting on the destination object.

    • Chief Hydrologist | November 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm said: ”when you pull it out of your arse”

      WRONG. you are puling those things from Karoly’s and Flannery’s ar/ses; you should wash them first, to see them clean from close up and recognize that they are wrong. That’s why you are ”saving the planet” from the non-existing GLOBAL warming; by wasting money and labor on sequestrating CO2 in the ground, on the farms.= the mother of all stupidity!!!

      Reason for you ”RELEVANT ARGUMENTS” look silly and you cannot understand them – because they don’t come out of Karoly’s and Flannery’s butts. CO2, H2O, methane are not a GLOBAL warming gases; if you have read my post I recommended long time ago – you wouldn’t had to make bigger fool of yourself than you are naturally. If Karoly & Flannery allow you to learn things that are correct and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, have a go now; open your mind and don’t stay a fanatic bigot forever:
      http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/methane-ch4/

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Stefan,

        You are a wack job with a tin foil hat, several roos loose in the top paddock and an echnida up your arse. You are so flat out being a drongo that you have forgotten the basics, if you ever knew them, of science and civilised discourse.

        I have looked at your site and if you expect me to waste more of my time with your crapulous and crazed rants you are even crazier than I think.

        Regards

      • Chief Hydrologist | November 2, 2012 at 2:51 am driveled: ”Stefan, You are a wack job with a tin foil hat, several roos loose in the top paddock and an echnida up your arse. You are so flat out being a drongo that you have forgotten the basics”

        Is this your best ”scientific tantrum? It only shows that you are getting ready for the Straight Jacket.

        When to a normal person is pointed out that he is wrong -> he apologizes and takes it on board; throwing tantrum doesn’t change the truth! I didn’t want to humiliate you any more – you had a time to think. Unfortunately; for thinking, you need to use your own brains; not what others are instructing you. Instead, as soon as you see that on my blog doesn’t say that CO2 is the offender -> you panic and run away from the real proofs, before reading the rest. Closed mind is for making fool of yourself; don’t blame me for it

        It’s the biggest Australian shame: to corrupt farmers – to waste time and money in carbon sequestration. you are fanatically supporting crimes. Bashing new production of methane, is THE crime of the millenia

        to use your attitude, so you can understand: if you are genuine ”chief hydrologist” then I must be the Pope of Rome! Wetting the bed, doesn’t make one a hydrologist. b] you being a ”feather brains” doesn’t make you a ”Chief” Real chief has responsibility, therefore, they have an open mind. Your enemy will not show your faults; but will use them against you. I was giving you constructive advice; instead, you poop yourself. Well continue to regurgitate Karoly’s, Hansen’s, Plimer’s and Flannery’s excrement; until they take you to loony-farm – then you will realize that I was your friend. just relax…

    • Doug do you plan to actually marshal an argument here, or are you just going to noisily lurk and tell people to go away until they agree with you ?

  119. Global warming also contributes to the observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere as shown => http://bit.ly/RxSKGA